[I'm sorry with how long this is.] I'm starting to feel very angry towards my brother and his family, and I honestly don't want to, but I don't know how to stop. I know that part of it is that I'm just so damn upset lately, but I feel like part of it is him being a shitty brother. I don't know what to do!
So here's the backstory. My brother is older by 2 years. He is married to a woman who when they initially started dating I adored her. I had yet to really make my own friends, so she seemed so cool to me, I didn't care that she basically walked all over me. But then when I started making my own friends and learning to stick up for myself, my relationship with her began to suffer. It has been poor ever since I decided that I didn't want to just always do what she wanted.
They had their first child 4 years ago. My SiLs mother came and stayed with them for a month. This turned out to be a good thing because my SiL had some post-baby medical problems/complications and needed the help. I have seen their son multiple times a year since he was born, and I've tried to be a good aunt to him in the only way I know how - by sending care packages of clothes, books, toys, and quilts, as well as visiting and playing with him when I can. They have stopped letting me know when my care packages make it. I send them and have to check the package tracking to see if they even received them. I've stopped sending them as frequently as a result (if they don't care or appreciate it, why do I go out of my way to send them?).
My brother is the type that just kinda goes with the flow. He does what my SiL tells him and he doesn't make a fuss. I'm sure this makes their relationship fine, but it doesn't help the relationship between her and my family because my brother doesn't seem to fight to keep us involved in the way that my SiL fights to keep her family involved.They don't talk about it much, trying not to involve me, but my parents have said on a couple times that they're also a bit hurt because they try to get involved but get shot down by my SiL. I think the fact that they say anything speaks volumes, because I know there's got to be a hell of a lot of feelings that they're not sharing with me.
Now, lately (the last couple of years or so) it's kind of been a running joke that my brother only talks to me and my parents when he's driving (and not at home). He will call on his 20 minute commute home, but the second he pulls into the drive it's "Hey Mary, I just got home and need to go." We can be mid-conversation and he'll cut me off as soon as he gets home. This sucks to me and I hate it.
Cut to recent. My brother and his wife were going to have their second baby. I was working on reaching out more to my SiL. We had a couple nights when my brother was working that we talked on the phone for an extended period while she was pregnant, and they came to visit us for Christmas. During one of the calls, I offered to come and visit and help for a week after the baby was born since her mother was unable to come. She was very excited and started making plans with me, we just needed the final due date for the baby. We talked some about it over Christmas too.
When the due date was scheduled, I started looking at my work schedule to determine when I could take off work. I called and texted both my brother and SiL and they dodged me for three weeks. Would not answer a call, wouldn't call me back, wouldn't answer my texts. Nothing. They fucking acted like I didn't exist. Ultimately, I gave up trying to offer to come help. I did get included on the massive group texts when the baby was born, and my brother also called me when he was out running errands later that night to talk and let me know "you can come anytime you want..." This was a few weeks ago and I haven't heard from them since.
Over the weekend, my parents made the decision to put our old family dog to rest. I posted about it and wasn't able to include a picture of her, but here she is. She was beautiful and sweet and I miss her so much. My father is taking it particularly hard because the dog was more his than anyone elses and he's had a lot of loss lately (his uncle, his father). I came up with the idea to pull together a bunch of pictures and make a book, like on shutterfly or something, so that he has something to remember her by. I texted my brother and SiL asking them to send me pictures they have taken of her on recent visits so I could include them and make it a family gift. Guess who's dodging my texts again? They won't even acknowledge and say "we're looking" or "I don't have time, I'm sorry" just radio silence.
I'm not sure what to do. I don't know if I tell my brother how much it hurts to be ignored, or if I just stop caring about it/them. I'm not sure I'd even be able to tell him that I'm hurt because he doesn't freakin answer my calls! I just don't get it, I ALWAYS answer when he calls or texts. I guess maybe I shouldn't be so available to him since he doesn't care squat about being there for me! I guess I'll just go cry now since my brother apparently hates me (yes, I'm being melodramatic, but what else am I supposed to think?).