"The Twins" react to family violence in a way that parallels Mom and Aunt Brie

The Abuse Jun 29, 2020

The Twins refers to Aunt Brie's two youngest sisters. Adopted from Korea and three years apart. Grimma made them dress alike for most of their lives. In Aunt Brie's blog, she talks about how these two bright young women dealt with Grimma's abuse. (Update: In Aunt Brie's deposition, she revealed the oldest of The Twins had run away to Savannah, Georgia).

"There were subtle abuses, and there were overt abuses. There was a lot of violence. There was a lot of punishment. There was almost no logic to the way that things operated inside our home."
"My little sisters were there. They grew up in the same household, with the same mother. They are not genetically the same as me, but their reactions to the abuse were identical. One reacts by being super good, and the other reacts by acting out, and they still get punished equally."

Here is an excerpt from Aunt Brie's blog from June 29, 2020:

If You Treat A Living Thing Right, It Will Live For You

June 29, 2020

On Sunday, my oldest and best friend Kim arrived from New York. Her visits make me feel really loved. She has been actively quarantining, and she broke the quarantine

I knew that my mother had just stopped watering it.

You leave a plant at someone else’s house, and they just forget about it. The thing is, we left our ficus tree next to my mom’s many different potted plants. She loves plants, and she has many that are decades old. While we were staying at her house, Caleb tenderly watered those plants so that my mother didn’t have to.

My mother, every day, walked into the carriage house to water her plants. She looked at our plant, and decided not to give it any water.

“So what?” you may be saying to yourself.

Imagine if your mother purposefully killed something that was alive, and belonged to you.


This is one of the many, many subtle abuses I was subjected to as a child, and as an adult. My mother, when faced with the task of caring for me, her child, either turned her back, or purposefully hurt me. There were subtle abuses, and there were overt abuses. There was a lot of violence. There was a lot of punishment. There was almost no logic to the way that things operated inside our home. I was a good kid who got good grades, didn’t drink or do drugs, and still, I was often denied basic human rights such as food, security and love.

As an adult, I began to forget what that was like. You can almost convince yourself that you’re just being dramatic.

And then, the pandemic happened.

We moved in with my parents. My little sisters were there. They grew up in the same household, with the same mother. They are not genetically the same as me, but their reactions to the abuse were identical. One reacts by being super good, and the other reacts by acting out, and they still get punished equally. The eldest of the two turned 18 on April 24, in the midst of it all. Before the pandemic hit New York, she had made plans to move out, on her 18th birthday, and in with a friend.  

Grumpa, Grimma, Aunt Brie, and younger sister, from "A Brie Grows in Brooklyn"

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Brienne Walsh

Brienne Walsh is a writer and art critic. She is sister to Tara Walsh and the daughter of Stephen Walsh and Brendan Walsh. Her blog ABrieGrowsInBrooklyn.com documents her life and family history.

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