It is pretty safe to say that I am estranged from my little brother. Partner and I moved to Chicago this time 2 years ago, and I have seen my brother once. That same year (2009) at Christmas with my family in West Virginia. We've not seen each other since. Not when my family came from across the US last summer to visit. And, he's not planning on coming in the next family vacation this summer.
Now, please don't misunderstand the previous statements as though I am wishfully hoping that he shows up unexpectedly on my doorstep. I haven't made the effort either. I haven't made the effort, because my brother and I glared at each other for 18 years waiting on the ability to get away from one another and the very moment I could move...I did. To say we dislike one another is the grandest of understatements.
A lot of people believe in a version of reincarnation that says we travel from lifetime to lifetime in "Soul Groups." Basically, in a soul group, eventually each soul plays all roles to all people until those souls figure out how to fully understand one another. I'm almost positive that my brother and I were enemies in a past life. Not just any enemies, but we were some sort of Lex Luthor/Superman dichotomy. Something for the ages. Because since 1989 (he's younger) we've pretty much loathed one another.
The interesting thing about Facebook is that you keep up with people for years beyond the shelf life of the actual relationship. The folks you knew in high school no longer matter in your daily life, have nothing to do with your current circle of friends, and you probably wouldn't recognize if you were standing next to them in line. However, through the miracle of Facebook, you can now click through their status updates rather than finishing those charts for work like you're supposed to!
But, then there's this feature where...get this...you can hide the updates from certain friends. They will still be listed in your friends list, and they won't get their feelings hurt because you've un-friended them. (By the way, WHEN did that horrible amalgamation of terrible grammar become a word?) What's the point of this? You're not keeping up with them. You're not watching what is going on in their lives. Yet, you are holding on to their "friendship."
This is the point at which my brother and I find one another. We're not even listed as family members of one another. I honestly think we've not un-friended (there's that word again) one another simply to alleviate my mother's worry that we will completely lose touch after my parents' deaths. (By the way, not only will we, but I don't think either of us can wait for the day.)
Yes, Rioters, I am not exactly proud to say it, but it's true: we simply want nothing to do with one another. It was never a case of love with us. And that's sad. Honestly, I wish I had a brotherly connection with him. I wish we had a reason to talk to one another, but we are one another's antonym. I keep being told this will change with time, and that may be...but if something (Goddess forbid) were to happen to my folks tomorrow...I can honestly say we'd probably lose touch forever. It's a beautiful idea, brotherly love. A beautiful idea, like so many things, doesn't necessarily mean it becomes a reality.
So this is my dirty little confession. I don't love my brother. I'm sure I'm now a terrible person in most of your eyes, and I can respect that. But family is not necessarily connected by blood, nor should it be. For a period of time at the beginning of your life, you can do very little to select who you keep around you. As you get older, though, you can - and I believe should - choose your friends and family. If someone only brings you down, makes you feel bad about yourself, or simply does nothing but express disdain for you, they shouldn't be in your circle. While it may be odd due to what we're all told about societal need for family, it's necessary for the betterment of your mental health.
At least, that's how I see it. What does YOUR family look like? What do YOU think about that odd little hide people feature on Crackbook? Do YOU have any relatives who you don't consider family, or any non-relations that you do?
Love and Lyte,