I have been estranged several years from my mum now and recently my brother reached out again after 3 years with no contact. I am assuming they have finally been able to travel to visit and are putting pressure on him. Of course he said all the wrong things.
His position is that my estranging is worse than anything that led up to it. While he is of that mindset, things could never change. Also of note is the fact that, those things are what caused the estrangement, one could not happen without the other.
He mentions differing perceptions, that's a valid point. That doesn't however invalidate my hurt and upset and that I needed certain behaviours to stop. It doesn't actually mean that my perceptions are wrong. Just because they feel comfortable with how I was treated, doesn't mean I should.
He said the ball is in my court. This is not a game but let's pretend for a moment that it was, I'm not playing, I have left the court. The rules were unclear, it was 1 against 3 and they never equipped me with a racquet.
He says that I have used my children as weapons. Again, my children have witnessed things for themselves. They are involved and approving of my decision. Also, my children aren't weapons. They aren't pieces to be moved as part of a game. Why are they being referred to as such? My children and their emotional health is my responsibility. They aren't mediators, they don't belong in the middle. The way to have a good relationship with my children was to have a good relationship with me, both in front of my children and when they were not around.
He said they are always willing to fix this. That should have happened years ago when I explained how I felt and what was hurting me. I offered joint counselling, I explained why I couldn't carry on as things were politely and gently. I came to it from a place of love and wanting a good relationship.
He told me that while I remain cut off from family, I cannot grow emotionally. Oh no, the opposite is true. Completely. The evidence exists in every aspect of my life. My growth was stunted by people who treated me like I was worthless, an embarrassment, not good enough, too many children, don't own my house, didn't finish my education, the list goes on and on. Of course they have no way of knowing I did in fact finish my education since estrangement.
He said that I had surrounded myself with people willing to agree with me unconditionally. Again, not true. I do not exist in an echo chamber and if that is what I wanted, I would never be posting here, in a place where estrangement has many facets. I've never held myself up as perfect. I've struggled with my mental and physical health. I've needed support that hasn't always been easy to hear but that's possible to do when it comes from a kind place of understanding and care.
He said some really awful things to me when I first estranged and again he justified them all, I made him angry, he said things because he was angry and that was my fault so he has no need to apologise. I don't agree, we are all always responsible for our own behaviour. Just because anger exists doesn't mean it is OK to cut someone, physically or verbally.
He told me all about how I will eventually regret this. Why? Why on earth would I? If regret were to appear it would be there from the start. The only thing that comes and goes is guilt and hurt. Hurt that I couldn't have a family who loved me but cares deeply that it appears to others that they do. Guilt because of all the things I no longer do or will not do in future for aging family members because we do not have a relationship. Unchangeable, circumstantial emotions that sometimes have to be carried and sometimes get put down.
I still know what it would have taken for me to end estrangement. It's quite simple. Accountability, empathy for how I felt and change. Of course that's impossible because my mum is an abusive narcissist and follows the abuse patterns of a covert narcissist to the letter. Baring in mind, her narcissism is diagnosed in her absence by a therapist due to the symptoms I exhibited. The same way we know Chicken Pox by our bodies very specific immune response.
It is just too late for my brother too now though. I've grieved and moved on from the relationship the same way I would any ended relationship. I don't have feelings for him any more. I knew that the moment he sent me an email picking me apart and demeaning me on every level because I didn't cry, I just dealt with it as I would any stranger on the Internet telling me all the old tropes estranged children of abusive parents are far too used to hearing. Even if he said the right things now, there is no trust, it's gone. I'm just not playing.
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