Disclaimer: Characters belong to JKR.

AN: I just thought of this on the spot, typed it, little revision. This is my first fic to post... and quite possibly my only.

Trauma: a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from mental or emotional stress or physical injury (Britannica). I had a traumatic childhood; ceaseless fighting, constant apprehension, loneliness.

My parents saw me as the loyal, obedient child, and my brother viewed me as he did my parents : heartless and selfish. The only reason I took their side was to avoid being treated like him : to be yelled at - attacked by their hateful words... to feel unloved. His friends loved him, I envied that. I also envied that he could defy my parents - they tried to restrict him, but they couldn't stop him; I would have loved that kind of freedom.

Is it cowardly to adapt to survive in that household? I was constantly being compared to him and expected to do better than him. "I know you won't be a loser like your brother" my mother would say. Oh how I wanted to defy and rebel and disappoint her - to prove her wrong.

I made myself hate Sirius, I made myself think that I was better than him. My parents would be proud of me and praise me, making me feel loved. I didn't want to be called a loser, to be seen as a worthless person by your own parents. Can you imagine what that must be like? I joined them in family arguments because if I didn't then it would be viewed as an act of defiance and they'd hate me.

I hate myself for being a coward. If I could go back in time I would change it all. I would stand up for my brother when he needed it. It wasn't worth it to take their side, it just made my life miserable. And if I had joined Sirius I wouldn't have been alone, he would have been there right with me and we would of had that brotherly relationship that I secretly longed for. It is unfortunate that he never thought about my position: that I didn't like it, but I thought it was necessary.

I adapted to survive, but in doing so I felt an ultimate loneliness. I couldn't go to my parents for anything I desired to talk about, and I certainly couldn't go to my brother because he hated me. Everything I wanted to say, everything normal people can talk to their families about, to be listened to, to be understood... I had to bottle it all up. I bottled up my emotions, I bottled up my anger; I became so good at it I began to believe that I had no emotions at all - all that I felt would be suppressed.

It's too late now to go back, it's too late to go to Sirius and explain myself and the past to him. The only thing I can do now is to make it up the best I can, to make up for what you would call cowardliness.

-Regulus Black