Man up, brother!

Spent this morning with my nephew at the park. All the while my brother (his Dad) is commenting on ‘the facebooks’ his support for Boris Johnson and the nasty party. To be expected, really, isn’t it? I wrote recently about still not speaking to my brother. Today that decision was somewhat vindicated. I agonised over responding and chose not to. That was probably the right call for the time being. This happy, smiling eight year old struggles with life. He has cerebral palsy, walks with a frame or gets pushed about in a wheelchair. His mum doesn’t have the time to do everything she could to assist him in getting better. Time is finite and she has a younger child also. The boy needs his Dad.

I wrote about this extensively in 2016 when this situation first developed. It took me some time to figure out how I felt about his actions and I decided I didn’t like them:

“…my brother met a girl. They split up, he met another girl who quickly fell pregnant. He then rekindled his relationship with the first girl who knew about the pregnancy. The baby was born and girlfriend, who had become fiancée by then, made her feelings very well known. She hated that child. She hated everything about him. He was such a beautiful happy little boy too, yet she hated the very air that he breathed.”

“Eventually things got so bad that fiancée stopped brother from seeing his child.”

“Last year this beautiful little boy was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Has ever a boy needed his daddy more…?

The situation has not changed. He still doesn’t have a relationship with his boy. How could he not? Where is his sense of duty, of responsibility? It still makes me angry when I think about it. Would this child’s life be better with his father involved? ‘Probably’ is the answer. But despite all this; despite the resources my brother has access to and despite the needs of the child he refuses to man up and be a father to his child. What a terrible thing to do.

How does he sleep at night?

Still not speaking

My brother messaged me last Friday and I have not replied. I can’t bring myself to return his pleasantries and it just feels false. I’m still struggling to reconcile his decision to abandon his child in favour of his woman. Maybe I should give him an opportunity to explain. But I feel as though it doesn’t matter what he has to say. I’m just not interested. I’ve managed years without him in my life. Do I need him in my life now?

Perhaps I was wrong about this.

I saw my brother today. We didn’t speak. I don’t think he even looked at me. He didn’t sit with our parents and I, and he left after the funeral service avoiding coming to the wake. It’s the first time I have seen him since we fell out and now that I am home again I wish I had said something; even if that something was just ‘hello’. Perhaps it just wasn’t the time and place.

Today I explained to a good man the reasons why we fell out. I explained why – from my point of view – our relationship broke down. I don’t know what his point of view is. Maybe I never will. This man impressed upon me my responsibilities in this. That my brother is making a mistake which he will, one day, suddenly and quite horrifyingly wake up to. His abandonment of his child; in itself a terrible act, is mirroring the actions of our own father. That I suffered and my brother suffered means I do not wish to see his child suffer the same.

My reaction was to turn my back on him. He was a fool. He was making a huge mistake and I could not be expected to stand by and watch him do what he was doing. But was that the right reaction? I don’t know any longer. Speaking today about it, and talking about it at the weekend, maybe I am wrong. Maybe what I instead need to do is confront and educate? Inform and explain? Will it make any difference? I simply do not know. BUT if there is a chance it won’t make any difference there is equally a chance that it will.

And even if it does not make any difference at all to his decision with regards to seeing his first-born, perhaps in time he will come around to see the sense of things. Perhaps between us, my parents and I, with him not being on the outside looking in but rather and inclusive member of the family; perhaps we can make him understand the error of his ways.

 

Perhaps.

It takes two

We live in a modern world, do we not? We live in the 21st Century. Modern day. Gender roles have blurred. Sexualities have blurred. Expectations have blurred. None more so than in the world of dating and relationships. Boys make the first move, girls make the first move. Relationships are casual, monogamous, polygamous, open, sub/dom, DDLG, permanent, transient, relaxed, serious. It seems that anything goes. And I like that. I like that there are so few typical expectations placed upon relationships, regardless of gender identity.

Listen, if two people are attracted to each other, it should not fall to just one of those people to steer the course, make the moves, push to see the other. If you want to see someone, ask. If you want to speak to someone, call. If you miss someone, tell them. If you want something, go and get it. Do not expect the other person to do that for you.

And, finally, if you throw your toys out of the pram because the other person doesn’t make the first move, doesn’t send the first message, doesn’t make the first call, don’t be surprised when you’re dismissed as the petulant child you have proven yourself to be.

Relationships are tough. I hope you all find what you are looking for out there.

Family

I wanted to write something about this. At first I just posted the photo, well, that was after I tried to put something down about it but couldn’t quite manage to find the words.

This little boy, Jackson, and the circumstances surrounding him and his father (my brother) and my parents and how much they love this little boy, and how much they do to ensure they have a relationship with him, well that is the very essence of family.

And, my brother, the wonderful man who rejected this lovely little boy in favour of an evil woman, and then fell out with his brother (me) because I won’t reject my principles when it comes to family and fatherhood. He’s perhaps the very essence of anti-family. Or, to put it another way, family when it suits.

Mike has his wedding. I wasn’t invited – and wouldn’t have gone anyway, on general principle. I’m angry with him. I’m angry at the situation he brought about. I wish it was different but it’s not. He refused to stand by his family – and not ‘just’ family like a sibling, or an uncle, or a cousin, but his own first-born child. His own son. That disgusts me. It makes me angry.

I see so many fathers who are denied access to their children when that is all that they want. They are denied access and lack the resources to fight that denial, or lack the education to know what they can do to fight that denial. And here we are, a man who was raised right, is educated, has resources at his command, who chose to not have a relationship with his own first-born son. How does he sleep at night?

Family, your children, your children’s children, your brothers and sisters. You can’t pick them. They might infuriate you. You might sometimes think you cannot stand the sight of them. But they’re family and, maybe it’s duty or obligation, but you stand by your family. You do not abandon them.

Especially when the ‘them’ in question is an innocent child.

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A nice day for a white wedding?

My brother gets married in August this year. Invitations have been sent. My mailbox is conspicuously light. I’m not invited. This probably should bother me more than it does. It’s a significant life event. Of the four brothers he has I’ll be the only one absent. He’s making a commitment to someone and I’ll not be present to witness it.

I should probably care more than I do – I do care a little bit – I’m sad that it has gone this way, but I cannot stand by and witness him marrying a woman who made him choose between her and his son. I cannot stand by and wish him ‘all the best’ when I know that an innocent little boy doesn’t see his dad because he chose a woman over his boy. After all we have been through.

I can’t be a party to this decision. I think it is wrong on so many levels. Am I to go and celebrate this happy union knowing that history is repeating itself? Am I to go tell them both how pleased I am for them? That I wish them every happiness? I am many things but I am not false. I can’t pretend to support this.

I do wish him well. I wish him the very best of luck because I think he needs it. The woman he is marrying is a harpy and she won’t be satisfied until she has her claws in him permanently.