Finding it hard to explain my needs

Recently at a family event my brother, sensing my ongoing anxiety, said that we should meet up some time.

It was a kind gesture from him to recognise my need for his company.

In the intervening period, we have set up a date about six weeks ahead from now to meet up over a meal with drinks.

I have felt frustrated that in making the arrangements, I have not really explained to him my needs because if I had he would have seen me already.

In the midst of the confusion, which I have created between us by 1/ not being honest with him and 2/ allowing a judgement on myself that I am nothing but a nuisance to him, I have felt angry towards him.

My brother was the first person I told about my gay sexuality and on the evening when we discussed my dilemma he was incredibly supportive and generous with his promise to help me and be closer to me throughout my difficulty.

He praised me for my courage in telling him and said that he would support me.

Although we have met on occasions just as brothers more frequently over the last three years, I have not felt supported by him in the way that I want to be supported.

I cannot blame him for this – although I often do – but in my reflections, I have to recognise that I have not been able to explain to him what I actually want from him.

When I try to frame the question of what I expect from him in my mind, I come up with “I want a brother”

When we meet, we discuss all manner of issues except the one which I really want to be discussing with him, which is the ongoing struggle of my sexuality within my marriage, my alienation from the kids, my continuing sense of isolation and fear and my journey through Integral Coaching that I am undertaking.

He wants to tell me about his own difficult job, his work pressures, his family life, his ideas on our shared Catholic faith, which are increasingly different to my own.

I am beginning to understand that I need to find a better narrative to explain my needs to him. I have been struck by a thought in recent reflections which goes something like this:-

If you want a brother, you must first find a way of being a brother to him – perhaps this will be the route by which I finally get an opportunity to explain my needs.

My next blog will be:     Provider Role

William Defoe

Picture Credit – Find a Black Swan –

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