Sunday, May 10, 2009


My brother and I split the cost of dinner. He paid with his credit card; I gave him $60--all the cash I had. Mum offered to loan me $5 so I could get a coffee en route to work tomorrow, freeing me up to hit the bank later in the day; I said I'd pay her back the next time I saw her. My brother started telling mum that she should never give either of us money; that we didn't need it, and that neither he nor I would ever ask her for money. I protested that we loaned small amounts like this back and forth all the time. He looked directly at me and said "You have more money than she does," as though I'd never actually pay her back and my borrowing $5 for the sake of convenience was reprehensible. At that point, it didn't matter that he had a chip on his shoulder. I felt about an inch high, and about to burst into tears. I took the money back out of my wallet, and as I let it float back onto the table, declaring that I was going to the bank, he accused me of being spiteful. I left. I didn't know what else to say, since he'd declared this wasn't the time to talk about this.

I'm trying really hard to figure out what I could have done differently, short of not borrowing $5 from mum in the first place, which really didn't feel unreasonable to me. We all have issues, but why does it have to end up being so poisonous, with me spiralling into feeling like a shitty excuse for a human being, and my brother feeling self-righteous and unable to see that maybe he's channelling his anger at bigger issues into a tiny thing?

I feel as though we're never going to be able to connect. This was such a little thing in the grand scheme of things, and yet I don't know if I'll ever feel able to address it with him. Short of completely sorting my life out, becoming financially solvent and changing my personality so I don't withdraw/obsess/get depressed, I don't know if there's anything I can do to be good enough in his eyes.

I wish I could let it roll off my back, but I can't.

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