I don't know how to apologize or forgive after sibling estrangement

Post date: 2018-10-06 19:16:11
Views: 25
Is there such a thing as reconciliation 'lite'? Try as I might, I can't resolve my resentments and forgive just yet. But I want to move on with some some semblance of peace; also I'm scared about what happens after our parent dies (property, inheritance, etc).

It's been a few years since the major fight. It's a constant source of stress for me, from feeling isolated in the world, guilt, bewilderment, self-and-other blame, to name a few.

I come from an abusive and dysfunctional family background. A handful of years ago, I came down with debilitating chronic illness which rendered me bedridden for a couple years. I moved back into my family's house at this time, and while I was allowed to live there, no one showed much interest or care about the condition I was in, and in fact they were somewhat abusive and cold about it (I still live here, as I'm still dealing with the illness).

My brother and I have never been close. The fight happened because I asked him to take out a bag of trash before my friend visited, as I physically could not. He said he would, and didn't for days. Not surprising, because he has a history of flaking. But I asked him sincerely, mistakenly thinking he'd understand, letting him know it made me anxious (mother is a hoarder and clutter makes me anxious anyway). Finally, when he kept putting it off and dismissing my request until the last minute, I snapped and lashed out at him. It was borne out of a lifetime of abandonment, helplessness, frustration. He came back at me with a slew of the worst words. It still sits heavy to this day.

Since then, he's gotten married, didn't tell me about it, I didn't attend his wedding, etc. My mother doesn't get involved, and I'm pretty sure she favors him anyway. Typing this all out, I have a feeling that the majority of responses will be suggestions for me to GTFO and not look back — and I'm trying. But constantly being around AND having an estranged sibling stresses me out hardcore and I don't know if there's something I can do about it. I made the mistake of lashing out, but there's a deep-seated history of anger and issues that drove me to do it that I haven't resolved yet. When the illness hit, I was diagnosed also with PTSD, and with the health decline, I lost my job, friends, and my world seemingly collapsed. It's been overwhelming to deal with it all (Yes, I tried therapy, and will probably try some online kind if I can afford it).

We co-own property that was given to us by my mother. When the time comes and my mom dies, I don't know how I'll handle this. Psychologically, I also don't feel very empowered, because he has a partner and I don't. I want to have some kind of communication channel open so I don't feel so powerless. I think my brother has the type of mindset that my chronic illness is my problem, not his, and I'm barely beginning to see that he's right, and feel utterly terrible. How do I ask for forgiveness when I still have unresolved resentment?

Throwaway email: estrangedsib@mailsac.com
From: http://ask.metafilter.com/327126/I-dont-know-how-to-apologize-or-forgive-after-sibling-estrangement
 
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