Growing Up With A Monster In Your Life!


As children, my sister and I used to feel sorry for ourselves from time to time while having a brother, who’s a pathological narcissist. He was by no means easy with whom to interact day after day and year after year while growing up.

Pathological narcissism | definition of Pathological narcissism by …

a psychiatric diagnosis characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-importance and uniqueness, an abnormal need for attention and admiration, preoccupation with grandiose fantasies concerning the self, and disturbances in interpersonal relationships, usually involving the exploitation of others and a lack of empathy.

Examples of our brother’s mental dysfunction abounded continuously every single day of our lives as children. We simply witnessed it occurring again and again as we were incapable to stop him.

I mean – who can endure a brother at age eleven putting a 45 RPM record on his erect penis and swirling it circularly around in front of me, aged twelve, and my sister one year older and yelling at us to look at him as he strutted closely in front of us? How about him smearing our mother’s red lipstick tube on its tip to accentuate in a blood-color its mushroom-like prominence at his point?

As he did this activity, he’d simultaneously yell, “Look at my talent! You want it for yourself!” (This happening, obviously, was not when our parents were at home.) A certain form of dementia for sure!

A year later, I was forced to share a bed with him in Germany since his, at our hotel room in Strasburg, had bedbugs. Naturally he tried to engage me in sexual activities at the time. I had to fight him off from pawing me and moving on top of me with the full force of himself. Thank goodness that I was bigger, older and stronger so as to be able to fight him off of me!

Nonetheless, I had to endure feeling his hot breath on my neck and feel his slobbering wet mouth against my shoulder as he was curled up against me with legs wrapped with mine in sleep. Certainly I didn’t sleep well that night.

Being on guard against assault prohibited a good sleep, obviously. On account, I was exhausted and bleary-eyed the next day.

I also had to tell him a similar type of “no” when he told me that, after I had a child and had left my husband, he’d love to live with me as “a man and a wife” and raise the girl-child with me.

He also kept photos of me on his dresser and told his friends, while he was a teen and as a young adult, that I was his girlfriend. He did so without explaining that I also was his sister.

It was a happy fantasy for him, I suppose, since he lived in the artificial vision. However, it was erroneous in fact.

No, I was NOT his girlfriend! I was simply his sister! Liar!

Worse, though, than his sexual proclivities was the way that he tortured frogs. He’d stick them in Florida into the freezer to cause them to get lethargic and hibernate. Then he’d put them under hot running sink water to revive them.

Yeah, they moved and croaked, much to his laughing delight over his power over them. They did so since their skin was falling off of their bodies from freezer-burn followed by heat while blood seeped through their uncovered pores under the skin that shed away into small thin sections in the kitchen sink.

He certainly had an allurement for the color red – the hue of blood – as noted with his use of our mother’s lipstick to adorn himself and amusement of the blood coming from the frogs that he’d caught and tortured. So it is no surprise that he got caught stealing red shoe polish from a 7-11 convenience store one day when aged eleven.

It is also no surprise that, at age eleven, he also drove my mother’s convertible on a day that our folks were gone from the household while sitting on a thick phone book since he wasn’t quite high enough otherwise to see over the dashboard.

Yeah and he dinged the car port – breaking it and scraping the car – when he parked after his adventurous incursion. Gosh, was my Dad mad at that and his theft at the little store.

I felt sorry, though, for my brother. I didn’t think that he could help himself from acting so poorly. So I always as a child intervened with my brother behind me, while clinging to my waist, so we could move in unison, for his protection while I told my father that he’d have to “go through me first” to get to Rick, my brother.

Fat chance my father would strike through me since I was perceived by him as being a paradigm of virtue. I always, as my sister called me, was a “Goody Two Shoes” since I always tried to do whatever seemed right and ethical, and did so since I was a toddler.

Dad knew it and knew that he’d have to slam me down out of the way in an all out fashion to get to my brother. Yes, I was relentless in providing a shield for the latter. It was a matter of protecting life.

You should have seen my younger sibling and me dance sideways, and back and forth in coordinated tandem as I always made our father have to face my face and body first. It was a choreography treat perfectly executed. It was a gorgeous synthesis, one worthy of any staged dance performance.

Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire would have been proud! Oh, I can dance in a fancy way when shielding someone and highly motivated. I simply use everything that I have in my being to defend and I get riveted on my task. My whole consciousness is involved and directed towards my goal.

Just hold me at the waist and mimic my moves while staying behind me. The years of modern dance, ballet and French-style fencing taught me much about parlaying to guard and step lithely to conform to the pattern that I need to maximally carry out.

Meanwhile our mother yelled at our father to leave us alone while she cried and tried to pull him back away from us by the arm. Yet I barely paid attention to her as my main aim was to intensely focus on and block our father from being in range to lay a fist on my brother.

So Father avoided punching through me to get to my brother and got him a psychological counselor instead, which was my mother’s suggestion. Again fat chance – fat chance that this effort would help since his psychological malady was based on brain structural malfunction – not a wrongful behaviorally induced pathology.

One day later, you should see the three inch deep scar, which needed many stitches, on my sister’s leg from when he ran up to her and forcefully pushed her off of her bike, which he totally ruined in the process. His mindless ruthlessness and nonconformity to civil behaviors knew no bounds. In short, he was dangerous and could attack you, a pet or a wild creature like a frog at any moment.

Polly, our baby sitter when our parents were out at a social function related to my father’s job, had enough of him when he refused to leave the beach where she’d taken us for a swim prior to her making dinner for us. He refused to leave at age eleven.

A big gangling woman with long legs, she chased him down across the sand, grabbed him by the arm, flung him across her lap, held him in place with one arm, used the other to rummage through her pocketbook, grabbed out her hairbrush and wacked him a few times across the buttocks.

Then she grasped his arm tightly in hers so that he wouldn’t run off again. She stuffed him in the car, held him in place and waited for my sister and me to climb into it before locking doors and exiting the ocean.

It made no difference about the ways that others treated him. After all, Noah, a next door neighbor my age, had stuffed grass down Rick’s pants when Rick was five since Noah hated Rick throwing rocks at him.

So what? Rick wouldn’t change whether confronting a hand full of grass or a hairbrush on his bottom.


A year later after his car driving excursion, he was acting in his usual way by throwing water filled balloons out of a fourteenth story hotel balcony in Miami into convertible cars into the street below during our spring school break. The water was very hot and he considered it a good strike when he got a driver or his companion directly on the head.

After all, the impact, weight and breakage with scalding hot water created quite a commotion in the car. So he felt powerful and full of joy when he hit his mark literally head-on.

Imagine a balloon filled with almost boiling water dropping with speed, force and gravity from fourteen stories up onto your head. It was a wonder that no car accidents were caused in the process. Manheim broke in the car and maybe people drove to a hospital due to the water burns! I don’t know their outcomes.

He’d yell, “Bombs away,” when he forcefully tossing the balloons one after another into an open car. He loved having control and getting a reaction out of his victims! He loved scalding them with hot water, as well as ruining their clothes and cars wherever they were going!

He loved eagerly waiting for the next convertible with his balloons ready in hand, which he held by their tiny, pinched, tied-off ends since they were too hot to handle otherwise. (It reminded me of his love of burning skin off of frogs with water! He was gleeful either way.)

I couldn’t personally stop him from forcefully throwing balloons downward and my parents were at some sort of meeting at the hotel. So I felt helpless to intervene in any way. All that I could do was bear witness.

My brother’s and my parents were out at a social function, as mentioned. My sister was out wandering the hotel. Therefore I felt helpless with no other reaction than recognizing my utter helplessness, anxiety and sorrow for the people targeted by his ongoing continuous assault.

Why couldn’t he just have fun with his playmates as I did? Why couldn’t he just play games with them like baseball, go to the movies, watch a TV show, ride bikes together, read a book or paint and draw pictures as I did? Why did harm motivate him?

He just couldn’t adjust to a more benign standard. He couldn’t do so since he strongly loved conquest and control over other life in the world around himself.

He showed a really big attempt at conquest and control that same year when he told me that he “nailed” one of my girlfriends my age, Carol F., so as to have sex with her during a night that both of us had sleep-overs with friends in our home.

A beautiful girl with long flowing red hair, she looked disheveled after leaving a bedroom with my brother. I assumed that they just talked a little and maybe exchanged a kiss or two. Boy, was I wrong.

During their hour alone together, I laid in the grass and watched the twinkling stars, as well as one satellite that was like a little star moving through the night–sky. I also chatted with his own neglected sleep-over friend about school, possibility of aliens living on planets near other stars like our sun and other topics.

A couple of years later, when he was in eighth grade, I had to endure two weeks of detention center after school at a Chappaqua, NY, USA high school due to him since he sprayed my can of crazy foam all over other children and the bus, itself, one day after school and I got punished since it was mine and I’d gotten on his school bus.

My parents told my school principal that they should not be punished by having to bring me to school each school day for two weeks if I were to be refused bus passage on account.

So I did get punished, instead. Hence I got the detention hall, as did my brother at his school. So the lesson was learned by me to not let my brother get my “crazy-foam.” He, of course, learned nothing.

He learned so much nothing in fact that he found it mildly amusing that some father, a father of a high school girl, had his arm ripped off when trying to catch a train for work at the Chappaqua train station and, after he was dragged for a while since his shirt had gotten caught, his arm separated from the rest of himself to be connected to the train while the rest of his body laid bleeding out on the train track while the train, itself, grew smaller and smaller in distance before disappearing altogether with the arm attached.

The happening didn’t tear him up emotionally one bit. He didn’t care one whit about the family that suffered on account while I cried for the man’s and his family’s loss.

He didn’t care several years later about the loss that he would cause his Pennsylvania Quaker boarding school when he, fortuitously from his point of view, found the janitor’s keys to the whole school. Indeed, he had a field day on account.

For example, he went into the records room late at night and changed grades on his and other students’ records in the student file cabinets. He also stole valuable photographic equipment from the school, thousands of dollars worth, and tried to pawn it off for personal financial gain to many people, including friends of my sister in a popular musical band.

He also got into trouble a few years later trying to sell drugs at a mall in central Massachusetts. Oh, some new lucrative direction for him! Let’s sell illegal drugs!

He is now in his 60’s year wise. He’s charming, personable, glib and droll. His sense of humor is delightful – funny as all get-out!

Don’t let such attributes allure you when you come across his type. Don’t let his money sway you to have an affiliation.

Instead, avoid. Then while you might protect his kind as I did with my brother, strike out to reject all contact and support of them.

Whether in government or corporate positions high in the scale of placement, push them out of influence. Otherwise it’s just more of the same day after day and year after year on a personal or larger level. How well I truly know!

(Part one is here: The Bad Brother!)

Sally Dugman is a writer in MA, USA.


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