Conversation with my lovely, dear brother

  • 9 Replies
  • 1658 Views
*

Widdiful Falling

  • Member
  • 163
  • There are hills and valleys in life. Keep going.
    • View Profile
Conversation with my lovely, dear brother
« on: April 03, 2015, 01:41:16 AM »
I just had a conversation with my amazing brother, today, and I am astounded at how well he is holding together. I told him I'm proud of him, and I am. I'm quite proud. My little brother will have the life I never did. He doesn't seem to have C-PTSD. He's emotionally intelligent, and resilient. It's wonderful to hear.

At the same time, though, I feel really sad, and I can't quite put my finger on why. I think it's a combination of things. He shouldn't have to go through the abuse, I shouldn't have had to go through the abuse, and I feel like there's something wrong with me for not being the same way. He's so... together. Whole. He didn't lose his authentic self the way I did. I feel bad for feeling this way. I should just be happy for him. And I am, but I'm also sad.

I feel like such a failure.

*

C.

  • Member
  • 1029
  • Learning from reciprocity as I heal from CPTSD.
    • View Profile
Re: Conversation with my lovely, dear brother
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2015, 04:42:23 AM »
You are not a failure.  Just look at the level of empathy and compassion that you have for your brother.  It's often hardest to apply those ideas to ourselves but if what you say is true I bet he has many positive things to say about you.

And no two experiences are the same.  Often one person experiences more abuse in a family.  I don't know your situation but I suspect that could be true.  I know that my little brother was parented better than I, perhaps not "good enough" but better...

Re: Conversation with my lovely, dear brother
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2015, 07:20:57 AM »
What C. said. No two kids are ever treated the same. The youngest of the family often gets more caring and nurturing than the older children. On top of that, the youngest can often rely on older siblings to play with him, comfort him, read him stories, explain things, or even protect him. It doesn't work the other way around. If ever anything happened to my husband and me, my oldest child would be a lot more abandoned and stressed than my youngest, who knows she can always depend on her big sister.

I'm sorry to hear that your brother's visit brought up such grief. The contrast between his life and yours - I can see how that would be rather jarring. You never deserved any of this. I hope you're safe today and able to cope with all those emotions in whatever way is best.  :hug:

*

Widdiful Falling

  • Member
  • 163
  • There are hills and valleys in life. Keep going.
    • View Profile
Re: Conversation with my lovely, dear brother
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2015, 08:41:19 AM »
Thank you. I'm having a movie night, just my SO and I. We bought cheese popcorn, and soda for it. It's been taking my mind off things. I was feeling very numb for a while. It's getting better, though. It's no longer pitch black where I am.

Re: Conversation with my lovely, dear brother
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2015, 11:28:11 AM »
Glad to hear that.  :hug:  All the best to you.

*

keepfighting

  • Member
  • 409
  • I'm not broken just bent
    • View Profile
Re: Conversation with my lovely, dear brother
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2015, 01:17:32 PM »
Sounds like a lovely evening and good self care tactics.  :yes:

One thought occured to me when I read your original post:

Just because you grew up in the same home doesn't mean you had the same experiences. So much depends on the role you were assigned to play in a toxic family environment and it is completely possible that your b is more emotionally resilient and authentic because he had experienced more love than you had: There might have been someone for him who's shown him that he is loved and appreciated for who he is - and that someone might even have been you.

I am saying this because my own youngest sis is the most emotionally 'together' person from my FOO. She didn't get love from our Narents, but she did get some from our bro (lost child) and me (scapegoat). They say that experiencing even a little bit of genuine love and affection can make a huge difference to a person's wellbeing. Maybe it's true.  ???

*

Widdiful Falling

  • Member
  • 163
  • There are hills and valleys in life. Keep going.
    • View Profile
Re: Conversation with my lovely, dear brother
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2015, 08:36:35 PM »
Hmm... You may be on to something, guys. What Keepfighting said helped me understand a lot better.

I am loathe to admit I've done anything positive with regards to my FOO, because of my mother's gaslighting. But I did try to take care of him, protect him, and let him know I love him. Every time he sees me, his eyes light up. I always feel so guilty about it. I can never understand what he sees in me. I remember visiting my M, before I went NC, and he would always excitedly shout '[WF!]'  and give me the warmest of hugs.  :hug:

My M always looked disappointed when he'd display affection like that. It made me feel really bad for accepting hugs. I've been brainwashed into believing that all I do is hurt people. My M would tut about it, and say that it's sad he displays so much affection for someone who traumatized him. She told me he stopped wetting the bed (a genetic thing - we all wet the bed until later than most), because he was less stressed now that I had gone. She said that my Nsis is so much better with the kids than I ever was (even though she sexually abused my baby sis... :pissed: ). I believed her, because at that point, I didn't know what to believe anymore.  :stars:

She tried to convince my bro and myself that I had broken his finger by abusing him. I didn't remember, but I figured I'm such a bad person; that sounds like me. I must have forgotten, which is further proof I'm a terrible human being. Clarity came when my bro told me, in private, that I had done no such thing. He remembers me hitting him for being annoying, but he didn't particularly care about it.

The day my M told me, 'he's just like you when you were a teenager,' was one of the worst days of my life. I knew, without her saying another word, that she had turned on him.

Re: Conversation with my lovely, dear brother
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2015, 09:34:40 PM »
Oh my words. I don't even know what to say. Your mother sounds crazy-making. It sounds like she's trying to brainwash you. Your relationship with your little brother sounds so touching and good and real, and she even tried to spoil that for you. I hope you can heal from all this madness.  :hug:

Your brother is lucky that he has you. Maybe you were the one thing standing between him and CPTSD.

*

Bluevermonter

  • Member
  • 84
    • View Profile
Re: Conversation with my lovely, dear brother
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2015, 11:50:47 PM »
Hi, WF.

I read all your posts to fully understand your experiences, and that of your brother's.  I think you are a remarkable person.  You have not only survived your mother's extreme behavior and negligence but you continue to help him.  And yourself.  And you are searching for answers to the most difficult questions that people face.  You have important, wonderful qualities: the ability to care, to love, to persist, to prevail.

Please remember that you feel bad about yourself NOW.  Of course you lost your path to normal.  People who live through experiences similar to yours lose their authentic self under The  tons of the crap that your m heaped on you.  Also understandable as he and your baby sis are still in harm's way.  But you have trauma as if you have been in a protracted war that has skewed your notions of who you are.  That's why this forum is for PTSD survivors.

Please take pride in the fact that he appears so amazing--you had a lot to do with that.  NOW you feel like s***.  It may take decades to completely recover your happy soul because YOU are not the same as fixing up a car or an apartment, which can be done in a short time.   But you are also healing, and that road is very rocky and unsettling And long.

I would give you the same advice about wanting children, from another thread you had.  You may not want them NOW.  That's ok and also normal for people your age.  But in 5 years, for example, you may decide you are ready. So NOW does not mean permanent.

I have trauma bonding to my cptsd ex who was prob a covert narc.  It's been a year since she abandoned the r/s (after 20 years) and I wonder how much longer I have to carry "her" around with me.  I wish there was some math equation to plug in the variables to say how much longer etc, but there is none.

Please see that in 2,5, 10 years time there will emerge a better, happier you.  Right now the memories of what your m said and did are as raw as what my ex said and did to me.  That sucks and I would love to be able to erase erase erase.  Time and better fortune does that.  But waiting sucks as well . . .

Wish you a good weekend.  And pleasant dreams, WF, perhaps about all the friends you have here.

*

Widdiful Falling

  • Member
  • 163
  • There are hills and valleys in life. Keep going.
    • View Profile
Re: Conversation with my lovely, dear brother
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2015, 11:40:24 PM »
Guys... I don't know what to say. You're all so wonderful, here. Thank you so much for helping me through.

Bluevermonter, I can't believe you would take the time to read my posts like that. Thank you for the profound understanding. And thank you for the reminder that I have a future. Some days I really need that reminder.

I fully understand what you said about carrying your ex around with you. It really is like a dead weight attached to you. It's really sad to hear that someone would just up and leave like that after 20 years of a relationship. It gets easier though. Some days, it feels like we're back at square one, but we didn't have the knowledge we do now, back then. Now, we know how to move on from square one.

I chatted with my brother again today, about pets, and he said he wants a parrot when he grows up. The coincidence made me laugh. But also feel like this:  :aaauuugh: