There is a lot of WEIRDNESS going on in me the last few weeks...something is going on inside my head and maybe it is because I am so worn out or just so fed up, but for me, being open and honest is usually the best way to start healing so here goes: I have always been able to stand up to anyone...and I do mean anyone. I have relatively little fear in me about any matter on this earth and have frequently been asked by friends, family, whoever to "handle" things for them when they became too uncomfortable to handle and I did so, without hesitation....BUT...the oddest thing in my life....the one person who should be helping me but instead does nothing but belittle me, offer constant suggestions of how I ought to do things, what I should and should not do, tell me they will help me with this and that and then NEVER do it....this one person is my sibling....and I have decided I am totally intimidated by him...I don't like to admit it...it is painful for me to admit there is someone on this earth with who attempting to discuss something like a rational human literally makes me ill. And it is because there is no normal and calm when it comes to discussing something with him as he immediately makes his opening comment by going after me with something that wounds me so deeply it brings out my "fight" instinct and it gets ugly fast...so instead of discussing or trying to discuss anything, I just let it pass and suck it up and take his emotional abuse...maybe I'm answering my own question as I type this...Maybe he knows that if he attacks me enough I will not bother him at all....who knows...but it bothers me greatly. It has been a lifelong dynamic as well, typical stuff as little kids, brothers kidding and joking about things that continued to the point it was not humorous any longer...and it never stopped....and after one of these mind bending , ugly arguments that most likely sends my blood pressure so high I am amazed I have not already expired, he generally acts like a spoiled rotten kid. He always comes back around (I'd prefer he just stay away but Mama really wants to see him...much more so than me) and when he does return, there is no apology, no anything, just back as if to say..."are you over your little fit now"??? I don't know if it is his way of continuing to avoid responsibility, his guilt for not doing one damn thing throughout the course of this....his guilt of knowing that because he has not helped one bit financially that now I am losing my house as well....or a combination of these things...I just don't get it.....I'm not a weak person by any stretch of the imagination...anyone who knows me knows they can count on me to stand up to anyone in any situation....any situation but this one.....and this one little tidbit seems to control my entire life.....right now I am feeling disgusted with myself....
hope - re "Regarding my brother, in some ways I feel pathetic because I want so much to be able to look up to him the way I used to...and sometimes I still see glimmers of hope, but he just keeps letting me down over and over and over." I doubt your bro will change. I wish he could/would. I hoped for years that I could have a decent relationship with my sis, I looked for the positives, found a few and then got slammed again. Looking back, I "tuned out" the bad stuff only to have it happen again and again. FinalIy, I realized that I had to accept the way my sis is and learn to deal with her in a way that is least stressful to me. Would I like to have a sis with whom I cam share things and have a decent relationship - of course, but the truth is that I don't have a sister like that. I have one who seems to need to put me down, accuse and attack me. It took me a long time to get there, so I understand that you are holding out hope for better things, and my dearest wish is that your hopes would come true. Meanwhile, you are doing a great job with your mum, you are under a lot of stress as a caregiver and with your mum on hospice, and I also hope that you look after you anyway you can. You deserve it. (((((((Hugs))))))
I am sorry if I offended you. I didn't mean to.
He obviously has issues with keeping his word, which is horrible.
I have no siblings, so I cannot empathize with you. But my mother is the one who gets my heart racing (in a horrible way).
Anyway, I have been reading your thread for a couple of days. In your next to last post you make a comment that caught my eye. "But he just keeps letting me down over and over and over..."
That comment bothers me for some reason. His job in life is not to lift you up. It would be nice, yes, but it is not required of him. You need to somehow get past this and realize that only you lift yourself up. When we lean on others, we will get let down at some point. Our strength comes from inside of us.
I am not very good at expressing what I want to say sometimes, and I feel that this is one of those times. I am not intending at all to hurt your feelings or make you feel incompetent or sad. I just feel that if, perhaps, you could look at this a bit differently, the situation could turn around. At least for you, and you could have some peace. Your brother probably won't change.
I will say that in the last couple of weeks or so, since I've been on this forum, I've been looking at things VERY differently regarding my mother. I'm reading the book "Boundaries" by Henry Cloud and it's been quite the eye opener. I'm not finished yet. I am by no means any type of a counselor at all. Your comment just grabbed me.
In a way, I look at this backwards. My husband has five siblings. He is third in line, and the youngest son. However, all of his siblings (except one) tend to revere him and his opinions. (Go figure!! :-) Perhaps revere was too strong of a word.) Anyway, the fact that they look up to him doesn't mean it's his position in life to make them happy/content. And he doesn't. They are all individuals and ultimately responsible for their own happiness.
So sorry to ramble. I truly hope things go well for you.
Fading....Yes, I think clearing out the junk will be overall healing ...my brothers junk and mine as well. I often watch Hoarders just to get me even more motivated. My house has never approached those folks but it is a not so subtle reminder of how freeing it is to let go of stuff..
Regarding my brother, in some ways I feel pathetic because I want so much to be able to look up to him the way I used to...and sometimes I still see glimmers of hope, but he just keeps letting me down over and over and over...like a small child who just keeps being promised this and that and it never comes to pass...that makes me pretty ridiculous in and of itself to feel like a small child when he treats me that way, but actually that is how it makes me feel...I am trying so hard not to be hateful or hurtful to him, but I don't know why I bother...
Emjo is right, detaching is the answer. Even that can be painful because it feels like you not loving the person the way you think you should. But love is less about emotions and more about intelligent goodwill and grace. Unfortunately, narcissistic people really know how to make you feel guilty about detaching so it can be a delicate balance of maintaining emotional distance yet remaining invested their well being.
Getting rid of stuff is good therapy too, in my view. When this situation is over, you may feel like you are making a fresh start and that's always energizes and strengthens.
Having a very dysfunctional sib myself, who played put-down games for as long as I can remember, I feel for you. While not quite that bad. my sis pushes my buttons too. I am learning that detaching and being assertive are the best way to go. It backs her off.
Some years ago, not long after I lost my youngest son, sis (who has a diploma in counselling) would call me and tell me I was not grieving right. It was designed to put me on the defensive. She would often preface her "barbs" with "I know I shouldn't say this but..." After a few calls like this, one day I woke up to what she was doing and interrupted her and said, "Then don't". She didn't and didn't call me again for over 10 years. That was fine with me.
Last fall, she visited mother intent on showing that she was the "good" daughter, that I was doing little for mother, and called me a few times. One call was a very pleasant girlie exchange. I see that as the bait. After that, I got raked over the coals for not doing this or that for mother (she, incidentally, does little or nothing for mother), she complained abut sending $11.00 !!! of her own money on mother, saying I should have been able to do it and so on. Then she attacked by asking me if could justify how often I had visited mother on the last year. By that time, I was fed up and told her I did not have to justify anything to anybody. That stopped her in her tracks. Her game is to attack and put me on the defensive then come I with criticisms. I don't intend to play that game with her any more.
I would not spend so much time analysing, as figuring out how to respond in a way that works for you. I also would not engage in any argument where he wins by you getting very upset. That certainly is at least part of his game. Also, let go of the "shoulds" and accept that your bro is an unhelpful a**hole. He is not going to change and become helpful. You are the one who has to change. Don't argue or defend when he offers suggestions. He is baiting you. Stay out of his presence as much as possible, so he cannot engage you. I am sure you have better things to do. Really it is detach, detach, detach.
taken from detachwithlovem/detachment (words in brackets are mine)
Detachment is the:
◾Ability to allow people, places or things the freedom to be themselves
◾Holding back from the need to rescue, save or fix another person from being sick, dysfunctional or irrational ( let him have his opinion about how things should be -whatever)
◾Giving another person the space to be himself
◾Disengaging from an over-enmeshed or dependent relationship with people (work on not letting his opinions affect you so much)
◾Willingness to accept that you cannot change or control a person
◾Developing and maintaining a safe, emotional distance from someone whom you have previously given a lot of power to affect your emotional outlook on life
◾Establishing emotional boundaries between you and those people you have become overly enmeshed or dependent with in order that all of you might be able to develop your own sense of autonomy and independence
◾Process by which you are free to feel your own feelings when you see another person falter and fail and not be led by guilt to feel responsible for their failure or faltering
◾Ability to maintain an emotional bond of love, concern and caring without the negative results of rescuing, enabling, fixing or controlling
◾Placing all things in life into a healthy, rational perspective and recognizing that there is a need to back away from the uncontrollable and unchangeable realities of life
◾Ability to exercise emotional self-protection and prevention so as not to experience greater emotional devastation from having hung on beyond a reasonable and rational point
◾Ability to let people you love and care for accept personal responsibility for their own actions and to practice tough love and not give in when they come to you to bail them out when their actions lead to failure or trouble for them
◾Ability to allow people to be who they "really are" rather than who you "want them to be"
◾Ability to avoid being hurt, abused, taken advantage of by people who in the past have been overly dependent or enmeshed with you (self preservation)
Emotionally detaching requires that you change many of your attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. ... if you successfully detach it will probably provoke them to become even more nasty and controlling for a while
Emotionally detaching requires that you change many of your attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. Detaching is not about enabling someone else; it's about disarming the other person by eradicating his or her ability to hurt you.
Not all of the above may apply to your situation, but some do. Hope this helps. Blessings and prayers.