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My brother's children never thank me.


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Old 7th September 2017, 8:34 AM   #1
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My brother's children never thank me.

I used to enjoy giving gifts to my brother's children for birthdays, Christmas.

I have never been acknowledged for it. Mostly, he passes them onto them as I am housebound due to agoraphobia. On one occasion, I put together a collection of pretty school supplies for his daughter when she turned 8. I didn't hear from her for months and I gently called him on it in an email, saying that I felt hurt and insignificant to her. When I saw her in person, I asked her what she thought of her present. The answer? "Awesome."

This year I relayed gifts to her for her 11th and to his son for his 21st. Months have passed and I have heard nothing, not even a thanks from my brother. The same goes for his GF whom, like me, has a passion for plants. Again, I don't hear a thing from her via him. BTW, she has persistent head lice thanks to her son, which I mentioned in another thread. I tried to look past that but now I cannot.

For the record, he was, WAS, my pot supplier but I have cut that off and now I don't hear from him at all. He is drug-addled and in a previous post I talked about his dangerous driving which scared the hair off my head. He drives full of painkillers, pot and residue from the previous night's drinking.

Back to the point. I have decided to no longer acknowledge his children's birthdays or any other achievements (if he even bothers to inform me). The feelings about this have gone from hurt to more or less indifference, which is what I feel they think of me. Indifferent.

It is very rude. I don't expect accolades. Just to be recognised as their aunt. It is as if I don't exist unless I am standing in front of them.

I am content within myself with the idea of cutting contact with these people altogether. I am over the trying. Family of origin is waaaaay overrated and I will not be a doormat. My intuition suggests that he is coaching them to ignore me and as an aside, their biological mother hates my guts for no reason other than that I am his sister.

Oh, and for the last twenty years many of his friends have said "Wow, I didn't' know that @@@@@ had a sister. You are awesome!" But not to him.

What is your interpretation of this behaviour? Is it a slow fade? I am sick of his PA behaviour.
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Old 7th September 2017, 8:41 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vesna View Post
I am sick of his PA behaviour.
This is not PA behavior. It's more than likely just an oversight/not important to him.

The kids probably ARE indifferent to you because 1. They are kids and kids are selfish, and 2. You have agoraphobia so probably don't see them much, right? Out of sight, out of mind.

Should kids be taught to send thank you notes or make thank you calls when they receive gifts? Yes. But, it doesn't doesn't like this is a priority for your "drug addled" brother, so your expectations are probably too high in this situation .
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Old 7th September 2017, 10:02 AM   #3
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Honestly, I'd be less worried about thank you notes and more worried that your brother is driving your neice around while high as a kite!
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Old 8th September 2017, 6:31 AM   #4
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I might be an old-fashioned traditionalist but because they are kids, I can accept their selfishness. It's a sign of the times.

To be fair, the 21 yo nephew saw me in the city (on a rare excursion of trepidation to a doctor), ran up to me and hugged me. It came unexpectedly and was magickal.

Niece does give me a hug and we do exchange talk when my brother brings her to me on his dad-weekends.

I agree about being concerned when he drives the kids around in the state he is in.

Oh dear!
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Old 9th September 2017, 11:57 AM   #5
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Hello,


I am sorry that you feel as if you are underappreciated I know how hard that can be to accept. While reading your post I could almost hear the excitement that giving gifts to your niece and nephew stirs up within you and I think that is great. I also love to give gifts even if its just a quick note telling someone how much they mean to me. Like you, I don't always get the responses I'd like but I still love the way it feels to give. I would encourage you to hold onto the feelings of excitement you feel when you are able to give to others and allow that feeling to carry you through.


You had asked the question about what others thought of your brother's behavior and while I don't know him well enough to respond to that I do know that generally speaking "hurt people hurt people" maybe having a conversation with your brother about how you feel may help to mend some hurt feelings?!?!


It sounds like your niece expressed a genuine love for the thoughtful gifts you've given her. Isn't it nice to think of the smile you created in her even if you weren't there to see it? I encourage you to continue to be a joyful giver because it is far better to give than to receive.
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Old 9th September 2017, 6:17 PM   #6
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No, Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vesna View Post
I used to enjoy giving gifts to my brother's children for birthdays, Christmas. . . When I saw her in person, I asked her what she thought of her present. The answer? "Awesome." . . This year I relayed gifts to her for her 11th and to his son for his 21st. Months have passed and I have heard nothing, not even a thanks from my brother. . . Back to the point. I have decided to no longer acknowledge his children's birthdays or any other achievements (if he even bothers to inform me). The feelings about this have gone from hurt to more or less indifference, which is what I feel they think of me. Indifferent. . . It is very rude. I don't expect accolades. Just to be recognised as their aunt. It is as if I don't exist unless I am standing in front of them. . . I am content within myself with the idea of cutting contact with these people altogether. I am over the trying. Family of origin is waaaaay overrated and I will not be a doormat. My intuition suggests that he is coaching them to ignore me and as an aside, their biological mother hates my guts for no reason other than that I am his sister. . . What is your interpretation of this behaviour? Is it a slow fade? I am sick of his PA behaviour.
My situation is similar.

My two stepdaughters are madly BIZZZZZZEEEEEEE! every second of every day until they need a place to stay when they come to town.

The older one would literally ignore every email or text I sent her throughout the year but then mail us each a Christmas gift. These gifts would arrive either late or sent by FedEx at a cost that had to have exceeded the value of the enclosed embarrassingly-obvious regifts and odd, ridiculously-inappropriate trinkets frequently with the tags so carelessly removed that they were still half-on.

(Last time, in fact, I brought them back to TJMaxx and easily exchanged them for a gift card; the entire bar code had been accidentally left on those half-removed price stickers.)

That same last time it happened, I blew a gasket and told her father that I really wished she would just stop, already. The following Christmas, she stuck $50 cash in a card to just him. I was happy and relieved.

The youngest made plans with and flaked on me over and over and over for years while I sat thinking, "Well; she's still young and in college; this is what they do."

Each time I'd send a lovely email, full of understanding, inviting her to just let us know when she wanted to visit (she is now local; her sister is not), telling her to feel free to bring her friends or boyfriend or whoever

AND GET RADIO SILENCE.

The first and only time I asked if she were okay after not getting an answer, she snapped, "I'm sorry for not answering one text!"

Yeah, well, now she's thirty with a Masters' and a real job. Clearly she can get herself to classes and work on time just fine, and to airports literally all over the word to make complicated flight connections to do stuff she really wants to do.

After mentioning once or twice that I'd started to feel like I should just take the hint and being reassured that "No, it's not that way at all; I really love you guys and wanna come have dinner with you once a month," I decided to stop letting her set me up.

I haven't slammed the door, but it is firmly closed.

I would (so far) still listen to what she has to say, but to use the vernacular, she will have to come correct. No more pushing that Reset button.

I, too, know that feeling of joyous gift giving; the time and thought going into something you imagine will light up their faces; and the resulting feeling of standing there with your metaphorical d*** in your hand as you get completely ignored yet again.

(Sorry to be vulgar, but sometimes the phrase just fits.)

No, thanks; I'll pass.

Last edited by InvisiBlonde; 9th September 2017 at 6:21 PM.. Reason: Fixed a typo.
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Old 18th October 2017, 7:49 AM   #7
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Recently, I asked my niece if she received the art supplies I sent to her via my brother and she said 'yep'. His step-children are just as rude. I know they are children but that is not an excuse in my old-school book.

I trust my gut. He is brainwashing them, for some reason, to dislike me. Their mother hated me and made it her business to make sure I knew that. She was even more vicious when the daughter was born. Ten years after the divorce and I still tread on eggshells around him as I feel he still harbours hatred toward me, under his ex wife's direction.

We came from extremely humble and dysfunctional origins and he went all tall poppy on me when he married this wealthy, supremely well-educated but unhappy person. He won't change now.

No, the kids won't be getting any more gifts from me. The 21 year old is not a child any more and the 11 year old can contact me when she is older, at her own behest. I have had a gutful.
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Old 18th October 2017, 7:59 AM   #8
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Just stop doing anything for the kids. Kids don't acknowledge gifts with thank you's anymore so don't bother wasting your time or money.
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Old 18th October 2017, 11:13 PM   #9
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Amen to that! The Wishing Tree will be getting two anonymous donations to children from next Xmas/Holidays and onwards.
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