One of the most difficult realizations that I was forced to accept along my recovery journey was that my NM’s behavior could very well have led to my brother’s demise. My brother passed away a little over a year ago of a massive pulmonary embolism.
After I extracted myself from the picture when I was 18 yrs old and joined the Navy a year later, NM needed someone else in the family to make the scapegoat, because she couldn’t accept the responsibility for her’s and the family’s failures. GC1, who is currently deceased, made it easy for her. During GC1’s sophomore year of high school, he started dating Samantha. GC2 (GC1’s twin brother and my only surviving sibling) never really had a girlfriend until he went to college, plus he wanted to be a doctor, so he was anointed the golden child. Samantha was a senior in high school at the time GC1 was a sophomore, but they were only about 16 months apart in age. Samantha was (is) a beautiful woman who is probably more self absorbed than NM. Samantha is currently dating a man that’s 14 years younger than she.
One example of Samantha’s self centered behavior: When my second wife and I were married, we invited all of our family and friends to a afternoon pig roast / reception. Samantha was there originally, but was bored so she decided to leave the pig roast to go shopping, her favorite past time.
I’m sure GC1’s relationship with Samantha made NM horribly angry. Instead of her boys showing her the attention she thought she deserved (mirroring her), one of her boys was giving his attention to another female. He needed to be punished for daring to do this to her and he was made the replacement scapegoat after I left. I’m sure NM’s sudden change in her approach to GC1 was horribly confusing for GC1 during his teen years. NM hated Samantha and even told her to her face that she was a whore. What’s even stranger, is that NM also admired Samantha while hating her. Samantha was a well put together, beautiful woman who enjoyed the finer things in life and was successful in her job, etc. And for those qualities, NM admired her.
GC1 and Samantha continued to have an on again / off again relationship for many years through college. Eventually they were married. They never had any kids, because Samantha didn’t want any. She was too selfish. Knowing what I know now, it’s a blessing that they never had children.
GC1, like me, not knowing what a healthy primary relationship was, was unable to set boundaries in his relationship with Samantha. I’m so very thankful that I eventually had the strength to know when to get out of my predicaments, even though I hung around until I was near completely destroyed emotionally. GC1 wasn’t so lucky. Instead, he buried himself in his work (getting an MBA and several promotions in the process), ate himself into oblivion (he was about 320 lbs when he died), and hung with a circle of friends who were single and consisted of all the socialites in his new home town which was over 1000 miles away from the rest of the family. Samantha didn’t participate in any of his socializing. When I attended GC1’s funeral, most of GC1’s friends had never met Samantha. GC1, like me, had no idea what a healthy relationship was, and he soldiered on even though he most likely knew how damaging it was to him, unable to gain the strength to end the relationship. He was overcome with the fear / obligation / guilt (FOG) of leaving the relationship.
Since he was so buried in his work and running away from his pain, he was constantly traveling the globe, putting on 500,000+ airline miles a year. Most likely on one of his return trips from the pacific rim is when the blood clot formed in his leg that killed him via a massive pulmonary embolism. Had he known what a healthy relationship was, and sought that out in his primary relationship, he most likely would have wanted to be home with his wife and family, and never wanted to bury himself in his work to the point where he was traveling the globe and never home.
It’s incredible. And so very sad.