My Older Brother

Photocredit: H KoppDelaney
Photocredit: H KoppDelaney

A few weeks back I called my older brother, and left a phone message. I want to talk to him about some stuff to do with my father dying and also to ask him for information about the first house we lived in. However, we’re somewhat estranged, which started happening around the time I started being in relationships with women. I’ve seen him once since my wedding two years ago, which was the first time he’d met my wife, who I’d already been with for several years prior to that. He claims he’s not homophobic, which in Canada is considered almost as bad as being racist and would get him a lot of flack in my family. Nice to have their support in that, anyways.

So yesterday I was having a good day in general, in part due to my new meditation practice. I’m finding my skills at ignoring intrusive thoughts and images on the survivor front stand me in good stead at staying focussed on my breath in meditation. It’s nice these skills are good for something else! I got an email from my brother saying that he didn’t seem to have my correct phone number and had deleted my phone message, so could I send him my number. I replied with all my phone numbers. On the way to my therapist  a couple of hours later, I realized I was nauseated. I put on a ‘sea band’ I happened to have around and continued on to my appointment. I was a bit early and sat outside on a bench enjoying the day, I realized I was weepy and could not for the life of me figure out why. Not my time of the month, nothing else going on.

Well of course it turned out to be a reaction to my brother’s email – grief at missing him, being touched he was intending to call me back. How starved for family regard am I, that an email from my brother and the suggestion he might want to speak with me makes me weep with comfort and recognition of loss.  Funny how the body knows before the mind does.

We talked over what I would say to him, and came up with some strategies when we speak on the phone. My fall back is to ask him about his kids, which is a nice safe topic, and then talk about my work and renovating the house. If I get an opening, I’ll ask him how he’s doing with our father being so ill. Later on, probably only if we meet in person, I’ll talk to his wife, and explain to her that I’d like some time alone with him to talk about some family history stuff and ask for her support. Now that I write that, I’m sure that she won’t give us time alone together (she tends to include herself in these things and then do all the talking, which means I don’t hear from my brother), but maybe that’s okay. I could at least point out that I’d really like to hear his perspective, which might keep her from butting in.  

I’m also making up index cards with things I want to accomplish in my life that I feel like I procrastinate on and putting on each card what’s ‘juicy’ or passionate for me about each thing. The idea of that part is to try and do whatever will get me in contact with the juicy part of the activity as soon as possible. Then I’m going to order them according to what I feel like doing that day, or what is most important to me. So far, it seems to be moving something. I did vocal exercises, practiced the piano and meditated so far this morning. I seem to be a bit unstuck. Yay!

0 thoughts on “My Older Brother”

  1. Pingback: Do I report my sociopath father to the police? Again? | May We Dance Upon Their Graves

    1. I do kind of an art therapy thing, where I intuit a metaphor/image for the post, a picture that sums it up. Then I go to and go to the advanced search engine. I select it to only show the images I can legally use (creative commons license) and then I do a search on whatever type of image I’m looking for. Then I weed through the results. Sometimes I also sort the list by ‘most interesting’ which ranks it by how many other people liked the image. The pictures are almost half the post for me sometimes.

  2. Sword Dancer, I’m sorry to hear that your brother’s email threw you. The grief over what has been lost is huge for us, even when family is still around.

    I think your index cards are a great idea. Might adopt it myself. 🙂

    1. The index cards are working out okay although I have to remember to add to them and sort them, which I don’t always do. I found some stickers and put little gold stars on them too, to make them fun.

      I’m not sorry I had the reaction to the email. It just let me know how important he is to me, and gave me some info to help me prepare to talk to him. I think it’s all good.

  3. Hi SwordDanceWarrior,

    It sounds like you are getting some movement in some areas. I think that is so great. The index cards sound like a great idea. Good for you.

    I hope that your brother call and you are able to manage some alone time to talk. I know that those types of conversations have helped fill in and validate what I remember and continue to remember about my childhood abuse history. I’m glad that you were able to talk about this in therapy.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.


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