It was #nationalsiblingday yesterday, and I haven’t spoken to my brother in over two years. While he’s my half brother, and we definitely have a complex history being half siblings, we had an undeniable brother sister bond. I even lived with him for over a year after he went through his divorce. But after our dad died two years ago, and our lives came crashing down, all of the things in our childhood that were swept under the rug appeared, and our bond couldn’t hold their weight. It was as if our bond dissipated into thin air, seemingly overnight. Our dad was the glue that held us together, and when he took his last breath, he inhaled our relationship whole.
Even today, over two years since we’ve last talked, it’s hard for me to address the reasons we don’t. I don’t know how to sum up our relationship and history. How do you explain the million different paper cuts that are now somehow embodied and simplified by the following sentence? My brother and I don’t speak.
Yesterday I saw my Instagram feed flood with happy sibling memories. I felt angry that my brother and I don’t match the Hallmark moments everyone was celebrating. And when I asked through IG stories if you could relate, I was overwhelmed by your answers. While I view my relationship with my brother as “complicated”, your answers provided me with insights on how broad “complicated” actually is. Addiction. Suicide. Step siblings. Step parents. Parent neglect. Age difference. Divorce. There are so many reasons one might categorize their relationship with their sibling as “complicated.”
So today, we wanted to honor these parts of our family dynamics. It’s not always easy to talk about, but it’s important we know that a complicated relationship with a sibling does not equal a stain on our worth. And more importantly, it’s nice to know we aren’t alone.