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ruthless compassion
06 September 2006 @ 12:10 pm
Along the lines of yesterday's question...

What's something I likely have never done that I should consider doing?
 
 
ruthless compassion
06 September 2006 @ 06:04 pm
As little kids, my brother and I were very friendly and lovey with each other. I have some memories of this time, and I also remember people commenting on it to my parents, so I think I realized that not all siblings were like that, though I'm not sure how much I internalized it.

Then we moved into adolesence, though, and things changed. Dan and I butted heads a lot. He was excellent at pushing my buttons (and, in fact, is probably the person who could most easily send me into a spitting rage, if he really wanted to, still), and I was excellent at taking the bait. He wanted my attention, and I wanted to ignore him. It wasn't a great time. Add to that the fact that we were in a small town, and he was "Rosa's little brother", and our general dynamic was pretty shitty, and not just because of us. Still, I looked forward to college, both because I was ready to get away, and because I thought it would be good for him to stop being overshadowed by me, or at least by my presence.

From the time I went to college and on into my, and then our, twenties, our relationship sorta... stopped. It wasn't that we were antagonistic, but we really didn't have much to say to each other, and so we didn't say anything. We only saw each other when I went home for holidays or in the summer, and then only in passing, since he had his life there and things to do other than hang out with his big sister.

Recently, though, that's changed. In the last couple of years, we've sought each other out, and we talk on the phone a couple of times a month, sometimes more, and we actually talk about real things, not just, you know, the weather.

The turnaround for me started to happen when I started thinking about fleeing the country in the spring of 2003. I realized that the one person I could picture joining me for my adventure was my brother, and he was interested. That turned out not to happen, for the most part, but he and my folks did come down to Guatemala for the last 3 weeks I was there, and during that time, he and I spent a fair amount of time together, without our individual lives, and in many ways, it was, I think, that time that was the foundation for our relationship as adults, which I now value quite a lot.

It's interesting to see in what ways we're similar, and in what ways we're different, and to look at the things that brought us to where we each are. And, you know? It's pretty darn cool to have a brother who's also a good friend.
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