Just Me Again

Monday, February 8, 2010 – 10:40 AM   It seems as though almost everything in my life has gotten out of whack for one reason or another. Maybe this is a good thing in some ways. Nothing of any major consequence has happened, but at the same time, I am feeling very depressed and do not see any signs that this is going to change for the better any time soon.   Although my brother called me a few weeks ago, I still do not feel as though I have a very good relationship with him. When we were both seeing my mental health therapist together, there was a time when I had some hope that maybe we were clearing up some issues from our past, which would enable us to see one another more often. Unfortunately, that has not turned out to be the case.   I am trying to reconcile myself to the fact that it is becoming more unlikely that we will ever be as close as I would like. Part of me can accept that, but another part of me wants the two of us to be closer. I am having an internal struggle trying to decide how important this really is to me. I am getting closer to the point where I think that it might just be easier to give it up.   On Friday, I had a therapy session with Dale. He wants me to contact my brother and see if he would be willing to meet with me for another counseling session later this month. I agreed to do that even though I have just about given up any hope that things will get better between my brother and me. Dale says that he wants to know how my brother feels about our relationship. I told him that I feel very strongly about the old saying to the effect that "Actions speak louder than words," and based on that, I really do not think that my brother intends to get closer to me.   My sister called me Saturday night. I do not think there was any special reason for her call other than the fact that she usually contacts me at least once a week to make sure that I am doing okay. Although I like to hear from her, it usually means I am going to have to sit through spending about an hour listening to her tell me what has been going on in her life. I do not really mind that other than the fact that she always talks about her friends (most of whom I do not know) as well as whatever problems she has been having with her family. This week her call also included the fact that she has had to replace the furnace in her house.   Dale had suggested that I needed to ask my sister to come visit me. I gave that a shot, and while she did not quite refuse, she said that she would have to see how the weather was before making any decisions about what to do this week. Hearing that reinforced my feelings that she cares more about her friends than she does me.   It began snowing last night, and I'm quite sure that it is going to play havoc with my plans for the week. By the time the snow stops, we are supposed to have between 4 to 6 inches of it. I am supposed to see Dr. Martin tomorrow, but do not think I will be able to keep the appointment because of the snow. I am going to call her today and see if we can have my session by telephone instead of my going there. We did this one other time and it worked out quite well.   On Wednesday afternoon, I'm scheduled to begin having some physical therapy because of my back pain. I intend to keep that appointment even if I have to go by dog sled. I have had more pain than usual during the past week, and have had to increase the amount of pain medication I take because of that.   The instructions on my bottle of Percocet say for me to take one or two pills four times a day. When my home healthcare nurse came to see me this morning, I questioned her about this because I wanted to make sure that taking two pills at a time would not cause me to have an overdose. She assured me that it was safe for me to take that amount. In spite of that, I am trying not to take more than one pill at a time (with a maximum of three pills a day) unless my pain becomes almost unbearable.

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

I am glad you are talking to Dr. Martin tomorrow.

Jim, I really think you are accurate in your assessment of your brother. It is sad. I wish you had a better birth family because you deserve it. You know better than anyone else what is best for you. If you don\'t think having a session with him will be helpful then I suggest you stand your ground. It takes time and effort to come to these realizations. Sometimes we fight them because we don\'t want to deal with the sadness of losing that idea of the relationship we\'ve created in our head. I would question Dale on what actions he sees that make therapy with your brother worth it.

I\'m inspired by your determination to get physical therapy. Do you think you could use more than you are getting? What if you got some of your money from your brother and used it to pay for something that helps you, like massage or more physical therapy? Would benefits get cut off if they found out you have money? If so, someone needs to get on changing that.

Maybe the energy used to try and get through to your brother and to appease your sister could better be used meeting new people. Slowly though. Perhaps a support group? Have you been to them before? I haven\'t.

Glad you are managing the Percocet strictly. I think it works better that way.
CoolGal
CoolGal

Hi Jim Glad you wrote a Journal. I like to know how things are going with you. Sibling relationships are funny things. I think this is true especially if one of the siblings is disabled. In my case I bonded with my parents and no with my sister\'s very much. I never could do the things they could Run and play and have friends over. So I think they bonded with each other more then me. I love them because they are my sister\'s.and I DON\"T dislike them.But other then that there is not much of a relationship there.I live on my own in my own condo now that both parents are gone.So the fact I don\'t live with either of my sister\'s says alot about our relationship doesn\'t it. You\'re not alone in this.Many hugs-Stephanie
deleted_user
deleted_user

Pssssssssssssssssst ????
Your brother is a strange man.
Do not blame yourself for any lack of family bonding.
This man has not dealt with his issues. He lives his life in denial.
He loves to be right. He needs to be in control.
None of this is about you.
Your sister does care about you.
You can limit the time you speak to her in a calm and courteous manner.
Decide how much of your day you are willing to spend discussing her friends and her furnace problems. You can implement a slight change in your next conversation if you choose to do so. Then you may curtail the conversation a little more in your next phone contact.
Perhaps you may decide to just alter the conversation topics a little more to your liking.
If you decide to change something, be gentle with yourself.
Step by step with missteps here and there, you will make any changes you may decide are necessary.
Bring yourself into the conversation if you like.
Talk about your interests.
I totally disagree with you about your sister not wanting to come to therapy because she cares more about her friends than she cares about you.
She cares about you, she does.
You are part of her family.
I think she does not want to come to therapy because she has all her tools in place that help her live her life without having to examine her behavior or be honest about her childhood and what it entailed.
Again, her not wanting to come to therapy is all about her and not about you at all.
At some point you will realize that you are really rocking the boat for both of them.
You are working towards becoming a healthier person with a full and happy life. You are doing this through hard work on your personal issues and with self honesty.
Your sister may be hesitating in going the direct and honest route because she is afraid of what will be jarred out of place in her life OR that she will be found lacking.
She may be perfectly happy with the way her life is right now and she has a right to feel that way.
You brother may have a personality disorder. Who knows ?
If that is true, nothing he does, or says, or wants to do, or does not want to do, has anything to do with you. It is all about him.
It just may be that he does not have the ability to see things clearly.
You want a closer family relationship.
Wonderful. You deserve to have just that.
However, your brother has to want it too.
For now, he is all caught up in his own world.
I think it is commendable that Dale is keeping the focus on your request to establish a more open line of communication with your brother and you sister, too.
Dale and Dr. Martin really do have your best interests at heart.
These are all my opinions. Most assuredly you know what is best for you.

I cant wait until you actually are able to see how competent and wonderful you truly are.
You have gifts of personal wealth that you have not opened yet.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Jim, I\'ve been thinking about your relationship with your brother.

Do you think you could find a way to make it work for you?
Accept is limitations, emotionally and as a brother.

What he wants is to feel superior to you.
Perhaps you can allow him that and get
a better life for yourself. What if you asked HIM
to pay for an extra aide for you?

I think you could get him to pay for someone
to come and take you for therapy.
Maybe a sauna or something. I find
heat very soothing on sore spots.

I know this would have to be someone you
trust. Could there be an arrangement that you
make with someone you trust and pay them
yourself (via your brother)? Cut out the middle man,
who doesn\'t seem to be really be helping
out?
deleted_user
deleted_user

Great idea, Sam.
Both ideas were great, actually.
As long as you come into the relationship with your brother with a sense of power and knowledge and know that you are alright while accepting that his oddities are really displays of his insecurity rather than intellectually enlightenment, then you are the winner.
You are an empowered man having a relationship with his brother under your own personal terms.
So what if he has to lead every dance...let him.
As long as you are strong in your sense of self and can tolerate his stuff, then cool...Sam is right...you just may be able to make it work for you.
But, remember....this entire relationship begins and ends with you.
You are the power.
As you go along he may be attracted to your consistency in personal strength.
One never knows, he just might shift his position to a healthier one.
Who knows ?
Empower yourself by remembering that you have options.

It would be cool if your brother might pay for additional assistance.
I am so uncomfortable when I hear that there is someone in your home who does not have your best interests at heart.

Even though you may not have time to be on Ds frequently, you are still in our thoughts.

Hugs to you, Jim.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Yah, and the money is actually yours so we can laugh at how he THINKS he\'s paying.