Sibling Anxiety

Disabling Scream

Lying upon damp grasses, shaded from the warmth of the sun,
the dwindling silence sleeps now amongst me, as rise comes a familiar scream.
Jolting up with fire running through my blood
and needles sticking in my skin, I look about.
It’s just a child playing, alone, but with his invisible friends.

I clench my gaze, as a throbbing reveals itself from within my brain.
Try as I may, to decay the lost screams we shared, and every forfeiting coo,
but these remembrances echo and pulsate within my years, following me;
like a shadow lurking in depths, our marks, like cement, this is permanent.

With every skipped beat, within my heart I’ve held, I feel that quickened
step, that you and I had embedded throughout our home.
My head spins, with that shrilling stab, as I would slam my door before
you got too close. The cool pinch it’d leave indented in my bones,
I know you mean not to push upon me, but this is our reality.

With a sporadic blow from the other side, I quickly turn my lock.
Finally able to breath out, from the bottoms of my feet, but we still can’t see.
Blinded you are; thereby blinded I am, from tasting such an infectious sting.
I can’t free you, from your unknown thinking.

My eyes roll back, and my arms extend around my chest.
Slowly, I clench. Sliding my back down to the floor,
and feeling my insides plummet,
for it’s just the short silence, before the war.

With my arms grasping for a hold, I rock in place at a soft pace,
and listen for your desperate pleas, and disabling screams.
I know you wish not inflict me, but you require
and have a need. It’s my duty, and it’s my deed.
This is standing in between, you and me, this stifling mentality, and you are not free.

Widening my stance, I unlock this barrier, knowing full well what’s in store.
And then you look at me, with that paralyzed senseless beam.
Shuttering beneath, I cooly lead you, in an attempt to see you free.

This is a poem I wrote this summer for my creative writing class. The assignment was to write a poem about fear and loss, really trying to bring out your feelings and emotions to the surface and allowing the reader to feel them too. With this poem, I was writing on a couple of experiences that I had had with my autistic brother. He was highly violent when I was growing up, with a particular focus on me. Sadly, these types of feelings are ones that a lot of children with a special needs sibling could relate to. A sibling might be violent for many reasons in which I am not going to go into with this blog. My focus is on anxiety.

I am who I am because of my brother, and I would not ever change him or change how I grew up. Like I just said I am a strong, understanding, generous, responsible, independent woman because of my family. However, as I have grown up I have realized that I carry a lot of anxiety around with me everyday, and I understand why.

For me, having a sibling who was violent to the point in which my parents had to talk to me when I was eleven about the possibility of having to send him away is not something that a typical child has to be aware of. With that said, it was correct of them to talk to me about this; moreover, it fundamentally important that parents keep talking about it. Openness and allowing numerous opportunities for the siblings to talk about it is something that they need.

Daniel 2011

Daniel 2011

At Adam’s Camp, our siblings of special needs kids psychologist came up with some great games to help these issues. One of them ran in a similar fashion to those Dear Aunt Sally letters people send in to newspapers. What we did was we had a couple pieces of paper printed out with an issue some siblings with special needs might come across.

For example:

Dear Aunt Sally;
Sometimes my brother get’s more attention then I do. It makes me feel sad, and mad sometimes too. Am I doing something wrong?

After reading the letter out loud we would then prompt the siblings to advise the kids who wrote them or we’d ask them if they ever had felt that way too. It worked out really well for our kids, and made them feel like they weren’t alone or wrong for feeling and thinking the way they did.

P.S. I am always more than happy to talk and share with those of you who would like to.


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