9 p.m.

August 6, 2013

It’s 9 p.m. and my brother has just fallen asleep on my lap, we were watching the good wife  together till the sound of his soft snoring interrupted. I lightly touched his face, his jaw-line and his chin where soft tufts of hair were starting to grow. I love this kid, boy, almost-man. This moment reminds me of when he was first born, I couldn’t get over how fast and how much he slept. I feel protective of him in this moment, like I somehow want to teach him everything I know without telling him explicitly, because he would be too proud to listen.

In this same moment, I feel a pang of pain, I’m often mean to him. Yesterday I said some harsh things, over something petty, like cleaning up after himself. I can’t help it, we are different but also so similar. I want to control him, but just so I can protect him from what’s ahead, but he wont have anything of it; again, pride. He is growing, forming his own ideas, having opinions, talking back. And I am here, helpless, bickering, yelling and being the older sister, essentially baiting. I want to be better. To be mature.

But I’m realizing something, I seem to be most unkind to those I love.
Is this normal?
Or are we just most critical of those we love…
Or maybe we spend so much time with them and they see us for who we truly are?
Or maybe…
I don’t know, what do you think?

Love always,

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  • Reply Metrogypsie August 6, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Scolding, bickering, yelling and all that are understandable and totally allowed afterall, you would, (no matter what happens) always be there for your siblings/family..

    As for your question, I don’t think ‘unkind’ is the word, maybe critical and its only because one cares enough. When people I don’t care about mess up, I don’t even give them as little as the benefit of an explanation/reason before cutting off.. So maybe its the fact that you know you would always be there for someone that makes you always finicky.

  • Reply Miss Enigma August 6, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    *sigh* I am that way too. Very critical and dare I say a bit harsher towards those I love and I’ve been hesitant to even say it out because maybe not saying it would mean it doesn’t happen. But I think we do it out of love; we care. And just like we will share in their joys and successes, we are afraid of anything negative happening to them because we would share in that as well…so we yell, scold, critic, over-protect, even judge…to try and get them to do better, be better and not make mistakes; mistakes we might have even made at some point.

  • Reply Mz.T August 8, 2013 at 4:12 am

    I think comfort and security brings out the meanness. We get so comfortable our true colors show (who’s really all good?) and we feel so secure in their love that we’re not afraid to let that mean side out.

  • Reply Ada August 9, 2013 at 12:04 am

    I think it’s a combination of things…we can be “unkind” because when they don’t do what we say/advise out of genuine love and concern our feelings get hurt.

    Also, we take them for granted because we inherently believe that no matter what we throw their way they will always be there in the end by our side since they’re family.

  • Reply Nero Ono Afiari August 9, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    I think it’s a combination of things, but foremost among them is the fact that we feel like they’ll never leave, so we go ahead and do things to them that we wouldn’t do to others. Sadly, being overly critical of our loved ones is often counter-productive, because it desensitizes them towards your criticism.

  • Reply Anonymous August 9, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Restraint might be something you might have to personally work on. That need to protect and shield the ones we love from all of the hurt we’ve seen and have experienced is something that comes naturally. However, it takes all the maturity to accept that each human has to make their own mistakes, regardless of how much you protect them. The onus lies with you to equip them without crowding them out. There, after all, is something such as smouldering love. I probably say this with authority because I’ve had to deal with this with kid brother. It’s a long walk to safety but each step, steady and sure.

    Goodluck mama


  • Reply SCW August 10, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Being home with my siblings
    Living here with my parents

    I remember it was a different story when I moved back, a drastic change that I fought vehemently. I fought my parents, I fought my siblings, I fought Arewa, I fought myself. My world was changing to something I was unfamiliar with, or something I previously knew but tried to run from. I tried flight, I tried not caring – didn’t last, till I got tired and caved in, not because I finally understood but because I was tired. Now at the point of gradual realization. Through this process, I was unaware of the morphing being done in me. I still don’t see the whole picture but I can see that I’ve come away from where I was before.

    Now I’m learning to obey my parents, especially when I don’t understand the reasoning behind their word. I’m learning to love my siblings through all our skoin skoin. This is a mental effort I have to make every day. To respond with love even when I don’t receive it. To change my thoughts to love, instead of wickedness and payback. To give up whatever rights I think I have and serve both younger and older siblings. This is not easy because its different from how I usually treat them.

    I’m learning. Learning from God, learning from Dami. Dami is my sis-in-law, my new sister. During my stay in Abuja, one major thing I took from the trip was how to be a little sister, and how to be a loving elder sister. She inspired me to be more. To be better. (I will let her know in my letter to the bridesmaids).
    I had not been setting a good example for my younger brothers in my relationship with my elder sister, and I think my brother(s) emulated this and treated me the same. All along I thought they had a problem with me, not realizing that the problem was me. Now I hope that the different in my person is apparent and they learn from it. Most of all, I want the change especially for me. I want to be a better person all round, not just for my siblings. I believe the lessons I’m learning here and now will mold my decisions in future. I want my family to know me and love me not because they are required to but because I am indeed loveable and tolerable. I don’t want it that non-family members will tell them of my kindness. I want them to be the immediate recipients of my love and kindness, and when people talk, they will respond in agreement. Not “*evil laughter* you don’t know her”. I want to be the same with family and with outsiders. I don’t want it to ever feel like I’m presenting a fake me to others.

    • Reply SCW August 10, 2013 at 11:08 am

      As far as teaching them not to make the same mistakes, one can try to talk to them about it but if that doesn’t work (usually doesn’t for me), take it to God. I’m learning to surrender things I can’t control instead of worrying so much about them. One of my brothers is very strong willed, he wants to make decisions, doesn’t like to be corrected and doesn’t want advice. He sometimes feels he knows it all. It’s not always easy correcting someone like that, so I just pray about it. I pray especially for his wife. No wife wants an authoritative man who thinks her opinions don’t matter or believes that he is always right. I pray he changes, I pray he learns. I also realize that at times changes happens by going through the fire. I don’t want to see my brother going that when it could’ve easily been avoided. But like me, he is strong willed and doesn’t always get it till he’s put in a position where he has to get it.

  • Reply Bimbo F August 13, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Saying unkind words to the people one loves is just trying to point out their wrong doings to them and it also shows that we care and wanna protect them from whatsoever. I don’t feel good when i do so, but i feel i have to do so. I have a 12 year old sister who has caused more havoc than i ever did at her age. I love her and want the best for her but i don’t know the best way to go about it without causing more harm because she is very stubborn. God help us all.


  • Reply Anonymous August 21, 2013 at 5:32 am

    I am often unkind to the ones I love.
    I feel ashamed because I believe my role is to help them become a better more confident person but I some times hear myself saying things that could potentially their self-esteem.
    For me, it comes from me feeling it is in their best interests to know some things and me essentially trying to treat others the way I want to be treated…with honesty.
    I am starting to learn to treat other people the way they want to be treated not the way I want to be treated but it’s hard and I am not sure which way is the best or which way will make them even more amazing than they already are to me

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