Did you grow up with a handicapped or disabled sibling?

@rocketj1 (6960)
United States
September 26, 2008 9:03am CST
My older brother (3 years older than me) was born blind. They are not sure why. They think my mother had some sort of virus while she was carrying him. He is totally blind. At one point he had light perception but that has also diminished now. Growing up with a blind brother was simply my reality. I didn't know any other way. He was older than I am and therefore things were always the way they were. I have often wondered about how this has affected me subconsciously in my life. I have read books on birth order. My brother is the oldest and I have a younger brother. That makes me a middle kid and an only daughter. But yet........ I was kind of the oldest too. My brother did not go to regular public schools until his last few years. So, I was the first to go to my school. My older brother also was away at a school for the blind during the weekdays and came home on the weekends. While he was gone, I was the oldest. What does this birth order confusion mean to me? I haven't figured it out yet. I also remember feeling angry during my teen years when people would stare at my brother. I would often glare back at them! That's a non-issue with me now. It's just part of being different. But when you are a teen, being different can be really awful. I think that having a blind brother has made me a more sympathetic person. I'm also a practical and realistic person. I knew from an early age that things that don't seem fair, happen in this world. It is not a perfect place to live. I also learned that handicapped people are the same as anyone else. I also learned to be looking out for others. I notice the older lady who can't reach something in the store, or the mother struggling to get her stroller through the door. Growing up with a handicapped sibling has made me who I am and I often wonder who I would be if my brother had been sighted. I actually can't comprehend the possibility. It was just my "Normal". How about you? Did you grow up with a handicapped sibling or other immediate family member? How has it affected you life? What do you remember about your childhood concerning this topic? Was your life more difficult or just different?
1 person likes this
5 responses
@ANTIQUELADY (36488)
• United States
26 Sep 08
no, i didn't have to go through that. i am sorry your brother was born blind but he was sure lucky to have a brother like you.
1 person likes this
@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
27 Sep 08
OOooops!Does "Rocket" make me sound like a male? I have wondered about this, as I have often done the same to others with male sounding user names. It's ok really. You were complimenting me and I will take all of those I can get! My name comes from our dog Rocky whose full name is Rocket J. The J. is just like Homer Simpson's middle initial. Homer had no idea what it stood for until the mystery was solved by his long-lost mom. The J. stood for Jay.haha. Thanks
@ANTIQUELADY (36488)
• United States
27 Sep 08
sorry about that. your brother was lucky yo have u.
1 person likes this
@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
27 Sep 08
Thanks again. You're too kind
@VE3IYB (209)
• Canada
26 Sep 08
No I did not grow up with a handicapped or disabled sibling. I do however have a sister how is Schizophrenic and came at me with a kitchen knife. She had no idea that she was doing it only the "the voices" told her to do it. She is OK these days and is still on medication. She leads a productive life and takes on many jobs. Until she came at me with the knife we didn't realize that there was a problem. Hind sight is always 20 / 20 but it would explain the bizarre mood swings form: happy to crying to laughing to sad all within the span of a minute.
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@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
27 Sep 08
Wow! I think that would qualify you for this question. I'm very glad to hear the she is doing well. I have heard that part of the illness of Schizophrenia is the fact that the patient often feels that they no longer need the meds and try to go off them.Consequently, the symptoms resume. Has she done this at times? Were you young when this all took place? Thanks, Doug. I always appreciate your posts
@VE3IYB (209)
• Canada
27 Sep 08
We were probably high school age at the time, so yes it would have been awhile ago now. Yes she is fine but now suffers from other illnesses. She goes in for an operation on ~ Oct.23rd. Remember her in prayer. Her name is Bev. There was never a time that she was not on medication of some kind since then. She has had a hard life because of it but is doing better now then in the past to be sure.
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@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
27 Sep 08
Yes. I will pray for her.
@checapricorn (16066)
• United States
26 Sep 08
[i]Hi rocketj, I have no handicapped sibling but I have a cousin whose right leg is shorter than her left leg..It wasn't inborn, she had an accident when she was 7 years old! But, I never saw anyone who treats her badly, she is very confident and she lives a very normal life...You will never hear her complaining about and being sad about it, maybe her attitude also make other people around her treat her as in she has no disability! [/i]
1 person likes this
@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
26 Sep 08
Having a good attitude is a great asset for anyone, isn't it?Thanks!
@savypat (20246)
• United States
26 Sep 08
I haven't had this challenge. But I loved reading your story and really respect and admire you. We all are formed by what life gives us, so it's best to take these things in stride and not look for reasons or differences. Life is what it is and this is what each of us faces. Best to you
@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
26 Sep 08
Thank you for the wonderful encouraging words.
@icegermany (2524)
• India
26 Sep 08
even i have my younger brother you got an attack of polio and his both legs were not working this happened when he was about one year old and he is not able to walk. my parents had tried a lot to cure and tried each and everything to cure him but it was really helpless and it made him more worse. the treatment also invovled electric shocks, when i was small at that time even i had seen this and i really tell you i use to weep seeing my brothers pain and also my parents use to weep seeing the pain of my brother which i remember till now and really whatever treatment we tried was not helpfull. and then later we made him join the school of handicapped but really seeing those childrens in school we use to feel that my brother is far better than them, as you can find more people suffering more than my brother. and we got him the shoes which handicapped people use and with that support he is able to walk a little. and now also he walks with the support of his shoes and crutches.
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@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
26 Sep 08
I can tell that you and your parents love your brother dearly. I believe it has probably made you a very compassionate person now, hasn't it? Thank you so much for the privilege letting me hear your brother's story.