Stephen asked me this yesterday evening on my Are there any marriages that survive post.
I know I replied but I’ve been giving it more in-depth thought this morning.
My brother – let’s call him H – is a retired airline pilot. A job which required him to be “In Control” at all times. A job which he was extraordinarily good at. Rising through the ranks to become a Senior Training Captain. A job where knowing the answer – immediately – was critical in critical situations. There is no time for debate when things aren’t going as planned in the air.
Sadly he brought that skill into his everyday life. Control for him appears to be the route to a stable life for him. He always ‘knows’ the answer for everything all the time. And will hold his corner despite total evidence to the contrary. To him it gives him kudos. Kudos is VERY important to him.
His loving siblings and even his parents would often comment out of his earshot “There’s nothing that an airline pilot doesn’t know!”
So no wonder my botched attempt to gently suggest there could be help at hand was met with hostility. It was never going to be anything else!
What H thinks of me IS none of my business. So I’m not hurt or cross with him. It’s just sad to watch someone wrestle with themselves and be in such pain and conflict. Because suddenly he isn’t in control of the situation. People are reacting in ways he doesn’t like. People aren’t impressed with what he’s doing. People are saying things which are painful and (and I quote what he ‘spat’ at me yesterday!!) “No-one understands what he’s going through”.
Will he apologise for his behaviour yesterday. No. And I wouldn’t expect or even want him to – he is in too much pain for that. And anyway I can’t remember the last time I heard him say sorry for anything – when sorry should have been said.
I just hope he doesn’t get to hear what several people have said to me already – all on much the same lines –
– I’ve never understood your brother. He’s so cold. No warmth. You Caroline are the sane one of your family.
So no wonder he is angry and fearful. Perhaps – at last – he’s realising he can’t run relationships like an airliner. Like a job. People won’t stand around in adulation of him all the time. He needs to learn to acknowledge others around him for their worth and their wisdom. And for him that must be incredibly scary.
So the last few days have given me quite a bit to think about. I can’t help my brother. I just hope someone else can. Because deep inside that human being is the child I grew up with who used to make me giggle. Who used to know it was OK to unbend. The child I played with. The brother I loved.
I feel rather wise today!! (And I don’t mean that to sound arrogant!!)
I’m now off to my all day rehearsals. I need to remember my lines……..!!!
I will leave you all with the thought that I have to wear fishnet tights!!