Today is my brother’s birthday.
It’s not a surprise I’ve been so activaed the past two weeks, if you think about it. I mean, really think about it. His big event last weekend that everyone was talking about. His birthday this weekend. My niece’s birthday party…
I’ve been dreaming about him non-stop. I’ve been dreaming about reuniting and about apologies. I’ve been missing him. Because at the end of the day he’s still my brother, there were still many good times in with the bad and as per the usual with this, and with my family, the more space I have the less I remember about things that held me back. About the problems.
I feel guilty. I feel guilty that I’m not wishing him a happy birthday. I feel bad for not doing anything. My husband told me it wouldn’t be fair to send my brother out of my life with a bang almost two months ago and then suddenly out of the blue wish him a happy birthday. And he’s right.
I don’t even think I want to. But I don’t know.
Is this impulse? Is this years of being forced into celebration making me feel bad? Is it the sense of not belonging to something? Is it the fact that they are all there, celebrating, and I’m out here – in an exile of my own choosing? I knew I wouldn’t be able to go back. I knew the decision I was making.
Also, his latest idea is picking up traction. Really important people are jumping on board. And all I have to say is really? Really? Now, he is going to find success when I can’t benefit from it? Selfish, I know, but I hung on so long.
And then there’s the pictures. The stupid Facebook memories in my own timeline. The pictures my Mom is posting of this beautiful, happy child. WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED. And then there’s the guilt again. What did I miss?
It’s times like these I forget to be angry. I forget the emails and texts he has sent. I forget the emotional abuse, the verbal abuse, the turmoil. It gets to me, you know, that every single time I’ve ever said “he treats me like crap” all I get is “well you’re no angel.” Or “you have treated him poorly too” as if it’s an excuse. If I had known I was living in an eye for an eye kind of world I would have fought back a long time ago. But the reality is that we aren’t.
To top it all off I sent my niece $40 for her birthday – I have no idea if she got it. It was supposed to arrive last Tuesday. My SIL says she’s neutral, but her comment for my brother’s birthday on Facebook… I don’t know if she means me when she said “I know how stressful this all is and how awful certain people can be…”
This is what I wanted, right? Freedom? I half expected my mom to call or text me today and chew me out for ‘making choices that split up the family.’
If this is what I wanted. If he was so awful to me and I’m finally free of the obligation… why does it feel so wrong? Why am I so sad?