The ‘normal’ sibling.

I read that today is National Sibling Day in some parts of the US.
It got me thinking.
I talk alot about how my boy lives in my girls shadow.
He is neurotypical but my girl has Autism and other disabilities.
I have taken time to talk about how it all affects him…
….but what about how it affects my girl?

What must it be like for her to have a brother who is able to do all the things she can’t?
What must it be like for her to hear us praise him for things she will never be able to do?
……what must it be like to live in her brothers shadow?

We see it at home.
The jealousy, the anger, the frustration.
The wanting to be just like him.
It is just the simple things; like telling jokes for example.
My boy can tell jokes, can make up jokes and understands jokes that are told to him.
My girl cannot.
She tries, oh my gosh she tries, but her laughter is just not real.
She has learnt to laugh at the punchline, but rarely understands the joke.
She wants to join in, she makes up her own jokes and we pretend they are the funniest thing we have ever heard…..but she knows.
“It’s not funny is it?” she asks, but we try to convince her it is.
She is just too literal.
Jokes become questions with ridiculous answers that she just does not understand.

We see the hurt in her eyes.
Her emotionless eyes, her blank stare, it changes somehow.
I wonder if she knows what it is she feels.
Envy? Fear?

Imagine being different to everyone else, but not being able to understand why.
Imagine watching your sibling becoming more independant whilst you still depend on your parents for your most basic needs.

I begin to understand her need to control him.
She wants him to be like her, to have the things she has.
She wants to go first or win every game, because in life she feels she can’t.
She wants to choose what he wears so he is not wearing something better than hers.
She just wants to be the big sister.
The sister not living in her brothers shadow.

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