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Is it time to distance myself from my brother?

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Is it time to distance myself from my brother?

Postby garmonbozia » Sat May 11, 2019 1:49 pm

I will try to keep this short. I have had two breast cancer dx in less than 12 months. Lumpectomy and radiation, no chemo last year and this year is exactly the same. Both breasts have been affected and a bilateral mastectomy is going to be very welcome.

My brother and I didn't always have a difficult relationship but with the hatred of me by both his ex-wife and now his current wife has ruined all trust I had in him. He has never stood up for me. FTR, people are still amazed when they find out that I am his sister so he is obviously not keen on our genetic association. Last year he had an epiphany. He realised that our mother is a toxic malevolent force and finally walked away, 10 years after I did the same thing. (He hung around for her money, mostly.) This formed us as a united front (at last) but that didn't endure.

Last year during cancer treatment, he blew up at my face accusingly, saying that I compare him to our mother. I DO. Both are N. I mean he screamed at me while we were in the car and he was driving. I was so sick and stressed from everything that I burst out sobbing in the traffic. He laughed. He told me to harden the F+++ up. I died inside that day. He was my last family member who could be trusted, so I stupidly thought.

In an email, I expressed my sadness about all this and told him, kindly, to cease all contact with me until I am ready to contact him. That took six months and things were 'nice' again.

With the second cancer, I think it would be best if he kept his distance. He is already ignoring me, forgetting the date of the op. I've received no well-wish from his family so I suspect he hasn't even told them of my condition. His children are more or less ignorant of my existence and I stopped sending xmas and b'day gifts to them because I was fed up with being ignored. I suspect he has been coaching them to ignore me.

He knows this hurts me badly and I am certain he does it on purpose.

I'm having a hard time expressing all of this in a coherent way, given the current state I am in. I am almost 100 % sure that I should cut him off while I am going through this second cancer. Last year, I would have had no friends and family without him. This year, I know I am better off without him.

This is part rant part question. I am desperately unhappy at the prospect of being treated like $#%^ again but I now know that he has been treating me like $#%^ all along. Opinions please?
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Re: Is it time to distance myself from my brother?

Postby realityhere » Sat May 11, 2019 11:34 pm

"I am desperately unhappy at the prospect of being treated like $#%^ again but I now know that he has been treating me like $#%^ all along. Opinions please?"

I think your last statement says it all, your answer to your own question.

Is there anyone, a trusted friend, a coworker, or a neighbor, who can be of support to you instead? Create your own 'family' of trusted ppl who build YOU up instead of tearing you down in your life. There are also women's breast cancer support groups whose members can provide encouragement and support. Your hospital or medical center may have a listing of these groups or ask your doctor's nurse about such support groups. Look online as well.
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Re: Is it time to distance myself from my brother?

Postby xdude » Tue May 14, 2019 6:23 pm

garmonbozia wrote:...
I'm having a hard time expressing all of this in a coherent way, given the current state I am in. ...


That's okay, you don't need to express yourself in a coherent way here. We can't solve what is going on with your life, but we can offer a bit of support.

Please keep posting as you need. Yea, the harden the f**k up comment showed who he is, and it's so hard to accept. I am going to write some stuff from personal experience, and I hope it helps, but may be hard to read too. This is not science, it's just one person's opinion (and I could be wrong too), but just throwing this out there -

For people brought up in toxic families, personality disordered parents, is that the children take one of two paths...

One path has them being exceptionally emotional, but also hyper aware of other's feelings (sadly this can lead to a BPD path).

The other path has them shutting off all emotions, the I don't want to feel anything path (and again sadly, this is the NPD or AsPD path).

Both paths are extremes, but the children need to do something to cope. I am guessing here that your bro chose the later path, shut-off his emotions. If so it sucks, because you won't be able to share with him, not the way you want and need. If it helps any (and probably won't), he was hurt too, which is why people go down those paths. I know this won't be easy to accept, but I doubt he means you harm, he is just protecting himself in the only way he knows how. Depersonalizing can sometimes help us get over that not everyone else has empathy.
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Re: Is it time to distance myself from my brother?

Postby shock_the_monkey » Tue May 14, 2019 7:58 pm

most people don't want other peoples' problems, and siblings are no different. we might think they ought to be but they're not. i think you know that you're not going to get the support you need and want from him. to a certain extent you're only likely to make yourself feel more worthless by trying. perhaps you should confront him over his indifference and see once and for all whether there's anything there. at least that way you'll know for sure, whereas just cutting him off may leave you with some self-doubt.

just so you know, i have the same problem with both my siblings. my brother has told me that he doesn't care about me. my sister says otherwise but her actions tell a different story. i've decided not to pursue the matter with her, as i have to initiate everything and she never make any significant time for me. i feel very sad about this. i had hoped she might care more than she does. that hope was clearly misplaced.
something knocked me out' the trees
now i'm on my knees
... don't you know you're gonna shock the monkey

there is one thing you must be sure of
i can't take any more
... don't you know you're gonna shock the monkey

don't like it but i guess i'm learning

... shock the monkey to life
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Re: Is it time to distance myself from my brother?

Postby xdude » Wed May 15, 2019 11:48 am

shock_the_monkey wrote:just so you know, i have the same problem with both my siblings. my brother has told me that he doesn't care about me. my sister says otherwise but her actions tell a different story. i've decided not to pursue the matter with her, as i have to initiate everything and she never make any significant time for me. i feel very sad about this. i had hoped she might care more than she does. that hope was clearly misplaced.


Awe man, this was so hard to read. My family sometimes doesn't care about me either and makes it all about them, but ... when I challenge them, they do see it differently. I know that is hard to do, because we want to be cared for without it becoming a job. You have such great insights shock, and you have many leadership traits, but leadership is a lonely place to be.

I can tell you that I recently had a heart attack, and while my family meant well, they also did what humans do, made it all about them. My doctors came and said to me I don't know what to do, your family keeps calling me, and what I said was, enough, do not talk to them if I am not present. They did mean well though, the best way they could, but until I retook control of the situation, yes they made it all about them, but ... they are not leader types either.

It was very hard to read that you have also experienced a family that doesn't care about you, and for the OP (original poster), she feels her bro does not care about her. To get what we need, we may also have to bridge the gap, and call out what isn't working. It sucks, but it works to say what we need too.

By the way nothing bad happens when we do so, any short term melt down passes. Others say what they need and want and don't question it, and nor should you or the OP.
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