I Did It. I Stood Up to Him.

My ten year old brother (let's call him Jack) will be playing in a talent contest in school tomorrow for charity. He'll be playing and singing Under the Bridge by the Chili Peppers. I respect him because I wouldn't have been able to do that at his age. I lack confidence in myself and I'm only recently able to take control over myself and put on a confident front. He's not bad too - he impressed me.

After school, I helped him out with his singing and playing and gave him tips. Later on, he played in fron of the whole family (me, my mum, my dad and my elder brother - let's call him Mike.) It was the best performance he'd done, but when he got to the third verse, he stumbled over the words a little, but carried on like I'd taught him. At that point, Mike shouted at him "COME ON THEN!" etc etc. Perhaps the harshness in his voice was unintentional. Jack went quiet and stopped altogether. I could sense his hurt. It's hard to perform and have someone close to you be like that. So I told Mike to leave him alone and consoled Jack, saying how it would be great tomorrow. To cheer him up, I showed him how to set up the mic and amp, but Mike was still there, saying "pffft. Hows he going to remember that? You better write it down. Go on, write it down. Don't be such a crybaby. See what you're doing by coddling him? Is this what you're going to be like tomorrow? How can you do it if you can't take it?" and so on and so on and worse and worse. I didn't want to start a pointless fight that would further damage Jack's confidence, so I only said "it's simple. Jack knows how to work the multieffect pedal and this is easier." My mum and dad told him to apologise to Jack, but he wasn't having any of it - in these situations, he genuinely believes that he is in the right. I can forgive him because I know he had a tough time in the past when my dad was extrememly harsh. That's why his whole concept of "teaching" is screwed up. He thinks he's helping Jack to learn to get better, but he does the opposite.

When Mike had left, I got Jack to perform the song again. His confidence had evaporated and he couldn't play the guitar as well as before and messed up the words, so I had to help him by singing along. I was thinking about Mike; "How could he have been such a *******?"

Afterwards, as Jack was getting ready for bed because it was late, Mike called him downstairs for a "talk." I've had many "talks" and worse in the past - humiliating and demeaning. I was furious at what he had been so immature to do to Jack, so I went after him. I planned to deliver cooly and calmly, but instead, I interrupted in a voice that surprised me with it's barely concealed disgust. I told him that he had been out of order and how people can't do things like sing in front of others because of being put down like this - especially by someone close to them. It's the fragile confidence of a ten year old boy for goodness sake. All he replied with was "thank you for your imput." I thought: "**** you"

I went to get drink of water to steady my nerves. I've always been the one to give in because I'm terrified of him. He has the worst temper imaginable. All was silent because he was weaiting for me to go - he didn't want me there to defend Jack. So I went back in and said "Is there anything wrong?" I remember that I was shaking so muchj that my cup shook visibly every time I brought it to my lips. I spoke throught gritted teeth. There is no reasoning with Mike. Voices got raised. Everything's a blur, so I can't remember exactly what was said. I only remember walking away because I could not get through to him. "you can't understand" "WHAT DON'T I UNDERSTAND? WHY? WHY? WHAT IS IT? WHAT DO YOU KNOW?" "you haven't experienced...yourself" - I struggled to find the right words. Finally, I said "it's because you don't have an older brother."

It only truly occured to me then. But it's true.

I hate being scared of him - something ingrained into me since young. I hate it. It's pathetic. I idolised him and wanted apporval, and now Jack is the same. Can't he see? He has responsibility. He's looked up to. And now he's bashed Jack's confidence. I went upstairs, told Jack to go to sleep quickly so that Mike wouldn't be able to take it out on him and then went into my own room, locked the door and succumbed to painful sobs. A feeling I haven't had in years. I'd forgotten how small Mike made me feel.

I am so worried that Jack won't perform as well as he can because of this. He needs all the confidence he can get. I don't want Jack to turn out like me; struggling on the long road to gaining my confidence and self esteem.

So I stood up to Mike properly for the first time. Something I couldn't do for myself. I feel like I've grown. Jack makes me stronger because I know I'm the only one who can stand up for him.

musicspirit musicspirit
18-21, F
11 Responses Mar 12, 2009

I'm glad to say that he did very well in the performance! Maybe it will stay with him, but it will be outweighed by the good experiences.<br />
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"Your older brother obviously has a lot of problems and insecurities of his own that he feels like he has to take out on others" - I may have said something to that affect on the night. I'm not sure exactly, but I must have.<br />
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"That being said, anyone would be lucky to have a big sister like you. /salute" - aww thanks. It was nothing big. I was just doing what I felt needed to be done.<br />
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Have you had any similar (for lack of a better word) disagreements with your siblings? It's all part of the job description...<br />
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I like how you say "the fight for justice is never over" :D Sounds like what superheroes say in a movie or something. It's very true.

"It's "small" things like this that can deeply affect you for the rest of your life."<br><br />
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I think that is so true! This will probably stay with him for the rest of his life. Especially since he was so extremely fragile at that point seeing as it was one of his very first performances in front of an audience. I know you do your best to support him. Hooray for that. How did he do at the concert?<br><br />
Your older brother obviously has a lot of problems and insecurities of his own that he feels like he has to take out on others, and especially on the little guy. Have you told them that? Both your little bro and the older one? I think both would benefit from hearing it.<br><br />
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That being said, anyone would be lucky to have a big sister like you. /salute<br><br />
The fight for justice is never over.

:( He is a bit of an idiot. I can't stand it when people put me down, so when it happened to my little brother, I just couldn't stop myself - I had to do something.<br />
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I was crying when I wrote this, still locked in my room and praying that the wireless wouldn't disconnect (which it did, several times.) *hugs*

Anger can be good! Righteous anger!!! Hehe, seriously. That's what moves people to start campaigning for worthy causes and make them worth fighting for.

I'm not that good of a person.....<br />
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I'm motivated by anger alot of the time. I get so mad when things aren't fair and other people have to suffer.<br />
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That's what causes me to step in.<br />
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I was so mad!! I had to stand up for him.<br />
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You must be a great person to have on someone's side in that case - being unafraid to put yourself out there for others. It's hard because you know you're going to end up in the thick of it all, but you feel that you have to do something. In many cases it's better than backing down!

Wow that's mean of him.....good for you for standing up for Jack!!!<br />
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I usually stand up for things, and then end up in the middle, but I can be no other way. I have to help people even when it puts me in a bad spot.

*blushes* Thank you! There have been times when I'm not completely proud of what I've done either, but I guess we have to make our own mistakes in order to see what's wrong.

I was like this with my younger brother, I was always really critical of him, demeaning him for no reason at all. I was the quiet kid at school and so I would come home and take it all out on him. I was a complete ******* *******. When I was about 14I realised what was happening, I saw that it wasn't him that was in the wrong it was me picking at every little imperfection. I forgot that we arent the same person, and that what's true for me is not allways true for him. Sometimes I'll have a relapse and talk down on him somehow but everytime I do it that little voice in the back of my mind recognizes it and stops it imediatley. <br />
You're an excellent human being for what you did, family are always the hardest ones to stand up to, you're an excellent human being, thanks for stnading up for what's right.

Thanks :) I just couldn't stand what an idiot he was being to my little brother. It's "small" things like this that can deeply affect you for the rest of your life. "Mike"'s much older you know...in his twenties. You'd think he'd know better. <br />
I just hope he can still perform well tomorrow.

IDKWTS, your last paragraph said it all really.. I really admire you for this! :) <br />
Jack will do well with your encouragement, I think. ..wow, Under the Bridge eh? One of my all-time favourite songs.