My brother and I have not been speaking to each other for years. The roots go deep, back to our childhood where he took advantage of six years worth of muscle and knowledge to bully me with his bulk and intellect. The final straw began to break when he told me that I didn’t feel like a brother, that I was like a sour old minister. I was depressed, to be sure, but I had a sense of humor.
I used to call him every Christmas, but one year I forgot. He did not call to wish me a good holiday or to see if I was OK. I tried this deliberately the next year with the same result. The Silence between us began.
There was a game we played where one of us tried to be superior to the other. I played it because I was sick and tired of having my words twisted and being attacked for my imperfections. When he got mad, he blamed me. I tried to tell him that he had to take responsibility for his own anger, but he will not listen.
Rob is still stiff as a board around me, a pipe bomb set to explode. I used to think that our strife was all about anger, but I know now that I feel hurt, estranged because he is not a brother to me. I have yearned for family and I honestly wish that we could have peace, but I don’t trust him. I need to give myself permission to feel sad.
I think we have a case of fundamental attribution error going on between us.