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would you give this a chance?

(25 Posts)
headingforafall Mon 20-Jun-11 09:03:51

name changer, need id protecting.

i have a very complex background family wise, and have not spoken to, or had anything to do with my family for many years apart from one person, whom i am very close to. My family were very very dysfunctional on so many levels, i was in and out of care, abusive and neglectful parents, etc etc
i left home at a very young age and made my own way in the world very successfully. i have never looked back. i have never had contact with any of them.

i have a half brother with whom i had no contact for many years due to his addiction problems. (heroin addict who married a heroine addict) the last proper contact ended very badly, he stayed with me, he was a drug user and i didnt know, he stole things, he commited fraud, and led drug dealers wanting their money back to my door after he fled town. i had a mess to clear up, i felt he put me and my children in danger.

he got in touch with me about 18 months ago, i tried but i just couldnt manage contact, even though he said he was clean etc, he appeared to be completely selfish, his motives for getting in touch were purely for selfish reasons, he was having a baby and wanted his baby to know its family. I tried but some of what he was saying made me feel uneasy.

i have brought up my children without them knowing my family. ive never had one ounce of help, or kindness from any of them. we have done really well, ive been married for a long time, my children are grown up and successful. we have a good life and are happy.

i recently decided to give my brother another go, see how it went, but he seems to want to rush into contact, meetings, seeing my kids etc....ive told him i want to take things very slowly, but what is bothering me is that ive had some messages from him that dont really make much sense, he seems to talk utter rubbish, and its all about him and his wants and needs. He seems very very young for his years, childlike, he talks all this hippy pseudo crap.

i suspect he may be autistic. i suspect that while he might not be a heroin addict he is probably addicted to other things. (giving the benefit of a doubt)
and i suspect that if i meet with him, i am just not going to like him very much. I dont want to mess with him. i often think about him, i often wonder how he is, i used to be his main carer, but i have no real feelings toward him on way or the other now, and from the photos i have seen he looks alot like his father, and his father abused me.

i am also worried that this may pull me back into a cycle regarding my mother who apparently remains very bitter toward me, (yes...ha fucking ha...she is bitter and angry with me....) this is going to put him in the middle, or he will have to keep it all secret. i personally dont care if he tells her, because i refuse to meet or speak with her. that i am very clear on, but i want to remain very clear and i am also worried that he may cloud that judgement. i am not a hard person. i tend to feel sorry for people quite easily. i cant afford to feel sorry for her, because she is poisonous and i dont want her in my life, my life has been so much better, happier and easier without her in it, and then it leads to SF family who i really want absolutely nothing what so ever to do with.

i think i also feel quite pissed off that he talks about his child and wanting his child to know his family etc when ive had to do it all alone, no help, no babysitting, no xmas gifts or birthday cards, nothing, and i wonder what his expectations are regarding his child. Is it unfair to think like this? im not saying i will never meet, but i want it on my own terms this time.

how do i go about this? should i be even considering embarking on this path? is this going to undo all the work ive done over many years to make peace with my own very very shitty past? am i playing with fire here do you think? i wonder if have been naive to think this might go the way id like it to, i dont want it to become to much for me, or the pace be dictated by someone who seems to have only their own interest at heart....

id be very glad to hear what others think please, and if you spot who i am id rather you kept it to yourself, just for this thread please, and dont out me.

thank you.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 20-Jun-11 09:17:44


If this were me I would not meet this person at all under any circumstances. Contact did not go at all well last time and you got dragged down with him.
How is this now really any different?.

You have done very well in your own life and are a survivor; you do not need these people in it.

Perhaps your comment below is at heart why you want to give this another go; examine your own reasons carefully for giving this another go:-

"I tend to feel sorry for people quite easily"

Has your half brother shown you any such consideration; I daresay not what with his addictions and everything else that has gone on in his life. Its still all about him from what you write.

glasscompletelybroken Mon 20-Jun-11 09:31:38

Well I wouldn't go there to be honest. It's just my opinion but I have worked with young people in the past who have been abused and the one thing they have in common is a kind of mental determination that things can be OK with their families when this is clearly not the case. They take two steps forward in rebuilding their own lives, making new friends etc and then they have some contact with their families and they get let down all over again. For your own sake and your childrens I would not get involved.
I know some people will think that is harsh but that is what I feel.

dollius Mon 20-Jun-11 09:38:05

I, also, think you should spare yourself the pain and potential mind-fuckery that may go with entangling yourself with your highly dysfunctional family again. I think this is especially true if he has a relationship with your mother. Other family members have probably normalised her behaviour towards you and you really don't need someone trying to impress their "point of view" on you.
I think you've been incredibly brave and strong to move your life on from a childhood at the mercy of this lot. Why endanger your mental and emotional well-being now? Remember that your kids rely on you and they won't have a choice about being involved with these people if you let them in the door.

headingforafall Mon 20-Jun-11 09:38:31

thanks...need to go for a bit, but will be back later for a read, really do appreciate opinions on this.

HerHissyness Mon 20-Jun-11 09:43:43

I think given your experiences it's lovely to see that you still have hope and faith in others, really I do. It'd have been so easy to be cynical, bitter and sad, but you are not. You seem caring, kind, and thoughtful.

Your brother seems to be a whirlwind of trouble waiting to wreak havoc on your life again.

I agree with those posters above and say that you have got this far without him in your life, he only ever seems to de-rail you, and having a connection to your family seems as if it'd cause more trouble than it's worth. From here it looks likely to be a hiding to nothing.

headingforafall Mon 20-Jun-11 09:45:51

just before i go....

he has said he cannot cope with me messing with him, he obviously feels i did that before in accepting contact, then rebuffing him, he has also had a difficult time, he was the product of the same equally shit parenting....he just found solace in drugs while i was far too much of a good two shoes for that shite....though i dont think he had the same abuse as me and he obviously has a better relationship with our mother.

what i would ideally like is just some email contact, some way of touching base without expectation. i dont know why i allowed this really. i dont have a clue what im doing, or why.

i guess if it becomes apparent that he wants more than i can give i should just say it.
but already he is making these demands....that if i have some issues i air them now, that he cannot cope with it, that he is too old for this shite etc etc....funny that its all about him within the first few days of contact.

headingforafall Mon 20-Jun-11 09:48:08

....he is much younger than me

Anniegetyourgun Mon 20-Jun-11 09:49:35

I don't think you can afford to let him back in, to be honest.

The only temptation might be to offer a glimpse of a normal family to this prospective child of his. But he probably knows that's how you'd feel and is using it as emotional leverage to get back with you for his purposes. People can change, get clean, turn their lives around; but from how you describe his approaches you aren't confident that's what he's done. Even if he is no longer on heroin that doesn't mean he's turned into a nice, unselfish person. I'm sorry for the child they plan to bring into their strange world, but your first loyalty has to be to the children that you have brought into the world yourself, and to the good man you have been with all these years, and of course to your own sanity. And none of you will benefit one tiny bit from being dragged into all that unhealthy, even dangerous drama.

headingforafall Mon 20-Jun-11 09:57:46

i was sort of prepared to give him a chance but from the tentative contact had so far feel disappointed and slightly baffled by the way he talks

he has sent my son a friend request on facebook. ive asked DS not to accept it.

headingforafall Mon 20-Jun-11 10:00:10

really need to go for a bit but will be back later today....thanks again.

Spanglemum Mon 20-Jun-11 10:01:15

is it possible to speak with the family member you are close to? Or would that make things worse? Your brother sounds very damaged and it probably is for selfish reasons for him and his child that he wants contact. I think the most I would offer is a one-off meeting somewhere neutral and safe to see how the land lies. I have family members that would drag me down if I saw too much of them so I do understand some of what you feel. I do understand that feeling of not wanting much to do with them, not really even liking them, but worrying or thinking about them all the same. What I'm trying to say is that contact, if you decide to go ahead, needs to be on your terms. Lots of drug abusers are self-medicating other problems so he may well have an ASD or goodness knows what. He may have a personality disorder as the result of his childhood.
I would say to him that your children are old enough to make up their own minds whether they want to meet and at the moment they don't want to. I suppose I feel that his child is the innocent party and if you meet the child you're not committing yourself to anything. I send Christmas and Birthday cards (with a voucher) to a relative's children and I rarely see them but at least they know I do think about them.
You sound very resilient and at the end of the day you must do what's right for you and your family.
Sorry that's not very coherent

kallima Mon 20-Jun-11 10:01:55

i dont have any experience of this... but from what you've said he does sound rather pushy. i dont like the way he wants you to 'air your views' now. that should be up to you.

i think he senses a bit of weakness in you and he is playing on it.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 20-Jun-11 10:05:38

"what i would ideally like is just some email contact, some way of touching base without expectation".

It is clear from his actions that he does not want that at all. Its still all about him really (and addicts are some of the most selfish people around), you are not considered at all here.

"I dont know why i allowed this really. i dont have a clue what im doing, or why"

I think you felt and still feel sorry for him and perhaps this is why the door remained open. You were both affected profoundly by your parents toxic and abusive parenting. Those effects are still present to this day.

I hope your son does not accept his FB request. That also will open a door that should remain closed.

buzzsore Mon 20-Jun-11 10:08:47

That you're already finding him difficult and demanding says to me it would be a mistake to go any further.

Spanglemum Mon 20-Jun-11 10:09:02

Did not see your other messages. I think I would just stick with email contact and see how it goes. He may not like it and try and manipulate the situation but you need to protect yourself. He sounds like he is quite needy and lacks boundaries.
Facebook is such a pain in these situations.

HerHissyness Mon 20-Jun-11 10:27:52

I hear alarm bells ringing OP, and so do you, trust your instinct love.

No good will come of this.

block him from contacting your DS on FB. Set the permissions sky high.

SirSugar Mon 20-Jun-11 10:55:49

FWIW I think you sound in control and know yourself well enough not to get dragged down again if he hasn't come to terms with his own demons - and you will sense that and deal with him as you see fit.

headingforafall Mon 20-Jun-11 15:14:35

He reckons he has dealt with his demons but already insinuated that I haven't which really is bull tbh, yes there are certain things I don't really want to revisit but I I have dealt with all I can, I'm not depressed, I'm not an addict, what he did last time was start to drag stuff up that has gone for me, I have moved so far forward, you would never know if you knew me that my past was troubled. I don't mind talking about it at all, but he seems to need me to be in the place i was 10 years ago, when I cut contact with my mother etc, I had just gone through 3 bereavements literally one after the other, these people were the only family I had and I was devastated. I don't know, it's very early days in terms of contact but if he carries on talking bollocks at me I'll back off. I've said I just want email contact. I'm still not sure what made me speak to him but I just thought so many years on he perhaps deserved a chance, but he will never be part of my family. I suspect if he is off heroin he is on something, weed and alcohol definitely last time we spoke, he told me, plus he sounded pissed. Doubt he s given that up.

headingforafall Mon 20-Jun-11 15:57:46

well had a more coherent msg today from him. I sent a msg making it very clear where the boundries are for me at present. i suspect it depends when he sends a msg as to how coherent he is. I would like to know if he is working as i think that would be a good indication that he is off heroin. Thanks for the advice, whatever happens i will be treading very carefully.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 22-Jun-11 23:35:43

well. its me. im the op. against all better judgement i spoke in person to my brother tonight and i am so pleased to say it was lovely. he is in a good place. off drugs. off booze. married with a little girl. we have arranged another phone call and a meeting on neutral ground. it was so nice to speak to him. i forgot how much i loved him. it was nice. it wasnt awkward at all, it was an easy conversation and he surprised me, he was eloquent and intelligent and very grounded.

my instincts tell me this could be ok.

buzzsore Thu 23-Jun-11 08:28:47

I'm glad. Hope things continue well.

sickaboutdad Thu 23-Jun-11 09:49:20

My brother is a recovering heroin addict. I gave chance after chance, I let myself be persuaded that he was my brother, nothing could change that and I would regret walking away and gave him further chance after chance, I watched his near as dam destroy our Mum, strip her home of anything of value, sell some very sentimental items that belonged to my late step Dad, I did cut contact in the end, after my first child was born. I didn't want my children growing up with that in their lives. Not long after that even Mum couldn't take it any more, things got to breaking point and my brother fled full of shame.
Three years later I heard through our Mum that he was doing better, that he and she were back in phone contact. Mum and my brother started to rebuild their relationship but I wasn't ready. A year later and the changes in him continued. He stopped being so me, me, me, he started to take responsibility for his own actions, he apologised for the hurt and pain he had coursed over the years, he admitted to the things he had done. This was all new, he had never done this before even in the short bursts of being clean that he had in the past. I saw a real change in him. My Mum started face to face contact again and I started phone contact. 8 months after I resumed phone contact I saw him face to face again for the first time, he was still my brother but that change in him was dramatic and it was sustained. I now have normal contact with him, we live a few hundred miles apart but I see him and contact him in a normal way (if that makes any sense).
My sister however cut contact before I did and does not want to resume contact, she can't get passed it, she doesn't want to, she has had her fill and that is her choice and we all respect that choice. There are issues about the way she has gone about things (and many other unrelated issues) but the basic principle is sound, she has ever right to make this decision and should not be penalised for that or have anybody try to change her mind. Ironically my brothers willingness to accept this is one of the huge indicators that the change in his is genuine.

Although there are quite clearly massive differences between our situation the point I am trying to make is that it is a personal decision on rebuilding a relationship torn apart by drugs and only the person involved can make that choice, there is no right or wrong at all, what works for one will not work for another, what one person will willing to try and get past another quite validly is not.
From what you have said I would be very weary, If he is clean I would go out on a limb to say it won't last, he doesn't seem to be taking the responsibility, he is expecting you and pressuring you to forgive and forget and IMO an addict who is truly in recovery will never do this, they will wait for you to be ready and if you are not and never will be they should respect that however badly they want the relationship back, they have to accept that they are the ones who tore it apart and there are times however badly you wish the opposite was true, that it can never ever be repaired.

Do what ever you feel able to, from the sounds of it the best thing for you is to draw a line and tell him you are unable to move forward with a relationship with him, ask him to either not contact you again, tell him to will maintain a Christmas and birthday card relationship with him or tell him that now is not the right time for you and you will contact him when and if you are ready to.
Good luck, I know how very hard this can be but your first duty is to yourself and the family you have created around you. Be kind to yourself, it is perfectly acceptable to say you can't do it.

sickaboutdad Thu 23-Jun-11 10:02:32

I am sorry I didn't read all the messages before I posted. I am very pleased to read your last message. It sounds allot like my brother, for him it was meeting an wonderful woman that turned the corner for him, before he had always dragged girlfriends down with him but he can't do that with his now wife, she is a devoted Mother who will not risk her children, she is allergic to all opiates to the point he can't even give her a kiss after taking his methadone as she would have a bad allergic reaction.
They are now married, they have a little girl together, my brother is a great Father to her, a great step Father to the other two children, he is building a relationship with his adult daughter.
As I said the biggest indicter of change for me was him taking responsibility for his previous actions and allowing each person to either build or not bulid the bridges with him at their own pace.
I really hope that things continue to go well for you both.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 26-Jun-11 00:36:10

well we have spoken again. he doesnt want to really discuss our 'parents', so despite his protestations of being over the past im not so sure....but thats ok,. i can live with not talking about the parents as long as he can....he sees our mother about once a motnh and accepts that i dont want to see her. i dont think she wants to see me either.

he is about to start treatment for hep C, so that will delay any meeting now anyway.

He did not go into rehab or anything and got clean himself along with his wife....he tells me he has been on H 3 times, but says now he is a father he is done with it, more important things to worry about. He is quite a hippy chic....grows his own food etc..seems quite sweet and seems a happy go lucky type.

funny that we appear to be different sides of the same coin really....he finds it highly amusing that i am a bobby....but took it all in good part and seemed pleased for me. He obviously had plenty of runs ins the law in his days.

baby steps now i think....he says he will phone me next week so ill leave it with him.
im hopeful that things will be ok, but not nieve....we will just have to see.

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