Why I’m Glad My Brother Bullied Me
This may sound a bit sinister, but I believe a lot of good came out of the years of torment that my big brother caused me.
I was born when my brother was three. Apparently he never really took a shine to me. My mother says that when I was two months old, she put me in my car seat and set it down on a big glass coffee table in the living room. A minute after she walked away, she heard a huge crash and the sound of glass breaking. She ran back into the room to find the coffee table shattered and me rolling around in broken glass. My brother had done a Superman dive off the couch right on top of me.
Things did not improve much from there. As we got older, I was clearly the ‘annoying little sister’ that my brother never wanted. If I tried to join a game he was playing, I would have to kick and fight my way in.
Sometimes I wore him down and won his respect, and was allowed to play with his G.I. Joes. Other times I didn’t care to fight the fight and went off by myself.
I got punched in the arm at least 3 times a day, sometimes just because. I learned to hit back and did most of the time. Of course, my parents never saw the worst of it.
My brother was very good at playing an angel when they were around which made it my word against his. My parents did a great job of treating us equally, so lots of times we would both get punished.
My big brother was the king of insults and quick comebacks. During my chunky awkward phase, he called me fat. When I cried, he said I looked like a catfish. He said all the typical things that mean brothers say to annoying little sisters; I was stupid, nobody liked me, I smelled.
Sometimes I would attempt a rebuttal to these insults, but when I did he was quick to make fun of whatever I said. Over the years I got better and better at throwing it back at him. I credit this is as one of the reasons for my quick wit and humor.
Still, through all this, I idolized my older brother. Purple was his favorite color first, and it is still mine to this day. I loved getting his hand-me-downs and wore them with pride. I learned to skateboard, go fishing, and ride dirt bikes because I thought everything he did was so cool.
I am glad I had tomboy tendencies as a kid because it helped me be fearless and not back down when it came to dealing with obstacles and adversities.
There has also never been a part of me that felt inferior to men or boys.
This started with being the only girl on my baseball team as a child. In high school I was the only female in my auto shop class. I was very successful as an adult in a male-dominated industry because I wasn’t afraid of the competition.
Being bullied and insulted all the time taught me how much it hurts.
I did go through a bullying phase at school as a child but quickly grew out of it. In high school, I would throw insults back at the bullies who picked on the little guys. As an adult, I try to be as kind and gentle as possible- with myself and others.
I have learned that there will always be naysayers and negative influences in life, but they don’t have to hold us down. They can actually do some good and serve as motivation. Success is the greatest revenge, after all.
I have turned out to be a strong-willed, independent and self-sufficient woman. I am firm on my beliefs and don’t let people disrespect me. I am willing to go after what I want in life no matter who or what is in my way. I love the person that I am and have to give credit where credit is due.
My brother and I still don’t really get along, which is a bit sad, but I do appreciate him for roughing me up all those years. I suppose I should call him and give him a long overdue 10 out of 10 on that Superman dive.
Why I’m Glad My Brother Bullied Me
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