Shadow boxing

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eyeofthestorm

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Shadow boxing
« on: August 23, 2015, 11:03:55 PM »
Sibling issues run so deep, don't they? 
When I divorced my uBPD,  the interior hamster wheel ran seemingly on its own for quite a long time. I had this pervasive mental image that there must be some way around all the walls of denial he had erected.  It didn't make sense that the marriage couldn't be saved. Finally I just had to realize that the deep work -- including a commitment to emotional honesty -- had to happen on both sides and I was way over-functioning. And one perceptive therapist concluded that my X simply didn't know how to ask for what he wanted. My failing was that I didn't know how to assert what I didn't want.

With the present implosion caused by my brother and sister, again the mental hamster wheel is still spinning but the motivation behind it feels different. My sister is clearly the ringleader,  using my brother as a puppet so that they can triangulate. She and I have been estranged for years -- never having taken responsibility for huge thefts and betrayals and putting on a Little Mary Sunshine face to pretend everything is OK.  Until about 6 years ago -- boom -- my Mom, brother and I received by phone a cease-and-desist order from Sister's boyfriend. (Dad had passed away about 4 years before.)  All contact forbidden.
The inability to resolve it just tortured my Mom
Sister, as I posted elsewhere,  never showed up for my Mom, not at the hospital,  the hospice nor the funeral. But cheerily for the property meeting with the lawyer.
My Mom had agonized over what to do with the (modest) estate proceeds -- finally decided an even split in thirds was the least problematic so that Brother and I didn't end up in a court battle. But Sister was left in a recipient role only. Mom said Sister could divorce her but Mom wasn't going to sink to her level.
Brother, on the other hand,  and I had always gotten along. And he took it really hard that the family had such a crack in it.
Until -- Brother married an alcoholic with a heroin-addicted son. Brother has had a tendency to rescue women,  in part I think to bolster his ego from the disappointment he sensed from my Dad. Which was to a large extent warranted.
Brother's stepson perished from tainted heroin and less than 6 months later, Brother's wife drank herself to death. Brother stays in contact with stepson's drug buddies, takes on one of them to live in the basement where Stepson was! Someone who knows way more details than he should about my Brother's circumstances poses as my brother on the phone and tries to extort money from our terrified, hard of hearing Mom. The impostor slips up on the phone with me (thankfully I was at the house with Mom) when he referred to her as Grandma -- which is what Brother's felled stepson called her.
 A year later Brother hooks up with a gambling addict whose brother is a convicted murderer and mother an alcoholic.
And Brother changed towards me.   I think it's because he knows I can see thru him. He who swore up and down that he didn't want a dime from the estate,  who denied to the lawyer substantial support from my Mom. And as the essentially unmotivated guy who lived at home til he married, told me that he put in his twenty years for our parents and he was done. It's a lie -- he had to be nagged to death for what he did there, never went beyond that.
I understand that he freaked out with Mom's medical decline. He had found both his wife and stepson dead.  I had promised him that if anyone were to find Mom at home,  as horrible as it would be for me,  I hoped to spare him from that.  As it happened,  Mom could no longer live at home  for the last 8 months of her life.
But Brother's neglect was mind-boggling. EVERYTHING got left to me except the tapdance he did on Facebook to show he was dedicated to Family with a capital F.  Take away the hard drugs and I think Brother channeled his Stepson by his partying at my parents house (abandoned by then) leaving me to deal with it.
Long post I know -- thanks for listening.  Whereas I wanted truth and healthy love to endure in my marriage, now what I crave from the sibling situation is fairness.
And without a parent figure to mediate that, I feel like I'm still shadow-boxing. It's like the siblings have won. Stepping up now in fully self-righteous fashion to guilt me about a stone-setting ceremony for Mom and my nor having the "common decency " to plan it. Uh where the H*ll have you 2 been?  There wouldn't even BE engraving on the headstone if I hadn't stepped up on my own. I see no reason to make this a piece of theatre for you 2 to imply you've been any part of this all along.
And I'm convinced there's a drug connection with my sister that underlies a whole lot of this. 
I know that what matters is the integrity in my heart but wow this is painful.

 


"Either this wallpaper goes or I do." (Last words of Oscar Wilde)

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Bloomie

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Re: Shadow boxing
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2015, 12:54:08 PM »
eyeofthestorm - Yes sibling relationships run deep and the wounding that comes when they are fractured is very painful. I am so sorry this is such painful time for you. Through my parent's and fil's passing I have come to understand that sometimes all that is maintaining even the most nebulous of connections and mannerliness between siblings (or family members) is having a parent still living and an estate to disperse. I have had the experience of family members spending more time sorting through and packing up the belongings after the death of a parent or grandparent then they had spent with that individual in years all the while posturing and posing as loving caregivers and grieving orphans in the theater of memorial services and social media.

Shadow boxing is an apt term for what you are going through and I was caught by the subject line for your post because I have used this same phrase in similar circumstances. There is a sense we are sparring and where the next punch is coming from is very hard to determine, but our fear is that the next punch may be the one that takes us out.

eyeofthestorm - I say this gently - most people don't fight fair. Especially people who are potentially filled with disordered thinking and distorted perceptions, entitlement, and possibly a whole lot of FOG themselves. Your mother's death seems to have pulled back the rug and exposed a whole lot of dirt that was swept under it with your siblings issues. It is very possible that your siblings do not have fairness, support, appreciation, kindness, and love to give. They just may be too broken to give you what you so want. That is very sad and hurts and we have to process those feelings to the place of acceptance, but in time it really does get better and the reason I know it will get better is because you said this:

"I know that what matters is the integrity in my heart but wow this is painful."

That is quite a powerful, healthy, grounded statement.  :applause: Acceptance of what we cannot change, changing what we can, and the wisdom to know the difference is very hard for a person of high integrity who desires reconciliation, connection, and who has a high level of commitment to their loved ones. Sometimes it feels like defeat, or failure. It isn't. It's strength and it takes courage to face the truth of troubled relationships and move through the process of determining what part, if any, our siblings will play in our future life. Sending you strength today! :hug:
"You can understand and have compassion for someone and still not want a relationship with them."
Amanda E. White, LPC @therapyforwomen

Bloomie 🌸

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eyeofthestorm

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Re: Shadow boxing
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2015, 01:17:49 PM »
Bloomie -- thank you very much. Appreciate the warm and thoughtful support.
It may well be true that the siblings can't rise above such regressive behavior -- including the way that they are getting off on it.  Scary and pathetic that it took Mom's death to take the lid off all this resentment, entitlement,  etc.  Makes me crazy that they feel they're winning but I know that's a big old flea. I have to keep myself from being baited.
I can't expect them to be what they aren't.
Best I can do is find my inner peace not reliant on how I'm treated by them.
"Either this wallpaper goes or I do." (Last words of Oscar Wilde)

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eyeofthestorm

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Re: Shadow boxing
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2015, 03:54:24 PM »
Bloomie -- thank you very much. Appreciate the warm and thoughtful support.
It may well be true that the siblings can't rise above such regressive behavior -- including the way that they are getting off on it.  Scary and pathetic that it took Mom's death to take the lid off all this resentment, entitlement,  etc.  Makes me crazy that they feel they're winning but I know that's a big old flea. I have to keep myself from being baited.
I can't expect them to be what they aren't.
Best I can do is find my inner peace not reliant on how I'm treated by them. And create a better sense of family with more integrity than the FOO
"Either this wallpaper goes or I do." (Last words of Oscar Wilde)

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Poetry In Motion

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Re: Shadow boxing
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2015, 06:21:19 PM »
Acceptance of what we cannot change, changing what we can, and the wisdom to know the difference is very hard for a person of high integrity who desires reconciliation, connection, and who has a high level of commitment to their loved ones. Sometimes it feels like defeat, or failure. It isn't. It's strength and it takes courage to face the truth of troubled relationships and move through the process of determining what part, if any, our siblings will play in our future life. Sending you strength today! :hug:
[/quote]

That's exactly how i've been feeling this week - utterly defeated.
I almost booked an appointment with a psychiatrist this week, convinced the problem is me ... when in my heart i know it's not ...
This forum is giving me strength.

Eyeofthestorm - my father passed 7 years ago. My FOO and extended family are up to their eyeballs in shit because of it .... all caused by my N mother. I feel your pain.