Changing The Way We Think

A dream of resentment, or deeper underlying issues?

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Last night I had a dream that my brother was trying to murder me, specifically by vehicular manslaughter. We were in an overloaded parking lot and he was stealing cars and crashing them, trying to squish me between the vehicles. He was causing a lot of damage, millions of dollars worth, and he was never stopped. I managed to escape, baffled that he would do such a thing. I travelled around, hiding for a while, until I saw him standing next to my father. My father was patting him on the back. I came out of hiding, and confronted them, appalled that he could be commended after such behaviour. My brother had a cheesy grin on his face and showed me a coin that said “24-hours” on the top, and “Safe Driving” on the bottom. It was similar to the chips people get from AA or NA meetings. I was pissed off, and I woke up. 

I know in reality I think my brother is the “golden boy” in my parents eyes. He can do no wrong. He got really good grades in school, and graduated from a reputable University. He is healthy, athletic, has a really good group of friends, and a near perfect girlfriend. He never got in trouble for bad choices, or mistakes. He was first born. I, on the other hand, got mediocre grades, dropped out of community college, don’t have many friends at all, and have a recovering alcoholic for a boyfriend. I got in trouble for everything growing up. Is it like this for every sibling relationship? The second born is held to a standard that the first born set? As if it isn’t OK to be different?

I am worldly, artsy, nerdy, intelligent, kind, and compassionate. None of this was part of who I was supposed to be. My brother set the standard of athletic, book smart, extroverted, liked by all… but thinking about it now, even my parents are more similar to him than me. They are both extroverted, smart, dedicated to a cause… Maybe I’m just the black sheep of the family. Maybe I’m adopted! Just kidding…

As much as I love my qualities (most of them anyway), I’ve always been jealous of his success. And that is hard to admit openly! But everything always comes so easy to him. Not for me. Never for me. Making friends, or getting an education. I find it hard to keep motivated unless I’m interested, or I often get distracted. He sets his mind to something and it happens. Lately I’ve been struggling to stick with things that I know are on the path I want to set for myself, but it is especially difficult to change pace. Especially difficult to create new habits.

Thinking back on my dream, maybe it isn’t so deeply rooted in the thought that he can literally do no wrong, but maybe that I need to stop running away from things, and focus on ways to change my situation. I know he would never hurt me. If anything he is over protecting, so that dream itself is an oxymoron. It was a cause to start thinking differently.

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