I thought it was time I acted my age a bit (wahahahaaa!!)……
My initial reaction was – No flippen way, José!! And why? Because it’s flippen complicated. Ja, it always is, neh?
OB is 7 years older than me. We were alone for a long time before Baby boet came along. We were close. Until he got married and had his first baby. I was 18.
According to him, he’s seen and heard many (nasty, ugly) things which impacted him. Moulded the man, so to speak. DUH. We all had childhoods and went through puberty. We all went through stuff (some good, some bad) which shaped our reality. Most have some baggage from those years. Those who don’t – well, you are special 😉
The saying goes – you can’t judge a man until you’ve walked in his shoes for a mile (or ten). I was walking next to him most of my life, I know what he’s been through. I’ve seen most of it, experienced some of it. He thought I didn’t notice. My coping mechanism was to turn a blind eye, insulate myself against these things. It helped me. I think he did the same. It seems not to have helped him.
It doesn’t have to mean that I should agree with or like some decisions he’s made since then. With the life he leads.
Knowing him, I believe that those decisions are not necessarily his, but done through SIL2’s influence. The life he leads is also not a life – he boozes too much, he doesn’t socialize with family and friends. He does whatever the missus says. He believes every story she spins. And he allows her to do whatever she wants. Critical? Judgmental? Maybe.
So I don’t accept who and what he has become. He has the potential to become more, to rise above his circumstances and whatever he’s chosen to fixate his life on.
We have choices – we choose to allow the bad things that happen in our lives cloud our judgment. We choose who and what we want to become. Whether to blame circumstances for our failures, or not. We choose to become bitter.
He chose. He chose to lose his son. He is now choosing to lose his daughter. He chose to become bitter and blame everyone and everything else on his failures in life.
Should I condone these choices? I have for many years. I turned a blind eye. Excused his behaviour and actions. I decided not to anymore.
But the way I did was perhaps wrong. It could have been done better. Direct and to his face. Instead I said what I wanted to say to the SIL2. He chose to accept whatever version he got from her. I regretted this. But the damage is done.
He chose not to pick up the phone and give me kak over what I said. Which makes me wonder if deep-down he knows this as the truth? He knows exactly what I think of him and his actions. We’ve had a few interventions where we tried talking sense into him. We tried tough love. It didn’t help.
He knows I love him, even if that woman poisons him against me. He knows I am not vindictive, nor a horrible person. I must have faith in this knowledge.
I’ve reached the end of my tether with him. I’ve taken my stand and I’ll abide by it.
I’ve been wrestling with my decision for a while now. I do miss him, but I refuse to watch him destroy his life, and that of his children. My mother would never have allowed this to happen. I have accepted that I am not my mother. I cannot condone what I believe is unacceptable parenting, nor the fact that he is a ghost of what he used to be.
So I’ve distanced myself from him and his wife. I believe I’ve made peace with it. It does hurt. He is still my brother. I will be there when he decides to change his ways.
In answer to my own question – it is easy, actually. I can choose to pick up the phone now and talk to him. But I won’t. Talking never helped with him. For now, I will not do anything.
I would like your opinion on this saga