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#69087 - 08/03/05 07:29 PM brother.....what am i getting myself into
puppy Offline

Registered: 05/28/05
Posts: 129
Loc: earth
my brother and i havent spoekn in almost a year. he was pretty disappointed when i told him im gay. it took him awhile but he came around and eventually seemed to accept it. until i got a boyfriend. thats pretty much when our relationship ended. he was extremely angry and unnecessarily over protective. he more or less stopped talking to me and answering my calls. i think ive come to the conclusion that it had nothing to do with me being gay and everything to do with the abuse that we went through. our relationship was already very fragile even before the boyfriend situation.

we have a lot of resentment toward eachother and as much as i have tried to get over mine it still exists, even though it is irrational and i know that. im angry because hes 8 years older than me and he left home and left me there to be abused and he knew what was happening ot me. i know that he was probably hurting so much that he just didnt know what to do, so he did nothing. but it still makes me angry. i felt so abandoned and unloveed. and i dont want to blame him for that anymore. he has so much anger toward me because he always had to protect me. i know he doesnt want to hate me for that, but he does. he made a comment once that he didnt have a childhood because of me, because he had to be my parent. the hardest part is that there is nothing i can do now that will change how much of a burden i was to him then.

anyway there is just a ton of mixed emotions. i feel like somany important things and people have been ripped out of my life because of the abuse and i really couldnt stand the thought of not talking to him again. that is one thing i will not lose without at least putting up a fight. i know there isnt much of a relationship to save at this point, but whatever there is, i need him in my life.

i started writing him a letter a couple weeks ago. it seemed to come out really easy at first. but i got stuck and havent been able to finish it. which i guess was fate or something, because i ran into him this morning. we only live a few blocks from eachother, and still havent seen eachother in a year. it crosses my mind every time i leave my house, that i might see him drive by or something. bu ti dont. i stopped to get a coffee and i was standing in line totally tired and not really paying attention to anythng. and the guy in front of me turned around and looked at me and it was him. it was the most uncomfortable feeling in the world.

im sure the look on my face said a lot, because the look on his face said everything. it was like 'oh my god, you are the last person i want to see'. so he just said hi. like i was some stranger. i said hi back. i was sort of frozen. my brain went blank for a few seconds and i felt like i was gonna cry. but i just stood there. there were a few other people in line and i didnt want to make some big dramatic scene. i probably just stared at him like an idiot. he asked me how ive been. i thought well, i could say 'fine' because thats what he wants to hear. no one asks that question wanting to hear the truth. but i didnt. i just kinda shrugged and asked him how he was. he just gave me a weird look. and then he had to pay for his coffee and then i had to pay for mine and he was sort of walking away from me. i felt like he was leaving home all over again. i felt like he was completely abandoning me. which is blowing things out of proportion but at the time, that part really doesnt occur to you.

he could obviously tell that i really really didnt want him to just walk away. and suddenly i felt this huge wave of dread. im not sure what i had expected, maybe for him to hug me and be happy to see me. but all those feelings were still there for both of us. i was angry that he wanted to walk away and laeve me. he was angry that i was being needy and a burden when he probably had somewhere else to go and didnt want to see me. nothing had changed. if anything, it seemed to have gotten worse.

anyway he didnt walk away. we went and sat outside and talked for about half an hour. well i guess it wasnt really talking. just sort of 'where do we go from here'. he pretty much told me that he didnt want to see me, because there are too many things to think about and he would rather not think about it. which was pretty much what i suspected. but he said he wants to try to work things out somehow. im not sure how much he means that, i guess ill find out.

im so confused. i dont want my brother to not be a part of my life. i have missed him so much over the last year. but seeing him made all those really bad feelings come back. i think hes right, there is just too much to think about. i know i can tlak to my therapist about it all. but i really am afraid i will push him away or avoid this whole situation out of anger. and i dont know why im still angry. i want tojust get over it already. i KNOW it wasnt his fault. im scared that maybe im not ready to deal with all those feelings.


#69088 - 08/03/05 09:44 PM Re: brother.....what am i getting myself into
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
puppy I think that the two of you by talking for 1/2 hour indicates that both of you want to start a dialogue but have the you first syndrome.

I cannot tell you what to do but you have a good idea of talking to your therapist about it.

He may feel inside that, because you are gay, his efforts to protect you were in vain. I know it sounds stupid but it could be that.

In any event problems occur in relationships mainly because we do not make any attempt to really find out what is going on in the other person's mind. We assume a lot.



#69089 - 08/03/05 11:02 PM Re: brother.....what am i getting myself into
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA

If you managed for a half hour when there are all these issues in the way, that seems to me to be an excellent start.

At this point I would only suggest two things:

1. Here we are always reminding each other "it wasn't your fault". But it wasn't your brother's either. If he was hurt as you were he is probably carrying an enormous burden of issues and emotions. And even if he wasn't hurt, he knows that you were and he may feel somehow responsible. He needs to hear that you know and believe that it wasn't his fault either.

2. Speaking as a straight guy to a gay friend, I have to say be ready for things to be badly tangled up with a lot of silly hetero ideas and prejudices about homosexuality.

3. Both of you have been hurt in just about the most devastating way a boy can be hurt, IMHO. Remember how you felt when you first came here. Why would your brother feel any better? Imagine if he feels that he abandoned you. There are likely to be stormy episodes and blaming sessions, but I hope you can recognize them for what they are: letting go of the built-up rage and hurt of the past years.

My situation is a lot different from yours in many ways, but I do know this. I have a great relationship with my sister and I would not give it up for anything. The devotion and love between siblings is something very special.

There is no way of knowing for sure that if you take the risk it will all work out. But what is the alternative? Wait and wonder until one day he is gone and it is too late? If you can rebuild your relationship with your brother it will be something just amazing. I think it is worth the effort and the risk.

Take care,

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

#69090 - 08/05/05 05:26 AM Re: brother.....what am i getting myself into
sophiesdad Offline

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 462
Loc: Florida

If I can only add to what the others have said - they're right on the money that the fact that you both talked for 1/2 hour means that there is SOMETHING there that you both want so desperately. You really need to consider talking to your T about it.

Also, if I could add this: you may consider re-writing the letter in retrospect of what happened at the coffee shop. And I would try to approach it from a non-threatening way - by that I mean stick with the "I" statements. Things like:

I really miss having you around in my life.
I felt really hurt when you left home.
I love you so much and it hurts to not see you.
I feel afraid that I will lose you as a brother.
I want you to continue to be a part of my family.
I understand that seeing me may bring back too many memories, but we can support each other.
I wish that we could come together and work out what's keeping us apart.

These are all examples of statements that won't put him on the defensive -- you want to avoid things like: "why did you leave home? You hurt me." That may be the way you feel inside, but it will do nothing more than push him further away.

There are no guarantees, Puppy, as to what the outcome will be - nothing in life is guaranteed. But you will NEVER know if you don't try. And, you don't want to get old (like me ) and beat yourself up with regret later that you didn't at least try.

My father and I reconciled about a year after I wrote a letter to my parents. I had told him that he was emotionally absent and I felt abandoned by him - left to deal with the abuse on my own. He wrote me back one day (which was a BIG deal for him to express his feelings) and took a chance. He told me how sorry he was that the abuse happened. He had no idea that life was as bad as it was for me. He apologized profusely for not being there. He took a chance.

I immediately picked up the phone and began a new relationship with my father. I am eternally grateful for that because 1 1/2 years later, he died. But, I had no regrets because I know that he died in the knowledge that he loved me as his son, and I loved him and forgave him for being human and with faults.

So, I hope that you read our words carefully and think about taking that chance. If all of us waited until the other person made the first move, we would be in a stalemate forever. It takes one couragous person to make that critical first move and then life will unfold.

If you need help with the letter - if you have a hard time writing it, please ask one of us. I for one would be happy to help you.


There are no unresolved issues - they just didn't resolve themselves the way we would have liked. "Grinder and Bandler - Neuro-Linguistic Programming"


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