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Unable to forgive or forget

(81 Posts)
ttgran Fri 12-Nov-21 08:42:07

Mum was widowed in the 1950s left with three children under five never remarried no family to help no idea how she managed to keep us together but she did.
Fast forward to 1970s my two brothers on marriage estranged her and me at different times for no given reason.
She became a big part of my family and died in the 1990s still unable to accept this cruel act.
Yesterday totally unexpected I received a phishing email with many relevant details of my early life so not a scam .
It is my brother in the email he wishes to reconnect and not to hold grudges!!!
He doesn't know its me he is just guessing and probably sent numerous emails to others I blocked him.
Having read many of your emails regarding estrangement that you still love but not like your AC I sadly have neither for both of them.
If mum was still alive I probably could have asked her what she wanted to do but after all these years I have no feelings towards either of them.
Should I have let the past go? I think I did the right thing.

Curlywhirly Fri 12-Nov-21 08:50:14

If it was me, out of curiosity I would make contact, if only to get an explanation of why he decided to go no contact with your Mum. If you don't like what you hear or feel anger towards him, you could always tell him, thanks, but no thanks.

Oopsadaisy1 Fri 12-Nov-21 08:50:28

Go with your gut, I did.

I knew that if my brother had ever contacted me I wouldn’t be able to sit down and have a calm conversation with me over the way he treated my Mother and his behaviour after she died.

If you feel the same way then IMO there is no point in answering his email.

Just get on with your life rather than stir all the old hatred up again.

Oopsadaisy1 Fri 12-Nov-21 08:50:46

With him, not me.

silverlining48 Fri 12-Nov-21 09:09:34

I agree with Ooops and think you are right, It would be very hard to reconnect with your brother after so many decades, even if he is sorry, it’s just too late. Things can never be the same after all that has gone on,

I have a similar situation with my sibling so do understand.

Sago Fri 12-Nov-21 09:19:23

ttgran A phishing email is to gain financial information.

I assume you mean he has tried lots of variations of your email address and hit lucky.

I would just like to say that his childhood may have been very different to yours, my brother had a wonderful childhood, everything he wished for, public school education, he was showered with material possessions and adored.

I was like Cinderella, the scapegoat child, I was physically and mentally abused and very much treated as a second class citizen.

I think you should allow your brother a hearing, he may be wanting to apologise, he could be seriously ill.
You may regret not giving him the opportunity.

BrightandBreezy Fri 12-Nov-21 09:28:48

Sago makes some good points and if it were me I think that is what I would do. In the end you must do what you are most comfortable with. Maybe 'sleep' on it for a while. Don't rush to a decision one way or the other??

rafichagran Fri 12-Nov-21 09:33:42

No I would not do it, I never want too see my sister again we have been estranged for years.

March Fri 12-Nov-21 09:47:22

Always follow your gut. If you think you've done the right thing then you've 100% done the right thing.

Yoginimeisje Fri 12-Nov-21 09:49:00

ttgran What rotten brothers you have and what rotten sons they were, your poor mum was no doubt heart broken. 3 children under 5 must have been so hard for her in every way.

I take it that it was the that made the estrangement happen as you say it was after they married, this happens a lot, especially now a days.

9yrs ago my cherished daughter estranged me, taking my most precious grandchildren out of my life too. Without doubt this would not have happened without her husband's input. My daughter and my GD lived with me before he came along and we were very close and loving. I can never forgive her, her cruelty to me, her sister that she also cut out and to my darling little GD, who even had her name taken from her by her stepdad! No I can never forgive that.

Unbelievably, my son joined in with the estrangement, seems same happened with your brothers ttgran, quite common. 6 yrs of not hearing from him he, out of the blue, contacted me. He's been living with me back home now for the past 2 yrs. We get on really well, as we did before all this, reason why myself and my other daughter couldn't, for the life of us, understand why he had followed his sister into estrangement.

I can't forget or forgive what he did, especially as he knew the pain I was in at losing my D&GC. But I have moved on from that and we now have a very good relationship and I love him.

As others have said, read your gut feelings and act on them. Such a long time has passed though, but the hurt he inflicted on your mum is unforgivable and on you too of course.
Good luck and keep us informed, I for one would be interested to hear what you decide to do.

Whiff Fri 12-Nov-21 09:49:33

ttgran my first thought would be is he after money or a kidney ? I know that seems strange but after all this time those are things that jumped into my mind.

He is related to you but it would be like meeting a stranger. If it was me I would ignore him.

But how do you feel ? Could you face him and not want to shout at him for all the hurt he has caused you and your late mom. If the answer is yes then it's not worth upsetting yourself.

But you must do what feels right for you. Talk to your loved ones. As they wouldn't want to see you hurt . If you do want to see him don't go alone. Have a witness to what is said.

Only you can decide what you can live with . ?

Elless Fri 12-Nov-21 10:05:17

I can imagine this is really difficult for you but I'd be tempted to hear him out. Us who have been estranged worry about what things are being said to innocent GC or other parties. I am by no means saying your Mum was in the wrong but there may be something she didn't tell you or want you to know. Please don't take this in a bad way, I'm just trying to be helpful.

Chewbacca Fri 12-Nov-21 10:16:33

Personally, I wouldn't want to hear him out. You've come this far in life without his input, what could he add to it that would benefit you?

Poppyred Fri 12-Nov-21 10:23:37

I would tell him that you can’t ever forgive him for his cruelty and leave it at that.

Smileless2012 Fri 12-Nov-21 10:25:29

ttgran if you have found peace and happiness in your life despite what your brothers did to you and your mum then IMO you did the right thing.

What is there to say, to explain now decades later that couldn't have been said and explained at the time.

Treasure the memories you have of your mum and leave your brother in the past where he belongsflowers.

mumofmadboys Fri 12-Nov-21 10:49:49

I think differently from most responses. I would certainly see your brother and get to know him again. Family are important. I would only discuss why everything went so wrong after you have had time to catch up with the here and now. You don't know what pressures he was under at the time. I would like to think forgiveness is always an option. Your mum must have been very busy with 3 small children as a single parent.Do you think your mum would feel pleased if the 3 of you reunited again?

silverlining48 Fri 12-Nov-21 11:02:45

Yogin I am sorry and not sure if this helps but it is probable that your gd was adopted by her mother and partner. It is usual for the surname of the child then to be changed.
Adoption can help children feel secure especially if other/later children are involved.

Granniesunite Fri 12-Nov-21 11:03:22

You seem content with your family situation as it is*ttgran.

To have contact now could cause you further stress but you do consider if your mum was alive it might be different.

With that in mind I’d be thinking of some form of contact to hear the other side of the story. It is a difficult decision and will depend on the relationship you had with this brother before he estranged.

Zoejory Fri 12-Nov-21 11:07:14

I think you'll do what is right for you.

Some of us would get in touch, some wouldn't.

Up to you.

My opinion? I'd answer him.

VioletSky Fri 12-Nov-21 11:30:26

I'd answer him, I'd want to understand where he was coming from and why his experience was so different.

If his experience was different it doesn't change yours, both can exist independently.

It's completely valid for you to not answer him though. You don't have to have a relationship with anyone and there is nothing wrong with making that choice.

Oopsadaisy1 Fri 12-Nov-21 12:11:48

The problem with seeing him or writing to him is that he could spin the whole thing and make it all your Mothers fault!

Is he likely after all this time to say sorry it was all my doing and I want forgiveness?

You know what your Mother was like, so do you want to hear anything about her that you can’t confirm now she has died?

paddyann54 Fri 12-Nov-21 12:22:01

I would leave things as they are,my sister abdicated from the family when my dad died.She didn't want to have any responsibility for mum who had multiple health issues.So my older sister and I looked after mum until she died 12 and a half years later.It wasn't easy ,when we started I had a 5 year old and a teenager , a full time job and a home to run.

My OH worked long hours so I never expected any input in household stuff from him.6 months before mum died she broke her leg and spent 7 weeks in hosital we thought that our absent sister should know she thought not.Didn't go near the hospital or mum she she didn't come when we told her mum was near the end either.

Thankfully my older sister and I were there for the end and organised the sister turned up for that!! Floods of tears and literally supported on either side by her in laws .
My mother would have said crocodile tears.
Its nearly 28 years since dad died and if I never speak to my sister again it wont bother me.I cant forgive her for her lack of care for mum who doted on her as she was the baby of the family.

Keep well back he chose his life let him get on with it!

Smileless2012 Fri 12-Nov-21 12:45:48

"make it all your mother's fault" that's a good point Oopsadaisy and well worth giving a lot of thought too.

Daisend1 Fri 12-Nov-21 12:50:39

Why now I ask does he decide to be in touch.?
Would he have changed? does he have regrets for his past actions?
You claim to have no feelings for him.
What will you gain by allowing the past back into your life.?
Why give him the opportunity to open up old wounds.?

silverlining48 Fri 12-Nov-21 13:13:39

When I had contact with my sibling he always trivialised, justified and minimised things which happened in the past, and I ended up feeling worse because it brought back difficult times in my life.
I never saw him alone, always had someone with me and the last time was the last straw. No more. I feel much better for it.
It may be different for you but it is is a long gap. Water and bridges come to mind.
Do what you are comfortable with. They made a choice 50 years ago, and this is now your choice. Good luck.