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AIBU - to feel so so hurt and upset?

(9 Posts)
LaMujer Wed 28-Sep-11 10:13:45

I'll try to be concise - my mum and I had a financial 'business' arrangement which has gone great for 6 years, we were both happy with it, and she certainly benefited. No complaints - no problems. In recent times, it has been tough and I have only managed to maintain the minimum and she has to go without the extras! Because she considers herself to be 'suffering', she has got herself worried beyond belief - probably because she has too much time on her hands, and she has decided to confide the whole scenario to my brother (we initially agreed that he did not need to know), and has recently been on the phone to him in tears nearly every night because she thinks she will lose her house etc etc. (she has NEVER missed a mortgage payment). Despite my repeated assurances by phone, in person, texts etc, it just doesn't seem to be enough.
Last week, my brother ambushed me at my sick granddads house - he hid his car and waited for me to visit. He then laid into me big time (upsetting my Grandad in the other room with his shouting), accusing me of not talking to my mum and reassuring her, he said I was selfish, never did anything unless I benefitted from it, and that me and my husband had to talk to my Mum and reassure her. I am the least selfish person ever - he has forgotten SO MANY THINGS, and doesn't even know so many others!
As a result of this, I had words with my Mum, a few frosty days, and then we had it out and resolved things. My husband called her, said what I had said, and she felt better. End of? No such luck. My brother has not spoken to me since, despite me and Mum being ok.
Last Saturday, I was in their area with my daughter - I text Mum to see if she was in, but she said sorry, but she was rushing to get ready to go out. No problem. I text my brother to see if he would take a visitor waving a white flag - brave for me - I have clinical depression and no end of personal issues, resulting in high anxiety, and reluctance for confrontation and calls etc. I only tried to visit as he and his wife are expecting their first baby in three weeks and my daughters are so looking forward to it. The last thing I want is to fall out and them not be involved with their cousin. He said it was not right to visit with my daughter as he and I needed to sort a lot of things out, and that what he had to say would not be nice. (I genuinely have no idea what he is talking about). He also said his wife was getting ready to go out and did not want to appear rude. I made my excuses, and we didn't meet.
The following night I saw photos on Facebook of my Mum and Sister In Law at the BABY SHOWER, held at the time I tried to visit them both. A Baby Shower for MY Neice/Nephew, to which I was not invited, and knew NOTHING about.
To say I am completely devastated is an understatement. I don't know why my brother 'hates' me so much that he has stopped his wife inviting me to what is a massive event - she was so worried about feeling part of the family when they met, and I went out of my way to make her and her son feel welcome. She even messaged me back last week to say she didn't want to get involved in the difficulties between me and my brother. All her female in-laws went, my Dads girlfriend went, and my Mum went. Yet no-one has even mentioned it to me. I am most upset that my Mum feels she couldn't even say to me - 'look, I thought you should know that S is having a Baby Shower, but J doesn't want her to invite you, I have tried to change his mind but he won't, but I just thought you should know' - she would have said something like that in the past, and as we have sorted out our differences I am so shocked that she hasn't. I text on Sunday to ask 'Did anyone ask where I was yesterday?' but she never replied. We usually text or talk everyday about my Grandad or the kids, but I didn't hear from her till yesterday when she asked me if I had paid her mortgage. I replied and asked if she got my last text - she just said 'yes'. I am crying all the time, and biting my tongue because of my girls seeing the baby. My Mum plans to come to our Macmillan coffee afternoon on Friday to see the girls - but I don't want to see her if she can't even call me or text.
I am starting to think I am over-reacting, doubting myself, thinking I am in the wrong, and then I start crying all over again..........

Acinonyx Wed 28-Sep-11 10:41:21

Would it be possible for you, your mum and your brother to all talk together?

Catslikehats Wed 28-Sep-11 11:15:51

Without knowing what the financial business arrangement is/was it is impossible to guage what is going on.

Reading between the lines I am going to hazard a guess that your mum has leant you a sum of money, possibly secured on her house that you are not paying back as qucikly as previously agreed.

Whilst generally I would say that what you and your mum agree is no business of your brother I think your brother is right to be angry if he feels your mum has been taken advantage of. Only you can know whether there is any truth in this.

Whatever the situation you do need to talk to your brother.

familyscapegoat Wed 28-Sep-11 11:27:30

I think what you do now, depends on the bigger picture here - and whether there have been previous incidents of your Mum playing one sibling off against the other. In reviewing that too, you might need to look at your own role in past events, which can be uncomfortable!

Is it possible that your Mum likes to be a victim in life? Has she in the past, complained bitterly about your brother's behaviour to you, but wouldn't dream of confronting him herself? And have you ever listened to these tales of woe and found yourself getting angry with your brother, on your Mum's behalf? Have you ever pitched in yourself with him and fought your Mum's battles, or have you silently seethed and felt an unresolved sense of grievance towards your brother, as a result? Has she ever prefaced one of these complaints with "you must promise not to say anything to him" and then gone on to tell an outrageous story about something he's done? And because you're sworn to secrecy, you've got no way of corroborating any of it?

If some of this is ringing bells, I'm afraid this is what might have happened here with your Mum, except this time it's your turn to be the family scapegoat. Your brother has fallen for it, just as you might have fallen for it in the past. The result is that as siblings, you're pitted against eachother and although you might feel uncomfortable about this, you may have become so used to this family script of competing with one another for your Mum's approval and the title of Golden Child that neither of you realise you're doing it.

If you have previously had a good relationship with your brother, it would be well worth sitting him down and discussing the family dynamics. In the best case scenario, you might broker an agreement that the next time Mum complains to one about the other, you will follow up with a suggestion that she speaks directly to the perceived source of her grievance, but that you don't want to hear about it.

Your Mum needs to know too, that you have rumbled her little game and that neither of you are playing any longer. Your H and SIL need to be on board with this plan too, because they run even more risk of getting sucked into your Mum's dramas, especially in their quest for acceptance in the family.

Your Mum's reaction is likely to be highly defensive and it will be a rough ride for a while with her. But if any of this has made sense to you, it is vital that you do this, before she starts playing one cousin off against the other and creating friction between her grandchildren.

LaMujer Wed 28-Sep-11 11:44:59

Interesting comments. My Mum has never usually played one of us off against the other, and I understand my brother defending her, but I have done what has been asked, I am meeting my commitments to my Mum, and she has said she is fine again. My Mum does over worry, and can be selfish, but she doesn't ask me to keep secrets as such - our business arrangement was a private issue, not a secret as such - nor does she slag one of us off to the other, she is usually quite open and diplomatic. I do think the problem is my brother over reacting and wanting to be the BIG SHOT, but I am pained to be the one to make the effort to resolve it when I don't know what the problem is! He is a bully and will walk all over me, I will get upset and won't defend myself because I am not strong enough and never have been!
I think I will put it all down in a long letter - the same letter - to both of them, then I know my feelings will be aired. I guess things can't get any worse.

OneTrickMummy Wed 28-Sep-11 11:58:16

One observation on reading your posts:
You seem very quick to dismiss other people's feelings. Your Mum was anxious, not because times have been tough, as you say yourself, but because she has 'too much time on her hands' and yu don't acknowledge that she is actually suffering, just 'sufffering'. Your brother is 'over-reacting' and you say, bullying you.

What if your Mum was genuinely worried? Maybe you should have had the talk with her a about it before she spoke to your brother. What if your brother is genuinely concerned about your mum? Maybe you should have been open with him and spoken with him.

Everyone else seems wrong except you, in the run up to all this. And yet whatever your mum's business with you seems to have been to your advantage. Be appreciative and honest about that.

I hope you do get it all sorted. But try not to dismiss other people's feelings to suit your own agenda.

buzzskillington Wed 28-Sep-11 12:13:02

I don't think you should write it all down in a letter. Letters can be misconstrued and if you phrase something badly, they will have that in black and white forever. Not to mention, a letter is all about getting what you feel & think out there, and not letting them reply.

You need to talk and listen to them both together. Be brave, have a family talk and be prepared to listen to things you might find uncomfortable, and be prepared to validate their feelings - maybe you won't agree that they should feel that way, but you should acknowledge what they feel.

You avoided talking to your brother. You seem dismissive towards your mother. It's time to hear them out.

Catslikehats Wed 28-Sep-11 12:21:22

I agree a letter is a very bad idea. Your posts here come across as fairly dismissive to the feelings of your DB and DM and I think a letter would be easily misconstrued.

Your DB has made it clear that he wishes to talk to you so I think you ought to hear what he has to say.

buzzskillington Wed 28-Sep-11 12:32:59

Just to add, you say "you don't know why your brother 'hates'" you so writing a letter justifying yourself may not address what the problem is for him.

You have to be willing to find out what his take on it is, if you want to resolve things. I know it's scary and you might find it painful and might even have to admit you're not handling something properly(?) - but in the long run you're more likely to get things sorted - and it can't be any more painful than be excluded from family events, can it?

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