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Dad wants me to apologize to Addict Brother

Old 10-08-2010, 12:09 PM
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Question Dad wants me to apologize to Addict Brother

Well, last night my dad informed me that I am trustee for his will (he is not sick, age 68) and that he is so upset about the scene at the beach house in August (I took my hubbie and kids and left due to AB's selfishness, and his son pinching my kids incessantly. Unfortunately emotions ran high and we had some words with my brother and his enabler wife who also drinks) My dad said he needs to know that I'll be able to talk civilly/amicably with my brother about the estate at that time. He plans to leave 1/2 his assets to my brother, since as he says "he is my son and I don't want to disinherit him." My brother is a binge user so he fools everyone - holds down a decent job, appears responsible, etc.. So my dad is convinced that things have changed.

I realize I can't control how my brother's family lives their life, what bad choices they make, or that my parents are in denial about the problem. Since the beach house incident I have sent my nephew a bday gift, tried to call nephew so kids could say happy bday and texted when AB didnt answer, texted my brother on his bday a few days later. All met with the silent treatment. When mentioning this to my dad he says "He is waiting for an apology. I want you to think about it."

so I'm at a loss.. wanting to make my dad happy, feel at ease, and have some semblace of a relationship w my brother, and for the cousins (my 2 kids and AB's son), and also obvious resentment that my brother's actions/kid's actions get forgotten. Would they ever apologize for their behavior which led to us wanting to leave the beach house? Never.

Any ideas for what to do???
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:17 PM
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Would they ever apologize for their behavior which led to us wanting to leave the beach house? Never.

Yeah, my thoughts exactly.

What does your dad think abut that?

Maybe write a letter to your brother - say EVERYTHING you really want to say (even including an apology for what you might regret doing or saying). You don;t have to mail it - you can burn it! But it might help you sort out some of your feelings.

If you aren't feeling like you owe him an apology or you aren't feeling like you are ready to forgive him just yet then do nothing. More will be revealed.....

Peace-
B
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:21 PM
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I advise that your dad should get a lawyer to execute the will!

My sister and I were on shaky terms, at best, for many years...and she executed my mother's will over these last 2 years. What WAS left of our relationship is now in shreds never to be recovered. She also got away with about $10K in assets that should have rightfully been split. $5,000 is a small price to pay for my serenity.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:21 PM
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Removing substance abuse, you just described a scene from my life a few years ago. I thought about it for a while, then told my mom I did not want the responsibility. I also told her I'd prefer it if she'd not have us sharing property, even if that meant I got nothing. I decided I'd rather have nothing than the constant stress.

I don't know what she ended up doing and I'm not asking, either.
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:31 PM
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My eldest is 7, sometimes he and his sister bicker, and say mean things, I ask them to think about what they said, apologise to each other, if they don't (or do and don't mean it) sometimes treats are not forthcoming.

I won't be doing this as they reach adulthood, because it will be none of my business if two adults fall out over personal stuff. I won't be mediating, all that happens is either side thinks you are taking the other one's part and both get angry with the mediator;
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:03 PM
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Hi TroubledSister. Here are my opinions about your situation:

he is so upset
Your Dad CHOOSES to be upset and wants YOU to change a course you decided to take for your life in order to calm HIS upset. You may want to have a calm, polite conversation with your Dad and put responsibility for his own feelings BACK on him. When someone else decides that YOU are the reason they feel badly, that is called Blame.

My dad said he needs to know that I'll be able to talk civilly/amicably with my brother about the estate at that time.
Again, your Dad is putting responsibility for HIS business on YOU. You can refuse responsibility for someone else's business. He is trying to CONTROL the situation that is going to occur after his death so that HE feels better now. That is not living in the Present Moment, and he is dragging YOU out of your Present Moment.

All met with the silent treatment.
I have learned that wanting, needing, or expecting ANYTHING remotely resembling normal human feeling, communication or behavior from a practicing, non-Recovering alcoholic or addict is FUTILE. Do what you need to do for your SELF, without any expectation that you will be acknowledged. I have given entire HOUSES to people and never been acknowledged.

Remember Al-Anon's "Just for Today"? Part of what it teaches is to practice doing for others without expectations:

Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out; if anybody knows of it, it will not count ... I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt: they may be hurt but today I will not show it.

so I'm at a loss.. wanting to make my dad happy, feel at ease
You cannot control your father's feelings. Those are HIS responsibility. Life does not always go the way we would like it to. And his plans for his Estate have not taken into consideration the fact that you do not wish to deal with the sickness any longer.

and have some semblace of a relationship w my brother, and for the cousins (my 2 kids and AB's son), and also obvious resentment that my brother's actions/kid's actions get forgotten.
I'm not sure what you are saying here. Are you saying you do want a relationship with your brother and that your children have a relationship too?
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:44 PM
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I love the way Learn 2 Live breaks it down here. I, too, have an AB and family and they make some funky choices. Queen Codie, my mom, tries to 'make peace' and sometimes she'll invent some things to make peace about, even when there is already some semblance of peace.

I have always been cautious of having any type of 'power' over my siblings, as the oldest. I think it's wise not to feel any superiority or self-righteousness over your position in the family or in your father's trust in handling the family business. This is a common codie pawn. Codies are very susceptible to passive manipulation.

You should make amends for anything you participated in that caused the drama. But that's for you, not your dad or anyone else. That's your part of this. The rest? Let it go.

I think you should thank dad for his trust in you and let him know you will be there for him in other ways.
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Old 10-08-2010, 06:24 PM
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In my experience, the death of a parent amps up -everyone's- behavior patterns in a nuclear family. I don't know how to describe it in my instance except to say that people became more of themselves (overfunctioners overfunction, avoiders avoid, crazymakers make extra crazy), And when money is involved even somewhat functional families can have emotions running high.

So take the scene at the beach house and imagine that as a mere shadow of what things might be like after your father passes.

What your father is asking you to do, now, is to make nice with your brother - regardless of his behavior. To turn the other cheek. Because it will make your father comfortable. And your doing that now is -absolutely- no guarantee that you'll be able to do that when your father passes.

It seems like what your Dad is doing today, in the present, is emotionally manipulative. And while it might feel like a compliment, asking you to serve as executor is really a huge burden. Your brother is likely to be more difficult to deal with than he usually is, and you will be dealing with a major loss.

Are you willing to shelve/shove your emotions and boundaries now to satisfy your father that you'll be able to shelve/shove your emotions and boundaries in the future?

Hugs,

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Old 10-08-2010, 08:26 PM
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You have been civil and decent. If you feel you did anything to apologize for, then apologize. If not, let it go. Whether your brother WANTS an apology is pretty much irrelevant.

I wonder, though, if it isn't your dad that simply assumes that your brother is waiting for an apology.

It really might take some of the pressure off future stresses if your dad were to appoint someone other than either of you as his executor. Unless his estate is complicated, it probably wouldn't take that big a chunk to have an attorney do it.

My ex-husband has made me the executor of HIS estate (with his wife's knowledge and consent) because he trusts me and because, I suspect, he thinks I would be less emotional and better able to deal with the logistics. So even a third party, such as a trusted friend who will be neutral, would be an option.
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:05 PM
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To thine own self be true. I can't go wrong when I adhere to that.
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:31 AM
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TroubledSister, I have been the troubled sister, the troubled daughter, too. I sometimes still am. But one thing I have learned that has helped me immensely is I learned to put my self FIRST and everyone else after me. Yes, it still feels selfish when I do this with certain people. But I realize that is actually me feeling guilty about things that are out of my control. Especially with my Mom because she has struggled so much in her life.

But putting yourself first makes you stronger and better able to "help" those we love in non-codependent ways. At least that is what has been happening with me.

So take good care of your self.

And thank you for posting this because it is helping me.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:32 PM
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I still haven't decided what to do here (i.e. apologize to have a small bit of a relationship w my brother and his family and make my parents happy). My hubby made most of the "scene" before we left the beach house- he lost it. I said one thing out of line before I said "hope you're happy - we are leaving." So I can not apologize for what my hubby said only for what I said. My hubby lost it on my sister-in-law (the big time enabler). He called her a name (which he retracted) but what hurt them the most (since its all about THEM - LOL) is he said "We will never see you again". This also really hurt my parents and crushed my 9 year old daughter. Unfortunately for sisi in law, she gets the brunt of our anger (I lost it on her 2 Thanksgivings ago) since she enables big time (mostly by being a drinker even when my brother is trying to recover, and also for putting up with anything and everything he does: out all night, spends tons of money, other women, verbal abuse, physical abuse, etc.. etc.. w/o leaving or even giving my brother any consequences.)

I'm trying to wrestle w my guilt over not having a relationship w them. Its such a risk to have it, but not having it seems so empty. As an aside my hubby doesnt speak w his sister and her family - not for addict reasons - but still - it makes me want to go out and buy more family - haha...

Thanks for everyone's 2 cents... it is very valuable and I'm learning a lot..
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:53 PM
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In that case, offer up the apology and get it over with so everyone can move on from it. Then, formulate some boundaries for you and your husband and kids. Then adhere by those boundaries. Might help for you and hubby to work on anger mgmt techniques too, in order to prevent future blowups when you have to be around them.
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:57 AM
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ok. I've written a draft email to AB. Its short, to the point, but does offer up an apology on my behalf. I know not to expect a response and if I do get one that expects a back-and-forth who-did-what at the beach house, I will be the one ignoring.

I think I feel better just for writing it.
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:18 PM
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I'm glad you're feeling better
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:47 PM
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Wrote letter to AB - a little different tho thx to my therapist!

Well I finally sent a letter (email) to AB but I didnt apologize or even Mention the beach house. I met with my therapist (who has lots of experience with alcoholics/addicts in her career) and she said to simply say to my brother that I love him but that things have been difficult due to his drinking and drugging, that its been difficult seeing the effects on his wife and son, and that I'm here to support him in an after-care recovery program. (He has done out patient and in-patient over the past 7 years ).

So, I actually dont know how I feel. Its done. I dont know if he will respond. My parents still wanted me to send an apology but I have to do what I think is right. My parents are in denial so the whole thing makes me a bit nuts but Im just trying to focus on me and my spouse and kids.

Wondering how I got to be the "bad guy" in this whole mess when I'm not the addict... C'est la vie!
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