Pent-up feelings.

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I'm pretty cool, laid-back, for the most, and even IRL, I don't raise my voice or express myself too much. I'm feeling some pent-up feelings, however, and I'll tell ya why.

I have two brothers [much like Cherri]. One has been as helpful as he could be regarding my mom and dad in their later years, even though he's in California. The other has been a prick from day one. I wish I could say more positive things about him. He IS suffering from colon cancer, but he ignored repeated warnings regarding the need to get this checked, and I'm sorry to say he did this to himself.

SO...my mom told me the other day that my oldest brother was going to call me. She didn't know why. She just said that he'd called her and that he was going to call me. He didn't call.

Last night, while watching T.V., I heard SO's answering machine go off with my oldest brother's voice on it. Heh. He's looking for his violin. I have NO CLUE how he got SO's phone number. From what I could hear of the message, he thinks that either *I* or my ex-husband has the violin that HE [as a child] spent about a year using before my parents realized he didn't give a shit about violin and terminated the lessons. I have two daughters who spent about the same amount of time in violin lessons as he, and I assure you that if I had a child-sized violin, I wouldn't have spent the money on the two I bought.

I DO have the violin that [presumably] was my mother's father's. I'd paid once to get it restored, but now it lacks a string again because I practiced on it and broke the string tuning it a few years back. The bow is ALSO in bad shape AGAIN. My mom acquired this when she moved to an old house she'd once lived in after my dad retired.

Just to vent a little, this is the brother who refused to come to my dad's memorial service until my other brother forced him, but COULD drive up to Chicago from Mississippi with a U-haul and cart off anything/everything of value from their home before I moved them both into an assisted-living facility. Just to vent a little more, he's the brother who laughed when I suggested that Lucky had more caretakers in HIS town than she had in mine. Just to vent a little more than that, he's the brother that told me he couldn't afford to pitch in one cent for Lucky's care when her money went dry, and said he was too nervous to have her stay at HIS place when we were all desperate to find out what to do when she ran out of money.

Thank Dog for the CCAD program. Lucky's been living in a GREAT assisted living facility that accepts CCAD since maybe June of this year. I was finally able to tell my brother, "Fuck you!", and that's pretty much what I did. This new thing about a violin that's got to be a memory from almost 60 years ago is like watching a Science Fiction movie to me. My folks didn't have any money when he was a kid. They didn't even have any money when *I* was a kid. They probably rented the violin.

It's taking all the strength I have, but I'm not going to call my brother back on this one. I never answer SO's phone, and I'm going to pretend I never heard the message. My ex is now remarried, and I'd not likely share his phone number. He grew tired of my weird relatives even BEFORE our divorce. I see no reason to submit him to them now.

And that's MY rant for the day.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), November 14, 2001

Answers

I find taking in a few deep breaths and letting them out with sighs helps me tremendously when confronted by button-pushing situations. Splitting wood works too, though I no longer have a woodstove. A hike in the woods might be nice. I bet the weather in your area is pretty pleasant right about now, Anita.

It's funny about "stuff" from childhood. I come from a family in which squirreling away "stuff" is a way of life. There must be a pack rat gene. Yet I'm the opposite. I don't have in my possession a single item from my childhood - except the few stragglers remaining from my original complement of brain cells. Those I intend on hanging on to awhile longer. At least until transplants become available. Maybe a combined hair plug/brain cell implant procedure would make a splash. Somebody give Sy Sperling a call.

Do we pick our own siblings prior to birth? Some philosophies which incorporate reincarnation into their structures suggest such a horrible idea. Kinda like a pact is made between souls to birth into the same family in order to learn lessons, help the parents and others in specific ways, etc.

-- Rich (living_in_interesting_times@hotmail.com), November 14, 2001.


Have you tried Dr. Laura?

On second thought, don't call her. She'll just verbally abuse you and make you feel like a piece of crap.

-- (she's good @ at. that), November 14, 2001.


Anita:

I have gone through, somewhat, the same problem. This included not only the brother type but parents from a not so nice divorce. We never told any of them to "fuck off". We just refused to cooperate or take part in the arguments. We visited them all, until they refused to talk to us. Then, as they aged, they mellowed. We are now good friends and all share the costs of these things. Remember, you will be sorry if you have wasted friendship. That is the only wisdom that I have accumulated. Some have died. I am glad for the time we spent with them. Still, I wouldn't be told what my responsibilities were, or more importantly, be ordered. Some of them were nice and some were nasty. Now all are nice.

We had to deal with more than a violin. You would be suprised what I had to carry through security.

Best Wishes,,,,

Z

-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), November 14, 2001.


Thanks for your story, Z. I've never had a friendship with this brother, but I DID call him. He told me that he'd thought of taking up fiddling again. [lie #1. He never even got far enough in his childhood lessons to fiddle.] He pumped me on whether my girls had taken violin lessons as children. I said, "Yes." He said, "Where did they get violins?" I said, "We bought them, two different ones, to be exact, as they were of different size and age when they took lessons, requiring smaller or larger violins." He then told me that he'd had two violins as a child, one that HIS grand-daddy gave him. This was lie #2]. I know for a fact that my mom didn't acquire her father's violin until she moved into that old house [as mentioned above.] Then came lie #3, but the one that made the most sense to me. "It was a Stratavar." My brother's not too bright, but I'd heard my mom state many times that Grandpa's old violin was a Stratavarius and worth quite a bit of money. Well, it not only is NOT a Stratavarius, but isn't worth the postage to send to him. I then countered with MY lie #1: "I don't know what happened to this violin."

All in all, it was an interesting day as far as revealing greed. I'd E-mailed my ex-husband about the violin and he said he didn't know anything about it except that he'd heard that my brother had taken violin lessons as a child. Then, [heh!], he added that our kids wouldn't have anything from my mom and dad had he not stolen two tables from their house in the first move he helped me with. I'm still laughing over that one. I suspected he'd taken ONE table [an antique drop-shelf? thing], but it never occurred to me he'd taken TWO.

Anyway, I'm sure it's over. My brother realizes that there's no more money to be made off my mom and dad and realizes that my ex has NO violin of his. It was interesting regarding "true colors", including MINE when I lied about the violin. I'm sure I'll be able to forgive myself by morning.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), November 14, 2001.


He got your phone number from the facility your mother lives in.

-- ask me another (hello@again.andre), November 14, 2001.


This is why human brains should have a Purge Menu. This guy though family just isn't worth the grief. Enjoy the memories this violin gives and give me his phone number.

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), November 14, 2001.

I'm sure I'll be able to forgive myself by morning.

Well, I tossed and turned all night, having dreams of one of my brother's kids someday coming to visit and finding Grandpa's violin in the closet. Guilt is a terrible punishment. I kept thinking that I should have told the truth SOMEHOW, but no matter how I rethink the issue, I either would have started a fight over the violin or openly called my brother a liar. I wanted to get out of bed and hide that violin in a place where no one could ever find it. Unfortunately, we don't have such a place. If we had more stuff, I could put it behind stuff in the closet, but NOOOOOO...we only have one or two things in each closet. Oh what a tangled web we weave. How do people go through life lying? Is it something that gets easier with practice?

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), November 15, 2001.


Anita, don't lie to him about it. Tell him you paid good money to restore it, it's yours, and if he wanted it he should have been more helpful to you in the past. Then you will have told the truth and sleep, aided by either a strong antihistamine or chamomile tea, will return.

Now, if you were mean about it, you'd sent him a picture of yourself hugging it.

-- Blue Hairs -- we'll fight anyone for our own, regardless of who's right (firmly@on.our.own.side), November 15, 2001.


Lying necessitates a good memory. Or rather, effective, longterm lying requires a good memory. So, you and I are out of the lying game, Anita.

See, there's a silver lining to most every dark cloud.

-- Rich (living_in_interesting_times@hotmail.com), November 15, 2001.


don't lie to him about it.

I already DID lie, Helen. Even if I called him back and confessed that *I* lied, I'd have to call HIM a liar for saying he'd had that violin as a child. Can't I just serve penance by baking the stuffing on the side and making extra gravy? Am I doomed? [It was a LOT easier lying about the tooth-fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus.]

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), November 15, 2001.



Rich: I knew there must be some attribute I don't have. Right now I wish my memory were so poor that I could forget that I lied.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), November 15, 2001.

Anita, pardon a few thoughts of mine but it seems like you're suffering for this lie and I don't want you to!

The lie is cast (there's no pun like a bad pun). Calling bro and confessing is out. Makes no sense to me to contact the guy since it is such a negative relationship. So, the lie was a small one on the impact scale, correct? Bro's life will probably not be unalterably changed because of your ill-advised utterance, correct?

So, if I were you...OMG. If I were you I woulda given birth several times. I'm not you. Rephrase: IF I had perpetrated the lie I would look to do something wonderful for someone else in order to get the positive energy flowing again. Maybe something music related. Maybe involving a kid.

Then, when the good deed is done - forgive yourself of the lie! Laugh about your bro. Realize you (and he) are human. And take comfort that you recognized your conscience's cry of foul, and followed a negative action with a positive one.

Good luck. :)

-- Rich (living_in_interesting_times@hotmail.com), November 15, 2001.


Well, lets see Anita.On the one hand you have your lie and on the other you have your brothers lie.But you can't sleep over yours, he is probably remorseless over his and from what you have said was probably driven by the fact that he thinks it's a Strat and worth a good dollar or two.

On one hand we have a violin you had restored and on the other we have a violin he thinks he remembers.

On one hand we have a violin that needs repairs 'again', do you think if he knew it needs X$$$ in repair and is not a Strat it will still be wanted by him?

On one hand you have your lie that you are trying to confront and on the other you have your brothers lie you are trying to avoid.

If I was gonna have to face my lie he would damn sure have to face his lie, esp in lieu of the facts.

Honesty *IS* the best policy.You might be better off in the short and the long run if you go ahead and get this violin thing over and done with.At least you will have better nights' sleep and be able to look proudly in the mirror in the mornings.You will have your honesty in tact.

Yep, fessin' up is a bitch but you'll feel better when its all said and done with.

Plus, ya won't have to make extra gravy.

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), November 15, 2001.


Rich,

Lemme see if I got this right.You say a negative deed (lie) can be countermanded by a positive deed? Even if the positive action is in the direction of a 3rd party?

In my mind the misdeed(s) is still left uncorrected, thusly there has been no atonement,only a justification.

I do see how it works in some cases,ie. transgressions we have made in the past that we would like to rectify now but are long passed being able to directly correct those actions to the wronged parties.So we pledge to ourselves and God that we will take courses of actions to make up for our misdeeds.

But it seems to me IMVHO that while a situation is still rectifiable we should try and iron it out, not for their sake but for ours.And not only for the present but so there won't be regrets years later about a lie that was told that we may or may not be able to atone for with those people.

Thoughts?

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), November 15, 2001.


I agree totally that directly facing up to people & situations and our actions in that arena is best - in many instances. There are people and events which are best dealt with by walking away, by redirecting our energy in other directions. I'm learning to ignore people who just aren't worth the time and energy I might spend with them in order to clarify situations. Some folks aren't interested in participating in creating peace on a person to person level. Some folks cultivate chaos in their lives. Some folks keep love buried so deeply in themselves they need a helluva lot more help than I could provide in order to dig it out.

MY bent is to apologize, forgive, whatever is called for in a given disfunctional situation so that I can look at what transpired and know I did my best. Do I accomplish this all the time? Hell no. But I try.

My suggestions to Anita were based upon my assumption that rectifying the situation directly with her bro is *not an option*, per Anita's previous posts. Based on Anita's descriptions of him going back more than a year, it seems he's not worth dealing with in order to "process" a lie which (as I queried above) does not seriously impact her brother.

My focus was to help a person I like (Anita) drive out an emotion which had served its purpose - guilt - through positive action. The guilt HAD served its purpose as I saw it. Guilt serves to make us aware of our wrong actions (real or imagined), leads us to analyze the action. However, we can allow guilt to fester and burn. I felt Anita had performed the former and was in the beginning stages of the latter.

Do I believe, as you mentioned Capn, that a good deed somewhere else directly negates any damage done by the lie? Of course not. But random acts of kindness are always welcome, ever needed, and serve to heal us as we move through this life imperfectly.

This is a big, important subject and I'd like to explore it more - sans Anita and her family!

My apologies for discussing you and your situation in this way, Anita.

-- Rich (living_in_interesting_times@hotmail.com), November 15, 2001.



Regarding the "good deed". I also label it as *selfish service*. I get a buzz from it or I wouldn't do it. I don't suggest anyone act out of a sense of needing atonement. That's not my bag. To each their own.

12-steps don't lead to heaven in my case. ;)

-- Rich (living_in_interesting_times@hotmail.com), November 15, 2001.


I like Rich's idea better, Cap'n, and, although I'm basically a coward, my guilt on this is starting to wane as I sit up straight and think, "You son of a bitch. You're lying through your teeth just to get something you think is valuable. It's not like you kept ANYTHING from the U-haul raid on mom and dad's house. I didn't see ANYTHING of theirs on a later visit to your home. You want it to sell it, just like you sold everything else."

I'd just as soon those thoughts be kept to myself, Cap'n. I see no benefit in sharing them with my brother. I also see no benefit in rewarding him yet again with the violin. He's been a liar and thief all his life [as was my ex]. There comes a time when fire must be met with fire. It's not something I feel comfortable with, but, like Rich said, I have a handle now on my own conscience and will do my best to never let this happen again.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), November 15, 2001.


I might be inclined to lock him out of my life too,given the things you have shared with us.I was speaking with only your peace of mind as it seemed to be bothering you.I have dealt with similar situations in both ways, both with satisfying results.And I must admit my honesty has caused and cost me alot of grief in the past and recently, still I have to let it be 'my' guide.

I agree Rich there are people who aren't worth the time to invest one second in and I have banished them from my physical presence and from my mental real estate, if they even occupied one brain cell I did my best to fry it.There are times when it is best to divorce yourself from certain people and situations.I'd like to explore it a lil more myself Rich,with the caveat you mentioned above.

And yes it would be a cold day in hell before he ever saw that violin if I were in your shoes.

Just my 2

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), November 15, 2001.


I'd like to explore it a lil more myself Rich,with the caveat you mentioned above.

I second that emotion. You start a new thread, Rich. My participation may be sketchy, as I have a lot of errands to do tomorrow, as well as pick up my daughter and SO from the airport at different times of day/night. I also have that Thanksgiving feast to shop/cook for, but I WOULD be interested in hearing thoughts on this.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), November 15, 2001.


Anita,

Option #1

Convert to Catholicism and go confess to the priest. That will get you off the hook for lying by absolving all your sin. Another benefit is that the Catholics have a real good handle on guilt so you would be in a better position to fully benefit from the guilt you might feel from any future or past actions.

Option #2

Your brother doesn't seem to be a fine, upstanding sort so fuck him and the mule that he rode in on. Don't worry about it.

I prefer option #2 as option #1 involves more time and effort and he seems to deserve option #2 more.

-- Jack Booted Thug (governmentconspiracy@NWO.com), November 15, 2001.


The mule clears his throat ...

-- back o' the barn (no@way.uh.uh), November 15, 2001.

You're not alone Anita. Lots of us have family loyality crap that gets in the way of just gettin on with just gettin on. Easy for us to blow off your bro and just as impossible for you to do so. Only a good person would give a shit about what this clown thinks. Not surprised here.

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), November 15, 2001.

I've gotten to the point where I feel no guilt in lying to jerks. In fact, I enjoy it. I'll even go out of my way to lie to someone I don't like. They don't deserve the truth and I'm certainly not going to give them the satisfaction of getting honesty out of me. I feel a great sense of empowerment knowing I can lie to their faces and there's not a damn thing they can do about it. Ha!! Take that, jerks!! LOL

-- (what@i.think), November 16, 2001.

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