Brother's Sudden Unexplained Hostility

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2002
Brother's Sudden Unexplained Hostility
18
Thu, 07-15-2010 - 7:09pm

I was living overseas to escape an abusive husband. My mother died recently. She lived in the same town as my half-brothers. Because of past and current abuse issues, I had not been physically with them in years. I always kept in close contact with my mother and sent her gifts and money when she needed it.

My older half-brother contacted me overseas about her death. He was warm and kind and communicative (it was even a bit over the top), and my other brother was friendly too.

As soon as I set foot in the US, my older brother changed; he became rude, and then stopped communicating with me. I have been delayed in getting to where they are (it's so far!)because of illness, but my mother was cremated. I have an elderly dog who has been ill and couldn't fly. My brother was sarcastic about that, as if delaying because of a dog was stupid. This dog is a sweetheart who has been with me through some tough times (unlike any humans). What does he want me to do, dump him?

Now I have had to have surgery, but he acts as though he doesn't believe me. Also, I never got my driver's license. Since my bro gets several days a month off from work, I would have thought he'd at least offer to pick me up part of the way. I'm going to try to learn to drive and get my license asap. Meanwhile my dog can't fly (and I hate it anyway), trains don't take dogs, and I can't leave him because he's kind of complicated (meds, special diet, etc).

Anyway, my brothers won't talk to me anymore out of the blue and won't tell me why. There have also been some snide, bullying gestures from my older brother (details too long). I have been so depressed and stressed out because of this. His wife just left him (as did a previous one for domestic abuse).

I don't know if he's just abusive, if I did something (not that I know of), if this is sudden or he was planning it, or if it's about money, as there is money involved in the estate. He is the executor.

It was suggested to me that I should get a lawyer. I'll have to go down there and settle this, but I'm afraid they're going to try to shut me out of things now. It's all so unkind and unnecessary.

I'm not sure what to do.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2010
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 3:59am

Because of past and current abuse issues, I had not been physically with them in years.


Hi there, I am not sure if this was a typo but if not, what do you mean " physically"


There may some matters to resolve with your mothers estate and if the brothers are not in contact with you and you feel that the estate needs to be settled, then i would contact the "power of attorney" ( thats what we call it in Australia) and find out if the estate needs to be organised and if part of the estate is to go to you.


People generally fight over money - especially siblings - when a parent passes away, so its most likely the brothers are being bullies and want to shut you out.


You will need to get some good advice about how to handle the situation, but remember that lawyers are expensive and every phone call, fax, letter, email that they send they will bill you by the minute.


Good luck !

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2002
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 10:26am

Hi. I mean I have not traveled to see them in years (not that they have traveled to see me, but it seemed that I was always the one expected to make the effort).

As far as their behavior being due to money issues, I just don't see why they were so unbelievably nice to me on the phone, and kept calling and overflowing with affection, when I was in Europe. As soon as I arrived in the US, bang, their attitudes changed. I hadn't done anything differently.

My father was wealthy, but I'm not. By the time my dad died, much of it was gone, and he didn't leave the bulk of it to me. But people always seem to think that once you've had it, you must be lying about not having it. So I'm thinking perhaps they were expecting me to turn over my share of the estate to them or something. I don't know, they won't talk to me.

I don't know why the sudden change. Perhaps they had expected me to offer them my share at this point. I can't read minds. In fact, I'm having money problems, but I wasn't interested in the money until they started being unkind to me. I thought we were reconnecting. I guess not.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-26-2006
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 1:51pm

Your brother, being an abusive person himself, is not going to have compassion or sympathy for your troubles. They could be trying to shut you out of the will. If your mum has a will, I don't think it will be possible for them to do that though.

Contact an attorney, ask him what your rights are. Find out who their attorney(s) are. Don't say another word to them. It will be easier to go after what you want if you aren't in constant contact with them (you won't get emotionally drawn in).

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2008
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 1:54pm
Do you think maybe they feel resentful that they've been dealing with everything left behind while you've been away and out of the picture? How much responsibility have you shared with all of it? I'm not saying they are validated in thinking that- but I'm just trying to come up with ideas as to why they'd suddenly resent you.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2009
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 2:19pm

I'm curious, also...


Did you fly your dog to the US?

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2002
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 5:38pm

Actually I was in contact with my mother more than they were. My mother rarely saw her sons, except when they needed a babysitter. I know the older one didn't give her gifts on her birthday and Mother's Day, I don't even think he gave her a card. My mother used to complain that she never saw him. The younger one she saw a little more.

When my mother needed it, I sent her money. She never had a birthday, M's Day or holiday without a gift and flowers from me. I wrote her letters about once a week; we had a great letter correspondence.

I have to have surgery right now, but the point is, I want to have responsibility in this. I want to work with them to arrange something for our mother. However, as executor I feel my older brother kind of wants to run the show. And now they won't talk to me, even though I keep trying to communicate with them.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2002
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 5:50pm

It's too hot for pets to fly now, and also my vet just told me he can't fly because of his lungs.

Otherwise, whenever possible, I absolutely always find another means of transport for him other than flying.

Besides that I have to have surgery. And now they're being so mean, it doesn't make me feel at all welcome.

I'm anticipating having to go down there amid a hostile atmosphere, after the tragedy and pain of my mother's death (not by natural causes...and now that's another big question on my mind....); having to just be completely businesslike about it and that's it. I had anticipated the same kindness and desire for reunion as we exchanged when I was overseas and a reconnecting with my half-brothers as a result of this terrible sudden, unexpected loss.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2003
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 5:59pm

Well it sounds like they are being fairly consistent with their current behavior.

As you said, they were not exactly doting sons, and now you are probably experiencing what your Mother had experienced all along.

It is easy to sound cordial and endearing for short spurts at a time. But if you are naturally crass and abusive, then usually those behaviors resurface sooner rather than later.

Hugs,

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2009
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 6:00pm

Good luck with your surgery.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2002
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 6:33pm
You are probably right about that. Maybe I'm taking it personally, but it's just the way they are.

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