My 18-Year-Old Brother Says I'm a Coward

Is he correct?

Alexander Razin

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Photo by Dima Valkov from Pexels

One of my most prominent critics (apart from me) is my brothers. Any chance they're given, they criticize my actions. You may wonder, "aren't you the older brother? Shouldn't you give them a hard time?" You're correct, but I'm too nice to treat my brothers or anyone terribly. Yet it doesn't mean I can't act selfish or self-centered, which my brother said of me.

In the eyes of my brother, he views me as someone who doesn't speak up and is afraid to take action. I'm a loser, a coward. Perhaps he's right. I have escaped conflicted or tried my best to avoid speaking my opinion throughout my life. I don't avoid being in the spotlight because of cowardice. My social anxiety makes me avoid it. Since birth, it's been the mental disease gnawing at me, and it hasn't let go.

I have autism as well, and I've used my disability as an excuse. I will tell my brother this excuse, and he'll say some of the greatest minds were autistic. They didn't let their handicap stop them from developing today's concepts many individuals use. So if their struggles didn't stop them, why should they halt me?

I wonder if he viewed me as a coward back in 2019 when I tried my damn hardest to get out of the house and become independent. Perhaps he did, but that's in the past. Now that I'm not trying, my brother gives me life lessons. He's intelligent, but the snobbery of being a teenager makes him naïve. I won't forget when he was younger, how we cried when I didn't let him in my room. Or how he would sleep in my bedroom since he didn't want to sleep alone, yet I digress.

Of course, there are solutions to my problem, and my brother pointed them out. He says I should go out more and talk to people. He's not wrong; I should, but there isn't much to do in my small town, and I don't drive long distances. I was once part of a church group but left because I grew disgusted with how the United States views Christianity. Now, I'm searching for a group of people I perceive as good.

I told my brother about my problems with going outside, and I'm glad he listened. He said I don't have to interact with people, but at least go for a walk. Better yet, shave my balding head and lift weights.

I could go out for a walk. I can let go of my phobias by walking in my neighborhood and taking time to appreciate nature. There's no need to shave my head, as I still have hair. I won't lose it if I keep using hair treatments. Perhaps I give weight lifting another shot. I had a decent workout regime in 2020 but lost it once I started working.

Good thing it doesn't take much for my brother to depict me as courageous.

No matter what obstacle I have to take, I will prove my brother wrong. I won't live my knowing I amounted to nothing. There's more to my life than this. I believe it, and I don't care how years it takes to end my phobias. I'm going to place the defective me to rest.

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Alexander Razin

Aficionado and connoisseur of obscure and experimental music, movies, and TV. Fictional and nonfictional pieces have their place here, too