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#435055 - 05/18/13 08:24 PM I refused to step back in time...
ThisMan Offline

Registered: 01/23/13
Posts: 778
Loc: upper south
This is in regards to my family of origin- I have already shared the "times" which have so messed me up. I am number 6 of 7 siblings. So needless to say, a great effort is placed to keep that pecking order from long ago in place. I stopped long ago trying for validation because I went off to school (like Si, the first of the generations to graduate with a 4 yr degree). Then I moved away for work, etc., and just didn't have to deal with the negative family dynamics.

I'm trying really hard to keep this brief...

I received a phone from a brother who seems to have relationship issues with most of his siblings. Always angry with one or the other, and the youngest of us he refuses to speak to. I have always gotten along with him because I have ignored and avoided and stayed silent as he describes all he does and all he is.

Yeah, he is one of the brothers that sent me away when I was little, little... 4. If you recall, they wouldn't let me play with them, etc. When I went off to college, they thought it was a joke, I was a joke, and my whole life was lacking something. Even as I had my own family. I just gradually removed myself from the destructive dynamics. Especially since I have been single.... oh, my.

The topic of the phone call was to express his concern that MY SON was visiting his grandmother (my mom). And the last time he came, he brought his wife's parents with him. Brother took it upon himself to call and tell me that shouldn't happen, how disrespectful it was of MY SON, and how he (the brother) was just being over protective of his mother.

Of course, it went downhill as soon as he said the visit from my son was disrespectful to my mom.

From MS, from being pretty emotionally mature, from therapy and from just being a good dad ... I stayed in the present. I did... so proud. No dissociation . No refusal to acknowledge that this call, from the moment he said, "I have something on my mind", was meant to do nothing more than control the extended family and keep me in my place as one of the younger siblings.

... and no refusal of recognition that when I didn't agree with him that my son shouldn't bring his inlaws to visit momma, .... he sought to control by a personal attack on my son.... who btw... is a reflection of the beliefs in spirit (kind, gentle, loving).

I drew the boundary early (thank you for teaching me that it is okay with the family of origin to say- "that's enough"- men of MS) letting brother know he was very much out of place. ...told him I wasn't interested in his opinion regarding my sons, and that the relationship between grandmother and grandson was their relationship... not the grandson, grandmother and "his". (And I was the "go- to" guy if grandmother had a problem... which she didn't... because I made that call just to clarify.)

You know, older brother ended by saying he was hanging up because he didn't want to say something he would regret... I let him know he had all ready said too much. But he attempted to continue with that control thing by hanging up abruptly. Imagine if someone calls to share their "opinion" over a matter that is totally out of their sphere of concern, and they say horrible things about your children for no apparent reason...

Why would an uncle want to come between his nephew and his grandmother? Why would he risk tearing 50% of MY FAMILY away from me... (the family of origin is still ME in the eyes of the inlaws.... )?

Do you think it is a jealousy thing? An unspoken insecurity? Or just a dislike for me as an independent brother who is living his own life?
I am wasting a lot of energy just thinking about this... not worrying about the brother, but just thinking about the issues and my son.

I am at risk of losing my son, his wife and son, and her parents because this one member of the family is saying they are not welcome. I haven't told the son yet because I am afraid he will be so hurt and so upset, that he will cut me off as a by-product of his reaction. I do have to tell him, because his inlaws love my mom and want to visit with her, and sooner or later they and my son will encounter the "drama brother". And he is just a jerk with his constant opinion. Any suggestions on how to tell the son?

This is just an example of what a lot of you have described with the emotional abuse that goes hand in hand with the sexual abuse of yester-year. And I am trying really hard not to let it take me back in time. But my God!... when will the abuse end.? Evidently, it isn't true that when you say no, it stops.... .. I am 55 friggin yrs old... and still they come after me.

Yikes... and I was just thinking that life might be getting easier... btw, again... I find myself wondering what other great revelations my brother fought back from telling me because he "might regret" it. If I hear, I will let you guys know. Oh, gee, maybe I am single and having sex... LOL... I don't know... just bugs me.
For now we see through a glass, darkly.

#435067 - 05/18/13 09:50 PM Re: I refused to step back in time... [Re: ThisMan]
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 929

First of all, WAY TO GO on standing up to your brother. You've definitely come a long way. I must say that it's probably no coincidence that you were able to do it in the form of standing up for somebody else - your son. A bunch of guys here have reported as much, being too passive on their own accounts but able to bare the fangs when someone else needs it. You're a great dad.

From what you've written, I don't see what would lead you to believe you "could lose your son" and his extended family over this drama - it is obvious who is on their side and who isn't. More likely that you and your entire kid / in-law spectrum might "lose" this brother - or really that he would lose you. It's easy for me to armchair-advise this, but the threat of cutting people off forever - "not even at the funeral!" etc - works surprisingly well, especially if this guy is significantly older than you. I've never had to cut off a sibling forever but I have cut off cousins, members of my wife's family, and former friends. It's a drastic step but sometimes the power is needed to defend the innocent.

Why is he doing it? Most likely just bossing you around for its own sake. Which you don't have to take. And you did a great job not-taking it. Puff that chest, you should be proud.

My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#435071 - 05/18/13 11:20 PM Re: I refused to step back in time... [Re: ThisMan]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4287
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
Good for you, b!

no answers on the brother's issues. like one of my friends says, you can't reason with unreasonable people.

i'd be inclined to say nothing to your son about his uncle's craziness. if your brother chooses too - so be it. i an only see trouble from you getting stuck in the middle. maybe that is what he's after?

but really, man - you did GREAT in handling that.

How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#435080 - 05/19/13 01:34 AM Re: I refused to step back in time... [Re: ThisMan]
Lancer Offline

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
As you can imagine, TM, I love hearing success stories like this regarding a dysfunctional relative. Kudos, too. And, as you might guess, the first thing that jumps off the page at me is karma...your brother has now set himself up to be on the receiving end of the rejection to which he subjected others.

I was particularly stuck about his stunning similarity to the narcissistic personality disorder Mommybitch who had custody of me...sounds like he may be an NPD, too.

I DID cut her off. Most other family members have either cut her off or severely restrict their interaction with her. In discussing her with an empathetic stepsister, we agreed that it was pointless to engage. It has nothing to do with "measuring up". It's just that her behavior is toxic and unacceptable. Sound familiar? Take or leave whatever you like from that.

The other point I'd make is that your son, wife and inlaws sound like your rock...and your mother's. What I've found is, among the few healthier members of my family, honesty is hard sometimes, but highly rewarding because it builds trust and strength.

In the past week I discussed with a cousin our aunt's part in estranging me from the family. I'd been reluctant to name a name, but it was important. But I also disclosed to the aunt's son, another cousin. He indicated he'd suspected as much, BELIEVED me, and wrapped it up by telling me one of the reasons I was his favorite cousin was because of the honesty we've established with each other. In short, it was secrets that destroyed our families when we were growing up. We're actively dedicated to doing it differently, even when it's hard to do.

What's also interesting is that, whether the vicious aunt or the Mommybitch, they've become pretty much irrelevant to our lives.

Again, take or leave what you like out of that story.

#435090 - 05/19/13 02:57 AM Re: I refused to step back in time... [Re: ThisMan]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: ThisMan
I am at risk of losing my son, his wife and son, and her parents because this one member of the family is saying they are not welcome. .....and sooner or later they and my son will encounter the "drama brother"........... I am 55 friggin yrs old... and still they come after me.

Hey TM,

Sounds like you handled this like a pro. I'm betting that you have done such a good job raising your son that your brother's behavior won't affect your relationship with him. If and when your son meets your "drama brother" he will see him for what he is: a pathetic figure continuing to recreate the conflict and chaos of his childhood. Its not your problem man.

When I was about 40 I figured out that these people (my family of oregin) will never change. They would always try to put me in the family position I held in childhood. I had enough of it, and stopped contact. I've had my moments of guilt about it, but never really regretted it.

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#435212 - 05/20/13 04:04 AM Re: I refused to step back in time... [Re: ThisMan]
ThisMan Offline

Registered: 01/23/13
Posts: 778
Loc: upper south
Guys, thanks so much for the advice. It is what you all said. 'Those people' are not going to change. Those people are pretty much irrelevant in my life, and have been for such a long time. And its not my problem. Whatever the brother's opinion is... its not my problem.

And the son... I did share with him when he stopped in...Son said, "Dad, I am not letting Uncle XYZ steal one minute of my joy when I am with my Grandma."...
... not one minute... boy was I proud. .... and I am moving to a new thread because my heart is just racing with a new realization.... maybe more!

thank you again, men. just thank you. family of origin is still a hot button issue at times...
For now we see through a glass, darkly.

#435288 - 05/20/13 11:19 PM Re: I refused to step back in time... [Re: ThisMan]
bodyguard8367 Offline

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""

Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/27/14 08:23 PM)

#435392 - 05/22/13 01:40 AM Re: I refused to step back in time... [Re: ThisMan]
ThisMan Offline

Registered: 01/23/13
Posts: 778
Loc: upper south
Oh, my God, Geoff! You just described my relationship with my family of origin. And they have hinted at my gayness in recent years, but who gives a fuck. They abandoned me when young, literally, forgot about me while being the caregiver for years with the young boys, and haven't been back for the nine years since. And then try to instill GUILT on me and my boys... wtf. I think not. Not this time. Nor ever again.

As Lancer said, its all in Karma. Yeah, Jude, the next generation has been watching, and I love it. Karma, indeed.
For now we see through a glass, darkly.


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