Therapy Unplugged: My Brother Went To University
Thomas helps a sender who's struggling with his brother going to University...
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Hi Thomas, I love listening to your radio show! My brother recently left to go to University, and I’m really missing him. Him and I have never gotten along with each other, particularly, but I never knew I would miss him this much. He’s two years older than me, and we live with my mother and father who have been happily married. We’re lucky that we have a relatively functional family – although I’ve never been that close with him. Now he’s gone, I realise how quiet it is and I get really sad and depressed. I’m too embarrassed to speak with him over the phone because I don’t want to sound needy and I definitely don’t want him to know that I miss him. What do I do?
Dear Anonymous Flown-the-Coup:
Thank you for your message! It always makes me smile to know that people enjoy the radio show. Thank you! Your send-in is quite touching and relevant to many in your situation. It is not until we are parted from our siblings that we actually think about them, the times we have spent with them and the growing absence of their presence which makes us miss them. Memories will start to play in your mind as you increase your awareness to his absence, but more often than not, those memories are good and make us smile. From what you have sent me, it sounds as if your family is a very normal family unit. It is normal to experience the feelings which you have written to me about when your older sibling departs to start the rest of their life as an individual no longer a permanent fixture in the household.
I need to stick to the premise of this show and convey that communication is key and honesty is the best policy. Your brother has gone off to begin his life as a single adult and over time you will notice a change to a more independent and emotionally secure individual than the one that you used to live with. I understand that you do not want to sound needy and do not want him to know that you miss him, but let me ask you a question: Why? Most times when people are away for periods of time, it is always nice to know that they are missed and loved, especially by their family. Maybe this is the beginning of a new phase in your sibling relationship? It is not until someone is gone that we often realise just how much we in fact like, love and miss them. Life is too short to be trivial – tell him how you think and how you feel.
You may just be surprised as to how open he is to your honesty and sentiment. He may even return those same feelings towards you! Sometimes being away from home is not all it is made out to be and his day could really be brightened by knowing that you do value him and miss him. Think about it, let me know how you make out.
Let me know how you make out...
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