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#1 Old 11-19-2010, 07:51 PM
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My long lost brother (older than me,) who's been in self-imposed exile for the last 25-years, has suddenly reappeared and wants to get to know his family. I couldn't be happier. I didn't know whether he was alive or not. I haven't seen him yet, but I'm hoping we can have a reunion soon. For now, I'm just happy and relieved. He contacted my mother, and I got his e-mail address from her. Sent him a note and invited him for a visit. We're going to pay the air fare and he can stay with me at my house. Sure hope he agrees.

"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist." -Billy Wilder
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#2 Old 11-19-2010, 08:05 PM
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Wow! What an interesting development! I sure hope the reunion goes well.

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#3 Old 11-19-2010, 08:43 PM
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Thank you, Amy.

"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist." -Billy Wilder
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#4 Old 11-20-2010, 03:53 AM
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Good luck! I hope the reunion goes well and you can reconnect again. Sounds like a great early Christmas present.
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#5 Old 11-20-2010, 05:56 AM
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I hope the reunion goes well.
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#6 Old 11-21-2010, 04:01 PM
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The logistics may be difficult to work out, because he works, even though he's in retirement. Turns out, he's living near my sister in Texas, and they're going to get together for Thanksgiving. It's a little farther, here to Wisconsin. Maybe for Christmas.

"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist." -Billy Wilder
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#7 Old 11-22-2010, 01:54 AM
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I really hope this works out for you and everyone in your family.


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#8 Old 11-22-2010, 02:30 AM
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This is great news, congratulations!
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#9 Old 11-22-2010, 09:15 AM
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That's great news, sweetie! I hope the two of you have a wonderful Christmas getting to know each other again.
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#10 Old 11-22-2010, 10:13 AM
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Thanks so much for the good wishes everybody. As much as I love my family, I can't forget that you are my family too! Thanks again.

"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist." -Billy Wilder
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#11 Old 11-25-2010, 08:54 AM
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Bad News

I was at my mother's last night. She's very hard of hearing and can't converse on the phone, so she asked me to call my brother on her behalf, because she wanted to wish him a happy Thanksgiving. I had not spoken with him, but had only sent him an e-mail, to invite him to visit; after several days, I had not heard back from him. When he answered the phone, I told him it was his brother, and he said simply, "I have no regard to speak to you," and hung up on me. Apparently, he has some sort of gripe against me. Neither my mother or I have any idea what it's about.

There's actually a history behind this. About 30-years ago, I made a point to visit my brother, who at that point, I hadn't seen for several years. When I arrived at his apartment, he asked me to leave, but wouldn't say what he was angry about. Respecting his wishes, I left, but then went back; I felt I was entitled to an explanation. When he opened the door, he had a hand gun, which he pointed at me, and said if I didn't leave, he would kill me. Not wanting to be shot, I left, and to this day, until last night, I haven't spoken a word to him. I have absolutely no idea what this is about.

At the same time, for the last 30-years or so, my sister- also older than me- has been angry with me, but she too has never expressed a reason for it. She and I have spoken only infrequently, and mostly in the last 5-years, because there has been issues about caring for our mother, who is in her 90s.

All I know for certain is, all this animosity began at the time our father passed away, in 1974. When he died, our family- which had been closely knit- pretty much fell apart. Ever since then, both my siblings have actively portrayed me as some sort of bad guy, although I know no reason why they should. I know also that in the '60s, my brother went off with the Navy, saw action in Vietnam, and when he returned, he had become obsessed with guns and weaponry- Ninja blades, etc., and self-defense. I worry about him.

I think this is harder on my mother than it is on me, because I know she would like to see our family reunited. Now, it's hard to imagine that happening, because, frankly, I've grown tired of being condescended to by my siblings. I had hopes that this latest overture on the part of my brother signaled a new beginning, but it seems the old hatreds- whatever they are, and I have no clue as to what it might be- are still at work. I don't know what to do, except mind my own business and live my own life, which is the way it's been these last several decades anyway.

"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist." -Billy Wilder
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#12 Old 11-25-2010, 11:16 AM
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I don't know what has happened but I'm sorry that it didn't turn out the way you were hoping it would.
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#13 Old 11-25-2010, 01:54 PM
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It is a shame. It's also bizarre, since I have no idea what it's about. Nothing ever happened- there was never any incident, or argument about anything. If it weren't for my mom, and how it affects her, I believe I would just laugh it off; I've been effectively living with no sister or brother half my life anyway. If they choose to refuse to communicate, there's nothing I can do about it. It's their loss. I appreciate your sympathy, Pixie, because it is a shame. And thank you.

"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist." -Billy Wilder
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#14 Old 11-25-2010, 03:55 PM
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Sorry to hear it didn't work out. I would think the one thing that's the most frequent source of animosity between siblings in situations like that is inheritance. But I guess your mother inherited all your father's possessions?

Since your brother won't talk, have you tried asking your sister what it's all about? I think they owe it to you to at least explain what the problem is. Maybe now with Christmas coming up she'd be in the mood to talk. In any case, don't let it get to you!

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#15 Old 11-25-2010, 03:55 PM
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I'm very sorry about this turn of events.

Also, although I'm not an expert, it seems to me that your brother may have been suffering from PTSD for a long time due to his experiences in Vietnam, and it has not been treated or perhaps even diagnosed.

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#16 Old 11-25-2010, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy SF View Post

I'm very sorry about this turn of events.

Also, although I'm not an expert, it seems to me that your brother may have been suffering from PTSD for a long time due to his experiences in Vietnam, and it has not been treated or perhaps even diagnosed.

Yes, this has occurred to me too. I was talking to my mother about it just today. It's one of the reasons I had hopes of getting to know him better, to get a clearer idea of what he actually went through. Shortly after he returned from the war, he told me of an occasion he had to sink a small wooden boat, using a large calibre machine gun. His ship was doing patrol work, searching small craft, off the vietnamese coast. He didn't go into a lot of detail, such as, did he kill someone, so I can only imagine what the experience was like for him. In his recent letter to mom- which she let me read- he said he has stayed away, because he didn't feel deserving to be part of our family, and said he had been depressed for a long time, without fully understanding why. I don't know if the 'diagnosis' of depression is from a doctor, or is his own. To my knowledge, which is limited, he's never had a psychiatric evaluation, but I really don't know.

It still doesn't explain the animosity he seems to have leveled squarely at me. He's agreed to meet with my sister. He says he wants to be reunited with mom. But me, after almost 30-years, he refuses to talk to, even to the point of hanging up the phone, at the mention of my name. You would think I had committed murder or worse. He told me, shortly after our dad died, that he and dad had become fairly close; on the other hand, my father and I never got along while he was alive, and unfortunately, he passed away, before we could come to terms. Maybe this has something to do with it. Or, maybe because, unlike my brother, I never served in the military, never "did my part," he holds resentment for it. I don't know. But to shut off all communication and refuse to speak to me, frankly, makes me feel like I'm dealing with a child. I can't help but wonder if his problems run deeper than just PTSD.

As for my sister, I think she too holds resentment toward me, because of the unfavorable relationship I had with our father, which, incidentally, isn't so uncommon between fathers and sons. She has so deified the memory of dad, as to put him on a pedestal, and I suppose, in her mind, anyone who didn't get along with him is by definition an evil person. What's funny is, over the years, my dad has visited me several times in dreams- yes, dreams- and he and I now have a pretty good working relationship.

Anyway, for the time being, I'm resolved to stay in the background and let them do their things, whatever those might be. If my brother is suffering with trauma, I sincerely hope he finds help with it.

"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist." -Billy Wilder
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#17 Old 11-26-2010, 02:31 AM
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Sad times. You have my sympathies.

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#18 Old 11-26-2010, 05:01 AM
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That's great news - hope it all works out for you both x
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#19 Old 11-26-2010, 12:19 PM
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I'm so sorry to hear this. It must be very upsetting and frustrating not knowing exactly why your siblings are acting this way towards you. It sounds like their could be many reasons and combinations for their behaviors. I hope eventually you do get some answers and things turn out okay.
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#20 Old 11-29-2010, 11:52 PM
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Capstan, this sucks, even though you're used to living without your siblings. It sounds to me as though your father may have lied about you to them. My sister and I have a very good relationship, but that's not thanks to our mother, who constantly tried to play us off against each other - your father ay have done something similar, since the rift occurred around the time he died.
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