No trouble from me
I never wanted to be any trouble. That holdover from my childhood is with me today. The presence of my older brother was confounding enough for my parents. Mike was low-functioning, autistic and non-verbal. It must have been a great shock for them. Even as a child I didn’t want to cause any more problems. In some bizarre way, this translated to my failure to know my own needs and a reluctance to ask for what I wanted; a tendency to live in my fantasy life and a lack of knowledge regarding what to expect from real people. On top of it all was a simmering resentment and anger.
I don’t blame anyone for this. My folks did the best they could. They encouraged me to spend time with my friends, took me to a shrink, since I was sad most of the time and praised me quite often. They both assumed that my younger brother and I were shielded from Mike’s influence. Both my parents were proud of me in my later successes. My childhood was a far cry from the abuse that many siblings endure from inept or mean-spirited parents and perhaps other family members; and though it seems innocuous enough, I am still coping with it today. Like the inflation theory of the universe, the teeny anomalies of my childhood, formed the great patterns my adulthood.
Mike was the first born. He commanded attention after I was born by virtue of the fact that he couldn’t take care of himself. When I came along. I tried to help. My younger brother was next. He was very smart and talented and commanded attention by virtue of these facts. He seemed to be able to elude the influence of our older brother; he blocked a lot of this out.
Good question. Everybody has a sad story, and mine is not even on the sadness spectrum. But it is the only story I have – and I’m sticking to it, unfortunately. I am slouching toward a decision to change things. As bad as I am at identifying my own needs, I hope I can alter my trajectory of sadness and anger. Otherwise I will just have to keep very, very busy.