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Discussion Starter #1
Was SHOCKED over the wknd to find an e-mail from my estranged brother.

Was disappointed, though, over the content:

Dan, I got your card and must say I am curious as to why at this particular point in time you say "it's time to put the past behind". It's just not that simple for me and I'll tell you why.

You chose to get involved in an issue that never really concerned you or was even any of your business in the first place. You also chose to take sides having only heard part of the story. And here we are years later and you want to act like nothing happened?
My reply:

Why this particular point in time? Because it's been 13+ years. Isn't that long enough to move along?

I'm not interested, frankly, in who said what to who and when/why/how and what 'sides' -- if any -- people ended up on.

I'm only interested in re-connecting with a brother....
~~sigh~~

I'm not holding out a lot of hope for this.
 

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WOOO HOOOO!! To me, this is showing that he's testing the waters. Ball is back in his court. :D
 

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Dan, although it's not encouraging, I think the fact that he answered you might be a good sign. At least the lines of communication are open again. Perhaps it can be worked out afterall.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Part of me is curious why he feels I took sides. I don't *remember* taking sides. If anything, I remember being pretty silent on the issue, mostly because I wasn't present during the fireworks that started it all.

Unless he meant that I DIDN'T take a side -- namely, his.

I also object to the idea that I wasn't involved. Hell, it was my FAMILY. MY parents. MY brother. How could he say I wasn't involved? I was INTIMATELY involved, based on my last name alone.

But I didn't want to go there w/my reply. As I said, I'm somewhat curious about all of the above. But more of me doesn't even care.

And the most of me would like this just to all be put to rest.
 

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At least you got a reply.

I can understand his feelings, from reading his response. My dh and his mother have a very rocky relationship and his sister always takes his moms side. And now, the relationship between brother/sister is strained. Not to the point of your own relationship with your brother, but there is a distance there. Because she puts her nose into something that does not involve her. And it really hurts my husband that his sister thinks so little of him that he'd cut off ties with their mother without good reason. So from his viewpoint- just the snippet that he responded with- I can understand his hurt feelings.

However, I see a glimmer of hope in the fact that he replied at all. Hopefully the two of you can talk things through and possibly build a new relationship. It may take awhile.
 

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your response sounded pretty defensive, dan.. if you're really interested, you may need to take this on the chin a bit.. now i say this not knowing wtf happened.. but i bet he's probably very skittish and your attitude toward the whole thing could make or break it.
 

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Honestly, I still don't understand why this is so important to you--if you haven't had contact in 13 years, and he doesn't want to talk to you, why do you want to talk to him? I guess I'm just not one to preserve a family relationship just because it's family.

It sounds like if you want him back you are going to have to do a lot of sucking up and apologizing--even if you don't feel like you have to--just to get him to come around. And even then, it might not work.
 

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Oh Dan. I'm so glad he responded. I really hope you two can work things out. I know how important this is to you.
 

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I don't think his response sounded defensive at all. Brother asked, he answered honestly.

I dunno Allie. I have 2 sisters and a brother and I would hate to just cut off contact with any of them permanently. My brother and I had a temporary tift (2 years!), but we worked it out. Why? Because we were always close as children, growing up, as adults. You can't cut that off completely, in my opinion. Not with someone you love are care about deeply.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
your response sounded pretty defensive, dan..
I thought long and hard before typing. Scrapped at least a dozen replies. Tried to be middle-of-the-road, but honest: I really do not know what happened. And I really don't care.


if you're really interested, you may need to take this on the chin a bit..
As in apologize?

Not sure I've got that within me. I didn't do anything. His beef was with my parents and it spilled over onto everyone else. Somehow I became responsible for his hurt as much as they were. And so he hurt back: Punished me. Punished my kids, including his goddaughter.

I'd be willing to 50:50 the apoligies: We offer them to each other for all past transgressions -- real or imagined -- and close the book on them.

But I'm not wearing crepe for something I didn't do. Is that "defensive" of me? Indicative that I'm never going to see this fixed? Maybe.

The other thing I will not do is allow him to trash my parents. Again, I'll go 50:50. They weren't perfect. They had flaws. They were human. But they also walked over hot coals regularly to give the three of us a hell of a good life, and I won't stand by while he flings mud at them, especially now that they're gone.

We can agree to disagree, but I'll not join him in agreeing that my parents sucked, if that's what he's looking for.

Now all that said: I don't intend to ever mention any of the above to him.

I'll say that again: I don't intend to ever mention any of the above to him.

Because that will do nothing but re-rip old wounds, we'll devolve quickly into hesaid/hesaid, youdid/youdidn't, etc. etc. etc. And that won't help anybody.

My goal is to just shut. the. book. on the past -- each of us with his own hurts, disappointments, wounds, etc. -- and start anew.
 

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It sounds like he can't do that, though. Or is maybe not ready to do that. Maybe if he responds again and it is defensive or along the same lines you should just say, "I'm sorry you still feel that way. I just wanted to let you know that if you are ever ready to put the past aside, I'm here. I'd like to have a relationship with no judgement from what's happened in the past" and just leave it at that.

I do think people change...I was close to my dad's parents as a child but as they got older, it was hard for them to understand that I had a busy life and did not want to visit every week (I was also living 2 hrs away at the time, but I digress...). Anyway, it's like they're dead to me now (well, my grandpa is literally, my grandma, figuratively). I'm OK with that. If my brother suddenly turned into an *******, I wouldn't talk to him again, either. Life's too short to get caught up in petty drama.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
"I'm sorry you still feel that way. I just wanted to let you know that if you are ever ready to put the past aside, I'm here. I'd like to have a relationship with no judgement from what's happened in the past" and just leave it at that.
EXACTLY.

If this goes nowhere productive, this is, to a letter, exactly what I had in mind to say.
 

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Is it possible for you and for him to put the past in the past without ever discussing what did or didn't happen?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Is it possible for you and for him to put the past in the past without ever discussing what did or didn't happen?
I'm hoping so.
 

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I have a sister that I don't talk to. I have no interest in talking to her ever again. She has serious problems that she refuses to get help for. I don't need her cray in my life. She was horrible to my Mother and Nephew and I can't forgive that. She calls me screaming every now and then. I just ignore the call when she comes on caller ID. She was dying 2 years ago and wanted me to take her oldest son because he will need lifetime care. She wasn't dying she didn't want to take care of him anymore and tried to pull on my heart strings. She calls my Aunt in CA drunk in the middle of the night. She made her bed and she can sleep in it.
 

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Is it possible for you and for him to put the past in the past without ever discussing what did or didn't happen?
That's what my brother and I did.
 

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That's what my brother and I did.
It is good you can do that.

There are some relationships that just cannot be mended IMO. I have not spoken with certain members of my family in over 10 years. I never want to see/talk to one of them in particular again. TOO much hurt and aggravation to me and others caused by this individual.
 

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It may come down to, do you want to be right, or do you want a relationship with your brother. You may not get both.

Much luck with this, Dan. I do like what Allie wrote, that you are planning to say.
 

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I'm going to suggest a different path. What if the two of you got together and did a wholesale airing of the grievances, got pissed and angry, got everything out. You're own version of Festivus.

He's clearly not going to let whatever happened go and just start over. He's held onto it for years and it's the first thing he brought up when you contacted him.

So I think you can pursue a superficial relationship based on having the same last name, or hash it out and maybe end up with a real friendship after both sides have time to process what the other thinks happened, and how they feel.
 
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