A Letter to My Brother

You’re pushing me away. I know you are and I can’t figure out why. You’re picking fights with me simply to fight. You don’t want to talk about anything – if something is bothering you, you want to argue about it, even though arguing has proved to get us no where. Then you finally pushed me over the edge and I snapped. 

I have done too much work on myself in the last five years to sit and listen to anyone talk to me the way you feel the need to talk to me. I don’t have to listen to the lies that come out of your mouth. I won’t let you disrespect me. I am not a bad person – just because I don’t ageee with you doesn’t make me horrible. And just because I don’t agree with you, doesn’t make either of us wrong. We have a difference in opinion. It’s as easy as that. 

I don’t know how to talk to you. I’ve told you before that your communication skills aren’t good and I still believe that to be true. You would rather fight and argue than have a conversation to work out a difference in opinion. You pick fights over stupid things – cars and coats and cities – things that don’t warrant an argument from anyone, much less siblings. 

Why do you continue to pick fights with me? Are these things really worth fighting about to you? They aren’t to me. Are you bored and need something to do? Is something wrong and I’m the easiest person to take it out on? Let me in. I want to help, but I refuse to fight. 

I closed the door. Well, I tried to. You sent me straight to tears and told me that I deserved to be crying and that you didn’t believe me that I was. You treated me worse than anyone ever has and after so many times of letting you get away with it, I put my foot down. I told you to not contact me unless it was to apologize. You decided to continue to text me and be me until you realized I wasn’t going to let you off or back down, and then you blocked me. 

You really are mean. I don’t believe you’re mean in the center of your soul, but right now, you’re mean. You’re mean and you hurt people and you say you don’t care. 

What happened to you that made you that way? We both had the same rough childhood, we both left home too soon, we both lost dad and had hard relationships with mom. Maybe it became a matter of how we chose to deal with everything. 

I decided in January 2012 that I would do everything I could to be happy. That’s all I wanted that year and that was my only resolution. It was also my last resolution and has become my motto. I don’t claim to be perfect by any means, but I treat others like I want to be treated, even when they don’t treat me that way. 

You built walls. You built walls that I can’t figure out how to break. You built walls that made you mean. 

Perhaps it’s because I was also in therapy in 2012. I had somewhere to go to talk about everything. I had somewhere to go where I felt I could gain the tools I needed to become the person I wanted to be. You weren’t given that same chance and have denied opportunities to do so. 

Maybe it’s because I found a family. I learned a new defintion of family. I discovered that family isn’t always blood related, sometimes family is the people who said they will be there for you, and then prove it. Family is the people who hold you when you cry and want to take away all your troubles. Family loves you despite everything you’ve gone through, not because of it. 

I couldn’t listen to you degrade my character anymore. I couldn’t listen to you call me a liar and say I was making things up. I couldn’t listen to you pick fights with me anymore. 

Maybe that means I’m not strong. However, the true judgment of strength is knowing when to say enough is enough. I said enough is enough. I closed the door and you barricaded it. All you have to do is knock, and I will always be here. 

I’ve tried to set ground rules with you before. You promised to talk before fight and then went back on that promise. I guess I feel like it’s a one-sided relationship at points – I don’t fight or get upset until you push me there, while it seems like you want to fight most the time. 

Perhaps one day we’ll be on the same page at the same time. Maybe you’ll grow and understand how to communicate with people in a healthy way. Maybe you’ll stop picking fights with people. Maybe these things happen in order to help us grow into the people we need to be. Just know that even though the door is closed, I never lock anyone out – including you.

Learning to Love My Body – Falling Off the Wagon

A few weeks ago I started a post called “Learning to Love My Body – Skipping the Gym is Not an Option” – it came from one night when my brothers wanted to get together and I told them I had to go to the gym first. Usually I would have just skipped the gym, but I had made a commitment to myself to go to the gym and I wasn’t going to skip. That post has yet to be published, or even started beyond the title, because in the weeks since, life was about to teach me a lesson. Sometimes skipping the gym is an option and sometimes you fall off the wagon. 

A little background information on my life – I work two jobs. I commonly work anywhere from 52 hours a week to close to 70 hours a week. Yes, I could downsize and work only one job, but I also know that I could have the majority of my debt (student loans, credit card, etc) paid off in the next year if I continue to work both. As someone who watched my dad struggle with debt until his death, getting my debt paid off is very appealing to me – and therefore, I will keep both for the time being. In the previous months, I went to the gym on the nights when I didn’t have to work both jobs. I seemed like it was working. 

Then I got sick. I was sick for about two weeks and during that time I didn’t go to the gym. At first, all I wanted to do was go for a run. As the days went on, I didn’t want to anymore. I enjoyed the extra two hours a day that I use to spend at the gym. I stopped eating well and I started to feel horrible. 

I fell off the wagon. 

Learning to love my body is about understanding that sometimes you will fall off the wagon. It won’t always be easy – even when heathly snacks are in my fridge, some days it’s easier to grab for the more convenient option. It’s about trying again – making a new plan to get back on track. Learning to love my body is about trying again. It’s about never giving up, even when I stumble. It’s about focusing on my goal – be healthy and the weight will take care of itself. Learning to love my body is about never giving up, even when I fall.