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Old 04-14-2017, 10:47 AM
onedayatatime13 onedayatatime13 is offline
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Default Reconnecting with my brother

About 4 years ago, I stopped answering my brothers calls and stopped visiting long before that. He has been in 14 years with at least 4 more to go. I was much younger and much more judgemental. Plus, it felt like he was trying to control my life from the inside and a lot of drama with his wife. I was getting divorced and needed a time out to figure my life out.

When my guy got locked up, I started to feel really guilty about not being there for my brother. I wrote to him and he responding very quickly. He has no room on his phone list right now, but wants me to come and visit.

How do you apologize for abandoning them? I did in my letter the best I could, but doesn't seem like enough. I didn't want to deal with it. I didn't tell him my by current situation as of yet, plus there is the likelihood they could end up in the same place.

Any advice?

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Old 04-14-2017, 01:04 PM
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Hi there and welcome to PTO , I hope you can reconnect with your brother as family is important. However its important to set boundaries to ensure the drama and the control dont happen.
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Old 04-14-2017, 05:14 PM
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It is entirely possible to apologize and/or ask forgiveness without seeming 'weak'. You have already opened the door by sending him a letter. You said he responded quickly, was his response a positive one? Or is he asking you to visit so he can yell at you?

I've found that the best way to deal with situations such as these is to be honest, forthright and true to yourself.

I could see myself, in your position, telling my hypothetical brother "I was in a bad place, I hadn't quite grown up yet, and I was in the middle of a divorce. I needed space to sort things out. I finally did sort things out and realized that I'd been at best negligent to you as my brother, and at worst, completely and utterly unsupportive. I feel terrible about it, but I'm sure you realize that we can't change the past, all we can do is change the present. So here I am asking you to forgive me my past, and let's work on a good 'present' together."

That's how I work though - I feel like if I take responsibility for my actions (or misdeeds), that I then have control over them. Which means that if I am guilty of a transgression, no matter how big or small, that I am able to change my behavior. If I don't own my transgression, it means I'm more likely to repeat it. I also see asking for forgiveness as a position of strength, not weakness. And if the other person can't grant forgiveness, I view that as a position of weakness, not strength.

It takes much more strength to own a mistake than to obfuscate about it. It takes more strength to forgive than to blame.

My 2 cents. Obviously, past relationship plays a role here too. I gave my Dad a lot more time/leeway to eventually forgive me because I knew he was not 'strong' enough to forgive easily. He had to work his way around forgiveness before he could actually do it. There are others who I would not give as many opportunities to because I know that they would probably never get there.

You know your brother better than I do, however, I give everyone the opportunity to forgive my transgressions. Whether they want to or are even able to forgive me? That's on them, not me, because I did give them the opportunity.
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Old 04-15-2017, 06:09 PM
onedayatatime13 onedayatatime13 is offline
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Thank you for that. He won't tell at me. He wants me in his life. He would call our sister to talk about me only and she would be hurt by it. She felt she didn't matter. I needed a break from the drama that my family always caused. I feel strong enough in telling him that now where years earlier I felt like a little kid with no back bone. I had too much of my stuff to handle and couldn't take on his stuff as well. I took the cowards way out so to speak. I'm good at the Irish exit.

I'm going to write him back to send the form so I can go and visit him. It might be a few months, but it will be good to see him. Hopefully he changed and he will see that I have changed as well.
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