• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found in our area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Brothers

JMU

Registered User
Feb 17, 2012
155
0
Cornwall
This is really just me kind of checking in.
It's been a bit of an odd week. I've been rushed off my feet at work (we had three audits in one day on Thursday!) and not really fit to do anything but collapse when I get home.
Yesterday I stopped off at the local shop on my way home from work to get some milk. On my way out of the shop I passed my brother. Seeing him shocked me. Just some context- my brother is an addict, has been sine his early teens, and I thought I'd seen everything from him that could upset me. I'm his junior by 8 years, yet I still remember a time when he was the kindest, most loving person in my family and my best friend. The drugs changed all that. I've never held it against him. There was a lot going on at the time and I think he just wasn't strong enough to face it, plus (as some may have read before in my posts) mental illness runs pretty strong through my family. Nowadays he takes pretty much anything from alcohol to I don't know what. He avoids me. The last time I saw him was a few months ago when he knocked on our door and asked for dad. He said nothing else to me.
Back to the point. He's always been thin as a rake, never eats properly, but when I saw him yesterday he was, well, bloated, his eyes unfocused. I don't think he even recognised me. And it really shocked me. He'd tied up his dog outside the shop (acquired through some friend who left it on his doorstep one day and was never seen again) and it was howling for him. Crying more like, an awful noise. My brother stuck his head back through the door and yelled at it to shut up. It didn't sound like him either.
And then I had a horrible thought. If he died I wouldn't be able to tell dad. Dad doesn't really know him now. Is that a blessing?
That's my morbid side coming through.
Then, to add to it all, my half-brother rang this afternoon. My half brother is in his mid-forties, an alcoholic and lives at some distance. The last time he visited was in the summer. It was perhaps the fifth or sixth time I have met him in my life. I think he had recently been told about dad. He came into our house roaring drunk, stinking of it, tried to start an argument with me, was over the top familiar with dad (who was bemused by it all) and eventually ended up lying in the grass in our back garden. His girlfriend, meanwhile, was profusely apologising for his behaviour. I was not impressed. Today he rang up, the only thing he said to me was "Is dad there?" twice (I see a pattern forming- I didn't even know who it was on the phone) and then proceeded to have a rather bizarre conversation with Dad. Dad got a little upset as at first my brother wouldn't tell him who he was either (or so it appeared). In the end he put his 14 year old son (whom I thought estranged from him) on the phone and the conversation turned even stranger before the boy hung up. Dad wasn't that bothered, but what my nephew thought I do not know. I don't suppose I should worry about it.
A strange fact- both my brother and half-brother share the same name. Add to that the rest and the fact that they look alike also (even with different mothers, it's sometimes hard to tell them apart in childhood photos) and it's all a bit bizarre. Yet it seems the only name amongst us siblings that dad still half-recognises. He makes an effort now to remember my name but he says it to me as if I'm a stranger. He tells people in the street I'm no relation to him even while I'm calling him dad. Yesterday he asked me if I came from England. I'm used to all that, though it makes me uncomfortable at times. I just find the whole thing sad. I suppose I should be glad that he isn't aware of the rest of it.
 

Christin

Registered User
Jun 29, 2009
5,038
0
Somerset
Hello JMU, I am sorry to read about your brothers. I don't have any myself, so I can't compare, but I can understand how upsetting it is to see a sibling who has changed so much.

I agree, its probably good that your dad is unaware of some things, but sad all the same.

Take good care of yourself too. x
 

Katrine

Registered User
Jan 20, 2011
2,837
0
England
How bizarre. I suppose I would be thinking "what's your game, mush?" Visits and phone calls out of the blue. Must want something. If your Dad is either distressed or indifferent then discouraging your brother from bothering him is probably in his best interests. The grandson must have been so embarrassed and not knowing what to say.

I am sorry that your Dad is having difficulty recognising you. This is bound to hurt; how could it not. The good thing is that he trusts you and is supported and safe, which is more than can be said for what your brothers have to offer. It is very painful to see people on self-destruct, especially family members, however much estranged. You can't help but thinking they are your flesh and blood and wishing that things had turned out differently so that they would be real brothers instead of chaotic strangers. :(
 

garnuft

Registered User
Sep 7, 2012
6,583
0
I understand what you're saying about your brother JMU. My older brother died of organ failure after years of drinking. He lost the wife and children he adored because of it and ended life in a hostel. He was my best friend too and the kindest brother.
I think he avoids you through shame and perhaps doesn't feel strong enough to face things. It must make you feel sad, wishing for the support a loving brother could have been.

The half-brother....well that's a strange kettle of fish isn't it?
He has just found out about his Dad, is he making contact to get his dibs in on any inheritance? sorry to be cynical but I am a cynic :eek: But it could also be that he has seen his Dad and worries that the end is near and is trying to build bridges, his son being there could be part of that. Perhaps hearing about your Dad has made him feel he has to put some things right?
Either way, it's a pain in the neck for you and I would stand my ground and if he comes at you aggressive again (benefit of the doubt it could have been guilt and embarassment that made him be off his face and aggressive)I would tell him to bog off, coming in shouting and upsetting things. He is not the important one, you and your Dad are.
My Mam gets me mixed up too, but she loves me, she told me...'I love our ***' she said once 'Have you met her? She's a lovely girl.'
Next minute she knows who I am and tells me off. C'est la vie.
Chin up, you can pick your friends but not your relations. Keep the faith. X
 
Last edited:

JMU

Registered User
Feb 17, 2012
155
0
Cornwall
Thanks. I don't think there are any ulterior motives as such, besides guilt. We have no money to speak of and my brother gave up trying to wangle things out of dad years ago after come up against me in my teens. I've always had the ability to be very hard hearted when its needed, whereas dad has always been the opposite. To be honest I'm grateful that my brother seems to have accepted now that dad isn't himself, as at first he refused to admit it. But I don't like him visiting, particularly with that dog. I came home a few months ago to find dad had let it into the house where it had attacked one of the cats.
As for my half-brother, I think you are right garnuft. They are both trying to avoid reality in their way. I don't have any hope that either of them will ever really change, I've had more experience of the addiction gene than ever wanted, and I think I'm at peace with that fact. I expect nothing from them now, but wish they could respect us and not put on these odd performances out of the blue. After the 'aggressive' incident there was a lot of 'political' nonsense posted on his facebook page that he kept adding me to, which drove me to the point where I nearly cut him out of our lives altogether- something I have done in the past with another addict relative. That would have caused a furore, but like I said I don't take such nonsense from anybody.
Dad has spent the rest of the afternoon telling me about the strange phone he got from some man who tried to tell him he was his son. Apparently the phone call came from France!:) He does agree with me that whatever it was, it wasn't important!
 

patilo33

Registered User
Oct 12, 2011
255
0
Scunthorpe
Life's uPs and downs

Hi JMU
Hope you're feeling better after letting it all out.
A few bolts out'the blue recently, hey?
Life's ups And downs.
One minute things are plain sailing, the next minute you're hit with slap in the face.
Good job your dads got you around.
As for family....well....you can choose your friends but family....are thrust upon you.

Keep strong and keep your head.
 

garnuft

Registered User
Sep 7, 2012
6,583
0
Glad you feel able to handle it JMU.
Family are the reason I came off Facebook. Too much hypocrisy and no 'that's a load of ......lies' button :D
 
Last edited: