I got a text from my brother today. It wasn’t completely unexpected but I am having so many varied reactions to it I’m not really sure how I actually feel, or what is little me, or what is me mimicking how I see other people feeling.
I have so many thoughts about the message. The first is paranoia that somehow he will find this blog so I’m considering going private for my own safety and peace of mind. It will probably happen sooner rather than later.
Let’s break this down one bit at a time, shall we.
I just need it off my chest, and I’ve waited as long as I can to say it, but you and <husband> choosing to include <SIL> and <niece> in your wedding party while excluding me had a resoundingly negative impact on myself and my well being.
Okay, fair. You’re upset you weren’t included. I get that, I do. But the wedding happened a week ago. Telling me this now doesn’t help anybody. I didn’t know you were upset until our Mom told me. Additionally, you were the emcee. I don’t exactly call that not having a role. Finally, I chose to have SIL and niece because I genuinely like them. It was my choice. <Husband> doesn’t hate you, but you aren’t friends. And you are horrid to me. When we fought a year ago, I told you if you needed something or were upset, you needed to come to me. So much for that. Speaking of that fight…
Regardless of whether or not we weren’t talking for 7 months, I figured the fact in which I was your only sibling would outweigh our oftentimes childish and meaningless disagreements on what you’ve always coined as one of the most important days of your life.
Let’s chat about this for a sec. We weren’t talking for seven months because of you. I reached out multiple times. I changed the time I was planning on arriving at your house – and you swore at me and called me names – so I decided I wouldn’t show up. I drew a line. You then screamed at me and didn’t speak to me for 7 months. When you did, you told me I would be lucky if you even showed up for my wedding.
Somehow, I have become the bad guy in this situation. Mom and Dad eventually guilt tripped us into talking and I decided the wedding wasn’t the hill to die on, and invited you to be a part of it again. You were begging to be let back in. And I did it. There was only one way apologies from me to you, and then more swearing and such later on.
And yes, our agreements may be childish sometimes but they are not meaningless. Not to me. The swearing and yelling and insults and ignoring and hitting – they’ve added up. They’ve added up over time. You can’t erase them simply by sharing my DNA.
Being related to somebody does not entitle you to being a part of their lives. You were never entitled to a role in my wedding simply because you are my brother.
To have so many people from both sides of the family approach me and ask why I wasn’t in the wedding party was detrimental to my well being.
Sorry, not my problem. First of all, I can guarantee you I know exactly who those nosy fuckers are. Second of all, I guarantee you Mom got to most of them first. Finally, the correct answer is “I don’t know, ask the bride and groom.” I also guarantee you none of them know the real story – they only see the perfect you. The one mom and dad curate to show the world. And why wouldn’t I have my angel of a little brother involved?
I am going to take some time away from you and <husband> to ensure I don’t say or do anything I can’t live with, but I figured I should let you know why for the sake of fairness.
This is one of my favourite parts of your message. Don’t pretend you’re doing me a favour by staying away. You used to threaten my life – don’t pretend you’re not talking to us to stop yourself from harming us. And don’t pretend to be benevolent in letting me know. You’re letting me know to try to make me feel like shit. Cause otherwise it wouldn’t be that different – it’s not like we talk anyways. Do you know how hypocritical you are being? By your logic you should have to include your brother in law in your wedding party – I guarantee I won’t even see him there (if I’m invited).
You tell me I mean a lot to you, but I clearly didn’t meant enough to actually be included on what was a day for our family to show its unity.
No. Sorry. This was a day for my husband and I. Not the family. Contrary to what you all seem to think, we are not attached at the hip and interlocked together. Also stop acting like I put you in the back corner and shunned you. You were the EMCEE. Both husband and I addressed you in our speeches. We found really nice things to say. You weren’t excluded out of maliciousness. You weren’t speaking to us when we made the bridal party and I was never going to force him to have you there because to be honest I don’t really like you either. And you don’t like me.
I can’t help but admit that this has impacted our relationship for good and I ask that you not talk to me until I’ve had the time and space necessary to not be irrational.
No argument here. You haven’t gotten over 90% of what you blame me for as a child. It’s part of the fact that you are a perpetual victim. Nothing is ever your fault.
So, how do I feel?
Feeling Set #1 (adult me)
This feeling set is pretty rational. Mostly bemused, kind of relieved. This is a feeling of knowing I did what I wanted on my wedding day and as much as I am sad that it hurt him, there was a feeling of standing up for myself. I didn’t have to include him, family doesn’t give you a free pass to being an asshole, and I was under the impression everything was fine.
My husbands sister threw a drunk tantrum at our wedding and I forgave her today – because at least she has the balls to admit an error and move on from it, not hide like she did nothing wrong or pretend to be perfect. I like real people.
Last time we didn’t talk for 6 months I almost enjoyed it towards the end.
Feeling Set #2 (little me – thanks Rachel for the help distinguishing them)
I am so wrong, and I feel so guilty. I should have forced my husband to include him or have included him on my side. It doesn’t matter everything he did he can’t help it and it’s all my fault anyways I should know better I’m older and have myself under control. Now we won’t talk and it will be all my fault and mom and dad are going to be so mad and they’re going to get sick and I know they agree with him. They think we were wrong so we are definitely wrong. I need to go punish myself for not including him, I need to apologize and make it up to him.
Feeling Set 3 – general angst and anger
His message isn’t grounded in any realism and answering him or trying to justify my position in any way to anybody is going to fall on deaf ears. I’m told constantly to do what I want, it’s my wedding, so I did that, and they are all mad.
This. This was my childhood. Confusion and mixed messages and constantly feeling guilty. Having my birthdays or grads ruined because I didn’t include him in a specific way.
My wedding is now tainted. I’m trying not to let it be but I’ve been told not to post pictures and my family is running around behind the scenes talking about me. My mom isn’t speaking to me and my Dad is doing who knows what. They side with him every time.
I can’t figure out what is right. I can’t even tell you if I made an error. I don’t think so but thats based off of what my friends are saying and not necessarily unbiased reality.
Moving forward I am going to have to deal with my parents and extended family and the line is going to be “this is between me and brother, if you want to talk about something else I’m all ears but I will not discuss this with you.”
It’s really hard to feel like this. My instinct is to apologize but I think I need to stand my ground. I’m not apologizing this time. He can have his space but honestly? I don’t even know what to do with all this.