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Old 01-09-2013, 09:53 PM   #1
KLeeCW
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Today is my brother's birthday.

And I can't say happy birthday. He's turning 18. I've seen him twice in the past 8 years. The last time was in 2006 when I graduated high school. I haven't spoken to him in just as long. I also have a sister who is 14 that I haven't seen since the same time. They live with my step mom.

For reasons I'd rather not say, I had to file a police report against my father who I'd rather just call Jim since he doesn't deserve the title of a parent. I filed it just before my hs graduation. At the time, my step mother sided with me and brought my siblings to graduation's commencement night where I was speaking. It was a big night for me and, in the midst of all the craziness that came with filing a police report against your own "dad", it really meant a lot to me that they were there. For a couple months after that we stayed in contact. I started college a couple states away. Things seemed okay.

Fast forward 2 years, I hadn't spoken to my step mother or seen her. She wouldn't answer my calls. The trial against Jim comes up and she does a complete 180 in her statement to the police. I still don't know why. I felt so betrayed. The prosecution pretty much discredited her testimony because of it, but the damage was done, if not in the trial, in my heart. It was pretty clear she'd made a choice and it was not in my favor. So, out of respect for her, I stepped back and stopped trying to contact my siblings. At the time, I was 20, they were only 13 and 9. I felt like she was their parent and she had made a decision. As much as I didn't like it, I needed to respect it, kwim? Also, the trial was extremely emotionally draining and I just needed time to step back and heal.

Every year on their birthdays I celebrate it on my own. I've never mentioned to my DH or the rest of my family how much it bothers me that I can't just call them and say happy birthday. My mom doesn't get it because she's too focused on her anger against my stepmom for siding with Jim. I have an older brother who I think silently resents me because he was also shut out by our stepmother. He doesn't blame me, but it still hurts him and I understand that. Every year on my younger brother and sister's birthdays, I feel angry at myself for coming forward. Every other day I know I did the right thing, but on their birthdays I regret it. Mostly because every other day I force myself not to think about it.

So my brother's turning 18 now and I'm trying to convince myself to reach out to him. I found him recently on facebook, but I haven't contacted him. Part of me feels like I'd be doing it for selfish reasons. I don't want to complicate his life. Part of me is just scared to be rejected. They don't tell you when you come forward to do the right thing how much more complicated your life can become.

Last edited by KLeeCW; 01-09-2013 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:08 PM   #2
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Re: Today is my brother's birthday.

Totally meant to put this in Off Topic, oops.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:17 PM   #3
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Re: Today is my brother's birthday.

sorry mama! Its hard when you do the right thing and you suffer because of it!!
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:44 AM   #4
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Re: Today is my brother's birthday.

I actually know exactly how you feel. I had something similar happen with my uncle and aunt who were more like siblings to me. My uncle was only 2 months older than me and my aunt is younger. When things came out about my grandfather (their father), my step-grandma cut us off completely. I was much younger at the time. It was hard because to that point, I'd grown up with them, lived only a few houses down and was babysat daily by my step-grandma. They moved away. I thought about them all the time. I was 13 when all this went down. When I was 15 (uncle 16 at the time), my uncle was killed in a car accident. They didn't even call us and didn't want us to know or come to the funeral. We found out "through the grape vine." I was devastated. We did go to the funeral. (no drama. It was HUGE and we hid in the back.) After that on my own, without my mom, I contacted my step-grandmother, who I had previously been very close to. We kept in contact for a while and then lost touch again. I think about them often.

I never regret telling. In fact, I wasn't the one who told. But, I do really wish I hadn't lost contact with them. I think of them especially on big days, my wedding day and the birth of my children. I wonder if they ever think about me. It's sad.

If I were you, I'd go for it. You really never know if or when you might never have the chance again.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:33 AM   #5
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Re: Today is my brother's birthday.

I would go for it. I have a half brother who is also 18. I haven't had much contact at all with him for the last few years. There is a lot of tension in our family because of his father. To make a long story short when I was 17 and my brother was 2 I got beat up by his father and I ended up a ward of the state. Fast forward to two years ago and my brother ended up at children's hospital with a blood sugar of over 1000. My mother wouldn't go up there so I did and I ended up staying there with him until 1 in the morning when he fell asleep. That was the last time I saw him. Fast forward to last week when my mom told me that my brother told her that she should tell him when she does stuff with me because he wants to see me too. Then he told her I always was his favorite sibling. I was floored. And it made my day. So I reached out and told him I missed him and wanted to pick him up for lunch. So in an hour and a half I am picking him up. I'm so nervous because we have nothing in common and I have to find that line between being his big sister but not a "grownup" kwim? Like I don't want to go all mama hen on him but I want to be his big cool sis. I am really anxious.

Sorry to totally make it about me but I guess my point is you don't know what kind of impression you've made on him. He might really miss you. I say go for it.
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