Today is my brother's 28th birthday. I did not get him a gift, did not send him a card, nor will I be calling him to wish him a happy day.

I've thought long and hard about this post. Should I write it? Should I not? I kind of feel like I'm airing my family's dirty laundry, but I realize now that this post is more about me and my feelings, and isn't that what this blog is about? What it's for?

I've mentioned before how my brother and I cannot seem to get along. Since we were teenagers, it's like we've always been at odds about something. Then a little over a year ago, something happened, and while I don't want to go into the exact details (some of you already know what happened anyway), let's just say that my brother broke my trust in the worst way possible. I trusted that he was the one man that would NEVER hurt me, and he did. To my brother, the alcohol did it. To me, whether alcohol was involved or not, he is the one that hurt me. He is the one who had such anger in his eyes.

In the past year, I've done the best I could to tolerate being around him. For our family's sake. Then a few weeks ago, the straw was broken. I was accused of "questioning my brother's parenting skills" and yelled at and that HE couldn't stand to be around ME. First, let me say, I wasn't questioning skills. I was simply stating a fact about two year olds in general, and the fact that I've been helping take care of little kids since I was 13 qualifies me to make that general statement, I believe. But, maybe I should have just kept my mouth shut.

I know that many of you will think or even say that life is too short. I should forgive him and try to mend fences. While I work every day to try to find forgiveness, the fence isn't merely broken. It's been burned to pieces. Until my brother can learn that he needs to accept responsibility for his actions instead of blaming it on someone else or something else, I cannot waste anymore energy on him or be around him. I know this hurts my family, and for that I'm truly sorry. But I have to take care of me. I have to try to work towards forgiving him, not for his sake but for my own.

I never thought I would be in this position. Not speaking to my brother or trusting him. I realize that I probably haven't been the best of sisters in our lives, and I admit that now, but I refuse to take full responsibility for our problems. And the fact that he can't seem to admit or accept responsibility makes forgiveness that much harder. It makes me feel like I'm not good enough or important enough to him. And really, I guess I'm not.

I could be down today or sulky or sad that today is my brother's birthday and we aren't speaking. I love my brother, but I just can't be around him right now. And that kills me. It really does. But I'm not going to be down. I'm not going to allow myself or give him that control of my life. Instead, I'm going to go to a movie with friends, I'm going to maybe get some candy at that movie. I'm going to celebrate this day because today is the day that my baby brother was born and even though I told my dad to take him back because I asked God for a sister (hey. I was four.), we were great friends for a long time. I'm going to celebrate this day because I have so many people in my life that do care, that do think I'm good enough. I'm going to celebrate this day because today is beautiful (even though it's snowing). And life is good.

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Heather D said...

I'm so glad you're flipping this upside down and celebrating the GOOD things.
I think that if YOU want to forgive him, it should definitely be for your benefit, not his. I've said it before but I'll say it again: you have done absolutely nothing wrong. You're a wonderful sister, daughter, aunt.
Keep your chin up, babe!

angela said...

From one drama-filled family member to another...

Sometimes not speaking is the healthiest thing for all involved parties. Doesn't mean you don't love them - in fact sometimes it means that you do and that's a way to keep from hurting each other.

I will be thinking of you today!


Mommy Mo said...

Hugs April. You have to take care of yourself FIRST. I think you have gone above the call of duty in trying to mend fences. You have done all that you can do. Yes, I am a propoent of forgiving, BUT only if that person at least attempts to meet you somewhere in the middle. It doesn't sound like your brother is at that stage right now- HIS LOSS.

Love you girl.

Midwest Mommy said...

I completely understand. I was nodding the entire time I was reading this.
Have fun tonight!

Bacardi Mama said...

Life is good and you my friend are definitely good enough. Sometimes the distance is the best thing you can do for all involved. Hopefully, one day your brother will be a big boy and accept responsibility. Some people just don't realize what a true and sincere apology can do. Enjoy your movie and the candy. You deserve it.

MitaKay said...

I hope this was cathartic for you Hun. I am so very proud of you for finally taking a stand against the prince even though it's hard and painful. One day he will grow up and realize what a wonderful sister he has, it just sucks that boys mature so much slower.

Anonymous said...

This post is so daggone grown up, I can hardly stand it.

You are an amazing person, and I'm proud of you for reframing today and making it into something good.

Brooke said...


~Mendie~ said...

You only have to do what you are ready to do, no one can speed up that process. Enjoy the day and just remember how good it once was and when he realizes what an ass-hat he was then you can celebrate one together. Hugs!

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