Back to Work...Family troubles...Advice needed...

Revolucionar

Padawan Learner
Hi everybody,

This is my first post in 6 years here. I've actually been following Laura's work since probably around 2006, not sure exactly, and I have been in the Work since, but I've never really took to this whole networking business, as I was never really a "joiner". Now I feel that this is something I should be doing and I am grateful for this forum's existence. I always have been.

Now, this is going to be very personal, and so, quite difficult for me, but I feel that I must do it, so here goes.
I have to start with the background, so it's going to be a bit boring at first.

Back then (in the previous decade and beyond), my brother (Z) and I were a sort of two man network. We used to talk for hours on end, often until the Sun came up to let us know that it's time to rest.
He lived with his girlfriend (and still does) who had (and still does) a day job, so she would go to sleep and catch us still talking before she went to work. I'd sleep over and maybe even stuck around for another day or two.
My brother and I always sort of freelanced, although he did keep a couple of jobs for about two years before quitting and deciding to freelance full time. I was an aspiring musician, so I worked odd jobs, busked, played bars and actually had some minor success with a band which fell apart soon after.
During this time I had a girlfriend who was very much into all the New Agey stuff, and so was I up to a point, but the esoteric world that Laura et.al. opened up for me, managed to counterbalance this, and besides, I was always a bit sceptical. Thankfully, we broke up after 9 years together.
I was a mess for awhile, then I decided that I need to put my life in order. I saw, finally, that me in the Work was the same as a child in college. I needed to get myself to the level of "normal" life or the level of the Obivatelj. This wasn't really a conscious decision (as if any of them are at that point on the ladder), but more of an internal rebellion and probably exhaustion of energies required for the work. I think I realised that, at that point, being devoted to the Work, would leave me dead in the real world. I wasn't able to provide for myself, really.
So I went and did some more bar gigs and odd jobs and then I met my future wife. That was truly a Hollywood sort of story that I won't go into now. Suffice it to say that she had money and I was able to quit the bar gigs, which have started to weigh down on me, and look for something better for a little while. As it usually happens, when you close one door another one opens. Soon enough, I got a radio technician's job by being recommended for a trial by one of my musician friends/colleagues. After awhile longer, I figured I could do the same through internet freelance services, and soon enough I was making more producing podcasts for international clients than from my radio job. Then I quit the radio and started my own podcast production business. My wife and I live off of that very comfortably and recently we had a son (10 weeks old yesterday). Also we have a dog.

So now for the hard part. Just as I was starting to put my life in order, things started to deteriorate with my brother. My brother was always the responsible one. We have a third brother (H), the oldest, who is the epitome of irresponsibility, and who has for 18 years mooched off of our parents and somewhat my brother. I'm the youngest, so he didn't get to steal much from me. My brother Z and I have discussed him and the way our parents were unable to cut him off more times than I can count. We thought that he might be a psychopath, but it turns out he was just exhibiting these characteristics due to addiction. He's better now, but not someone you can count on at all. This whole situation also forced my parents to rely somewhat on by brother Z, and I wasn't helping the situation either, being unable to pay my bills on my own.

So, in 2016 I got the radio job, and in 2017 I was already freelancing on the side. This is where it starts.
I just got my first couple of podcasting clients and one of them was some sort of nutritionist (pretty mainstream). My brother and his girlfriend, my wife and I met for drinks one night. After a few beers we got to the topic of my new job and this nutritionist. So I told them about some of the stuff he was saying and my brother disagreed, violently. We got onto talk of what the ancients ate, and we disagreed. He went ballistic and I couldn't get him to calm down, so we all started to get dressed, paid for our drinks and left. This was going on for another five minutes until we decided to part ways. After this it was never the same. I think he felt I was talking down to him, but he knows me and this reaction was very new. As I said, we were a network and we should have been able to work through it. I have noticed, though, that he was starting to become unhinged when a bit tipsy even a year or two before that. At my wedding party, we started talking about this film I saw, "Trumbo", about the communist screenplay writer who was shut down by the "witch hunt" and had to work as a ghostwriter. It was a good film and, even though I despise communism, it was scary what they did to these people. He went ballistic and almost left the party. We managed to calm him down only because it was a wedding (there were only like 8 people there in a bar - we didn't have a proper wedding, God forbid).

A few weeks or a month after the bar incident, my parents, in financial dire straits, came up with the idea that unless we wanted our family house sold, we (the three brothers and their significant others) could buy out a third each. We could then rent it, as my parents have another place. There was another piece of land waiting to be sold and when that came through, we could get our money back if we wanted. Only 2 years ago, my brother Z and his girlfriend were the only ones who could come up with that kind of money as his girlfriend had a good management position in a successful company, but now my wife was the wealthiest. My parents still owed them some money, so the idea was that what was owed would be subtracted from the price of their third of the family home. My dad called him up first with the proposition and Z said that it sounds like possibly a good idea, but he wants to hear what the other two brothers would say. This was while his girlfriend wasn't around. Basically the same day he changed his attitude to "I want nothing to do with this, do what you want". I tried talking to him about it, but he just said there was nothing to talk about.
My wife and I discussed it and decided that it might be a good investment (it did turn out good for us, so far).
We paid for our third and had an informal agreement written down so that we have some proof of the transaction if anything happens.

That's where my brother just went crazy. He started having these crazy theories about the house being sold to my wife's parents, which is ridiculous and irrelevant since he himself said he wanted nothing to do with it and didn't care what happened with the house.
After that, I called him several times to meet up, like we used to, but he always had an excuse or just wasn't "in the mood". So I stopped calling him. I haven't seen him in 2.5 years and haven't heard from him either, except when I notified him that he has become an uncle by text. I couldn't bring myself to call him and I was hoping he would call back, but all he did was reply with a generic congratulatory text that you would send an acquaintance not a brother. During this time, he is very chummy with this other nephew, my other brother's semi-estranged son of 13.

I'm writing all this because I have started to get back to Work, and after succeeding to put my ordinary life in order, this is the one thing that is still undone in that regard. I don't know how to approach him since he has become so volatile, and since I don't really know what is going on in his head. As time goes on, it's also getting harder and harder to bring myself to call him. I realise that I need to apologise for my own transgressions against him, but it's like at the very point in time when I was finally in a position to make amends and give something back for all of his invaluable help through the years he cut off all contact. It's like he never wanted to give me the chance, or give the family the chance to finally function as it should, after all these years of drama.

Any advice and insight into this would be greatly appreciated.
I'm planning on becoming active on the forum at last and I'm looking forward to e-meeting all of you.

Btw, I was trying to make this as short as possible so it might be a bit light in some regards. I will attempt to fill in the blanks in the discussion.

Also, it's possible that Z is going to read this, as he might be lurking around here, or maybe even has an account. I hope he does.

No time to proofread, so excuse any mistakes.

Thanks
 

Joe

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I'm writing all this because I have started to get back to Work, and after succeeding to put my ordinary life in order, this is the one thing that is still undone in that regard. I don't know how to approach him since he has become so volatile, and since I don't really know what is going on in his head. As time goes on, it's also getting harder and harder to bring myself to call him. I realise that I need to apologise for my own transgressions against him, but it's like at the very point in time when I was finally in a position to make amends and give something back for all of his invaluable help through the years he cut off all contact. It's like he never wanted to give me the chance, or give the family the chance to finally function as it should, after all these years of drama.

Any advice and insight into this would be greatly appreciated.
Seems to me that there may be some important event or interaction, at least from his perspective, that is missing from your account. I'm assuming that if someone asked him (and someone probably already has) why he doesn't talk to you anymore, he at least has an answer that he gives to himself, if not others. If I were you I'd want to at least know why you two are not talking, so I would put aside my awkwardness and uncomfortableness at the idea of reaching out to him and do just that. I'd write him an email and tell him how you feel, honestly and that you are unhappy and disappointed that you two are effectively estranged. I'd avoid blaming him for anything, and just ask the open-ended question of why he thinks you two are no longer communicating.
 

Revolucionar

Padawan Learner
Seems to me that there may be some important event or interaction, at least from his perspective, that is missing from your account. I'm assuming that if someone asked him (and someone probably already has) why he doesn't talk to you anymore, he at least has an answer that he gives to himself, if not others. If I were you I'd want to at least know why you two are not talking, so I would put aside my awkwardness and uncomfortableness at the idea of reaching out to him and do just that. I'd write him an email and tell him how you feel, honestly and that you are unhappy and disappointed that you two are effectively estranged. I'd avoid blaming him for anything, and just ask the open-ended question of why he thinks you two are no longer communicating.
Thanks for your thoughtful reply. The thing is, he is telling other people that it is I who am not talking to him (He is also not talking to our parents). Now this may be, as you said, something that he only tells others, but I'm quite certain that if I asked him, he would tell me the same thing.
I tried to put everything I could think of into my account. And, literally, we were fine as ever before the bar incident (which was minor in mind as we had worse altercations before) and then the family home affair. I really can't think of anything else that I did.
I was thinking of an email, but I feel that's too impersonal and I want to call him, but I don't know how to start.
To be honest, I feel this is all coming from his girlfriend, who is generally full of herself and likes to talk about her job all of the freaking time. You'd think her company would fold if she quit.
 

Joe

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Thanks for your thoughtful reply. The thing is, he is telling other people that it is I who am not talking to him (He is also not talking to our parents). Now this may be, as you said, something that he only tells others, but I'm quite certain that if I asked him, he would tell me the same thing.
Well, I'd want to check, and the only way to do that is to ask him. The fact that he's not talking to your parents is, however, evidence of something going on on HIS side, since you ARE talking to your parents. So what's the beef?

I tried to put everything I could think of into my account. And, literally, we were fine as ever before the bar incident (which was minor in mind as we had worse altercations before) and then the family home affair. I really can't think of anything else that I did.
I was thinking of an email, but I feel that's too impersonal and I want to call him, but I don't know how to start.
Maybe an email laying things out that you then follow up with a call if he doesn't respond? While email is a bit impersonal, it seems your relationship with him right now isn't very personal, and since you don't know how to open a phone call with him, then the impersonal is perhaps more appropriate, at least to start the ball rolling, if possible.

To be honest, I feel this is all coming from his girlfriend, who is generally full of herself and likes to talk about her job all of the freaking time. You'd think her company would fold if she quit.
That wouldn't be an unusual situation, where one person in a relationship 'posions' the mind of the other against their family or friends.

I think you need to gather some data here, and the only really effective way you can do that is to try and talk to him. You'll find something out for sure, one way or the other, but try to be a strategic about it as possible, with the aim of getting the information.
 

Revolucionar

Padawan Learner
Well, I'd want to check, and the only way to do that is to ask him. The fact that he's not talking to your parents is, however, evidence of something going on on HIS side, since you ARE talking to your parents. So what's the beef?
The beef seems to be that he is angry at everyone for taking advantage of him. The problem is, that the family was in a dire financial situation for a long time and he was called upon to help by our parents, which he did happily. This stopped years ago, but not all of the money was returned yet. So I guess he got pissed with my dad's proposition with regard to the family home, but then again, he was initially fine with it, only to do a 180 turn hours later, probably after talking to his girlfriend. She always had the tendency to talk about her own family and particularly father as saints and at the same time subtly denigrating our family. There are a lot of contradictions here that would take a long time to list, but the point is that this is not like him at all, especially because around the he went incommunicado, everyone else actually managed to get their lives in order. He also went really weird right after the proposition and was trying to find stuff out through back channels, even though he clearly said that he doesn't care what happens to the house.

Maybe an email laying things out that you then follow up with a call if he doesn't respond? While email is a bit impersonal, it seems your relationship with him right now isn't very personal, and since you don't know how to open a phone call with him, then the impersonal is perhaps more appropriate, at least to start the ball rolling, if possible.
I'm just afraid that an email might make him even more distant in the sense: "Look at this, he can't even call me, F**k him!". I'm trying to think of how to start that phone conversation. I also want to get him when she's not around.

That wouldn't be an unusual situation, where one person in a relationship 'posions' the mind of the other against their family or friends.

I think you need to gather some data here, and the only really effective way you can do that is to try and talk to him. You'll find something out for sure, one way or the other, but try to be a strategic about it as possible, with the aim of getting the information.
Yeah, I agree. I already have gathered some info and went through all the memories I could, and this is still the best possible reason for all of this that I can think of. If it is, though, how the hell do I get around her? This is sort of like he's in a cult and I'm preparing to extract him somehow. It is definitely a chance to practice external consideration and stalking. This is basically the reason why I'm posting here. To hopefully get some advice on how to gather info that will help me asess the situation and apply external consideration correctly without failing, which would be very bad. I feel I only get one shot at this.
 

Revolucionar

Padawan Learner
If Z is also not talking to your parents, what's their take on the situation?
They do call him, and he acts all normal like, but he never calls and he hasn't been to see them since it went to crap, when he would go there each summer before that. My parents are even more in the dark than I am. Mom's busting herself over it and blaming herself, but they do agree that it could be due to his girlfriend, as this is very unlike him.
 

Gruchaa

Jedi
I was thinking of an email, but I feel that's too impersonal and I want to call him, but I don't know how to start.
Hi Revolucionar. If you do not know how to start just say Hi Brother, we haven't spoken long time, what's up?

Or write an e-mail like Joe wrote. E-mails are not impersonal! They are 21st Century letters. Letters were always more personal than talk due to time to rethink each word!!!

Do this and than come back here ;) Good luck!
 

Revolucionar

Padawan Learner
Hi Revolucionar. If you do not know how to start just say Hi Brother, we haven't spoken long time, what's up?

Or write an e-mail like Joe wrote. E-mails are not impersonal! They are 21st Century letters. Letters were always more personal than talk due to time to rethink each word!!!

Do this and than come back here ;) Good luck!
Yeah, that sounds good, but it won't work, I'm afraid. I know him. He'll just say act like nothing happened, but if I try to set up a meet, he'll be busy. He is in avoidance mode not wanting to address the issue, so I'm going to have to take this head on, without giving him any wiggle room. Now, that will be a difficult thing to do in a balanced way.
An email is still an option, but it's going to have to be way more to the point.
 

DianaRose94

Jedi Master
Why don't you text him instead of email? Something, "Hey it's been a while how you've been" type of message and then a call whether he replies or not?

I think, if you want to talk to him a call is better as he can always dodge emails/ texts and pretend he didn't see them. But the best would be that you manage to meet him on his own.
 

Gruchaa

Jedi
Yeah, that sounds good, but it won't work, I'm afraid. I know him. He'll just say act like nothing happened, but if I try to set up a meet, he'll be busy. He is in avoidance mode not wanting to address the issue, so I'm going to have to take this head on, without giving him any wiggle room. Now, that will be a difficult thing to do in a balanced way.
An email is still an option, but it's going to have to be way more to the point.
Hmm, I do not understand... You are saying that you need to contact him, but on the other hand you are telling that you won't do that, because it can make him more mad/sad/etc?? What he can do? Right now you are not talking with him for 2.5 years, right? What could be worse? He will be offended and will not speak even more? If yes, than this will be his choice and you won't at least blame yourself for doing nothing
 

Revolucionar

Padawan Learner
What could be worse? He will be offended and will not speak even more? If yes, than this will be his choice and you won't at least blame yourself for doing nothing
Worse would be if I never got my brother back. You're advice is basically "Do this, and if it doesn't work, the hell with it". If you didn't notice, this thread is in the Work section, and what you're saying is way off in that regard. I need to practice external consideration here, not try to make myself feel better (which is not going to happen anyway if I screw up)
Why don't you text him instead of email? Something, "Hey it's been a while how you've been" type of message and then a call whether he replies or not?
I'm thinking that I need a very specific approach to get to him in the way that won't screw things up even further. Can't go in all gung ho, but I can't go in with a weak opener like, "Hey, how you been?". In my initial post you can see that I texted him to let him know that he has become an uncle and his response was basically just congratulations. That's it! Like he doesn't care, and I know he does.
 

Yozilla

The Living Force
Bodulska posla :)
Yeah, so did you have anything similar happen to you? How'd you handle it?
A sort of worse... I consider you three brothers lucky to be independent financially since otherwise you would face traditional parents' real estate blackmail: if you don't do this or that (confirm to their whims) we'll leave everything to others... In the name of Parental Love of course:barf:

Seems to me that your brother is loosing the plot, which is only worsened by your parents' proposal to try to push the home of you all to their own very "beloved" sons, and your mother could've played a major role here (Nobody here sells home/house to there own children, NOBODY; which is like regular practice in the West; so i understand your brother regarding this issue). If that house is on some Dalmatian island no wonder that greed overtook some... Greed is sickness and is epidemic in Dalmatia nowadays due to soaring prices of real estates - the most expensive rocks in wider Milky Way).

And you should understand that all those Happy Family Tails are just freakin' FAIRYTALES (Thank You Grimm brothers). So maybe your older brother was wright, espetially considering he was the one supporting your parents, and other two of you who agreed to purchase "your own home" - plainly WRONG

FWIW

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