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My next oldest brother sent me a text today saying he doesn’t understand why I don’t initiate communication with him so here’s my response:

Hi Brother,

     That was a good question and I had to think about it and then decided the answer was too long to text…
     My initial thought was that I don’t initiate contact with you because I don’t know what to say.  But the real answer to your question is that I feel like I stopped initiating contact with you not too long after you guys moved back home from clear across the country because in my mind you weren’t responding to my attempts to be friends.  It felt like your family was more important than anything else and you weren’t interested in what was going on in my life. Right or wrong, I shut you out because I felt like you didn’t want me to be a part of your life and it was less painful to stop trying than to continually feel rejected.
     I know, you didn’t mean it that way and you’re sorry that’s how I felt…  I’m not mad about it, you asked and I answered, that’s all.  It’s been over and done with for a long time now and I’ve come to recognize that it wasn’t intentional and I shouldn’t have taken it personally – I’ve forgiven you and moved on.  The fact that you and I finally started to “talk” again right before I left my husband frankly bewilders me.  We don’t have hardly anything in common anymore and if you were just someone I met in high school I doubt we’d be friends so why on earth are you trying to get to know me now?  My tone here is kindly puzzled, again, I’m not angry.
     I’ve never felt like you (or a whole variety of other people) ever loved me and for most of my life I believed it was because there was something wrong with me that made me unlovable and I deserved to live a life of heartache.  Last year I started going to a really good counselor and slowly came to realize that I’m worthy of love and I don’t deserve to be emotionally bullied, manipulated or guilt-tripped into anything (these things are actually emotional abuse).
     After I left my husband I spent two months of trying to address these issues with him but there was no forward progress or even acknowledgement that he ever has been emotionally abusive, and to a smaller degree still is so, I told him it was over and yesterday I filed the divorce paperwork.  That decision may have been announced in anger because I wouldn’t have had the courage to say it otherwise but it certainly wasn’t  made in anger.  I know my husband feels like he’s the victim in all of this but according to the people with degrees and licenses who dedicate their lives to helping women in abusive relationships I’m the victim and therefore qualify for an amazing amount of assistance.  Legally I’m homeless and a victim of domestic abuse.  But I don’t want to stay a victim, I want to move on and heal, become a whole person for probably the first time and have a real life.
     I know I’ve made the right decision and am doing the right thing.  I have found a good church and have started to get more and more involved with the ladies there and God has been blessing me in amazing ways since I moved out.  I hope that my  husband finds his own healing from a past that made him who he is but whatever he does, he’s going to do it without hurting me any further.
     So there it is, more than I intended to write but hopefully answers to a few of the questions you didn’t know how to ask. If you still want to communicate, ask me more questions and I will do my best to answer them when I have time to sit down and type them out.  I wish I had been braver and able to do this sooner in my life but better late than never, eh?
I love you too,