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Since birth, my cousin and I have been close extremely close. We practically lived together, went to the same schools, and had the same neighborhood friends. But in all of those settings, we were always compared to one another by different people.
Sure, I’m only six months older than him so it doesn’t seem like much of a difference but I think it may have some to do with how we were viewed. I was always looked at as a better individual, I never ever thought that way for myself but having people feel that way about us repeatedly as we grew up did influence me. And him, especially.
Even though we’ve had a quite akin childhood and backgrounds, our personalities differ so much.
I was raised by my father mostly, though I do have two sisters, and lived with my mom often. He, on the other hand, was raised with two older teenage sisters and his abstract mother. Abstract, not necessarily in a bad way, but still probably not the best for him. This obviously had major effects on our personalities and actions. Because of that lifestyles and childhood, he behaved quite femininely as a younger child.
I would try to get the girls while he tried to play with them.
I didn’t like the way he acted so I avoided playing with him at times. He never really had a male friend or companion at all except for me. This made him get teased and bullied in school. We went to the same schools and I sometimes saw him getting teased but I didn’t react because of the fear of being embarrassed too. Friends would ask me about us.
“You hang with the kid?” says my old friend Rodney.
“Yeah, that’s my cousin.” I said.
“You’re related to that fag? I couldn’t be seen with him. I don’t know how you can.” Rodney exclaimed.
This bullying start very early, so he never had time to get comfortable enough in school to focus and strive to get good grades.
He could never build confidence.
Of course, everyone basically compared us side to side with each other so I was looked at as a scholar while he was a delinquent. Since we were so close, our actions reflected off of each other. The worse he did, the better I looked and vice versa.
Maybe it was my dad. Maybe he is the reason I was looked at better.
Adults in the family looked down on him from my success and bragged about me from his flaws. I’m not exactly sure, but is it favoritism if someone earns the criticism and the gloating. If two people aren’t looked at the same based on the actions, is it fair?