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Old 06-22-08, 08:27 PM   #1
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Dear Fooie: Brother keeps bringing up taboo topics

I have this unusual brother, unusual in that he doesn't realize when a topic is taboo. I had a relationship with a girl who was abusive and had emotional and personal issues that she at times took out on me or tried to get me caught up in. We have not been together for over a year and it has taken me a long time to start to come around to where the past doesn't bother me everyday like it did for quite some time. I can't really talk about it because I am one of those people who doesn't like to open up but I will say it was the most painful experience of my life thus far.

My brother today just kind of casually mentions her in front of me and my dad and he has done this a few times recently and I didn't get much sleep last night and I worked my 9 hours at work today so I am kind of like ok whatever if thats how you are going to be I will just give you the cold shoulder today. When you have someone in your family who doesn't realize a topic is taboo the problem is they don't connect your reaction with what they said, but because it is taboo to you you don't want to walk up to them and put it out in the open. Anyway I am just wondering if other people go through this and how they handled it because my urge is to withdraw or return fire with criticism and I know that isn't the right way to take care of it but thats just my instinct. I was just going to let it blow over but he was knocking on my door a little while ago (he is rooming with me temporarily) and when I didn't answer the door he said f- you and left and thats not normal interaction for us.
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Old 06-22-08, 08:41 PM   #2
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Best thing to do is to politely state that you would really rather he not talk about her in front of you. You will talk about her when you are ready to do so.

Also, if possible, I would suggest talking to a counselor or therapist, because it seems to be taking you a long time to get over the abuse you suffered.

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Old 06-22-08, 08:51 PM   #3
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I sympathize with you completely.

It was only three weeks. Three weeks, and I gave everything I had (clumsily). She had a really short temper, and was difficult to trust. I also often had trouble talking with her; hardly could I have an aweome conversation with her (which seems to be the norm now a days!) On the other hand, she was physically perfect (sort of big, Asian and shorter than me). My riskiest driving ever was done in the process of trying to see her (only to miss the connection)...and my cycling seriously improved after things went sour with her.

It's been a year now, and it still bothers me that I was so clumsy with her. Had I had more time with her, had I been more interesting, had I...had I...Sometimes, I even wish there were a second chance, but I think she's fallen back in love with someone else now, so my chances are pretty much shot. Though she still calls me on occasion and messages me, which I don't take too seriously (though I wish I could). At least I'm at the point where I don't think about it daily, and that I fully accept that there are many women out there who may also be physically "perfect" to me and might even be fun to be around.

I guess these are the things that happen when you date so few women.

As far as your situation, I hope the abuse wasn't very bad (i.e. on the realm of physical abuse). You have to make your family understand the complexity of the situation, but you should also realize that past experiences are overcome by interactions in the present. I usually don't recommend therapy, as it didn't work for me on another serious issue and that not all hardship needs that level of treatment. However, if you feel that your case was that severely scarring emotionally, then you may want to consider the idea. I do recommend trying to go out with friends as much as possible, and not bringing up the issue. I have always found that being around friends (especially guys that are really good with women) not only make you forget about isues with women of the past, but also increase your chances of finding someone new too --- even if it's just for the night or for a little convenience (for the record, I'm not that character, but sometimes you just want a woman to "have fun" with...)
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Old 06-22-08, 10:36 PM   #4
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I love my brother but if he pulled a stunt like that, talking about a sensative subject in front of family and people, that would be the limit. I'd take him out back and beat his ass good!
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Old 06-22-08, 10:48 PM   #5
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You need to move on. East Hill suggested a therapist, and that's a good idea.
There are many roads to the same destination... how you get there is up to you.

But this isn't about your brother. It's about you holding on to the past.
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Old 06-23-08, 03:47 PM   #6
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just punch him in the mouth, repeat till he understands.
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Old 06-23-08, 03:52 PM   #7
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It's about your brother, he needs a therapist but won't get one. Potential bully, there. What's your Dad like? He should say "enough" to your bro when that happens. What's his reaction to it? Pretends not to hear? Joins in? Maybe tell Dad that bro has to knock it off.

And find another woman.
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