Saturday, January 15, 2011

My Brother: Part Three

I shouldn't have left the last poat up as the final word on my brother for so long, because he now has a new persona, which is the "grown up" Matthew.
He texts me when I'm at my facility when he doesn't actually have any message to communicate. He read my last blog and wasn't even angry at me. He offers to turn the family room TV channel to the "Judge Alex" station for me even if he was watching something first. He tries to get me to eat my food --especially my vegetables--- and drink my milk even when our parents aren't looking. He tries to explain why it's important for me to take my medicine and that my parents are trying to help me by giving it to me. Holy Mother of All Stupidity! I know that I need to eat vegetables and drink milk and that my parents want me to take medicine because they think it will help me to get better! He opens my door if he's sees light under it in the middle of the night and tells me I need to go to sleep. I don't actually need Matthew to tell me these things.

I can't quite figure out from where he's coming. He seems at least somewhat sincere. He acts like he's now my older brother. When or why did he become so mature? He's practically no fun anymore, not that he was all that much fun to me when he was picking on me or doing his best Eddie Haskell imitation, either. Sometimes I would like to tell him that the Stanford admissions officers can't see inside our house, so he doesn't have to keep up his charade here anymore. (He really wants to go to Stanford, but he doesn't even act jealous that I was accepted last year and don't want to go there.)

We started out as more or less equal. He was bigger and stronger, but I was smarter. Then when adolescence hit him and bypassed me, any equilibrium that may have maintained itself between the two of us suddenly ceased to exist. He was popular and I wasn't. Nothing else really mattered. To anyone. At the begining of this school year I overheard one of my teachers quietly telling her student teacher that I was Matthew's twin sister. The student teacher uttered an apparent response of incredulity inadubible to me. Then the teacher continued with, "I know. I wouldn't believe it either if I didn't know the family." The teacher taught a class in which I had by far the highest grade; I was very polite and quiet in the class, but answered questions and participated when it was appropriate to do so. My point is that this teacher was not seeing the obnoxious behavior from me that my parents sometimes see. Matthew was in another section of the course and barely had an A. So why did this teacher think she should be comparing me so unfavorably to my brother? Because he's good-looking and popular, and I'm a little nobody.

Now he's not just bettter-looking and better-liked; he's more mature as well. This new behavior is such a departure from the norm that I'm not entirely sure how to respond. So far I just smile and nod my head. I don't know what to say. I can't even be certain it's not a masquerade of some sort. Perhaps at some point in the not-too-distant future he'll suddenly start laughing at me and will say, "I can't believe you were stupid enough to fall for me being nice to you. Why would someone like me be nice to someone like you?"

Paranoia is not my mental health diagnosis, but my brother is making me paranoid. If he had known he could make me so confused just by being nice to me, he probably would have been nice to me a long time ago.

I have a really nice room. It has everything I really need except food, and there are even ways I could keep an emergency food supply in here. I don't need much because I don't really even like food. I want to stay in my room forever.


  1. I hate seeing you so sad, Alexis. Do Mom and Dad know you're feeling this way? Are you still feeling sick? Sometimes it's normal to be a bit depressed coming out of an illness, but if the blue feeling doesn't pass soon, something will have to be done about it.

    I don't want to jinx anything, but you sound just a bit HORMONAL to me. I'm not a doctor nor do I play one on TV,nor do I want to raise false hopes, but I was once 17 and technically preadolescent just as you are. I was sometimes unhappy, too. The very worst time for me was when the hormones first kicked in.

    The teacher, whoever she is, was a complete jerk. You don't deserve to be compared unfavorably to your brother or to anyone else. Just because the two of you are twins doesn't mean you should suffer through endless comparisons. Matt has been compared unfavorably to you as well, and he doesn't like it, either. Ask him.

    I don't think you need to worry that Matt is trying to lull you into a false sense of well-being by being nice to you. We all grow up sooner or later, and it sounds as though he is growing up. I understand why you're hesitant to trust him too much, but I also think he has finally acquired a conscience.

    Your new room is beautiful, but if you use it to hide from the rest of the world all the time, you won't get nearly as much pleasure from it as you will if you just spend your nights and a little downtime there.

    Hang in there! Everything will be fine even if we have to do something to make it that way for you.

    Pseudo-Auntie J.

    P. S. I'll call you tonight.

  2. One more, Alexis. You're little (so am I; size deosn't matter), but you're certainly not "a nobody." Don't let anyone make you feel that you are.

  3. I wonder if he has read your post and thought: "Oh,no! Am I really such a prize $%$%?" He might have asked a friend who said: "Yep. You ARE a $%$%!"

    I remember many years ago that someone wrote to an agony aunt in a tabloid newspaper and said what an evil, nasty piece of work their husband was.

    The result was that he read it and, sobbing his heart out, he came to his wife and said: "I just read this in the paper! It's Me, isn't it? I am sorry, but I didn't realise what an evil %$%$ I am!" He decided that he needed counselling and to get himself sorted out.

    Sometimes people do not realise they need help. Also, sometimes one event can make someone realise they needed to grow up. The poor health of a parent can do that.

  4. Not liking food. I went through a phase like that. At about your age, too, as it happens.

    Your aunt is right regarding feeling down after an infection. By the way, was it flu you had? That can have a very profound impact and can make people feel very depressed.

  5. I am now going to indulge myself. I am going to watch episodes of Time Team, an archaeological excavation programme which is very popular in the UK. They have done a couple of programmes in the USA.

    They take three days to undertake an archaeological dig. I used to work in archaeology. Sometimes I wish I still did.

  6. Matt,
    I had croup, which I presumably contracted as a complication of a mild parainfluenza virus that I didn't even know I had. Then I got pneumonia.

    I hope you enjoyed your archeology episodes. Archaeology sounds fascinating.

    Pseudo-Auntie Jillian, I enjoyed speaking with you last night.