Below is a letter to my father regarding my developmentally delayed younger brother. I am his guardian even though both of his parents are alive. My dad is out of state and calls my brother but does not visit often. He says he will come home for a visit but often changes the date. He has changed the date of his most recent visit three times. My older brother helps but has a bit of personality disorder and had a hard time managing his feelings and had words with my dad. I currently have not been able to reach him by phone so I sent this via email. My mother is ill.
Here is a letter I sent after listening to the coaching call and boundary podcast.
While sharing this makes me feel exposed, I would love some feedback from an unemotional second party.
I just wanted to reach out and touch base regarding Kenn’s visit home.
As you know, the news of you moving your visit date back and forth has frustrated David (older brother) and I greatly. David shared with me the situation that occurred on Saturday. While the delivery of his message was aggressive and not knowing what he said exactly, I can say without a doubt, I agree with him. We love you and hope you understand while you are not perfect, neither are your children.
Without rehashing the past, the void of you leaving and not turning back had great consequences, positive and negative, in our life. While David and I both know we can’t blame our parents for everything in our life, we have faced our flaws to best of our ability and moved on with our lives. David is a successful recovered addict and I am learning to move past my co-dependent enabling behavior. So, as you can imagine,when we hear the date has move again we have a tendency to revert to old feelings.
We have cared for both mom and Kenn successfully and take pride in our ability to work together in this area. David and I have very busy schedules and count on help when people say they will help. We felt very bad we did not bring Kenn home for his birthday. Now it is going into the end of April and we still have not seen him.
With that said, we love you and still want you in our lives but cannot allow you to make promises and not keep them. David and I are planning on moving forward with bringing Kenn home on May 4th (David will pick him up) with a return date on May 12th (I will take him back). I understand you will be visiting during that time so that will work out for you. You will not need to pick him up on May 8th since he will be home already. You are welcome to take him back on Saturday the 12th or Sunday the 13th but it is not necessary. I have already planned on taking him back. We will celebrate Kenn’s birthday Saturday May 5th since we have the kids that weekend. If you are home at that time we would love for you to join us.
As Kenn’s guardian, I am asking you no longer tell him you are coming “home for a visit”. If you come home and see him it will be a surprise for him. The anticipation of your arrival and date changes are too much for him to understand. Please understand he loves to hear from you but telling him dates and not keeping them does continual damage to his already fragile state causing behavioral problems. I am asking Ludeman to no longer take home visit dates from anyone other than myself. I will be letting mom know this as well.