The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
1933 This same duty extends to those who think or act differently from us. The teaching of Christ goes so far as to require the forgiveness of offenses. He extends the commandment of love, which is that of the New Law, to all enemies. Liberation in the spirit of the Gospel is incompatible with hatred of one's enemy as a person, but not with hatred of the evil that he does as an enemy.
My brother, my only brother, holds a hatred towards me that is unbelievable. He is convinced I have always tried to interfere with the raising of his children (stop telling people you raised me kids!), he is convinced I always overstep proper boundaries, wants to try and keep them away from me and is just vicious in his disgust and meanness.
He is breaking my heart.
My part in this? I stood up for myself incorrectly, throwing down a gauntlet by telling him he was not allowed to speak to me in a nasty way and telling him I had not done anything wrong and would not discuss it. What I should have done is let him talk and then said, "I don't see it that way, John. I am sorry you are angry".
He is angry because I took a quick video of his two youngest children saying, "Happy Birthday, Grandma" and sent it to my cousin to be included on a DVD she is making for our mother's 90th birthday. The video clips needed to be to her by the first week of September. He was no longer speaking to me because his girlfriend had gotten angry at me on July 4th. He wants to make his own video. When I said to go ahead and do that because it is no big deal, he would not talk about it. He demanded to know why I had taken the videos and who did I think I was and how dare I and I need to see a psychiatrist and adopt my own kids...and then he told me he was going to never allow me to be around his children again...that I have to 'tow the line'. It was just amazing. He had me on speaker phone and later lied to his ex-wife, saying I had been yelling at him. I was talking loud - he had me on speaker phone and I could not hear him or myself very well.
He told me he was going to call his ex-wife and tell her she was not allowed to have me near his children and that he was going to tell his children to never speak to me again.
I reminded him that he is not married to their mother and could not dictate who is allowed at her home. He lost his mind, calling me horrible names, screaming obscenities, just literally lost his mind.
The reason I air the family dirty laundry is because I have no one to really talk to about this other than our mother and my sister-in-law (she may be divorced from my brother but she is still my sister-in-law). My priest gives me excellent advice - I must forgive him. SO I do, and I want people who read this blog to know that I am a Faithful Catholic, a sober woman and my heart is broken because I have a brother so deeply mired in sin that he has convinced himself I am his enemy.
My heart is broken by this man. I have never hated him, though I have absolutely hated the things he has done over the years. His drinking, his anger and vicious language. He has sunk lower and lower, becoming a travesty. We all walk on egg shells around him because he is so threatening.
And I wish I had handled it better. In my defense I was so shocked by his accusations that I did not think fast enough. I feel guilty because of that - if I had handled it better Mom would not be kept from her granddaughter tomorrow.
I left him two voice messages and sent a text telling him I am not his enemy, that I love him and always will and that I am so sorry he hates me so much and thinks I am out to get him or whatever he thinks.
The kids know the truth. My sister-in-law would never keep the children from me and he can make his grandstanding by going to pick the youngest up at school to keep me and Mom away from her...but the reality is he left that marriage and cannot dictate what goes on in her home. He can flip out and freak out and throw all the tantrums he wants - he cannot have his own way on this one.
I know that Jesus has my back. I know that my own behavior, while not perfect, was not the cause of my brother's freak out. I understand that I need to redouble my efforts at prayer and fasting and penance for him. I am so sorry he has become what he has become - a vicious, angry, dangerous man.
Please, if you read this, I am begging you to pray for his healing. I have never felt so alone in terms of human contact. I feel sick, absolutely sick, and beg you for prayers.
He is dying...and he does not even realize it.
St Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle....