Mark, the third sibling, is described as a very competent child. This competence mechanically in terms of self-care and in terms of being able to do things around the house is very much appreciated by his family. Father identifies that this is the child with whom he has a good relationship besides Matt.
Wow, this is all Mark gets?? Three sentences to my huge paragraph. He certainly was the stereotypical forgotten middle child. I got attention from being the oldest and only girl. Matt and Luke were attention seekers and grabbers. There was nothing left for Mark. He was wedged in the middle of Matt and Luke.
Mark was certainly invisible. He was the quietest child in the house. He didn’t make any waves. He didn’t draw any attention to himself. He didn’t even want to have his picture taken. If he knew I was writing this, he would probably try to talk me into pretending that I have two brothers instead of three.
He was very competent as a child. I would even consider him to be a mechanical genius. He was the one that designed and built himself a water bed in middle school. He knows everything there is to know about machines. He knows how to run, program, and fix them. He knows a lot about cars. When my dad had no interest in taking over the family business, I am sure that everyone expected that Mark would and put pressure on him to do so. Mark started having repetitive nightmares that he would die there if he took it over. I think that was the only thing stopping him from taking over the family business. He certainly had the skill set for it. Then he moved far away to a very remote part of the state.
Mark is the one that is most like my dad’s side of the family. He has an unbeatable work ethic. He was also my dad’s favorite child. My dad adored Mark. Mark was my dad’s advocate every time that my mom thought of leaving. I would have to say that Mark and my dad have a wonderful father son relationship. They talk to each other often on the phone.
My dad did not like Matt or Luke. Their relationships with my dad have been always marred by deep conflict. I think that I was my dad’s second favorite child. He ignored me. He neither hugged nor hit me. He never said he loved me. He never said that I was beautiful. But he never said he hated me either. There was no emotion at all. With Mark and my dad everything was positive. With Matt and Luke and my dad everything was negative.
Mark was never a caregiver for Matt like Luke and I were. He did the guy stuff around the house. He did a lot of the things that my dad should’ve done. The most attention he received was from being the hardest worker.
I don’t want to spend too much time talking about my brothers. I wish they would share their own experiences with having an autistic sibling. Mark and I have never talked once about our feelings regarding Matt. I don’t think that he will ever be ready. But, then again, I never thought that he would get married either.