Why I Buried My Siblings Alive

Some pasts, once escaped, are too hard to revisit

erika
Human Parts
Published in
5 min readNov 28, 2018

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Photo: Erika Storms

AAnyone who has been in my life within the past two decades knows little or nothing about my siblings. Not my husband, our children, or my closest friends. I never talk about them or to them.

My brother and I are 16 months apart in age and took the brunt of our father’s abuse. My sister is four years younger than me. I have no recollection of her existence before she was in fifth grade.

This is the last photo ever taken of the three of us together because it’s the last time the three of us were together. Since 1994, I have visited my brother on one occasion and my sister on another. Both visits were over a decade ago.

My brother is on the left, my sister on the right, and that’s me in the middle, circa 1994.

The photograph was taken with a disposable camera, all we could afford between us at the time. We were super stoned that night in the hotel room, proud of ourselves for making it to Daytona Beach — back in the day, when it was a hot spot for spring break. My skin was glowing from the sun’s kiss, my hair ratty from the salt of the ocean.

Seeing this photo now makes me wonder if we were ever truly happy together or if it was only a side effect of the weed we smoked that night.

Captured in a natural moment of laughter, my siblings and I appear as if we were genuinely bonding. Seeing this photo now makes me wonder if we were ever truly happy together or if it was only a side effect of the weed we smoked that night.

I was 22 at the time, and it was after this last reunion that I began to bury my siblings alive.

TThe first memory I have of my sister is pleading with her to climb outside through the bedroom window when our father was in one of his fits of rage. Just before this, he had been beating me with a vacuum cleaner until my brother intervened, turning our father’s attention toward him instead. My brother and I had this unspoken tag-team agreement. It’s how we survived the monster, our father, throughout childhood.

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