May 4, 2012 - submitted by Katelyn, United States of America

I don't know where to start. I'm tired of being put down by my brother it may not seem much but it hurts so badly. I'm scared all the time now. I'm tired of crying. I act so happy but on the inside I'm dying. I don't want to be here anymore I don't know what to do.

The Oracle replies:

I happen to know you're age is 12 Katelyn and it makes me sad to think of you suffering without the support of anyone. Your first step of bravery was sharing it here and hopefully the second one will come after reading the support of people that care - even though you haven't met a single one of us.
It may feel like the scariest thing in the world right now to stand up to your brother but the thing with bullies is they thrive on their victim's fear. The key is to ignore him and act as if you really don't care what he says. That may be a quick fix solution. The only reason I mention it is because I and many of my friends have older brothers and we were all subjected to teasing, fighting and varying degrees of persecution; it's quite usual behaviour between siblings though we are all so close with our brothers now. I am not condoning how your brother treats you but I am hoping he will just grow out of it.
That doesn't mean you should put up with it. The distress it's causing you is just not acceptable. I urge you to stand up to your brother. If he thinks you're strong, he won't be interested in tormenting you. Please talk to one or both of your parents. It is their role to protect you and I will assume your brother is hiding his behaviour from them. This is where your fear stems from. I doubt your parents would let him get away with it so regardless of any threats of what he may do if you tell them; do it anyway.
Home is where you should feel the safest so do not let him taunt you any longer.
Practice what to say the next time he does it. If you can use all your strength to stand up to him, tell him loudly and firmly to stop. If that doesn't work do not hesitate to tell your folks.
Over to you.

You need to know why your brother does it. Just unhappy people are worried about putting others down, forgive him. Acting happy is a great way, act happy, Practice happiness, because sometimes life is so hard and hurts so bad that we can forget how to be happy. That's what I do, no matter what I'm always smiling, always. Life is short and been unhappy and sad is a waste of time. Hugz, Marta, Mozambique

I guarantee you're not the only one out there feeling like this. There's no shame in feeling lost and unhappy; many people have a period in their lives where they need help. That does not make the situation easier, or less crucial to deal with. You need to seek help immediately. Please don't always put on a happy face for others. Let your parents and your friends help you. They cannot help if they don't know there is a problem. I can tell when something is troubling one of my children, but there are times they will not open up to me. When this happens, I remind them that if they cannot talk to me for whatever reason, there are professionals at school who will help them work through problems, and all discussions will be confidential. If your family is part of a church, you can look there for guidance. Reach out to a favorite relative who can give you advice without being as judgmental as you may fear your parents would be. There are many hands out there to take your hand and help you sort through the $^#* that life can throw at you.
Please have patience - you can work through this. You will feel stronger and much happier. Please reach out NOW and remember the lyrics of U2 (is that blasphemous on a Coldplay site?)
"Don't give up 'cause you have friends
Don't give up, you're not beaten yet
Don't give up, I know you can make it good".

These abusive put downs need to stop immediately. If you keep acting happy, then he will continue to put you down and the situation will only get worse. You need to gather all of your courage and tell your brother that he needs to lay off already. I know it's easier said than done, but you can't continue living like this. If he has the slightest bit of love and compassion (and he should because you are his sister) then he will stop. I don't know if you still live with your parents but if you do, you need to tell them what is happening and what you are going through. Your parents can set your brother straight if you can't get through to him on your own. It seems like you have alot weighing you down, and you owe it to yourself to seek help. If you can, talk to a psychiatrist and get your feelings in the open and sorted out. Surround yourself with friends who you feel comfortable talking to and let them in on your feelings to help relieve this overbearing stress. If you are still uncomfortable, try keeping a journal and writing down everything you feel. It's simple, but very effective. Best of luck, Blake.

Katelyn, please please please tell your parents about this. They must know about this. If they can't help you, then tell someone whether it's a counselor, friend, teacher, etc. You can't keep this bottled up inside you if it's hurting you this much. Also, talk to your brother. You need to tell him how you are being affected. If this continues on, you'll just end up with a nasty relationship with your brother when you two are adults (assuming you both are young). Good luck, Taameen.

Katelyn, I know how you feel. My brother can be a huge jerk too.The way I get through it is by doing or thinking about something I love. I will read a book I haven't read in a while, call up a friend, or just listen to some music ( Coldplay has literally saved my life a few times). By getting your mind off of your brother and focusing on something enjoyable, you'll find that you will be a much happier person. Also, make sure that you express your unhappiness to your parents. It might seem awkward at first to tell them, but its something that needs to be done. Try to avoid conflict with your brother and just tune him out when needed. Good luck! Isobel, USA.

I understand how you feel, and I am not just saying that. The person who has hurt me the most is my Mother. And it is definitely a very painful situation, but I think that forgiveness is the best way to move on. I know it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel right now, but the idea is that when you forgive, you do not just forgive the person who is hurting you, but yourself because at the end I think we all can decide if we allow somebody to hurt us or not. Your happiness has been always in your hands waiting for you, all you need to do is embrace it! From my point of view you are very strong, and the reason for me to know that is because you took the action to share something that is hurting you, and you are trying to be happy, maybe you have not notice how strong you are! Do not be afraid, remember that people who have a tendency of being negative in any way is because they are very unhappy themselves.
Peace, love and blessings! Mayra.

You could do either one of three things Katelyn:
One, carry on the USA way and kick back and keep smiling.
Two, know you're better than that and just feel sorry for his insecurities.
Three, find his weak points and make sure they're highlighted without looking like the instigator. Thankyou, and good luck. Dave.

I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling so much. You don't mention how old your brother is, but it sounds like he's a bit immature and hopefully it's something he'll grow out of. You should have a talk with him and explain how much his discouragement hurts. Being bullied at home is just as hard as being bullied anywhere else, if not worse, and should be treated accordingly. Be confident in yourself, think and believe that you will be happy in life. It's your life, don't let others take control of it with hurtful comments that most likely root from their own insecurities. You say you act like you're happy, even when you're far from it, and i know its lot easier to pretend everything's okay rather than dealing with what's bothering us. However, from experience, I can tell you that it doesn't get you a anywhere but right where you started. Maybe talk to a parent and let them know you're struggling, please don't seal everything in. Acknowledging how you feel is a great step forward, and I admire you for doing it. Surround yourself with friends or family that do make you feel happy. Katelyn you can, and will get through this, don't give up on happiness - or people. Wish you the best. Love, Darm.

It hurts when someone doesn't treat you with the respect you deserve, especially when that person is family. You need to stand up and tell him that what he is saying really hurts, but don't stoop to his level in the process. Tell him that the way he is acting is really hurting your feelings, and just tell him that, as family, you just want to get along. If he doesn't comply, then take a break and get away from him, and I mean this in more ways then one. Just try to avoid him, and if he tries to insult you, prove to him that his words are hollow, and let them pass through you. Hopefully, he'll realize that he doesn't need waste his time going out of his way to harm other people with words, and stop. However, most importantly, don't forget that he's still family. Love him, and don't let the thought of animosity even cross your mind.
Best wishes! Bradley H.

I know how you feel. Being put down by other people. Believe me, God hears your cries. I used to be insecure and cared too much about what others thought of me. I wasted some of my years trying to be someone I was not. But when I realized that there is a God who loves me unconditionally. I didn't care what others said about me. Pray for your brother. You may feel hate and insecurity towards your brother. Find out why he puts you down. Show him love back. It may not seem like the best answer but believe me it works. Love works.
In the Bible it says, cast all your burdens upon Him for He cares for you. He loves you.
My life has never been better ever since I gave my problems and my life to God.
Remember you are not alone. You are in my thoughts and prayers. God bless! John.

I want to start by saying what I think is most important that you do: talk to your brother, as soon as possible. He needs to know how much you're hurting, and you need to tell him. Secondly, I want you to tell yourself this: I need to be here. I should be here. However sad you may be at times, please do not, ever, give up on life and yourself. I have been through hard times too and now, in many ways, it has made me stronger. It's not a cliche, it's really the truth. So, I sincerely hope that you will try and have faith in yourself. It's easier said than done, but is in no way impossible. Choose to be positive. Choose to let go of all the sadness. What you choose, you usually do. As I have said here on Team Oracle several times before, one is never alone. That goes for you as well. You are NEVER alone. Stay strong! Love, Medina.

I'm very sorry to hear about your current situation. I think that maintaining a relationship with your brother is first of all very important. Even if it's not a good one. If there is no relationship there is nothing to fix. I have had a similar situation in the past were I was the brother and my brother was you. In the end my brother and I were almost always constantly fighting and my brother was scared of me. He told my parents how he felt and since then I have been trying to fix the relationship that I had almost completely ruined. I think that you should maybe try talking to your parents. If you have and it hasn't worked maybe have them sit down and have them not leave the table until they understand your situation and the way you feel. Another way to solve this is maybe directly go to your brother and have him sit down instead. He might just ignore whatever you told him, but at least he has heard you and your feelings. My parents really scared me when they told me how my brother felt about me. I first tried to blame it on him and then realized that that wasn't going to get us anywhere, so I gave in and have been trying to slowly reconstruct the relationship. I hope all of the best for you. Stay strong. Silke, Barcelona.

Please get up and go to a mirror.
Look into your eyes and see the wonder of your creator's creation.
Then draw a circle around yourself. Fill it with only good things. Only good things. Only good. Jerilynn.

Thanks again to everyone. Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying to this week's emotionally charged question, click to read and send us your answer.