That Time I (Almost) Killed My Little Brother
I was around 14 at the time my brother (James) was around 9. My mom had just picked us up from school in the minivan and we were on our way home. I asked her if I could invite my friends Jenn and Lindsay over when we got home.
(Pictured here when we were still playing nice, and before this all happened)
I guess my mom wasn’t having such a good day, and she just said “no not today”. I said “Why not?” Insistent upon needing a good reason.
To which she replied:
“Because I said, not today, I don’t want any friends over today!” She said in a stern voice.
I persisted for a bit on the drive home, trying to continue to convince her while she got increasingly more irritated.
Suddenly my mom turned to go to the grocery store on the way home and she got out of the car leaving my brother and I to wait in the van. After she had exited the vehicle, I uttered, under my breath the word:
James heard my less than acceptable comment about my mother and he immediately Jumped out of the minivan and ran to follow her into the grocery store. I thought to myself “Shit” he’s going to tell on me!
So I ran in after him, but it was too late. I caught up to him right when he was proceeding to tell my mom that “Mom! Mom! Natalie just called you a bitch!” With such delight in his voice!
I wasn’t just like “sibling bickery type” mad at this point, I was more like hopping mad to the point where I was sure that I was going to hurt him, as soon as my mom wasn’t looking.
You see the thing is my brother has a condition called Aspergers syndrome. This comes with a lot of weird, and to some “not so normal” tendencies. For example he can’t stand the light of the sun, he has none (or very limited) social skills, he basically has no empathy for others and this could cause him to be a violent child at times. (He had been known to hit my sister and I when he got angry.) For this reason he had been going to therapy and attending anger management classes for kids.
Back to the story:
Obviously I was angry at him, but him telling on me wasn’t even the worst part! It was what he did next that was the most infuriating.
So after he had proceeded to tell my mom, (my mom standing in the grocery store not knowing what to do about it, as she had her hands full with a 4 litre jug of milk and a bunch of bananas) looked at me and said, “I will deal with you when we get home!” In one of her most scary voices.
I turned to my brother and I whispered to him “You’re dead” (and I meant it) like I was planning where I’d hide his body meant it.
He then turned to me and said in the calmest most grown up voice I’d ever heard come out of my little brother’s mouth:
“You need to learn how to control your anger, you can’t let your anger control you.”
At that point is where I was thinking about where to hide the murder weapon, to top it off my mom looks at him and says “Wow James! You’ve really come a long way, I’m very proud of you”.
While she snarled at me obviously still very unimpressed and probably thinking up the best punishment for me for when we got home.
So by this point, my brother had:
Purposely gotten me into BIG trouble
Laughed at me for being in the BIG trouble he’d put me in
Calmly and like “oh such a mature grown up” become morally righteous for now giving ME how to be in control of ME anger, and
Made me look even worse by doing this all in front of my mom so she could now be “So proud of him!”
The point of this? Well, what did I learn?
I learned that sometimes you can’t do anything about your extra bratty younger brother, and sometimes no TV for a year is an actual punishment.
No matter how infuriating, frustrating or utterly blood boil worthy, a situation may be, you can always make it worse, by not controlling your reaction to it, and that’s when it’s time to just take a step back and decide what the right thing is, even if it’s THE HARDEST thing you have to do.
Any attempts at damage control here would only make it worse, the only thing to do was to apologize to my mom and accept my punishment like a mature oldest child (even if it was a RIDICULOUS punishment that I fully planned to appeal with my dad).
So next time a co-worker or a classmate copies your work or takes credit for something you deserve credit for, and you’d only look bad if you then tried to assert credit for it yourself after the fact, or next time something just utterly unfair happens to you. Take a minute to think about the best way to handle it instead of just reacting.
When we react in the moment we tend to not be too smart about what comes out.
My one tip, before you respond to an email or text message or something (or someone) that really irritates you, is give yourself 24 hours to think about your response, then come back to it calmly and rationally before you do or say something you wish you hadn’t.
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