Estrangement

Along with struggling to figure out who I am and what I want to do I have been going through a very personal struggle with estrangement from my only sibling… my younger brother. It is a continuous struggle to make peace with this situation and I pray everyday for the strength to be able to continue to do that.

I have experienced a lot of loss but this somehow feels worse because it is like someone being dead but in reality they are still alive and people are unaware so they ask you all the time about that person not knowing that it literally tears you apart and brings you to tears.

They say there are 5 stages to grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I can honestly say with the loss of this relationship I have been through all of the first 4 numerous times and have just begun the last stage of acceptance. At first I could not imagine it was happening.. he was going to call…. we were going to work it out… at least he would let me know why he wasn’t speaking to me. Then the insatiable anger. The mere site or mention of him would have my blood boiling. Next the bargaining… the phone calls begging him to call me back.. the desperate emails asking why and how… the unanswered texts at holidays hoping it could all just be blown right over. I would be lying to you if I said that I didn’t get stuck in  a viscous cycle of circling around these three stops. I would say yes I have moved on and then I would be right back there crying and screaming on the floor feeling like someone was stabbing me and ripping my hair out one by one simultaneously. I would bargain with myself that it did not even matter because we had never been that close except when he needed something from me so I just shouldn’t be surprised this was who he was. I would listen to people say he will come around and think and after all of this you think I will just be standing here with open arms?! Heck no! The next minute it would be this gut wrenching feeling of wanting him to pick up the phone and just allow us to talk it out or attend family therapy to the point where I finally realized he was losing no sleep over it, so for the sake of no one but myself I had to find a way to move on. I spiraled into a depression where it was all I could think about or talk about. It was all consuming and any brief happiness was ruined by the thought of my brother creeping into my mind. Then something awful happened to a friend of mine, something I could not even fathom and I learned to accept that my brother had made a conscious choice to no longer have me in his life. That was a choice he had to deal with and I had no choice but to accept. I may never know why he made that choice or what he believes I did and it pains me to face the reality that without him at some point in my elder years my birth family will be just me. There will be no one to reminisce on childhood with or someone who remembers funny and absurd things that I did or shares a common ground of upbringing. However I have chosen to find whatever peace I can in it.

That does not mean that I do not sometimes feel a twinge of pain or longing when I see a brother and sister riding bikes down the street or playing in the sand or when someone asks me a question about how he is doing and I smile and say that I do not know but I hope he is happy.

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