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Unsure how to react to being excluded

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I wrote previously about realizing my brother is narcissistic.


Long story short goes like this. He did drugs so much that his teeth literally rot out of his head, my mother asked me to help him move to get away from the bad people, he steals her jewelry on his last night of staying with her, he arrives here and lives on my couch, coached him how to write a resume and find a decent job, drove him around to assist his effort, put up with his withdrawls and met his food demands, mother passed away, introduced/reunited brother to father, brother moves to live with father, and I haven't heard from them or been able to get in touch.


I supported my brother for 4 months before giving him the boot (couldn't take it anymore plus I was pregnant), but he successfully cleaned up and had his teeth replaced. It is a wonderful story... until he turns my relationship with my father into another competition for attention. My brother always needed my mother's full attention growing up.


He told me that he "stole" dad away from me. I told him that wasn't the way it works. We had a huge fight Oct 2005 and haven't spoke since.


My dad did visit me last August and we had fun golfing. Great time! However, he told me he isn't interested in my work. Doesn't want to talk about it. This really bothered me because I've worked hard and celebrate 10 years as a business owner this year. I feel like it doesn't matter to them what I've accomplished. I'm a web applications developer, my dad is a retired gov't programmer. He doesn't consider my work "real".


Christmas rolled around and I didn't hear from any family and felt sad. Started to think my brother was right and my dad forgot about me.


Now I am learning that my brother is getting married. I'm not invited.


How should I react? I feel indifferent.

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That's quite a sad story, tinged with a touch of inspiration with your brother turning his life around. It's a shame he hasn't acknowledged the support you gave him, but you have plenty reason to feel good about what you did and perhaps one day he will realise how much he owes you.


With regards to how you feel, you say you feel indifferent right now and if I were you I would just go with that. If it isn't upsetting you greatly then don't feel that it necessarily should. There is no appropriate response, just feel how you feel and don't apologise for how you feel.


It's also a great shame that your father doesn't acknowledge your achievements but that does not diminish from what you have achieved with your business and you should feel proud of yourself. I think the fact that you have managed to run your own business for 10 years in such a competitive field is quite a feat and you should feel really good about that. If I could say the same I would be more than pleased.


It sounds like you are a strong independent woman who does not rely on anyone for anything, and I wouldn't be surprised if your brother admires you from afar and possible even resents how together you are and always have been. This may explain his competitive behaviour with your father.


Either way, you have nothing to apologise for. I give you my sincere congratulations on what you have achieved and my admiration for what you tried to do for your brother. The world needs more people like you!


Take care...

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