Dopers, I could use some help here....

First, some backstory. My brother and I were seperated when I was 4 years old. My parents went through a nasty divorce, and one day my mother came to the house (where I lived with my father and brother) to collect me. My brother (who was maybe 8 YO at the time?) got his things together; prepared to go with our Mom. My mother looked him in the eye, and said: "I don’t want you, I only want Shoogie (my nickname when I was a wee sprout.)

My mother took me, and left my devastated brother to his own devices. Not nice, but that’s how it went down. Fast forward 50 years, and I now have a brother in the hospital. He has no other family, save me; his only sister. Our parents are deceased, as are our older half-sisters. A friend of his called me to give me the news, as well as the fact that my brother is now laid-off and un-employed. I’m stunned. I’ve always been in a postition to help him, but he won’t ask for help. I spoke to him in his hospital room, and told him he needs to just come and stay with us for a while. He mumbled an agreement, but I feel it’s just an agreement to end the conversation.

I’m totally bummed, and just want to hop on a flight to Shreveport LA right away to see my brother. Thank you for letting me get it off my chest.

I dont have any meaningful advice, but I certainly think you sound like a loving sister, in a difficult spot.

My best thoughts to you and your brother.


Have you had a relationship with your brother as an adult? I’m sorry that he’s not well, and seems not so receptive to your offer of help.
It’s very kind of you to reach out to him like this.

If you are prepared for it to not work, I’d say you have nothing to lose by going to see your brother and try to re-establish some kind of relationship. Your brother might want to not re-connect with you, but if you have no bad blood between you, just no real connection, I don’t see why trying would be a bad idea.

Man, that was some harsh shit your mom pulled. I can’t imagine how devastating it would be for a mom to say that to an eight-year-old.

My condolences to you, truthbot but I have a few questions. Have you been in contact with Brother any of these past 50 years? Did your mother let you keep in contact when you were little? Did your mother have any contact with her son at all after scooping you up?

If you want to hop on a flight to Shreveport and are able to do so, I say do it. I don’t know what your relationship is like with your brother but if he is that sick going to be with him is a good thing. You’re not responsible for what your mother did, but I hope you and your brother can become close. Good luck to you both.

Please go through with seeing your brother and be really persistent in helping him. Such rejection by a mom (who was probably getting back at her husband at the time, through her kid) can hurt a kid so deeply, that his only way to feel less pain is to tell himself that he doesn’t need anyone, that he is fine by himself if people just leave him alone, etc, etc. And if a man has believed he is better off alone, for fifty years, it is a thick wall to break down.

So keep trying, for your brothers sake.

This. I’m sure his (your) mother hurt him something bad and trusting anyone (especially a woman who was raised by the cruel woman who hurt him) would be hard to do. But you sound like a good, caring soul… reach out to him. And don’t get discouraged.

She really said that? “I don’t want you”? I’ve heard of moms keeping daughters and fathers keeping sons back in those days, daughters being (presumably) easier to raise and sons (also presumably) needing a father’s stronger hand. Could that have had something to do with it?

I think it’s great that you want to help your brother, but how far you go depends a lot on what your relationship has been over the past 50 years. If he doesn’t know you very well, it’ll be more difficult to get him to accept your help.

You know, Truthbot, my mother has been dead for more than 20 years. But she betrayed me when I was young by turning a blind eye towards the abuse I was suffering. I still bear the scars from this betrayal.

I can only imagine your brother bears similar, or even worse, scars, from the rejection from your mother.

Do as much as you can, while you can. That’s just MHO, of course, but there it is.

This thread makes me so sad. I second everyone else - do what you can for your brother, even if you have to push a little.

Thank you to everyone for your replies. My brother is still in the hospital, in critical condition. The edema in his legs hasn’t subsided, and the blood-thinners caused his blood pressure to drop too low, so the doctors are scrambling to treat him by adjusting meds and painkillers.

When I talk to him, he’s still in denial. According to him, he just needs to get out of hospital and everything will be fine. But I know better.

I haven’t seen my brother since 1974. But we have always kept in touch via phone and cards. I do love him; and will extend any help towards him that he needs. I’m thinking if he does recover from this episode, perhaps the offer of a “loan” might be the best thing for him.

And he does have severe Mommy and abandonment issues. He’s never married or had children, and has always pursued young women with no commitment in mind. I feel so sad that he’s alone in a hospital, but at least he has a good friend there to look in on him.

He says he doesn’t want me to see him “in his condition”, and I will honor his wishes. But if he’s still in the hospital after Christmas, I’m flying out there to see him.

Thank you all again for your support.

I’d just like to add my good wishes, truthbot. It is to your credit that you have kept up with him, even though you haven’t seen each other in so many years.

“Be” your love for him. I’ll offer a prayer for you both!

This sounds like a horrible situation, for both of you.

I hope you don’t mind, but I just wanted to chime in on this comment.

My father said something almost exactly the same in February this year. The situation with him was different, and his health issues were self generated, but this bit rang a bell with me. My father was in dire need of help, but also told us that he didn’t want us to come over and see him in the condition he was in. My mother and I were in two minds about what to do, as he seemed so adamant.

What we ended up doing was ignoring his wishes, and turning up on his doorstep anyway. It was the best thing we could have done, and I think that he was truly grateful. Plus, it sort of saved his life.

Despite what your brother is saying, I believe that you will lose nothing by going to him, and hopefully help him when he needs it the most. It sounds like this is what you will end up doing, and I just wanted to give you some confidence that this is probably the best thing you could do. Best wishes.

I think you should ignore his wishes, too. I hesitate to say ignore what someone says (he is an adult, after all), but he really does sound like someone who is trying to be brave and strong and not need anyone, when actually he’s scared and alone.