I have spent much of my life trying to figure out how to communicate. I am great at writing business letters and factual communications. fiction, not so much. Feelings? Not so much. There are some things that just don't compute to me and no matter how hard I try, I cannot grasp them. Then once in a while I realize something and it just opens up the world. A week or two ago J commented that I shared a fun memory with gfgbro for the first time in a long time that she knew of. As we discussed it, that perspective shift happened and I understood why. I stopped sharing ANY memories of him years ago because no matter what emotion I thought I was expressing, the only thing gfgbro and my mother heard was anger. Well, bitterness and vindictiveness were there too, but I don't know if those are emotions. husband had commented on this eons ago, very early in our relationship. I had told my mom about what I thought was a fun evening with bro where he came over and we talked and laughed and watched a movie after Wiz went to sleep. Wiz was 1 or 2 at the time. A few days later my mom told me I made her cry because i was so angry about the whole night when gfgbro told her he thought we had a good night. It was one of the last times I tried to share a memory of gfgbro with her. I had maybe three childhood stories that became my 'stock' stories to share with her as my ONLY gfgbro memories, and after a while I stopped sharing them with ANYONE. I spent years trying to figure out why my mother and brother think the only things I remember are bad things. I have great memories. I just never felt I could share them because no matter how much I smiled, laughed, said only positive things, within a few days I heard how bitter and angry I was. By the time Wiz was ten I was planning everything I would say during every interaction with my mom and brother so that I said NOTHING that was negative in any way. Except for a few jokes about a food I didn't like here and there, which I then stopped. I am saddened that I cut out so much of my personality from what I shared, that I let this warped view of me change my view of myself. husband saw it happening and tried to tell me what was going on. I couldn't understand what he said. I couldn't figure out why my mother and brother saw all this anger and rage when I didn't feel it, when no one else saw that in me. I spent years in therapy trying to figure out where the anger was coming from and how I was expressing it with-o knowing it in all my memories. Now I know. The anger is from being told nonstop for so long that I only had angry things to say. It came from having to plan so carefully what I would say and even what expressions I would let my face make so that nothing I did or said could be thought of as angry and as 'ruining' a family meal/event/occasion. I lost myself while trying to give them what they wanted. It makes me sad. It makes me determined to NOT do this to my kids, to let them show ALL their emotions and to let that be okay. And now I know why my tdocs over the years all looked confused when I told them a funny story and asked if it sounded angry, bitter, full of rage or vindictive. It wasn't my delivery that made the memories bad or angry or bitter, it was their perception. I won't let them steal the next decades of great memories and of sharing great memories the way I have the last two or three decades. Is this something that many families do to one child? Or just my own special family that took all the fun out of my dysfunction?