Everyone I’ve ever met has told me that I’m supposed to love my family simply because they’re my family members. And I do. I love both of my brothers and my parents and all six cats and maybe even the dog. But I’ve never really understood how to like my (currently) 17 year old brother. I don’t think he’s particularly funny, I don’t think he’s particularly nice, I don’t think he’s particularly kind, and I don’t think he’s someone that I would care about if I didn’t know we shared genes. See, he’s the opposite of me.
Sure, we have things in common. We’re both incredibly stubborn. We both stand up for the other one to anyone that dares insult our sibling. We’re both witty, smart, passionate, and inclined to do the opposite of whatever our parents say.
But, I spent the first ten years of his life absolutely torturing him. I don’t mean sibling torturing. I mean real bullying. I told him that no one was ever going to love him, that he isn’t really good at anything, and beat the crap out of him. I have kicked him in the groin more times than I can count. Until he got taller and stronger than me, I would make him cry on a weekly basis just because. I really hurt him. I don’t think I will ever know how much I have affected him by treating him like shit his whole life.
When I’m angry it’s an out of body experience. I go from 0-60 faster than I can grasp and am making him cry before I realize what I’m doing. There is no time for me to calm down because I’m not really there. After I come out of that state (which can take up to a few hours) I realize that what I did was wrong and that I didn’t really want to hurt anyone. I was never really sorry because I always felt better after I hurt him, but I still knew that I shouldn’t have. The way that I treated him has influenced my relationship with my whole extended family in a seriously negative way, and caused people to be afraid of me/dislike me for my treatment of him.
But what no one knows is that there is no one more afraid of me than myself. When I get in that headspace it is absolutely terrifying. Other people (brother included) might hate me for the way I treat him, but I promise that no one hates me more than I do. He’s got a lot of things that I will never have, or will have to work really hard to accomplish, and I’m incredibly jealous.
I make him feel like he is completely worthless and unloved because that is how I feel about myself. I hate him because he’s what I will never be able to be and I hate that he has all the desirable traits.
You mean everything to me, that’s not the problem. The problem is that I don’t mean anywhere near as much to me as you do.