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When I was first hospitalized last year (before I knew I had Lyme disease) my brother was very concerned, helpful, and generous. The trouble started after the diagnosis. He started out by being confrontational and argumentative. What kind of test did I have done? Did it show actual bacteria in my blood? What kind of treatment am I getting? Am I seeing an MD? I just presented the facts as I knew them and described my treatment. He was really alarmed that I was going with an herbal approach as opposed to a traditional antibiotic treatment. His voice was raised, his face turned red, and his arguments seemed muddled and contradictory to me. He kept saying that I had to understand he’s a man of science… But, I thought, oh well he’s just over reacting because he’s really worried about me. But the tension just got worse between us.
In case you don’t know, recovering from Lyme disease (and its co-infections) is very complicated and most people feel a lot worse before they feel better. Once your body starts to fight off the bugs you really start having a lot of symptoms. I’ve had the worst pain of my life as well as extreme fatigue, fuzzy thinking, and trouble with most of my organs. So whenever he saw me I’m sure I didn’t look like I was getting better. In fact, it might have looked to him like I was getting worse.
The last time I saw him was at my mother’s death bed in January. We never talked about my illness, but every time I said anything he snapped at me. One day he just started yelling at me about something and it ended badly. He made it clear that he wanted no further communication with me. So, I haven’t talked to him since the funeral.
How could anyone be so angry about another’s choice of treatment or lifestyle? He’s always thought my diet was strange, I can’t imagine what he thinks now. There’s nothing I can do or say, so in a way it’s easy. But I miss him so much! He used to be my good friend as well as my brother. We’ve always disagreed about things but just let each other be. I just hope someday he comes calmly back into my life again.
I wish you much peace.
It's funny, I got closer to one of my sisters at the same time my brother and I split apart. Thanks so much for your kind words. Connie
Thank you so much Patti. Even though I know it's his stuff, it's been hard. I've only recently been able to talk about it without crying. Connie
I hope he comes to some kind of understanding that would allow him to not be so mad at you also. I'm sorry this has happened. And I can relate. I've struggle with family members many times on certain similar issues. It's no fun. Especially when it's the in laws. hehehe
It's funny you said "you're not his child" because at one point I said to him "You're not my dad, please treat me as an adult and give me some respect".
Thanks for your comment. Connie
Since he has invested a lot of his ego and his self-image of competency (no small thing for any man) into his understanding of science this threatens his self-worth. It sounds like he is channeling his emotional reaction to your mother's death into this issue to avoid dealing with those emotions. He will not find this successful, but that is not going to help you - unless he is big enough to admit it by his own initiative.
This inflexibility of his is a scab in his emotional life. The scab comes off best after the wound has healed. If someone encourages him to get some help dealing with the loss you are both feeling, he will be in a better position to support you.
I hope that you will both find the healing you need for this situation.
Very interesting idea. I hadn't thought about it like that. Thanks, Connie
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