Just like you, but different
From previous posts you might have got the impression that there was a family member shy of a family. The youngest child had mysteriously and inexplicably decided to shy away from contact with the family and for years became estranged from the family.
You’ll probably also get that we’re not exactly a close family. 8 children and not a one of us lives in the same town, city as any other one, and in fact two of us live in different countries.
You’ll also have been intrigued by the implosion that the death of the mother has caused within the family an some apparent greed being played out.
I’ll put my hand up and say that since 1987, when I left the UK apart from the occasional call home to Mother that I hadn’t made any attempt to talk to my brothers or sisters, and it was decade before I met my older brother in Australia. Yes a brother and also my mother came to visit in NZ, but that’s about it. We’re not a big on being a family family.
So it was with unreasonable joy that the youngest brother had decided, coincidentally, to make contact with the family again. I really was elated. This made me feel whole again in some strange way.
And it was with trepidation that I emailed him, just a touch-base email, just in case.
What I wasn’t expecting was the quite harrowing and upsetting reply that I got back. And even now I’m saddened even to think about reading it again. The opposite of joy unbounded.
Because, quite frankly, the horrors that my brother has suffered through. Alone.
I’m ashamed, so very very ashamed. Even now I’m close to tears with emotion and distress. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just very confusing.
The bit that makes me cry is this:
“PS. Please excuse my grammar, I suffer terribly with dyslexia since I had a course of ECT treatment“
I don’t want this to be true. I don’t think that my wonderful life should be so wonderful when your own brother is having what is a horrific treatment for depression. It’s not what fair is. It’s such a gulf, a chasm between what I have and what he’s had. I know that it’s not same/same and it’s not a fair compare. But it’s not something that I’m comfortable with.
I’m ashamed because I have a wonderful family (mostly), which is clear because even though after many years we can pick up where we left off, except older, grayer, fatter, wiser. And I’m so bereft, so alone, in a country where I have no family, and the relatives are all from MrsPdubyah’s side of the tree. And! they’re immigrants too, the family tree isn’t so much a tree as a stick.
So quite apart that I like it here and it is my home, it’s also been a prison of my own making and that belief that things are things, and that family will always be there at this point aren’t actually stacking up.
I wish I could have made it better, obviously I can from now, or I can try, but for my youngest brother I shall cry a few shamed and painful tears of regret, anger and frustration. I’m so so sorry.