O. M. G.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My "dear, loving" bro just left a letter for me. On my porch with all the "****" my kids left "ruining" my parents house. One pair of shorts and one shirt. He is apparently KEEPING the inhaler Lyndon forgot. Probably because he needs one. Possibly so that I "have" to call him.

    He says all kinds of things, esp that he "should" call DHS because my house is "so messy". It is very messy. He says that I am ignoring my docs and only doing the things I "want" to do for my health because he knows a lot of people who really do have fibro and do things I don't.

    Gee, for years I only had fibro too.

    The many arrows slung at me are amazing. He says it is because my mother spends a lot of time crying over me. If that is true I will apologize. I don't call as often as maybe I should. Largely because every time I call it is because she is doesn't have time because he or his ex needs something. He is "covering" all of his ONE child's expenses because his ex is out of work. It really sounds as if he is paying the exes bills too. USUALLY this is when he throws arrows at me.

    I stopped confiding in him years ago. He has NO idea what I do or do not do on a daily basis. Because I will NOT tell him these things, he assumes that all I do is "bad" and "dysfunctional". It is amazing to me when I actually see proof of how he makes history what he wants it to be.

    EVERY therapist I have ever seen, from college on, has said to keep him out of my life. It is NOT going to be easy. I am ever more committed.

    ESPECIALLY when I hear his history of family gatherings. He says husband and I contribute nothing. We always bring a hostess gift and contribute to the meal WHEN WE ARE ALLOWED TO. Often my mom says she has it covered, or she wants bags of chips, ice, etc... instead of a side dish or dessert because my bro INSISTS on bringing those whether they go with Mom's idea of the meal or not. We are always there at least an HOUR before my bro. I do what I can, Jess and thank you help, and husband helps out with stuff before the meal.

    The reality of my health is that I can only do so much at once. I cannot do a 5 hour evening, and often 3 hours is taxing, esp after the exercises, etc.... the doctor prescribes. My brother is never less than an hour late. Hasn't been in 5 years. We are expected to adjust and the few times we ate without him, or even had the kids eat with-o him it has brought on WW3. So I often don't clear the table. HIS child never does, at least not between dinner and dessert. She usually has been up since 6 or earlier, and by 8 or 9 when he gets around to having her there for dinner she is a holy terror.

    My husband spends EVERY family gathering with the kids making sure my niece is not leaping on my kids and is not getting up behind them screaming at the top of her high pitched lungs into their ears. She has done this to them for 4 years now, since age 2. ALL husband does is run interference so my kids don't have to stay with their backs against the wall the entire night. I cannot count when my kids have come away from a gathering with-o some sort of injury due to her leaping on them, without their ears ringing from her screaming.

    Bro AND exsil have NEVER monitored her behavior at my parents. Not since her birth. They are "off duty" and spend the time with the adults. Period. IF they do something with her, they get on my kids for not "sharing" with her, aka wanting to watch a show that she may not, even if they have asked ahead of time, had it cleared, and she has had only her choice of shows for 3-4 HOURS. I cannot count the times this has happened. It is every time my kids want something that she doesn't. IF husband doesn't give in then she runs to my bro. He then reads my 10 and 14 yo kids the RIOT ACT for not giving his 6yo what she wants. For MOST of this time 6 yo had cable and my kids didn't. We have had a tv service for less than a year. Niece also has an astounding selection of videos because any and every time I wanted to pass on or sell my kids' videos my bro would run to my mom and get her to ask us to GIVE these to him. He makes a big showy offer of paying for them, but it comes back to me if I take even $2 for a couple of paper grocery sacks full of videos. THEN I am accused of selling what my parents' paid for and it upsets my Dad. Usually bro says he paid $10 for each sack. Then bro tells me I "owe" my Dad for the $$.

    My mother is often oblivious to my bro and his behavior. This time, well, they can all go hang.

    Bro DID send a letter to my kids, accusing me of poisoning them against him, saying how much he loves them but doesn't like what husband and I do. He writes that if they give him a chance he will grow on them.

    They have given him chance after chance after chance. They have spent hours in therapy dealing with his actions in the past. thank you does NOT get to make this choice. Jess has already begged me not to accept whatever apology he sends.

    IF I were to give in to his "pleas" to "see my own failings" and make the changes that will make HIM happy with my life, well, we would STILL be back in this position in a year or less. problem 6 months. Largely because no matter HOW I apologize for whatever faults, even put them in writing and try to change them, my bro says that I have not fully accepted them and changed from that standpoint. IN HIS EYES, of course.

    I guess I am not as off in my read of the situation as my mom usually convinces me I am. Cause this is almost a carbon copy of a letter he gave me right after thank you was born, and one I got about a year ago.

    It is NOT going to be easy to stand my ground when my mother starts applying pressure. She will. I may whine here some. Please help me stay strong. I know you are problem as sick of me saying these things every six months or so as I am of hearing them.

    I fear this will be a very rough period. VERY rough. Cause my mother is amazingly unwilling to realize that he does this every time she leaves town or has surgery/is sick. She also feels that since his alcoholic status could change, we should "accomodate" him as much as possible so she doesn't "have to choose" between us. I don't want her to choose. I just want her to enjoy us separately. To keep any problems with me between us, and problems with him between them.

    My exsil may get her wish, she may finally be able to replace me. It will hurt like hell. But this is TOO MUCH.
  2. ML

    ML Guest

    OMG Susie, you have got to be kidding me. Can you make it to an alanon meeting? This sounds to me like an alcoholic/addict assault if I have ever heard one. It can never be his fault, nothing is ever his responsibility or due to his *illness*. You have worked hard to recover from the insanity. Don't let this craziness pull you back in. You're doing the best you can with difficult circumstances. We all see it. Heck you're one of my mentors around here, so don't you let anyone or anything take away from the fact that you are strong, kind, loving and most of all a survivor.

    Hang in there honey.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I didn't even make it thru all your post before seeing he is very toxic for you - to the point that he's starting to sound like my bro, with the exception of you having to worry about molestation and custody on top of it. Just let it roll off your back as best and quickly as you can - look at it like confirmation of why that is the only reasonable course of action you can take.

    Anything else you do or even going around him or discussing this letter with your parents would probably only serve to keep *stuff* stirred up and spur him on more- which is exactly what he's thriving on.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I appreciate what you say. I think alanon meetings are an excellent idea. I will be very careful to only deal with my feelings/behavior as he used to be very active in the local AA community.

    I wish I did not have to discuss it with my parents. Gfgbro will almost certainly print off a copy of the letter he sent to me and he will give it to my mom. My father likely will not read it. He hates this koi and leaves the room if it comes up. Or is exsil is there for more than 10-20 mins.

    Heck, I am apparently so untrustworthy in my gfgbro's eyes that he had to print a copy of his letter and put it in an envelope with my husband's name on it. And husband was the adult who bore the brunt of his abuse. husband's comment is that bro used a lot of paper and ink to say basically nothing except that he holds grudges. Every time bro gets upset with one of us he accuses me of holding grudges for years. HE is allowed to bring up stuff long past, but if I comment on anything that happened a month ago I am bitter, vindictive and holding grudges better than anyone he knows. in my opinion it is kind of funny. In a sick way.

    Your support and respect and understanding mean the world to me. The absolute world. Each and every one of you has been a role model, a source of strength and support, a close friend and a dear family member. I love you all.
  5. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    I'm sorry you have to keep enduring this susie. Of course come back here, we're all here for you and yes, this does sound toxic. *hugs*
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Emotionally distance yourself from this, Susie - don't bite the bait. You won't regret it.
  7. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    What Klmno said. I wouldn't reply. I wouldn't mention it to the parents. I wouldn't do anything but back off. If you mom gives you grief....simply tell her that whether she gets it/understands or not, you can not and will not subject your family and yourself to the koi your brother dishes out. They (your parents) can either accept that (they don't have to agree, just accept) and see you seperately or not see you at all or much less. Their choice. No accusations, no statements to be twisted, just as short and sweet as possible.

  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    What I found in my case- even though my mom might want to continue in this dysfunction, my keeping quiet made it obvious to most other people how much my bro was the one trying to keep stuff stirred up.
  9. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    Please don't beat yourself up over this. Don't keep trying to "justify" yourself. You cannot. No matter what you do or say, it will never be "good enough". You could be the absolute perfect mother / home maker / wife / daughter AND sister and this person would still find fault with you, because he cannot find fault with himself.

    I'm also sorry if your parents cannot support you in this, but if they cannot, again, don't try to make them.

    Set your boundries and stick to them the best you can.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Excellent advice. It is going to be tough, I know. I am positive my mother will once again pester me to go to see her therapist with bro. I have never felt the urge to go to therapy with bro for our relationship. I can guarantee that his version of what any therapist says will NOT be what is really said. My mother keeps trying to bring this mutual therapy about. I have yet to see a therapist who thought it was needed, or even a good idea. So far two tdocs have warned me against it after my mother sent letters to them BEGGING for the therapist to help me accept therapy with bro. The letters had a really interesting view of the history of my adult relationship with bro. Mostly untrue and fueled by him, of course.

    Can I ask a question that will seem like it has a really obvious answer? Is it considered abusive to refuse to let someone walk away while you either yell (raised voice within 12 inches of another person's face) or speak in a forceful and mean way, saying things that are accusatory and hateful and often blatantly false?

    My brother does this to me. The other day was the first time he has done it to husband. I know during his marriage he did it to his now exwife. My mother says that it is only abusive if I "decide" that it is. That it is my "perception" of how he is speaking/yelling at me that makes it abusive, that it it OK for him to do that because I am not willing to let him speak that way to me. I have even been told that if I would just listen and then make changes in my life that it would be healthy for me to be treated this way.

    I know, on most levels, that it isn't okay, that it IS abuse to do this to another. It is really hard because for a LONG time I have been told that either it isn't happening or that it is okay and/or deserved because I don't structure my life to suit my bro.

    Somehow I have to figure out how to move on with-o having my mother get onto Jessie about this. The last couple of times bro did this stuff and I decided to just stay away from him my mother took Jess to do something and told Jess a bunch of stuff to get Jess to pressure me. Lots of "how hard it is to not be able to see both kids at once, how bro is willing to move on but your mom is stuck holding a grudge" type thing.

    Wow. Just looking at those words on paper makes me see how crazy this is. How truly nuts. I am not perfect, or even perfectly sane. I am willing to own up to being dysfunctional. But I am not nuts when I think that this behavior is unacceptable.
  11. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Why does he get to choose what is a better way for you to live your life? I believe you know HE is the one with problems so don't take them on. Feel sorry for his mixed up mind that will not allow him to love his family. Do NOT take this on yourself - let it go. He is the ill one. He is the one that should change his ways.
  12. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Yes....I definately consider that behavior to be abusive.

    As for Jess....flat out tell your mother..."This is between bro and I. If you draw Jess into it like last time, you won't be allowed to see Jess at all/unsupervised/etc. (your choice)." She's old enough that while she may not know the details, she knows what's going on. It hoovers that she could be drawn into this but I would tell her that if G'ma tries this again....to tell her that "Grandma, I love you but this isn't about me. This is none of my business and while I love spending time with you, I don't want to talk abou this." If your mom tries to twist that around as it's "Hurting" Jess....much as she shouldn't have to, she is old enough to speak for herself, Know what I mean??
  13. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Yes, yes, YES! This is abusive behaviour.

    But I would also class your mother's behaviour toward you as abusive. She should either be protecting you from your brother's behaviour OR staying neutral and letting you protect yourself. But instead, she's trying to push you into the path of harm. AND she's doing so with Jess as well.

    I agree with Stang's advice. If she continues trying to manipulate Jess, then she should not be allowed to see her unsupervised. If she continues to try to coerce you submit to your brother's abuse, then she should not be allowed to see you either.

    It's a very tough row to hoe either way, but you need to show your children--and yourself--that you will not be treated that way. By anyone.

    Sending many hugs.

  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Jess should not be drawn into this, but she already has been. So yes, arm her against the expected manipulations from G'ma and bro.

    As for the letters -keep them. Keep everything. Keep all messages. At some stage in the future you may need to take out a protection order and this evidence will be needed. Put it in a file somewhere, keep it safe then get on with your life. Hopefully you will never need those letters but if you still keep them somewhere, it's like an insurance policy.

    I had a bloke stalk me and harass me in similar ways. I kept copies of it all, including copies of what he was saying about me, in writing, to others (usually his letters to others were accompanied with very strict instructions to destroy that correspondence - thankfully, not everybody did, but instead forwarded copies to me). So when things got too much I finally sent my stalker a letter. I said, "I do not want you to ever again communicate in writing with me or any member of my family. If you do, I will re-commence the legal action I am currently putting on hold. I have evidence here which I WILL use if you breach my conditions." I did not outline what evidence I had; but he must have known that not everything would have been destroyed. There was almost certainly far more than I ever was given copies of.

    Yes, it is abuse. However, you can choose to not let it distress you. How it affects you is your choice. But it still is abuse. You can choose to ignore it, you can choose to minimise your exposure to it. But his behaviour is still unacceptable.

    If I walk down the street and see a man exposing himself, I could be horrified and disgusted, I could be traumatised and need ongoing counselling to help me handle it. Or I could just shrug and chuckle to myself that perhaps the guy didn't really have anything to brag about. How I react to it is my choice; but what the man does in exposing himself is still offensive and socially unacceptable.

    Your mother is unwittingly enabling your bro. Not surprising, really, he is so very controlling and she is taking the line of least resistance. He threatens to withdraw his love, he manipulates and controls and she can't stand up to him. She wants you to also submit to him because he is pressuring her to lean on you. You need to cut off not only contact with him, but make it clear to your parents that until he changes his ways and stops trying to manipulate you and blame you, you will not allow any discussion of him or any pressure from them about him, to be laid on your or your children.

    It is OK to love your parents. It is also OK to even love your brother, but not want any contact with him. Not even second-hand contact via him pressuring them to make you do what he wants you to do.

    The subject of your bro and what he wants or does, should now be off-limits between you and your parents. If they insist on bringing up the topic, or of trying to force you to make peace, show them the letters. Show them everything.

    Another warning - be very careful what you say to anyone who is in communication with your bro. Any information you share with them will be passed on to him and he will twist it and use it against you. Do not share information about your health or the health of any family member. Mental health or physical health. No information about financial issues. In fact, do your best to not talk about yourselves at all. Instead, ask people about themselves. get them talking about their own problems and you become a good listener. It can be done - I succeeded. I had to cut off all personal communication even with my closest friends, in order to make sure I had cut off my stalker from all personal information about me. And I met him yesterday (in a large crowd, so I felt fairly safe, there were witnesses) so when he asked how I was, I told him about my cancer (since I have freely told everyone else in town). And, amazingly - he did not already know about it. So I know now, that I have successfully cut him off from being able to find out stuff about me. So now I can look back, remember the incidents when I heard stuff back that was badly twisted, and identify exactly who it was who talked about me (however innocently) and also look back to know who has NOT blabbed.

    All very valuable knowledge!

  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    My mother is often oblivious to my bro and his behavior. This time, well, they can all go hang.

    Yep. Stick to it.

    And I agree--go to Alanon.

    Very dysfunctional. Totally uncessesary vitriol. I am so sorry.
  16. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    someone said this to me once about an abusive person in my life and how I reacted to it.

    In order for (what he says) it to bother you - you have to care (about what he says).

    If you didn't care? It wouldn't bother you.

    That's where I'd start. No one who is so abusive should get to rent space in your head. If you can't after this many years draw boundaries? You need to work with a better therapist that can establish with you a plan for putting abusive family members out of your life without it damaging your other relationships.

    Hugs -
  17. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Susie, in regards to your mother and other members of your family, keep this in mind- it would be highly unusual and unlikely that your bro would be the only one in the family with dysfunctional thinking. As a matter of fact, it would be typical that he learned this "role" from your parents as he was growing up. So don't expect them to see the picture the same way you do- ever.
  18. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Your brother sounds like my mother! And my mother, sounds like your brother. Complete role reversal, but same family dynamic. My mother treats me as your bro does you and yours, and my brother works overtime to try to smooth things over, keep me in the loop, prevent me from protecting myself and my kids from her etc. They are so codependent. I know what you are going through, it took me many attempts at withdrawing from my mothers world for it to "Stick".

    I truly just had to personally get over the guilt trip I gave myself, all the "its your duty" or "she IS your mother" etc messages I heard over and over, and often were coming from my own mindset that was holding me back from living healthy and stopping the ongoing damage. I finally just reclaimed my right to live with dignity and respect in my relationships and flat our refused contact, for myself OR the kids. And the topic is off limits with my bro, Period. No drama, I just asserted to my bro that HIS relationship with our mother is HIS choice, and if it were different, I'd have one as well. But it is what it is, and I'm tired of being sick to death of her pain and the consequences of her actions, so it was not in the cards for me anymore. I let him know I respect his decision to engage with her, but he needed to respect mine, I would not participate in conversations about her anymore, period, ever.

    At some point we have to assert our right to be adults, and make adult decisions about adult relationships. And that is a personal decision, not a collective decision that is decided by majority or a dictatorial role from a family member. I imagine it must be hard to contemplate the upset from your parents if you just said "nope, no discussion, period, off the table, I've moved on". I just think that this is doing you so much damage, you might have to come to a place in your life where you do indeed tell your parents kindly but firmly, that they need to stay out of your decision process and recognize that you have no desire for that sibling relationship and have opted out. And that they are not to discuss it with you, in the interest of preserving their relationship with you.

    I wish I had some great wisdom to impart, families are so hard sometimes! I do send knowing hugs and understanding. You don't deserve this **** and your husband and kids don't either. We don't get to pick our blood family, and sometimes wouldn't be nice if we could? We do get to make a choice of how much we are willing to let go in our lives to preserve our sanity. My bro opted to have a different/altered but existant relationship with myself and my children rather than alienate my completely by refusing to respect my choice re: our mother. However that happened when I'd reached a point that I realized my mother needed to be exempt from our lives, and if that meant my brother was no longer in my life, that was a decision I'd have to cope with. It was a long and painful path to get to the place we're at now. I will keep you in my thoughts. You do deserve more than that. (((hugs)))
  19. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    The other ladies have already said everything I would say, so I'll just add in hugs and support.