Thank You For Teaching Me To Choose Me

Dear Brother

It’s difficult to be writing this to you, knowing that you may perhaps never read it. As I look back, I realize that my words never did mean much to you anyway. You never really listened. You didn’t care enough to understand.

Growing up, I looked up to you. And if I’m fair, I know that you were always concerned about me. I remember the day, I was accidently left behind in school and you rushed to pick me up as soon you got back from your classes. You made me laugh. I can’t forget the way you would go out of your way to make me giggle in Church — when someone said something crazy, or another person walked strangely. I remember you coining the phrase ‘ 10th Class walk’ for the way boys who had just appeared for their examinations for the final year of school! Those were happy times.

Photo by Artem Podrez on

 now wonder how much of your concern for me was about your role as a big brother. Was there a genuine concern for me as a person, not just a sister? I realize that you were burdened with being the first ‘grandson’ — the first son of the first son! It was on your shoulders to carry on the line. Or at least, you took that ‘duty’ upon yourself. Did this make you want to show that you were always doing the ‘right’ thing? Did you then choose a partner based on what the family thought was ‘perfect’?

Did it irk you that our brother and I didn’t really follow the ‘rules’ and yet our parents continued to be supportive of us? Did you resent us for this?

Slowly, keeping the image of perfection become of prime importance to you. Your wife and children had to participate in this too picture perfect show. At times when they slipped up and said things that didn’t fit into this image, you were quick to silence them. The lies. The cover ups. Even your dogs had to be perfect. Poor things.

Photo by omid mostafavi on

As always, I couldn’t be silenced. In the family I played the role of the little boy who told the Emperor that he had no clothes! And this was something you couldn’t stomach.

I’m not going into details of how you tried to paint me as the bad person, but one thing petty thing really stuck out for me. On the day Dad has his stroke, your daughter very sweetly washed his soiled clothes. What she didn’t realize was that he had his Identity card, precious photographs and prayer cards in his shirt pocket. These got a thorough washing too. But when Dad asked for them, you made out that I was the one who washed the clothes and ruined those things. You didn’t realize that he would tell me that it was alright and he forgave me!

This showed me how low you were willing to go and how easily you would shove my husband and me under a bus when you needed to. I could go on with the many incidents, but it serves no purpose. Not when you don’t ever want to talk things through.

Despite all this, I continued to try to keep some semblance of a relationship. I have tried to fight battles on your behalf. But all in vain. I can’t keep up the pretense. It takes too much out of me. Energy sapping, toxic relationships are not worth it. 

You taught me that family is often overrated. That I must prioritize my emotional health and my need to be authentic over trying to be a good family member.

You taught me to put myself first and for this, I will always be grateful.

I wish you well and pray that someday you will make peace with yourself.

One thought on “Thank You For Teaching Me To Choose Me

  1. Wow! I have to say that after all he’s done, you’re extremely strong to wish him well. It would be a difficult thing for me to do, even though I know it’s the right thing to do. I’ll be praying for the Lord to soften his heart!


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