Wednesday, May 19, 2010

They Won't Like Me

Being friends with my biological brothers (my father's sons) on Facebook has at least one serious drawback: I'm almost certain they won't like me.

It's not that I lean politically to the left. I'm pretty sure they do, too. Maybe I lean more to the left, but I don't think it's a major obstacle. After all, they seem to be more left than much of my adoptive family, but I'm still able to maintain a relationship with them. Of course, we have decades of history to bind us together. I don't have that with my brothers. And it makes me feel on much more shaky ground.

But the real hang up, for me, is that I get the impression they are much more supportive of the military than I am. At least, I think this is true of the elder brother. And I worry that if he finds out my real views on the world, he won't want anything to do with me.

Hell, much of the time, I don't like myself. How can I expect people who seem to think some of my views are downright un-American to like me?

I think I've almost resolved to go to the reunion in July, but I don't know why. I'm not sure they really want me there.


Von said...

How can you not like yourself for being un-American, given how the rest of the world views some of those things? If they don't like you, tough at least you found out, you'll probably win some loose some as I have with my five half-siblings.
Have you read Evelyn Burns Robinson on reunion? You May find it helpful.

phil said...

ahhh... I was a bit tired when when I wrote this... I often don't like myself for reasons otherwise unrelated to the content of this post.

And I don't really think my views are un-American, I just think they will think so. And I expect them to dislike me for it.

Thanks for the reading suggestion.

Angelle said...

There were several letters in today's NYTimes regarding an op-ed piece that dismissed principled resistance to military service during the war in Vietnam. Here is one quote that I think may put your dilemma in historic perspective:

"I have no memory of classmates “cloaking their actions in idealism.” More culpable, to my mind, were those who supported the war and yet did all they could to avoid service in Vietnam, like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Phil Gramm and Trent Lott."

Would your brother have voted for any of these un-American guys?

I think you go into this knowing that you have idealistic differences and avoid political conversations like the plague.

joy said...

I like you.

You know what has helped me is realizing that even if they don't like you, you are going to be okay and lots of people love and like you and you can too.

Any form of rejection you receive now is not going to impact you like relinquishment. I think that is a biggie for adoptees. The first rejection, feels life or death and is imprinted in our cells. Therefore we can fear rejection and try to avoid it to our own detriment for our entire lives.

The reality is though, we aren't little babies any more and even the very painful rejection of siblings, and I know this one, is live-through-able.

In the weird way that the world works I even think some rejection can help us rewire our thought patterns. Away from the very painful patterns relinquishment lays the tracks down for.


You have my vote of confidence.