A letter to my brother

My relationship with my family was complicated in its existence. It is currently complicated in its absence.

I won’t get into it here because it’s too long, and honestly, you wouldn’t understand.  I am posting this letter because I found it on my computer today and would like to share it.  A little background. My brother and I didn’t grow up in the same house after I was 11 and he was 13 (14?).  We hadn’t spoken often due to his hurtful and irresponsible actions. After a significant silence — which I broke to inform him of our grandmother’s illness and eventual passing– he asked to be apart of my life. After considerable coercion I said, “Yes, but this is your last chance.”  Two months later he failed to communicate appropriately after telling me our other grandmother had health issues.  I found out from someone else that in the two-week time period that he wasn’t returning my phone calls or texts she had died of a brain tumor.

It hurts to know him.

I sent him this, via text message, because he wouldn’t answer the phone and I didn’t have his email address.  In spite of the message the letter conveys, he still followed me, creepily, on Instagram. Here is the letter grammatical errors and all:

Our dilemma: I’m bored by you and the cyclical fashion of your behavior.  I’m bored by my naivete and willingess to allow this to happen again, and again, and again.

 If our relationship were a sitcom we would’ve been canceled long ago due to recycled plots, stagnant characters, and uninteresting conflicts.  I am a little sister of two and so society says I am to embrace my nature and manifest certain behaviors in order to get attention read: pick and pick and nag and nag yearning for an emotional response. 

Fortunately, due to experience and maturity, I out grew that phase.  I don’t beg.  It’s beneath me.  If someone wants to be in my life they are welcome…until they aren’t. You are not.  I once sent an email like this ma/joyce/your mother/all of it feels false but you know who I’m talking about. 

She was so upset by the tone of the message that she didn’t understand the cause behind it.  Each time you both hurt me  I end up in a place that is so unhealthy it’s ridiculous.  I set boundaries and still you hurt.  I walk away and you beg me for permission to reenter my life. 

I allow it and yet the behavior never changes.  It’s like I’m related to robots. I would rather endure the pain of never hearing from, speaking to, or having to smell the putrid odor that accompanies your disappointing soul than to let you or anyone else that is related to you hurt me in that way again. 

Please read this next part carefully: I never want to hear from you again. I don’t care if you are on your deathbed, if your sons need a transplant and I am the only match, if your mother’s kidney fails and her dying wish is to spit in my face: I don’t care. 

I want nothing to do with you and anything or anyone that associates with you. 

*insert my brother’s name here*, know this.  I am serious.  Don’t call me, or text me, or ask anyone else to do the same. I will change my phone number.  I will get a restraining order. I swear to God I will take whatever legal action is necessary to get my point across. Don’t fuck with me.  To dear Isaac and Eli.  I feel badly for them because their lives lack the presence of an aunt who loves them dearly but has no access point.  Their father, an untethered foundation, thinks that relationships are built and sustained by pixels and such submitted through the internet and over the phone. He thinks that is enough.  He hopes that is enough.  He believes that is enough.  I know it is not enough and that knowledge grieves me.  Oh the promise our relationships could manifest and yet they are left with naught. 

This time I am hurt by me but not gravely as was common in my youth.  It’s like an old relationship the drags me in.  An ex I cannot shake.  A pool of putrid piss in which I linger long after toddlers have gone to nap.  I am silent in my hurt because I welcomed it near my being yet again knowing full well of the end.  An ending which is always the same. 

And so I write this to ask the following: for you to give me peace. Leave me be.  Bother not myself, my spouse, or off-spring to which I may rear as my own.  Should ailments reach you or yourn protect yourself from feigned response. I will care not and ask that you let that be.  Allow this to that which greets every desire to contact me bring back to this note. This interesting diatribe.  Should death befall, leave me alone. Should you hear of my misfortune, leave me alone. Should you hear of my bliss, leave me alone.  Take your kin and return to your hovel.  I care not for passage nor grace.  I ask not for forgiveness. I ask for you to leave me be.

I just blocked my brother on Instagram, ya’ll.

Yup.

Not like funny ha ha blocked, but Eugh I feel gross, blocked. The story is long and so I won’t burden you with the deets, but he’s not my favorite person.  In fact, the thought of him makes me allergic.  My acid refluxes and I start sneezing at shit I didn’t even know was in the air. My nose gets stuffy and my throat itches.  I’m allergic to my family and I’m allergic to bullshit. Good thing I blocked him because I might have gone into anaphylactic shock.

You see, I may have communicated my disgust at his life.  All of it. We have a history of me expecting too much, and him being a terrible person. Ok, that’s unfair. Our relationship is complicated.

Short version?

We didn’t grow up together. Boarding schools. Different student homes.  I tried to keep contact and maintain a relationship and he was more interested in girls and sports.

I tried supporting him and doing the things I felt sisters were supposed to do, but never got much in return.  I’d call, he wouldn’t call me back. Rinse. Repeat.

As I aged, my resiliency for the taste of our cycle diminished. We stopped talking.  My paternal grandmother was on her deathbed and I reached out after a few years to tell him he needed to see her.  He drove down but was too late. Something about he and his wife forgot something at home and had to go back and get it.  That doesn’t make sense to me. They should have kept going for everything but their newborn.  Anything else, leave that shit like it fell off the wagon on the Oregon Trail.

She died before he got there.  She longed for him for 14 years and died without seeing him again.

While there he did the whole, I-need-to-right-all-that’s-wrong-in-my-life-because-we-are-mortal-beings , bullshit.

Him: “I want to be back in your life”

Me: “No, you’re just saying that shit because you’re sad.”

Him: “I won’t fuck it up this time, I’ll be better”

Yada, yada, rinse, repeat, soak cycle.

Me: Fine, but this is it. Seriously. I can’t take this anymore. Last chance.

Fast forward a few months.  We’d been texting regularly..meh, kinda regularly. He calls and says,

“Hey, they found a lump on grandmommy (our maternal grandmother’s) brain.

Me: “Ok. Um, do I need to fly there now? Is she okay? What’s going on?”

Him: “No, you don’t need to go, it’s okay. ”

Me: Ok. Lemme call you back later (I was at a Homecoming and couldn’t hear fo’ shit).

Him: Ok.
I call back later. No answer. I call again. No answer. He doesn’t pick up the phone, or text me back for two weeks. Finally, I reach out to my other family members and when they get back to me I find out she has died.

Yes, my grandmother was dead and my brother never told me.

I was done. I sent him a text message saying so (trust me I tried calling) — and that was it. He didn’t respond so I assumed that he was going to respect my decision.  It’s been a year, maybe more I don’t know.  Well, today I was looking at the “likes” on Instagram feed when I find out that he started following me 12 hours ago.  He didn’t reach out to me in anyway.  He just started following me.

He had a lot of time to say something and didn’t. I felt gross so I blocked him.

This blog address is in my bio so he’s probably read a bunch of my stuff and shared it with other family members I don’t care for.  Whatever, I put it on the internet so I can’t control that.

What I can control is maintaining my relationships with the positive influences in my life. That feels good. Positivity feels very good.