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Old 10-13-2003, 05:03 PM
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JT
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Siblings

Hi all,

I am wondering about your siblings. Do you see eye to eye? Did you all have the same experience?

When my parents divorced I blamed my mother and made it a poin to see my dad. My bother blamed my dad and had NO desire to see him at all.

This created huge problems in our home and huge fights.

Today I know that my brother worked with my dad and learned to drive by driving his drunken father home. Today I know ( I always did, I guess) that my dad and my bother had a horrible relationship. I know now that my brother knew my dad had a girlfriend...several, in fact.

I knew none of this.

Are your memories the same?

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JT
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Old 10-13-2003, 05:37 PM
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Hmmm, remember that distant relationship I have with my parents? It's sorta that way with my brother too. However, it's a lot more heartbreaking b/c I see him all the time (he and his wife live 20 min away), I'm very protective of him, and he's always looked up to me. On the surface we're "close" and we really enjoy each other's company. Hubby and I hang out with him and his wife as often as we can. But we've never really discussed our childhood or anything meaningful and if he has any struggles today, I know nothing about it. I know he fought a lot with both mom and dad after I left the house, but I don't know if we have different memories of the time when we were both living at home. We've never compared notes...

When things were really bad at home he would call me and tell me about it. But once he left home, those type of conversations ceased.

If I could become closer to anyone in the world, it would be my brother. But having never bonded with any family member, I have no idea how to go about it, or if he would even welcome it. I have managed to bond with his wife, so it's a start...

Sorry, am I off topic?
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Old 10-13-2003, 05:58 PM
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No you are not at all off topic.

My bother died in a car accident when he turned 21 so I cannot compare memories with him anymore. We were 14 months apart, so we were very close. I have a sister who is long gone (no contact at all and I don't have a clue as to where she is) and she is 10 years younger.

I know how hard it is...the only person I can really talk to is my mother and I tip toe around that. Is it something you can do? Tip toe around your brother? Are you close at all? In age?

I do remember one of the last times I saw my bother alive we were fighting about our parents. His version vs. mine.

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Old 10-13-2003, 06:29 PM
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Oh JT I am so sorry about your brother.

Maybe I will try tip toeing around mine. He's 5 years younger than me, which is not as far apart in age these days as it was say 15 years ago. But we've always hung out together, even when we were little, and we've always gotten along and rarely fought.

I guess this is one of those risks you have to take in life so you don't end up regretting it later...
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Old 10-14-2003, 04:54 AM
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I don't think you HAVE to take that risk at all...I find it interesting tho that each person in any given situation can see things very differently.

Is he distant with your parents too?

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Old 10-14-2003, 05:11 AM
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Yup, he is. That's one thing we do compare notes on - we both have the same reaction when we see their number on caller id!

I fully acknowledge the traits I have from both of my parents. I am 100% their child - 50% from each parent. But my brother is very much in denial about that. He's just like both of them too, different traits of course, but he will deny it and fight you on it if you tell him he's just like my dad or gets that from my mom, etc.

But as distant as we both are, the minute something of major or minor importance happens to either one of us, we both go rushing to tell our parents about it. Still seeking their approval, I guess...

I know my dad's drinking affected us very differently. I drink socially, but my brother won't touch ANY mind-altering substances. He'll barely take aspirin.

It is very interesting how two people can grow up in the same house but can see and internalize things very differently.
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Old 10-15-2003, 07:30 AM
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I try really hard to have a good relationship with my brother, but we really don't see eye to eye at all which makes it challenging. And we have very very different experiences with our parents. He has been in "self-preservation" mode for several years now and absolutely everyone is his enemy. It's hard.

I have virtually no "regular" memories of my childhood and teens, and the things I do remember he can't relate to. I spent many years believing that I was crazy and had tried to create new memories of my life until I spent a few days with an aunt and she mentioned some things that I remembered. After speaking with her at length and finding that she could corroborate some of the memory-fragments that my mother and brother totally denied was very theraputic for me.
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Old 10-15-2003, 07:52 AM
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I had a similiar awakening with a cousin of mine. This was 8 years ago and she was in town for another cousin's funeral. I was taking her to the airport and somehow we started discussing my mom and I said that she and I weren't very close. Her response: "Yeah, I'd heard that about you two."



Freaked me out. You mean something I thought was maybe my imagination had actually been observed and discussed by other family members? I didn't know if I should feel validated, sad, angry, or what. But at least I knew without a doubt all the stuff about my mom that I'd been struggling with was not my imagination. Others knew about it too. The secret was out.
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Old 10-15-2003, 01:14 PM
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my brother is 5 years younger than me. i like to think he didn't know about some of the stuff that went on. My parents always favored him as "the boy" and let him do everything and everything. A prime example of the differences? My 1st car had to be "sensible." So, with my own money I bought a reliable 4-door sedan, 7 years old. My brother? They bought him a 65 Mustang. Mm-hmm.

We are close now, I can't blame him for the way my parents treated him, it's not his fault. I see him every week. We rarely talk about childhood or our parents' behavior. He knows as well as I that they are both Alcoholics, but what can we do? We've both talked to them about it, and they get angry.

My brother, his wife and their child are moving back in with the 'rents due to financial trouble. I have to raise the issue with him of my dad's abuse of me in childhood, because i see the same behavior toward his wife. "C'mere and give me a big hug" and then the hug is specifically so he can feel you r breasts pressing against him. That's how it started. And i know if my dad abuses my brother's wife, it will end his marriage.

This is probably a dumb question but why can't people be responsible for their actions? Why does it become my problem to point this out? I can't just ignore it.
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Old 10-15-2003, 01:35 PM
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My father wasn't the A in our family....it was Mom. Recovering now though, and hasn't had a drink in years (but I believe she's moved onto pills now). Addiction seems to run in our family.
Aunts, uncles, grandparents, my brother, every one that I've had a relationship with and now my son.
I remember Mom having a lot of boyfriends while Dad was traveling or away (service related).
One in particular (John) has been with my mother for over 30 years. Now Daddy passed away 5 years ago and never said anything about knowing Mom had anyone else in her life or admitted that she had any addictions.
I've tried to discuss it with my brother but he doesn't want to see anything "out of the ordinary" as far as Mom is concerned.
I suppose the drugs would distort his preception of the situation anyways.
It hurts to have to hold all of this in without having any support from the family.
But I have my meetings.....AND you guys.....
That's so very important to me....


Hugz~

Kim
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Old 10-15-2003, 05:55 PM
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Cipher17,

Who's marriage is it that behavior going to end? Your brother's and your father's or your father's and his wife's? I reread a couple of times and I wasn't sure. The one thing I do know to the bottom of my heart is that none of this is your responsiblity. If you choose to say nothing or you choose to tell your brother...whatever is going to happen is going to happen.

Kwellings,

My bother and I never saw eye to eye. I am so glad that you have us and your meetings.

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Old 10-16-2003, 01:48 PM
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For the record, my father's behavior will end the marriage of my brother and sister-in-law. Plus, there's a child involved. While I don't think my dad would rape a boy, I just feel I have to do something. I wish someone had done something when it was me.

It's just so hard trying to acknowledge that there is nothing i can or should do but to work on fixing me and once I'm better, I'll be able to see clearer.
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Old 10-16-2003, 02:29 PM
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I just had an epiphany! My mother has a vested interest in keeping my brother and I at odds. If she can play us off against one another she is more able to manipulate us to do what the other one wouldn't/couldn't/didn't.

That might not make sense to anyone else, but there's a lightbulb in my head that just went "CLICK".
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Old 10-16-2003, 07:21 PM
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I think that my older brother and I were pushed closer together because of what was happening around us and we've always had a really close bond.

He was my caretaker for much of my childhood and that caused some problems with power struggles etc but on the whole, we're closer and more helpful to eachother than anyone else in the family.

We're opposites in just about every way, but since I've gotten sober he's slowly started to open up about his experience with childhood and it amazes me how similar his memories are to mine. The very same things that hurt me, hurt him too and I had no idea.

Amy
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Old 10-17-2003, 04:57 AM
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Cipher...this is NOT your responsiblity. You have a choice and it sounds like your choice is to make sure your bother is informed...but it is not your responsibilty. Everyone IS responsible for their own behavior and when family and friends stop cleaning up and hiding messes, that is the only way the responsiblity can fall on the shoulders of the person who deserves it. Codependence at it's finest!!

Just for the record I would do the same thing to make sure the child was protected.

Lost...COOL!!! I love that lightbulb!!

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Old 10-19-2003, 02:38 PM
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I´ve been following this thread with a great deal of interest and I can relate to all the posts.

I´ve been sad for a long time because of the difficult relationship I have with my younger brother and my older sister. My younger brother and I are very close and we are both in a similar profession with similar interests, and we have both been in AA (I have 17 years, he has 21). We were lovers in our early teens because we lived with my parents in communes with other artist couples who encouraged us to free love and no boundaries. We were both molested and we looked for some kind of safety in being together. It has taken us decades to work on our relationship, but we have overcome big hurdles and we are good friends today.

Isn´t it strange that my other siblings became totally different, but had the same dysfunctional, crazy upbringing?

My younger brother and my sister are both in very different professions and are both active alcoholics in denial. They are very hostile towards me and they see me as the same person I was before my recovery. Same thing with my younger brother. Each time I have to meet them during holiday season I feel this dread and I lose all self-esteem.

I´m trying hard to let go and let God. It´s very difficult, because of the children between us. I don´t feel there has been too much progress, but I´m getting better at being casual in their presence.

I wish you all luck in dealing with your relatives. I know nothing else that drains as much of energy, except money problems.

Use adversity
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Old 10-19-2003, 03:46 PM
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Lilya,

I have one brother and one sister...my brother was very rebellious (flunked out of school in 8th grade and was arrested for car theft)...my sister had some serious issues (she set fires and other things like that) and then me, the oldest...fixer. Who knows where all that comes from.

I was a big part of that hippie generation. I guess I would be percieved as one who sold out but not before I did some damage of my own. That would be to myself...I didn't have children to include in that lifestyle. Beside's I think the farm country upbringing ran a bit too deep.

I am sorry you have been through what you have been through, but I am happy for your sobriety and your brother's. He sounds like a good friend. Personally I try not to spend much time with people who make me feel bad...even family.

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JT
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