A Letter to My Brother

Ironically, I am currently on vacation and am right where I was describing in my last post; in Michigan, staying with my sister’s family, with my brother coming in and taking pot shots towards the family dynamic at will and then complaining about the consequences.  Yes, that evening was a year ago nearly exactly, and yet here we are with the same situations happening over and over again.

I still plan on putting forth a few more stories to bring my story from there to here, but I find it so amusing that the post that I wrote about what happened last year posted yesterday, when we were dealing with yet another manufactured drama at the hands of my older, yet far less worldly or mature, brother. If I were to speak to him about our relationship, which would be a pointless exercise because he would not hear my point of view at all, this is likely what I would say.

Dear Brother,

I’ve learned a lot about both of us in the last year.  A year ago, I had hoped that we could communicate as equals, adults where you could hear my point of view and take a moment to live outside of your own self to understand someone else.  I thought that the concept of family was important enough to you to step outside of your comfort zone and do this.  However, after our big fight, you made very clear that your own trials and tribulations matter more to you than anyone else’s.

After my visit last year, I told our sister and our father that I was done with trying to build a relationship with you.  That I’d tried all of my life to move past our difficult childhood and the wounds that had been inflicted then to attempt to live as normal siblings who didn’t hit or hurt each other half of their lives.  But now I can see that any relationship with you simply has to be on your terms; if the other person involved does as you wish, behaves as you like, and gives you what you feel you deserve, then everything is fine for you.  A relationship with you is not a two way street, but always with you firmly in control.  I decided after my visit last year to no longer accept this.

We spent months not speaking, and I did not plan on seeing you or having you part of my life ever again.  However, when our grandmother grew ill last winter, I made an exception.  We then built an uneasy truce that has been turned into a similar relationship to what we had prior to last year’s blow up.  Which is all fine considering that we live 700 miles from each other; I don’t have a problem letting you know if I’ve heard from our father every three months, or giving you advice on which car to buy.

But when you came over during my five day visit to Michigan this week and threw what amounted to a temper tantrum, I remembered.  I remembered all of it.  When you pulled your child away from visiting with my children and his grandfather, I remembered why I had given up on our relationship.  If we knew each other outside of our family dynamic, we would never be a part of each others’ lives; your treatment of others is beyond selfish and self serving.  It is damaging to those who attempt to care about you.  And once again, I’m done.

It’s a shame we cannot find a way to build a family relationship, for the sake of our children who might like to be a part of each others’ lives.  I know our father would love nothing more than to see his children peacefully coexist.  But I do not spend the precious capital of my heart and my time with those who choose to live on My Way or the Highway Street.  So, I wish you well.  I hope that the future is kind to you.  However, I do not expect to be much of a part of it.

Sincerely,

The Person Who Tried To Be Your Sister

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