A personal perspective and important examination of the Walsh family from the public writings of daughter Brie Walsh that explores their essential nature.
by Journalist #1
This is a summary of the public writings published by Brie Walsh wherein she elaborates on the details of her upbringing and current relationship to the Walsh family. Her words paint a picture of abuse, isolation, anger, torment, and sadness throughout her years in the Walsh family - the family with which Stephen Russell's 4-year-old daughter currently resides. Some of these blog posts have been deleted but can be found using an internet archive.
"Aunt Brie plays a vital role in this story. Despite being her sister's at-times enemy and at-times confidant, Brie's role is largest when her blog -- A Brie Grows in Brooklyn, provides clear, honest insight into the Walsh Family dynamic. Her recollections date from present-day all the way back to their childhoods." - Excerpt from StevieLovesEvie.com
Despite being a well-behaved child in public, Brie remembers life at home being “like a horror movie” due to her mother’s strict parenting and unstable moods. She worries that these experiences have informed her own parenting.
The sisters sometimes try to remember why their mother treated them as badly as she did. Brie worries about whether her experiences being hit as a child will impact the way she treats her own daughter, who shares her strong will.
Despite growing up with Catholic teachings encouraging people to “turn the other cheek,” Brie is concerned about anger issues she inherited from her parents. This includes both her father’s quick temper, and her mother’s tendency to “ice” people out of her life when they displeased her.
Brie remembers hysterically crying on a few occasions throughout her life. It appears it was because of her own internal stress after years growing up in an abusive home, where she was constantly trying to keep her mother happy.
Brie has a complicated relationship with alcohol. At eight years old, her mother forced her to drink a shot of whiskey and instilled in her that she had no choice but to become an alcoholic, creating a lifelong fear. The issue of drinking still causes arguments in her own life as an adult with a family of her own.
Brendan Walsh creates and sends emails to their grandmother as a cruel on-going joke, including a blackmail-tinted request for money on behalf of the “Physically Deformed Society.” He includes an ableist altered photo of himself as part of his attempt to troll and confuse her for a laugh.
A day in Manhattan with Brie’s brother Brendan. He doesn’t usually interact with Brie because of the way she treated him when they were younger, but when they talk they have interesting conversations. After grabbing lunch in Grand Central, they met up with Tara. On the subway they encountered a mentally ill man, and decided to follow him to “make him paranoid.” The sisters bicker as the group looks for bubble tea in Chinatown, which her brother pays for, promising to invoice their father for the expenses
Brie feels like she fails in all aspects of her life, while her sister is a “24-hour party” who’s fun to be around but can’t hold down a job, apartment or female friendships.
Brie reflects on her family’s wealth and how her parents got rich thanks to her dad’s notorious Wall Street activities. They went from sleeping in apartments with weapons under the pillow to a sparkling mansion on a seven-acre plot of land.
Brie discusses adventures potty training her daughter, Cleo, and worries she’ll continue to have accidents until her teenage years. This comes from Brie’s own experience wetting the bed until she was 16, which she blames on the fact that her father wouldn’t take kindly to her waking up in the middle of the night.
A reflection on how parenthood challenges people with a history of abuse to either change themselves or continue the cycle. Brie doesn’t want to hit or scream at, or medicate her daughter like her parents did to her, but worries that she doesn’t have the tools to do this.
Sometimes Brie lets her short temper get the best of her, a trait she believes she inherited from her father.
Brie describes her father working on Wall Street, and moving into bigger and bigger homes until they lived in a mansion built in 1781. It was so large it made her uncomfortable, isolated, and she missed the closeness of their first small apartment.
According to Brie, her sister called Child Protective Services on their parents more than 35 times. When she told her parents, they were not supportive. To Brie, the blog is an alternative to therapy, and possibly a way to help other people with “fucked up families.”