artphoto by splunge
artphoto by TheophileEscargot
artphoto by Kronos_to_Earth
artphoto by ethylene





Mecha Wiki

Metachat Eye


IRC Channels



Comment Feed:


05 May 2007

How was your relationship with your siblings when you were growing up? [More:]How is it now? Did you hug and kiss each other back then (do you still do now)?
I have one sister (she's older by 4 years). Growing up, I could get a bit competitive with her (she was -- still is -- a very successful high achiever), and she could get pretty bossy with me, but overall we spent a lot of time together and were generally quite close and affectionate. I was gutted when she went away to college when I was 14 -- I remember pushing my parents out of the way to hug her when she came back for Xmas for the first time.

Once she went to away college (then I went away to a different city entirely), we only really saw each other a few times a year, but we stayed in close contact most of that time. There were a few years of emotional distance after I quit grad school -- I think we'd hit a point where both of us had become somewhat critical of each other's professional and personal choices -- but we patched it up. I moved out to L.A. once my marriage in Chicago was ending in large part to be near her and her family (Nephew #1 had just been born at the time). We don't see each other or talk every day (both our schedules are too crazy for that), and we're definitely very different in certain ways, but we are pretty close and certainly very affectionate. I think we hug, kiss, and say "I love you" every time we see each other now. It's pretty great. I sometimes try to imagine my world without my sister, and it's just impossible to comprehend.
posted by scody 05 May | 13:18
I have two older brothers. The middle and I fought tooth and nail. In retrospect, he was threatened by me and took it out by being abusive. I idolized the oldest. These days I get along great with the middle brother. The oldest and I talk, but I see a lot of what he does as smoke and mirrors, so the idolization is long gone.
posted by plinth 05 May | 13:22
I have one younger sister - we're 18 months apart. When we were really young, we were playing together all the time. But once we moved to Illinois we started fighting all the time. We would yell, scream, slam doors and throw things at each other. Things calmed down a bit when we were both in high school. Then I moved out and since then we've been best friends.

Oh, and once when she was a baby, I bit her really hard on the leg or something - for no reason. I don't remember doing this, I've just been told.
posted by youngergirl44 05 May | 13:38
I have four older brothers, a younger brother who died right after birth, and a younger sister who died five years ago when she was 18.

My brothers are all much older than me (between 6 and 13 years older), so I didn't really know them growing up. I know they would take me and my sister out to help impress girls, but I didn't have much interaction with them. The next oldest, the one who is 6 years older than me, would pick on me all the time because not only did I steal his status of Baby Of The Family, but I was also the first girl. He picked on me and picked on me and excluded me every chance he could while including my little sister.

My sister and I were much closer in age, and we were very competitive when we were younger. There were some huge fights -- screaming, throwing things, some of them ended in blood -- when we were younger, but after we both passed puberty (so when I was in high school) we became super close. We hugged a lot, but didn't kiss. It was a hard blow when she died.

After she died, the rest of us siblings got much closer. I had always felt separated emotionally from The Boys (that's what we called each other growing up: The Boys and The Girls) because of the age difference, but now that I'm an adult and they can see I'm not that bratty little baby sister any more, we all get along really well. We're not that touchy-feely of a family, but if it's been a while since we've seen each other, we'll give each other hugs.

I love my siblings, my four brothers, and would do anything for them.
posted by rhapsodie 05 May | 13:39
I have a sister, seven years younger. We're totally different; she has what I think most people would see as the beautiful life - two brilliant kids, a dog, a cat, a lovely, expensive home on the lake that is now worth... oh, god, many, many, many times what they paid for it many years ago (at which point it was still expensive and lavish).

I'm the bohemian, devil-may-care, always-different older sister, escaping most definitions of responsibility or success (though I did have quite specific professional success, while I lived in the U.S.). It's too difficult for us to talk a lot, especially since she doesn't really have time to deal with computer stuff much, but we both still feel, as different as we are, that we cannot speak to anyone else so intimately or so unguardedly. I think we both amaze each other, because we are so utterly different, yet still understand so much about each other without the need for any explanation or backgrounding, etc. I'm kind of waiting for my nieces to grow up and leave home, at which point I'm pretty sure our sisterly correspondence will pick up - though if anything, I'm the one who is out of the loop and making things more difficult regarding regular contact.
posted by taz 05 May | 13:49
My only brother is two years older than me, and was much, much larger and stronger when we were kids. He also had a hair-trigger temper, so I grew up in pretty much constant fear of getting hit for just about any minor infraction. I have more resentment towards my parents for allowing it than him for performing it, really; they seemed to have a "boys will be boys" attitude, and faulted me for provoking him--blame the victim much? I see now that many of my current personality quirks, especially my fear of conflict, have resulted from that. When I was 19 or so, I finally was able to match his size and strength, so the abuse stopped.

As we got older, he turned to alcoholism, and, oddly, started reaching out to me, following me as I moved to Atlanta. He married my (now) ex-wife's best friend, who then helped pull him (kicking and screaming) out of his alcoholism.

He's been sober 10 years now, and is a much nicer person. We're trying to form the relationship we never had, but it's hard with so many negative memories (yes, I've been to therapy about it).
posted by mrmoonpie 05 May | 13:54
I had a brother and a sister who both died before I was born. Then my parents had my sister and me. She's three years older than me. When I was born my mother was 36, which in those days was described as 'geriatric motherhood', and I was the last chance to be the son my father wanted. He never ceased to hide his disappointment that I was a girl.

My sister, as a girl and now as an adult, is one of those women who knows instinctively how to flirt, act coquettishly and use her feminine wiles to get her own way. She was treated like a princess and was spoiled to ruination by my father. She started dating at 14 and she's always had a man in her life since then (except for about 3 months earlier this year when her sixth husband left her).

We used to fight a lot when we were kids and when I was 10 I needed glasses for the first time. She used to call me 'Spectrum' (she got this off 'Captain Scarlet') and she broke my glasses a few times out of spite. We went to different schools. She failed the 11-plus exam and went to a secondary modern school, but I passed and went to a girls' grammar school. As kids I'd be upstairs reading while she'd be downstairs playing records. I'm a huge reader and she's not read a book since she left school.

She's probably the shallowest person I know. She never watches the news, reads a newspaper or listens to anything other than pop music. At nearly 51 she knows everyone in the charts (see, I don't know if they even call it the charts any more) and she watches every soap on TV. After Andy left her at Christmas, I talked to her about perhaps looking for some deeper meaning in life, but she has no concept of spirituality, nor any wish to look inside herself.

I love football. She hates it. I'm going to visit her in a couple of weeks, and, stupidly, I fixed the visit for Cup Final day. My team's playing, it's live on TV. So I asked her if we could have our big day out on the Sunday, not the Saturday, and explained why. I could almost hear the face she pulled. Then she said, in this sulky, whiny voice that probably serves to get her her own way with most people: "I suppose I can sit in the kitchen on my own while it's on" "OK" I replied, cheerfully.

She's a dog person (she has three at the moment), I'm a cat person. She likes girly, dressy-up pink clothes. I like jeans (she refused to allow me to attend her first engagement party about 30 years ago because all I had to wear was jeans).

I see her probably twice or three times a year, which is more than enough. If I lived in the same town, it'd probably be about the same too. If we weren't sisters, we wouldn't be friends, we've nothing in common other than the same parents.
posted by essexjan 05 May | 14:23
"I suppose I can sit in the kitchen on my own while it's on" "OK" I replied, cheerfully.

*high-fives Jan* Hee!
posted by scody 05 May | 14:31
I would just like to take this moment to remind all-and-sundry that this is a public forum.
That's all, just a caveat scriptor.
posted by Zack_Replica 05 May | 14:36
Sorry! I didn't say what it was like growing up. I was her protector and benefactor and teacher; she was my faith in the meaning of life, of sweetness and love. I also learned about power, because I had too much power over her... if I became angry and didn't speak to her for a day, it would destroy her - which made me feel terrible, and made me understand more about what effects I could have on people, and how to modulate my reactions. And she has always been kind of snippy and seemingly arrogant, but found that being that way with me would lead to bad conclusions, so her behavior was also modulated. She would do amazing things, like clean my room, make special artistic little offerings, bring flowers, to express her regret when we had fought. I used to bring her gifts that had something to do with the stories we used to read together... and I once told one little bully boy who was terrorizing younger kids at the pool (including her) that I would gladly "smash his head against the concrete and kill him without a second thought" if he didn't let up. Heh.

We loved each other very much, and it kind of made both of us better people, I think. I had been an only child 'til my sister was born, and I always did, and still do, retain some characteristics of an only child, but I'm so grateful for her, because as self-centered and egocentric as I am now, I can only imagine how much worse that might have been if I didn't have her to love and deal with as another, younger, more vulnerable being. It made me begin thinking seriously about other people, and how things looks from where they are.
posted by taz 05 May | 14:49
i have an older sister and a younger brother and we moved a lot as kids, so as much as we fought, there is a war buddy bond in having seen what we have seen that nobody else has. My little brother had to move the most at the youngest age so it was hardest on him, and my sister as the oldest was a violent brat who took out a lot of stuff on me. She was obsessive compulsive and made me do a lot of weird obsessive compulsive things with her, but then my mom was ocd too. Somewhere around four or five i just went, screw it, i'm not go along with your wacky crap any more.
There was a lot of power struggle and i then took it out on my little brother and hated myself for it and tried to befriend him him after that, but my sister and i had it easier in school and school work than he did.
We all had complicated contentious relationships with each other but would definitely defend each other no matter what. It's a foregone conclusion that i would do whatever was necessary for my family when it came done to the wire because it's really been the five of us (kids, mom and dad) without any extended family. My sister and i are not close but she is not a warm person and has issues i hope she has sorted out and i think she's with a cool guy who has helped her with a lot of that, but then i have ended up casually closer to her boyfriends than i have to her in the past.
She and i have a certain core sense of what is right and common sense to us that we know in each other that i don't think changes despite everything else that changes.
i like my brother well enough and i see him more regularly but we don't have much more in common than sci fi and pop culture. He's a good kid but too romantic and has things to figure out and come to terms with.
As loud and dramatic as the family can be, none of them are very deep or talkative outside of niche, trivia and topical items. The big topics make them nervous and we have never been touchy feely but besides a lot of pointed greeting and departing hugs i think we stopped all physical closeness at some point all at once when we were kids.
i wonder what will happen when my mother goes as she really makes all the effort to keep everyone apprised and in touch, with other relatives as well all over the place, mostly her family in Korea and the US and wherever but my dad's too.
My brother and i would keep in touch and i would watch out for dad but i would probably lose all touch with any extended family.
posted by ethylene 05 May | 15:32
I'm a very happy only child.
posted by gaspode 05 May | 15:34
Shitty. I'm almost three years older. He was the golden boy and I was the sick bad one. There was a window of time after our grandfather died where we were getting along, but eight years ago I had a surge of diva energy and started yanking the family skeletons out of the closet--some of which included him. I posted how he was acting when my father had surgery last November. He's just joined jdate--I think it'll be only the golddiggers who will want anything to do with him once they find out what a smug little prick he is.
posted by brujita 05 May | 15:43
I have an older and a younger brother. My older brother is much older than me - 14 years - and my younger brother is 5 years younger. I idolized my older brother as a small child even though he'd do weird things like stand in the kitchen popping all the paper bags - in retrospect I've realized that that was the sixties and he was no doubt flying on eleven different herbs and spices. Hee. Also, he's bipolar. So, he's got some issues and anyway then my father kicked him out for the first time when he was about 17 and I was only 4 and we only saw him occasionally after that. Still our relationship has been complicated - our father was, to put it mildly, a difficult man and my older brother, being an only child for so long, took a lot of the brunt of that. So he kind of resented us in some ways. I always have wanted to impress him and it took years before I realized that the criteria he was using - total toughness, complete cool, the ability to hold your liquor - were maybe a little flawed. Still, I have him to thank for the fact that I'm tough and cool and can hold my liquor, so okay. He's had a lot of health problems lately and he's living here now and I'm not really seeing enough of him which makes me feel guilty. I care about him a lot but he can be maddening.

My younger brother and I get along fine. We're friends. There's some of what ethylene was saying in our family as well - we moved a lot as kids and our family was pretty damn dysfunctional so there's a certain shared survivor ethos. We argue sometimes and drive each other crazy and crack each other up - both my brothers are unbelievably funny guys; they can make me laugh until I'm practically peeing my pants and always have been able to - and then we go out drinking whenever we're in each others respective towns. In other words, we're pretty much pals for the most part. When he was a kid I broke his nose one time and he used to go into these black rages and just start throwing things at me. I believe he has outgrown this tendency and I've never broken anyone elses nose since. ;-)

Hug? Kiss? There's a certain stiff little hug that my family performs with an air of distaste at meeting and parting. That's all the body contact permitted or allowed and that's actually fine with me; I'm used to it and frankly, while I'm fond of my brothers, I don't want to kiss them.
posted by mygothlaundry 05 May | 15:48
I have one sibling. My sister is two-and-a-half years younger. We were always close. My parents, especially my mom, instilled a closeness in us. We were always a team, and I was very protective of her, as she was me. When we were teenagers it was almost like an us against them (parents) thing. We're incredibly close to this day. She lives around the corner and we have one another over for dinner a few nights a week. My sister is cool as they come. She's extremely intelligent and has a very dry sense of humor. I love her and am so fortunate to have her in my life. There were so many times when my only friend was my sister. We still hug. I mostly attack her with hugs and she begs me to get off.

Growing up I only had to beat her ass a few times. If you wear my new bikini and clothes there will be consequences. :)
posted by LoriFLA 05 May | 16:03
My brother is five years younger than I am. Growing up, I remember the abuse my father heaped on my mom and I, but my brother was The Boy. I don't resent him for that at all. He was five when my dad split. And it took until he was fifteen to stop hoping dad would come through with his false promises. We aren't close. Oh, sure, we hug and kiss when we get together, and say "I love you"s and all. And we really had a great time driving to and from our grandfather's funeral last fall (on our father's side - he hadn't seen our grandparents for something like 15 years). But he's always been a bit tempermental (don't get me wrong, I fly off the handle too, at times). My mom and I always knew when to walk on eggshells around him. It's gotten easier as we've gotten older.

This is a great question. I often wonder what would be different if my step kids had been my kids. Would they all still fight as much? Somehow, I don't think so, or maybe a bit differently, only because certain behaviors would never have been allowed if I'd had my stepkids from birth. So it's a strange comfort to read about siblings who did fight tooth and nail.
posted by redvixen 05 May | 20:03
I was very close to my sister growing up (she was two years younger to me) so we were both like brothers. We did have our fights, but we’d always make up at the end of the day, especially since we had a very strict father and it was nice to have someone to lean on during hard times. After we hit puberty, things started to get complicated. I started veering towards depression, and she became the outgoing and fearless person that she is. I was very protective of her when she was growing up, she had a skin disease and my mother would constantly tell me to make sure she was alright in school, but I felt kind of betrayed when I was going through my tough time and she wasn’t there for me.
She’s moved out to Cincinnati now, and we’ve become close ever since. Who knew her flying out to the other side of the world would have that effect on me. I also have another younger sister who’s 8 years younger to me who I’ve had problems with because of sister no.1; her tribulations have spilled over to sister no.2 and it took me a long time to forgive her for not being there for me either. And to realize, that it should’ve been the other way around—that I should’ve been there for her more than her for me. We are close now (just dropped them off at the Train Station yesterday for their holiday in Mumbai), and even though we didn’t hug or kiss, I held her hand and we smiled at each other. It felt nice.
posted by hadjiboy 06 May | 01:32
I have a brother, who is eight years older, preppy, smart and pretty and perfect in every - or at least I thought so. When I was a kid I admired him so much I would do everything he did, like all the music he liked and generally just follow him around and cramp his style all the time. But we grew up in different families, the dynamics of mom+dad & where they were in life changed a lot during those eight years, and I'm not sure this is what made us so completly different people but I'm sure it has a lot to do with it. For one thing, my father died when I was fifteen and mother-who-has-a-career is a lot different from mother-who-drives-you-to-football-practice. When I was 16 I had job, played in a band on tuesdays and lived in a Swedish city, and *gasp* went out drinking. When he was 16 he had a moped, a suburban american home, a mom that was a stay at home mom and a high-school sweetheart (who later married his best friend). Somewhere around my teens I became annoyed with him trying to be my father in the sense that he'd show up at me&moms house (he had left the nest at 18 when mom bought him a study-flat in the city) and not approve of my boyfriends (who he correctly sussed out were arses) and that glitch became a gap and bigger all the time. We're strangers to each other now since we really haven't had much contact since the early nineties, though we saw each other a few times a few years back because mom was trying to put us back together. I still think he's charming, clever and all that and kinda miss him, but I don't think that gap is repairable, since I also think he's kind of an ass.
posted by dabitch 06 May | 08:32
THIS IS A SHOUTING THREAD! || Oh my GOD this makes me laugh and laugh and laugh.