I love my family – I really do. Yeah, we haven’t been able to have much control over the crazy in-laws that have married in, but generally speaking, we are all good. We have our ups and downs and all, but we all would cast those things aside in a second, if it meant we have a family member in need.
My little bro went through his “I think I’m an alcoholic” phase only to really get help with his anxiety. Not a bad thing, given it allowed him to examine his triggers and how to change his thinking. Good stuff. He came home, ditched the wife who was one of the major triggers, and set off on his own with a better way of thinking, etc.
But boy is he on a major self-righteousness bender.
Take tonight’s conversation.
My parents are going through stuff in their huge garage. A very VERY good thing. As they are going through things, my parents are handing out things. Posters from athletics that were created in high school or college. Scrap books, etc.
I guess my little brother has been getting a lot of things that belonged to my dad’s brother including photos and other items. My uncle and little bro were very VERY close. My dad and his brother? Not so much. There was over 50 years of history there – of conflict, of pain, of manipulation. My dad only kept things amicable because of my grandparents. But I saw what that did to my dad – I get where his feelings and frustration are. I lived through them – while my grandparents were alive and sick and eventually died. And now, knowing what I know about the details, I know why there was strife amongst the boys when my grandparents died. They gave the power to the one they trusted – not because someone thought they were entitled.
My dad made sure despite all of this that we knew our uncle. We spent time with our uncle. We had good memories. But my little bro missed the bad years. So in his mind, it’s just a stupid riff that my dad should just get over. I should mention that my brother doesn’t know all of the details.
I almost told him tonight when he said he was angry at my dad for giving all of his brother’s stuff to him. “Why?” I asked, “you were closer to him and should have the memories.” “But it’s his brother” was his only reply. Then he launched into the fact that Dad clearly hasn’t found peace and is being self destructive because he hasn’t forgiven his brother’s actions. Well, my uncle is dead. My uncle never believed he did anything wrong. My uncle never believe there was anything my dad should forgive because it’s my dad who was at fault, not him. So, my dad tried to make amends as best he could before his brother died. But, when he sees photos of my uncle when he was at the age when a lot of this crap was happening, he has a hard time seeing his brother as he was in the end, but it evokes memories he doesn’t want to have of his brother. So, he is giving it to my brother who had the relationship with my uncle that my dad always wished he could have had with him.
My little bro feels it is his mission to “save my dad from the fact he hasn’t found peace with it”. I pointed out that I don’t know what my dad is feeling or how it would feel giving what he went through with that sibling. How can I say he is handling this right or wrong if I have no context? I gave him some examples of situations where you don’t necessarily find peace or forgiveness with the situation, but instead turn it into something you can do. I tried to use some examples only to hear “I worry about you, sis, because clearly you are holding onto things instead of finding peace too??”
After getting a 45 min lecture from him where he was talking more than listening, I finally was like “shut the fuck up and listen, and maybe you will understand what I’m saying”.
While he did concede that everyone has to find their own path to handling situations – because we are all on our own journeys, he did not see why it wasn’t his place to “solve problems he sees are problems, but the other person does not see as problems.”
It’s the perfect word for it. I’m glad he’s found peace on his own journey but damn is he missing the point. If only a 2×4 would have worked…..but I tried.
Guess that’s just another reminder to stay ——> over there.