Siblings… We’re all supposed to get along, aren’t we? But I think most of us don’t. Sure, you may be closer to one or the other, but there’s always that thread of resentment that permeates your relationship with them.
Maybe one of your siblings always got their way. Perhaps one was a bully and teased you all the time. And then there’s that other one who was always clamoring for attention and got it. If you think about it, why should we all get along just because we came from the same womb? It makes for some interesting dynamics.
These relationships continue to sputter throughout the years, sometimes coming to a head when the death of a loved one takes place. My partner’s mother is 94 and eventually will pass away. I warned her that the relationships between her remaining siblings would be tested once the mother was gone. There is no hub to referee between the relationships between siblings. The oldest sister will have her hand out waiting for her inheritance if she hasn’t already depleted most of it. Since she’s in charge of her mother’s affairs, she feels entitled to help herself with her mother’s money.
When my mother died, one of my older brothers wanted me to cut a check before my mom’s affairs were completed. I declined. You see, he was used to persuading my mom to give him money. He was good at manipulating her, so she caved in. When she passed away, his gravy train was over. I don’t know how much she gave him over the years, but when she died, she erased his debts to keep peace in the family. When he managed my other brother’s affairs when he was in prison, where did all the money go? When my brother was released 27 years later, about 50% of his assets were missing. And now my brother is on his deathbed and so many emotions are coming up for me. Although I love him, I’m not sure I like him.
Where was he when my mother was laid up in a body cast for nine months? Where was he when mom was undergoing chemo for six months for lung cancer? Where was he when his twin sister was dying from cancer? He was absent. Aside from a few visits, he let my twin sister and I shoulder the responsibilities of caring for the family. Let the girls take care of it. He was slick like this when we were growing up, asking my twin sister and me to take care of things when he messed up. We were always the cleanup crew for his tendency to pass the buck. He’s always had a huge ego and up and acted like he had better things to do.
And now he has been in the hospital for three weeks. It doesn’t look good. The thought of losing my brother is horrible. Another spoke in the family wheel will be gone. But I don’t feel like going out of my way to see him. Being 3,000 miles away makes for a convenient excuse. It’s a huge trip and it’s an expensive one that we’ve endured annually for the past five years. But I also don’t want to see him laid up in a hospital bed with all types of tubes going through him. He’s delirious, and I feel like he won’t even know I’m there.
So I give in other ways. His wife is a saint, so I have sent money to her so she can pamper herself. I also send cards, photos, and videos. Hopefully, these will give my brother and his wife a bit of a reprieve.
Does that make me a bad person? Maybe I’ve just had enough. Between being a caregiver with my partner’s mother, and caring for several family members over the years, I’m tired, and I have health issues now.
Do good people always feel guilty about never doing enough and assholes feel like it’s not their problem?
How do you get along with your siblings? Are there some that you like better than others? I’m sure there are.