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Fighting With My Brother After My Dad Passed...

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I know Ive mentioned my brother a few times in my post but while I was confiding in my lab partner, she suggested I write my brother a letter.

The letter would consist of me airing all my pain. Everything. Telling him that Im mad at him and upset and that I feel like our dad was disrespected. And all of that jazz.

The reason I chose a letter is because I want to be able to send it and put it in his hands. I want him to sit there, read it, and think about it. Im a little afraid he will think I am a coward because I didnt tell him in person but my lab partner made a good point, "why do you care?"

Well, I dont. If he is being the jerk that I feel like he is then whether or not I put it in a letter wont matter. I also feel like this will help with the grieving process a little because I almost feel that my dad had POS kids and yes, I am in fact calling myself, a piece of sh*t because i could have been there. My dad raised me and he didnt get to raise my brother. Its not my fault but I do feel like he holds it against my dad.

What do you guys think? I know ultimately it is MY decision but I wouldnt mind hearing thoughts from people who arent involved in the situation.

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Remember to address specific actions, not attack HIM. It is the actions we want to deal with, not the person we want to hurt. Remember your brother has his own set of feelings, valid ones, and they are very real to him and they will affect how he perceives what you write. Letters convey in a permanent way but do not hold tone, facial influctions or even a hug afterwards. There may come a day you might even want to know your brother, not now perhaps, but somewhere down the road when all parents are gone...will this letter make that unlikely?

Words are like arrows. They have the ability to hit the target, if you shoot well. But like arrows, sometimes words sting. And words once used, cannot be taken back. So choose your words wisely.

To quote W. Gladden "Gentle words, quiet words, are after all the most powerful words. They are more convincing, more compelling, more prevailing.."

Another to ponder: "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

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Another thought, Shari. In your desire to write this letter, ask yourself what your objective is. What is it that you hope to accomplish? Is your objective realistic? What will be the consequences?

Is the goal is to change your brother's behavior or to "get" him to see things from your perspective? If so, just know that the only person whose behavior you can change is you. We cannot "make" someone else do or think or behave the way we think they "should" regardless of how "right" we may think we are.

Is the goal to externalize your own anger and get it out of your head and your heart? Then maybe just writing the letter (without sending it or without giving it to your brother to read) will accomplish what you need. This option offers additional alternatives: You can hold onto the letter and polish and revise it as time goes on and as your own perspectives change ~ or you can decide one day simply to burn or toss the letter if you find that writing it was sufficient to help you feel better.

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I just came back on to ask you what your goal is...if it's to vent, maybe you should write the letter and tear it up.

Also, remember, this is your father's son. He didn't raise him. You don't think he regretted and felt guilty about that? What would your dad say to his son? Wouldn't he tell him he loved him and was sorry he didn't raise him, sorry he wasn't there for him in his life? Would your dad hold anything against him? As a parent, I can tell you, I wouldn't. My daughter has chosen not to be around her family, including me, since she was 18. I wasn't able to participate in her wedding preparations. I didn't get to come with her when she picked out her wedding dress. I have been there for her her entire life, loved her, but she has chosen to not only be independent, but estranged. I see her only on major holidays for a short time. That is getting lesser all the time. She has broken my heart. Her brother has a hard time with that. When I die, do I want him to tell her off? Do I want him to lay a guilt trip on her? Hell, no! I love her! She is my firstborn! I may not understand why she's chosen the route she has, but it's hers to choose. I love her regardless. Nothing will ever diminish that love. I don't want her left with guilt and regrets when I die...I may not be able to prevent that, but I certainly wouldn't want to add to it. Do you think maybe your dad loved his son and wished he could have been in his life more?

Perhaps a more conciliatory letter would have better results...if you tell your brother that your dad loved him and was sorry he wasn't able to raise him and be there for him in his life. He may not receive it now, but somewhere down the road he may consider it.

Remember also that it isn't wise to burn bridges. Someday one of you may need the other's kidney. Someday one of you may need the other's friendship.

Also, consider that your anger probably has more to do with your grief response than it actually has to do with your brother and what he did/didn't do/say. People are not at their best when they lose someone. Been there!

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The goal is to really show him how I feel. I will definitely use "i feel" language, rather than " you" language. I am mad at him but Im not going to send him a hateful letter because I dont need that. I do plan on telling him that Im upset that he didnt get to see our dad before he died because he dragged his feet but that was his decision.

I dont plan on starting a fight but I am going to write a letter so he has time to sit and listen to my words and think about them. Even if I do plan on parting ways with him later on in life, its going to be hard because I created a relationship with my niece and nephew and sister in law.

There is a lot more to this story than I am letting on, and that side of the family is extremely stubborn. My brother was estranged from my dad and another point of the letter is to tell him that he needs to forgive my dad for it because hes gone. He can stay mad but now there is nothing he can do. I have been told by multiple ppl that my dad felt that my brother didnt love him. My dad was happy when my brother came back into the picture but my brother tried to become my dad and thats also what created a little tension.

Anyway, before i get too involved, I ultimately want him to see my perspective and just like you guys have said, I dont have to send it. My mom told me that too. I think ill talk to a counselor and pray about it before I do it.

In other news, I have called a counseling center at my university and they are accepting new patients. I left a message and now I am waiting to see what happens

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But Shari, it's not up to you whether your brother forgives his dad or not. Just like it's not up to me whether my sister forgives my mom or not. We could encourage them when they were alive but now, it wouldn't help the parent, only the sibling, and it's up to them how and when.

Oh Shari, that's wonderful news (counselor), I hope you can get in.

And you know what? There usually IS a lot more to the story, there is to mine too (with my mom)...we don't have enough space for me to write it all. But in the end, I was able to let all the "stuff" go and my sister wouldn't, and she has to live with that. I think it would have been better for her, but it's up to me to respect her wishes, not convince her. You can set boundaries with your brother, though, esp. as you see him trying to play the role of dad...he's not your dad, never was, never will be. I have an older sister that tries that with me, I have to constantly remind her I'm an adult, I'm different from her, I'll take care of myself...and I'm 62! I think sometimes older siblings are always that...older siblings, it's hard for them to see us as anything but younger, no matter how old we get.

Having little ones in the family you still want to have in your life is incentive to try and go gentle. It's okay to be mad at him...just not always wise to show it. We care about you!

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