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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Oh, Brother

This past weekend turned out to be a disaster for my brother.  For me, it was the impetus for me to finally get my butt in gear and create this blog.  Keep in mind, this blog is really just for me as a tool to help me sort out my thoughts and feelings.  A type of cheap therapy, if you will.  I'm not trying to impress anyone or explain how my life is filled with lollipops and rainbows.  I don't even think I really want help or words of advice for how to 'change'.  I am who I am and this is how I will be.  By acknowledging my truth I hope to accept it and move on with my life.  I have been stagnant since childhood.  There is a lot to admit and mull-over so my ability to 'change' overnight is a long shot.  It may never happen, in fact.  But, something within me is sick and tired of repressing this anger and I've just got to get it out.

Normally, my typical pattern of speech includes many swears, cuss words, and offensive language.  It's not that I'm uneducated or don't know what a thesaurus is, believe me.  I use these words for emphasis; they represent my wrath and anger and the depth of my emotion.  It is my fallback position.  In the interest of this blog and in an effort to not overtly offend, I will cut down on the 'shits' and 'fucks' and replace with more mild versions.  You'll still get the point, however.

The following was written after I spent an hour talking to my dear Aunt who calmed me down over the phone.  She has been a witness to and a victim of my mood swings and while she may not like who I become during these episodes she understands me, and still loves me, in the end.

A Screw Loose
Yes, I have a screw loose.  Not sure where it is or what it looks like but something is definitely amiss within.  My brother drives over 12 hours to see me and my family and I just couldn't let the little things go and trickle off my shoulder.  We did have a few good moments and I choose to cherish them.  But, I'm afraid, for him, the negative will outweigh the positive.
For a 48-year-old man he is emotionally stunted and in denial.  His refusal to face his ghosts and shortcomings will be the downfall of him.  I worry for his emotional stability.  One day he will snap.  Just like I did tonight, but it will be much worse.  Because, after all, I have an enormous amount of experience in 'snapping'.
Potential causes are many.  The first that come to mind is my adrenal tumor.  This tumor affects:  blood pressure, weight, hormone levels (specifically aldosterone), and moods.  Another possible theory is a genetic or hereditary connection.  My paternal grandmother was diagnosed with, I believe, schizoprenia.  Now, I'm not saying that this is what I have but it is certainly possible that I have bipolar disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder.  There are times when a situation will set me off and the adrenaline kicks in and I become another person.  Stuff starts spewing out of my mouth and I say hurtful things to the ones I love.  It is definitely not intentional.  Unfortunately, everyone I love has been the target of my wrath missile.
The regret I feel after the missile is launched is so powerful I get consumed with self-hatred.  How much longer will the people I love put up with this b.s.?
I fear that my brother will not understand my situation or have empathy for me.
He has not seen me in five years.  In reality, the last time we spent more than two days together there was a similar blow out.  Not just he and I but with him and other members of the family.
I think I harbor a lot of resentment for him.  I hate how he treated my mother growing up.  He pretty much emulated my father's actions.  Overall, it disgusted me. (end of diary entry)

It pissed me off when on day two he blurted out, "It's all about you, isn't it?  You are so selfish."...

Me? Selfish? Okay, maybe, but REALLY?  How can a mother of two sons be considered selfish when she put her career on hold to raise them.  Every extra dollar went (and still does) go to their needs and wants.  This is coming from a man who is married with no kids and really has no one to worry about except himself.  This comment festered in my brain; I tried to bite my lip but the hurt kept seething through my veins. 

A couple of more snide remarks and I was done.  I was a raging inferno.  The demon overtook my body and all hell broke loose.  His reaction reminded me of my father.  When I said that, he just couldn't handle the comparison.  But, damn, I was not lying.  He really did remind me of my father and it was scary as hell.

The next day, actually, yesterday, I spent most of the morning researching:  schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder.  I have come the the conclusion that my mental ailment is somewhere on the diagnostic spectrum near borderline personality disorder.  I have to say it to own it and I am willing to put it out there.  Some may be shocked that I am willing to share this revelation. 

One line that keeps going through my mind is from the movie "A Few Good Men" when Jack Nicholson's character says something like, 'You want the truth?  You can't handle the truth!' We'll see who can.

6 comments:

  1. Woo to the fuckin' hoo!

    You are blogging!!!!

    I am sorry that things with your brother did not go as well as you would have liked.

    Why did the word "selfish" trigger you?

    And why do you need a ribbon for making the choices to be a stay-at-home mom?

    Not judging, just asking.

    Your reaction IS all about YOU. Not what he said, but what you believe about what he said.

    I look forward to being a witness to this healing journey,Pam. You have so much to be proud of. THIS takes courage. And hope.

    And you know you have a friend.

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  2. Pamela dear.... I so love you. Selfish? Hardly! Although I haven't known you as an "adult", you were my best friend for many years of my childhood and you were anything but selfish. I've got much more to share with you... I'm sending you a personal email.

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  3. Hey Lisa,
    Thanks for stopping by to take a peek.
    The word 'selfish' triggered me because, "the truth hurts".
    Ribbon? Not sure if it's needed because my decision was reward enough; I have the two most important things in my life that make me want to live each day. I guess I was trying to convey the added responsibility of being a parent is foreign to my brother; he chose to not have kids so he is not familiar with the sacrifices and responsibilities of parenting. Parenting is the toughest job in the world!
    Thank you for asking the probing questions. You've always been good at that. I guess that is what makes you such a terrific personal coach!
    I understand that what I think about others and how I react to others is what I believe or see in myself. I'm just trying to be honest and lay it all on the table.
    Glad to have you as a friend. Keep asking the questions.

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  4. Carolyn, thank you for being my friend, follower, and believing in me. Our rekindled friendship is something I cherish dearly. I'm looking forward to your e-mail.

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  5. PAM, I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU AS MY SISTER AND AS MY CHOSEN FRIEND. IN GOOD TIMES AND BAD. PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR ANY SINS THAT YOU THINK I HAVE COMMITED AGAINST YOU OR YOUR FAMILY. YOU HAVE TWO TERRIFIC TEEN BOYS. OF COURSE YOU SHOULD TAKE ANY CREDIT YOU DESERVE. I JUST WANTED TO SPEND SOME QUALITY TIME WITH THEM AND OUR MOTHER. NOW THEY THINK I AM THE CRAZY UNCLE WHO YELLED BACK AT THEIR MOTHER. I CAN'T UNDO OR FIX THAT NOW. WHEN I CALLED YOU SELFISH THAT REALLY MEANS THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TIME FOR ME. I WANTED US TO VACATION TOGETHER A FEW TIMES IN THE PAST. I TRIED TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN. BY THE WAY; I AM NOT A DRUNK, I DON'T SMOKE, GAMBLE OR DO DRUGS. I AM NOT YOUR FATHER. I AM FULLY ENGAGED. I WANT/WANTED CHILDREN. THAT IS WHY WE MOVED TO CONNECTICUT'S NUMBER ONE TOWN!
    FOR THEIR SUPERIOR SCHOOL SYSTEM. YOU NEVER ASKED, BUT WE JUST CAN'T HAVE KIDS. THAT IS OUR CROSS TO BEAR. WE FOCUS ON NIECE AND NEPHEWS. NOW WHAT DO I DO? DON'T WORRY ABOUT ME. I AM NOT WEAK AS YOU THINK. GOOD BYE.

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  6. 48yobro, I am glad that you read the blog and had the courage to respond.
    Your nephews love you no matter what. They know me and know that I instigated your reaction. The would NEVER think ill of you! They know I'm the one with the problem.
    Thank God you are not my father!
    It was never my place to ask about your family planning endeavors. For the record, you and your spouse are WONDERFUL Uncle and Aunt respectively.
    I hope this is not 'Good Bye'. Perhaps this can be 'Hello'? We can now meet eachother as adults. I invite you to continue to read my blog. Perhaps you'll find something of value, or not.

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