Fixing relationships

Old 08-12-2017, 08:08 PM
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odd fellow
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Fixing relationships

So I'm the older brother, the person that my younger brother looked up to and loved fearlessly when we were younger. Then in my teenage years I started my substance abuse and I got mean. And I crushed his little heart time and time again. I don't say this nonchalantly as it really hurts me to think how I sabotaged such a precious relationship. So now I'm almost five years sober and HE is the one who drinks and uses abusively. Not saying my character defects are gone... anyway, we had this huge blowout three weeks ago. I'll spare you all the details but suffice it to say he reveals to me how much I've cut him to the core over the years in an email (which is about the only contact he'll entertain). Surely, three Sundays ago (when the incident happened) I did have quite the anger management fail and swore at him and called him names angrily. I realized my excessive reaction moments later and tried to talk it out but he didn't let go so easily.

Thing is he is alcoholic. Yes, we're supposed to diagnose our own selves and not others, but I see myself so clearly in him - addiction, anger, fear, and all. It's like looking into a mirror sometimes. But sometimes instead of taking the higher ground, I take his insensitivity and abrasiveness personally and (over)react from my smaller self.

Anyway I'm hurting a lot thinking about it. He's kinda shutting me out. He's probably drowning himself in booze and such. But most of all, I think back at all the mean-ness I hurled at this innocent young child years ago and i know I F#$%ed this relationship up, not him. Furthermore, I'm likely the source of so much of the anger and sadness that probably causes him to drink. I know he chooses to deal with it in this unhealthy way. But I feel really guilty. Anyway, I've reached out to make amends but I'm not getting much of a response. As much as he pisses me off with his critical condescending and judging attitude all the time I love him and I want to be there for him, even if I never get to re-live that fearless love of yesteryear again. I'm not the same guy that hurled a belt across the room at an unsuspecting 8-year old anymore but I haven't reached sainthood either. Gosh I feel like total poop. Blabety blah. Thanks for listening.

A-hole in Brooklyn
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firebolt (08-14-2017)
Old 08-12-2017, 08:35 PM
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hi man, what can you do but write him a letter (possibly better than an email) and say what you've said here? Then live your change of heart. That doesn't mean letting him get away with anything; just not reacting with anger in return.

As his older brother you may still have some credit in the account, and as a sober A you also are a living example of recovery, and perhaps the only one that could influence him. Just be careful not to set up the older/younger dynamics. He's an adult now.
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hman0217 (08-12-2017)
Old 08-12-2017, 09:18 PM
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odd fellow
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thanks. That's really the best I can hope for. Recapturing yesterday may be a pipe dream. But an even better tomorrow could be possible. And yes the older-younger dynamic has gotta go.
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