My little brother Brian and I have not spoken since our mother passed away March 2012. It has been his choice. Nothing’s Unconditional. Off and on over the years I have tried to reach out to him, but to no avail. I have sent Birthday and Christmas cards his way every other year or so, but I don’t hear back.
This year I guess he felt it necessary to prove a point, so I received this in the mail today.
I quickly tucked it into my coat before Chuck could see it. Chuck has basically written Brian off and forbidden me to contact him in any way. Chuck hasn’t exactly been very supportive when it comes to my grief for Brian’s and my estrangement, and that hurts as well. Chuck and Brian were close before Mom died, so in a way, I think Chuck is hurt by the catastrophic cut-off (a term derived from my friend Cathrine, who has experienced similar family dynamics), but like Brian, he is unable to navigate his feelings.
Sure, it stings to have something like a Christmas card to my brother returned to me; it is Christmas, after all. But Brian’s need to prove a point (that he still no longer wishes to retain our relationship), proves an even more poignant point, and that is that he is truly an unhappy, angry and repressed individual. It appears that he perceives himself as stoic, satisfied and possibly even intriguing, when in reality, there is so much lacking in his character.
My life is full, and it will continue to be full. The holidays are here. Chuck and I are throwing our fabulous Christmas party tomorrow, and we will be surrounded by family and good friends. There will be great food, cocktails, laughter and stories. His returned Christmas card will have no impact on my joy.
I wish Brian the same happiness, but all things considered, I know it is a struggle for him. Happy people simply don’t behave the way he does. For that I am certain.