Adoption respect

by Whixley
(Nashville, TN)

When I was adopted as a new baby many years ago, it was my father's idea. My mother was not very enthusiastic as she & my father already had one son who was, ten years prior, born to them.

Many years later, after years of sarcasm and nasty emotional treatment by my mother, she gradually began her decline towards poor health. In spite of our history and that I lived in another country 3000 miles away, I made approximately 4-6 trips a year to her home to help her and her health issues. I was an RN. My brother was her executor of her estate which made great sense given my location. On one later trip she and my brother announced that they had decided the valuable and historical family furniture and valuables would go to him because "It was important that those items remain in the real family." In honesty, I did not have an issue with this as I did not care for many of the items. However, I did feel hurt that they felt it necessary to elaborate to such a degree. They could have just announced the decision with any further elaboration.
She died about ten years later during which time I continued my frequent visits to her as I felt that was the right thing to do. My brother became progressively snarky and superior to me during that time frame. My own chronic health issues became progressively harder to manage or to travel but I did the best that I could.
I have had limited contact with my brother since her death and the death of my darling husband. My brother did arrive for 2 days for my husband's funeral although his wife did not. Both are retired. My feelings about reciprocal help from them are hurt. They claimed they could not afford for both to come yet they had lived for many years w
Ith the majority of their income from my mother. My husband was a neurosurgeon and our imbalance in incomes was noticeable. My husband & I had encouraged them to so as it was not an issue for us.
Am I correct in feeling hurt? Not only do I feel a partial family member, but I wish that my brother had offered me the same assistance and live I extended to him.

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Family Relations
by: Ms P Etiquette

Hello Whixley,

You got a bad deal growing up with one parent behaving like a spoiled sport all your life. May I make a suggestion? Feel great about yourself and the wonderful acts of kindness you performed for this nasty "mother". Your brother has never treated you well, so please do not expect it now. It seems that neither of them were evolved enough to get over their jealously of you from the day you arrived in their home. It is possible that your happy marriage, financial security and loving nature has been a torture to them. Stop going to a dry well for a drink of water because there will never be enough to share with you. I hope you had good friends and other family members from your husband's relatives to get the support you needed. I am so sorry for the great loss of your loving husband.

Please just love yourself and relax. Take care.

Ms. Practical Etiquette

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My thanks for your suggestions
by: Whixley

For some unknown reason, I have not read your reply until this evening. I thank you for your kind insight. It has now been almost two years since I have last spoken with my brother or his wife, and, quite honestly, it feels ok. I am blessed with a great group of friends and my late husband's family has been amazing to me.
My brother has obviously spoken to various cousins about our estrangement. Certain cousins have encouraged me to "patch things up." My response has been minimal; the issue is complicated and one I have no interest in discussing. When they persist, I simply repeat the same comment. This method at least does not stoke the fires.

Once again, my many thanks. It has taken me years to come to terms with my family situation or lack thereof. However, what I missed in childhood was more than made up for in my marriage.

My best wishes for your successful column,
Whixley

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