So I feel like the time is right to address recent drama going on in my life. If you click over to my (step) sister’s blog there, she’s written twice now about something very sad that’s happening in our family. My brother, her stepbrother (and her friend for years before my mother and her father were married), has decided to cut himself (and his new wife) off from the rest of the family for reasons that none of us seem to understand. Or really know, for that matter.
The day of the big blowup, my brother called me to “apologize for anything he’d done to alienate me.” Which of course, didn’t seem like much of an apology to me. I told him I was hurt that he’d skipped R’s christening, when we had people show up from Iowa, Missouri and Florida. Our minister even commented on the fact that my brother was a no-show (noting how sad it was). Brother’s response? He’d sent a gift. I told him I’d rather he had shown up without a gift. He’s also continually criticized my child-rearing and, oddly, my husband’s fashion choices. But I didn’t bring those things up to him.
I told him that I thought it was good that he was getting all of this out in the open. That he was having a conversation with our mother that would lead to a more healthy, adult relationship that acknowledges fault on both sides and moves forward to grow more close.
He gave me lip service at the time, but has apparently disregarded my advice, sending my mother an e-mail saying that they would not be purchasing Christmas gifts for them and would not accept any in return. If gifts were sent, they would be returned. And his wife returned the birthday card and check my mother sent earlier this month.
I try to excuse his behavior in that he’s young, but he’s really not that young (25). He’s certainly old enough to know better. And old enough to know that when he refuses to show up for family events (not just mine, even those hosted minutes from his apartment), it hurts people.
Some of the reasons he gave me when we spoke were not outrageous, I even agree with some of them. But I told him we all have to make sacrifices and accommodations because we are family, and while we might not love certain behavior, we love the people. I told my mother basically the same things.
I’m not sure where this is going to go. It makes me sad that R won’t be around her uncle very much. But I think I’ve done what I can. It’s up to them to bridge the gap. And I think I’m going to stay out of it.