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I lost my only child to suicide October 26, 2015. My son brought me nothing but joy, the perfect child. He even earned a large scholarship to a top liberal arts college, a classics major ~ fluent in French, Latin, and proficient in Ancient Greek. He came home from college depressed, we obtained a therapist for him, the doctor prescribed Wellbutrin, which caused a psychotic manic episode they gave him Zyprexa three months later he was dead by his own hand. I raised him on my own, too afraid to risk an unsuitable step-parent. I am now utterly alone.

My brother, who I have always been close to, flew in and took care of all of the arrangements and took me home with him 1000 miles from where I live. He is recently divorced and has a grammar school age son.  I felt the situation would be a win, win - I feel loved and useful and he gets the help he needs. Slowly, I was able to actually do more than get my nephew off to school, for a couple of months I was able to pursue a hobby I dreamed of as a child ~ a very guilty pleasure, but as it involves animals I found it very therapeutic.

My beloved brother then met someone on line, a professional women, very unlike his ex- wife. They had been dating for two weeks the first time I meet her. Literately her second sentence to me was a not veiled suggestion I find somewhere else to live?? Stunned I quickly ended the conversation and calmly left the room. Our next meeting began with suggestions for my employment. I had been previously employed in the same professional position for 20 years, I was on disability ~ I was not charged rent, but covered all of my own expenses. I told my brother, (maybe too many times) how disturbing I found theses interactions. I was told "she is just trying to get to know you"??  

I felt forced to get out of the way, to save my relationship with my brother.  I was able to quickly get a job back in my old town, but it meant going back to live in the home where my son took his life. I had rented the home and would not be able to move back in for 3 months.  Before I left, I asked my brother if he would be able to stay with me when I first moved back into the home.  He agreed.

When I set the move in date, my brother told me he could not come at that time as he had to work. I knew he would just be returning from an overseas vacation with his new girlfriend at that time so it made sense he might have to work.  I let it go.

It was accidentally revealed to me over the weekend that my brother lied. He actually went on another vacation with his new girlfriend instead, this time taking his young son with him.  She moved in almost instantly when I left and they have been on two additional elaborate vacations since. My brother is coming through town for one day and expects to see me? I don't want to ~ I am crushed, he is the only person I felt I could trust. I so appreciate his generous help for the 8 months immediately following the loss of my son, but how to I pretended all is well between us?  Am I expecting too much from him? 

 

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I have read your post and I am so very sorry for the pain you are enduring right now. I cannot begin to know what you are going through having lost your son to suicide. My heart aches for you and for your loss. 

You ask, "Am I expecting too much from him?" I think only you will be able to answer this question about your brother's upcoming visit. I would find a way to talk with him and let him know what you are thinking. It doesn't mean it will change things but it will make you feel better. I am sorry you are going through this. 

We may not have answers to questions but one thing I've learned on my grief journey is that it helps to share and this is a very good place to do so. 

Anne

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I am so sorry for your loss.  I've had many losses, husband, parents, etc., but cannot know how hard your loss must be.  

You ask if you're expecting too much from your brother.  Anne's answer mirrored my own thoughts.  I would talk to him about the things you've spoken of here...how much you appreciate his being there for you, but how some of these things have made you feel, how crushed you were that he lied to you.  People often lie because they are afraid to tell the truth, it could be he was trying to spare your feelings, he felt it easier to lie, but even had he told the truth, it would have surely hurt you that he reneged on his word that he'd be there for you when you moved back to your old place.  

It has undoubtedly affected your ability to trust him.  Do you see a way that could be bridged back?  If so, I hope you can let him know that.  It is hard, having a relationship with someone that has a partner that seems to be undermining your relationship.  I have found it helps to deal with my person directly rather than with their SO.  I wish you well with this, I hope you feel comfortable continuing to come here and airing your feelings.  We're here...

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Thank you both for your replies.  If you are on this board I am sure you are somewhere in your grief journey yourselves and know of the constant gut wrenching pain we endure.  I guess you are correct, I do know the answer to my query ~ I am asking too much of him.  My brother is working at his empathy capacity.  I try and be happy for those that don't understand, who would want anyone to.  I tried talking to him before I moved away.  I think he knows how much pain his decision would bring me that is why he lied. There is a ton of family history which makes his decision much more painful.  I wish him all the happiness this world has to offer, our friendship is damaged.  I hope someday I will be able to trust him again. ?  

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I don't think you're asking too much of him.  However, sometimes things change after someone promises you something...in this case what changed was he got a girlfriend.  I feel for you, I do know how it feels.  My son and I always had a great relationship but when he married his wife has tried to undermine that relationship and I've really felt it.  I still have a good rapport with my son but we don't see each other much and since she's usually there, well it's changed things a lot.  I've had no choice but to accept those changes.

I hope you and your brother can find your way back from this, it would be a shame to live with a damaged relationship.  (((hugs)))

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Thank you kayc.  Well my brother came and went, we spoke in the off handed way we communicate.  I didn't directly confront him about his lie about going on vacation as opposed to being there for me as he promised. In our talks over the few hours we spent together, he did communicate all I needed to absorb.  He complemented me on my ability to put others needs before my own and stated he was not able to do that.  I think that says it all ~  that sums up my family really.  My father told me right after my son passed, "you have two shots at happiness now, win the lottery, or get married"  guess those are my options.  Thanks for listening. 

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Hmm,

Not sure I agree with your dad's advice...winning the lottery doesn't seem to bring people the elusive happiness they search for, but a whole host of new problems, and as for getting married, it depends on the marriage.  I've known too many people in unhappy marriages, for myself, I call it quits after losing my George (death), I haven't seen anything close to what we had.

Your brother was honest with you, but it's up to you if you find it acceptable or not, regardless, I've learned we can't change people.  We can set boundaries, which they may or may not adhere to, then it's up to us to let them have the consequences from such boundaries, which might mean distancing ourselves from what we can't tolerate.  Hard to implement?  Yes.  But I've had to do it.  Sometimes they learn and do make changes, sometimes they don't.

I'm just sorry for the disappointment and let down you must feel, you've been through a lot.

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