I Kissed My Brother

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My brother who is 17 and I get along not very well, all we ever do is argue since the day my parents adopted him from Russia when he was 13. Last year I was 14 and him and I were sharing my room because my grandmother came to visit. We got bored and played ‘never have I ever’ with my mums vodca.

I don’t think we were drunk just tipsy, he started to tease mye about a time I sat in a puddle at school once. I went to hit him with my pillow and we ended up kissing each other and then did other sexual things. The next morning I confronted him with it and he said that I was being stupid and that there wasn’t anything wrong with what we did.

I know that he’s wrong though. What person does those things with their BROTHER. I feel physically ill when I think about it, what worse is I enjoyed what he did. He’s my brother for god sake. PLEASE HELP ME!

A: You aren’t being “stupid.” Boundaries in a family are important if people are to feel safe. You’ve learned a hard lesson about the dangers of drinking and playing a risky game. You are both old enough to know better. There may be more of an attraction between the two of you because he is not a biological brother and you didn’t spend your early years together. It may be that you haven’t gotten along because it was a way you two kept the attraction under control. However, that doesn’t make it okay. It speaks well for your character that you know it.

Sometimes adopted kids test the limits to test their adoptive family. Sometimes they aren’t 100 percent sure that they have been 100 percent included in their new family so they do something that will test the family’s commitment and to see if they will be treated like the biological children. Some families would fail the “test” and would throw your brother out of the family for not acting like a proper, protective big brother. Other families would be disappointed and angry but would see his behavior – and yours – as a reason to discipline you both and maybe get the family in family therapy. I hope your family is the second kind. Having been adopted so late (at 13), your brother may question whether he is lovable enough to really have a family. As for you, you need to be relieved of the guilt so you can have an easy relationship with your brother and so that you can feel good about yourself again.

I hope you can tell your parents what happened, not to get him or you into trouble but because there is trouble in the family that needs to be dealt with. I hope you have the kind of parents who will understand that and who will do the work necessary to make the family feel safe again for both of you.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Mar 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). I Kissed My Brother. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/03/14/i-kissed-my-brother-2/