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my siblings and their attitude about my kids


PatPaul
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Hi,

I have written several times before on this forum about the strained/poor relations I have with my three brothers and sister. I have a 3-year odl daughter and a 9-month old son. I am married to a Japnese woman and we live in Japan. MY sister is schizophrenic and lives in a group home so I don't expect too much knowledge or repsonse to the fact I have kids. I have an older brother who got to know my daughter and but since we worked overseas together when she was born. My oldest brother (53) could not care less. I tried to make email contact with him two separate occassions (2008 and 2004) and mentioned to him I was married. He did not even mention something in his one brief reply like "hey, congratulations....tell me about her..." My younger brother (45) I told him on the phone about the fact I have kids but he was so unmoved or disinterested. My dad made the big effort(sorry for the sarcasm) to spend an hour with my wife and daughter when we visited Canada in 2008.

I do have friends who have no kids, and I was married at a late age (42) and up until then had no interest in having kids, but my wife was able to convince me to change my mind. I mention this since I do know how difficult it is for singles or childless couples to sometimes relate to others who do have kids, but I can genuinely say I would, when I was single or married w/o kids, always make the effort to compliment the friends/acquaintances/colleagues who were parents or send a congratulatory note on a birth etc.

However, with my brothers (I exlcude my sister because of the aformentioned mental illness-well I wrote before that according to my father my sister would not remember me). I had suggested to idea of visiting her when I was last in Canada, I find them so lacking in people skills, or able to think about someone other than themselves, it is disappointing and galling.

Am I overreacting or expecting too much?

PP

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Hi PatPaul :D

In my heart I have an image of a "family" and how in all my dreams I would of loved for mine to be. You know, kind caring moma and papa that enjoys spending time with there children and show there love and share there laughter. The children have a happy childhood and spend many a happy hour just being children. They grow together and not apart, The children then grow up, move forward onto having a happy life with children of there own. Everyone spends quality time together, and although there are differences, there is acceptance and love......... hmmm, my ideal family life, the stuff dreams are made of, fairy tales (sorry but thats how I see it)

Reality can be different and can be a lot harsher, not everyone gets there fairytale, and life is never picture perfect.

Its frustrating and heartbreaking, when despite your best efforts and doing everything you can think of you just cant get close enough to touch what you feel is how your family could be. The way you would like for your family to get allong. Share some special moments, or spend some quality time together. Just be a family.

I dont feel you are over reacting, or expecting too much, from what I read from your post, you only want to share with your family, some of the wonderful things you are experiencing, you want to share the happiness and your love.

Your hurt, it does hurt and Im sorry that your family is unable to express to you a little more interest and share in your joy. In time maybe things will chamge, who knows what tomorrow holds.

On a brighter note, you have a 3 year old daughter, and a 9month old son, a wife whom you adore, and no doubt you spend many a happy day with them. The world is full of possibilities, You have a chance of realising your families dreams together, and writing a faity tale that your children and your childrens children will be proud of :)

[sorry everyone, im really sentimental today :o]

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi musemuse,

Well to answer your question, at a basic level I know it should not matter whether or not my siblings or father cares about my life. I guess I am expecting too much. Maybe I am unable to put myself in their shoes and realize they have their own lives (i.e. issues and problems0 as I do, and cannot afford to devote the time or energy outwards? I am being honest about how this minor thing, in the greater scheme of things, and given the fact as was pointed out (I have a great wife and 2 healthy kids) does in fact irritate, and yes, hurt me.

Maybe I have watched too much TV during my youth and have been led to a naieve, story-book belief that all brothers and sisters will someday leave the nest start families of their own, and have wonderful kids who will form strong and lasting cousin relationships; no matter where they might live in the world.

I do brood too much about this and ponder future scenarios about what will happen the next time, and probably the last, when I will reunite with my siblings-my dad's funeral.

PP

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Hi PP, sorry to hear that your family is disappointing you. I guess I was wondering how close you were to them before you got married and moved away to Japan. I say that because it takes work to remain close to family, especially when we are far away. My daughter lives in England now and has lived all over the world in the last decade, and she says that she is very conscious that she needs to work to maintain her link to family members. She phones them regularly, send cards for birthdays, all that stuff that keeps the relationship alive, or else it tends to just disolve - which is something that did happen when she was putting less of an effort in...

Your relationship with your siblings and dad can get closer, but it all depends on how much of an effort goes into creating those bonds. The more they get to know you and your family, the closer they will feel to them, and you ... :)

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