Negativity and the Common Queer

I’m sure by reading my blog the past month or so, you can tell that a lot of negative things have been happening in my life lately.  One of the most negative things is my older brother.  This is the brother I get along with, but I find it increasingly difficult to carry on a relationship or have conversations with him the past year or so.

If I were to base what’s happening in his life only on the things he says, I’d have to say the entire world is out to get him.  At least that is his assessment of the situation.  The world isn’t out to get him, he’s just an incredibly negative person, and that is going to appear when he does get a job interview or interacts with others.  It’s a toxic situation for him, which is exacerbated by the amount of alcohol he drinks.

This type of negativity is unhealthy for people, and if you’re around those kinds of folks, it tends to rub off on you.  Of course a good friend once told me that you can only have drama in your life if you let it in, which is true, but is difficult to ignore in this situation as I would have to tell my family to get lost.  Though lately I’m starting to feel this might be part of the solution.  I need to move up, not down.

I’ve had to be around the swirling cauldron of negativity that is my older brother for the sake of keeping peace in the family.  If I wanted to visit my mother and grandfather, I had to also visit him since he lives in the house next door.  The situation was simply unavoidable.  Now that my grandfather has passed, if I want to visit my mother I still have to deal with this, though I’m sure the subjects will be a bit different going forward.  On this point it was much easier to be living on the east coast where I would live my life and only interact with this situation once a week, or so.

One of the things that sets the negative mood of my brother is that he is economically disadvantaged in some ways.  Though trying to be as objective as I can be, it appears he brings much of it on himself since he has a habit of starting things and then not finishing or following through on them.  Any one of a number of these would have likely provided him with good career prospects.

He has trained to be:

  • A Pilot
  • An Auto Mechanic
  • Finished 3/4 of an associates degree, then quit
  • Etc.

Pilots make o.k. money depending on the type of flying they do.  He missed out being an auto mechanic because he finished the entire course for obtaining his certifications, but he failed to take the intro course the school required.  He had the knowledge to take the course and do well, but since he had completed the advanced courses the basic course was seemingly beneath him.  To this I say, “take the flipping course and get it done, they require it and then you will get the certificate…”  He could have finished his 2-year program and transferred to a 4-year school or found a bit better employment than he has access to now.

This lack of follow through is a lather, rinse, repeat thing with him.

So now that my grandfather and father have passed away I find myself in a sort of life evaluation mode.   I find myself asking how do I retain contact with him during visits to my mother without getting all this negativity rubbing off on me.  Sadly, I think it might involve telling him to take a hike on a few things, and being rather firm about it.  If he wants to wallow in self-pity that’s his choice, I’m just tired of him trying to bring the rest of us down with him.  To avoid that, often a difficult choice must be made, and in this case it might mean limiting contact.

This brings me to a question – How have you handled situations such as this?  Any insights you may wish to share would be greatly appreciated.  Perhaps I’ll learn a thing or two about how to handle this situation.


3 Responses to “Negativity and the Common Queer”

  1. I don’t know how to get away from negativity when it is from a relative. I do know what you mean though. My Mother tells me everytime I visit that she hates her life and wants to die. She actually paces the floor wringing her hands and yelling I hate my life and wish I was dead. I just ignore her until she settles down but it is so depressing, yet I have to visit her often to make sure she is alright, physically I mean. It does tend to rub off on a person after a while.

  2. Yes, it is a very difficult situation. I’m less worried about myself than I am my mother, who has to live with the negative situation. Technically she could make my brother leave, but what mother is going to make her son leave and face homelessness?

  3. ugh, that’s not an easy place to be involved with. I’m sorry to hear that…it’s not easy especially with what you’ve recently faced. Having recently gone through something similar I can tell you that it’s not easy. We quit talking to Dustin’s mom. She’d try to call or email but we didn’t respond. After several months of long silence we had approached her about why we didn’t care to be involved in her life anymore. There are certain things we never want to talk about again or hear about again. She’s since “tried” to do better but the situation will never change. I’ve not spoken with her on the phone since October. Although, we have artificial communication via email to pretend like one might give a sh*t. Dustin maybe speaks with her on the phone about once or twice a month at best. All of which is fairly artificial. How’s the weather, see any good movies, read any good books, are you alive? Good to hear from you, good-bye. At the end of the day, it’s enough to make you not hate yourself for being a bad child but minimal enough that you don’t hate yourself for being in a toxic relationship. For us, the long silence helped us look at the situation and cool off. I don’t remember the last time I saw her, maybe early October? I’ve actually avoided family gatherings where she is present because I refuse it. I refuse to tolerate the drama that constantly surrounds her. I made peace with myself several months ago–I said what I wanted to say, expressed my concerns, and since tailored the relationship to cut out the bullshit. If she could cut it out on her own, I’d be willing to renegotiate the terms. But until then, this is the most realistic relationship I can have with her. Now, I’m much happier. At the end of the day you have to do what is best for you…because not everyone will look out for you and your heart.

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