Classic Situation

I'd never understood it when people talked of sibling jealousy. I didn't feel that way at all when my little brother was born. I loved him straight away; I wanted to see what type of person he would become.

I was always aware of the way people treated me and my elder brother differently. He was the boy; clever and talented and responsible. I was only a cute little girl to be showered with dresses and dolls. I hated those stupid dresses. I hated the dolls. I think thats why when I was very young I used to say in all seriousness to my family that I was a boy....but that's a story for another day. 

Looking back, I can see that my elder brother resented me. It was natural - a reaction to the babying I recieved as well as the harsh treatment handed out to him by my dad. Very harsh indeed. That's why he was such a bully. Everyone knows that children can be cruel, especially to each other. Ah, those were the days. I was one of those little kids who idolised their elder sibling and tried to emulate them in every way - constantly seeking approval. He would react with disdain and annoyance at the tireless "copycat." As I grew older, this became more of a problem because of the far reaching influence. Whereas he became more confident and socially adept, I became quieter and more painfully shy. I lacked confidence in myself. I still needed approval.  

I think that's why I reacted so badly when my little brother did start to grow up. I now had two others to measure myself against. Anything I did became overlooked by what my brothers did. They were the interesting siblings, full of promise. I faded into the background. If someone asked what my interests were, I began to give the same answer: "I don't know." What could I say? I loved to draw but couldn't compare to my elder brother. I was always told that I had talent, but couldn't believe it because of that. He also hated it when attention was paid to me - he was the artist.

And then there was the praise lavished upon the younger brother. I hadn't been treated as such - did they even care about my achievements, my interests? When my piano lessons stopped because my teacher went away, a new teacher was never found because I "wasn't enthusiastic enough." I couldn't believe it - it was one of the few things I enjoyed.

The anger would sometimes build, but it was never on show because I was the quiet one, the uncomplaining one, the shy one. I knew it was bad to feel this way and I knew what it was like to have a cruel elder sibling, so I tried my best to be a good big sister. I barely remember, but I am sure there were a few times that I snapped. Especially since I was always trying to teach him things when it seemed to me that everyone else couldn't be bothered. Especially since he was credited with things that I had done before. I started to understand my elder brother completely. 

I was young and immature back then. I am aware that these are only the events as seen through my eyes. They are coloured by the jealousy I felt. Things haven't changed - I have. It is obvious that my parents find it easier to take pride in my brothers and it is obvious that my aunts and uncles and others still find them more interesting to talk about. I find it funny now when my parents introduce us to their friends (urgh) and start talking about how my little brother will grow up to be an amazing lead guitarist in a band. They forget about me and then after a while, they might remember, saying "oh yes, er...and you too." I don't mind anymore. I'm glad to be me, so there's nothing left to be jealous about.

musicspirit musicspirit
18-21, F
Mar 11, 2009