I’ve never understood what it was like to have a brother. I understood to a point I suppose. I have an older brother, yes. But he never bullied me nor consulted me when something bad happened. He never protected me when I was being pushed around. No, somehow I being the little sister was actual the big sister. Even though he was born first, our relationship was opposite.

My brother was different from the other big brothers. My brother was born with Autism. He is very book smart but wasn’t street smart at all. He acts as a child many times even though he is now an adult. Sometimes he will throw a fit about not getting a toy he wants or when he misses a show on the T.V. As a child I never really understood why my brother was different. I was upset that the bond we had wasn’t the same as my friends who had brothers. I went through a range of emotions trying to understand why my brother wasn’t like everyone else.

As we slowly got older, I was understanding more. My brother always had a struggle through school. Teachers didn’t want him in class, kids picked on him, and even one time when he was thrown into a wall, head bleeding, he was blamed. Not the kid who threw him. Finally, when he went into high school it just got worse. Kids threw wet-paper towels at him, tripping him in the hallways, telling him he wasn’t supposed to be alive. One time a girl tricked him into thinking she liked him just to get answers to the homework from him. When he asked her to prom she laughed. A boy came up to him said “Why would anyone want to go with you?”

I wanted to defend him from all of it but I couldn’t. I was stuck in middle school, away from him. He would come home crying, screaming that he shouldn’t be alive. I told my brother that nothing was wrong with him. That he was perfect and they were the ones with flaws. For some reason I was the ‘big’ sister and he was the ‘younger’ brother. I didn’t understand that at the time why but now I do. This bond that we share is different and special. It’s something that not a lot of people have. I like to think that we are lucky in a sense.


O'Fallon Missouri, United States