I made some decisions today which have caused me to feel lighter. Today I had to write two very difficult letters. I spent a lot of time agonizing over the wording of them. I did all I could to keep it to “I” statements. To only discuss my side of things. To keep it unemotional. To keep it to my side of the street. Knowing that both letters were going to hurt none the less.
For some time now I’ve felt very uncomfortable with a friendship I’ve had. I’ve tried to bring up the issues that I’ve had with this person only for her to invalidate what I’ve said. I’ve felt unheard and unseen for most of our relationship but when friends were few and far between it did indeed feel good to have someone to listen even when I am certain they don’t actually know who I am and see me solidly through their own filter. (This is true for letter #2 as well in its own way)
I’ve been struggling with the need to make a decision and knew that I had to tell her that I didn’t want to continue the relationship at this time. That I was not there with her any more. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. But I had to move on.
She took it very well and said that in some ways she feels the same and that this is a good thing for both of us. It’s kind of funny in a way. She said she’d known something wasn’t right but was waiting for me to bring it up. The three times I’ve tried to discuss it she’s gone in to denial and made it all about me. And here she was, sensing something was wrong and not saying something, waiting for me to bring it up again? It was pretty condescending too and I knew I had made the right decision.
Bless her and may her life be filled with wonders and love and beauty. May the universe bring her all good things.
That was letter #1. It went well and was for the best. The second not so well but no surprise there.
Yesterday, on my friends list on Facebook, I posted the news that Dad has been officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. My FB account is friends only, if I have any doubts about a person, I don’t accept their friend’s request.
This is my post.
“Now that Bro knows… Dad was finally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s yesterday. It’s a blow to all but we also see it as an opportunity to be as close as we can as long as we can.”
I wrote my brother to see how he was taking the news. His response was that he wasn’t surprised and that now we would listen to him because we never did before (??!!) and dad would no longer get to drive. OMG. He sent me some unkind and ugly FB comments and private emails telling me that my post was inappropriate. I got notifications from FB that he had commented on the post only to find that he’d deleted them. I’m grateful he did before I saw them. One of the times when a 9 hour time difference between us is a good thing. His behavior towards me has been negative and ugly off and on for years. Sometimes he’s the best of brothers and a ton of fun. I love my brother very much. But quite often he is cruel and mean. I am not the only recipient of his ugliness. I know it is not about me but about him and his life issues. I’m certain he’s got more fear and sadness about Dad that is going unexpressed in a healthy way and that it feels good to lash out with the energy in some way. And I’m so done with being the easy recipient and scapegoat. I wrote for two reasons. 1) I didn’t want to unfriend him without a stated reason and 2) I felt I needed to tell him enough, that I’m not going to play any more. I needed to stand up to him. I finally hit 51%. I care more about my mental health than I do about saving our relationship. Whether I wrote or didn’t, it was going to be drama all the way so I might as well stand up for myself, yes?
I wrote my brother this letter.
I love you. With all my heart. Always have, always will. You need to always know that.
What I tell my friends about what is going on in my life is not for you to choose. The people who can see my posts love me and support me. I need them to know, I need their support. I need as much help as I can get. I’m hanging on by a thread. I have Dad and Mom’s permission to share this experience with my friends. My friends, among other places, are on FB. No one but friends. If I’m unsure of my safety with a person, they don’t get friended I assure you.
I’m aware that sometimes you feel embarrassed by me and I’m sorry you feel that way but that’s not my problem. I have removed you from my FB friends list until you are comfortable with the fact that I share my life with my friends. That may or may not ever happen. Let me know when you get there, and I’ll re-friend you immediately as I would love nothing better than to share my life with YOU.
I love you bunches,
P.S. Please don’t read my blog while we’re finding our comfort zones. It’s a safe haven for me and I don’t want it to cause you discomfort.
What did I get?
“Whatever. Your high drama and self pity has grown tiresome, and the fact that you put yourself in the spotlight over Dad’s illness is so completely inappropriate that it makes me sick. You need to get help. Love Bro”
Wow. This is love? Who needs it. I tell him I need support and I get shit for it. I tell him I don’t need help, I get shit for it. I really can’t win with him.
Our last phone conversation he told me that he felt his wife should be the executor of the parent’s wills because he didn’t trust me with the assets. Goodness, my parents are still alive. I am currently the executor of the wills (we both have copies) but they are still alive and that can change. That doesn’t sound like a fun dance. He told me in our last conversation that he doesn’t trust me with their estate, that he wants his wife to handle it. I thought we had worked it out but I suspect that when the time comes that won’t be the case. I’m going to ask my parents to change it to a willing third party. They have a very good friend who is an attorney and I’m going to suggest her. We need it clean so there is no blame etc.
“This isn’t love. This is disdain and contempt. Give it to someone else.”
What goes around comes around Bro.
He is my brother. I love him. Dearly. I’ve stood by him through thick and thin. He has not stood by me when I’ve needed him most. When I need him most he attacks me. When I am doing well, he loves me and only sends ugly emails about American politics. It gives me pain to think that like so many others I know I might be estranged from my brother.
My mom knows about our troubles. She understands. She is saddened by it but understands. And hopes, like me, that there is some way to find love and reconciliation but I’m done trying. He will have to make the next move and if it doesn’t include an apology, we will have to wait some more.
He is bringing them to France in the fall and I hope they have a wonderful time. He needs to see them again while Dad is still cognizant. And I’m sure they’ll get an earful about how his wife should be executor of the wills. He tends to turn family visits into long rants about all his grievances and justifications. And yet I’m the sick one. *sigh* I’m sure that will be just joyful. I hope they give it to someone unrelated by blood or marriage.
What’s really sad is that I actually feel better. I suppose after years of this it’s a relief. I wonder if he has figured out how done I am. I suppose we’ll find that out.
I’ve been planning on saving for another trip, one to England, and am going to stop worrying that I should spend it to see my brother. Been there, done that.
I’ve removed links to bro’s website and stuff in order to respect his privacy. Please follow my lead on that.
Finally, the last peice of lightness:
Since there is nothing I can do about my car I’ve decided to let it go. Let the Universe work it all out. I’m going to empty my car of my personal items this weekend. That way if they come and take it away without notice I won’t loose my camping gear and CD’s. If I get money I will give it to them. If I get a job I will negotiate to keep the car. But I’m no longer letting these things kill me. It will all work out for the best, it always does, and I’ve ceased fighting it any more.
And I feel lighter.
I’m a new reader who just surfed in to your blog and found this post to express exactly the same things I was feeling a few years back when I too decided to cut ties with a friend I had known for over a decade.
Much the same things you describe were happening and though we would half-heartedly make attempts to fix it, it never seemed right. I debated ending it for a long time, ending friendships isn’t something that is ever addressed. When I finally wrote the letter and got her agreeable response, an incredible weight lifted.
As I said, it has been some years since that event and every now and then I wonder what she’s up to today and hope she is doing well but I am so thankful that we ended our friendship before it got worse. Had we not, I might not now be able to look back on it with fondness.
This has gotten long for an introductory hello but you hit on very many things that rang true for me.
I’m just glad I didn’t scare you off with my rants these last two days.
I started this blog with the personal dedication that I would make my life an open book, live transparently, so that the example I set can be of help to others. I know that some days I seem less than sane and others a beacon of hope. *laugh* I’m human.
As a sober witch I feel that my life has some interesting challenges. It is my hope that when people read of my trials and triumphs that they can see that we can get through life and survive our own mistakes and come out changed, better, happier.
If magic and personal transformation don’t bring us happiness in the long term, why do it.
So I welcome you ecowitch. I am glad that the post that caused so much drama in my household this morning was of good use for you and that was of help. And thank you so much for telling me. It’s been crazy around here and it’s good to know that my promise to myself is worth it.