Ties, Cut But Not Lost: Dealing With Hurt

This past week, my brother came into town to visit before deploying to Afghanistan next month. Not being morbid, but realistic, I knew there was the possibility this would be the last time I would see him, and, at the very least, the last time for a while, as he will be gone for about a year. I was really hoping that he and Mr. Sweetie would spend a little time together while he was in town, so my brother could be a little bit more of a part of my life.

This was difficult, however, because my brother says that Mr. Sweetie hates him. This is based solely on the fact that, of the two times my brother has ever held him, Mr. Sweetie has gotten a little uncomfortable with it in a couple short minutes. I have told my brother that it takes time for babies to get used to new people, but, during this trip, he flat-out refused to hold him, to even try. This is something that hurt my feelings, because he makes an effort to spend time with the children of distant cousins, and the children of friends, but won’t spend time with Mr. Sweetie.

Sadly, this visit from my brother ended with an “argument” (my brother ignored my comment about being hurt that he tries with other children but not mine, by starting a movie on his phone and staring at the screen angrily, and I was upset and went inside, slamming the door a bit in my frustration). He will not speak to me, though I sent him a detailed text message later that night about why I was hurt, and telling him that, one day, when he is a father and wants me to be there for him, I will, even though he has chosen so far not to be there for me.

I find myself surprisingly unaffected by this situation. Right afterwards, I was upset, and my stomach felt tied in knots. But the truth is, I have gotten so accustomed to my brother’s priorities, which do not include being a presence in my life and have not for some time, though he consistently tells me the contrary. Even though I wish at this time that I had a sibling who wanted to be a part of my life, and of Mr. Sweetie’s, the fact is that I don’t, and I have finally accepted that. Because having hopes that get crushed time and again is not worth the anguish, nor my energy. I want to focus on making the life that I want, instead of focusing on what about my life I don’t like and wish was different.

I know that, one day, if my brother becomes a father, he will realize why I have wanted so badly to share this experience with him. He will want his family around him. And even if I have dark fantasies of blowing him off and giving him a taste of his own medicine, I will be there to listen and share, because I have set my heart on teaching my son the importance of family, and because I would want someone to be there for me.

This past week has taught me a lot about how people rarely change because we wish they would, even if what they are doing makes no sense, and hurts us. But it has also taught me that we should not sacrifice what is important to us just because someone else is unwilling to participate. All this means is that I need to build a good community for my son, with people who do want to participate, without closing the door completely on the fact that my brother may one day change.

Sometimes, the reality of a situation is difficult to accept. But accepting it is the only way I have found to be able to keep moving in a forward direction.

Have you experienced something similar with a family member? What did you do about it? Please feel free to leave a comment in the space below!

 

Encouraging Empowered Mamis Everywhere To Do What They Do

 

 

Mami

Mami is an artist, aspiring entrepreneur, and first-time, full-time mother. She enjoys long walks with Mr. Sweetie, good food and cooking, her family and dear friends, writing, arting and crafting. She doesn't know everything, but wants to learn, and loves to do research and share what she finds. She thinks life is like a box of puzzle pieces: you keep trying until it fits, because every piece has its place. She owns and operates whatever she sets her mind to, and knows that the sky is only the limit if you haven't left the ground yet.

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2 Responses

  1. Ellen Leifeste says:

    Thank you for being willing to share this. You are so right to teach your precious little guy about family. Family should be some of our most important relationships. No one can hurt us as much as family, especially if it involves one of our children. That being said, try to forgive your brother. I’ve had family relationships that have been severed for years due to a situation like this. It not only affected that particular relationship, but also made it difficult for other family members at get-togethers. It wasn’t worth it in the long run, and it hurt me more due to my lack of forgiving when that person didn’t seem bothered by it at all. Once I came to that conclusion, and made the choice to forgive, the bitterness I felt for years ebbed away. No, things aren’t perfect in this relationship now, but by making the choice to forgive whether or not that person sought forgiveness, I could move on with life and have some type of normalcy within our family, without letting this continue to be a source of pain. You will be teaching your son not only about the value of family, but also the value of forgiveness.

    • Mami says:

      Hi, Ellen! Thank you so much for reading, and for your comment!

      It took a little while for me to feel comfortable sharing this, because I honestly thought my brother might read it…At the same time, I have already told him how I feel, so it wouldn’t be new information. I decided to go for it.

      It can be really difficult sometimes to express the truth, especially when it is not something positive, and this is particularly true when one is sharing on a larger scale (I am continuously surprised and impressed by who reads my posts!). However, I think it is important to be able to create a community of support, and the simple facts of life is that not everything is smooth all the time, and sometimes it helps to know that others go through rough spots as well.

      I appreciate you for your grace and honesty as well. It is harder and takes more energy to stay angry than it does to stop fighting and just leave it be, but anger has a momentum, one that is so draining that it can become like an obsession that consumes you. I don’t want to live my life that way, and I don’t want my son to learn that from me.

      Thank you again for your comment, and participation! Lots of warmth to you and your sweeties 🙂

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