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  • Well ... here we go into the new year. My younger brother emailed me about something weird my older brother just did. I won't describe it. It is just one of many. But neither of us have spoken with him for several years now. When I told my husband he said, "Your brother is crazy, he's sick."

    I was the last one who spoke with him but he always ultimately pushes you away and in very cruel ways. And, quite frankly, you just get tired of it.

    He has never been diagnosed but I've diagnosed him. It was easy. Just pulled out my DSMIV and ran my finger down the list. Yup, yup, there it is, yup. But in some cases, a diagnosis doesn't mean anything, especially if the person themself doesn't give a damn.

    I had heard when he was little he had an imaginary friend. It seems cute. I mean, don't all kids have imaginary friends? Mom would set an extra place at the table or he would get mad (I heard). I wasn't born yet. There is a seven year difference between the three of us with me in the middle.

    Later, as young as I was, I saw his cruel ways. Like the time he was supposed to babysit me and he tied me in a chair with a sheet, then left. Mom and dad got home before him and were furious. Of course my brother stated logically that I was fine, as I couldn't go anywhere to hurt myself. I think I was just glad he had left.

    For the most part he left me alone, which was fine. By the time I was a pre-teen he felt more irritated with me. One day I was walking down the upstairs hall, reading my Nancy Drew book, and that annoyed him. He grabbed me and hung me over the staircase by my feet and threatened to drop me. I was terrified, as if he had, I would have broken my neck. Then there was always the, "Don't tell mom or dad or something worse will happen." Another time I made a casual comment about his girlfriend and he grabbed my arm and threw me across the room and .. "Don't tell or ..." I just did my best to avoid him. I hid the bruise on my arm from my parents.

    He hated our mother (this is a hint if you're trying to guess diagnosis) and growing up there were screaming matches. Then in high school he had a huge fight with a neighbor's son and my parents had to take his side even though I'm sure they suspected the truth. It ruined our relationship with that family as we were all close. I was best friends with their daughter and my parents were best friends with the parents, and it was never the same after that.

    Fast forward to the future and the final straw for my younger brother was after our mother's death. I had been there and left confident that things would be taken care of. I had already returned to California and didn't hear about this until several years later. Apparently our brother was having his final revenge. Our older brother took our mother's ashes and dumped them along the gravel driveway of her house and peed on them. My younger brother tried to stop him but you can't when he is like that.

    I wish I could change this outcome but I can't. But that incident along with further cruel outbursts was the last straw for my younger brother.

    I tried to hang in there with him over last few years because of the cancer. But even I have my limits. More cruel outbursts, lies, accusations. Sometimes, enough is enough. I finally said, I'm done.

    I sometimes wonder if he is my brother. I mean, I know he is genetically, but he doesn't feel like a brother, never has. I see him as some tortured soul that entered a body and has a lifetime to work out his penance and frankly, is doing a crappy job of it.

    He wants attention. So he reaches out in weird ways at times. But we know, from experience, he isn't reaching out. He wants us to be tortured too. To share in his misery. But I think my other brother and I have our own Karma - we don't need his. That sounds cruel doesn't it? But there are many, many stories and - you just get tired.

    One time my father said to me, "Your brother is a strange duck."
    I thought, I guess that's a nice way to put it.
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