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Blocked from my brother

My mom and brother had a bust-up, and I can’t afford to go and see him (he’s in the military) without her knowing.

Our elder wouldn’t normally suggest going behind a parent’s back, but in this case…

Dear EWC

I have an older brother who is in the military. He’s the biggest support in my life. Last year, my mother and I visited him overseas. It was all fun until drama occurred between my brother and mother. My mother said horrible things about my brother. Calling him a whore. She said he was wasting his life in the military and he probably slept around and was a filthy person. My brother didn’t take this well. After the trip he cut all connection with her. Blocked her from social media, got a new phone number and didn’t talk to any other family either. Since he changed his number I was not able to contact him for almost half a year. My mother somehow found his number, but was still blocked. I called and we’ve been in contact since then. I miss my brother dearly and would love to visit him. My mom talks about hypothetically paying for me to see him if I could ever contact him (she doesn’t know I talk to him). I brought up this idea to my brother. He doesn’t trust my mom and thinks she would secretly buy a ticket for herself and come. After telling me that, he said to not bring up our mother again.

I need to see my brother. I feel like my life is falling apart and I’m running out of time to see him. I can’t afford a ticket and hotel over there which is why I need my mom’s money. I don’t think our mother would come. And if she tried, I would risk everything just to see my brother. What should I do? I’m so lost.

Maryanne replies

I am glad that you wrote to us, because you are in a very difficult situation. I do not know what the situation is between your brother and your mother and what led to the big blow-up so I am only going to deal with how it affects the relationship between you and your brother.
Your brother has chosen not to have anything to do with your mother. That is his choice and you do need to respect it. I understand that you do not have the financial means to pay the expenses of going to visit him. I would hope that your mom would pay your way without you giving her any information as to his phone number or location. He has a right to his privacy. I am afraid, though, that she may be unwilling to do so. That puts you in a difficult position because I do not think you should give your mom information that your brother does not wish her to have. I think that would put your relationship with him in great jeopardy.
Is your brother able to visit you? By that I mean he would travel to your area, stay with friends or in a motel, and then you could have a face to face visit without telling your mom he is there. Please note that I would never, and have never before, suggested doing something that you do not tell your mom about but I think this is a very special case because it is your brother that you want to see.
If he can not visit you and you can not visit him you can still have a very close relationship using phone calls, emails, and texts. It is not the same as person to person but it would keep you close until such time as you both do manage to be in the same place at the same time.
I feel the need, though, to say something that you might not like to hear. Your brother did not contact you until your mother was able to find his number. He knew where you were and could have made contact with you. He did not and that worries me. It is possible that he just needed a break from everyone or it is possible that he did not want to get between you and your mother? I do not know the reason but it is something for you to consider.
I hope, for your sake, that you do manage to continue to have a relationship with your brother because that is what you need. You do have to give some thought as to how you go about continuing your relationship.
You are not in an easy place but hopefully things will quiet down. In the best of all worlds your mother and brother will work out their differences so that you could all be a real family again.
I hope that I have been of some help to you today. Take care, and if you have a chance, please let me know how you are doing.

Letter #: 447342
Category: Family

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