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A Tiny Piece Of Tragedy


Prysm
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When my brother, 15 months my elder, was severely suffering with bipolar, I was there for him. I took his suicide calls. I was the one he left 300 miles from home without a car over break, and who sat petrified in the passenger's seat during his manic episodes, thinking he would kill us both. I went to his diagnostic sessions and doctor visits, and made sure he went to counseling and had his blood levels tested. I went to find him when he hadn't left his dorm room for three days. I was the one who cared, who suffered with him, who took his shit when he was manic, who feared for his life and mourned the loss of all of his potential. I was the one who talked to administrators and professors on his behalf, pleading for leniency, only to watch my 99th percentile of intelligence sibling fail out of college, twice. I am the reason he got out of his dead end job and debt cycle from school loans and is now back in college again. I was the one who encouraged him not to forsake his faith, although god hadn't done a thing for him. I cried every goddamn night for him, and it nearly spun me into a depression of my own. I did everything a nineteen-year-old could do, and I swear I grieved more on his behalf than he did sometimes.

 

I saved his life, if anything did.

 

Now that he's stable, has a good job and bright prospects in a new education, and things are going well, who gets the credit? God. I could describe the hurt I feel, but what's the point? He thinks god loves him. He thinks he can "trust" god. What trust can he possibly be imagining? The failed trust during all those months, when he was misdiagnosed and the meds he was prescribed for mistaken depression exacerbated his bipolar cycles to terrifying extremes? The broken trust, when he told me that he often prayed and read the bible to beg god for help? That trust? I don't want the sickening prostrations I see all over his facebook directed at me. I'd rather they not exist at all.

 

Now, he looks down on me. I know he talks with my parents about me, in all those patronizing and self-congratulatory terms christians use when discussing fallen and lost believers. We both tested well enough to have ivy-league schools courting us, and I so desperately wish I could have his intellect and companionship with rather than against me. We were like twins, so close in age and isolated in a rural environment. He was my best friend for the first decade of my life.

 

To think, I've been through so much, just to lose him now...

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Maybe this just means that YOU're god!

 

But seriously, what a bummer. Maybe he'll get his head straight once everything normalizes.

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Dear Prysm – Perhaps your loss is just a temporary one. If your brother is intelligent, and he knows how intelligent you are, I have to believe that even if it is unconscious at this point, he must be trying to understand why your viewpoint has changed so radically. It may take some time for him to open his conscious mind to the possibilities, but I think it is very possible that his intellect will lead the way. All you can do is let him see that nothing is lacking in your life, continue to love him and be there for him if he needs you to be. He may openly thank god for his success, but he knows how much you have done for him.

 

You have just started a whole new phase of your life. You’ve been thinking about it for a while, but the shift is still pretty new to your family. Be patient with them. They may never understand. But then again, you might be the catalyst that opens their eyes to reality.

 

Fondly,

noob

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I feel so angry on your behalf when I read this. I am so sick to death and fed up with xtians looking through life as though god does all the magical work. It totally denigrates and denies the realities of life. People put in hard work to help people,...god gets the credit! Someone gets some money given to them by a friend or relative...well praise de lawd...and not give the appreciation and thanks to the people who earned that money through their own sweat, blood and tears and gave you something!! Its like xtians cannot see the real world and always live in this super-spiritual cosmos where everything...and I mean everyabsolutelyfrickin everything is attributed to God!!!!!!!!! Oh if it's bad it's satan though. You obviously loved your brother to the point of self-sacrifice, gave your heart time and money to him and now he dares look down on you because you are not a believer! Oh the hypocrisy of it makes me want to vent and scream, and I didn't even experience it, you did...

You know why I feel so angry too? It's because when I was a xtian I used to do every single on of those things..I am deeply embarrassed by it now. It takes away the good honest hard work that normal human beings put into their loved ones..and god gets all the glory, they dont.

I feel deep deep shame and sadness at this hurt that you are suffering.

Regards, Kathlene.

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Thanks for the support. I'm not mad at him, more at the religion for coming between us. We've always been really close and have each other's backs. It's only stupid faith that sets him against me, and I really can't hold that against him since in that worldview he's doing what is right. He isn't treating me badly, it just pains me to know that he thinks I'm wrong when we've always had such respect for the other's thoughts and opinions. He's actually been the one person who hasn't changed the way he treats me, mostly because he was the only person I'd been very open with during the deconversion struggle. We've both been through points of tension in our faith before, so it wasn't entirely out of the blue for him. (For those who are familiar with MBTI or Keirsey, we're both Rationals so our intellect is generally divorced from relationships and emotions.) It just hurts to have such a rift, and to see him willing to look down on me because of some deity that doesn't exist. Not to mention, I'm already embarrassed enough that I was so stupid and bought that imaginary mumbo-jumbo, and it's vicariously embarrassing to watch him do it too. I want to shake him and tell him to snap out of it and face reality. It's just concerning because it's growing now that he's found this group he's really attached to. Ugh. If I could pick one christian to "rescue" it would be him.

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