May 12, 2010

I don’t… get it.

Posted in *cringe*, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The Just a Little Sad, The Small and Petty, The Who, The Why at 1:37 pm by Dagny Taggart

And I am lucky as all hell, that I don’t get it.  S.E. and I have had our differences, to be sure, and she’s hurt me more deeply than pretty much anyone else could, but she’s also loved me more fiercely.  And I her.

So when I hear about other sibling relationships, I’m always somewhat confounded by those that aren’t particularly close, especially those where genuine animosity is present.  It just doesn’t compute, on some visceral level.

How do you get to a point where you automatically assume the worst about someone who played with you as a child?

Okay – I mean, intellectually, I understand how some siblings really make any kind of amicable relationship possible.  When interning for a J&DR court judge, I attended a divorce proceeding in circuit court wherein the soon-to-be-ex-husband was involved, amorously, with his soon-to-be-ex-sister-in-law.  So, yes.  I understand it, where something truly heinous has been said or done.

But the stupid, penny-ante sibling rivalry crap?  How does THAT happen?

I don’t understand how you let that get to you enough to where you get annoyed every time you think about your sibling.  I don’t get how little nitpicky remarks that get made every time you see each other don’t become something you barely hear, something to ignore so that you can peaceably and genuinely enjoy family time.

Is this simply a situation where each sibling is really pissed off that they weren’t an only child?  And even if it is, don’t you think that they could just treat each other like co-workers they don’t really like, or something, and be blandly civil when required, rather than sniping constantly?



  1. Lexa said,

    It is really so complex and I don’t think it has anything about wishing you were an only child.

    My parents split when I was 13. Brother went with dad (who was emotionally abusive to me and mom, but favored my brother) and I went with mom. I didn’t even live with my brother my whole childhood. He is difficult, he is selfish, and he treats my mother horrifically. I certainly do not wish him ill–we are blood and my mom would fall apart if anything bad were to ever happen to him–but I don’t like him. Frankly, I don’t really have any love for him.

    I know some people don’t get it, but I have gone as long as 5 years without seeing him. I never talk to him on the phone and I don’t miss it. I did see him a few months back for my mom’s 50th birthday and I was civil for sure, but he is pretty much no one to me. We don’t snipe, but there is really nothing there.

  2. Carla said,

    I don’t get it either! We definitely have had our arguments, but at the end of the day, we’d do anything for each other.

  3. Lexa: I think this falls into the “special circumstances” that I alluded to earlier. I certainly understand how that works in your situation, and it sounds like you’ve handled it as maturely as possible.

    I’m really talking about the siblings who don’t have any of those extenuating circumstances – the ones who grew up together, there’s no history of family trauma, they’ve just decided that their sibling is incredibly annoying and at least slightly contemptible. I’ve seen this a few times, and it just seems like it would be so much easier to let it go.

    Carla: I’m not even saying siblings need to do anything for each other, just not pick and snipe all the time!

  4. Alias Faux said,

    I’ve never gotten it either. In my own case, I think part of it is that we were pretty poor, and had to share EVERYTHING, so we learned both how to share and how to demand your fair share. Additionally, we were always encouraged not to compete with each other, but rather that we were a team (the old “one fist is stronger than 5 fingers” line got trotted out several times).

    My sister and I had the usual sibling rivalry as kids, but since we were about 14 or so, we’ve been really tight.

    My brothers and I are…well… like brothers. Or, if there were some word out there that was stronger than brothers and meant “somebody who you wouldn’t hesitate to kill a room full of people for to protect, and never feel the slightest twinge of guilt over it”, we’d be like that.

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