The Power of Listening and Just Being Heard


Roll With It
Many of you who have been around awhile know of my severe issues with gfgbro and that I cut all contact with him over 3 yrs ago. It has been super hard on my mom. With my dad having major surgery in under a week, I wanted to get in touch with her to let her know that there will ONLY be support during this time, there will be ZERO problems at times when gfgbro and I are together.

She said that she was actually as worried about that as about my dad. I told her that if I have problems, I am an adult and I ignored them for years. If the kids have problems, they are old enough to go to the cafeteria or whatever by themselves and they will NOT cause drama, or they can stay home.

She then did something she has NEVER done before. She asked exactly what the kids were afraid of, what behaviors had caused the problems. She has always asked what he did to ME to make ME cut contact, not why the kids were afraid of him and what he did to THEM. She also listened openly, without all those questions about how it could happen with-o her seeing them or how it could happen when they were not alone wtih him in the house, etc... She was open to the problems existing and not being created just to have conflama.

She didn't hang up when I told her about the worst of the things, and the especially CPS due to bruises on thank you and chronic ranting that literally would end up in more than an hour of messages each voicemail we had each time we didn't do/say what he wanted.

I am more at peace today than I can remember being over the issues with my brother. EVER remember being. Just because for the first time she LISTENED and did not cut me off, tell me I was wrong or imagining things, or make excuses for him or say that it didn't happen. She actually told me some things that she had seen that opened her eyes to his tendency to be very very different if he thinks she isn't able to see/hear him. She felt so bad that my kids had been afraid to go to the bathroom in the hall at her house because it is separated from where everyone would be gathered and gfgbro could catch the kids and hurt them while a family celebration was going on. She was really shocked to hear that the psychiatrist he used to see (and hopefully still does) warned me that it was very likely that gfgbro would hospitalize or kill me some day. The psychiatrist was my doctor first, but couldn't treat us both and gfgbro is paranoid about the govt monitoring the therapy notes etc... so finding a psychiatrist he would even see was HUGE and I was more than willing to find another one so he would finally accept help. psychiatrist only told me this as a warning and as her reason for sending me to another psychiatrist.

I think from here we can actually start to heal. It is the first time I have ever had this hope. She was shocked to hear that I have had tdocs ask me why I wanted to include bro in our lives given all he had done to us. mostly, I don't. I just HATE the way this hurts my parents and that is why I want to work through a lot of things. The older tdocs have understood. The younger ones just don't have enough life experience to know that things are not always black and white.

For those with difficult child and easy child kids, sometimes just listening openly, without telling yourself that this or that could not have happened or is an exaggeration, or being critical, is an amazing gift to all parties. I have told my mother much of this before now. She was always so busy defending gfgbro and asking how it could happen because she was at home and would see it blah blah blah that she really discounted not only what we experienced but how we felt (we meaning husband, the kids and myself).

Nothing she said made it all better, but knowing she was open and not determined to find a way to disprove it meant the world and likely has helped our relationship more than anything else she could ever do.


Well-Known Member
I'm glad to hear that she is open to what you're telling her, and more importantly, probably to a lot more than she is letting on. It sounds as though a healing time has begun.