A sibling may be the keeper of one’s identity, the only person with the keys to one’s unfettered, more fundamental self. ~Marian Sandmaier
Our siblings push buttons that cast us in roles we felt sure we had let go of long ago – the baby, the peacekeeper, the caretaker, the avoider…. It doesn’t seem to matter how much time has elapsed or how far we’ve traveled. ~Jane Mersky Leder
Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring – quite often the hard way. ~Pamela Dugdale
One of the things that hurts me the most is when somebody is upset and there is no way of calming them down. Because of the way I fought with my brothers when I was a nipper I do tend to lash back with a volatile tongue when somebody sees fit to make me feel worthless. So when he got very angry last night the only thing I knew to do was to shout back. And it was like being a teenager again. Except that I’ve never known him to be that angry. And because he’s hurting then I’m hurting too as he’s my Baby Brother.
I realize that he has a lot on his plate right now. I know that he’s going through a rough time with his partner. I know too that he’s just counting the days down till he can leave his job and concentrate on his production business and anything else that crops up. And all I can assume is that The Big Brother must have said something on the phone to him when he phoned last night. And that this something must have been about The Father because he suddenly brought him into the conversation. I have no real feelings for The Father. Neither myself nor The Oldest Brother have paid him much attention over the last ten years, give or take, because we realized long ago that we put the effort into the relationship and he never reciprocated. The Big Brother & The Baby Brother were different though. They were interested in putting the effort in to keep the relationship alive. What they never noticed was the little things … to receive a birthday / Christmas card you have to send one to Him first. To receive a mail, a letter, or a phone call you have to send one to Him first. If you want to visit Him you need to make the effort to do it because He won’t ever make the effort to visit His own kids.
So, what was said to make S so angry? Goodness knows. Maybe nothing was said and it was simply a coincidence that Big Brother phoned just before. My Father didn’t go to his half-sister Terri’s funeral at the end of December. He also didn’t even bother sending his first blood related grand-daughter a card or Christmas gift. I wonder how much better his step-grandchildren [he has six – they’re Mormons] did.
They sound like trivial reasons for getting angry, but when they’re placed amongst all the other things he’s done in the past: taking mumsy to court to try to gain access of us all; talking about her as though she were a piece of shit in front of us; wanting us to go into foster care when she went into hospital for a major operation rather than stay with our friends – the funny thing about that is he was still living nearby, maybe seven miles away, at that point and yet us staying with him wasn’t an option, what a caring man; being more of a father to my step-sisters than he ever was to any of us; moving away and then being horrid because we never phoned him or wrote to him … hold on, he never wrote to us and only phoned us when he was ready to take us on holiday – my mother wasn’t allowed to take us on holiday because it meant she had money and he didn’t see why he had to pay maintenance … just for the record, she was on benefits and my grandparents helped her pay for the luxury items such as a car and holidays.
And yet I don’t hate him. I did when I reached the age of about fifteen and discovered that he was taking my step-sisters to America for a holiday. Then I saw him again at The Big Brothers first wedding and I tried to let him back into my life, but I pitied him. I pitied him for everything he has lost. Now I accept that I’m me because of him. Or partly because of him at least. And I have nothing to do with him. I don’t need him in my life.
I don’t want S to call him an “Evil Man”. I don’t want S to be unhappy with anything. And of course I can forgive him for making me feel so worthless and wretchless last night. He’s my kid brother. We’ve been through a lot with each other and not even the harshest words will spoil our relationship.
But at the same time I need to have some space. He sent me a text this morning, apologising. I haven’t yet replied. I can’t. I’m not ready.
You’d think that by now we would have grown out of childish squabbles … but if you can’t vent your anger at those you love then who can you vent it at? Ah well, ta for listening.
And this should be protected.
God Bless Baby Brothers Everywhere xxx Elsabeth