I have two older brothers, one is 5 years older than me and he is the “I wish I was just like him” brother, the other is 7 years older than me, and he is the “I am more like him then I admit out loud” brother. I love my brothers, when I was little I think because of the age difference we just didn’t interact as much as I would have liked. Though honestly with how much I followed middle brother around trying to be him, I guess we could have been closer. Middle brother was everything I wanted to be, sporty, funny, tough, smart, and awesome! I knew if I was annoying enough, and persistent enough I could be accepted by him and his friends. I mean really who doesn’t want to be friends with their annoying little sister?!
I spent much of my childhood aspiring to be middle brother. Sometimes I started fights just to be noticed by middle brother. That never ended well since middle brother was bigger, older, and more cunning than I! It is funny to me that some of my most vivid childhood memories are of me being a creepy little sister stalker. I stole his clothes, tried to talk like him, and looked up to him from the moment I can remember. The first Depression memory I can place is actually while following him around.
We had gotten massive rains and our back yard and the woods and creek behind our house were flooded. Middle brother and a few of his friends got a kayak or canoe and went out in the flood waters. I was watching from the family room window, and all I could think was “That is way too much work, but I bet he will remember that forever.” I knew that the effort to make memories with people, even then, was too much. I’ve spent much of my life feeling that way. I also didn’t ask to participate with middle brother anymore, I knew he mostly didn’t notice me, and really didn’t want his little sister around getting in the way of things. He said something to me recently that resonated, he mostly didn’t notice me.
I’ve felt that way for so long. Not noticed. Like I am jumping up and down under spot lights wondering what in the world I have to do to get people to see ME; which is funny considering I spend much of my energy day to day trying to HIDE me. It starts a pretty crazy cognitive dissonance for me, this idea that I want people to notice me while I actively try to hide who I am.
Little me didn’t get to be middle brother…