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So I'm a bit upset tonight after having dinner with my brother and his family.


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I'll preface this by saying I love my brother very much. I come from a close family and I know he loves me too. Every so often, however, we get into discussions that are not really discussions. (He is 9 years older than I am and is always right.) Anyway, because I home school and am a christian (which he is too) he often labels me as right-winged fundamentalist (which I am not). I feel like its name calling and its meant to hurt me (I don't think he's really trying to hurt me but it does.)

 

Tonight, he informed me that "it's people like me (aka homeschoolers) that vote for politicians who want to put an end to public school. (BTW I'm Canadian so there's no inference to the present political situation in the US.) Apparently I suck the money out of the school systems (I'm not sure how that can be and when I informed him that one of children would surely have been labeled special needs and require extra funding he was silent.) Then, while he's shooting off all these comments, any time I tried to say something he says "he can never get a word in edgewise".

 

Anyway, I just need to vent that sometimes it's hard not doing what everyone else is doing. Tonight I just think nothing in my life is "normal" even though I am happy with the decisions we are making for our lives.

 

I'm sure tomorrow I'll feel better. I was just so ticked off I had to vent somewhere.

 

Rose

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Mrs M is right.

We have a saying around here (coined by Joanne):

 

{repeat after me}

Please

pass

the

bean

dip.

 

That's all. Do not argue. You could say "This isn't something I care to discuss. Please pass the bean dip." Busy yourself with something else, anything else, but do not engage. Nothing good will come of it, you know?

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Nobody is "normal," there's no such thing.

 

If you don't want to engage your brother try saying "look, I don't want to talk about this to you because you always wind up hurting my feelings."

 

I think our age difference has always given him an upper hand but of course now as grown adults that needs to change.

 

Every time this happens I vow to not engage in the debate next time but I think I need to head it off next time with your line about hurting my feelings because maybe he doesn't think it hurts me. I do enjoy debating and have a strong personality so maybe he thinks I can take it.

 

It's been a tough day here and I think I'm reacting to everything. My sister-in-law (different brother's wife) is going through chemo for breast cancer and informed us this afternoon that she's giving up. The treatments too hard. That's hard to hear even though I know she's speaking during the worst point of the treatment and that in a week or two when she's feeling a bit better she'll speak differently.

 

I'm just rambling.

 

Rose

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My sister-in-law (different brother's wife) is going through chemo for breast cancer and informed us this afternoon that she's giving up.

 

Was this told at the same dinner? If so, I have a hard time imagining how anyone other than a self-absorbed Neanderthal would dare to pick a fight (yes, that's what he was doing) with anyone in the wake of such horrid news.

 

Is he always so opinionated, sparing no one in his delivery of the "gospel" according to him?

 

Pardon me if the words sound strong, but... Man. In your shoes, I'd be awfully tempted to kick him under the table.

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Vent away, Rose. That's what we're here for. Family members can be such stinkers, can't they?

 

The other ladies are right. I find it very effective when someone acts that way to say very loudly. "You are hurting my feelings. Is that your intention????" It usually does shut them up. Not always, though. Sometimes you have to walk away.

 

Have a nice, hot bath and read a fun book. Forget about your brother. He was just letting his mouth run away from him.

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Was this told at the same dinner? If so, I have a hard time imagining how anyone other than a self-absorbed Neanderthal would dare to pick a fight (yes, that's what he was doing) with anyone in the wake of such horrid news.

 

Is he always so opinionated, sparing no one in his delivery of the "gospel" according to him?

 

Pardon me if the words sound strong, but... Man. In your shoes, I'd be awfully tempted to kick him under the table.

 

He's pretty opinionated. I can be too but I always, always, always listen to other people's point of view and am always, always, always open to changing my opinion if I'm wrong. I'm not sure he is.

 

BTW, I did feel like kicking him -- well actually I felt the tears stinging and probably should have started crying (which is not characteristic of me) and shock him.

 

Thanks for listening to my venting.

 

Rose

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Vent away, Rose. That's what we're here for. Family members can be such stinkers, can't they?

 

The other ladies are right. I find it very effective when someone acts that way to say very loudly. "You are hurting my feelings. Is that your intention????" It usually does shut them up. Not always, though. Sometimes you have to walk away.

 

Have a nice, hot bath and read a fun book. Forget about your brother. He was just letting his mouth run away from him.

 

I really needed to vent tonight but was so upset I couldn't even phone my friends or sister -- the tears were flowing.

 

Hot bath, good book -- good idea!

 

Rose

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What a rotten night, Rose! Any chance you can meet your brother for lunch one day and just say "Can we agree that we disagree and not discuss it anymore. You really hurt my feelings the other night and I hate for our difference of opinions to put distance between us." Or something like that.

 

I hope your sil continues her treatments and is feeling well soon.

 

((((()))))

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What a rotten night, Rose! Any chance you can meet your brother for lunch one day and just say "Can we agree that we disagree and not discuss it anymore. You really hurt my feelings the other night and I hate for our difference of opinions to put distance between us." Or something like that.

 

I hope your sil continues her treatments and is feeling well soon.

 

((((()))))

 

Unfortunately my brother leaves the country tomorrow morning (he works overseas several times a year). But I am resolving not to let this happen again.

 

I am sure my sil will continue treatment. This particular drug used in her last round of chemo seems to affect her physically and mentally (depressing her). Last time it took about a week for that affect to leave her body. However radiation and a mastectomy still loom in the near future for her and its overwhelming.

 

Thanks for listening.

 

Rose

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Rose, I'm so sorry.

 

Siblings have an incredible power to get under the skin. I love my two sisters so much and feel like they are the legs my world stands on sometimes. But oh. my. if they want to hurt me, they know how. And actually, they don't want to hurt me but sometimes the littlest comment can really make me doubt myself. My older sister had some questions and comments about homeschooling in the beginning and I still remember how much it made me doubt myself.

 

Like you, I have a strong personality, so I doubt anyone would ever know how much things can bother me on the inside.

 

Hang in there. I'm really sorry about your sister-in-law. It feels like ever since I hit 40, everyone is getting breast cancer - it's really stunning. I'm watching a beloved friend go through it now, and it's just so hard to watch. I hope that a couple of weeks makes a difference in how she feels able to handle the treatments ((((((Rose)))))))

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Rose, I'm so sorry.

 

Siblings have an incredible power to get under the skin. I love my two sisters so much and feel like they are the legs my world stands on sometimes. But oh. my. if they want to hurt me, they know how. And actually, they don't want to hurt me but sometimes the littlest comment can really make me doubt myself. My older sister had some questions and comments about homeschooling in the beginning and I still remember how much it made me doubt myself.

 

 

 

You're absolutley right about siblings. I feel better this morning. I am confident that the choices we are making are solid and good for my family. Sometimes affirmation from those you are close to is nice. (BTW I have six brothers and sisters. He's the only one that hasn't openly said that our homeschooling choice is the best choice we could make for our kids.)

 

Thanks for your comments about my sil. I know what you mean about everyone dealing with cancer. I have that same feeling.

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Apparently I suck the money out of the school systems (I'm not sure how that can be and when I informed him that one of children would surely have been labeled special needs and require extra funding he was silent.)

 

Are you sure he didn't have too much to drink? This statement sounds a little "off" to me.

 

If he is referring to (and I don't know how it works in Canada, so I'll stick with the US) the fact that the school systems don't get gov't money for the homeschooled kids, why should they? I just received my Virginia Census (which I am not required by law to fill out), but they word it in such a way that would make many believe it is required. They actually write: "State law requires that each school division conduct a count of school-ageds children every three years (ages 5-19)."

 

Well, gee -- this seems like a no-brainer. Can't school systems just mail in the numbers?

 

Well, they don't want that to happen because school systems get money (from state sales tax) for every school-aged child ($800 per child) regardless of whether they are in public school, private school or homeschooled. And what about all of the 5 year olds who aren't enrolled in kindergarten? They also want college students and those in the military listed. Why should they get funding for children who aren't there?

 

Needless to say, I'm sending mine back with a note saying "no thanks."

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Nobody is "normal," there's no such thing.

 

If you don't want to engage your brother try saying "look, I don't want to talk about this to you because you always wind up hurting my feelings."

 

I heard that 97% of people are dysfunctional. Therefore the 3% which are not dysfunctional are abnormal b/c they don't fit in :lol:

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Why is it that we are hurt most by those we love? That we think more carefully about how we talk to strangers than to loved ones? I have gotten into some nasty debates with my younger brother, and I know much of his anger stems from our childhood and my mistreatment of him. We are adults now and still he, I think, really dislikes me, and tries to pick fights, or so it seems.

 

So sorry you had to go through this, especially when it is about your kids.

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First of all, prayers for you sil. I love my sils dearly (and my sisters) and would be devasted if one of them were going through this.

 

Brothers now, I like a good fight with my brothers. One in particular because he's so bull headed, just like me. He's nine years younger, but much taller. My method of winning an arguement with him is to reach way up, grab his ear and twist it hard. Tell him you don't believe in water fountains for public schools, much less children. Then let go of his ear and hide behind the nearest sympathetic relative. If he comes after you, throw a beer at him. If he still comes after you, pick up his smallest child and use him as a shield. Works for me.

 

Really, I'd tell him he's hurting your feelings. Maybe he's so stressed about his wife he's just showing it in an inappropriate way.

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I am so sorry and that is a true sentiment. Sometimes bluntness can help, such as ,"Wow, I can't believe you have such a low opinion of me!" Or if you can bear it, use the Socratic method by asking him to clarify every single statement he makes.

 

"Sorry, could you clarify for me what you mean as a right-winger? I am not sure what you mean by that."

"Oh, Christians are right wingers. Sorry, I am confused but doesn't that make you one as well?"

"Sorry, I am a little perplexed, how do I fit in this right-winger view of yours?"

"Are you sure that is what I believe in? Why don't you tell me exactly what my political views are."

 

Grit your teeth and smile. Don't try to win, just get him to explain. You will just get frustrated. He just want to pontificate. He may come to see his own ignorance (not a huge chance but still a possibility). In any case, you are simply allowing to make a fool of himself without giving yourself away. At the end, give a wide-eyed look and say,"Well, that was interesting. Can you please pass the bean dip?"

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First of all, prayers for you sil. I love my sils dearly (and my sisters) and would be devasted if one of them were going through this.

 

Brothers now, I like a good fight with my brothers. One in particular because he's so bull headed, just like me. He's nine years younger, but much taller. My method of winning an arguement with him is to reach way up, grab his ear and twist it hard. Tell him you don't believe in water fountains for public schools, much less children. Then let go of his ear and hide behind the nearest sympathetic relative. If he comes after you, throw a beer at him. If he still comes after you, pick up his smallest child and use him as a shield. Works for me.

 

Really, I'd tell him he's hurting your feelings. Maybe he's so stressed about his wife he's just showing it in an inappropriate way.

 

Well it's not his wife, it's my other brother's wife. So that is not an excuse for him. And he's nine years older than I am . . .his kids are all adults with kids of their own. But throwing a beer at him sounds good! lol!

 

Rose

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That's probably the best thing for me to do but it's still frustrating.

 

Thanks,

 

Rose

 

 

They are making a racket but strangely you don't even notice it? That is the same mindset you must have. This is an argument that is very difficult to win with words. In order for him to be right, you must lose. To end this ongoing argument is to end it with a blank look and constant, "Uh hum, uh hum" placating noises. Your best chance at changing his mind is by the example of your life. :)

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