Oh, brother

Well, I spoke with my brother this week about him and his girlfriend moving to Nashville.

Back in the end of May, the idea of him & her moving in with us temporarily was discussed briefly. My husband agreed to throw my brother some work until he found a job. His girlfriend did her research and she applied to colleges as a transfer. We hadn’t heard much from them since.

Originally, when we talked about them coming here, I saw the benefits and the downfalls. I think my husband was enthusiastic
because he figured if my brother and his girlfriend lived with us – I would have to stay.

They called us last week while we were in DC to let us know that she received some good financial aid packages. I was caught off guard. Mostly because I’m consumed with my own life; but partly since we hadn’t talked to them in a few weeks.

I could have said yes. A part of me thought I could just let them come and see how it goes. It would be nice to have family here. I would also love to help my brother and his girlfriend make a new start. I thought about how fun it might be to have built in company.

I played it like I was giving them the option. Telling them we were having problems, letting them decide if they wanted to proceed knowing that. I also shared that the number of hours promised to my brother had dwindled. My brother talked his girlfriend out of it, as far as I can tell. I know they’re disappointed, but they didn’t take it as badly as I thought they would. I still feel like I’ve let them down.

Overwhelmingly, I knew that with them around, we’d have to go back to pretending we were fine. I don’t think I can pretend anymore.

I can’t sacrifice myself for everyone else. I feel like I’ve done that my entire life.

5 thoughts on “Oh, brother

  1. And thusly you are faced with a very difficult decision. Do you make the break in get out into an unknown and potentially very scary world. Or, do you stay with relative certainty. Uncomfortable as the situation is, it is a known.
    I’m not going to try and tell you what you should do. You know yourself, your life, your feelings far better than anyone else could. All I can say is give it some thought, make a decision and never look back.
    Best of luck.


  2. Good for you for articulating your limits. So often I find myself in the same situation, especially since I am a schoolteacher and the “responsible oldest child”. Don’t play the martyr–it’s beneath you. It took me many, many years to figure that out.


  3. It’s too bad you didn’t tell them the truth in May. I feel sorry for your brother and his gf. Do you know how much work it takes to apply for FA packages? It seems to me they were counting on having a place to stay, or they wouldn’t have put themselves through that.
    And sure, it is all about you, and it does have to be — it’s your house and your life. I don’t think you have to hurt others in the process though while you’re being hurt.
    Get a divorce already! You keep talking about it — just do it.


  4. Um, yeah, applying for financial aid packages? Not so much work. Fill out some forms and send in a copy of your tax returns. So hard an 18-yr-old can do it. And wow, people do it every year! For multiple years! Wow!
    Don’t worry about it, Kate. It’s your life and you do whatever feels right to you. If your brother and his girlfriend want to move to Nashville so badly they can do what every other adult does and get a freaking apartment.


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