Wednesday, June 17, 2009

As If.......

I've mentioned in recent posts that I just had a birthday and was on vacation. While away, I had my neighbor pick up my mail. When I caught up with my neighbors and got the mail from them, I had a few surprises. Checks...oooh! Checks are good, especially after vacation! A birthday card from my dear friend and blogging buddy Enola. Thanks!! And...what's this now? Eyes widen, hands shake. Another birthday card, familiar writing. But what the hell?? It's from my brother. My of my abusers....who I've not seen or spoken to in 4 1/2 years now.
Allow me to back up a little. I used to have an overwhelming compulsion to take care of my mother and her feelings. It's something I was basically taught to do as a child and it carried over. Out of some misguided loyalty to her, I used to send generic birthday and christmas cards to my brother and his (soon-to-be-ex) wife. Until December of 2006.
In December of 2006, my brother sent me an email. A short, "normal", "hey-how-ya-doin?" email. It really threw me for a loop. I printed it out and went to my T session all hot & bothered.
"How dare he send this? He has no business sending me a 'normal' email after what has transpired between us."
"Why not?", asks Susan. "Didn't you just send him a 'normal' birthday card?"
Susan went on to tell me that I'd been acting "As If".
I said "As if WHAT?"
She said " if...what? As if things are fine? As if you are his sister and want to have a sibling relationship? As if the past no longer matters enough to stop you from being part of his life?"
Wow. I never in a million thought of it like that. Never thought about the message I was sending by simply attempting a "keep the peace" move for my mother's sake. At that point, I had to take a stance for myself. Not only did I not reply to his email but I never again sent him another card.
Now things have gone on pretty status quo since then but recently my Mother had an epiphany about my brother. (See post here) She's no longer interacting with him in the same way, if at all. So my two immediate thoughts on the motive behind this birthday card were: #1 - he's sending me this card in hopes I will tell my Mom and she'll have second thoughts about what a lech he is, or #2 - he's trying to get on my good side so that, if my Mom dies, I'll give him some of her estate. I'll respond with a literal "AS IF" to that one!! Yeah, right.
In the past, my brother used to sign all his cards for me "Hatred, Gregory" Now, the hatred part, as charming as it is, is not the bothersome portion of that signature. His name is not Gregory. But he'd sign the cards as this alternate persona, a character if you will. One who used to abuse me. Almost removing himself from any personal relationship with me. This card he just sent is signed "Happy Bday Sis. Love, Bro." WTF?? "Love Bro"???? Biology may dictate that I'm stuck with you as my brother but there is no LOVE involved. I just don't understand what he's thinking.
I'm not sure I understand what I'm thinking, either. I described it as feeling Nothing. But Something. I know I feel some sort of way about it but I don't think I want to know what it is yet so right now, I'm choosing to feel nothing. Numb works for the moment. In fact, Numb is necessary at the moment.


jumpinginpuddles said...

oh now thats a dangerous individual who if need be to me seems as though he would use his alternate personality to hurt people and then try and claim that in a court of law to get away with it, if he was ever charged. Dangerous and clever two very awful personas of a deranged molestor, sick enough to do it and clever enough to make sure hes covered his arse before hand. Boy oh boy.
We are so so sorry

April_optimist said...

It's rare that I have to interact with my brothers and never in person. Still it shakes me when it happens, too. How can they think such things don't matter? How can they forget what happened? I suppose it's like Patricia Evans says in one of her books--they live in their own fantasy bubbles and all that matters is what they want and how they feel.