Bullying in the Family

I get altitude sickness from standing up for myself. I can’t be the only one.

My mother claimed she only wanted a ‘second opinion’ when she recruited my sister so the two of them could gang up on me and call me a retard.

My sister’s support for my decision to take a psycho-educational test was this, “People should be able to figure things out on their own. If they can’t and end up failing in life and killing themselves, well, that’s too bad.”

I never finished high school. I have never taken AP or IB, yet I know what they are and how to ace them. Because I have done my sister’s assignments. Of course, I am not dull enough to assume that just by acing a few IB papers and whatnot means I’m entitled to some sort of diploma. Hell, no. But despite not having learned any of these things, I have aced all these papers. And then come my sister’s college applications.

It was me who wrote them.

My mother told me, “Be a good person for once and help your sister out.” Yes, because I have never helped her before in my life. Despite knowing that my mother wasn’t being fair, despite knowing that this is unethical, I did it. I hid my anguish and frustration over this injustice, this thing that many may call trivial. Hell, it didn’t feel like that to me and it still doesn’t. I did it despite hating doing it because the past twenty years of rejection haven’t taught me that seeking out my family’s approval is an exercise in futility.

Then came my sister’s first year of college. It’s great. She finally got in! And her professor loves her narrative essay! Her professor loves it so much that she wanted my sister to submit for an award! But it was me who wrote it. And my sister was going to submit it for an award under her name? Unbelievable.

I once asked my sister this, “Why do you give me all these overdue essays and tell me to hurry?”

Her answer was this, “Because it’s the only useful thing you can do.”

Despite all this, while she was abroad, I missed her so much. I wanted her to come back soon because living alone with my mother was utter hell. Because I just wanted to see her face. Because she is my sister. And because she is my sister, I never thought I could charge her for the work I did for her, but in return, I told her, watch Hero Academia with me. And my sister said yes.

Fast forward to the week of her return. Now. It had been four days since my sister arrived. I mentioned Hero Academia on the first day, there hadn’t been any mention of it until today because she had been going out with her boyfriend and lunch with Mum and all that. Today, after my psycho-educational testing and being abandoned at the hospital for hours while my sister and mum went to watch Finding Dory and have their eyebrows done and have fancy salad for dinner, they finally picked me up after the sky became a dying violet. I asked my sister about that time we were supposed to spend together, and she said, “I want to sleep. Maybe tomorrow.”

I said okay.

So, I got home. Got changed. Knocked on my sister’s room. Went in and found her playing with her phone and not sleeping. “Hey,” I said.

My sister didn’t look up nor showed a sign that she cared.

“Can you transfer 7,500 baht to my account tomorrow.”

Now she looked up. “Why?”

I said numbly, “For all the shit I did for you.”

For all the shit I did for her. For all the shit I did for her. Discount the time I drew a letter X on her door with my blood because she kicked me to the ground. I remember that moment. She is a loving filial child who did not want me to defend myself when my mother assaulted me.

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This week. I have blocked my sister and cousins on my mother’s side from my Facebook. These people who read my post and tattle to my mother about it. These people who slosh fuel into the fire. I do not write these internal monologues for sympathy. I do not paint myself a helpless, guiltless victim of abuse. I am a human being who have thrown tantrums and fits and rages. I have hurt myself just as much as others have hurt me. I am not blameless. I am guilty.

I write because I do not wish to hide. I wish to make sense of it all and writing helps.

I remember my mother saying this to me while I sobbed and begged and grappled at her feet, “You are going to Hell. Why do you think I did those things to you? Have I ever done anything to your sister? Would I ever hurt you if you were like your sister?”

I do not know what tomorrow will bring. I just wanted to spend some time with my sister. Me of the past may have wished that I am more like my sister so that my mother would love me. But me of the now recalls the time my mother called my sister a slut behind her back.

I do not wish to become my sister. I only wish to be okay.

*My Hero Academia is a manga-turned-anime, and I really really really like Shigaraki. ♥

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