We wanted to go up to see him on his turf, that way we had control of our environment and what our child was / wasn't exposed to. I felt more comfortable going up there and staying in a hotel than bringing him down here where he would be in our home and we could be put into awkward or compromising situations (drugs, his behavior, etc).
Push came to shove, and more years passed without getting to see my brother so one day when he and I were texting, he mentioned how he was free to come visit. I found cheap plane tickets, got the approval of my husband, and boom, the tickets were purchased by me (my brother made it clear he had no money to pay for plane tickets, but flying him down here was cheaper than flying all three of us up there).
Pretty much right after I bought the tickets, I started having remorse about bringing him down to our home because he immediately started with the parties he wanted to attend, where he needed me to drive him, and more. As a side note, we live about an hour away from all the things he wanted me to drive him to. I also started to fret about whether or not he'd bring drugs into my house. The icing on the cake was when he announced, point blank, that he would be arriving with "no money". Say what!? I just bought the plane tickets and now he's announcing he would have "no money".
I ended up crafting an email that I sent to him, specifically laying out all expectations and rules, as well as what we are willing to do and not do. I started off with stating he WILL bring spending money. I added that we won't be taxing him around but if he wants to attend functions he can arrange rides or take a taxi (boy, that would be expensive from where we live!). I also explicitly said that he will not bring drugs into our home for many reasons. He received the email stating "these things didn't need to be said" but agreed to all conditions. Shew, thank goodness that was over. Or so I thought.
Now, when I picked him up from the airport, that was WONDERFUL. He was very warm with me and with meeting his niece for the first time. And our first bit together was wonderful as well. We had big laughs, fun times, and lots of smiles. That was until I received an email from a mutual friend that knew my brother was in town and wanted to let me know about his shenanigans behind my back with my mother. She detailed how he had been emailing my mother pictures of my child even though I strongly stated since her birth that I didn't want him to do so. She also said that he was bad-mouthing me to my mother in order to get in her good favor so she'd buy him things and send him money. She forwarded a few emails that she was included in the communications. I was FLOORED, HEART-BROKEN, and CONFUSED.
I know that my brother is a con-artist. I know he manipulates for survival. AND I knew I wasn't immune to his games. BUT I didn't think he would stoop so low as to include my child. I was up all night trying to process the information I received and to rectify how I was going to proceed with my brother at my house! I decided not to tell my husband of the betrayal as I didn't want him to be angry or have tension during my brother's stay. And I also decided not to say anything to my brother and to carry-on as if nothing happened.
Interestingly enough, the next day, my brother receives a text-message from my mother that she knows he's in-town visiting me. She was very mad at him. Apparently he had told her that he was coming to visit me then told her the plans were cancelled and then never told her that he was actually coming (he did this with Dad too). She found out he was in town with me and flew off the handle, texting him numerous times to "f*&k off" He burst into tears as we sat on the deck of my house, screaming loudly that he wishes she would just die and let him be. What!?!?
Due to having his financial security cut-off from his mother, he ended up texting Dad the next day to tell him that he's in town. My brother told me that his goal was to hit him up for some money. They made plans for lunch. Interesting and BIZARRE (yes, there is that word again!), my Dad made my brother walk up the street to meet him rather than to drive down my driveway. I know NOW why, but then I didn't. I was puzzled as I was going to go out to greet him, be cordial, and see if possibly we could progress from there-- break the ice, so to speak. I know now my weakness was not a good thing. Staying strong is important. Believing in where you've been, where you are now, and where you're going in the future is vital. Read on...
Well, they go out to lunch and upon returning, my brother throws his arms around me and starts to cry, saying, "I love you so much. I appreciate you so much. I know I don't say it enough, so I am saying it now." And he kept hugging me so hard. I was baffled as to where this behavior was all coming from, and I KNEW that the behavior was a case of "he who protests too much." But the how-who-why-what-when was yet to be seen.
That night I get an email in the middle of the night from my sister-in-law:
I left you a voice mail message. I'm concerned how your brother is treating your family situation and I feel that I need to step in at this point to let you know that he's possibly taken advantage of your generosity for his own advantage. I wanted to give you a heads up that he's said some things to possibly make your family situation worse with your relationship with your Dad & step-mother.
Not that it is remotely my place due to the fact I'm a total outsider when it comes to your family's situation but the last thing I want is for your relationship with your Dad to become any more strained because of false pretenses presented by someone with their own agenda.
I love you dearly and I want to make sure that you protect yourself and yours over anything else. I very honestly and truly hope that you and yours are doing well and wish the best on you. You're good people!
I haven't told (my step-brother / her husband) that I've let you know my overhearings and he'll be totally pee----eeeed off if he finds out so please try to keep me out of it best you can otherwise I'll be meshed into the drama and cycle of issues too.
WOAH! My heart was racing a million miles an hour and my head was spinning. What is my brother doing to my family and me under my own roof!?!?! I immediately called her back. She was very quiet as she didn't want my step-brother / her husband to hear what she was saying. She started with the fact that my brother called my step-mother (the one who hasn't spoken to my brother in a decade, the reason my brother didn't attend my wedding) to tell her that my home is out-of-control, my child is spoiled, that my husband & I are "horrible" parents, and much more. I was astounded.
My sister-in-law told me a little of what was said but not much. She simply wanted me to be aware of the dangerous things my brother was spreading about my family in order to get money from my Dad. He apparently made the situation at my house appear that we forced him to spend his money doing all of these kiddy things for our "spoiled" child that he had no money left. And I suppose once he got on a roll and had the attention of the people he's wanted the attention from for so long, that he kept embellishing, building on the fabrications, and created a huge lie that caused my Dad and step-mother to go hysterical.
But hysterical? Really!?!? Why would my step-mother be interested in my business if she hasn't for the last three years? Why would my step-mother take any credence to what my brother is telling her since she has no respect or trust with my brother? The answer lies into everything they are about-- how they've conducted themselves since I was a small child. These people are taken with their own importance (My Dad, the Narcissistic King) and are so insecure they take so much joy in judging others. They insist upon themselves-- and in the process ruin relationships, create so much damage, and cause pain. They are critical parents who will never be kind or approving.
Well, I didn't hold back any of this from my husband. I immediately talked to my husband about the situation, stating that I felt the desire to take my brother down to the airport and drop him off at a Motel 6 until the end of his stay. How could I even look him in the eye!? How could I even sit in the same room as him? I couldn't say anything as I promised my sister-in-law that I would keep it all to myself (she stated that her marriage couldn't endure the drama that this could potentially create), and I completely respect her request. I truly appreciate her openness and also sense of urgency to want to let us know.
My husband agreed to take him to the airport on the morning of his flight, but the rest of his time with us would be AWKWARD. I concentrated all my attention on my child, but I also felt like I was walking in a fog. The day came for him to leave, and although I was more than ready for this EVIL to be out of my house, I was sad about the goodbye as I know it's not just goodbye for now, it's goodbye forever. I can't allow this type of drama, danger, and dysfunction around my child like what happened to me. I will not have another generation cycle through this confusion. I will not have my child trying to figure out what the heck happened to her during her childhood like what happened to me. My child WILL have a happy, care-free, secure, supportive, and unconditionally loving childhood.
So, any thought of allowing my Dad back into my life, even on the superficial level as I was contemplating, has been completely eliminated from my thoughts. Having my brother in my home created the exact results I feared, except the negative actions weren't what I anticipated. No-one has changed. If anything, they have gotten worse. Life is not a game, family members are not pawns, and all the mean, nasty, and hateful behavior is unacceptable in a life that is so short & precious.
What transpired during my brother's visit was a gentle message from above or my guardian angel to not soften-up.... that where I am in my life has been a hard fought battle and that I should guard that happiness, peace, and contentment with all my might... that my child is precious and that a gift like her needs to be protected. I was given the privilege of looking back for one week at what I left: a narcissistic Dad (My Dad, The Narcissistic King), a nasty Queen mother (Understanding My Borderline Mother), a manipulative con-artist brother (Antisocial Personality Disorder), and more. And I say this experience was a privilege because the lesson was immense, no permanent damage resulted, and evil left my home for good.
Now my sweet and simple life continues :)