For years, I had kept my shameful secret to myself. All I would say to others about Richard was: ‘We don’t get on’ and leave it at that.

That day, five years ago, a long, dark shadow that had blighted my existence was lifted. You see, I hated my brother and he hated me to the point of pathology. So much so that we hadn’t even seen or spoken to each other for 20 years.

Now, years later, this is the first time I have committed these thoughts to paper.

He was born 18 months after me, following a very difficult birth which nearly killed our mother. Right from the start, I was the firm favourite of both parents and the question: ‘Why can’t you be more like your sister?’ was often asked.

Also, remember to be extra patient as they could be in a lot of pain and may be crankier than usual for a little bit.

When I think of people I know who have close relationships with their brothers or sisters, it does sadden me that we could never patch up our differences.

Being bedridden can not only cause massive amounts of boredom but also a feeling of unrest. The restricted movement from bruises and surgery wounds.

I rang my mother to ask what it was all about and her last words ever to me were: ‘I want Richard to have everything. I don’t want  any more to do with you. Richard  is seeing to everything, thanks  very much.’

My boyfriend mom will have Ca breast surgery doing mastectomy. What will be the best gift to her. Unfortunately, I am away and can only send the present via post or with someone. Please kindly advice me. Thank you.

Peppermints are a bad idea for people with dry mouth. They are already cavity prone and sugar by the bed is not a good idea. A better idea is gum with xylitol since it will protect against cavities and also stimulate saliva flow!

But what does it actually feel like to hate a sibling? Well, it’s something that is always there, lying dissonant and dormant in the background. You dread the slightest contact, whether by letter, email or phone call.

I imagine this sentiment will jar with many because it goes against everything we are  supposed to feel for our siblings. After all, it is meant to be the strongest and longest bond we will experience in life.

The animosity between my brother and me stems from childhood. Apparently my mother had only wanted one child, so when she became pregnant with my brother while she was still breastfeeding me, she was distraught.

While I was at university, Richard — who had left school at 15 with no qualifications — was given a rather cushy job at Mum’s flower shop in St Neots, the small East Anglian town where we lived.

After a lifetime of preferring me, Richard became the favourite, indulged in adulthood in a way that he never was when he was a child.

My mother is due to have surgery the day before thanksgiving and I don’t know what would be appropriate after having brain surgery. Can you please give me some ideas or suggestions. I can tell you that my mother really loves the color purple, she is techno gadget junkie (iPads, Laptops, etc.) and she loves jewelry and fine furnishings…..please help!!! Thanks 🙂

The truth was the breakdown in communication was such that I didn’t even know which nursing home Mum had been in. Come to think of it, I still don’t. In the end, knowing how unwelcome Richard would make me feel, I decided not to go to the funeral. It was another four years before I received news of Richard’s death. Perhaps you will now understand why I reacted with such joy.

Commonly they are in a lot of pain or discomfort and their movement will be restricted due to incisions, cuts, or bruises from the surgery. Wouldn’t it be great to give a gift that reduces their pain?

Thanks for your input John, makes totally sense, I updated the post.

To admit such animosity is to break one of our strongest social taboos — but the feeling is far from rare, with psychologists estimating that in as many as a third of all families there is bitter hatred and rivalry between siblings.

I only discovered this when, one day, my ex-husband Neville happened to call in on my mother, and she said to him: ‘Richard’s got all my money.’

Staying in the hospital that can suck the positivity out of you. Seemingly small things like the soreness of laying in one spot for days on end can become major issues.

After all, being alone in the hospital or being left bedridden at home after surgery can be hard.

He shouted me down until the adults in the house gave in to him and begged me to  stop singing or practising the piano ‘for the sake of peace’.

Yes, it is still hard to admit that I hated my brother. But I hope it will help me learn to forget, if not wholly to forgive.

I watched as Richard did no work at the shop — indeed, he boasted of getting this free ride — and often did not turn up at all.

Welcome Home from Hospital present for my uncle

Here are some additional ideas on what to pick out exactly what you know your loved one needs.

By showing your spouse, family member, friend, or acquaintance you care you are basically sharing in the other’s suffering. A practice that comforts and strengthens the sufferer and thus, can help them heal.

One of my best friends, for instance, hated her sister, or said she did, when they were children.  But now, as old ladies, they are the best of friends.

When there is hatred at this level, you can’t even pretend that person doesn’t exist, as it burns a deep and lasting hole in your psyche.

My mother had, some years previously, given me some medals and gold sovereigns which had belonged to my grandparents.

Looks like you’ve clipped this slide to already.

Harmless at first glance, perhaps, but words designed to fill me with rage. And they achieved their goal, unerringly.

Meanwhile, Richard sold her four-bedroom detached house and pocketed all the money, without informing or consulting me. As her attorney, he could legally do this.

He even bullied her into changing her will to exclude me and my two sons, Tom and Will.

Their feud, which started at birth, is, according to Drabble, completely unresolvable, and has provoked much interest.

As she grew older and frailer, she became pathetically dependent on Richard. He gained power of attorney, after which he started emptying her bank accounts.

Once, when I went to see her and Richard was there, he banged on a coffee table and announced: ‘I’m having this when Mum goes. No argument.’

Safer says that she took being the favoured child totally as her due, as I did myself, and she imagines all favoured siblings do the same.

In my case, before my brother stopped speaking to me altogether, he would preface any communication by saying: ‘You’re supposed to be so clever.’