With Every Breath, It Gets More Hurtful

, , , , , , | | Related | May 12, 2019

(My youngest brother is thirteen and a very sweet kid. He can be a bit overwhelming at first; he’s very energetic and loves to talk your ear off with fifty different topics all at once. Despite this, my family and I love him dearly. He has some mental damage done from seizures he had as a baby, so he’s certainly “different” to others, but to us he’s normal. Most people in our family accepted him right away when they met him, thinking he’s a sweetheart… Some didn’t — not right away, at least. One day, my cousin, about four years older than my brother, visits from out of state to see us and our grandparents. I offer to drive her and my brother to the store as they need something. This happens while we’re there.)

Brother: “Oh, oh! [My Name], look, look! This shirt has a Minecraft creeper on it! I want it.”

Me: “It’s 30 bucks! I don’t have that money on me right now, bud. Sorry.”

(He’s a bit upset but walks it off. He tends to mumble to himself to let off steam. He’s mumbling something about getting money himself for it, and I can hear him. So can [Cousin].)

Cousin: “Um, excuse me?!”

(Both my brother and I look at her.)

Cousin: “What did you just say?! Under your breath?”

Brother: “N-Nothing…”

Cousin: “I know you said something. What was it?”

Brother: “I… I just wanted the shirt…”

Cousin: “Okay, so you act like a f****** baby because she said no?”

Me: “Woah, woah. Calm down, [Cousin].”

Brother: “N-No… I wanted it but… I can wait for it… I just said that I could get money myself.”

Cousin: “Yeah, okay, sure. You need to stop acting like a f****** baby. Grow up! You’re too old for Minecraft, anyway. Get over it.”

Brother: “But I like it. It’s fun and I play with friends.”

Cousin: “You’re too old! Grow up. Your stupid friends are probably younger than you. Why do you act like such a baby?!”

Brother: “I just–”

Cousin: “No excuses! [My Name], your brother is so immature. What the h*** is wrong with him?”

Me: “[Cousin], you don’t need to make a scene. I heard him and he said nothing bad. You don’t need to be insulting him like this.”

Cousin: “Yeah, well, it’s not like it’s my fault he’s so [disability slur].”

(That’s when I stare at her, unsure of what to say. My brother tears up and runs off, about ready to cry.)

Me: “Excuse me?! It’s not his fault… You have no right to act this way towards him.”

Cousin: “This is why he acts spoiled. You’re a f****** idiot for giving him what he wants.”

(She stormed off towards the checkout with whatever she happened to pick up while I ran off to look for my brother, who was crying in the toy aisle. I tried to calm him down, letting him know I’d talk with [Grandparents] when we got home. He accepted that and walked with me towards [Cousin] who looked impatient. The drive home was silent, save for a few sniffs from my brother. I tried to explain the situation to my grandparents, but [Cousin] kept interrupting and, in the end, my grandparents scolded my brother for his behavior and me for allowing him to act like that. [Cousin] was smug about it, too. My brother and I went home and I refuse to speak to my cousin, who has tried to talk to me like nothing happened since.)

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