Sibling difficulties

Hi. I just wanted your advice. I have a brother who is a few years younger than me and over the past 5 years we have grown more distant and there has been some tension. When I got my diagnosis 2 months ago, I’ve had a couple of messages now and then asking how I am but then not really responded much when I’ve replied. They initially asked to come and see me but I was unable to see them on one specific weekend. I gave then some other days but they were unable to come due to various reasons. He hasn’t asked how I am knowing I had chemo 2 weeks ago. This is bothering me how little they are showing an interest. Now I’m thinking of they do ask to come whether I want to see them. Not sure if I want to make the effort to see someone who isn’t showing an interest in how I am doing apart from very brief messages. Not heard from him in a month. If anything, this was their chance to build bridges. Or am I being too harsh.


It depends on what you want. If they do decide to come and you say no for little reason then the relationship is over. Is that okay with you? Personally, if someone is making some kind of effort and I value them I try to meet them halfway even if it’s not the effort I would prefer.

@rosa1 Hi. I resonate with you as I encountered similar situation with my sis. For the longest, she and I were inseparable. We were best friends, confidants, we called each other everyday to chat about everything etc etc. She dated a new man and I never heard from you - when I approached her about this, she resorted to deception and lies in order to hide the news about her new man from me. The silence from her was because she was trying to be “less dependant” and that she called me everyday in the past because she was alone and lonely. These words hurt me deeply as I felt used. After 8 months of dating this man, she eventually “came clean”, she told me the reason she withheld her new man from me was because she was respecting this new man’s wish for privacy in honour of his late wife. I can understand that, however, there was inconsistencies in her “theory”. She and her new man took up ballroom dancing lessons as soon as they met. Where privacy fit in here? How come they are not afraid to be seen together? Moreover, they attended a New Year’s eve’s party with 300 guests in attendance. Where does privacy fit in here? If they both want privacy, should they be seen together in public at such a huge gathering? i felt betrayed because she fabricated stories in order to protect the new man from me. Fast forward, she has apologized to me over and over how she handled it badly; how sorry she is for causing me grief; and she asked whether we could meet so that she could introduce her new man to me, and she wants us to start all over. I was beyond consolation at this point. I felt that my sister is insincere and I could no longer trust her. She took the hint that I don’t want to have anything to do with her. She told me that was ok for my own self-preservation, and she hope that we could start all over when I have healed. I have been feeling so distressed over this saga but I am having difficulty starting all over. As for your brother, if I may say so, it sounds to me like he doesn’t care too much. I don’t think you are being harsh but I do think you are hurt. Be kind to yourself - you have a difficult diagnosis and he should understand that.

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Hi @rosa1

Family situations are always difficult, so many think it’s your family you must get one. Think of all the media attention with the Royals. We don’t really know who said or did what but everyone has an opinion.

I say you have to do what is right for you. Your health, including mental health and treatment is so important now.

I had a stained relationship a few years ago and had to stop contact with my mother and brother ( my only immediate family apart from my own). Everytime I had contact I was in tears and couldn’t sleep. It wasn’t good for my health. My mother died a year later and my brother a year later ( a blood cancer, it was the first cancer in the family). I went to my mother’s funeral but sat apart from my brother and family. I sat with aunts and cousins who knew what had happened.

I’ve also had problems with very close friend of over 20 years who sent 5 texts in 6 months, I had counselling in February and it was suggested I call her out on the lack of contact and support through surgery and chemo. I explained that my treatment may have prevented me from contacting people or replying as I was trying to get through it. The response was the say that they had contacted me and I’d not replied as well as saying they thought I didn’t want contact. Gaslighting,

I was active on my chemo group as I had great support and offered it to others. Her texts were so few and not supportive so I decided not to reply. I had surgery and a text on the day to good luck but no follow up.

I hope you decide what is right for you. We are here for you :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Thank you @naughty_boob for your response. Yes it is very difficult. I’ll see what happens when he next contacts me and decide what to do then.

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@naughty_boob - your post resonates with me where you said you would be in tears and couldn’t sleep if you had contact. I feel exactly the same - any contact I have with my sister M now will cause me great distress and at this stage of my life, i am unable to tolerate more stress/trauma given my medical condition. I think one small difference here may be that my sister M is desperately wanting to make amends - perhaps out of guilt. However, I have rejected her “appeals” for a reconciliation. Instead, I have now blocked her telephone number from my home telephone and my cellphone so she is no longer able to get through to me. I was also intending to block her on emails; however, it appears that for gmail, if I block her, her emails will end up in my spam folder but she would have no way of knowing that. Thank you for sharing. I find such great support and comfort on this chat forum.

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