Years ago, my brother and I discussed a place called the “MetaVerse.” This place housed our most crazy ideas. It was always us against them when we were kids. We fought against the injustices served upon when prohibited from watching MTV or reading comics. We were always on an adventure, both in childhood and as we matured into adulthood.
My brother became my most trusted confidante and dearest friend during our young adult years. I supported him in all his endeavors. I stood up for him to those who tore him down. I was proud of my brother, always boasting on his creative genius and ability to teach himself anything he ever wanted to learn. My brother listened to all my thoughts and mind struggles. He encouraged me to think outside of myself. Even though he was quick to forsake our friendship when he was angered, I forgave my brother every time, with open arms and unconditional positive regard.
Over the years, I got used to the estrangement of my brother now and then. My brother and I possessed a psychic-like connection. I inherently knew when he was struggling with life and reality. We were a team. Life without him is odd; although, after nearly ten years of estrangement I’ve adjusted to the loss and invariably sadness. It is as though the Metaverse is being swallowed by a black hole with each estranged year bringing me closer to the acceptance stage.
Sometimes I write him and his wife letters about life as though the split never happened. Sometimes, I write tearful emails and social media messages trying to find any sort of connection to hold onto. Sometimes, I block him just like he blocks me on social media. Sometimes I unblock him in hopes one day he realizes the value of our previous comradery.
Still, nothing except deafening silence.
I carry around this pain like I’m the one responsible for friendship’s destruction but I recently realized my brother’s lack of care or concern and absence in my life may be a blessing in disguise. The idea of my brother as a superhero and best friend is a false reality. What is true is my brother is someone who stole from me, took advantage of my kindness, estranged himself from me during one of the hardest times of my life and continues to ignore my cries for reconciliation.
After a decade of silence, I realize he’s not someone I want in my life. He is insensitive to the needs and feelings of others. He and his wife are functional alcoholics and judgemental ableists who think it is okay to use tragedies like the Pulse nightclub shooting as a platform to promote their blog’s cupcake recipe. Aside from seeing pictures of the kids, checking up on my brother just makes me sadder for the pain I see in his eyes, the eyes of his wife and in the kid’s faces. I want to proud of him but I don’t know how when fundamentally his narcissism broke my heart and the hearts of my children.
We create realities within the constructs of the mind. We paint a situation like we would like to remember it, forgoing the details too painful to consciously accept. Oftentimes, it’s too unpleasant to face the truth, so we cling to our representation shellacked in denial.
The reality is my brother doesn’t care and this is the only lesson to learn to learn from the situation. This is the pain I must forgive and disremember. The struggle is real. It waxes and wanes as I go in and out of periods of attempting to incite interaction from my brother. My heart tells me if I finally communicate the right thing, his heart will open up and we will be friends again.
Each time I tell myself I don’t care anymore, it creates a conflict within my heart and I know it is impossible to not care about it when it is so deeply tied up in my soul. What I can do with it is turn it into something to serve me in a positive manner. Just blogging the feelings into the MetaVerse is cathartic in itself, but it also makes me realize I am a victim, not of my brother’s rejection, but of the worth I’ve put upon said rejection.
On the popular, syndicated T.V. show Quantum Leap, Dr. Sam Beckett says
“Leaping about in time, I’ve found that there are some things in life that I can’t change, and there are some things that I can. To save a life, to change a heart, to make the right choice. I guess that’s what life’s about: making the right choice at the right time.”
There comes a time when making the right choice is painfully difficult. Letting go of hope for the mending of our friendship becomes almost as painful as the estrangement, indeed. Yet, I do myself a disservice to believe my brother’s estrangement is a reflection of my own self-worth. It is only a shadow of his own inner turmoil. I won’t be dragged down by this loss any longer. I choose to move forward from the heartbreaking moments of my life and create a better existence, free from the sorrow of care and compassion unrequited.