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My brother has had issues with me for the last 15 years or so. He is mean-spirited, critical, hostile and angry towards me, on and off. I think there is some deep seated issue(s) he has towards me, but I don't really know what exactly. He does not want to address what it is that bothers him and he just continues on this path of nastiness. He once made a comment that he was in therapy and the 2 people he had the biggest problem with was me and his son. Why me?? He is 6 years older than me and I have always been there to help him and have never been critical of him (and there is plenty). At present he is not talking to me, and in my presence he won't even look at me. He is now not spending any time with my mother and I am so upset about it. He used to come over every week and cook food for her (not for me as I was told many times even though I live here) and couldn't do enough for her. In the summer he got pissed off because of her "crazy" behavior and said that he will not come over anymore (I don't need the drama, and we are very negative people, etc.) I got mad and said some choice words to his crap, but felt bad and texted the next day with an apology. Like he would ever do the same. So, my mother injured herself and in 2 months he did not call once or come over to see her. Until a few days ago and he just shows up for some sort of obligatory Thanksgiving visit even though he had invited her over to his house when she was in rehab. He doesn't bother to ask her about Thanksgiving and just left (when I came into the room and tried to make convo with him). His live-in girlfriend is having all of her family over for Thanksgiving and he said that he wasn't going to do anything but sleep (cuz of recent surgery). I don't believe it and neither does my mother, He is probably having the holidays with her family. I just cannot believe he is acting this way towards her, he was never like this. It has been me really upset and hurt. This is the 1st holiday without my father which is hard enough and this is how he is acting. Every time he acts this way (usually towards me) it upsets me and takes about 3 days to get over it. I will no longer try to have a relationship with him anymore, but it breaks my heart how he is treating my mother. My family has always been dysfunctional but his behavior is only adding to it. It is like he just wants to cut us off from his life, with an occasional visit to my mother. I would never believe this would happen and I am heartbroken. The holidays are over as far as I am concerned.

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You cannot fix him, let him go and move forward without him. This is not an uncommon situation today, the world has changed, so must we...by accepting that there is only one person we can change...ourselves, our reaction to others.
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NeedHelpWithMom Nov 28, 2019
So very true!
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After all these years of hostility from him and your not understanding why, is he really a “brother” in the true sense of the word or is he just someone you biologically share a mother with? Why even bother to figure out the why’s and wherefores and be hurt because you don’t share Holidays. Would you really want to? He has, as my family says, “something screaming up his backside”. Do you really, honestly and truly need to know what it is? Let him go, let it go and move on.
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HanaLee Nov 28, 2019
Yea, I guess you are right.
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HanaLee,

Your brother isn't talking to you? He won't look at you? That may be a blessing in disguise.

You are sad because of your brother's lack of involvement in your mother's life. This is a common problem when one child is left to do almost all of the care for an elderly parent. Jealously, rivalry, bad feelings, you-name-it make it nigh impossible for families to pull together for the sake of aging parents, and one child gets stuck holding the bag.

Your brother sounds like he has a poor attitude. Even if he decided to pitch in and involve himself in your mother's life, do you really want to deal with that attitude? Try to avoid an excess of sympathy and outrage for your mother's sake. You cannot make up for your brother's absence in your mother's life. You cannot change your brother, but you can change yourself. How you think, feel and respond.

As we age, people in our lives change. We change. The world has changed. Instead of clinging to the ideals of past Christmases, we must devise new ways to celebrate. Start new traditions; something that fits your life now. The big turkey dinner with all the trimmings may no longer fit your life. Sometimes, out of necessity, we must create something new. Change. Adjust. And spare ourselves fatigue and disappointment for a holiday that no longer "measures up" to Christmas past.

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving! Take some time soon to think of ways Christmas 2019 might be altered to fit your life today! ((((Hugs)))))
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HanaLee Nov 28, 2019
Thank you for the sound advice.
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You cannot change other people's behavior...........but you CAN change your reaction to it. You say you come from a dysfunctional family, and so it should come as no surprise that your brother is acting dysfunctional towards you and your mother; it's what dysfunctional people DO! The best thing you can do is detach from him and move forward with your life. If he chooses to contact you again at some time down the road, you'll make a decision at that time if you want to invite the chaos & bad karma back into your life. As far as your mother is concerned, the only relationship you can control is the one YOU have with her. What's between them stays between them, you know?

My son has a tendency to stop calling his grandmother (my mother) from time to time, getting self-absorbed in his own life. It's all she talks about, too..........constantly asking me how he's doing? If I heard from him? And on and on. I used to jump in the middle of the chaos and call him, demanding he call his grandmother, etc, but you know what? It started affecting MY relationship with him! I thought to myself, WHY are you doing this? Trying to fix something that's none of your business? So I backed off. If he calls her, great. If he chooses not to, it's between THEM.

There is no way to effectively stop getting upset at your brother's behavior..... it's DESIGNED to BE upsetting, after all. Therefore, you have to remove yourself from his presence entirely in order to avoid getting upset. Best of luck doing so.
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HanaLee Nov 28, 2019
Thanks for some insight that I did not see.
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I have crappy siblings too. It used to bother me to no end. But guess what? I never had any power to convince them of anything! Then like an idiot if they wouldn’t listen to reason I blamed myself and thought I wasn’t able to express my thoughts clearly enough for them to understand.

Now I know that was never true. They are insensitive jerks! Yes, it’s that simple. Let them live in misery with their problems. Don’t even try to figure it out. Don’t make their problems our problems.

If they don’t care about us it is futile to care about them. We don’t have to harbor hatred for them. We can feel indifferent about it all. I have found that if I let go of caring about it because what’s the point, then I can move forward and focus on what is most important in my life.

Best wishes to you.
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Bottom line is that none of us have the power to change anyone. We can only control our reaction to it.

You sound like you have tried to work towards a resolution and he hasn’t tried. You may need to let it go.
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Sounds like you're his scapegoat and if that's the case, not much will change. Try not to let it harden your heart. The world needs people who care.
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I would suggest you sit down and sort out your feelings why you are upset. You said it is because he ignores your mother, but it seems to me that you're upset because he rejects you. I'm sure there's much more to this most than you are able to write. As others have said, you can't change him. I hope you're seeing a therapist, or plans to do so soon. I think you could benefit from some professional help to sort out these complicated family dynamics and emotions. Start with a writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal, this can bring some immediate relief. Hope this helps. Sending you some positive energy.
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I have just suffered one of the worst experiences of my adult life in EXACTLY your situation.

From my outrageously unfair circumstances, I will tell you that First, he will NOT attempt to change his relationship to your/his mother, and Second, he will NOT attempt to change his relationship to you.

He WILL, however, be immediately available for the disposition of the estate, whenever that happens to occur.

My family wasn’t even terribly dysfunctional, but when a dysfunctional element entered the fold, it was the perfect cue for the “weak link” to fold like a cheap camera and attack me for issues he was actually causing himself. Projection? YOU BET!

I’m slowly beginning to get over the worst of the hurt, because after totally bailing on the promise they made to our shared relative to be there and care for her in her old age, Team Terrifying has moved 1500 miles away, leaving only a few exquisitely framed photos to indicate that they were ever here at all. We who actually love her will of course maintaining the same number of visits, communication with her care staff, bill paying and decision making as we have done over the last nearly 3 years in which the other LO’S (LOL, actually) have abandoned her.

Take comfort in the fact that you know who your sibling REALLY IS. It makes circumstances no less painful, but may help you to simplify your own emotional reactions to him.
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HanaLee Dec 1, 2019
My mother said after she passes and the money is dispersed he will go his way and not bother with me. Yes, I know this will happen. But I plan on buying a 2nd home in FL and will spend part of the year there and just move on with my life. Sad it has to be this way, but not much else I can do.
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Not to dismiss your feelings of anger and sadness, but do try to remember that he also lost his Dad only one year ago, and he may still be grieving and just not be able to react or understand that your Mom is declining and he might be afraid to lose her too.

I definitely agree with you that he shouldn't be nasty towards you, the one that is doing all of the care-taking, but as they say, "you always hurt the ones you love". It would be nice if you 2 could sit down and have an honest conversation about your feelings and how you can work together in the care of your Mother.

Family dysfunction so often rears its ugly head when we lose a loved one and during the caregiving years, and I think that men so often hide their feelings during the time of grieving too. Plus the holidays and all those "first" celebrations after losing loved ones just make everything that much more difficult.

I am sorry that things are stressful right now, and I hope that you can still try to enjoy your holidays with your Mom! I would probably just give him some space and time and work on your relationship with him after the holidays are over. Good luck and don't give up on your brother if this "attitude" of his is out of character for him.
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HanaLee Dec 1, 2019
Thank you. It could be any number of things bothering him, but I will keep my distance cuz I just don't want to be around him anymore (and he obviously does not want to be around me). I have seen so many families who are estranged from various immediate family members. I always said I would not be that way, but evidently I am now. My father, were he alive would be very disappointed.
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