Recently reunited with brother, but it's already going to *.

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plantsandworms

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Recently reunited with brother, but it's already going to *.
« on: October 24, 2017, 04:43:13 PM »
I have been no contact with my entire biological family for the last five years at least due to abusive behavior, boundary violations, and aggravated stalking from my parents. I have always felt a great deal of guilt and pain for leaving behind my siblings (who are still minors), and was half elated and half terrified a couple months ago when one of my siblings reached out to me. We met for coffee, became friends on FB, and have been exchanging text messages. He is still a teenager but is having some realizations of his own about our family and wanted to speak with me about how I escaped.

Anyway, fast forward to my birthday over the weekend. I get a text from my brother asking how my birthday is going and I sent off a friendly response outlining my day. He then responds by saying "I'm at mom's house right now, she says happy birthday too!" While I was deciding how to respond, he sent me a screenshot of a Facebook post from my mother talking about how much I hurt her and how badly she misses me, playing the victim etc etc. I responded to my brother "Thank you for the birthday wishes! But in the future I would appreciate not being shown any messages or posts from mom. I have made the decision not to have contact with her, and that includes seeing things like this."

He then wrote back a long post about how he "can't take being in the middle anymore" and how "I know you think mom has boundary issues or whatever" but that I'm tearing the family apart. He said how he just wants his sister back, and for everything to be okay again. His message totally destroyed me emotionally, because I already feel so much guilt about my siblings and now it felt confirmed. But I also felt angry that he was saying all of this to me on my birthday, and that my mother was likely the one manipulating him to do it. I wrote back to him that I don't want him to feel in the middle either and that whatever contact he decides to have or not have with me is his decision and I would love and support him anyway. I told him that he wasn't responsible for "making it better" and that his only responsibility was to his own happiness. But I also said that I have a responsibility for my happiness, and a right to my boundaries and that I wasn't going to change them for anyone but me.

He hasn't written back. I feel pretty heartbroken, but I know the pain he must be feeling from both sides and I don't want to put him in the same position I know so well. I just wish he were free from her manipulations, and that he weren't being made to feel as if this is his fault or in his control. I hate that he feels like I am the one "ruining the family" but I also know that's just because of what he's hearing from our parents. I just feel so sad all around. But at the same time I feel a little relieved - I was so so afraid about what would happen when one of my siblings came looking for me, and whether all the boundaries and progress I have worked so hard for would just crumble for them. But I kept my boundaries firmly in place, even if it hurt so terribly not to place myself between him and my mother. It's just not my place anymore. Their relationship is up to him now.

Just writing this in solidarity with other people out there who might be hurting over how their other family relationships suffered when cutting off contact with an abuser. It's so so hard, but every day we continue to make choices in favor of ourselves we get a little stronger.
ďIf I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.Ē
― Audre Lorde

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Three Roses

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Re: Recently reunited with brother, but it's already going to *.
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2017, 09:17:35 PM »
He's still young, there's a chance he'll begin to see what you're talking about. I am hopeful for you that the lines of communication will remain open between you, and this isn't the end of a relationship with your brother.

It is hard to maintain healthy boundaries when you're pressured like this, but it's possible. Keeping my fingers crossed your bro keeps his mind open!
An entire ocean cannot sink the smallest ship unless the water gets inside it. Similarly, the negativity of the world can't bring you down unless it gets inside you.

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Blueberry

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Re: Recently reunited with brother, but it's already going to *.
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2017, 09:21:50 AM »
Anyway, fast forward to my birthday over the weekend. I get a text from my brother asking how my birthday is going and I sent off a friendly response outlining my day. He then responds by saying "I'm at mom's house right now, she says happy birthday too!" While I was deciding how to respond, he sent me a screenshot of a Facebook post from my mother talking about how much I hurt her and how badly she misses me, playing the victim etc etc. I responded to my brother "Thank you for the birthday wishes! But in the future I would appreciate not being shown any messages or posts from mom. I have made the decision not to have contact with her, and that includes seeing things like this."

He then wrote back a long post about how he "can't take being in the middle anymore" and how "I know you think mom has boundary issues or whatever" but that I'm tearing the family apart. He said how he just wants his sister back, and for everything to be okay again. His message totally destroyed me emotionally, because I already feel so much guilt about my siblings and now it felt confirmed. But I also felt angry that he was saying all of this to me on my birthday, and that my mother was likely the one manipulating him to do it. I wrote back to him that I don't want him to feel in the middle either and that whatever contact he decides to have or not have with me is his decision and I would love and support him anyway. I told him that he wasn't responsible for "making it better" and that his only responsibility was to his own happiness. But I also said that I have a responsibility for my happiness, and a right to my boundaries and that I wasn't going to change them for anyone but me.

Standing with you. I've heard all this sort of stuff before too. I think you're doing great with your answers too! I never managed. I was always literally struck dumb.
Should is
never good,
for me.

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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: Recently reunited with brother, but it's already going to *.
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2018, 03:32:41 PM »
Hi plants
I can relate as my situation was very similar to this ..
Iíve been nc with m for 10 yrs now and brother the same I think
Iíve read it can be very common with pd parent to split the children - and this is def what happened in my family. I used to see myself as the black sheep but I donít anymore, just as the free sheep :)
Itís sad this happens but someone seems to pay the price .
Protecting yourself and owning your happiness and boundaries is really great to hear. Saying no can be very hard towards people who need the others to say yes.
Saying no has brought me much peace and I wouldnít change that for the world
look to this day for it is life - the very life of life
🌲☀️