I won't be going into all the background here. You can find that in my previous entry, "Why I Told Mom"
I'd been advised by my therapist that I should just wait for Mom to contact me. I'd followed that advice until this week. The day after Christmas, I called her to wish her happy holidays. That wasn't all we talked about.
Near the end of the referenced entry, I described call the woman I thought was her best friend in the area. At the beginning of the new conversation, I asked Mom how she felt about that. She'd been shocked that I had told Judy at all. I told her I'd done it only because I'd been concerned that she would be behaving as I would, taking on all the guilt, no matter how undeserved, and beating herself up emotionally. I repeated that I'd called Judy for her, not for me.
I next asked how she and Judy had gotten along. Mom said they've become even closer. I'm pleased. I think I did something right this time.
After that, I explained why I'm estranged from my brother. It's because he is just another bully. Throughout our adult lives, at every opportunity I've given him, he's told me what I should do and how I should live. When we were facing eviction several years ago, my wife made me call him and ask for his help. He didn't agree. Instead, he went behind my back and made an arrangement with the apartment complex. Each month for 4 months, I had no way of believing that we wouldn't be evicted and the stress was incredible. They had also agreed that I was not to be told anything at all and the manager lived up to that.
Eventually, I found a contract and was able to pay the rent myself. Unfortunately, that contract too ended too soon and we were unable to save for the future. Once again, my wife made me call my brother to ask for help. I also checked if he had been the rent fairy before and he admitted he had. This time, he agreed to lend me more money. Thankfully, I needed only one month's rent that time.
Another contract, another job search, another time unable to pay the rent. Another call to him. One too many trips to that well, though. Instead of the help we needed, he was angry at me and yelled that he wanted his money back right then. He pulled a complete 180 degrees from telling me to "pay it forward" to "pay me back!" That was the last time I've spoken with him.
I didn't give Mom all the details I've described here but I made it clear that I feel he is a bully and has been since high school, that I won't put up with that kind of treatment anymore.
She told me that she was going to stay out of what happens between us. Apparently, she figured out that it could do no good. And I'm good with that.
I'm still employed only on short-term contracts, there will come a day when I will need help again, but there will never come a day I will turn to either of them for financial help.