I made the mistake of trying to develop a friendly, adult relationship with my brother, only to let myself be hurt by the realization that he is not someone that I would ever want to know. I write this letter to him from that almost childish place of stored up pain and anger.
Since you profess not to care what anyone thinks of you, and since you “do what I want and deal with the consequences later (usually by letting other people deal with them),” then you won’t mind or be hurt if I tell you what I really think of you.
You are not simply a narcissist, an addict, and immature. You are abusive. You create drama and cause pain on purpose. You say that you are just making yourself happy, and the drama and pain are the result of other people’s issues, but I call bullshit. You know exactly what you are doing, you know exactly when to do it to cause the most drama and to inflict the most harm, and then you make sure that you are not around for the fallout.
Our family has cut you a lot of slack for that. You see, Mom and Dad and, to a lesser extent, I operate under this narrative of your life. In this narrative, you were a sweet little boy until our younger brother was born. Then, you became the lost middle child, caught between a goody-two shoes older sister and the darling baby brother, and had to misbehave to get any attention. Because, as the middle child, you were neglected, you became vulnerable to the advances of your pedophilic coach, who raped you. You then turned to drugs, and generally acted out self-destructively into your twenties (and now, by your own admission into your thirties – almost forties). Since no one knew that you were acting out, they reacted simply to the drug use and belligerent behavior, thereby alienating you from the rest of the family. Then, when you revealed the sexual abuse, Mom, Dad and, to a lesser extent, I felt quite guilty that we had made you vulnerable to the abuser, and that we did not recognize the drug use as a reaction to the molestation.
But, you know what? I can guarantee that, for whatever factual accuracies that narrative contains, it isn’t your narrative of events. I can also guarantee that you know that this is the narrative that Mom and Dad believe, and you have manipulated it for your own amusement. Yes, “amusement,” not benefit, not agenda, but “amusement.” You seem amused by other people’s guilt, humiliation and pain. So much so that you will cause or aggravate the guilt, humiliation, and pain just for your own entertainment.
Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe you just do it because you know no other way. Hurting people without remorse is not second nature to you. I beleive that it is your nature.
Do you know why I believe this? I believe this because I know more than you think I know. I know the myriad ways that you amused yourself with cruelty for your entire life, the pets that you confessed to disposing, the ways that you use access to your son to attack our parents, the valuables that you stole to pay for drugs, and the tiny sadistic acts that you have committed just because you could.
I also know that you raped our brother. I know that you did this in reaction to your own rape, but I also know that he keeps it secret because he wants to keep the peace in the family. I know that you use his silence to leverage your own position, using that narrative of victimhood to your own advantage and to absolve yourself of any consideration of anyone else. Do you know that the main reason that he does not want to have any more children is because he is afraid that his children will abuse one another the way that you abused him? Do you even find that fear tragic? Do you have no regrets?
Sure, you had a hard time in our family, some of it at my own hands. So did I. The beating and humiliations, the name-calling, the mere witnessing of the war that was our parents’ marriage: I was there, too. I also survived a gender mind-fuck that you can’t even acknowledge, much less imagine, and you participated in that mind-fuck – you still do when you teach your son to call women “bitches” and lesbians “dykes.” But, this isn’t a pissing contest on who was hurt more. We both were and we both participated. You have no moral high ground on familial pain and anger.
You see, for whatever pain you received, you returned it all and in force. Your declarations that “I do what I want and make myself happy and if somebody doesn’t like it, then that is their problem” are not the declarations of an abused person asserting healthy boundaries. This is not an attitude that you developed in reaction to your abuse. This is how you always were and how you actually are, abuse or not. In fact, you say that the abuse within or without our family has no affect on your behavior today at all. Taken with your actions, your assertions are those of a person who has no compassion. They are the assertions of an abuser.
This Christmas, as a result of the drama that you yet again caused but did not attend, I had the epiphany that my life has been filled with narcissists and addicts, going all the way back to our childhood. You were the most obvious of them, but you weren’t the only one. As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that I don’t want to be around narcissists and addicts. They suck you dry, exploit you, harm you, then blame you for all of the damage that they cause. I’ve learned how to identify these narcissists and addicts; and I’ve learned to keep them out of my life or to remove them from my life.
Since your philosophy is “I will do what I want and other people will have to deal with it or not hang around me,” (you are, by your own admission, counting on them to stick around and “deal with it”) then you will fully understand that I will be taking the second option.
I don’t do this lightly. I mourn the loss of my illusions about you, and I mourn the loss of the relationship that I could have had with my nephew. I worry about his future with a father like you, and I mourn the loss of his natural sweetness, which you are crushing out of him in order to have him enact your own misogynist and homophobic fantasies.
Our accounts are settled. We are even. I forgive myself and you for the past. In the present, you are not someone that I want to be around and, as you say, “I have to make myself happy.”
P.S. I don’t send this to you, because, according to your own philosophy, you don’t care; but I had to write it, to get it out. I wish I could bear loving you, but I can't.