That Post Where I Finally Talk About My Brothers

If you have been reading the comments sections on here and over at XOJane, you might have seen how many people ask me the question “are you still in contact with your brothers?”

With that being said, don’t expect a riveting or humorous post today. Just a little back story.

So….without further ado, I bring you….

No, I am not still in contact with my brothers.

They didn’t grow up the way that I did. From the start, they were prized children. A boy was born and the daughter they never wanted was locked away. It’s no coincidence that my years locked away started the year my first brother was born. A boy had been brought forth and the girl was thrown away.

The boys. The precious boys were born. So wanted and truly loved. Three and five years younger than I am, they were never abused the way that I was. For all intents and purposes, they lived an idyllic childhood. From the start they both excelled in certain things, which my parents latched right on to. One was an outright music prodigy. The other quickly rose to a Pan American karate champion and eventually qualified for the Olympic tryouts. My parents were proud, these boys were the apples of their eye.

The boys that they had longed for, would turn out to be everything that they wanted. They were given every opportunity and everything they did was nothing short of brilliantly praised. When my mother slipped into mental illness and all but abandoned the family,Β it was me who held everything together. I took care of them day in and day out, making sure they had everything they needed. The boys never knew the stress of not being taken care of. They never knew what it meant to not be loved. They were never made to feel unworthy. I successfully protected them from the harsh reality that sometimes, everything is not ok.

Sometimes, life just is not ok.

I often joke that being locked away, I didn’t get the same amount of sunlight so I stopped growing before the rest of my family. That’s my brothers and me with my kids in 2012, the last time I really saw them.

Unfortunately, what I couldn’t protect them from, what I couldn’t stop, was them taking on all of my parents worst qualities.

At 26 my one brother lives ten minutes from my house. Not only is he is a paramedic firefighter who owns quite a profitable business, but he leaves behind a trail of broken girlfriends, along with a lot of empty bottles. As one of my ex boyfriends put it, “he has absolutely no coping skills. Whenever something doesn’t go his way, his only recourse is to drink himself drunk and Hulk Smash it.” Truer words have never been spoken.

At 24, my other brother is a college graduate with a bachelor’s in political science and a minor in Spanish. He lives a few states over with his boyfriend, and he lives for drama. Wherever the drama is, you are sure to find him tagging along with whatever side looks like they will win. He is a pathological liar and easily one of the most self involved people I have ever met. Trust me, I really do try and look for the good in everybody, hence all of my terrible choices in ex’s and friends, but in his case, I looked, and I came up empty. It really is a shame, because he is wickedly funny, and a quite brilliant person.

When I made the choice to stop talking to my parents, I approached each brother individually in hopes that I could still have a relationship with them. At first they were fine with that, but a few weeks later when my mother, who has attempted suicide multiple times, fell into another deep depression because she wanted to see my kids, they changed their minds.

My brothers, feeling that they were saving my mothers life, tried to force me to come visit her. My children are not going to be pawns in her manipulative games, I won’t allow it. When I refused to visit, what was unleashed upon me was nothing short of a full out family assault. Voicemails and texts coming in at all hours of the day and night threatening that if I didn’t come around, it would be the last thing I did. Every morning I would wake up to at least 20 text messages telling me to do the world a favor and kill myself. I finally called them and told them that if I got one more voicemail or one more text, I would be pressing harassment charges on them. With that my brother used my information to call the phone company and have my phone shut off. My other brother compiled a list of every charity that helped me out after my husband left and emailed it to my entire extended family with the heading “This worthless c**t has conned people into feeling sorry for her.” They tweeted my information to CNN investigates asking them to have me investigated for running an illegal cleaning business (I am a legal business so I don’t know what that was about). It was hell. I stopped responding to them and eventually they faded away with the rest of the family that I disowned and that was that.

It took me a long time to get over the fact that they had done this to me. I don’t think they even remember how much of my teenage years were spent taking care of them. They were young and with their memories not being life altering, they eventually faded away.

People remember what they want to remember. My brothers don’t want to remember that anything bad happened to me, because it will crack the pretty facade of a painting that they have of their idyllic lives. It will force them to reevaluate the choices that they have made, and the relationships that they have with my parents. I really, truly, do not think they have the skills to handle that. They are barely hanging on to the lives that they have now.

It’s funny how opposite my brothers and I grew up. Actually, its not funny at all, its mind blowing. I was essentially thrown away. Left to fend for myself and figure out how the world works with no guidance from anyone. My brothers on the other hand, had everything handed to them on a silver platter. Nothing was ever their fault and they could do no wrong. My parents spent so much time making their worlds perfect, that they have been left with absolutely no skills in how to deal with the real world. So here we are, three grown up people, and we are all damaged in our own ways.

I can’t say that I would trade places with them. At this point, if I were to be given a choice, I wouldn’t choose to have been raised the way they were. My childhood sucked. It was awful and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It caused me to be completely unprepared for adulthood and the choices that I have made in my life are proof of that, but when I look at them, they are falling apart as well. The only difference is, I damaged myself. They are damaging everyone around them. I grew up abused and they grew up to become the abusers. I have a chance to fix myself and spread some good; they are stomping all over the good and spreading nothing but evil. That breaks my heart.

It breaks my heart to see that the next generation of my parents are being brought forth, that the cycle will continue two fold. The damage that my parents caused, it won’t die with me. It will live on in wake of their precious offspring.

My parents will never be proud of me, I am nothing more than a throw away kid, a casualty from the start. I was never what they wanted. I was never given the chance to learn from them like other kids learn from their parents.

I am thankful every day for that. On the surface, it seems as if I was never given the opportunity to be nurtured into an adult. Maybe not, but what I was given, was the opportunity to escape.

My parents got everything they ever wanted. They grew two boys into two men nurtured by the knowledge that they passed down to them. They brought forth two precious off spring who have learned to carry on their work.

I am so grateful they didn’t take the opportunity to pass that knowledge onto to a third.

I am so glad they threw me away.

Photo Credit Hulk:Β
Photo Credit Fog Fad:Β

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  • Anonymous
    January 31, 2014 at 7:22 am

    I had something profound and symbolic to say but I can't figure out how to put it into words. So basically all I have is: Hope flies; grab the rope and pull it back. It's what keeps me going πŸ™‚

    • NotMyShametoBear
      January 31, 2014 at 9:39 am

      I like that. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  • Trevor Young
    January 31, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Sometimes we're so blinded by the light at the end of the tunnel that we fail to notice the darkness we reside in. Your brothers seem to fit that quite well. One day, their eyes will see and what is revealed will be terrifying.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      January 31, 2014 at 9:38 am

      It will definitely be interesting to see how it all pans out. As much as they have hurt me, I really do love them. I hope that they are able to figure out their lives before its too late. They were such great kids, it breaks my heart.

  • flamingo
    January 31, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    The loss of our bio family is tremendously painful and has lingering effects. IMO, these people (I was told) were the only ones that would be right with you through anything until the end. Well….it turns out that 'anything' is a subjective term and the end comes a bit sooner for some than others. Sometimes, letting them go is a much better decision in the long term. I hope you are experiencing a lighter spirit without all that negativity/drama (what I refer to as Emotional Drag) in your life. After existing in a dark environment for so long, It is truly a miracle to feel and fully appreciate the comforting warmth of sunshine on our faces!You are not only a survivor, you are a THRIVER!!!Here's to you, Ms. Strong, with my Starbucks coffee and waving a foam finger in the air! hahahahaMuch love and many hugs from the east coast

    • NotMyShametoBear
      January 31, 2014 at 7:46 am

      Hahahahaha Oh my gosh, I laughed so hard at the ending. LOVE IT!!!

      I agree. You are taught from a very young age that “family is everything.” Its so hard to change the way that the entire world teaches you to think, and what I think we are genetically disposed to thinking. Family sometimes isn’t healthy, and you need to be able to seperate yourself from it.

      I am so much happier than I ever thought I could be πŸ™‚ Loving the sunshine on my face!!

      Sending much love to you my east coast friend!

  • Luciana Nogueira Soares
    January 31, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    I – really – have no words to say about your brothers. It's very, very sad.But I guess your kids are the family you need. And here we say that friends are the family we chose. So… I hope you find great people to share your life, the joy of good days and the sadness of the bad ones. You already had found good people – the doctor who made your operation, your attorney, the friends who helped you when you needed. And I do believe you will find much more πŸ™‚

    • NotMyShametoBear
      January 31, 2014 at 7:46 am

      Thank you hun πŸ™‚ I have been very blessed to have people choose me. Not because I was born into their bloodlines, but because they see value in me and love me. That is an amazing gift that I cherish everyday.

      And all of you on this blog are becoming my family as well. I am so thankful to have you all on this journey with me πŸ™‚

      Sending you a great big hug!

  • Alli G.
    January 31, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    It says very much about your spirit and character that you still love them and have good memories of your brothers with them being how they are as adults. You are very beautiful and I'm proud of you. Sending you much love and light. <3

    • NotMyShametoBear
      January 31, 2014 at 7:48 am

      Aw thank you hun, that is so sweet of you to say.

      I very much remember how they used to be. For all intensive purposes I mothered them for quite a while. I did my best to protect them. Its so sad to see what could have been….

      You are awesome, thank you for being you!

  • Sara A.
    January 31, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Wow, your brothers went flying monkey with a vengeance!

    • NotMyShametoBear
      January 31, 2014 at 4:56 am

      Haha!! So totally true!!

  • Sara A.
    January 31, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Wow, your brothers went flying monkey with a vengeance!

    • NotMyShametoBear
      January 31, 2014 at 7:48 am

      Haha!! So totally true!!

  • Jennifer
    February 1, 2014 at 12:24 am

    I just can't imagine someone, especially a family member, going that crazy and pulling the cruel stuff your brothers did. I believe you, of course, but my brain is just floundering over here going, “Nope. No sibling could be that cruel to another sibling. NOPE.”But of course they can, and sometimes they are. And it hurts when those closest to us are the ones to hurt us the most.My little brother was raised just like yours – everything he did was right, he did no wrong, and if he ever DID somehow do something wrong, it wasn't his fault. He lost a game of Monopoly and threw the game across the room and then threw a chair through the window? Not his fault. Mine. Because I didn't let him win. Over and over again.Now that he's 26 he can't cope with real life either. While he doesn't drink (He has OCD and extreme sensory issues when it comes to tasting things and alcohol makes him sick), he has other self-destructive habits and absolutely cannot live with another human being or he starts to go ape shit crazy and throw things across the apartment.I can handle him in small doses, but I'm just waiting for the day when he implodes and does something that will force me to sever ties with him.There's a saying, and I'm sure I'm not getting this exactly right, but it goes along the lines of “You can't choose your blood but you can choose your family.” You can't control the family you were born into nor can you control what they do, but you CAN control (for the most part) the people you surround yourself with.It really sounds like you're doing everything right in your life. You're raising your kids in a loving home and you've got friends who care about you. Surround yourself with those loving people and happiness will follow. That was cheesy, I know. I'm failing with words tonight.Hang in there. Sending much love from Pennsylvania. πŸ™‚

    • NotMyShametoBear
      January 31, 2014 at 7:54 am

      I don’t know about doing everything right, but I’m just trying my best to not do everything wrong haha!

      Yea, I was actually reading through the texts from one brother last night. I was going to put a few screen shots up, but they hurt so much to read through I was already in tears, and I hadn’t even uploaded them to my computer yet so I could edit his name out, so I was just like “oh forget it.”

      I’m sorry that you are having your own troubles with your brother. I always say my entire family is going to go down like the titanic, and I’ll be on the shore waving good-bye. Its sad to watch people drown themselves in issues and there be nothing you can do to help.
      I may have lost the family lottery, but I have been so blessed to be able to watch other people choose to bring me into their family. There is no feeling greater than feeling wanted and loved πŸ™‚

      Sending you a hug in Pennsylvania!

  • Jennifer
    February 1, 2014 at 3:11 am

    Well by doing your best not to do everything wrong, I think that's everything right, haha. Maybe I'm just a little nutty though. ;)Sending hugs your way. I'm sorry you had a rough time with those texts. It sounds absolutely awful. I can't even imagine.I'll join you on the shore, if you don't mind. I kind of feel like…maybe not the more the merrier – that's a little too lighthearted. But if there's more of us on the shore watching our “families” sink, at least we're in the company of others who can understand.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      February 1, 2014 at 10:16 am

      We can all hold hands lol. It sucks, but at some point you have to save yourself. If you can’t help them, don’t allow them to drag you down with them. No use in everyone drowning. Its the whole “don’t jump in to save a drowning person if you can’t swim” theory.

      Bring a beach chair….

  • Amanda Harris
    February 1, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    It's easy (for me anyway) to see a situation where I'm unwanted and just take it all on myself–the angst, the anger, the refusal to move on. I like your perspective here, and that you realize that you really don't want love from someone who does that much evil. I always want to believe that it's possible to reconcile and forgive, but I'm starting to realize that sometimes, it's better not to have certain people in your life.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      February 1, 2014 at 10:13 am

      Its hard to come to the realization that you are better off without someone, bc we all hold out hope that they can be what we want them to be. That they will see our worth and be what we need from them. It feels like giving up hope, but really its just accepting that its not going to happen and moving on πŸ™

      Don’t blame yourself. The people that aren’t there for us have a knack for making it feel like it was our fault that they weren’t good for us.


  • Anonymous
    February 4, 2014 at 3:47 am

    Just a small nitpick- your writing is lovely, and I just want to offer that the phrase is “for all intents and purposes”.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      February 3, 2014 at 9:57 am


      Thanks πŸ™‚

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