Author Topic: How to tell a big brother I've grown up?  (Read 5645 times)

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LeveeWoman

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Re: How to tell a big brother I've grown up?
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2013, 05:08:53 PM »
I go by the mantra, "don't tell them, show them." Show your brother you're an adult by being who you are: an adult.

I realize that's simplistic and I don't mean to be dismissive of your post. That's what's worked for me. I hope it works for you. Good luck!

The problem is how I'm showing my adulthood seems to be bringing on the lectures that I've changed and making it clear that he disapproves of it. He's almost 9 years older than me, which may be where he's getting this nostalgia, but I don't understand why seeing me happier, more confident, and more secure is worse than seeing me as an abused child.

I like art's wording too, and I'll have to try it the next time I talk to my brother and he starts up on how I've changed or how I need to reconsider his religious branch because obviously I have only rejected it because Dad does.

This disturbs me. It sounds as if he wants to continue to see you as an abused child. Does he get some kind of power-trip off of this?

Kendo_Bunny

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Re: How to tell a big brother I've grown up?
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2013, 05:17:49 PM »
What does he bring up about "man" things? If you give us some specific examples of things he has said, we can help you plan your future responses.

He asked me last time I visited if I was trying to be Dad, and that he and Dad had noticed that my sister and Grace and I have both tried to emulate our father (Dad denied this - he says he tends to tune Jack out when Jack starts lecturing). My brother definitely doesn't mind the intellectual pursuits - his wife is a physicist. But if I talk about how much iron I'm pressing, or good grouping, or talk about military history (especially the parts like genocides and torture), he starts up on the "Is this the real you? You were such a girly-girl when you were little", except I was a weight lifter and knew more about torture than your average college student as a little girl.

From what I've gathered, it's fine for me to be smart and geeky. It's fine for me to be into science fiction and some video games. But if I'm into something our Dad is passionate about, then I'm not being true to myself. He has also been rather vocal that I should teach elementary school instead of high school, even though I do not want to (I admire those who have a gift with small children, but I don't have it). I don't know if that's part of his religion (women should be meek and submissive), or if he genuinely thinks I like the things Dad's into only because Dad is into them, not because Dad introduced me and I think they're fun. My brother has always had a bit of eyebrow-raising that our sister is good at car repair and enjoys it.


I think the abused child bit was because he was coming over on weekends and not spending a huge amount of time around me when I was little. He saw me as gentle, timid, and happily off in a world of my own (often because the real world wasn't much fun to face). Fluttershy, for the My Little Pony fans. I think he still has this image of a dreamy little girl in a field of flowers, singing to herself, without wanting to face the ugly reality that I was that way because I never knew what would set my sister off before she began getting the help she needed. He thought he was seeing happiness, when he was generally seeing terror.

Sophia

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Re: How to tell a big brother I've grown up?
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2013, 05:33:39 PM »
...but I don't understand why seeing me happier, more confident, and more secure is worse than seeing me as an abused child.

This is some pretty good wording right here. 

I think when people are not listening to your perfectly clear words, you need to be more forceful and more emotional.  Sometimes people don't listen until they realize that what you are saying matters. 

Piratelvr1121

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Re: How to tell a big brother I've grown up?
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2013, 05:41:32 PM »
I can kind of relate as I was quite a bit like Fluttershy as a kid too. Well sort of a mix of Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy. A few close friends but very introverted and dreamy with my head in the clouds most of the time and seen by family as being sweet, easygoing and non-confrontational.   You should have seen the surprise in my family's faces when they learned I got inked as I just didn't quite fit with their idea of someone who would do that.  And I was like that for the most part until a few years ago when I grew a backbone thanks to my best friend.   Who I have mentioned on the site before as being like a big sister/mother to me and she's admitted herself she'll always be a problem solver. 

Which means when I mention a problem I'm having, she will start telling me how to handle it even when I don't ask for help solving it cause I actually have an idea, and then will tell me "You really need to solve these things yourself, you're too old to be told what to do."  ::) 

I've started with a "Actually that's what I was thinking of doing" or "I was thinking of doing x, but yeah, your solution could work too." so that she will see I'm working on a solution myself but am open to suggestions.  Or when she hears of someone being offensive towards me she gets even madder and more upset than I was in the first place.   Recently she admitted that she has a hard time shifting her perception of me from the meek thing she met about 5 years ago to the more mature and confident woman I am now.

As for your brother, that makes sense if that's the reason for his perception, have you told him before "I was acting like that because of sister, and once she was able to get treatment, I felt safe to be more like myself." Did he know you were being abused or is he just having a hard time connecting the dots?
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

breny

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Re: How to tell a big brother I've grown up?
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2013, 05:48:53 PM »
"Is this the real you? "
I'd answer that with "Yeah! Isn't it cool?" Sidenote: This is my response to family/friends when they tell me I'm weird.

But if I'm into something our Dad is passionate about, then I'm not being true to myself.
My gut reaction to this is that he's jealous that you and Dad have more in common than he and Dad do. My response to the "emulating Dad" comment would be "Why wouldn't I want to emulate (or be like) Dad? He's awesome!"

Sometimes you have to point out the absurdity of someone's observation to make your point.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 05:51:50 PM by breny »

Piratelvr1121

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Re: How to tell a big brother I've grown up?
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2013, 05:56:50 PM »
"Is this the real you? "
I'd answer that with "Yeah! Isn't it cool?" Sidenote: This is my response to family/friends when they tell me I'm weird.


I always say "Thanks!"  Though I don't get called "weird" nearly as much as I used to.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

TootsNYC

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Re: How to tell a big brother I've grown up?
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2013, 06:19:32 PM »
(Dad denied this - he says he tends to tune Jack out when Jack starts lecturing).

I think you should KEEP emulating your dad!

Give up the need to have Jack agree with you or approve of you.

Calypso

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Re: How to tell a big brother I've grown up?
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2013, 08:03:42 PM »
I'm assuming Jack knows about the abuse. If he doesn't, can you tell him about it? If he does, call him on it: "Jack, what I hear you say when you go on about how I was such a 'girly girl', is that you liked me better when I was a scared, helpless, unhappy kid dealing with being afraid all the time."

I suspect he'll then protest that that isn't what he meant at all, to which you can say, "If you're the same person you were at age 8 in every way, I'm very surprised. This is who I am; why  not stop telling me how it's not what you expect, and get to know the true person. I think you'll like her; she has the good taste to like you!"  8)

Piratelvr1121

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Re: How to tell a big brother I've grown up?
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2013, 08:30:05 PM »
(Dad denied this - he says he tends to tune Jack out when Jack starts lecturing).

I think you should KEEP emulating your dad!

Give up the need to have Jack agree with you or approve of you.

Heehee! I agree! Your dad sounds like a cool guy!
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Dr. F.

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Re: How to tell a big brother I've grown up?
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2013, 08:37:14 PM »
What does he bring up about "man" things? If you give us some specific examples of things he has said, we can help you plan your future responses.

He asked me last time I visited if I was trying to be Dad, and that he and Dad had noticed that my sister and Grace and I have both tried to emulate our father (Dad denied this - he says he tends to tune Jack out when Jack starts lecturing). My brother definitely doesn't mind the intellectual pursuits - his wife is a physicist. But if I talk about how much iron I'm pressing, or good grouping, or talk about military history (especially the parts like genocides and torture), he starts up on the "Is this the real you? You were such a girly-girl when you were little", except I was a weight lifter and knew more about torture than your average college student as a little girl.

From what I've gathered, it's fine for me to be smart and geeky. It's fine for me to be into science fiction and some video games. But if I'm into something our Dad is passionate about, then I'm not being true to myself. He has also been rather vocal that I should teach elementary school instead of high school, even though I do not want to (I admire those who have a gift with small children, but I don't have it). I don't know if that's part of his religion (women should be meek and submissive), or if he genuinely thinks I like the things Dad's into only because Dad is into them, not because Dad introduced me and I think they're fun. My brother has always had a bit of eyebrow-raising that our sister is good at car repair and enjoys it.


I think the abused child bit was because he was coming over on weekends and not spending a huge amount of time around me when I was little. He saw me as gentle, timid, and happily off in a world of my own (often because the real world wasn't much fun to face). Fluttershy, for the My Little Pony fans. I think he still has this image of a dreamy little girl in a field of flowers, singing to herself, without wanting to face the ugly reality that I was that way because I never knew what would set my sister off before she began getting the help she needed. He thought he was seeing happiness, when he was generally seeing terror.

Does he know this? Would saying something like, "Wow! Don't remind me of how I was at 8! I was MISERABLE then, and I much, much happier and truer to myself now than I was then! Thank goodness that phase didn't last." work? Or maybe, "I like being like Dad to some extent. It took a lot for me to find that aspect in myself, and incorporate it into the rest of my life."

Just some thoughts.

Mental Magpie

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Re: How to tell a big brother I've grown up?
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2013, 08:47:51 PM »
When he brings up how he thinks you're just emulating your dad, you can say, "I like what I like and I won't apologize for that. I don't know why you keep bringing up it and keep expecting me to be someone I'm not. I'm definitely not who I was when I was little, and that's a good thing. I hope someday you can recognize that."
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

CakeEater

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Re: How to tell a big brother I've grown up?
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2013, 08:48:20 PM »
Sometimes when you see someone as an adult when you knew them as a child, it's just a complete surprise at how much time has passed and how different/grown up that person is. People can tend to harp on it more than they realise they're doing.

If Jack is a genuinely nice guy, I doubt that he really wants to you to return to a miserable state. I suspect that he's just expressing his surprise at your change in interets, and it might be the same if you had been into 'boy' things as a child, and been more interested in girly things as an adult.


chibichan

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Re: How to tell a big brother I've grown up?
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2013, 09:50:52 PM »
I like Art's wording.  I'm guessing there is a wide age difference between you and your step brother.  He may always feel that you are that timid 8-year-old.  It's hard to realize that the children in your life grow into adults.  Says the 47-year-old woman who's father still calls her "Kiddo".

Ha ! I'm 54 and when I stay at my parent's house I get this :

Me ( returning from the store at 4:00 PM ) : " Hi everybody - I'm back ! "

Dad ( deadpan ) : " You're in for the night . "

Me ( silently rolling with laughter ) " Yes Daddy . "  ;D ;D ;D

Considering the fact that I will do as I darn well please and he knows it - I LOVE this .
The key to avoiding trouble is to learn to recognize it from a distance.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: How to tell a big brother I've grown up?
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2013, 10:02:32 PM »
Heehee!! My granddaddy would stay up till his little girls came home even when they were just visiting him.  He couldn't sleep till he knew everyone was safe.

I'm told even the day he died (4th of July of 2001) he waited till all 3 of his girls, son in law (my dad) and grandson (brother) were home before he finally let go...

My bff calls me "Kiddo" sometimes, or "child".  It doesn't bother me since it's not often and is done affectionately.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Kendo_Bunny

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Re: How to tell a big brother I've grown up?
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2013, 10:13:12 PM »
"Kiddo" is one of Dad's highest terms of affection.

And my Dad is awesome. There are so many epic stories of his life that I'd love to tell a bunch of them here, since he thinks no one would read his autobiography.