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Not sure how to feel anymore about my brother?

Community Member

Ok guys I’m gonna have to say this seemingly bluntly because we have a word count limit and I need to explain this as best I can. 

years ago my parents became terminally ill and I was staying at home with them to care. Six years have gone by and I have struggled with picking my life back up. I have a brother who lives in another country and was not there for my parents ilness and decline accept for at the end of my dads life so he has no idea what I went through with them. I also struggled with things before they got sick including being su*cidal (he doesn’t know about the su*cidal). Anyway I had a recent breakdown and just got off the phone with him and said I am struggling again with my depression. He basically told me that I need to stop focusing on that and that I need to take action in my life to change it and I explained that the depression is debilitating it stops me from doing that and he said well you just have to try hard. He said what would mum and dad say to you right now and I said that they want me to be happy and he said no, they wouldn’t say that. They aren’t happy with what you’re doing right now. They want you get your life back on track. Then I said it’s not just me dealing with everything that happened with mum and dad it’s things before that I’ve been through a lot and he said what the bullying at school and your old work stuff? That’s in the past why are you going on about that that’s silly you need to be focusing on the future. That stuff is irrelevant now. I feel hurt. I know my brother loves me but.. that is mean things to say right? He always makes me feel bad. 

13 Replies 13

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Childheart~

I'm sorry about you parents passing, even if it was a while ago now, and some people who are empathetic and caring, such as yourself, can find it difficult to return ot normal life afterwards and fill the gap.


Some people either have no conception of what it feels like because it has never happened to them, or simply don't want to know.


As a result there is a strong temptation for them to say things that are hurtful and unhelpful - downright upsetting. When you expect a member of you family to care and help and instead they fob you off with  platitudes it really is a downer. The ones I dislike the most are "Just get over it" and "Just move on".


It -at least for me - shows me what a big gulf there is between me (my feelings and circumstances) - and those other people. Makes a feeling of isolation worse.


You did mention feeling suicidal in the past, and I'm hoping htat has now gone, if not seek help as I said in oyur other recent thread, even if you  are reluctant at the time there is a benefit in just talking to another human being. I know you often do this and that's good (and very sensible).


Can I suggest you steer clear of people who are going to upset you? It only makes you feel worse as their words can keep coming back in your mind and harming you again. Do you have anyone you can talk with ?




Hi Croix, nice to talk to you again. 

Thank you for your kindness and thoughts it does sound like you understand how I am feeling and where I am coming from, and I am sorry if you are speaking from experience here. 

I feel like there are some people who seem rather detached from their emotions which is not so say they don’t have them, but seem disconnected to them and therefore, can’t understand the perspectives or feelings of another who is more attached and aware of how they feel. Which makes it hard to deal with them and try to get them to understand. Although in my brothers case in regards to me what’s going on with me I think it’s a bit more complicated then that.


To be honest Croix yes I am still dealing with su*cidal thoughts, and the conversation with my brother escalated that today. However I just got off the phone with a crisis line and we have decided on a step tonight to where I can get some sleep and wont putting myself in any danger tonight. I’m exhausted mentally and emotionally so I’ll probably just pass out now anyway because I’m that tired. 

I hope you are well Croix. 




Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello ChildHeart, parents who have raised us and probably gone through very difficult times in the back, we don't seem to accept that one day they will get old with the possibility of needing help to care for them.

First of all your brother has no idea of what you had to cope with by living o/s, sure he may know what you tell him, but everyday care you needed to do for them would be unknown for him, so he just hangs up the phone and gets on with his own life, unperturbed, especially dismissing the comments you've made to him.

Your brother is wrong because if depression has been a significant issue in the past for you, then you can't focus on the future until these concerns have been sorted out and he is just ignoring any problems you are facing, just so he can do what he wants with his own life.

It's sad when this happens and I personally don't like it when it's said to me.


Life Member.

Thank you Geoff, it’s nice to know people really do understand. 

I get conflicted because if I’m honest, deep down I would rather end our relationship and I feel bad for feeling that way because he is my brother and he keeps reminding me of that. I just.. this isn’t just recently my whole life he has made me feel less than and he has said mean things and done mean things and I’m always in high anxiety when I know I have to deal with him in any way. After the phone call yesterday I had a migraine and I felt like I wanted to throw up. That was my anxiety.. which was in full effect as soon as he called and so I was speaking quite short to the point scentences and my heart was pounding and I was issues with my breathing and my voice was a little loud and exasperated and he just says to me “don’t raise your voice at me mate, I’m the only immediate family you have left, you don’t want to do that” as if to say careful what you say to me or you’ll. regret it. At the same time I am scared to make a move like cutting him out because he literally is the only immediate family I have left and the other family members are in ill health and I don’t like to bother them.


When I spoke to the lovely crisis line lady she said she could tell immediately how distressed I sounded and I explained it was my anxiety and so she dealt with me calmly and spoke softly in response unlike my brother. 

Take care Geoff. 


Sorry, but i have to share this.


So I am quite a spiritual person and I read tarot and I have a creative projects around this and other things that I try to do and have been trying hard to make them into something that I could have as a career which so far, sadly hasn’t happened. Anyway my brother commented on the call that I have to stop with the tarot stop getting readings and doing them and that spiritual stuff isn’t going to help me nor can my guides (spirit guides) guide me in anything and that I need to stop with it all. He said none of that anymore and then said your projects and stuff they are just hobbies they aren’t going to get you anywhere you need to focus on other things.


so I’m listening to a tarot reader on YouTube (so for those who don’t know much about tarot there are a lot of tarot readers on YouTube that do free pick a card readings and you essentially pick a pile and they do a read and even though it’s like hundreds or thousands watching the message still somehow resonates with what you need to hear) so the one I’ve been listening to said that she sees that currently I have had an argument with somebody a conversation that didn’t go well, where I didn’t get the support or understanding that I was needing and that I need to try put my attention on other things because this energy this person doesn’t serve my highest good as they are low vibrational and it’s using up all my energy to be engaging with them and that I need to surround myself with other people who will lift me up instead of putting me down. I love tarot.🃏💓

Dear ChildHeart~

I can quite understand you feel split two way over your brother. While it is sensible to steer clear of those who make you feel bad when they talk it is also a big thing to cut off the last of your family.


That tarot reading reminded me a bit of the Desiderata, which says "Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.". It is worth a look, I have it on my kitchen wall.


While I know I'd feel strongly I should say how I felt, I'd imagine that is exactly will bring forward all those  unhelpful and hurtful responses. Do you think it might be possible to have a lighter conversation wiht your brother and steer hm away from giving destructive advice and talk about other things? That could keep you in contact at least.


I'm glad the crisis line lady helped, sometimes they can be just what one needs. I wonder if anyone has introduced hte idea of a Safety Plan? I have one for use when feeling overwhelmed or frightened. It is called BeyondNow and is a free smartphone app.


When I'm in a crisis my brain is completely occupied with dark hopeless thoughts and I don't have much left (or the patience) for decision making. BeyondNow is easy to reach for. The best thing about it is a section called 'Things I can do myself' and here when feeling OK you put in a list of things that have made you feel better in the past, helped suicidal thoughts diminish, distracted you, amused you or given you a lift.


I've all sorts in mine, from chapters in books, movies, YouTube clips of comedians or music, exercise, visiting and more. It does not matter what. The only two things I rely on are that it is not static and as you discover something new you add it. The other thing is to be exact, so not like 'listen to music' but more like 'Paint it Black' by the Stones. I've then no need to make a choice.


It can take a while but I find just knowing I have it as another way of helping me out of the lows is a comfort.




Omg Croix…. My sign you were my sign!!!! I will have to respond to this properly later but my dad loved the poem desiderata we even had his fav line put on his grave “go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence”.. oh wow just wow. Thank you! 

Omg I have to calm down from that I got way too excited.. I asked my mum and dad for a sign as to what to do in regards to my brother and then I see your response with an excerpt of desiderata and I’m thinking dad.. THATS MY SIGN! 😮😁


Also I believe in number synchronicities and things like angel numbers (these are mostly repeating numbers of some kind like 888 or 2121) and just as I saw your message my clock said 2:02 and I looked up the number and the first answer on google says “we are the ones who create the important relationships in our lives. We chose who to be close to and how much energy we put into those connections. Choose wisely and value them appropriately”. Wow.. sorry, ok. 

I hear you on the lighter chats and interactions however the problem I face there is that it has to be something we both want which at times if I wanted to steer the conversation away or I wanted to not even discuss it at all, at least for now, he have the final say and he will keep on about that which he wants to talk about. 

Thank you for the support. I do actually have the beyondnow app and I was telling the crisis lady that the issue there for me is that I have to remember it’s there when I’m in my hyper state of anxiety, panic, having those intrusive thoughts feeling depressed and wanting to act.. and it’s not always easy for me to override these and go “the app.. go to the app” but I do have it and I did fill it out. Although I did answer it in broader terms so I will have a think about what specifics I can replace some of the answers with. 

This time feels different than all my other experiences over the years with su*cide. I guess I’m at the.. oops no I'm not I’m not allowed to say that. I’m sorry. 

But thank you Croix and take care of yourself. 


Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dear Child Heart


I’ve just read this thread and your story resonates with my own experience. I was a sole carer for my parents until their deaths and my brother was avoidant of their care. If I asked for his help, such as just once could he take Mum to chemo, he’d change the subject. When Dad was at his worst he went away on a holiday because he couldn’t face it. I lacked practical and emotional support from him. And like you’ve experienced with your brother, I’ve not been able to share and express my emotions with him, as he just gets annoyed and cuts me off. He’s also my last immediate family member (but I do have extended family). My first time ever calling Lifeline was after a conversation with him in 2021 when he coldly cut me off, so I really get the feeling of desolation that leaves you with.


But I want to send encouragement because I’m starting to overcome the grief of accepting my brother is how he is. The best way I can put it, and I feel like this may make sense for you from a spiritual perspective, is I’ve started to reach a higher vibrational energy. As this happens my brother’s emotional avoidance bothers me much less. I was longing for my brother to be more emotionally connected to himself and more emotionally present with me. Letting go in this way has actually improved my relationship with him. Like you I was close to cutting off from him all together to protect my own well being. I’ve now accepted his limited capacity to face and communicate about emotions and things feel easier.


I’ve also struggled with suicidality in recent months but I’m lifting out of that now. I feel that with your high level of empathy and sensitivity, connecting with your heart and soul can lift you out of it too. I think it’s following your intuition about what is healing for you, who are the people you feel emotionally safe with, what are the things that your heart feels drawn to - that’s where you get lifted up out of the struggle.


As you lift up in this way it’s like the judgements of people like your brother can’t really touch you. You are protected and ok through your own love and emotional connectedness. It sounds like you are on a very different path to your brother, and that’s ok. Follow your heart and spirit and you will be ok 🙏💗