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Alone Anger

by Julie
(Atlanta Ga USA)

Since my dad’s passing 10 years ago my family has done nothing but fall apart. I am a middle child and have 2 brothers. I’m the only female.

My entire life I have never felt a sense of belonging. I mean I get along with everyone and often get confused as to why someone wouldn’t like me. Anyway, since my dad’s death no one but me puts forth any effort to even try to communicate with each other, let alone get together.

I have made endless attempts to have get togethers and keep in touch, with no one even hinting that they’re interested. Right after dad passed I was in a very toxic relationship and wound up doing a 6 mo stint in jail. My kids at the time were off at college, and one lived with his dad. I was going through divorce, and had a workers compensation injury at work. My life was falling apart and the only one that I ever trusted and counted on (my dad) had passed away.

Since then I have made a 180 degree life-changing course redirection for my life. I don’t expect all past hurts and trouble to just disappear. I acknowledge my shortcomings and I have owned up and been accountable and made retributions on everything I possibly could. Everything.

Everyone says they’re ok, and that they forgive me. Mind you, the trouble I got in didn’t directly affect the rest of my family. I wasn’t living at home and my kids were taken care of. They were living pretty much independently, by their choice and my support. My brothers and mom and I had never been extremely close.

So I’m not sure why they are still treating me like a criminal. I’ve done my time and I never took anything from them or involved them in any of my personal affairs. At all. But I am still being looked down on and shunned as I always have been now only worse. I have always been the proverbial peace keeper, bringing everyone together. I have always been the one to give all of them anything I have and help them in every way possible, and they have done nothing at all for me.

I’m ok with that, really. However, they seem to have this hate towards me that I have no idea where it’s coming from. My brothers think I’m the “favorite” and I can tell you nothing is further from the truth. My mother has never done anything for me. No support no money no nothing. Yet she’s given them $25k each. So I’m not sure why they even think that, unless they’re jealous of the relationship I always had with my dad. I have no idea.

I am just so angry that I am always the one being shunned and left out. It hurts my feelings and lately it seems I have no feelings left. It makes me feel so unwanted and unloved. My brothers got together and came to the town where I live, and I found out they were fishing on the lake I go to nearly every weekend. Neither of them bothered to invite me. I called them and texted them and they just ignored my calls. I think the worst part is we grew up in a Christian home and they are now both “holier than thou” deacons. And I quit going to church because of all the hypocrisy and pure blasphemy. They are no more qualified to be deacons than Satan. Yet I guess they put on a good show. How can others not see through their mirage of deceit?

I’m close with all my nephews and nieces and my own kids, but my brothers hate me. I should be the one hating and I don’t. It has made me feel ungrounded and hurt not to have a relationship with my two brothers especially since we’re older now. They both are looking terrible, health wise. I’m fine.

I just wish I could do something constructive with all this anger building up. It’s not me.

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Jun 01, 2024
Some Suggestions For You
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Julie. Thanks for submitting your story here.

I understand how painful it can be to feel shunned and excluded by family members. I also hear you clearly that you are concerned about the anger building up inside, because as you say "It's not you."

The sad truth about your family is that you cannot get them to change their behavior, or their attitudes toward you. And the more you focus on them and your feelings about their behavior, the more angry you will be.

So the key word here is focus. You will feel better when you begin to shift your focus in the direction of things that feel good to you, like your relationships with your nieces and nephews. Also focus on all that is good, right, and working in your life.

You will also benefit from trying to find the good in your brothers. Although you are very upset with them, and don't like a lot about them, it will help you to find anything good or redeemable about them that you can.

Learn more about this type of shifting of focus in the book, Goodfinding. This will really help you to feel better, and reduce your anger.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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