Abandoned and alone, I had to wait for my family to call me back. When you’re grieving, you really need a support system, someone that’s going to be there for you and help you through the trauma. My family was not that for me. In this week's...
Abandoned and alone, I had to wait for my family to call me back. When you’re grieving, you really need a support system, someone that’s going to be there for you and help you through the trauma. My family was not that for me.
In this week's episode, I am sharing about how I was coping with not only grief but also abandonment, what happened before my brother’s celebration of life, and disappointing moments with my mother.
In this episode I’m covering:
For full episode show notes and transcript, click here
[00:00:00] welcome to the surviving siblings podcast. I'm your host Maya FLIR as a surviving sibling myself. I knew that [00:00:15] I wanted to share my story. My brother's story. I lost my brother to a homicide in November, 2016. And after going through this experience, I knew that I wanted to share my story [00:00:30] and his story.
[00:00:31] And it's taken me quite some time to come to the mic to tell it, but I knew it was an important one to tell. So here I am to share his story and mine with you. And it's important that I [00:00:45] tell the story of the surviving sibling, the forgotten Warner, the story that is not told enough. So thank you for coming with me on this journey and thank you for listening to my story.[00:01:00]
[00:01:02] Now, all I could do was wait. I was a prisoner to WhatsApp. I was a prisoner to my only [00:01:15] connection to my family on at least in the living world. My father. And I was kind of a prisoner to this message of, you know, we'll, we're leaving, we'll be back is [00:01:30] really what the message had said. And as I laid on the couch and, you know, drank water and sometimes some wine and just the office played over and over again, and I would [00:01:45] pull myself up off the couch from time to time to take care of my little dog, Scarlet.
[00:01:51] Luckily, she was so tiny and five pounds and, and potty potty trained on her pad. So I didn't always have to go [00:02:00] outside and. Because it was a challenge to even get off that couch, just making sure that she was fed and taken care of, like I'm grateful for that accountability and that I had to do that because I didn't really care about taking care of myself at all.[00:02:15]
[00:02:15] I was also very grateful for, you know, the guy that I was dating at the time. And. Really a workaholic. So it wasn't like he was around all the time, but I'm always grateful for people that care. And [00:02:30] he did, but I was really alone. It was just a lonely experience. And I'm also very grateful for my friend Walter, who was there for me during that time too, because it was, it was sad, but [00:02:45] that it ended up being day after day that went by.
[00:02:50] Nothing. I heard nothing. I didn't know where they were. I didn't know where they had gone. I didn't know anything. And I didn't know when they [00:03:00] would return and the level of anxiety and fear. That I was going through was just something again. I just don't know how to describe to someone that hasn't gone through it.
[00:03:13] And then I, [00:03:15] I will try my best on this podcast. That's why I'm bearing it all and, and sharing it all. It's I had struggled with anxiety in the past, in my life, and this brought it to an entirely different level. I remember speaking to my [00:03:30] doctors during this time, because I was really worried about myself.
[00:03:33] It was a very scary time for myself and I remember changing. They put me on a stronger, uh, antidepressants. They put me on Lexapro, which [00:03:45] I had tried many, many years before when I first dealt with anxiety. And I didn't like it. Cause it didn't, you can't really feel much on it, but I understood what they were saying.
[00:03:57] And, and I thought, you know, oh, [00:04:00] that's probably what I do need right now. I probably don't need to be feeling so low or let's see how it works because your body can change it and evolve. And so I remember taking that and I had anxiety medication. It was a lot of anxiety [00:04:15] medication because I wasn't responding to it.
[00:04:18] I still wasn't responding to it, but at least it kept me calm enough where I wasn't going. I felt like I was going to go insane because all I wanted was to be able to say kind [00:04:30] of some words of peace to my brother, about my brother. I wanted to see his, his girlfriend and her family and thank them for being so amazing.
[00:04:40] It was. Just this complete loss of control. [00:04:45] And I remember feeling so just broken hearted. The situation, like how could I be surrounded by all these people? And I felt pretty alone then, but this was even more lonely. And I [00:05:00] felt so confused about several things. One, I didn't understand how this story got so convoluted or what even happened, and I didn't even have a chance to.
[00:05:12] My side, really the [00:05:15] truth, or I didn't even know what had been said at the time. I'm kind of jumping ahead here. I just knew that my mother was upset and had made accusations. I didn't even understand what was going on. I was so broken hearted that my father would [00:05:30] even entertain that. I mean, this is a woman that he had divorced.
[00:05:34] I mean, it was a mutual divorce from what I understand, but again, it's not. That's their stuff. I spent, you know, almost 30 years of my life being involved in their stuff. [00:05:45] And I'm very grateful to sit here today at 35 and not be involved in their stuff. And that's something I think, as a sidebar, I'd give advice to anybody that goes through.
[00:05:55] Their parents divorce. It's really hard not to take a side or it's really hard not [00:06:00] to do that. And it was challenging and it was so just, it was nice to not feel that. And then all of a sudden be thrown back into that. It was devastating, but it's nice to sit here today telling the story and not be in the [00:06:15] middle of that, but it was like a torture chamber.
[00:06:19] And I finally kind of started to release the control. Because I didn't have any, and I kind of gave it to God, I guess, is the best way to put [00:06:30] in the universe, whatever you believe in a higher power and said, you know, I don't have control over this. I have no control. And I prayed and I asked a whole. And ah, this still makes me emotional to this date.
[00:06:44] It was [00:06:45] very, very tough time. And I've never really talked about this time. I think this is why this makes me so emotional because I have been abandoned in different ways throughout my life and in different relationships and also [00:07:00] through my family. And I've never felt full support. And so it was very triggering for me and looking back on it now and talking through it again.
[00:07:09] Uh, it's triggering again, because this isn't really the part of the story that comes up a whole lot, [00:07:15] you know? Like what did you do for this week? What happened between the 21st, when he was declared? Legally dead. And we had to leave the room. And December 3rd, when we [00:07:30] had his ceremony, while I wasn't alone, I was alone.
[00:07:34] I was, yeah, this is what happened. And this part, I think, is really difficult for me to share because of that. I don't, nobody really knows about this, [00:07:45] except for, you know, my closest Walter, my. A lot of you guys will know if you listened to my other podcast who lived it with me, my closest friend, Sloan, who lived it with me, who had a lot of loss in her life.
[00:07:59] And of [00:08:00] course my husband, but there's not really anybody else that knows about this this time. And this time was I think the part that I'm still working through a little bit, because it was so [00:08:15] difficult, it's difficult. And I have a lot of empathy for people that go through an isolating experience and also an experience where you're not able to tell your side, and you're also not able to [00:08:30] speak the truth.
[00:08:31] And you're also watching people manipulate and say things that are not true to get what they want. And I just had towed away there and wait. [00:08:45] And I realized now that that was a lesson for me because my brother was notoriously in patient. I am not the most patient person either, but he, he definitely takes the [00:09:00] cake and he would tell you that if he was here today, he's the one that like, if you were going somewhere, he would literally like, if you weren't ready, he'd just like leave you.
[00:09:09] And he'd be like, I'll see you there or not whatever. But you know, I'm not a [00:09:15] patient person either. And I definitely think that experience was teaching me patience and letting go and trust and just knowing. The good. Always, always rises to the top and the truth always comes out and. I remember during that time [00:09:30] fading in and out of whatever you could call sleep, some sort of concoction of that.
[00:09:37] And I just remembering, I just remembered a lot of memories during that time, and this was a time of reflection [00:09:45] and I think it's really important to talk about a lot of the things I remembered. I remembered a lot of the memories that my brother and I had as children. And that was just, it was all like flashing.
[00:09:56] Before me and coming into my dreams and also coming [00:10:00] into just me laying there and remembering all the good times we had together. And I remembered in the dark moments, I started to go to some of the dark, dark places, and I think what's challenging for. [00:10:15] My family, uh, are certain people in my family is that they think that I'm glorifying my, my brother in some ways or glorifying the relationship or glorifying everything and ignoring, you know, [00:10:30] certain aspects of his life and in life decisions.
[00:10:33] And I feel such a relief even just saying that because. No one deserves to be killed the way my brother was. And you know, a homicide is a [00:10:45] homicide. I'll definitely continue the story about, you know, in my journey to figuring out what happened, but no one deserves to be shot the way he was. He was not this, you know, horrible person.[00:11:00]
[00:11:00] You know, did he have some issues with drugs? Yes. And I don't think that, I think the reason my family wanted to keep a lot of this private is because they didn't want that to be. And did he have some issues with drinking? Did he have some issues with being [00:11:15] irresponsible? Yes, he did. He absolutely did. And I think it's really important that people understand that.
[00:11:21] I'm not trying to say that he was this perfect person that didn't make any mistakes. You know, he had been arrested in his [00:11:30] life. He had done things, you know, that weren't, we all make a lot of mistakes and he was, he had a lot of struggles and he had a lot of inner demons that he was bad. And I knew that it had really challenged my relationship with him.
[00:11:44] [00:11:45] And so weighing alone there for a week by myself in pain, I thought about the highs and lows. And of course I was beating myself up about the fact that I was at dinner [00:12:00] the night before he was shot, knowing I needed to call him knowing I wanted to be. With him. I will never forget that moment. I will never forget looking across the table from the man I was seeing [00:12:15] and saying that to him.
[00:12:18] And I just knew, and little did. I know that I knew a lot more than I realized, and we were just always connected in that way. And I remembered I had to kind of push that [00:12:30] away because I couldn't live with that guilt at the time because it wouldn't have changed anything. And I remember. Walter and both the, my friend and both the man that I was seeing, telling me that, you [00:12:45] know, even if you had spoken to him, what would that have changed?
[00:12:48] It wouldn't have changed anything. That's what really trusts me. It took me year hers. It's taken me probably four to five years to get to that mindset because I [00:13:00] thought for some reason, if I'm. Spoke to him or something like that, you know, what would it have changed? She was on the set with these guys that were not good guys.
[00:13:10] And one of the wonderful traits of my brother was that he was a very trusting [00:13:15] person and he really saw the good in everyone for the most part. And that was also a really bad quality in my opinion with him, because he would trust people that like I would meet them and instantly not get a good feeling from [00:13:30] them.
[00:13:30] He was. An eternal optimist almost sometimes to the point where. So unrealistic and I, again, you can see where that would be a good quality in someone [00:13:45] where they see the good in people, but he would take it to the extreme and it would put him in these kinds of circumstances. Again, is this his fault? Not at all.
[00:13:52] Not at all. It's it's not. It's not someone's fault when there are killed in this, in this kind of manner. [00:14:00] But I think it's really important that I'm open and raw and share with you that. You know, he was human and he made mistakes and he was not hanging out with the right people. And just because you make mistakes and you're not around the right crowd or the right people, it [00:14:15] doesn't mean that you deserve this.
[00:14:16] And I remember thinking that a lot and I kind of got on a hamster wheel a lot about, I should've called it should have said this. I should've shut up, shut up. And I will jump forward for a second to something that my therapist had told me. [00:14:30] And back. He told me back in time when I was going to therapy about family issues and relationships in the past.
[00:14:36] And then he, we spoke about it again. When I went to speak about this when I was ready to come months later and he said, be careful with the word. [00:14:45] It'd be really careful with the word should. And that really resonated with me because the word should is a very dangerous word, in my opinion. That's how I translated what he said, because, you know, Coda shoulda woulda kind [00:15:00] of the, you know, that's where that phrase comes from, I think, but, you know, should, is putting an expectation on something that we don't know.
[00:15:08] No, what the outcome would have been. So that kind of helped, helped begin the healing process of [00:15:15] if I should have called him if I would've called him. And I think that's something we struggle with. I think that as surviving siblings, we struggle with those things. And so that I remembered that from our past sessions.
[00:15:28] And I remembered that though. It's [00:15:30] always stuck out with me throughout the years and I was able to start thinking about, okay, Well, let me focus on the last couple of times, I'd seen my brother and there were some really good memories and there were some really bad ones. There were some where he was really [00:15:45] battling his mental health issues and he was not doing well.
[00:15:49] You know, my mother had picked him up and he didn't have anything. He had sold everything. And that had happened just a few short years before, you know, I saw my brother when my [00:16:00] father had been in town and my youngest sister was looking at college. And, you know, he showed up at the hotel a couple hours late for our dinner, and that was not a pleasant interaction that we had because he was [00:16:15] not doing well.
[00:16:16] He was not doing well, but he wanted to present the image that he was. And so I was going into some of those dark places and I thought to myself, me let's go to the light. And that was kind of, you know, a couple of days into this because [00:16:30] going to the dark place. Was not allowing me to remember him in the way that I wanted to.
[00:16:37] And also like, those are, that's not who the person is at the core. That's the person who was struggling and in [00:16:45] pain. And so I started to remember, you know, something that was a long time ago, but I remember looking at my, my dog Scarlet. And that allowed me to trigger positive memories and that [00:17:00] was him and I going to get her.
[00:17:02] And then I remembered our dance parties at the holidays. And then I remembered him coming to my apartment and coming out with me to the bar and going on a different couple of different things [00:17:15] together. And I knew he wasn't doing well a couple of times, because he would just randomly show up at my loft that I had in the Macondo.
[00:17:23] And I was worried about him. I was really worried about him, but I knew, I think that was kind of the beginning [00:17:30] of me learning to let go, but I always was worried, but I had to kind of create boundaries because of what was going on. And I remember. When I was remembering those memories, [00:17:45] feeling the guilt that I felt at that time.
[00:17:47] And I also remember feeling a lot of anger towards my parents because I know that he needed help, but none of that could be changed now. And the best thing that I could do was just think about the positive. And so watching the office just nonstop [00:18:00] really helped a lot because my brother was so like a Michael Scott, he really was.
[00:18:06] And. I remember on some holidays, we would pick out our favorite office episodes and play them and we drink like [00:18:15] whatever we wanted at the time, but my brother loves love, loved champagne. And I'm almost saying like in present tense, because I still feel like he's here with me and now I will have like a glass of champagne for him, but I'll talk about that in the [00:18:30] future.
[00:18:30] But that was my coping was watching. Those episodes and just waiting. That's all I all I could do. And I think I finally showered at one point, I don't know something happened, but life was moving [00:18:45] forward and I was not, I was kind of just there. And I remember I got a message. I think it was like December 1st or something like that.
[00:18:58] Maybe the end of [00:19:00] November. I don't know. One of those. And it was for my father on WhatsApp. And it was like waiting for a message that like, I don't know, I don't, I don't know. I can't even compare it. I don't know those of you. Who've lost [00:19:15] a sibling. No. It's like a message that like, you need more than anything else.
[00:19:19] Like, so I get this message from my father saying, we're, we're coming back. We'll be back, you know, I'll call you basically. And. Um, just [00:19:30] like my heart, like stops and then like speeds up with anxiety. And I'm like, what does that mean? Or have they been, it was like, it was really intense, you know? And then I, I texted my mother and I ended up speaking with her on the phone finally.[00:19:45]
[00:19:45] And it was really devastating. It was really devastating. What I begun to find out. And it was. Worse, it would get worse on their way back. I ended up [00:20:00] speaking with my mother as they're on their way back. And I remember at this time I think it is my mom and my dad, and they've gone to like, see my sisters or something.
[00:20:13] Like, that's kind of all I know, [00:20:15] and their significant others, which are their husbands. And I. Well, that was hurtful. Like I, and I was abandoned. Like they're seeing their kids, you know, it, it was [00:20:30] just like, it was hard and it was wrong. But I also understand that they're their children, but I didn't do anything to be abandoned.
[00:20:39] It was. Confusing. And so when my mother contacts me, [00:20:45] I guess at the, when my father tells her to or something, I'm not really sure what went on behind the scenes there. This is my recounting, my story, and my brother's story. My mother tells me that they're going to the Wyndham and Peachtree city. We grew up in Peachtree city, [00:21:00] Georgia.
[00:21:00] Um, like are kind of like. Childhood life and, you know, high school, years and stuff. And so that's where they've decided they want to spread his ashes and do this ceremony. And I said, okay. And she [00:21:15] said that, you know, my father had booked a room for me there and, you know, it's, I could bring Scarlet, you know, he booked a dog-friendly broom and, you know, she wanted me to come down and to be there and to be a part of everything.
[00:21:28] And that the [00:21:30] following day. So this must've been the December 1st because the third was the quote-unquote ceremony. And then on the second, she wanted me to drive her around essentially and get her so she could get her [00:21:45] hair done. We would also pick out my brother's ashes and we were going to put his ashes, you know, at this Creek where he had shot a lot of music videos, and, you know, anyone who wanted his ashes could have them.
[00:21:57] And so, you know, we would purchase [00:22:00] urns and things like that. And I knew my, I knew my dad would want ashes. And so it was, it was a very weird call and it was a very weird request. And she had asked that I. [00:22:15] Meet her and pick her up from the nail salon in Peachtree city. And then we would stop by Publix and then we would go to the Wyndham.
[00:22:28] So I'm like, [00:22:30] whatever, whatever it takes, I'm going to do this. Like at least she's spoken to me on the phone. Like I I'm going to do okay. Whatever. She tells me the family is coming in. Like my sisters, their husbands, like seeing it, the Wyndham, [00:22:45] I tell my best friend in the whole world, Caleb and his father, what's going on.
[00:22:53] Caleb lost his brother in 2009. And he, of course is like, of course we're going to be there. We're going [00:23:00] to come down and they're going to come for the one night. So, you know, for the ceremony. And so they would be there later. And so I tell them to book a room and where I would be and what was going to happen.
[00:23:11] And the backstory there is really [00:23:15] interesting. It's a really eerie story. Caleb had become the older sibling I never had in college. And I actually, my first story I ever wrote and kind of, I think where I found my voice really as a writer and maybe even a [00:23:30] podcast before I knew it was writing the story about him.
[00:23:33] And Afghanistan and, uh, losing basically his partner and, you know, in his platoon and all of that. Anyway, you can read the story. It's Garrison, 2.0, I won first place for it, [00:23:45] 21, 22, and it's published, but we are very close and my brother Andres was close with him as well. And when his older brother.
[00:23:55] Caleb's older brother, Josh past Josh and I [00:24:00] added a relationship friendship to clarify, but we were both writers and we would exchange poetry. We connected on that level. And my brother, this was another really important memory that makes me very emotional too. My [00:24:15] brother came with me without even a blink of the eye to the funeral and said, I'm coming with you.
[00:24:20] And he came with me. We shared a room with two of my girlfriends. They were sisters and we stayed up all night talking about them. Cause we went to the wake and then the next day, and I [00:24:30] remember my brother just held my hand through the whole funeral and he was emotional. I was emotional and I will never forget this.
[00:24:40] The rest of my life, I, as [00:24:45] everything was going on. And Caleb was speaking. Turn to whispered at my brother's ear. I just felt so overcome by this. And I said, I feel so sad right now. This is so intense. If this was you, [00:25:00] I would die. I don't think I could go on. I love you so much. And I remember him turning down to me cause he was like six foot plus and I'm like five, three.
[00:25:14] And [00:25:15] he like turned down to me in my ear and he said, don't worry. That will never happen to me. I love you too. And Caleb knew about that moment. Cause I told him about it when my brother did die and it was eerie to me and I thought to [00:25:30] myself, oh my God. Wow. And so Caleb really got it. He was the person that really, really got it and still gets it to this day.
[00:25:37] And I definitely understand why we are in each other's lives and I feel very lucky. So he was going to be there, but I had a night to spend [00:25:45] before that happened. And maybe this was the second, and then we're going into the third year. Maybe it was, it's hard to keep track of these dates. I'm sure you guys know.
[00:25:53] You always remember when they pass the, or when they were first ill or in my case when he was shot that he was [00:26:00] shot. And then, you know, when they were declared dead or they passed, you don't forget the death date. You don't forget that. Or when the ceremony. These dates leading up, sometimes you're just in such a different state of mind.
[00:26:11] It can be challenging. And I know at surviving siblings, you guys can [00:26:15] empathize with this. It's really wild. So yeah, I guess it must've been the second. And then we stayed the night on the third as well, but anyway, regardless, I don't know, maybe, maybe not because I remember driving my mom around to get everything ready, so yeah.
[00:26:27] I get there late. I think, I believe it was [00:26:30] December 1st and she's getting my, mother's getting her nails done at the old nail salon she used to go to in Peachtree city and she wants me to pick her up and it's right by this Publix there, why I'm picking her up from getting her nails down. I'm still unclear because both of my sisters had cars, [00:26:45] but I kind of knew that was weird at the time.
[00:26:48] I kind of knew that was a little off. But again, I was so just wanting to be there and I, I wanted to be a part of, I don't [00:27:00] know what I, you know, so amateurly thought was closure or something, right. I picked her up. She got into the car and acted like nothing was wrong. Like nothing was wrong. Hi, how are you?
[00:27:13] Oh, I'm I'm [00:27:15] fricking great mom. I've been like, I didn't say this, but like, I'm great. I've been abandoned. I've been alone on a couch. Uh, haven't eaten really had a decent sleep or anything in, I don't know, weeks now. And I'm great. How are you? You [00:27:30] know, it was just so bizarre. And so she was like telling me how.
[00:27:34] You know, she's got nails done, getting her hair done the next day at the salon that, I mean, I go to here in Buckhead, it was just booked with my [00:27:45] hairdresser. It was just so weird. I still, to this day, I can't process that, but I think we all process grief differently. So I think I have more empathy towards it, but it was still bizarre.
[00:27:54] And. She says, well, do you need anything, you know, for your hotel room? I said, well, yeah. I [00:28:00] said, you know, I'd like to get some water. I definitely want to get some wines and things like that, you know? And she needed some things too. And so she ends up saying, okay. And so I say, you know, can you sit in the.
[00:28:11] Scarlett. Cause obviously I have my baby with me and [00:28:15] I went into Publix. So I'm shopping and I had this weird feeling in my stomach. I really do. And I come back out and laid across. I had this cute little white Mercedes at the time that I worked so hard for her to work so hard for everything in my life.
[00:28:29] And I'm [00:28:30] so grateful that I, that I did. And I walked out and my steering wheel was covered and I opened the door and it was this shirt. Um, to the Edgar Allen Poe, like restaurant that I really love [00:28:45] off, like Sullivan's island, like near Charleston and that area. And she bought me this shirt and I just remember getting in the car going, what is this?
[00:28:54] And she's like, oh, I bought you. I bought you a shirt while we were on our trip. And she goes, I need to tell [00:29:00] you something. And I'm like thinking to myself, what the hell? Like you bought me a shirt to tell me what, like what, what, what is about to happen once again, that intuition, which I'm sure a lot of you can relate to when you're going through this and just in general, it just, [00:29:15] when you've gone through a loss like this, your intuition just increases to a level that is unmatched.
[00:29:21] And I remember kind of, it was again, movie, like. I swear, this is where like, you know, movies are born from, or these are these stories that we all have [00:29:30] from loss and almost unbelievable situations. I remember kind of almost turning my head at her, like slowly and just going, what the hell in my head. And she starts telling me, she says, [00:29:45] look, she goes, your father.
[00:29:46] And I went to go visit, you know, your sister's down there. But George never actually left. And I looked at her again with [00:30:00] that slow look of disgust and I said, what the hell do you mean? And she said, well, he never actually left when you throw. And I like completely lost it. And I said, what do you mean? I know I didn't throw him out.
[00:30:13] He was throwing things at you. He [00:30:15] was being horrible and abusive towards you. Like, what are you talking about? And she's like, well, you know, she wouldn't even address that. She wouldn't even acknowledge it because it's the truth. And she continues on to say that basically [00:30:30] everything starts to come together and he screamed around that night before Thanksgiving.
[00:30:36] And I guess, went to a hotel. I guess instructed by her or himself and hit out. And they met up [00:30:45] with him right after the Thanksgiving dinner and all left town and went to go spend time with my sisters, my mother, my father George. And they went to go see my sisters and their husbands. I [00:31:00] still feel sick telling this story to this day.
[00:31:04] And I think. It's because I don't, again, once again, I don't really talk about this part of the story, but I think it's important to tell, because I think a lot of us believe that a [00:31:15] loss will bring the family together and it is true. It, it either brings you completely together or it will rip you completely apart.
[00:31:22] And I hope that in listening to this story, it can inspire your family to come together and not be torn apart. [00:31:30] And I remember feeling so disgusted by this. You mean to tell me that you lied, that he had left and he actually stayed. And she said, yes, that that was the truth. And I said, I don't even [00:31:45] understand like how this all happened.
[00:31:46] And apparently like, they all rented a car together cause they didn't have a car here because my mom, George and my father had all flown in and my sisters had returned to their respective cities. So they rented a car [00:32:00] together because my father is a foreigner. So they rented a car together. Which my mother could have done on her own.
[00:32:05] She claims George did it and went down there. And the thought of this is disgusting to me because now it all made sense. Why on [00:32:15] Thanksgiving evening, she needed to get out of my place so that she could go and be with her boyfriend. And I immediately, the anxiety went to about a 12 out of 10. And I remember thinking to myself, what has she told my father [00:32:30] to make him believe that this man is a good man?
[00:32:33] And what did she tell him that I did because wow. And I said that to her and she, she said, I didn't say anything. I don't know what you're talking about. Like we just wanted [00:32:45] to be other, and I knew you didn't want to be around. I was in shock. And I said to her, he's going to be at the hotel. And she goes, yes, that's why I'm telling you this.
[00:32:54] He's going to be at the hotel. He's with me, there was a lot of additional conversation. I was furious. [00:33:00] I felt completely duped. I felt manipulated. And to be around someone who was abusive and I threw out of my home for throwing things at her, throwing things in my home, verbally abusing her verbally abused my sister as well, which I didn't [00:33:15] really get into detail.
[00:33:16] On, because I want to respect her privacy and this, this situation, but it was horrible. It was horrible. And I can't believe that this was going on and I sat on a couch. I laid on a couch [00:33:30] by myself for a week, and it's not something I shared with really anybody except for the people that I've told you. I did end up telling you.
[00:33:39] Closer to this. And I didn't understand how you could allow your child to be in that much pain, because you [00:33:45] wanted to be with this person that causes you pain. And I just, I couldn't understand it. I still don't understand it to this day. I'm in a different state of emotion about it now, but it's hard to share it and difficult to share it [00:34:00] because it's pain.
[00:34:00] It's still painful. I think it'll always be painful because the loss is so painful. And so she asked me. You know, with a, what, $30 shirt to basically behave. Like I was a child, like, you need to behave, [00:34:15] I need to behave. This is my brother that was killed in a homicide murder. And you want me to behave in front of your boyfriend?
[00:34:22] It blew my mind, blew my mind. And I remember just shutting up at that point and going, you know, [00:34:30] Okay. And as we drove the two, three miles down to the Wyndham and Peachtree city, And I remember her kind of talking about their trip and how they had gone, you know, [00:34:45] from Savannah. And they had gone down to go see my sister and Jacksonville, and they saw my sister like teach and, you know, do all this stuff.
[00:34:52] And it was really, you know, if you really just wanted to pull that dagger around. Either one of my parents had ever [00:35:00] taken an interest in any of my work, anything I had done, I had been running major, major divisions for companies. I was now at a director level. I was 30. I was doing a television show. I was doing all these different things.
[00:35:13] I had [00:35:15] assets investments, I own real estate. I just, and there was just no. Interest whatsoever. In addition to the fact that she had her job because of me, and there was just no interest [00:35:30] and I couldn't believe it, I couldn't believe it. And I was like, I can't even go there right now. I just can't. And I said, you know, I remember saying, that's nice.
[00:35:37] That's nice. And we pulled up. As we were pulling out, my astrologer called me and I had been seeing him since I was 17 years old. My [00:35:45] mother actually saw him when I was younger than that. And I would come through, uh, in the readings that she did with him. And then I eventually created a relationship with him and I still see him to this day.
[00:35:56] So we'll be talking about him some more. I used to think [00:36:00] it was total crap until he started like calling things like to the date. So that was a journey. And I'll be sharing that as well, because it's applicable to this. And he does talk about my brother. He was so in tune with what was going on with me, he literally called as I was driving.[00:36:15]
[00:36:15] And we had gotten our dates flipped, but he knew, and I said, you know, I need to call you back really wild, really wild can't we share more about that. And you know, my mother told me your father is going to be waiting for you. My father was outside with one of his [00:36:30] cigarettes waiting outside the Wyndham and she got out and I'm sure, you know, did her thing.
[00:36:35] And then my father was there and greeted me. And it was very awkward because I looked at him then, and I knew he had been like, I knew it was total [00:36:45] crap that he had been fed. And I just, I didn't, I didn't know. I don't know if you've been through this before or if in the situation you're in right now, or if you're surviving sibling and it was years ago, or maybe you're going through right now, again, you know, [00:37:00] you don't know who your allies are, you don't know.
[00:37:03] And it shouldn't, again, I'm careful with this word, but it should not be that way. It, I do believe that the family should come together and you're all on the same. You are, you've all lost someone that you [00:37:15] really love. And just because you're all morning, it really differently. And going through it really differently doesn't mean that you're on different teams and what she did was selfish.
[00:37:25] And I still feel the same way to this day. And so my father helped [00:37:30] him load my bags and Scarlet, and I got, you know, parked the car and settled into the room and he asked me if I'd eaten and of course eating what's that what's that when you lose them, So him and I went to the lobby and had a bite by ourselves.[00:37:45]
[00:37:45] And when we sat down, you know, we each ordered a glass of wine and you know, started talking and my father said, you owe George and apology. I looked at him and I said, what the hell are you talking about? And he said, you owe George [00:38:00] and apology. I said, I will not apologize to that, man. I own no one in apology.
[00:38:04] And he said, what you did to. It was terrible. It was wrong. He goes, you threw him out on the street in the middle of the night. And he just started telling this [00:38:15] entire narrative that was completely false and everything. Just click, click, click, click, click, started to click the manipulation in lies. I remember just sitting across from him and looking at him going that's what [00:38:30] you think happened.
[00:38:31] That's what you think happened. He goes, yeah. You threw his bag out into the middle of the corridor, like the, you know, the area. Cause I lived in a condo that was like gated and had, you know, multiple entrances. And I said, [00:38:45] yes. I said, I'm not going to deny that I threw his bag out with my mother standing next to me, throwing it out.
[00:38:51] With me. And he looked at me and said, what I said, do you want to know the real story? And he goes, I've just been traveling with him. He was an [00:39:00] upstanding man. He paid for everything. He was great. He was like, he wouldn't let me pay for anything. That was confusing to me. I didn't understand which my father does not need anyone to pay for anything for him.
[00:39:10] He's the one footing the bill typically for everything, which was, I [00:39:15] knew then. And there again was manipulation tactic number. I don't even know what, at this point with these two. And I said, dad, I said, when you're ready to hear the truth, I said, I'll tell you. And I remember him going, oh, he literally said, excuse my French.[00:39:30]
[00:39:30] Oh shit. And he looked me right in the eyes. Yeah, he goes, I was, he basically said I was duped. He said something a little different. My father speaks multiple languages. So he said something a little different. I said, yeah. And he finished his glass of wine real quick, got up and went [00:39:45] outside and had a cigarette and came back to the table and he goes, okay, what happened?
[00:39:48] And I'll never forget feeling this sense of like, oh my God, I'm sure you've felt this before in your life. Like where no one, like no one had your back one believed. [00:40:00] So when someone twisted something for their own gain and then the person that you only really cared about knowing the truth finally realized that it was all untrue.
[00:40:14] And that was [00:40:15] that moment. And so I got emotional about very emotional. I get emotional right now talking about it because I was like, I have to kind of like laugh to bring levity to it because this is not a laughing matter, but it was that [00:40:30] intense. And he realized that he had just spent a week with, I would, I would venture to say as much as a con artist.
[00:40:37] And I'm not speaking about my mother was speaking up about her boyfriend. I think my mother is someone who really just wants love. And I think she gets [00:40:45] taken advantage of by people like this. And I'm sure she will not like a saying this, but I do love her. And I do want the best for her. And this has happened in her life and this man is not a good man.[00:41:00]
[00:41:00] And so I proceeded to tell my father the whole story that I've already shared with all of you. And of course he's ordering more wine at this point. Cause he's in shock and he's like, I've been duped. I'm [00:41:15] like you have, I said, don't worry. I was too in the hospital by him. And then when I woke up, this is what was going on.
[00:41:23] And then I proceeded to tell him also, I said, you know, look, I've received phone calls from her. This has been an ongoing thing. I [00:41:30] just saw it for in-person for the first time. Um, in addition to that, they weren't really a couple when they came here and I found all of that out, he was really upset. He, he did apologize, which was a new thing for my dad, you know, in my [00:41:45] twenties, when we had a, you know, a meeting of the minds of being at the heart to meet, uh, reconciliation, you know, he's, I think what's also challenging for probably my.
[00:41:57] Siblings. And, um, probably my [00:42:00] sister specifically and, and my, uh, my mother is that they probably believe that I'm glorifying my father too. The thing is he's made a lot of mistakes too, and he has not been the father that maybe every person would want, but why I have the respect that I do for my [00:42:15] father at this point in my life is because.
[00:42:19] He took accountability for his actions. And that means a lot to me. And when people are honest and take accountability for their actions, I can do with that. But when you are [00:42:30] manipulative and you lie, I can't deal with that. I just have those kind of stipulations. And I think, you know, it's okay. We're all, we're all different, but that's, that's where I'm at.
[00:42:39] And it doesn't mean it doesn't negate the fact that he wasn't around a lot of my life, but. [00:42:45] It doesn't make the fact that just because you were around in my life, it doesn't make it okay for you to manipulate and lie and continue to do and do bad things and, and, and create negative environments. And so, you know, I hope [00:43:00] that's helpful to you as a surviving sibling too, because I think it's okay to forgive and move on.
[00:43:05] When people take accountability, people can wake up. People can wake up at 40, 50, 60, 70, and take accountability for their behavior. And it can be so healing for you. It has been [00:43:15] for me, and I hope that is helpful for you to know, but it's also been a flip side to me where people in my life. And my mother has been one of them.
[00:43:25] I know that there was a lot of love there. And I do think that she was a good mother and a [00:43:30] lot of ways. But at the same point there, this type of situation that I'm telling you about right now that I went through when losing my brother and I definitely going through the process of, of the actual like loss and then the ceremony, we [00:43:45] did a ceremony of life instead of like a funeral, but it's a funeral.
[00:43:48] This was all about her and her boyfriend. My brother and it was selfish. And so I'm not sitting here to tell you that I'm still angry about it, but I was angry as hell about it in the moment, because there [00:44:00] was manipulation and lies so that she could get what she wanted and have this really toxic person around our family.
[00:44:05] Who's not family. And, you know, I kind of felt a lot from my father in that way, because I hadn't really been accepting of his. [00:44:15] Partner who we ended up. He's been with for a very long time. And it's his wife. And, you know, we actually ended up having a lot of really wonderful talks after this, this talk, but I kind of sidebar that to say death will really bring out [00:44:30] a lot of the truth and I'm all about the truth, even if it's really hard, even as I'm sitting here.
[00:44:37] And still in, I'm not hysterical, you know, in tears. So I'm able to share it, but this is a really raw part of the story [00:44:45] that I've really not opened up to many people about, except for, of course, my closest of the close and my husband, my best friends, my husband, and it's really hard for her to talk about.
[00:44:57] And it, it hurts people to talk about [00:45:00] it. It does I'm sure, but it doesn't come from a bad place. It comes from a place of truth and honesty. I was hurt. I should, I should be, oh, here's that word should, but we are able to tell her truth and this was the truth. And I remember feeling [00:45:15] such a sense of ease and my father, the pain that I felt for him when he felt.
[00:45:25] He was just like, oh my God, there was almost like a sense [00:45:30] of like, here we go again. Cause he's been dealing with this, you know, for, oh my God, 37 years with her, with my mom. You know, I mean now to this day, I don't think they have contact now, but at the time it would have been 31 32 years. Cause I was [00:45:45] 30 at the time.
[00:45:45] So I watched the betrayal wash over his face. I watched all of them. And I, I saw the regret that he had in the treatment and it didn't take away the fact that I had been abandoned for a week, but, you know, I didn't, [00:46:00] I don't want them turned against each other or anything like that, but I couldn't like, who does that?
[00:46:04] And I remember looking at him going, how am I supposed to set the. As he got me, my second glass of wine saying, you probably need this. And I'm like, yeah, [00:46:15] I probably do. And he said, you know, I, he was still in shock and I said, how am I supposed to show for her around to her hair appointment, all these appointments and just not [00:46:30] say anything.
[00:46:31] And he looked at me and he said, you just, you're going to have. And he goes, you're going to have to be stronger and a half two. And I said, but I'm disgusted. And he goes, I understand. And I said, I [00:46:45] need to know I'm telling you the truth. This is the truth. And it was so sad that I felt like I had to say that over and over again.
[00:46:51] And he said, I know you are. He said, I know you are. And I'm really sorry. And he said, but I need you to [00:47:00] do that tomorrow. And the big thing was, you know, in those errands, the most important one, the only one that mattered was getting my brother's ashes. And so I kind of just kept my eye on that. [00:47:15] And that's how I got through that next day.
[00:47:19] And I did what my father asked him. And then I, I did, I, I took her to her appointment. I took her to, you know, all these errands that needed to be run and I didn't [00:47:30] say anything. And when we got to the place that was so sad and it was very tough to be there where we picked up. And of course the crematory [00:47:45] and there's, you know, earn options and things like that.
[00:47:47] I had already ordered the urn that I wanted for my brother. It's a green earn with a tree on the front because my brother loved trees. And I knew that, and my father had asked him at dinner. I said, do you [00:48:00] want some of his ashes? Nobody else wanted his ashes. I was the only one. And my father said, And of course I do.
[00:48:08] I said, okay. I said, I will pick out an urn for you there and I'll get you one. And he was very [00:48:15] grateful. And so I was sending him pictures from there. And then, uh, he just said, I trust you. Just, just pick out one. And I did, I picked out actually one that was similar to mine in size. And, but I picked out one that was blue, like the [00:48:30] ocean, because he told me he was going to put some of.
[00:48:32] Uh, hundreds, his ashes in the ocean off, off the beach that they spent time together on, which I thought was very sweet. And so that was, I felt like that was appropriate and my dad did like [00:48:45] it, but it was a hard day. Um, having to sit there next to someone that. Had told such stories and made this about something that, you know, [00:49:00] wasn't but about her, about her boyfriend, about just to get what she wanted.
[00:49:05] And I, I still, I guess to this day, don't understand it, but I, I am glad that I listened to my father's advice and I'm glad that I stayed strong [00:49:15] because I was able to get. Him, a beautiful urn and my brother's ashes. And he has a beautiful story now with that. And I have what I'll share with my brother's ashes and it became [00:49:30] more challenging as we approach the ceremony the following day.
[00:49:33] But I did sleep a little bit that night knowing that my father knew the truth and there was a little bit of peace.[00:49:45]
[00:49:46] Thank you so much for listening to the surviving siblings podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, as much as I did creating it for you, then share it on your chosen social media platform. And don't forget to tag us [00:50:00] at surviving siblings podcast so that more surviving siblings can find us, remember to rate, review and subscribe to the.
[00:50:09] And don't forget to follow us on all social media platforms. We're on Instagram, [00:50:15] Twitter, and Tik TOK at surviving siblings podcast. All links can be found in the show notes. So be sure to check those out too. Thank you again for the support until the next episode. Keep on surviving my [00:50:30] surviving.[00:50:45]
Welcome to season 3 of the Surviving Siblings podcast. We are starting this season with a returning guest and season sponsor, Audree Kropen from SibsForever. Audree’s story is an interesting one, make sure you go back to and from . …