Sibling Rivalry
October 12, 2008 5:47 PM   Subscribe

Have you regretted cutting off your siblings?

If you have cut off your siblings or put a significant amount of distance between you and them, have you regretted it? What are the consequences of having a lack of a relationship with siblings through your adult years?
posted by rglass to Human Relations (38 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
My husband's Mom and her sister didn't have a relationship for years because of a silly dispute they had, and it just crushed her. Now that they have made their peace, she has early onset Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, and those years when she was healthy were spent nursing this grudge when she could have had a relationship with this woman who has become a mainstay in her life only now that she is ill.

My own sisters and I, like all sisters, have had issues in the past, but we found as we got older that the feuds we had as kids became less important once we started our own families. When you have someone special in your life--a husband, kids, maybe--you want your whole family to get to know them. If you cut out your sister or brother, you won't have a relationship between your kids and their kids, when you have them, and that's something you will regret later. You are less likely to go to see your parents when they are there, and you will regret that as your parents grow older, too. You will miss having holidays with your family, because half of the family is speaking to your sibling and half to you.

I just can't see that cutting a family member off ever results in something positive happening, unless that person is actually abusive. Better to learn to deal with them in a mature, adult manner if it is at all possible.
posted by misha at 6:10 PM on October 12, 2008 [5 favorites]

What Misha said.
posted by philip-random at 6:36 PM on October 12, 2008

It's been something like 12 years now, and no, I haven't regretted it. Neither I nor my sibling are in the market for children-- my niece and two nephews are Mr. F's siblings' kids. My father disowned my sibling 16 years ago for what I think were bullshit, bigoted reasons...

...but, honestly, I found my sibling difficult to deal with as a kid, and found that nothing about the relationship improved with age. Rather than have all the extra stress, I cut my losses.

I'm told it annoys my mother, but a lot of things annoy my mother on a daily basis, and I'm not responsible for her reactions to my decisions.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 6:38 PM on October 12, 2008 [2 favorites]

They are your connection to your past, like it or not. Unless they're abusive, I wouldn't give that up.
posted by phrontist at 6:39 PM on October 12, 2008

I never cut my sister off, but our relationship is emotionally distant. I'm not angry with her, but she's made choices I can't understand. We live far apart which doesn't help. I can't really connect with her as a sister. I love her, but it's really difficult for me and I imagine it is for her too.
posted by 26.2 at 6:40 PM on October 12, 2008 [3 favorites]

One big consequence is that you can cut yourself off from access to and a relationship with any present or future nieces and nephews. If you have children, you're cutting them off from their cousins. Think twice before you do that.
posted by orange swan at 6:41 PM on October 12, 2008

As prologue, I should state that I was adopted, while my brother is my parent's biological son.

My brother and I simply have nothing in common. We don't share a single interest. He fits right into the family. He and Dad shared many interests (fishing, hunting, etc.) I was bored out of my mind by it all. We were really just two different people who happened to grow up in the same house. We didn't play together. We didn't hang together.

I'm much older now, and I deeply regret how our lives diverged, though I am at a loss as to how it could have been avoided. We only see each other on holidays and other family get-togethers, but never casually or on a "drop-by-the-house" basis.

I have friends who talk all the time about how they and their brothers grew up together in very "traditional" relationships, and I envy the living hell out of them for it.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:43 PM on October 12, 2008

I wouldn't. At the end, they're some of the only people who've known you throughout your life, and it will become harder to fix what's broken as time goes on. Unless they're forces so destructive you fear for your or your family's safety, a few phone calls a year at the very least don't demand a tremendous amount, and may prove meaningful in the end.
posted by namesarehard at 6:53 PM on October 12, 2008

We were really just two different people who happened to grow up in the same house. We didn't play together. We didn't hang together.

I'm much older now, and I deeply regret how our lives diverged, though I am at a loss as to how it could have been avoided. We only see each other on holidays and other family get-togethers, but never casually or on a "drop-by-the-house" basis.

Thorzdad, my brother and I can get like this, even though we were both biologically my parents' offspring. Sometimes that just happens; in our case, and in fact in my whole extended family, I'm the one cousin who takes after our kooky unmarried aunt in that I'm "arty" and haven't married yet.

that's changing a bit now, especially in the past couple months now that my brother has a baby girl; I think we're both kind of digging how I can be the kooky aunt now.

But to the original question -- we didn't cut each other off, but we ddn't go out of our way to contact each other either, until very recently. It can be a really complicated and thorny question.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:54 PM on October 12, 2008

My father's (half) sister was 15 or 16 years older than he was, and they were never close. I saw the woman maybe twice or three times before I was 14. After a major, major problem with her, he cut all contact (not hard, since it was rare anyway). He does not regret it. She does, and has tried to re-establish some kind of contact, saying that what she did was not aimed at him. He does not care. The cut happened over 20 years ago.
posted by dilettante at 6:56 PM on October 12, 2008

We just drifted apart, my two older brothers and me. The oldest left home before I started school, and though we tried several times to build a friendship, there was just nothing in common. The next oldest is a bit of a prat, and though I try to be polite to him when the occasion arises, he says whatever he feels like "gee, your house is ugly" that sort of thing. I don't have anything against either of them, but I don't go out of my way to connect with them, and as a result, I don't think I've seen either of them for the last ten years, nor had phone contact with them for nearly as long. I've not missed it.

It bugs my two younger brothers (also older than me) because they think I'm missing out on something, but there was a fair amount of chauvinism in our house growing up which didn't impact so much on them (oh, you're a (little) girl, you can't play with us), and I never really bonded with the older two like they did.

So, meh. It depends on the circumstances I think. Second oldest has kids that I've met, but they live over 1000k away so there was never going to be a close relationship. I think sometimes, people embue these family relationships with more value than they actually carry for everyone (you know, saw it on TV, everyone is part of the family, the family is close, rah rah rah). Real life, some families drift apart and it's fine, it's okay, nobody's hurt.
posted by b33j at 7:01 PM on October 12, 2008 [2 favorites]

I think sometimes, people embue these family relationships with more value than they actually carry for everyone .... Real life, some families drift apart and it's fine, it's okay, nobody's hurt.

I agree with this. I think otherwise sensible adults endure an enormous amount of pain because they think they have to maintain a relationship with siblings and parents. I get along fine with my parents and siblings, but if I didn't, I wouldn't hesitate to cut them off and live my life apart from them. I don't see that "a connection to your past" has enough value to be worth the pain that some family members cause each other.
posted by jayder at 7:09 PM on October 12, 2008 [3 favorites]

I regret not making the break sooner. I wish my family was a more loving, connected, supportive group of people but it isn't. Some families just aren't, and some familial relationships just aren't healthy. It would be nice if my kids had more cousin-connections through my family but not at that price. Being separated from my sister doesn't mean I'm holding a grudge, it means I'm putting my own needs ahead of society's idea of what my family should look like, which like I said I should have done a lot earlier than I did.
posted by headnsouth at 7:10 PM on October 12, 2008 [10 favorites]

It bugs my two younger brothers (also older than me) because they think I'm missing out on something, but there was a fair amount of chauvinism in our house growing up which didn't impact so much on them (oh, you're a (little) girl, you can't play with us), and I never really bonded with the older two like they did.

My little brother and I have spoken about this, he doesn't understand the distance/divisions between others of us, and I try to explain to him that even though we were in the same house with the same parents, we had vastly different childhoods. Hard to describe without sounding like a cliche.
posted by headnsouth at 7:16 PM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

My sister has always needed an emotional punching bag. A couple of years ago, the turn fell on me, and I guess it's so much easier to keep it in the family instead of hating on friends. After a year, I decided I wasn't going to take it, and told her to get out of my life. I'm still glad I did it.

The only part that bugs me about it is the trickiness of having to invite (or working around not inviting) her to my wedding. If I ever get married, that is. I don't want her there, but I know my parents will throw a fit if I don't invite her.
posted by Xere at 7:27 PM on October 12, 2008

I do hate it being cut off from them. A lot. I have 3 nieces and 3 nephews that are growing up without me. But they don't bend and I won't pretend to be someone I am not for them. It sucks, but it's just life. Yay, religiosity.
posted by CwgrlUp at 7:28 PM on October 12, 2008

There was little common feeling in my family. We were, in the end, just a group of people who shared an address. We went our separate ways as quickly as we could and, as far as I know, none of us has ever tried to contact the others. Regrets? No, not at all. You can't mourn the loss of something you never had.
posted by SPrintF at 8:27 PM on October 12, 2008 [2 favorites]

No, no, and none. If your siblings aren't people you value, appreciate, admire, or like, then why on earth would you want to associate with them in any "meaningful" way? I would - for instance - donate a kidney to my best friend, but probably not to my brother. Why? Because my friend means more to me: ideologically, attitude, outlook, interests, and such.
posted by davidmsc at 8:28 PM on October 12, 2008 [2 favorites]

I don't know that maintaining a sibling relationship is justifiable purely because there may eventually be nieces and nephews. If you already don't have a close relationship or if there are serious conflicts, it's questionable that your sibling will be eager to let you get too close to their children.
posted by pluckysparrow at 9:27 PM on October 12, 2008

I agree with davidsmc.

I live 3000 miles from my brother and parents. My parents make an effort to stay in touch, my brother does not. They are not bad people, they never abused me or anything like that. But we were never a close family, and I see no reason to pretend that we were. I used to make a lot of excuses for my brother, I've stopped now. If I'm a lower priority than his work, than that should tell me something. I'm not angry at any of them, that's just how it is.

I've stopped wondering what's "wrong" with me, or attempting to rewrite history and create a mythical relationship that never existed. The idea that you "should" be close to your family and siblings is ridiculous. I don't let strangers who know nothing about me or my family tell me what I "should" do.

Frankly, my family members don't get something for nothing from me, just like anyone else. My goal in all my relationships is to give back in proportion to what the other person gives. My friends are my family, and I'm very happy with that.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:29 PM on October 12, 2008 [2 favorites]

I feel sad about not having a better connection to my little brother, who has psychological and substance-abuse problems and chooses to ignore pretty much everyone unless he really needs money, yet there seems little I actually can do and there is ample history of my efforts to reestablish contact failing miserably.

even though you may have good reason for doing so, having a different relation among family members than one would hope for may leave you feeling hope- and helpless. it's kind of like being the owner of a sick goldfish.
posted by krautland at 9:32 PM on October 12, 2008

I haven't spoken with one of my siblings for years, and I don't regret it. I regret that it had to be that way, for my sanity, and I still treasure memories of her before she went completely batshit crazy, but life is better this way.

It is, however, going to make for a *very* awkward family wedding in the near future.

Another sibling and I mutually drifted apart, and I haven't seen him in more than ten years. But we never knew each other well, so I doubt either of us notices very much. I once told him that he couldn't find an apartment with me, and I felt like a real jerk doing it, but I was terribly afraid of ending up half supporting someone with major emotional issues. I was too young for that.

There is only one distance I regret, and that's my third sibling. I care for her very much, and being physically distant is hard. I've missed my nieces and nephews growing up, and I've missed out on emotionally supporting and being supported by my sister. I've missed out on laughs, too. We still call each other but it's not the same.

No one can tell you if you will eventually regret this decision, whichever way you make it. There are no guarantees in life. But if you need space now that doesn't mean that there's never a chance of reconciling. Take care of your mental health. I've often found that people who have functional families can't understand what I've done. I don't ask them to understand, just respect my decisions.
posted by tejolote at 10:04 PM on October 12, 2008

It hurts me nearly every day - but my brother has gone so far in his addiction that to maintain a relationship would open the doors to all sorts of idiocy. I hate it and I don't want it to be that way, but there's really nothing I can do about it. I feel completely cut off from my family, and that's a very lonely place to be.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:05 PM on October 12, 2008

Best answer: Best thing I ever did. With regards to that relationship, anyway.

I'll firmly agree with dilettante and headnsouth's answers on this one. Granted, my situation was probably a bit different than yours; there was a big age difference between my (half) brothers and I, and I never had the 'normal' sibling relationship with them. But I tried for a while, both for my father (our parent in common) and because I had been young, and wanted a sibling relationship like my friends had. They took every opportunity to treat me like shit that they could, without my father finding out, and did emotional damage that stays with me to this day. They treated me incredibly cruelly when my father died, and it was then that I turned my back on them. Aside from this question, I have not referred to them as my family for years.

I have a friend who grew up with alcoholic, emotionally abusive parents, who still tries to maintain a relationship with them. I see the way it eats at him every time he has to talk to them, every time he has to see them. I see the way that they treat him as though he's a failure, despite being happy and successful and enjoying the direction his life is going in, simply because he isn't the kind of kid they wanted. I see them trying to force someone in their 30's to be different just because they can't deal with him not being exactly the way they want him to be. I see them putting him down for his accomplishments and life choices while at the same time availing themselves of assistance from him that they would not be able to get were it not for those accomplishments and life choices. I respect him for it, because he's given the situation a lot of thought and made a conscious decision that this is what he wants to do, but I can't help feeling that, for himself, he would be happier if he didn't have to deal with that anymore.

Just being 'family' is not enough reason to keep someone in your life. Just because you share the same blood does not mean you should stay in a relationship that is unsatisfying, hurtful, abusive, or something that takes more than it gives. I refer to my friends now as my family, because I feel that by the true definition of the word, they are. I would do things for them that I would never do for my relatives, we care about each other in ways that I couldn't conceive of feeling for my father's children. You don't choose your biological family, and just because you spent your childhood years in the same house with someone does not mean that you have some kind of emotional obligation to them for the rest of your life. Life's too short to put up with people who don't add something positive to your existence.
posted by the luke parker fiasco at 11:01 PM on October 12, 2008 [6 favorites]

I haven't cut him off, but he appears to have better things to do. I have a full life, full of love and fun and doing things, so I don't spend a lot of time being sad about it. Last year, he said something really stupid and rude at our Mother's birthday party; I told my Dad
a. I'm not putting up with that shit
b. I don't like being an uncle that much and
c. if he did it again, I'd probably break his jaw. And enjoy it, too. Which would be odd for me and very out of character.
When someone acts like an asshole and is married to a twit, the whole 'disowning' thing just becomes something you don't want to be around them, you're an adult, spend your money elsewhere. I've made peace for my parents. That's it.
posted by flowerofhighrank at 2:46 AM on October 13, 2008

Not at all. I've cut a sibling off, it was so much better for me. It made a huge impact on my emotional well-being. However, it just about destroyed my parents. I didn't talk to my sister for about 5 years, but it hurt me to much to see my parents so upset, so I started talking to my sister again. While she did make some amazing improvements to our relationship, she's falling into her old abusive habits again and I would love to no longer be talking to her.

Cutting a sibling off can be a fantastic thing for you, but a terrible thing for the family.
posted by pokeedog at 5:37 AM on October 13, 2008

My older brother and I didn't always get along well, and I still feel that I understand my younger brother and sister better than I understand my older brother, but none of us ever got to the point of cutting each other off. My older brother and I used to fight a lot, but one day in college we ran into each other on the street, had a coffee together, and somehow in that moment both found a way to admit that ur relationship wasn't where we would like it to be, that we had both grown up in different ways, and started fresh. It felt really good to resolve some of our issues.

However, that doesn't mean that cutting someone off is the wrong thing to do. My brother-in-law is an immature, self-centered ass. After repeatedly shitting on everyone who cares about him, he finally pissed me off enough to lose my patience and call him on his asinine behavior. My father-in-law dad was in the hospital for an emergency triple bypass, my wife and I spent our 10th anniversary waiting for him to come out of surgery. The only thing my father-in-law wanted was to see his family before just in case, and the little asshole didn't show up - despite the fact that he lived less than 2 miles from the hospital, he couldn't be bothered to walk that far, and he'd spent the entire previous day with his phone turned off - and had the gall to blame us for not calling him. After his behavior over the last few days my wife and I refused to pick him up. We'd canceled our planned trip at the last second, lost out on several hundred dollars in reservations we couldn't get refunded, spent several more hundred in travel fees to get there, and I could not listen to his whining. I told him he was a lazy bastard, that he'd blown it, and he should have walked to the damn hospital if he had any sense of family at all. His response was to angrily block our email, phones, told us he was no longer going to be part of the family, and then moved to boot - without giving anyone a forwarding address. My wife, and her parents, are frustrated, but nobody is really feeling that bad about cutting him off, because it is what he seems to want. Sometimes it hurts you more to try fixing things than it does to just let someone go, even if there are lingering regrets for doing so. Some people are just not capable of maintaining any kind of healthy relationship. When you've given someone repeated chances to fix things, and that person fails to do so every time, you need to decide whether giving up is healthier for you than continung to let that person make your life more miserable.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:30 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

I have one sibling, a brother 16 years older than me. When my parents were declining, I was the primary care-giver. I was living out of state at the time and frequently returned home to run errands, deal with agencies, etc. My brother, who lived near my parents, did nothing. Never visited them, never called.

When my dad died, he attended the fineral but got an earful about his lack of involvement from one of my cousins. His behavior did not change -- I did all the work with my mom, up to and including finding a facility for her, selling the house, etc. I tried to find out what the deal was with him, and wrote him a letter. He replied, saying there had never been a good relationship between him and my folks (in which case, why the hell did he live at home until he was 32?), and that I "had always been the favorite." He was 16 when I was born, remember.

When she died, he did not attend the funeral.

A few years later, after I married, I sent him a picture of me with my lovely little daughter, with a note reading "Did you know you had a neice?" No response.

Neither I nor anyone else in the family (cousins, aunts, etc) have seen or spoken to him for more than 17 years.

I have a very good life. It would be great to have an older brother, but I have fine friends, a wonderful relationship, and a teriffic daughter. He has chosen not to share in any of that.

No skin off my nose.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 6:50 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Two of my sisters are manipulative, greedy, and fairly evil. Having them in my life for 30 years caused a great deal of strife, and you'd think that as you got older the relationships would be more mature, but they were not.

Some of this was my failing. I could not stand to see them steal, cheat, lie, and then brag about it at family gatherings. Their entire topics of conversation infuriated me as they were so smug and full of themselves.

Some of it was their doing as they did everything they could to get under my skin, always saying whatever they could whenever they could to make me feel bad about myself.

In the end, I cut them off. And I've never been happier.

My thinking is this--if there are unhealthy people in your life, then why would you invite their chaos? Why would you intentionally be around people who try to undermine you and make you feel bad about yourself?

By cutting them off I found myself with additional free time (due to no family gatherings) and I used the free time to start a business and achieve a good level of success at it.

Now to the children topic raised above, my sisters do have children and I am not upset at all about my children not knowing their cousins or anything like that, as several of the children are not the types of kids I would want my kids to hang around (underage drinking, other minor crimes, etc). The couple of children who ARE decent, well the benefits far outweigh the losses in my opinion.
posted by arniec at 6:58 AM on October 13, 2008

I have one sibling, and while we are in occasional, superficial contact now, if/when I have kids, I have every intention of severing the ties completely.

He's not as much of a sociopath as he used to be - or at least, is much better at hiding it, and for ease of family issues, I tolerate him at occasional gatherings. But he will never have any access to any children for whom I have any say.

So - while I haven't cut him off yet, I say if the reasons for doing so outweigh the issues it will cause in the family, then it's worth it - no regrets.
posted by InfinateJane at 7:32 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

For all the reasons listed above, I'd try to stay in touch and leave my options open, unless there has been some unforgivable event. Plus, why hurt people who want to care about you?

I have a sister who is extremely difficult. So we have a more distant relationship, but the door is open, because things may change; she may get therapy/meds, for that matter I may get therapy/meds. (I already have, but, the idea is that change is possible on both sides.) I have one brother who I was never close to early in life, but we're closer now.

Life is unpredictable; why burn bridges? You don't have to participate on their terms; participate on the level you're comfortable.
posted by theora55 at 8:22 AM on October 13, 2008

I have minimal contact with my brother (and only slightly more with my parents) and have no regrets about drifting apart. He's not the kind of person I'd ever want for a friend, so I see no reason to be friends with him.
posted by Quietgal at 10:14 AM on October 13, 2008

My mother didn't quite get along with her little brother. But, she told me, she always felt there would be time to sort things out between them, someday.

There wasn't. He was stabbed to death a few years ago by some guy he was trying to help.

You never know when you will never see someone ever again.
posted by tomboko at 10:15 AM on October 13, 2008

One of my brother's when ten years older than me and unrepentant addict/alcoholic. Sure, there were times when he was fine but it never lasted. One day I just reached my limit and cut him off. That was about 15 years ago. I never had any regrets at all.

He died two years ago. I was responsible for making his funeral arrangements because my parents and other brother were too broken up over it. It was fine. And standing over his grave, I was still sure that I had no regrets. I felt sad over his death and grieved the loss but did not wish for one second that he had been a part of my life during his last 13 years on the planet.

Before this happened in my life, I would often meet people who didn't talk to one sibling or another and I just couldn't wrap my mind around it. But it happens a lot. You can build a rich life and rich relationships without your blood relatives if need be.
posted by GIRLesq at 4:16 PM on October 13, 2008

My sister, my only sibling, cut me off when we were both early thirties - a few years ago. I'm the older sib by one year.

Our parents were both abusive alcoholics. I was the first, "good" child, who tried to make everything right and thought I could fix everything if I were only perfect enough. Though I got plenty of verbal/physical abuse, it was less than my younger sister, whose attitude was, not surprisingly and true to form, eff everyone, I'm going to rebel. She consistently made poor grades and did all kinds of drugs and got into trouble and brought attention to herself, which I understand. She also refused to finish college and has been living off of my father's reluctant largess her entire adult life. Because I had the first-child syndrome, I left home immediately and made my fortune - I attribute this to nothing other than birth order. I'm completely independent. I always tried to help her and begged her to move with me to whichever city I lived. She refused and became enmeshed with my parents' problems.

When she cut me off, I had a made a (stupid) joke about her profession that was very common but stupid (think lawyer jokes, but not that profession) and she reacted poorly. I tried to apologize and didn't understand - we had always teased each other and this was out of character - but she hasn't spoken to me in 4 or so years. I even wrote her saying, "I'll do whatever it takes. I love you and that is all that matters. Tell me what I can do." No appeal worked.

Eventually, I came to terms with the fact that she didn't want me in her life. I've since moved to her city, which she knows, and live less than a mile from her. I'm getting married. Because my family is so effed up, I'll just run off to do the deed. But I have thought about it.

This wasn't my decision. It was hers alone. But I respect her decision and don't question it. Neither of us has been married and neither has children. But I have to believe that for some reason it must have been hurtful and/or toxic for her, despite the fact that prior to that we were best of friends and could make each other laugh until we cried like no other. I haven't laughed like that since I saw her four years ago, as a matter of fact.

Regret? I wasn't the one who made the decision. In the context of our completely screwed up family, yes, I envy people every day of my life who have close, wonderful, rewarding family relationships. I want a do-over. However, the only option is to move on in the best way possible, and you will do that whether you are the cutoff-er or the cutoff-ee. As you can see from above, life has been better for many who made that decision. I hope it is for my sister.

But I miss her dearly and dream of her every single night.
posted by Punctual at 4:56 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Do you have to cut them off? For various reasons, I just avoided almost everyone in my family for several years. If they start treating me badly, I fade into the woodwork again. This has been helpful to me, although it hasn't really changed their general opinion of me of the idea that I - and I alone - should always drop everything and run to do whatever for them and bring my checkbook.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:55 PM on October 13, 2008

I have a sister that I finally cut off when a friend of mine revealed she had stolen $400 from him years before, by "borrowing" it and then denying it was a loan, as she has done to me and a brother as well. Her daughter was 12 at the time and was very hurt that I disappeared. At the time I felt that it would only make her life worse to explain that I left because I didn't trust her mother. Now that she is 25 I would like to contact her again and at least apologize and tell her I love her, but is that best for her? (BTW she lives with her father after a bitter divorce and has the some of the same feelings about her mother as I do. But I don't want to open up that wound, for sure.)

Now that she's an adult, does that change things?
posted by PJSibling at 3:28 PM on August 17, 2009

When I last commented in this thread I said this:The next oldest is a bit of a prat, and though I try to be polite to him when the occasion arises, he says whatever he feels like "gee, your house is ugly" that sort of thing.

So out of the blue, he invites me to his milestone birthday party (months after, of course, he invites everyone else) and I mistakenly think he wants to reconnect. So I try, I write long emails, and congratulate him on his birthday and talk about childhood events and ask why he's contacting me now after all this time. He didn't reply, and after a couple of months (way after his birthday celebrations that I couldn't attend), I contacted him again, and tried again and asked why, and the final upshot of it was he was appalled at my "vitriol" and "too angry" to read everything I wrote. This surprised me because I thought I was trying to begin an adult relationship with a sibling, that I'd said some kind things, and some honest things kindly. After all, he had said "if I ever piss you off, you can tell me."

It wasn't worth the heartache, and I wish I'd never tried. As usual, I was in the wrong, and there was no point in trying to get him to see my point of view. He made it clear that he thought I was sick for holding onto my issues for so long, and he recommended that I let go of them, for my own sake. He saw no merit in anything I wrote, and took none of it the way it was intended. He told me I was over sensitive, and that if he had ever been insensitive, it was childish of me to have issue with it after all these years.

Timing sucks. Major final assignment due in tomorrow, and I'm left feeling less than human because trying to reconnect with a sibling resulted in their intense anger.

It won't happen again.
posted by b33j at 9:30 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

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