When Alex Lewis was 18 years old, he was involved in a motorcycle accident that left him without any memories — only recognizing his twin brother Marcus when he awoke in the hospital.
Thanks to his brother, Alex was able to rebuild his life based on the information and photos he shared of their childhood, family, and friends.
However, years later, Alex discovered that everything Marcus told him was a lie. That is the premise of Netflix's new documentary, Tell Me Who I Am .
Wait, is this a true story?
Yes. Both Alex and Marcus wrote a book about the experience with the same title as the documentary and detailed how Marcus — who had buried their traumatic childhood — hid dark family secrets from Alex to protect him.
It wasn't until the twins' mother passed away and they were going through personal belongings in their family home that Alex began to suspect they did not have the perfect life Marcus painted.
When he asked his brother if they’d been abused as children, Marcus said yes but offered no details. And Marcus refused to tell him for decades — until now.
"You've got to understand that once you came to me on that day that I'll never forget and you asked whether our mother abused us, and I simply said 'yes' but nothing else... I thought that was perfectly adequate and you could get on with your life with that," Marcus explained of his decision to hide their past to his brother. "By giving that to you, I then had to give it all back to myself, which I spent f--king years getting rid of. Burying and burying and burying... It allowed me to have a free life, as you were having a free life."
He continued, "When I took it away from you, I took it away from me. I'd been silent for me. If I gave it to you, I had to give it to me and I have not been ready to break the silence."
So, what really happened to Alex and Marcus? Warning: spoilers ahead.
The brothers, now age 54, finally came face-to-face in the documentary and Tell Me Who I Am ends with Marcus doing just that — giving Alex a candid recounting of the sexual abuse they suffered in the hands of their mom, who has since passed away, through a pre-taped video.
"Our mother would take us into her room, she would take us into her bed. She would make us touch each other. She would make us play with each other," Marcus said before detailing how their mom would also touch her children inappropriately.
Marcus went on to detail how her mom then passed around the brothers to her friends — but never together, always alone, where "strange men" would sexually abuse them.
"This was something that was a normality in our life," Marcus added between tears. "This was something we grew up with. And we accept it... children will accept anything because they love their parents. And they think what their parents are doing is part of growing up."
Where are Alex and Marcus today?
It seems that Alex has finally gotten the closure he needed — and hopefully this means that the brothers can now focus on mending their relationship.
In the documentary, Alex confessed he could not imagine the magnitude of the secret but Marcus had one more secret to share.
He revealed that the last time he "was passed around," their mom drove him to London and a famous artist began abusing him in his studio — Marcus was 14 years old at the time — but he said "no." He was able to push the predator away and get out of the house, and it was Alex that snuck him back into their room.
"That's what I needed," Alex told his brother. "No more silence. No more secrets. And I have you back... with me."
Stream Tell Me Who I Am on Netflix today.