What Do You Do, When a Family Member is Jealous of You?

20140927_193321While growing up some would say I was a fighter. I battled in the streets and against my brother, but most often, I fought myself.

My self-centeredness was reality which I often struggled.

I believed the world revolved around me and that everything was all about me.

I also had a wish to understand everything especially my brother Keith.

When we were growing up he would do the most bizarre things to me.

I recall the time my mother left us alone briefly.

That little time alone was just enough time for Keith to deceived me into eating a button.

It was either that or have my head covered with a pillow for God only knows how long.

Talk about torture endured by a younger sibling. “Phew! Thank God I survived.”

As I got older I sensed there was something more behind his actions and I tried “with all my heart” to understand what that something more could have been.

Deep-seated, internal fear forced me to seek things outside of myself for security.

I longed being accepted by my brother.

As I look back on things, I may have even dived head first into all the popular sports to appease my brother.

I played basketball, football and baseball, but football was definitely my favorite and the one sport I excelled in.

I wasn’t sure if  I excelled because the game just came naturally for me, or if it was because I could always count on Keith being there cheering his little brother on.

Because it made him happy when I played I always made sure I played well!

The fear of how disappointed he might be if I didn’t was my driving force.

Trying to live up to another person’s unrealistic expectations was at times brutal.

I became angry and often felt resentment towards him.

Because we were very close, it only made sense that I blame him for all of these negative feelings.

He was definitely my problem!

With hopes of releasing all the bitterness and resentment I’d carried toward my brother I asked God for the courage, peace, and wisdom to face him and honestly share my feelings.

After all my mind enslaved with the belief that I never measured up to Keith’s expectation of me and now I wanted freedom.

When I asked him why he was so abusive toward me growing up, he explained, “before you were born, mom gave me all the attention and now the attention rested solely on you.”

From his point of view it seemed that mom had forgotten about him.

He also shared that he didn’t know how to express his feeling of abandonment so he behaved harshly toward me.

He admitted that he had been jealous of me, but that he was very sorry for any harmful actions against me in the past.

And to imagine that after all this time I thought it was something I must have done or said?

Believing I could make it better if only I performed well enough or constantly surrendered to his unreasonable demands.

I thank God for the revelation!

In order to release all the bottled up negative emotion I had to allow God to give me the courage to speak up and  the willingness to listen.

He granted me a heart to understand and compassion to forgive. That forgiveness had to extend past my brother and to myself as well.

When others are jealous and envious and it’s directed at you continue to seek the face of God.

Pray for them.

You will find later that it has less to do with you and quite often more to do with their insecurities or inadequacies.

Having a strong need for acceptance by people and attempting to change others is futile at best.

It is far beyond our control but within God’s provision.

Speak your truth to God and others no matter what the cost.

Let the voice of God be your guide; your protection.

And even if standing for the truth appears costly it will be worthwhile in the end.

Our God is the Truth, the Way, and the Light!

I wanted freedom from the bondage of not understanding my brother Keith and God allowed the truth to set me free.

I thank God daily for me and my big brother loving relationship.

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Categories: Family, HONESTY, Relationship

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16 replies

  1. It is amazing to read your story. You have really helped me with this post, as a mom of two boys, and I’m going to share it with my family. …Like our fellow blogger Spencer says, people engage us to experience their pain because they don’t want to feel it alone.
    Thank you Vernon!
    ~Suzy

    • Thanks Suzy! It’s one of the most satisfying post I have completed. Spencer always help me by sharing the Love. Thanks for coming by and blessing our post and for sharing with your family.

  2. I started blogging to share my thoughts, didn’t know God had another plan for me by introducing me to you two kind people.

  3. Thanks for sharing such a thoughtful, challenging, and encouraging post. I think most have struggled with rejection, from one side or the other. Thanks also for stopping by my place! What a blessing to have you there!

    • You are welcome! And thank you for having such a great blog. Your images captivated me! Now I’m more aware of my surrounding ready to snap a picture at any time. They inspired me.

  4. I want to thank you for taking the time to write this wonderful article. I am the youngest child and the jealousy of my oldest brother, whom was never really around while I was growing up, has been so intense over the years. I have tried repeatedly to figure out what I have done wrong and what I can do to tear down the walls that keep us from growing closer. Regardless of everything I try, nothing seems to work. I continually question myself. I have realized the problem is solely his issue and now I ready to move forward. I want my brother in my life, but I can no longer worry with the jealous destruction he is causing in my personal life. My father once told me – Cain hated Able. Esau hated Jacob. Solely because of jealousy. It hurts my heart to believe that my brother might actually hate me.

    My father told me the preceding – not because he wanted me to have negative feelings toward my brother – but because he fought the same struggle as he grew up with his oldest sibling.

    I know God is in control. Thank you for your wonderful words.

    • Stephen first of all, I want you to know I appreciate you sharing your story as well. There are so many people just like me and you who have gone through this growing up and some are still going through it. To hear that you are ready to move on is a blessing. And the key to all of this, just like you said, is knowing that God is in control. I’m praying for you and your brother. Thank you coming by and please come back to visit us.

  5. God bless you sir! This is something I have heard and read before, but you bring it so close to home that I feel like I have overcome! Of course I have! Thanks a lot!
    Have a super blessed day!

    • Hi Ugochi,
      Yes you are an overcomer! It’s something about the blood of Jesus. 😀
      I’m blessed to hear you can identify.
      Have a great week.
      Vernon

  6. I think this may be the ‘curse’ of being the baby. I was never put through the things you were, but I do believe girls are a bit different in their way of punishing one and other than boys are. My sister is 7 years older than me and she really was my caregiver…not by choice but by necessity. I have always known that she loves me, but there were many times over the years that I felt she resented me. After our father passed away we had a very heartfelt, open and honest conversation. It helped me to understand some of her actions. It also made me much more understanding and now…every so often when she makes a certain remark that would have upset me in the past, instead, I let it roll off my back. I see things from her perspective and sometimes that makes all the difference.
    Great post. 🙂

    • Hi Nikki,

      I think you’re on to something when you say being the baby in a curse. I believe mothers have a special spot for them in their hearts. I didn’t like when my mother called me her baby. I would respond, “Moms I’m the youngest not the baby.” :D:
      I could only imagine the responsibility your sister must have had. It goes to show us that we never really know what others may go through or the perspective they may have on life. We have to learn to be more understanding like you learned from your experience.
      Thanks for sharing your story here with us. I know it will bless others like it blessed me.
      Vernon

  7. I enjoyed this article. It remind me of my trials while growing up with my siblings. I believe most family encounter jealousy but deep in their hearts, they also love each other. God bless you.

    • Hi Beverley,

      I agree that it’s part of the growing up with siblings process. We all have our shortcoming and there where plenty of times I was jealous of him too. But love conquers all. My brother showed more love for me than jealousy.
      Thanks for coming by and have a blessed week.

  8. I love this post. and i know I was jealous of my sister too 🙂

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