Dysfunctional Sibling Rivalry

Today was my grandmother’s 77th birthday. She’s real old. And a little batty, but I love her. Obviously.

The woman practically raised me while my mom was working outside of the house.

As soon as I got to my mom’s house, my brother started running his mouth at me. Pushing my buttons, as brothers are wont to do. I asked him to stop because I’m afraid I might be starting a cold sore and the last thing I need is more stress. Obviously because I asked him to stop he kept going. I don’t even remember what he was saying, just stupid brother shit. 

Later, after my mom and I had made a bunch of chicken for dinner, as per granny’s request, I went downstairs to hang out with the kids and my brother. We were goofing around, and everything was fine. 

I went back upstairs to finish tidying up. Mom was getting the rest of dinner ready. The kids were playing around going up and down the stairs. My brother was getting annoyed, I guess. But i told the kids to get him. We chased him back downstairs and he ran into the bathroom so we (me and the two little ones) kept banging on the bathroom door. I thought we were being hilarious. I thought we were all just goofing around.

Suddenly, my brother comes out of the bathroom and shoved me, with both hands, and almost knocked me over. He looked really pissed. 

“Whoa, what’s the problem?” I asked him. I had no idea why he was so angry, and all of sudden, too. 

“You’re a fucking idiot.” He told me, like it was a matter of fact. 

I was so shocked that he said it. I didn’t even know what to say. How do you respond when you’re own brother shoves you, pretty violently, then tells you you’re a fucking idiot? 

I kept trying to get him to tell me why I’m a fucking idiot but he said it wasn’t even worth explaining to me. Luckily the kids had gone back upstairs at this point, because he kept telling me to get the fuck away from him. 

I did what any insulted and angry sister would do; I sat next to him. Part of me wanted to know if he would actually hit me. The other part of me wanted to annoy the fuck out of him because I was still so stunned that his mood had taken such a drastic turn. 

What is his fucking problem? 

I went upstairs and told my mom and just shrugged and said she didn’t know what to tell me. I went into the bathroom and cried. I messaged my sister.

Me: I’m so upset right now!

Sister: whats going on?


Brother got really mad and shoved me, then told me that I’m a fucking idiot…and I have NO idea why! I wasn’t even near him because I’ve been upstairs cooking all afternoon!!

I asked him why I’m an idiot and he said that it doesn’t matter and its just not worth telling me why I’m a fucking idiot…
Sister: wtf?
Me: This isn’t one of those times where I instigated something and now he’s retaliating, this literally, for me, came out of no where

NO idea at all??

man he’s so fucked with the way he deals with emotions!!
Me: He’s been on my case all day since I got here and I told him I think I might be getting a cold sore so lay off and of course he thrives on being a pest and kept going, half an hour ago we were sitting on te couch watching a movie and he started tickling my knees and I was screaming and we were goofing around and it was all good
Then he stormed out of the bathroom hall and shoved me, pretty hard too, and told me that I’m a fucking idiot. Mom just shrugged and said she didn’t know what to tell me. I fucking hate him. Now I just feel fucking anxious and nervous like I’m going to puke. And I don’t even know why!?!?!?
Sister: don’t you think its pretty scary that he seems to think its ok to assault you?
Me: Yes. The last time it happened is when I was pregnant

like when you were pregnant too

Boyfriend said thats pretty psychopathic behaviour

 you should leave the house

you can’t tolerate that

 thats really fucked up
Me: And go where!? I don’t have the car and we’re about to have supper

 I don’t know what to do..
Sister: call a cab, take the kids, take a bus

 if family thinks its ok to treat you like that, why do you tolerate it?
 seriously, Boyfriend was like, holy fuck she should have pressed charges
 (about the pregnancy thing)
you need to estrange yourrself from him, Boyfriend doesnt understand why you tolerate it… why does everyone tolerate it??
thats not a loving relationship
Me: Nope, it’s not, mom sent dad to talk to him, I’ve already estranged myself from him. He’s a dipshit. Talk more later, I love you! Crying on granny’s birthday..she changed the place settings so I don’t have to sit beside him
Sister: i’m so sorry sister 
In reference to what my brother did to me while I was pregnant, he got really mad at me for something (I still have no idea why) and he hooked his leg around my legs and shoved me from behind. If I hadn’t grappled the counter, I have no idea what would have happened. I was 7 months pregnant. It unnerved me so much. I mean, that was my baby! 
I remember one time when my sister was visiting from university and the 3 of us were downstairs watching television. I was definitely irritating my brother (as he was irritating me) and we were goofing around and then he snapped. He got up and threatened to slap me across the face, and got more and more descriptive about how he was going to kill me, and that I better sleep with one eye open. Part of me was terrified, the other part of me thought it was funny. Honestly, who gets THAT mad?! 
I guess, as an answer to my sister’s question of why I tolerate it, I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, or how I’m supposed to react. I could never physically attack him back, not that I condone violence anyway. Talking to him doesn’t work because he just tells me to fuck off. Giving him space doesn’t work because then there is ZERO repercussion to his actions and he’ll act like nothing happened. 
We don’t get together as a family very often for dinner (except holidays) and I would have felt terrible leaving with the kids on granny’s birthday. God only knows how many birthdays she has left, I just didn’t feel justified in any way to leave.
When I came out of the bathroom in tears my mom went and told my dad that my brother’s behaviour is unacceptable and that he should go speak to him. 
Which did, as I expected, absolutely fuck all. Brother and dad came in the house after having a smoke and we avoided each other for the rest of the night. There was no apology, no resolution, nothing. 
It turns out that he was pissed because he was trying to watch a television show and the kids were making too much noise. He never once mentioned to me that he was upset, or that he was trying to watch television. My mom said that he had no right to be angry either because he knew we were all over there to celebrate granny’s birthday. 
I still don’t even know what I’m supposed to do. I guess I can just keep my distance from him. It’s not hard since he doesn’t really make an effort to be close with me anyway. He really is a rage-aholic. This guy has serious issues that need to be dealt with. I know I don’t always make things easy, but I never think I provoke him to the degree of anger that he goes to. Maybe I do. Maybe I tolerate all the shit that happens to me because I think I deserve it. I know I’m a button pusher, even when I’m not trying to push buttons. 
My dad drove me and the kids home and we talked a bit about it in the car. My dad’s trying to tell me that there’s an undercurrent of past transgressions that he still harbours resentment for that happened when we were growing up. All I could think was, GET THE FUCK OVER IT. I have 3 kids now, and a whole grown up life of my own, I don’t care that when we were in high school I had a couple of parties that got out of hand and that ruined his partying forever more at my parents house. Or whatever other shit he’s caught up on. Ugh. Apparently that’s part of the problem too, that I don’t care. 

One response to “Dysfunctional Sibling Rivalry

  1. Pingback: Edited to Add an Update to Dysfunctional Sibling Rivalry | Illicit Explorations

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