Estrangement

My brother and I are estranged from one another. This is a difficult thing to type, since I have been in denial of this fact for a long time. I have spent years thinking that he would come around someday and we would at least be in touch again. But, the last time I saw him was at his wedding reception, which was a horrible, awkward affair for all of our family members who were invited. That was 6 years ago. The last time I heard from him was when I almost died delivering my daughter nearly 4 years ago–he texted that he was glad I was still alive.

I am trying to make peace with this. I feel that I have done all I can do on my end–I wrote him a long letter and handed it to him at his wedding reception. I offered a fresh start, that we could consider our past all water under the bridge and start over. I have emailed him apologizing for “whatever” I’d done–for how he may have felt abandoned when I left him alone with our parents when I went off to college. That I didn’t get out unscathed either, for what it was worth.

Most recently, I sent him an email just saying that I presume he doesn’t want to be in touch, but that I would appreciate hearing that from him for closure. He did not reply.

As I’ve made more sense of what happened in my childhood, I’ve started to understand that things were bad. I have pushed those memories away and tried to live with my parents as they are now–much different, mellowed versions of themselves. But, things for him were probably worse. He was on his own after I left for college. And, that time was a bad time in my family. He probably felt like the only “normal” person who had protected him his whole life just left him behind. He may feel like he can’t engage with me because I am “normal” — he may feel embarrassed or ashamed, or more likely, betrayed and angry.

I don’t know how to proceed, or if there is anything I can still do that I haven’t done. Day 25.

Published by Quitter

I’m a college professor, wife, and mother of 2 small kids. I’m on a recovery journey 20 years in the making.

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