Once Again, I've Been Put in My Place.

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by petemora, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. petemora

    petemora Member

    One of my brothers read me the riot act this morning. I did ask for it, so don't feel too sorry for me, as I wanted to know what I had done to offend him. I honestly didn't know and was tired of guessing...

    His answer, in short, was that he had found my behavior offensive for the past 30 years. Some of my failures, to-wit:

    1. I'm on introvert. I'm not good at socializing in groups, better one on one. After I worked all day, on an extremely stressful job, I would sometimes stop at Wal-Mart to unwind, not buying anything but just going through their sale racks until the stress was gone. My kids were done with high school and out of the house by this time. This worked wonders. Was basically criticized for needing to do anything to relieve my stress. I guess I'm supposed to go home, eat supper, and visit relatives all evening, even if I'm tired and have home chores and kids to attend to....

    2. My husband worked the overnight shift for 20 years and recently retired. Consequently, I adapted my schedule to fit his as much as I could. As husband and wife, we would have "date night" on Friday nights, sometimes Saturday nights too. Obviously, we again were not out socializing - we were trying to make our marriage work the best it could. I got no leeway for having a husband who worked overnights.

    3. My brother is holding a grudge for something that happened over 20 years ago! We got into an argument because I thought he was being very inconsiderate to me, and I ended up calling him a jerk! Not my proudest, best moment, obviously, but that is the moment he is using to judge my character. Totally not fair...

    4. My brother was kind enough to give my daughter a car when she was 18. It was an older car in great working order and she appreciated it very much. My daughter failed to transfer the title into her name, nor did she get auto insurance. You guessed it - she had an accident and my brother had to hire an attorney because my brother was sued by the other driver.

    My brother said that I said my daughter didn't need to buy insurance for the car. This was in about 1993, my daughter had graduated from high school and had moved to the Minneapolis area. At that time, I was working for the prosecuting attorney's office and had a lot of experience with processing driving violations. I would NEVER tell anyone they didn't need insurance for a car.

    I talked to my daughter and she thinks she may have lied to my brother and told him that I told her she didn't need insurance. She was young and scared and stupid. (So were we all at one time).

    5. My brother said he stopped coming to visit because I always have bad news and talk about my health and am depressing to him. I didn't see that comment coming. I make a huge effort to stay positive and be happy in my life. Most people can't stand that I am so happy, especially given some of the circumstances of my life.

    I rarely discuss my health except to say "fine" as a general answer to the question "how are you feeling". Sometimes I will tell people some of the symptoms I am experiencing so that they know why I have to miss family events, etc.

    Occasionally, I get depressed because it gets so hard to deal with Fibromyalgia and CFS. I would say depression is 5 to 10% of my illness. My illness and suffering is mostly from the fatigue, post-exertional malaise, lack of energy stuff. Then there's the brain fog, which I try to make jokes about, and my Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which I rarely discuss.

    It is the rare person who understands what I'm going through, so I try to make a point of not talking about my abilities or lack of abilities. I just do the best I can.

    Obviously, not good enough for my brother.

    6. My brother's granddaughter was diagnosed with leukemia in 2005. As a gesture of good will, my husband "borrowed" $5,000 from his 401K and we gave this money, no strings attached, to my brother's daughter to use as they saw fit. Our purpose was to give them a little peace of mind in that they had to worry about very serious medical problems but at least they would know they could pay their monthly payments. In the end, they used most of the money, had about a thousand dollars left and asked if we wanted it back or could they take the kids to DisneyWorld. Well, go to DisneyWorld of course! No strings attached.

    Now I hear through the grapevine that my brother's family thinks that I either took or was given an "extra" inheritance from my Mom, who passed away in 2006. Totally not true. My mother had given me a lot of knickknacks and stuff like that, nothing of real value, just stuff we both enjoyed. But, my Mom did that to everyone in the family. She never came calling empty-handed.

    Let no good deed go unpunished!

    Janice P.
  2. glenda2

    glenda2 New Member

    I know how you feel...I have 2 brothers & 1 of them is very hard to get a long with!
  3. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    I don't think you were put in your place. I think you were just insulted by
    an insensitive lout.

    Families are greatly over-rated in my opinion. Best advice I ever got from a
    therapist was, "Get the toxic people outta your life."

    So many people go to family gatherings, funerals, weddings, etc. even though
    past experience has shown these tend to be extremely upsetting. Used to
    hear it all the time at 12 step meetings.

    "Well, dad was drunk as usual and my mother was mad and my aunt has
    never approved of me....Anyway I started to drink again, get depressed
    again, whatever.

    Anyway, something to think about.

    Good luck from your fellow gopher

  4. Tizz

    Tizz New Member

    My brother and I have never gotten along very well, but at least I know he would never say something like that to me!

    Several of the things you mentioned he objected to are things you can't change. For example, being an introvert! I am, too, and I totally "get" why you would go to Wallmart or whatever and just spend some time walking along the isles looking at things. In a very odd way, that is "alone" time -- rarely does anyone notice you while you are shopping; shoppers really don't make much eye contact, and the expectation is that one's fellow shoppers are strangers that we won't have to interact with in any personal way. So it's a way to "unwind," if you happen to be an introvert.

    And your health is what it is. I'm always amazed that the perception of people who DON'T have fibro, is that we complain about it "all the time". It sounds as if you do what I do -- you rarely discuss how you feel, and when you do, it's usually because you feel you need to explain something (like why you cannot attend an event that involves walking for hours, or whatever).

    Some of the other stuff your brother brought up just shows how childish he is, clinging to a 20-year-old argument, worrying about whether other family members prefer you over him, etc. And being completely self-absorbed is a very childish trait that your brother seems to suffer from. You, know, people who think they're the center of the solar system, and all the planets revolve around them...

    I can't tell you whether to continue trying to stay in a relationship with your brother is the right choice for you. Only you can decide that. I'm sure you've realized by now that it would be possible for you to avoid him whenever possible and, other that contacts within family groups, limit your communications with him to holiday greetings.
  5. petemora

    petemora Member

    Today, I am still hurting from my conversation with my brother and his evil opinion of me.

    Most hurtful were his comments calling me mentally ill because he obviously felt it was my own fault that I am sick. I do suffer from depression, as do all of us with chronic illnesses, but most of my complaints are physical in nature. It doesn't matter to my brain if my pain is mental or physical, it hurts just as much.

    When I get to Heaven, I know I will need to apologize to others there for the pain I caused them on Earth. But let me tell you, my brother will be waiting in a very, very long line to apologize to me because in Heaven he will finally understand my illness.

    Janice P.
  6. petemora

    petemora Member

    Thank you for your wisdom. Yes, I do love my brother. We grew up in a very abusive environment and I know he is in a lot of pain, too.

    I agree with you, and I have put my foot down too! I specifically asked my husband to protect me from my brother and his similarly-inclined wife.

    I guess we'll have to work on our relationship in Heaven....

    Janice P.
  7. kezzluvscats

    kezzluvscats New Member

    i have divorced mine. no contact at all. They don't deserve me...my mother is controlling adn bitchy. always critisied me and stopped visiting cause i was sick. she didn't want to know about my illness. my sister well she lives 90mins away and my mother would drive all the way at least every 2-3 weeks. she gone down to melb to be with my sister- good luck and happy arguments to them because they also have their fall outs too. unless they recognise my illness i want nothing to do with them...
  8. spacee

    spacee Member

    Yep, it's the families that do us in. Just take care of yourself and your marriage.
    My brothers and sister live in other states. Things still get said via email but I
    just pass it along to the other sibs so everyone can read it. Tends to quieten
    down the insults.

    It isn't easy being us!

  9. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    You weren't put in your place, but your brother is obviously upset and it may not have anything to do with you. Sounds like he has a lot of issues that need to be worked on and sometimes people will lash out at the nearest target.

    It's not pleasant being on the receiving end of this.

    There is a book called The Resilience Factor that my psychiatrist recommended to me. He said it was helpful during his divorce which I thought was rather ironic. But it is good and really helped me not only with dealing with my family but also dealing with this DD.

    Good luck. Some very good advice here. Just remember you are not responsible for how he reacts. He is.