A resentful brother
My brother and I are close in age, and from the time I was born, he has bullied, teased and ignored me. After years of therapy, he finally confessed that he had been jealous of me because our mother was overwhelmed and he felt abandoned.
A few years ago, I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer with a low survival rate, but against all odds, I am in remission. Several months ago, I asked my mother for a financial gift to pay for an experimental treatment that was not covered by insurance. She has a sizable estate and is in her 90s, and she readily agreed. It most likely saved my life.
My brother was furious with her and with me and wrote a cold email to the other siblings, saying that “everyone has problems” and asking why I was being given special treatment. Last week, he sent out another email to the family, masked in sincere language about how he was concerned for our mother. He wanted to make us all promise not to ask her for any more gifts, saying she is anxious about her finances.
The whole family knows that she is quite comfortably off and that her fears are most likely a result of early dementia. But it was clear in a separate email to me that he blames me for stressing her out.
I have no intention of asking my mother for any more money, but these exchanges have left me in tears. My husband says I should not open any emails from my brother and I should cut off contact, but now my brother has contacted all of us with a plan for a sibling reunion — to take place during a time I’d planned to visit my mother. I don’t feel safe with him, but I’m not sure how to get out of this reunion without causing a family rift. I just want to focus on living each day and loving my young children. — Living Life Without My
For whatever reason, your brother is a deeply unhappy person, and he’s bent on bringing others down into his miserable company. He is toxic, and cutting off communication is the healthy choice for now.
Like a classic bully, he’s reacting to your withdrawal by desperately trying even harder to provoke you, stirring the pot with this “sibling reunion.” You absolutely do not have to go to this reunion. Visit your mother instead (assuming the reunion isn’t taking place at her house).
If your brother seeks help to become a happier person and less emotionally manipulative toward you, you can reconnect. Until then, insulate yourself from his attacks, and focus on yourself and your recovery. Congratulations on your cancer’s being in remission.
I’d like to know why some restaurants and diners don’t treat tea drinkers the same as coffee drinkers. I’ve been dining with a group on more than one occasion when coffee drinkers were given unlimited free refills on their coffee but I was charged for a second cup of tea. I can’t believe tea costs more than coffee, so I wonder what the reason is. — Tea Drinker
Your question stumped me, so I asked some servers >> Why the “steep” cost for tea? Apparently, it’s because it requires many more steps than coffee. Not all restaurants have hot water at the ready, so they heat it up just for that cup of tea. Then, at more upscale restaurants, there’s the matter of presentation — presenting all the tea bag choices, arranging the lemon, cream, sugar, etc. This information is purely based on my small, unscientific survey. If any other servers or tea drinkers would like to weigh in on this, I would love to hear from you.
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