Monday, March 10, 2008

Open letter to my big brother

It's my brother's 40th birthday today. He and I haven't been close in a very long time and there are a number of things I'd like to say to him, but, to be honest, I've never had the nerve. I seriously doubt he would ever read this, so I'll write those things here:

Dear B,

Happy birthday, big bro. I know things in the family have been tense and strained and that you feel that you have been unfairly targeted, but that is simply untrue. You haven't been behaving well. It has little direct impact on me, but your actions affect people I love in negative ways and that both hurts and angers me.
You are abusive to your kids. That has to stop or CPS will eventually be called. I understand that you have trouble controlling your temper, but those are your kids. They need you to be the adult and to have some fucking control. I had hoped that you limited your abusive behavior to verbal assaults on the little ones, but I have heard tales of you pushing one of them while telling him that he was the biggest disappointment of your life. Wow. And this is the boy who was molested by a neighbor. Did you not think he had enough issues to deal with? Seriously, how could you treat a child that way and think it was acceptable?
I heard that you threw a fit on Christmas Day because you weren't treated with the deference you felt you deserved. You are so incredibly full of your own sense of self-importance and entitlement that it drives me crazy. Why would you expect everyone to wait to eat until you finally deigned to show up? You know full well that Christmas dinner has never waited on me or on Roger or on anybody else. Do you really think that you are so much more important than everyone else?
(Oh, speaking of Christmases past, what about the year you brought your girlfriend's little daughter to our Christmas Eve family celebration which also included your wife and your own kids? Did you, even for a moment, consider the feelings of anyone other than yourself? You may be the most selfish person I've ever known.)
After the fit you threw because people were hungry, you had heated words with our mother. I have no idea what your problem is with her, but you need to get over it. I love her, but I know she's no saint. You aren't either, though. You told her you didn't know how to be a dad since she split with our own father when we were small. Do you actually believe that we would have been better off if he had been around when we were kids? Every parent must figure out his or her own path; you might want to look at the way you're raising your own children and learn to make them the priorities in your life. It can't be easy, but you made the choice to have kids, so you need to be there for them. Do you want them to hate you when they are your age with as much vitriol as you apparently have toward our mother? And even if she did somehow wrong you, you are a grown man. You are middle fucking aged. Get over it!
You have taken advantage of our grandparents and our mom for so long now that you probably don't even see that you're doing so. It infuriates me to see them constantly kowtowing to you. You do know that at least a portion of that is done out of fear and dread, not out of love, don't you? You act like a child and throw temper tantrums if you don't get your way. You expect our grandfather to take care of you and your kids while giving nothing in return.

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