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#1 of 11 Old 02-02-2009, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I used to be close with my brother. He was only 2.5 years younger than me. We grew up in a Christian conservative household, and as a result formed a strong long lasting bond. When I got pregnant young at 19 and moved out of my parents house, we starting to grow apart. When he served in Iraq for a year, he came back a changed person and the rift grew even deeper. He bought a house, married, had a first child, and 18 months later had the second. I've also moved through positive changes in my life. When I heard the news that his wife was pregnant with a boy, and ached inside. How could I possibly stop my nephew from being cut. I knew it would probably happen, my brother used to make fun of me as a young mother for not circ'ing my own son. He knew it was a hot button issue for me. I've always had a very strong (almost militant) opinion against the procedure. I knew that he would be resistant to my ideas, any information I had to give, any advice, anything I had to say about "his son's penis". And I tried to be diplomatic. I know personally how frustrating it is for someone to give you advice about your personal business. But how could I keep my mouth shut, every parent that makes the decision to circumcise should at least be given all the correct information, and at least one parent should witness the procedure if they still decide to have it done. My nephew was owed the chance to be whole. I printed out no-circ phamplets and gave them to my SIL. I gently told her that if she had any questions I would help her. I didn't know what else to do. I didn't want to completely estrange myself from their family. I thought that because they had followed my lead with co-sleeping, midwifery, and cloth diapering, that they were AP enough to know better. So my nephew was born last week, and fearfully I asked my mom if they were planning to circ him, to which she said yes and proceded to defend my brother and his decision, and to then compare the procedure to the IV my now 5 month old LO had when she was a newborn. I also find out that my brother told SIL to throw away the information I gave her without looking at it. I have received verification today that yes he has now been circumcised. I lost this battle, and I am hurting so bad because of it. I should have tried harder, I should have sent the circ video. Would he have even watched it? I haven't even called my brother to congratulate him, my mom is giving me crap about it. I don't think I can talk to him right now without yelling or crying or a combination of both. What do I do? Do I just suck it up and never talk about it? Call and make nice? Or is it ok for me to scream at my brother, for taking so lightly the rights of his son to have a natural and whole body. I can't wrap my head completely around this. I am getting very emotional about it, and I don't even know if I have the right too. I miss the close relationship I had with my brother, but I think we are too different now. I just need help I guess. My thoughts are too clouded right now. I'm so sad for the little guy
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#2 of 11 Old 02-02-2009, 08:19 AM
 
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You did what you could. I doubt he would have listened, making fun of you indicates he was too emotional about this issue to listen. Everyone must follow thier own path. I would try and keep a relationship going, myself. Who knows what the future holds? And you can be there later if your nephew has interest in restoring when he is of legal age to make his own decisions.

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#3 of 11 Old 02-02-2009, 09:07 AM
 
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We can't win them all. All you can do is pray that the procedure was done "right" (by right, I mean not take too much off) and he will have limited side effects.

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#4 of 11 Old 02-02-2009, 11:44 AM
 
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I'm very happy that you were educated enough to know from a young age that circumcision is an unnecessary procedure. Most 19 year old parents don't give it a second thought. Concerning your brother, it's clear that he was completely irrational, and it's disappointing that his wife at least did not look into what circumcision entails. However, you did the best you could. He def. is having some hangups and/or issues about something. He is also completely out of line if he starts making fun of your son, and if he says anything again I would def. bring up your concerns then. For now, I would hold off on the phone call, at least until you think you got all your emotions under control.
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#5 of 11 Old 02-02-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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You can take all the time you need to get better before calling him, I know exactly how you feel, but your situation should be really hard since it is your nephew - don't really know what else to say...

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#6 of 11 Old 02-03-2009, 12:08 AM
 
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Sounds like you tried hard and they were just not ready to listen. Maybe if they have another kid you will have the opportunity to talk about the issue again? But really, it is not your fault. There's lots of things you can do to help spread the intactivist word. I know your nephew is near and dear to your heart, and you can put your energy into helping other people understand the issue. We can't win them all and I think about this alot, we are trying to start a fire, we are sparking around the edges of people's knowledge and one of these days it will catch.
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#7 of 11 Old 02-03-2009, 12:19 AM
 
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Congratulations on your nephew and thank you for trying to keep him from circumcision. You did the best you could and if you had sent the circ video, I doubt they would have watched it.
You have every right to feel bad for your nephew and to be angry with your brother for circing him. You also have every right to grieve the relationship you no longer have w/ your brother.
Maybe you could send a card or baby gift as an acknowledgment of that baby's birth and then in a few months, when things have settled back to a routine, call your brother and try to reconcile. Not even so much over the circ issue, but it's a shame you guys use to be so close and now are not. I'm not sure he will ever side with you on the circ issue. You guys might have to agree to disagree on that topic for a while. I don't even think you should bring it up again until way after the reconciliation.
I know where you are coming from. My dh's brother circed his son, despite both dh and I sending them info and talking to them. You did your best. You should be proud you made the effort, many do not.

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#8 of 11 Old 02-03-2009, 12:32 AM
 
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I know how you feel. My brother and his girlfriend had a son last month -- we talked on the phone about circ, I sent him information (including the video) and I know for a fact that he didn't even look at any of it. My DH even talked to him about it right after the baby's birth... He didn't listen. My mom also defended their decision ("it's better to have it done now!"). My brother and I haven't ever been especially close, but had started to grow closer recently. Because I have no desire to talk to him we have again drifted.
I'm telling you, and at the same time reminding myself, that you did all that you could. Unfortunately whether to circ or not is still the parents decision. All we can do is give the info and hope for the best.

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#9 of 11 Old 02-03-2009, 01:03 AM
 
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You did all you could. Some people are just too stubborn for their own good. Your brother will have to answer to his son someday, should he ever ask why he looks different from his cousin. What can your brother say that will make him sound like a good person? "We cut off half the skin on your penis so you'd look like me." I know it must be a very hard situation, but you have nothing to feel ashamed or bad about. Be there for your nephew, he'll need you!

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#10 of 11 Old 02-03-2009, 01:48 AM
 
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If it were me, I hope you're not like me on this because deep down I don't think its the wisest decision, but...

I'd send him the Penn&Teller circ is BS video. LOL!

Then, be mad all you want. Don't hold it in, let it out. Don't speak to him for awhile until you can cool off a bit. Then, come around for your nephew.

If you hadn't done or said anything, you'd beat your self up pretty badly. Be proud you said something, even if they threw it away without looking at it.

I think throwing it away without even looking at it was really imature, imo. What was he so afraid of?
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#11 of 11 Old 02-03-2009, 02:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpintsch View Post
I used to be close with my brother. He was only 2.5 years younger than me. We grew up in a Christian conservative household, and as a result formed a strong long lasting bond. When I got pregnant young at 19 and moved out of my parents house, we starting to grow apart. When he served in Iraq for a year, he came back a changed person and the rift grew even deeper. He bought a house, married, had a first child, and 18 months later had the second. I've also moved through positive changes in my life. When I heard the news that his wife was pregnant with a boy, and ached inside. How could I possibly stop my nephew from being cut. I knew it would probably happen, my brother used to make fun of me as a young mother for not circ'ing my own son. He knew it was a hot button issue for me. I've always had a very strong (almost militant) opinion against the procedure. I knew that he would be resistant to my ideas, any information I had to give, any advice, anything I had to say about "his son's penis". And I tried to be diplomatic. I know personally how frustrating it is for someone to give you advice about your personal business. But how could I keep my mouth shut, every parent that makes the decision to circumcise should at least be given all the correct information, and at least one parent should witness the procedure if they still decide to have it done. My nephew was owed the chance to be whole. I printed out no-circ phamplets and gave them to my SIL. I gently told her that if she had any questions I would help her. I didn't know what else to do. I didn't want to completely estrange myself from their family. I thought that because they had followed my lead with co-sleeping, midwifery, and cloth diapering, that they were AP enough to know better. So my nephew was born last week, and fearfully I asked my mom if they were planning to circ him, to which she said yes and proceded to defend my brother and his decision, and to then compare the procedure to the IV my now 5 month old LO had when she was a newborn. I also find out that my brother told SIL to throw away the information I gave her without looking at it. I have received verification today that yes he has now been circumcised. I lost this battle, and I am hurting so bad because of it. I should have tried harder, I should have sent the circ video. Would he have even watched it? I haven't even called my brother to congratulate him, my mom is giving me crap about it. I don't think I can talk to him right now without yelling or crying or a combination of both. What do I do? Do I just suck it up and never talk about it? Call and make nice? Or is it ok for me to scream at my brother, for taking so lightly the rights of his son to have a natural and whole body. I can't wrap my head completely around this. I am getting very emotional about it, and I don't even know if I have the right too. I miss the close relationship I had with my brother, but I think we are too different now. I just need help I guess. My thoughts are too clouded right now. I'm so sad for the little guy
Your feelings are valid. This is what I thought in my head of what I would say to your Mom at least for why its ok you have not called your brother.

Its obvious people are not going to agree on every issue, and most people in your family know you stance. But the worst part of this is that your brother did not consider anyone into this but what he wanted. He did not listen to you, he did not even CONSIDER what his son may think about his OWN body.

Tell your Mom your not calling your brother because he rejected you. You two do not have to agree with everything, but being family you should at the very least consider their advice, because its only being given out of love.

Your brother just through that away (literally) and your Mom was not much better. Get angry, cry if you want to, but let them know its because you feel rejected, that they refused even looking at advice that was an obvious gesture of love.
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