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Family Estrangement...

I feel like it goes without saying, but no main paging.

This is long, bear with me.

See, my brother is 7 years older than me (but functionally 9 since he skipped kindergarten) and he's an asshole. He was an abusive, horrid, selfish brother and nothing made me happier than to have him out of the house when I was 8.


Years have gone by, and he hasn't really changed. And no one really believed me about his true self. He lied to all my cousins and told them I was a stuck up, evil bitch and most of them believed him and gave me a wide berth. I didn't really care...most of the cousins I care about (I've got like 50) knew he was wrong about me. But they still liked him, so I never really hung out with them because of that and the age differences (most are 10+ years older.

My bro and I learned to be civil to each other (his ex whom he dated for 12 years was a fucking saint and tried to get him to be better, and while he never apologized, at least left me the fuck alone and was polite).

Thankfully, though, they never got married—she deserved better. And she moved to FL. He assumed eventually she'd come back but she didn't—she'd had enough of the verbal and mental abuse, cheating, and all the other shit.

But then she got pregnant and he went into a tail spin. 34, not married, no prospects so he freaked. And decided he'd show her and get married...so found someone who wanted to get married and have babies quickly...my married cousin's mistress. My parents know about this as well.


Clearly, most people in the family didn't know this. A few cousins did, but most thought she was just my other female cousin's best work friend.

So, he converts to Islam, and they're engaged. Fast forward 3 months to the wedding. I haven't met her, which is especially odd as I'd moved home for a few months during this time, and am ambivalent toward the wedding—good for him, he seems happy, but really, I had no emotional involvement.


Due to the fact that cousins took sides during the fact that he was getting married to my cousin's mistress—and no, the wife doesn't know and neither did my aunts and uncles—he ends up not inviting anyone. Seriously, just me, my folks, 3 cousins, and 6 friends.

I met my SIL the day of the wedding and, you guys, I was good! Ample boobies were covered, no swearing, no hiding booze. Still getting dirty looks from her aunts. Bro's "sisters" were also there. Apparently, he considers college friends his actual sisters. I do the same so don't care, but was a little taken aback when one hugs me and tells me "You're not a bitch! For years I've been hearing horrible things about you! But you're quite nice!"



So, at the receiving line when I'm smiling vaguely, she grabs me and goes "So great to have a sister!"


Um, no.

1. Lady, I just fucking met you! You had ample time to meet me.

2. His ex is my sister, if anyone is.

3. You were sleeping with my cousin (whose wife is my favorite person in our family) for three years.


They also had 3 weddings. 2 that summer, and then 1 on New Year's Eve. I'm sorry, I didn't want to spend my NYE in Buffalo, with dry people, when you've already been married twice and you're not even inviting most of my family.

My uncles and aunts were invited this time and a few went. Most are still hurt over the fact that they weren't invited to the first. We've got a huge family and were pretty much raised by each other's parents. Not inviting them, ignoring them in between weddings, never coming to family gatherings is like punch in the gut.


I saw them once after that. She was pregnant, I said congrats. When I got the baby shower invite (a week before the event), I had to decline as I was meeting my bf's family for the first time—they were in Boston from NJ. I did send a nice gift. Did not get a thank you card.

So now, it's pretty much 2 different families, and I feel bad for my parents. My mom has always had her favorite . On my bday one year, she told me that "You could never understand my bond with your brother. He's my baby. Maybe when you have kids." I told her if I was ever that crappy a mother to feel that way and to actually say it, I'd kill myself (our relationship hasn't always been the best, clearly).


I know I'm my dad's favorite—I don't create drama, I'm friendly, and actually have empathy for people, and we're the ones who do EVERYTHING for my increasingly elderly parents—so they're torn a lot.

Holidays? They need to go to two. Weekends need to be divvied up, phone calls from one while with the other are awkward, and—especially my dad—they're pretty good at not talking about the other one to the other. And, I couldn't go visit my folks in their house in Portugal, because he was there this summer and tix were so very expensive at the end of August.


She's pregnant with #2 now, which may be the reason he texted at Thanksgiving. At least, that's my boyfriend's view. Mine was that he was being passive-aggressive since my parents were spending the whole day with me (the bf's mom was in town).

I did text him back "U2" which, again is the most communication we've had in about a year. And apparently today, he gave my mom a scarf that was for me—I politely declined.


Your thoughts? I'm sick of being the bigger person and he's never even apologized for the shit when I was kid. And really, I don't like him. He's not a good person. He might have changed—he's a dad now, and I think maybe he's sticking with Islam, though they're not very observant, and that's helped too maybe.

Do I need to suck it up and send out peace feelers, or just continue to live my life and he can live his?

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