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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
the other day my brother lost his temper and started yelling, ranting, etc. at me on the phone. he has never lost it on me like this. it was over something kind of trivial...planning details for a sleepover with our kids at our mom and dad's.<br><br>
i was mad at him.<br><br>
then he calls and tells me he 'feels bad' for losing his temper BUT (big but) and then proceeds to give me a long list of complaints of every "wrong" i've done him, spanning YEARS. At the end of the conversation I was completely demoralized, depressed, and guilty feeling. I couldn't sleep last night. I just feel awful.<br><br>
I tried just apologizing and saying I wouldn't do the 'offensive" behaviors anymore -- (at the top of his list was that I tease and make fun of him.) Simple enough to stop doing it. Done. But no matter what I said he just kept listing more and more issues he had with me and after a while it really seemed ridiculous...Now I feel myself getting mad again...<br><br>
What is going on? I thought things between us were pretty good. ANd btw, he yelled at me and now he's making me feel like it's my fault...Sigh.
 

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Are you older than him?<br><br>
I can tell you from a younger child's point of veiw. My siblings have no clue or understanding how their teasing and belittling year after year hurt me and messed up my self esteme.<br><br>
They were the biggest people in my life that made me feel like a nobody. They don't get it. My mom doesn't get it. My dad apologizes for it. He was the baby, plus he realize his abuse was the breeding ground for a lot of the crap that went on.<br><br>
He honestly might of let out years of frustration, anger, hurt, and emotional upset.<br><br>
Even if you stop teasing him you have to realize HE DOESN"T TRUST YOU. You need to build trust with him. Stopping doesn't fix the emotional harm you did (even though it wasn't intential). Listen to his complains change the behavior you can then it is his responciblity to "deal" with what has happen in the past.<br><br>
This can take time, a lot of time. It also can be a process that bonds you.<br><br>
**************<br>
It could be also that he is being an emotional abusive jerk. But if this is the first you have heard about it take it as something that has been building up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much M.Mom. Gosh. yes I am older (by 3 years). Btw, our parents were "teasers" too, but that was their way of being "funny". I'm just so thrown for a loop by this. I'll just have to be on my best behavior.<br><br>
Any more advice??
 

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So, I'm an only child. I have NO experience with this! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
But. This isn't YOUR fault. These are HIS issues. I mean, y'all have lots of history and of course, there are things that may still fester or whatever. But if he can't let go of the fact that when you were 15, you told your parents that he smoked pot (or whatever, totally making stuff up here <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">) then those are HIS issues.<br><br>
Fair fighting means you bring up the issue at hand. He is not fighting fair.<br><br>
I feel for you and I am sorry that you are feeling bad, but remember that you are worthy of love and good things, and the things he said to you are designed to make you feel just as bad as he feels. But you don't have to feel like that!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I'm sorry that happened to you, but at least you have a relationship with your brother. My brother (and only sibling) who lives all of 20 min. away, is such a small part of my life. We see eachother on holidays and maybe birthdays. That's it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> When his daughters were younger, and I had my first daughter I always tried arranging things to do together, like me and him and the girls...but nope. There was always an excuse. Wow I'm getting tears in my eyes. I never really realized how much I miss my brother. I had so much fun hanging out with him when we were teenagers (he's older and I looked up to him). Appreciate that fact that your brother and you are close enough that he was able to unload on you. I know that sounds kind of backwards, but I hate the relationship my brother and I have now. We're friendly when we see eachother. "How are you?" "Good, and you?" "Good". That's about it. I miss him so much.<br><br>
ETA that my brother distanced himself from the whole family when he got married (he was 21 and I was 17). I'm not blaming his wife, but something about him changed.
 

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I'll just ditto everything Marsupialmom said and add a few thoughst of my own.<br><br>
My DH and his brother are no longer on speaking terms, and I think some of that has to do with the teasing issue you mentioned. DH is the younger one, and his brother has always teased him. Always. He used to rationalize it away and just try to let it slide, but as he got older, it wasn't funny anymore. It reached a point where it felt like, "OK, we're adults now. Why can't you just accept me and love me for who I am?" Of course, he never said that (although he should have!) because DH is pretty inhibited and bottles up most of his frustration and anger, but that's really what it boiled down to. Teasing eventually came to feel belittling and disrespectful, especially when BIL and his wife (who also partook in the teasing) crossed the line and started teasing me and eventually our daughter. At that point, DH was very deeply hurt and offended, but because this was the way it had always been, he didn't feel like he could say anything.<br><br>
I think that when there is a legacy of hurt, it takes a long time to heal those wounds. Talk to him, let him see that you love him and want to mend the relationship.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Petersmamma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7891413"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So, I'm an only child. I have NO experience with this! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
But. This isn't YOUR fault. These are HIS issues. I mean, y'all have lots of history and of course, there are things that may still fester or whatever. But if he can't let go of the fact that when you were 15, you told your parents that he smoked pot (or whatever, totally making stuff up here <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">) then those are HIS issues.</div>
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I disagree. Her choosing to tease and make fun of him (continuing from childhood until yesterday) IS her fault. His part of it is not being very clear with her that it bothered/upset/hurt him.<br><br>
I'm curious what type of teasing/making fun seemed funny to the OP and her parents but bothered the brother this much.
 

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I just wanted to give hugs....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I can't imagine how difficult this is. I'm the oldest of five sibs. We all talk almost every day...we're that close, but my youngest bro has issues w/ anger, alcohol. We all know something needs to be done.<br><br>
I guess I just want you to know that at worst atleast he's communicating (albeit not how it should've been handled.) And now the two of you can work on healing your relationship. I'm sorry, probably not the best advice. I should've just stuck with giving you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
ETA: I don't think there needs to be fault here. I think it's time to move on and work on making the relationship better. Both of them are components in the relationship and they both acted/reacted to eachother. I think they just need to acknowledge that changes need to be made, fix them and move on.
 

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OP: sorry for the dumping on you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">: It sounds like there are likely some other issues going on in his life as well for him to suddenly turn on you.<br><br>
However, thanks to all who have responded here as it as definitely struck a chord with me and a deeper understanding of why things are the way they are with me. My older brother either glared at me, actively avoided me, or trash talked me to his friends...that was largely the extent of my "communications" with him throughout our childhood. I have only in the last couple of years realized how deeply his actions have affected me as the person I have become. There is a LOT of deep seated anger in me and at least part of that is from the treatment I received from him as a child. It has made me more aware of how my own children treat each other and how important kindness in our expressons truly can be.<br><br>
Thanks for starting the thread. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> Sorry it took such an incident to start it, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Kirsten</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7892983"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I disagree. Her choosing to tease and make fun of him (continuing from childhood until yesterday) IS her fault. His part of it is not being very clear with her that it bothered/upset/hurt him.<br><br>
I'm curious what type of teasing/making fun seemed funny to the OP and her parents but bothered the brother this much.</div>
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OK. going to try to explain this without sounding too defensive. here's an example.<br><br>
My brother got frustrated with me not too long ago. The issue was his son (my nephew) was going to sleep over our house. We were trying to arrange a pick up time at a half way point for the following morning...my dh was going to drop him off and my bro was going to pick him up. My bro needed the time. I said, How about I call you in the morning when they are about to leave...That wasn't specific enough for him and probably too last minute. He said he wanted my dh to call him and leave a message. I said, (kind of joking) Why can't you call him? (since he's the one who needs something, the info.) Really it's not a big deal but a lot of time the way he communicates is very "managerial" and I feel like I'm one of his employees, kwim?<br><br>
He got angry and in a condescending tone said : Because he has the information I need...if I call him and have to leave a message I have nothing to say to him. (I'm thinking how about: "Call me back." ??) But He was in my face so I backed down and said OK.<br><br>
In my mind this all sounds so trivial. The point is, I think I use humor to try to diffuse the situation...not to really "make fun", but he takes it as a put down, and I get that now.<br><br>
But to finish the story, then later, again trying to lighten things up, he was getting the car and was going to pull it around to leave and I said, "Do you want us to call you and leave you message when we're ready?" or something like that. And he didn't think it was funny. At all.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Jessie'sMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7894811"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't think there needs to be fault here. I think it's time to move on and work on making the relationship better. Both of them are components in the relationship and they both acted/reacted to eachother. I think they just need to acknowledge that changes need to be made, fix them and move on.</div>
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I absolutely agree with you about not focusing on fault/guilt. I was responding to a previous poster's statement that it wasn't the OP's fault. Seems like so much of the time, people post "was I overreacting?" or "did I do the wrong thing?" type of posts, and get dozens of "no! you are absolutely in the right! the other person is clearly wrong." If the OP was absolutely right they wouldn't have felt the need to come ask in the first place. I don't think it is helpful to side with an OP all the time. I think we should be kind in our responses, but if they didn't want the answer, they wouldn't ask the question.<br><br>
I think in the OP's situation, there is a lot of past history that is clearly a chip on the shoulder of her brother. The way the family related in childhood helped put it there. He sounds like he is at the point now where even little things set him off.<br><br>
If you want a relationship with your brother, I'd sit down and apologize for the teasing/making fun that has happened over the years. Explain that you didn't realize how it was affecting him, but now that you do, you are very sorry and will not do it anymore. Ask him to let you know right away if you are doing something that bothers him so it can be addressed and not continue.<br><br>
Sounds like it will take some time to forgive and build back a relationship. I think it is definitely worth it - for you and your brother, as well as your children and his. It is also an amazing gift to give to your parents if they are still around. I would be brokenhearted if my kids weren't able to have a close relationship. I hope everything works out between you and your brother, OP. I apologize for responding to the fault post; I just think that both you and your brother are responsible for parts of the issue, and it will take both of you working on it to get it resolved.
 

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Im in the same boat as you somewhat!!<br><br>
My parents split up when I was YOUNG I never saw my mom(another issue) Im currently havinng a relationship with my mom and my brother HATES me and my son(8 month old) even more...wee only see my mom once a month at the MOST and he is just rude the entire time!!!<br><br>
Hes only 11 but GOSH HE DRIVES ME NUTS!!!!<br><br>
btw I grew up being an only child so im not completly use to these kids!!<br><br>
I feel sorry for you though!!! Siblings are hard!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>birthjunkie27</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7891855"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm sorry that happened to you, but at least you have a relationship with your brother. My brother (and only sibling) who lives all of 20 min. away, is such a small part of my life. We see eachother on holidays and maybe birthdays. That's it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> When his daughters were younger, and I had my first daughter I always tried arranging things to do together, like me and him and the girls...but nope. There was always an excuse. Wow I'm getting tears in my eyes. I never really realized how much I miss my brother. I had so much fun hanging out with him when we were teenagers (he's older and I looked up to him). Appreciate that fact that your brother and you are close enough that he was able to unload on you. I know that sounds kind of backwards, but I hate the relationship my brother and I have now. We're friendly when we see eachother. "How are you?" "Good, and you?" "Good". That's about it. I miss him so much.<br><br>
ETA that my brother distanced himself from the whole family when he got married (he was 21 and I was 17). I'm not blaming his wife, but something about him changed.</div>
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That's really hard. I actually told my brother -- gosh, years ago -- that I wanted us to be closer. We were the same way -- polite but distant. He rarely would speak to me at family functions etc. We started getting together , just the 2 of us, here and there. IT was really fun!<br><br>
What I'm learning is that unfortunately relationships don't always have perfect happy endings. Esp. when history is involved. YOu just gotta be kind and do the best you can. In fact, by my telling him I wanted more of a relationship -- I ended up making him feel "guilty" and he took it as "complaining" about him. (This was yet another of his complaints the other night.) But I'm trying to take it with a grain of salt since he was upset.<br><br>
He's my only sibling and we've never been what' I'd call "close" but I don't want us hating each other either...
 

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Families dynamics are so complex.<br><br>
It sounds like there is a lot of hurt that has built up over the years and he just let it all come out in that conversation.<br><br>
It is about him. He must have other things going on in his life or feelings of inadequacy or something to have reacted like that. My sister is currently doing the same. She is very unhappy with many things in her life, but it is so much easier for her to project it all onto me instead of realizing that it all has to start from within.<br><br>
If it feels like a 'safe' (and I mean emotionally safe) thing to do, I'd call him in a few days and just ask if everything is okay or if he'd like to talk about anything. You can say that you were surprised by some of what he said and that you are definitely willing to change things (like the teasing) now that you know it isn't 'fun' for him.<br><br>
If he isn't willing to talk, I'd just let him know that you're there for him, in any way and at any time and hope he'll reach out to you.<br><br>
In the meantime, I'd seriously recommend getting the book, "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. The first agreement is "Don't take anything personally." This alone, has set me free from taking on other people's emotions in coversations like the one your've described.<br><br>
Peace and love to you and him too!
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Petersmamma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7891413"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So, I'm an only child. I have NO experience with this! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
But. This isn't YOUR fault. These are HIS issues. I mean, y'all have lots of history and of course, there are things that may still fester or whatever. But if he can't let go of the fact that when you were 15, you told your parents that he smoked pot (or whatever, totally making stuff up here <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">) then those are HIS issues.<br><br>
Fair fighting means you bring up the issue at hand. He is not fighting fair.<br><br>
I feel for you and I am sorry that you are feeling bad, but remember that you are worthy of love and good things, and the things he said to you are designed to make you feel just as bad as he feels. But you don't have to feel like that!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"></div>
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It is her fault but isn't at the same time. It was the social dinamic of the family. So you can place complete blame on her but at the same time teasing has to stop.<br><br>
Looking from the bottom up as a third child it can be hard to stand up to your siblings. There could be a lot of feelings that he has burried. There can be a "I had no clue that what I was doing hurt you that much." Feelings can get dismissed. This isnt' an intential act but the norms of the family.<br><br>
Extra stress can cause the pain to surface.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">If it feels like a 'safe' (and I mean emotionally safe) thing to do, I'd call him in a few days and just ask if everything is okay or if he'd like to talk about anything. You can say that you were surprised by some of what he said and that you are definitely willing to change things (like the teasing) now that you know it isn't 'fun' for him.<br><br>
If he isn't willing to talk, I'd just let him know that you're there for him, in any way and at any time and hope he'll reach out to you.</td>
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I really agree with this attitude. Even though you can use this to build your relationsip you don't want to let it eat you up. Accept that you didn't know and the family dinamics allowed you to accidently hurt your brother. You can only apologize, change how you behave, and stand up for him when the other family members tease or belittle his feelings.
 
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