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tuesday--small rant

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

good morning. I have to do something with this emotion, so I will put it here. its nothing major, just a small annoyance that I need to let go of.
yesterday was a tough day. it didn't need to be, but my temperament just made it that way. we are in the throes of Medicaid filing for my dad. my brother is doing the actual filing, and I am helping behind the scenes with paperwork. it is helping me because up until now ALL the wrestling with paper and making phone calls etc. fell to me. I have been deep in the weeds with this since late july. okay--after the first meeting we have to get records going back to 2009 showing a bunch of financial stuff. my job was to call the banks AGAIN. they are being really nice about everything, but I am just worn down on the whole thing, I keep thinking I have everything--then my brother calls--why isn't there paperwork on the annuity (which he knew about but I had no clue). so its more calls, more driving around, more stress, more waiting for people to call me back--trying to decide when I should call THEM back and ask what's going on, etc. add to that the fact that there are some other time sensitive things that my brother has been struggling with and I am worried about that too. upshot--I have been slogging along doggedly for months.
now my little brother on the other hand.....he has a big shot job that takes him far away a lot. says he wants to help somehow--which is fine. doesn't help much. I don't communicate with him a lot--when I do he rarely answers my emails. the thing is, to my younger brother I barely exist. its not a hostile thing I don't think--he just doesn't think of me much. he adores my older brother--and while we were close when he was little--something happened and I drifted out of his line of sight.
so older brother sends out an email at the end of the day to both younger brother and I, saying "high fives all around---" and then he goes on to enumerate all the things that got done today. he includes my work calling all the banks and stuff in this memo. my little brothers response?
"way to go, bro!"
yeah--thanks.
it seems small I know, and it is. but its one of those repeating patterns that happens over and over again. each time it drives home the point that for whatever reason--my presence in his life (and I have stepped up to help him several times and listened to him tirelessly over the phone in years past) just isn't real significant. that hurts. and it angers me.
I swallow my anger and act cordial when I see him--I really love my little brother and I wish I was as significant to him as he is to me. but its just not that way.
fortunately I have friends I adore, who also love me, and my older brother and I have become a lot closer during this adventure. and I have rob--who really makes everything else pale by comparison. so on balance there is a lot more on the plus side than the minus.
okay--end of rant.
have a great day everyone!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • EILEEN828
    If your older brother unwittingly made it sound as if he did all the work, and didn't actually name you as having done the work, then the younger brother is unaware. If he did point it out and gave due credit then it is a faux pas on the younger brother. He may also have simply been replying to an email, that doesn't excuse it but it may be an explanation. It wouldn't hurt to mention it to the older brother and see if he noticed it and if he has let the younger brother know what efforts have been made by you. It could be a simple misunderstanding or it could be a stereotypical male response that women's efforts don't count. I don't know your brother so I wouldn't know that. If you think it is the later then I would let your younger brother know (or maybe both, as the case may be) how you felt about be slighted. There is no mistake, wading into the morass of legalities and insurance and Medicaid is very difficult and time consuming and you want him to know that you have been putting in a huge effort and not sitting on the sidelines twiddling your thumbs. It's not asking for a medal, it's simply a reality check so that people understand. No one really gets it until they're in the middle of it themselves. Just say "Hey, a little credit please, I haven't been busting my a** for us all, just to have you turn around and ignore it". It does sound as if your older brother is on top of it though, so I'd feel him out first. From my own experience, family ties you thought you knew all about can really get tricky through all of these difficulties, my own got pretty ugly for awhile, and it's a long uphill battle to take back all the BS that went down. Cut everyone some slack if you can, and especially yourself first! Do not try to be crowned the winner, you will only lose. You know in your heart you've done the right thing and that IS what matters.
    1684 days ago
  • LIVEDAILY
    Who knows why people do the things they do? Every one of us has a public agenda/a public persona, but we all also have a private agenda/a private self. Even though he is your brother, do you really know him as a person? We can't often choose our family. Most times, we're stuck with who we get. Yes, it's unfair that your younger brother doesn't help with family matters. Yes, it's unfair that he thinks Big Brother is doing all of the work. Yes, it sucks that younger brother fails to recognize your contributions. Such is life. You can always have a chat with older brother and ask him, "Hey I noticed that you said High Fives all around in your email. Has younger brother been helping out in some way that you haven't told me about?" Depending on his response, you may be able to let older brother know you didn't exactly appreciate having him give younger brother credit for a job YOU had done. You can continue to be cordial, and you'll always love your younger brother, but until you clear the air, there's always going to be an underlying tension. This may not be the time of year to deal with it. Timing is always sensitive. I imagine you'll want to ponder on this some.
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    1685 days ago
  • TIFFFIT
    That's a lot of stress, and while now maybe isn't the time you might want to check out Crucial Conversations and/or Crucial Confrontations. The take-away message I like best is to approach things like this in a 3-part conversation. The first conversation is focused on the consequence of the behavior; "when you say you'll help but don't it puts additional stress on the family". If you have to have another conversation, focus on the pattern; "continuing to place the burden of dad's affairs on us makes me feel as if you don't value our contributions". Finally if you have to have a third discussion it focuses on the relationship; "we were really close as children but somewhere along the way I feel like we've drifted apart. Your lack of understanding around the work I'm doing makes me sad and I would like us to be closer, but it's difficult for me to get past these feelings".
    Believe it or not, that does tend to work well as long as both you and your little brother understand that you're trying to help, that the conversation is safe and that it's a genuine attempt to fix things rather than point blame.
    This is all probably way more than you were looking for after venting, and if so I'm sorry. I hope things get easier for your whole family and your relationship with your brother gets stronger and smoother with time.
    Hugs!
    PS--we are dealing with a very similar situation with a newly-disabled brother (fell last month and now has a permanent traumatic brain injury/trying to get Medicaid/some family members helping, others not-so-much) so I actually kind of know what you're going through... :-( Trying to use all my coping skills too...
    1686 days ago
  • TERRACOTTAGE
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    1686 days ago
  • JANET552
    We can't pick our family. I'm glad you had a chance to get it off your chest, so to speak. Hope it helped!!

    Thinking of you!! Hoping you have a great day!
    1686 days ago
  • KESTRYLL
    Good luck to you, it will come to a conclusion soon enough, I'm sure!
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    1686 days ago
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