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Author: slowlythere Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 198  
Subject: Re: Serious sibling dislike Date: 1/11/2007 11:01 AM
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Mostly lurker here. (First came here about my nephew a little while ago: no updates yet as he hasn't followed up on counseling and relatd.)

No, I don't have kids, but I did have siblings growing up. Of course, consider all this with the understanding we all grow up with our own focus and perspectives. There's a lot of family stuff and possible background, but all of this is my own theory and background as my family is one of those who doesn't believe in admitting problems, going to therapy, "unless YOU'RE crazy!" and related. Problems were usually dealt with a rigid stick, or a whiplike belt.

In my situation, I was the younger sister that would ultimately scream and yell. I felt victim to my brother who was two years older. As an adult, I believe that my brother had/has many issues: possibly undiagnosed learning disabilities (which I also suspect in my nephew), extremely hostile relationship with our father (to this day, the two of them still maintain an often combative relationship), and inability to understand or express his own feelings and conflicts which often resulted in abusive or violent acting out. Of course, in my case, that often mean I was one of the (un)lucky ones to be the recipient of what I considered his diabolical mood swings. I considered him emotionally and physically sadistic, among other issues.

By the time I was screaming and yelling at him, whatever the immediate situation was feeling bad to me (classics were sitting in the back of the car together, squabbles at dinner, fights over some sort of idiotic childish activity, etc.). Being in the household that we were, though, the consequences for me for yelling and screaming usually never stopped his behavior (in fact, often escalating it). It often meant my mother (very rarely, father) would come swinging at me with hand or object since she considered me the annoying, embarrassingly noisy one (yes, I even yelled and screamed in public) and considered me the nuisance for not being quiet about it. Often she might "swat" my brother briefly (I noticed because he's start chortling while I was being "swatted"), but I was usually the one she'd continue hitting because I'd go from yelling and screaming to screaming crying.

In my opinion, at the time my only recourse was to avoid my brother whenever possible (my parents generally tried to keep us apart when reasonable). I learned to hit him back, but certainly not as effective physically, plus the fact that he would really get angry (not just sadistically gleeful) which would evidently worsen his physical abuse. Of course, the good news here would be that I'd start screaming and my mother would come and save the day, by taking over hitting me from my brother. *sarcasm*

Of course, I don't think I was ever being deliberately manipulative since I felt I was punished every time I drew attention to myself: my mother (father as well, but less available than my mother) didn't like attention-seeking, needy children. She was severely stressed, overworked, isolated, lonely, and dealing with an often ugly, hostile relationship with my father. (Think of Punch & Judy, without the humor and the strings.) Coupled with brats that wouldn't behave on top of her own constant worries and concerns, not fun.

It may be clear that there was a lot of divisive impressions and feelings here. In terms of parental relationships, my brother clearly did not feel supported by his father and I clearly did not feel supported by my mother. My brother never - literally, in my opinion - learned healthier and mature conflict resolutions skills, still acts out severely (openly hostile words and behavior, only a brief push into violence). Oddly enough, as adults, my brother said he thought the two of us had a "great" and "fun" childhood together. He never understood, or still, understands how much I hated him, nor why. Even now, I believe he has some various social and mental disorders, but since his peer group (friends and associates) seem to reflect similar issues, he fits in well with people that he can relate with and deal with.

Oh, and FYI: These behaviors continued between my brother and I till I was at least 13 and he was at least 15, until he discovered the joys of hanging out without family: he fell in with rowdy neighborhood boys and rebelled more actively against participating in family events which was a blessing to me, if not always perfect.
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