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my brother died and i am not very alive either


Sherzade
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I am grieving my brother's death for 1 year and 2 months. Our relationship was very difficult and i struggle to remember him in a positive light. I feel extremely guilty... and very confused. It was so hard to witness his self destruction and isolation until he died. I wished him dead because it was as if he was dead already but now i want him to live.

The image of him in his coffin comes to my mind frequently as if to help me believe that he actually died. I saw him in his coffin and he was dead. My brother. I din't want him alive and that i don't want him dead. I didn't apologise. I didn't tell him that i am sorry. I can't really be alive myself. I don't deserve it. In a way i feel that i killed him.

Edited by Sherzade
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Thank you Linda.

Yes, many things were left unsaid.

I did have "sessions" of talking "with" him and of writing him letters. Perhaps i loved him but the hatred that i felt was much more intense and memorable than the love. I wish i could have done better but i tried. I tried so very hard until a point. I was myself a needy, angry and fearful person. Like he was.

I do not believe in reincarnation and i do not believe that he is watching me. Perhaps he is. I don't say that he is not, but my little brain can't reach as further as that. I have to forgive myself. But it is so difficult. I didn't want him dead really. But his life was a constant roller coaster into drugs until he got HIV... Oh it's a long story.

I have to forgive myself. I have to forgive him. I have to forgive all my family, the community, society, the whole world. I have to accept. And manage to find joy somehow.

Time.

Thank you for your kindness. :)

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It has been about a little less than a year now since my step father passed.

Right before he passed we got in a huge fight about bad choices he made that changed our lives for the worse.

At the very end he was apologizing but I didn't know what to say or feel.

It bugged me a bit Ithat I just stood silent while he said all this.

I do know family and people that know you knows you care.

You can have fights off and on.. but they always know you care.

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I am sorry for the death of your step father ramdomperson. So you also feel that there was something that was left unsaid?

I would like to believe in what you say. Other person would know, but my brother didn't feel loved. He was very very lonely and isolated. He didn't think much of himself and that made it difficult for him to feel loved. I think that this is what is really killing me. I don't think he ever knew how much i wanted him to live before i wanted him to die. I don't think he ever knew what it was like for me to see him destroy himself slowly. Everyday a bit more dead until i couldn't witness it anymore.

He died alone and i regret not being capable of being there. I wish i had been strong enough to be there and make him company to the doors of death. It may be such a frightening moment for a young person.

I think that most of all i regret the time we wasted in fights and negative feelings. The inability to love and to accept one another.

Lesson: do not let hard feelings get on the way of resolution whatever that may be. If the person dies... what a sense of unfinished business.

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Yes there was things left unsaid. A lifetime of overall silence and friction between us that only seemed to start breaking away at the end when I was not ready and he was losing his mind.

I think it is important to take those lessons learned in difficult times and grow from them. What you said is something most people never understand.

Be proud of that growth.

I have a lifetime of regrets which has been difficult to deal with. Often we beat ourselves up for past mistakes. I do not know him or how he felt, but I am sure being family and hearing what you have said he would not want you to carry this guilt. I bet he would want you to forgive yourself.

But I do know from experience it is much easier to say than do.

I relate to others by telling stories of my life.

I want to share one with you. At the time my step father was dying a good friend of mine was dying of the same thing.

If you have read through a good chunk of my posts you have heard me tell stories of my ex GF and know how it has effected me. This was his daughter. He was my best friend and did nothing but help me.

But when she broke up with me I felt betrayed hurt and could not carry on talking to any of them. For over 2 months I did not talk to any of them. He was hurt deeply by this. I did what you are talking about. During that time is when he had found he had cancer and I was not there for him nor did I know. His daughter was the one that broke the silence and told me.

I talked to him before he passed mended things to a certain degree because of that. But there was a lot of unrest in my mind. Later I did have one conversation with his wife. What she said I hope will help you as well.

She said he knew I cared. He knew the circumstances and what really mattered. He did not blame me, nor was mad. He spoke to her and said these words. Hearing her say this healed some of the pain and regrets.

I felt like you did before. That he didn't know, that I left things in a bad way.

The biggest lesson I have learned from all my past regrets is to make tough choices that will leave you not not saying what if..

Some of those choices have led me down painful paths.. but I have little regrets now.

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"Je ne regrete rien" is not my motto either. Unfortunately i regret a lot of things.

Thank you for your story. Perhaps you're right. Perhaps he knew and perhaps he would have liked me to move on with my life instead of using him to feed my lethargy.

I think that i also don't trust that he cared for me. I think that he thinks that i should be punished. Perhaps i also would like to have known that he loved me and wished the best for me. Even when he was alive i felt guilty if i accomplished something because he was so isolated and could not bring himself to act in the world.

If he was alive he would most certainly say: "Don't you dare to use me to stop yourself from living your life. That's your problem not mine. "

It's such a ... i don't know what word to use. It's such a different experience. I mean the death of someone close to us. Nothing could have prepared me to this. And i was preparing for quite a long time. The phone call from my mum, the following moments, the trip home, the chapel, the crematory, the hill, his room. Nothing could have prepared me for this experience.

I am sorry about your losses. How devastating that might have been... The deaths and the break up. Death is part of life. Who would say?

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It devastated me, came to the point where I was thinking my death was the only thing that could ease the pain I hit rock bottom. My faith and friends is all that pulled me up.

I was still on the edge when I came here. 2 horrible years.

Death and the break up mixed my emotions as well. Because of it I still struggle losing my ex GF, she was all that was left of my best friend and reminded me so much of him. The love was on multiple levels for me. Still a few times every week I am tempted to write and have to stop myself. But slowly I am getting better. Might have a date tonight in fact :rolleyes: I say this to show you I know the pain you are feeling in this loss and how sometimes fights at the end can leave you feeling hurt and confused.

I will say one thing he was your brother he did care. Don't doubt that.

Time eases the pain.. doesn't take it away but eases it.

I have tons of regrets in my past.. even some now. But I live life in such a way the regrets I have now are not about holding back rather mistakes in judgement. So my regrets are not things I hold on to as much because I know it is likely mistakes I could not have changed at the point I was at in that spot in life. By doing that I have more peace.

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Hi randomperson,

I didn't have internet connection for some days so i could not log on.

Thank you for sharing your experiences with me. It gives me some sort of reassurance. Sometimes i am so frightened and tired of feeling so low that i lose perspective on what is what.

Can i ask you how did your date go :)?

I will say one thing he was your brother he did care. Don't doubt that.

Thank you :-)

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Sherzade,

I'm sorry you're going through this. You felt how you felt. You cannot change that. To force yourself to say something you didn't mean would not have felt real. If you wish him alive now but didn't then, perhaps it is because you have grown since his death. No doubt you have learned a lot about your own coping skills. One of them seems to be that you don't believe others truly care about you, including your brother. That sounds like a little bit of an attempt at self-preservation. If important people acted like they didn't care about you in the past, then it is safer to expect that nobody does. If you believe you are on your own, then you learn to fend for yourself and can't be let down by others. It is a horrible mindset to be in. It is so isolating, and it causes so many regrets, especially when those close to us die and we have no opportunity to mend fences. It feels like they never really knew us and we never really knew them.

I believe the best thing you could do in your brother's memory is to learn from the experience and try to help yourself get out of the BPD mindset, if that is where you still are. It is tough work - to try and change a lifetime of behaviours that have not served you, but that have become so ingrained they practically define you.

You have been so supportive here in this community to so many including myself. I believe you are truly a kind, generous person and that once you get out of your own way, that will shine through not just here but in your daily life.

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It is tough to stay positive at times for me as well. I have offs and ons.

As a friend of mine recently said the key is to remember we don't have to be happy all the time just try to keep a lot of our thoughts positive for balance.

I'm trying my best. Work in progress :(

As for the date didn't happen. She was using me because she didn't have a way to get to court and she lived in another city. When I said I couldn't do it she stopped talking to me. The positive thing from it in the past I would have done anything just for the chance to not feel rejected. I stood up for myself and though ignored by her I don't feel bad because I never let her use me like I have let other women in the past :)

I stood up for myself for once!

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Thank you Athena for your kind words. I read them yesterday late at night and although i couldn't reply then i fell asleep with my heart feeling so nicely warm :) Thank you.

I believe the best thing you could do in your brother's memory is to learn from the experience and try to help yourself get out of the BPD mindset

That was my decision two days after he died. I thought about all the ways i destroy myself and promised him that i would stop doing it. Somehow i started feeling very guilty along the way, which was something that i felt even before his death. I think that as randomperson says grief is not a continuous sequence of behaviours and reactions. I am going through a life time relationship that has been difficult since very early age.

If you believe you are on your own, then you learn to fend for yourself and can't be let down by others. It is a horrible mindset to be in. It is so isolating, and it causes so many regrets (...)

Yesterday i thought that perhaps people are not always waiting for the right moment to trick, use and abuse me. They may actually come from a place of kindness or neutrality. My expectation has been however that people's first motivation and natural state of mind is one of manipulating and taking advantage of others (me!). People are perhaps just... ok.

Surely this is a simple concept for the majority of people but for me is a great new vision. :)

You know Athena, the thought that others may care for me (and i know that some people really do) provokes high levels of anxiety in me. Still have to work this one out.

Randomperson

I stood up for myself and though ignored by her I don't feel bad

Sorry about the date. But so well done for your positive attitude. Self esteem is so hard to develop and i wonder if after planting the seeds one will see it grow. Perhaps with lots of nurturing, which i hope you are dedicating some time for it.

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Thank you Athena for your kind words. I read them yesterday late at night and although i couldn't reply then i fell asleep with my heart feeling so nicely warm :) Thank you.
And thank you for conveying that sentiment - it means a lot to me. I have had the same experience here right before bed. That's what makes this such a wonderful place.

You know Athena, the thought that others may care for me (and i know that some people really do) provokes high levels of anxiety in me. Still have to work this one out.

Yes, I struggle with this. And sometimes it turns on and off. Back in November, I really believed the kind words my therapist said to me. Then he went on holiday and when he came back, I started to doubt his sincerity. After all, in some respects, he IS paid to be nice to me. But I hated doubting him so I started to look for indications that he was sincere. And I started finding them. I also remembered something Jack Canfield (author of Chicken Soup for the Soul) said. And that is - simply choose to believe that the person means well. So if your spouse forgets your birthday, tell yourself, "Somebody who loves me forgot my birthday". Instead of "They don't care about me". What you are looking for here is to simply feel better about it and the first way makes you feel better. I am working on this. I think I can put it into practice with people who have not caused immense pain to me in the past. But those are the ones you don't have to guess about - fight or flight is truly the safest response:eek:.
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And thank you for conveying that sentiment - it means a lot to me. I have had the same experience here right before bed. That's what makes this such a wonderful place.

:)

Well, regarding believing that someone actually cares... i still doubt my therapist after 9 years... I don't know if i still doubt him, but i certainly can't bring myself to accept his care and love. He told me the other day that he loves me unconditionally. I can't hear it, i can't think it. I feel paralysed. The thought of being loved is absolutely an impossibility in my mind.

You are not the first person to mention the "chicken soup for the soul". Do you reckon that that is a good book? I liked the way the author turned an unbearable and highly dramatic episode into a day to day happening. That would certainly be of some use for me :)

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Guest ASchwartz

Sherzade,

Its always interesting that being told you are loved unconditionally can feel like it hurts rather than helps. Believe me, you are not the only person to feel that way. Is it that you believe you don't deserve it or is it that feeling too close to another person is scary? Of course, they can both be true.

Allan

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:o

Well, regarding believing that someone actually cares... i still doubt my therapist after 9 years... I don't know if i still doubt him, but i certainly can't bring myself to accept his care and love. He told me the other day that he loves me unconditionally. I can't hear it, i can't think it. I feel paralysed. The thought of being loved is absolutely an impossibility in my mind.

. I have the same feeling. Periodically though, I do feel loved sincerely by another. Then they do something selfish or greedy and I figured they didn't love me, they were just using me. I don't know how I'd react if my therapist said it. I recall saying something to him like "I want to know how you feel about me, but then I have a dilemma because if you say something bad, I'll believe you and if you say something nice, I won't". Kind of a no-win scenario. So he doesn't say anything and I'm simply left to wonder, until I actually FEEL something naturally on a non-thinking level because I think that's the only thing I will believe. The words "I love you" have been tossed at me like cotton balls - OK, something warm and fuzzy hitting me, but at the end of the day, I've got to bend over and clean a mess up. Those words always cost me.

You are not the first person to mention the "chicken soup for the soul". Do you reckon that that is a good book? I liked the way the author turned an unbearable and highly dramatic episode into a day to day happening. That would certainly be of some use for me ;)

It is a wonderful book. He has also created a whole series of them. I usually get something out of whichever one I pick up. The stories and quotes are also great to share with other people. Interestingly, I read somewhere in the author's bio that he is a "Self Esteem" coach. Then I thought I'd better start listening to this guy a bit more.:)
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Its always interesting that being told you are loved unconditionally can feel like it hurts rather than helps. (...) Is it that you believe you don't deserve it or is it that feeling too close to another person is scary?

Hello Alan,

I guess that it is a deep narcissistic feature of mine. I am not to be loved. A more idealized image of myself is. Although i can think of me as an ordinary person, most probably lovable enough to have a much happier life, i feel very differently.

I also have big issues with my therapist. I think that he is very intellectual and intelligent as i always wanted to be. I, on the contrary, have some problems in thinking, especially symbolic thinking, which makes my therapy quite boring. I can't really play. I end up feeling very inadequate, repetitive, not exciting at all and very different from him. I feel incredibly inferior and ashamed. This doesn't help me but i became so dependent on him... i can't end therapy. I want to be like him. And i hate him and myself more. I know that i will never be like him. I failed him so many times.

The words "I love you" have been tossed at me like cotton balls (...) Those words always cost me.

It is tricky Athena. Most of us may be quite confused to what love is. I agree that those words are many times spelled out in ignorance. But there is also something about what we expect love to be, or how we want to be loved. I have got a friend that wants her husband to love her as a mother does. He tells her that he loves her but she expects him to attend to all her needs without her even asking. He has to guess. She feels that he doesn't love her enough. She doesn't feel loved.

To be honest i am still to understand what love is. I loved, but my love was poisoned and i hated as much as i loved ;)

Relationships are so difficult for me!!!:o

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It does get very confusing. Supposedly you can only truly love someone if you do not NEED them to love you back. Otherwise, you are simply trying to fulfill some selfish desire to have unmet needs from early childhood fulfilled for you. I find that kind of sad and discouraging. Like you have to accept yourself before you can truly love. I wish it could be the other way around. That you could love somebody so much and feel it back and that would be the answer. It is just so hard to accept somebody you have spent a lifetime rejecting. It would be so much easier if somebody else could do it for you. Unfortunately I don't think it works that way.

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I think you just tapped into a universal thread many of us need to talk on, love.

So many of us here struggle to find the answers.

The need to feel loved, be loved. Feeling unwanted, rejected by life.

How do we find love, keep it?

What causes people to hurt others and reject us when we open our hearts?

Do we have to love ourselves first to attract others to love us, or can love from another show us we can love ourselves?

Perhaps someone should create a thread on this topic.

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Love.

I agree randomperson. That would be a good topic and complex one.

After 9 years of therapy I was able to tell my therapist that I never really wanted what he wanted for me. He worked hard for me to change and so on but there was ONE only thing that I have wanted during these 9 years, and that was him. I want/ed him to love me but more than that I want/ed and love/ed him badly. In secret. In deep deep secrecy. Shame, that big monster, has knocked me out without mercy or compassion.

Shame for desiring and loving. I almost wonder if someone can actually be robbed of (or never be given?) such freedom...

I feel very sad. I feel ill with sadness.

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Sherzade,

Has your therapist ever talked to you about transference? Has he ever asked how you feel about him? Mine has talked about it and also managed to dig out my feelings for him, which were more than a tad embarrassing to tell him. But his acceptance of what I said to him (ie: that it was OK, that it is transference, that I have got some idealized version of him in my head and that I wasn't to be kicked out or referred off or something) was mind-blowing. The relief I felt was huge and the appreciation I had for him after that was very uplifting. Scary as hell to do and I had to deal with all the guilt/shame etc that comes with it but that is all stuff to be talked about and dealt with if you are to transform yourself.

And, I can pretty much guarantee the session won't be boring:eek:.

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I understand what you are saying Athena. We do clarify what seems to be transferencial.

My experience of therapy is one in which one issue has many levels. I go through cycles, which may feel at times like a pathological repetition but other times it feels that i do some important work. Like now, i am being aware of something that i was already aware before, but i am feeling it from the place where it hurts the most.

In fact fact my feelings for my therapist are not as important as the realization that i stop myself from desiring (and love) due a an intense feeling of shame. Or if i desire i do it in secrecy as if i was committing a crime.

I knew all this, my therapist knew all this, but i had never verbalized it from the core of my shame. Verbalizing it to him made me feel that i looked shame in the eyes and embraced it. I a way, i embraced myself.

Shame is an incredible paralysing feeling and i think i am in the core of it.

I always think that i want to be loved, cared, wanted... but to want someone, to desire someone is an absolute freedom.

Not sure whether this makes sense :)

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In fact fact my feelings for my therapist are not as important as the realization that i stop myself from desiring (and love) due a an intense feeling of shame. Or if i desire i do it in secrecy as if i was committing a crime.

I knew all this, my therapist knew all this, but i had never verbalized it from the core of my shame. Verbalizing it to him made me feel that i looked shame in the eyes and embraced it. I a way, i embraced myself.

Shame is an incredible paralysing feeling and i think i am in the core of it.

Yes, shame does paralyze. Then you feel judged by your therapist. Then you doubt that what he says is sincere. Just the simple fact that my therapist went off to a "Christianity in psychotherapy" conference a few days ago has led me to doubt that he does not judge me. I don't know why it matters so much but it does. I need to know that he is telling me the truth, not just something I want to hear. Perhaps it is a trust thing. I have been betrayed so badly in the past. Perhaps shame is not the issue, trust is. I'm not really that bothered about my feelings for him. I'm bothered by the fact that I don't know if it bothered him. He has said it didn't but somehow I just don't seem to believe him. Anyway, the feelings have faded and turned into apathy and I don't know if I buried them or if they just went away on their own. But apathy just doesn't work for me because I have lost most of the "connection" to him. And that seems to be impeding my progress. I don't know, it's all so confusing.

I always think that i want to be loved, cared, wanted... but to want someone, to desire someone is an absolute freedom.

Not sure whether this makes sense :(

We need both. To love and be loved. I don't know which is the more powerful. I think that to love is - because you just feel your heart open up and you feel more alive. Perhaps feeling loved just gives us the capacity to love others.

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Your feelings i think are like every woman or man that have so much hurt in our lives especially like you i feel strongly that i also feel that i don't feel loved or cared for i will now only see women therapists & psych.

It is like transferance

i think i will never have another relationship i have went through two marriages that i probably destroyed because i felt that i didn't deserve it

but with you i think it's normal to feel the way you do. And all of us probably have felt the same way!

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