Monday, May 19, 2008

Brother Visit

My brother is in town visiting for a couple of days, and we got in a long hike today. Beautiful weather, glorious sunny day, nice four miles or so in the woods.

Turns out, he has a lot going on in his life that has really been dragging him down. It' not exactly comforting to me to know that others have troubles, but at least there is a weird sense of affirmation that I am handling all my stuff more successfully than he is dealing with his.

Perhaps it is the nature of siblings to be somewhat competitive, but I don't mean it that way. I'm not glad that I am "handling it better." Really I'm sad about it; but there is part of me that wants to say, "buck up, dude; just get over it. It's not such a big deal." Of course, it is his deal, not mine. And it is big to him. And I am trying to listen and not give much advice.

I love my brother very much and want the best for him. I know he loves me too, and he certainly hasn't cast me into outer darkness after coming out to him (a year or so ago). But he never seems very interested in my life, only sharing about his.

We'll get there. It will take time, like all of this process. Time, and patience, and grace.

After all, I did offer to take out to a bar tonight, but he didn't seem interested. Why?


Anonymous said...

Many times I will not look at it as a "competitive" issue, but that I am reassured that I am not the only one dealing with problems, despite how rosy it may have looked for any of my brothers on the "outside." Almost as if I take comfort in knowing that they are experiencing pain, too. Don't take it personally that he didn't want to go out to a bar tonight. Maybe it was a place he didn't feel like being at tonight.

Lemuel said...

What you cast upon the waters comes back to you, so continue to sow what is good. Perhaps someday your brother will realize the affirmation and patience you have given him and return it to you.

Ur-spo said...

i hope he will listen/support you in turn.

Birdie said...

Perhaps his "disinterest" is really discomfort. Make him as much a part of your life as you can, and he will come to understand that your sexuality has not changed the brother he thought he knew. The more time you spend in communication with him, the faster his growth. Encourage his questions and answer calmly and patiently, even the ridiculous ones.

You are so right: time, patience, grace. Good qualities for all of us to offer. Prayers for you, sweetie.

publius100 said...

I suspect he's disoriented, for starters. He likely knows he knew all along, and doesn't comprehend how he could have deliberately avoided his own knowledge. As for his interest in his own life, well, older brothers in my experience often are just that--more interested in what's going on in their lives than what's going on in the younger brother's. But I think the two of you will do just fine as you go along with the shifting landscape of your life.