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What am I feeling about my mom and brother and Why?

Posted by wonderinginnh (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 19, 13 at 16:55

Thank you for the opportunity to get advice on my family situation. I am female, 56 with a 53 yr old brother. Our sister died at 49 of cancer due to cigarettes and drinking; a baby sister died at 4 months. Brother lives with mother and does not work, never married. Six yrs in the Coast Guard and about 5 yrs of �other� jobs. The last time he worked was over 25 yrs ago. He drinks and smokes a lot but does keep up the yard, house, cooks and �takes of� of mom. My sister had 2 kids and I have a new grandniece.
My mom moved back to her family after living near my paternal grandparents when I was in the 2nd grade. My dad got a job overseas and came to visit rarely and paid little support. Mom went back to school at 30 yrs old with 3 small kids living alone with my grandmother babysitting. Mom got her master�s and supported us. My dad visited sporadically and they eventually divorced. My mom attempted suicide with us in the house (attic) when we were in grammar school. She got help but we were there, saw the evidence and blamed my father, of course, just background. Later, my father married again and had a son but took his own life at 46 yrs old in another country. This really doesn�t relate to my question here rather, just background with my personal issues.

Mom married again three times, divorced all and finally was with a man for over 20 yrs whom I was very close to in my late 20s. She ended up leaving him when he cheated on her. Mom married for the 4th and final time and I was very close to him. My brother left another part of the country after the Coast Guard and came back to live with my mom and her husband before my stepfather took his own life after almost 10 yrs of marriage and losing his company. He told me the week before he died that he �wished he didn�t have my brother to deal with�; actually, he said, �I married it, I have to deal with it�; meaning my brother who was living with them at the time. Brother worked with stepfather and at the time (naive me), thought they got along okay. I�m sure they did at times, though.

My mother has an okay income, house paid for and they live 2 hours away. I am married of over 20 yrs and we are happy; I could not have kids but have a stepson and daughter and step grandkids.

Mom told me about 4 months ago that she changed her will to make my brother the primary beneficiary and that she did this b/c he is the one �taking care� of her. She also has my niece and nephew as beneficiaries. When mom told me this she explained that this is what her aunt is doing for her 3 kids (her son lives with her too but has a job) and that one daughter is very upset at this. I bring this up b/c I am trying to figure out if this is all about the will and the total inequality of it. The fact that my brother doesn�t work and she buys his cigarettes and booze; and that at times she has given me a hard time about contributing a bottle of wine when we are together; the fact that I could be so �small� about this upsets me. I need help with my feelings here, why am I feeling this way? Is it just simply sibling rivalry and how do I get past this, if so?

My grandfather was a judge who took his own life in his fifties after my grandmother left him. There is alcoholism on both sides and I fear my brother is following in the steps of his 3 uncles. The worst part about my brother is that he is super intelligent and is wasting it with not working. My mom is super intelligent also but I fear has manipulated him. I do feel badly for my brother, he is the one who does not have a life without his mother and will be her caretaker. But on the other hand, he could have a job and a girlfriend (very good looking!) easily. I feel badly for him but he won�t discuss anything with me, he is usually drinking more when I am there which isn�t often and is sarcastic and cynical to me.

Help me understand what is going on here, please!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What am I feeling about my mom and brother and Why?

It is her money to do with as she sees fit.

Personally, I do not expect a dime from my mother's estate. We get along splendidly, but she can do as she wants.

I think any left over money will go to the 4 grandkids only... and that is fine with me!


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RE: What am I feeling about my mom and brother and Why?

You have a lot of suicide in your family, sounds like there is a lot of emotional energy revolving around your family.

Reading what you have written gives me the impression that your family members don't like being on there own.

I guess you feel annoyed because your mother is being unfair about the will, but ask yourself - is it worth all that anguish..perhaps it is time to just let it go.

Presumably you have stability in your own family, financial and emotionally - perhaps that is enough security for you.

Focus on your immediate family, they are what is important, for you.


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RE: What am I feeling about my mom and brother and Why?

Popi - you are right - too much suicide and I guess its having a toll on my mental health.

But yes, you are all correct - I just feel slighted about the will thing, obviously she can and will do what she wants but I feel b/c I had a job all my life and did not have to depend on her that I am being slighted, but ... you are all right - it is time to let it go and try to heal this relationsip with my brother...its very hard to do.

You are right again, my husband is everything to me and we are good and happy after 26 yrs so I'm just trying to heal my relationship with my brother now and try to understand why my mother did what she did to my brother and what is going on between them, I know it is just psychological and mind control something with a mother? I need some help trying to understand this and try to help heal the stuff wtih my brother.

Thank you all for your advice and words.


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RE: What am I feeling about my mom and brother and Why?

wonderinginnh,

There's a lot of suicide in your family and it sounds pretty overwhelming. I wonder if anyone in your family was ever diagnosed with depression (clinical). If this is taking a toll on your mental health and well being as you say it is and it must be as you wrote about it here, then I would probably seek out a professional (counselor).

Before you can heal anything you have to get clear about our own feelings and that is where a good counselor can come in and help you sort through it and offer suggestions.

I don't know where you live or if counseling is available to you or not, and only you can decide whether that is the right course for you.

Some families suffer a great deal with dependency issues and it sounds like that is an issue with your brother and mother.

A good place to start would be to check out your medical insurance to see if it is covered and if not, many counselors will work with you.

You are on the right track though and one step ahead of the game by recognizing that you need some help in trying to understand what is going on.


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RE: What am I feeling about my mom and brother and Why?

First, regarding suicide. Anyone who has had even one suicide among their close family or friends would do well to seek professional help. Sadly, once a suicide occurs, the chances of someone else in the group also trying it, go up exponentially. The numbers are staggering. It's such a difficult situation to deal with that professional help is very needed.

But that's not what you've asked about. Regarding your mom's will. She has every right to leave her money as she sees fit. It's not at all uncommon for a parent to leave more (or all) to the child who lives with them and cares for them. Or, in some cases, to the child who has the least going for them and 'needs' the help. Often parents feel so guilty about raising a child who isn't successful, that they do this exact thing.

Look, the problem isn't with your mother or brother. They have their own relationship, and it's their business. Your mother's money and will are HER business. You need to understand that and accept her decision. Be glad YOU aren't the one who needs her to take care of you--delight in the fact that you are independent and will get by regardless. Be glad your mother is still able to handle her affairs and make decisions. And above all, continue to be there for her because you love her--not because you're being 'paid' to.


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RE: What am I feeling about my mom and brother and Why?

I might be off the wall here but I wonder if more than the dollars you are feeling less loved because of you mom's decision.


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RE: What am I feeling about my mom and brother and Why?

eandhl - you are on the mark there - I do recognize that and I guess now that I am just wanting to hear all the comments from all of you - your experience and thoughts are helping, thank you and bless you all!


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RE: What am I feeling about my mom and brother and Why?

Wondering...your Mom most likely feels close to her son...they share a home now...why should she want to see him homeless upon her death? If she buys his cigs and booze..he must be doing enough household duties to get those things..she may buy them whether he did or did not do anything for her....have you ever gone there to help out? Run errands, take her to dr....all those things that adult kids do for parents??

Maybe...your brother feels obligated to live there....be her housemate because he does not see anyone else stepping up to do the maintenance that she may need to run a house...I have seen this arrangement for years with men who live with parents...

They give up certain life events such as dating, marrying and sometimes holding a good job because demands at home do not allow it...when my father was ill...I could not work....I had my own home but had to stay at home just to be able to care for my fathers transportation needs to drs ofc. My mother would not do it....

It sometimes appears as if the brother has a great time, but have you actually thought of the things he may have to deal with...maybe that is why the booze...is your concern having the will favor you some? I think your mom might see you as someone who she cannot depend on...I have a mother who made it public knowledge that she favored her boys over her daughters....she even said it as I was carting her a** around town running errands...while my oldest bro...her favorite did not lift a finger for her...ever..that I saw....

My middle bro owns the house...mother is not that crazy about him...but she will leave anything she has to my younger bro....older bro has his own money too....I do not go to my mothers house because when I did my brothers wete verbally hateful....you never knew what they would say....my mother basically kicked me to the curb 14 years ago when I started working full time....if I could not do things for her...she had no reason to talk to me..as she had done to all five of daughters....when my older sister passed away...she did not want to really talk to me after all that time...nephew passed away several months prior and I sat next to her after 12 yrs and she got up and left room.

When my sister passed away she started speaking to me only to get a ride to funeral home...after that..nothing...about 2 yrs later after a conversation with another sister about problems in my marriage...my mother calls about a month or so later.....only to hear the details...thinking I would tell her anything...when I did not give her what she wanted...she stopped calling...my mother was just vacant emotionally to her daughters...not much better with sons but she treated them better....

If you are smart...you will let your brother be with this issue....some women thrive on seeing their kids fight..mine did....I have nothing to say to my mother that would mean anything at this point...she raised her kids half a**ed...but we all turned out good.....the girls all have had marital problems...and dependence on husbands because we were forced to leave home by the time we were sixteen....I did not go to clg till I was an adult and had no op to have a real career...

I say all this because some women are just born to make trouble for their kids...they will play one off on the other....thats likely what she is doing now...her way of saying..."see what i did"...


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RE: What am I feeling about my mom and brother and Why?

Wondering...your Mom most likely feels close to her son...they share a home now...why should she want to see him homeless upon her death? If she buys his cigs and booze..he must be doing enough household duties to get those things..she may buy them whether he did or did not do anything for her....have you ever gone there to help out? Run errands, take her to dr....all those things that adult kids do for parents??

Maybe...your brother feels obligated to live there....be her housemate because he does not see anyone else stepping up to do the maintenance that she may need to run a house...I have seen this arrangement for years with men who live with parents...

They give up certain life events such as dating, marrying and sometimes holding a good job because demands at home do not allow it...when my father was ill...I could not work....I had my own home but had to stay at home just to be able to care for my fathers transportation needs to drs ofc. My mother would not do it....

It sometimes appears as if the brother has a great time, but have you actually thought of the things he may have to deal with...maybe that is why the booze...is your concern having the will favor you some? I think your mom might see you as someone who she cannot depend on...I have a mother who made it public knowledge that she favored her boys over her daughters....she even said it as I was carting her a** around town running errands...while my oldest bro...her favorite did not lift a finger for her...ever..that I saw....

My middle bro owns the house...mother is not that crazy about him...but she will leave anything she has to my younger bro....older bro has his own money too....I do not go to my mothers house because when I did my brothers wete verbally hateful....you never knew what they would say....my mother basically kicked me to the curb 14 years ago when I started working full time....if I could not do things for her...she had no reason to talk to me..as she had done to all five of daughters....when my older sister passed away...she did not want to really talk to me after all that time...nephew passed away several months prior and I sat next to her after 12 yrs and she got up and left room.

When my sister passed away she started speaking to me only to get a ride to funeral home...after that..nothing...about 2 yrs later after a conversation with another sister about problems in my marriage...my mother calls about a month or so later.....only to hear the details...thinking I would tell her anything...when I did not give her what she wanted...she stopped calling...my mother was just vacant emotionally to her daughters...not much better with sons but she treated them better....

If you are smart...you will let your brother be with this issue....some women thrive on seeing their kids fight..mine did....I have nothing to say to my mother that would mean anything at this point...she raised her kids half a**ed...but we all turned out good.....the girls all have had marital problems...and dependence on husbands because we were forced to leave home by the time we were sixteen....I did not go to clg till I was an adult and had no op to have a real career...

I say all this because some women are just born to make trouble for their kids...they will play one off on the other....thats likely what she is doing now...her way of saying..."see what i did"...


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RE: What am I feeling about my mom and brother and Why?

Sketcher - thank you - good thoughts here. You are all right - I really have a warped sense of 'fairness' I guess. Someone said that I am lucky b/c I actually have a life and he does not except for what mom wants and wants to share...good advice...thank you all and bless you all!

Now...how do I work on my warped sense of fairness? Wish I could just really be happy with what I have...my sense of rightness...if I do this I could be more happy...that kind of thinking is driving me crazy! Why do I think this way? it's awfully depressing and yes, I'm on those meds...

Anyway, thank you all, appreciate these words


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RE: What am I feeling about my mom and brother and Why?

Wondering your thoughts on fairness is not warped, but actually consistent with what most people would do...I know of a family that a similar situation occurred....son living with Mom...was to get the house...but he passed away unexpectantly...then a daughter moved into the house and I am assuming there were similar arrangements with her...Her Mom recently passed and she is doing major yard work, etc....

So the house must be hers now....so the question should be put to Mom in the event something unforeseen happens...the son who passed before his Mom was only 54....so you see what I am saying...its in her best interest at her age to keep all of her children aware of what her own needs are going to be..

But the issue with promising property to a child who moves in with you has gone on forever...you have to ask yourself if you could even be emotionally available to her...in light of what your relationship is...caregiving is an emotional toll....are you up for that?

One thing that happens with Moms in old age is that they lose their light....and start picking the people they can give more to, based on what they get....favoritism starts and there is always someone left out...there is always one or two kids who have many irons in the fire and at least one who can't light a match....

As a Mom, I have really been challenged by seeing my older son seem more indifferent as an adult....its horrible when I know he was loved to distraction..and still is...but I am hurt and I have vented about it...to my husband who is indifferent himself...so it is obvious who he took after...

My point is that he has many irons...and I need to understand that...so that one day I don't lose my light....


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RE: What am I feeling about my mom and brother and Why?

Now...how do I work on my warped sense of fairness? Wish I could just really be happy with what I have

Here is how you work on that warped sense of fairness. You open your eyes to all the marvelous blessings you have, and you may feel that you have more good in your life than you deserve.

Are you living in a war zone or a place devastated by war, like Iran or Syria? Think about all the people living in places like that through no fault of their own. It's not fair that they have to live there but you and I don't.

Do you own a home that is dry and warm? All around the world there are people who don't through no fault of their own. It's not fair that they don't have that opportunity, but you and I did.

Do you have reasonably good health and don't suffer chronic pain? All around the world there are people with painful, terminal illnesses, severe disabilities, terrible injuries from accidents through no fault of their own. It's not fair that the cancer happened to them and not you and me.

Every time you start to think about how your mom is leaving her money in her will, redirect your thoughts and think thoughts of gratitude for the good things in your life.

One of my family members was badly injured in an accident. When he was first injured, we had no idea if he'd ever be okay again (head trauma). He is doing great, but there were a lot of hard, scary days. After a long day at the hospital or the rehab center, there were some days the only way I got through it was to think about the wonderful things about my life - indoor plumbing, roses, my dog, my car, the fact that only one of us was badly injured.

Your feelings of inequity about your mother's will are normal and you are not wrong or bad to feel that way. But those are feelings that need to be dealt with and put into perspective. If you are expecting life to be fair - it isn't.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.


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RE: What am I feeling about my mom and brother and Why?

Daisy....you make a boatload of sense on this topic....words for all of us to live by...it was intended for someone else, but I found it useful as well....

I think its ok to admit when you are disappointed that something did not go as expected, but then you have to move from that or it consumes you...I have been there many times and work daily to remember even my smallest miracles in light of a changing life...

I find myself envying women who no longer have the stress of dealing with a longterm marriage that must not have had the secure foundation I thought it had...always knowing of course, nothing in life is guaranteed....parenting was something both my husband and I excelled at...so our kids told us....in all kinds of ways...

So, your message did not get lost on me...i get it...i work on it daily


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RE: What am I feeling about my mom and brother and Why?

Dailyinga - these words from you 'If you are expecting life to be fair - it isn't.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference. '

I am going to print and put on my monitor and say them every single day. What great words, thank you so much. I just hope that if I say them enough times and long enough that it will penetrate my glorified sense of 'equality' or whatever the word is...that I have...of fairness. You and Sketcher have given me so much to think about, thank you both from the bottom of my heart. You have made sense of so many things, so many ways and opened my eyes to so many things other than my super small world.

Thank you and bless you both...sincerely.


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RE: What am I feeling about my mom and brother and Why?

I'm glad I could help. I think most people struggle with the unfairness of life. It's nice that we can share our experiences with one another and figure out what worked and what didn't.


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RE: What am I feeling about my mom and brother and Why?

When my daughter was small and would whine, "It's not faaaaaaaair," I would reply to her, "Honey, _life_ isn't fair and the sooner you learn to cope with that the happier you'll be."


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RE: What am I feeling about my mom and brother and Why?

It's actually a compliment if you think about it. You are stronger and more independent than your brother. Your mother knows he can't care for himself so she is trying to make sure he is cared for in her absence. I understand that you feel slighted. Who wouldn't? If there's something in particular that you'd like your mother to leave you, like a ring or a piece of furniture, why not just ask her for it? Maybe that would give you what you're looking for which seems to be a little piece of your moms life to remember her by.


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