February 3, 2011Surviving a Shark Attack from my Family
Dear Dr. Laura,
I cannot thank you enough for writing your most recent book, Surviving a Shark Attack (On Land). It is filled with so much wisdom and has helped me tremendously! The icing on the cake was the last line when you included a quote from my favorite movie of all time!
I called into your show on January 12 of this year for the first time after having listened to you for over 15 years. I needed to get your insight on a troubling extended family situation.
My brother who has an alcohol addiction (among others) verbally attacked me Thanksgiving night in front of 15 plus relatives at my grandmother's house. (This, after having been drinking from a bottle in his car all day). He was upset I had communicated and seen his (2nd) ex-wife of 6 months a few times since their split. After his own infidelities he is bewildered she is currently with his best friend. The attack on me was public and meant for humiliation for me and power for him. He did not expect me to stand up to him and became infuriated when I told him "it's not all about you!" It ended with him cursing me out (F-bomb included) in front of everyone including my 7 and 12 year old daughters. My husband decided we needed to leave....of course! He is a "real MAN" and will protect me at all costs from disrespect. Betrayal #2 was the support my parents gave my brother that night and continue to give him. They have entertained him and his new girlfriend in their home while refusing to see my sister and I on Christmas because we didn't want our brother there.
I took your advice in the call and after a provocative e-mail from my brother to my sister and I (telling us he would have cut us out of his life months ago if we weren't his sisters) and told him to call me when he was clean and sober for 6 months. This was met with a chain of hateful text messages to me.
After reading your book today (in one sitting!) it is plain to me I have made the right decision to disengage. I am hoping my parents will come around and respect my decision to protect myself and my family from any further insult or injury from my brother. You hit the nail on the head on page 148 when you describe the parents turn into 'betrayers of the values of which they brought up the good kids, as well as conspirators in an ongoing hurt by ignoring and not supporting the good kids. This is exactly what has been happening in my situation.
My father finally reached out to me and we are having lunch tomorrow. I plan to talk to him and also hand him my heavily highlighted and underlined copy of your book. I am hoping it will give him a better understanding of where I am coming from. I also hope and pray it opens his eyes!
Again, my sincerest gratitude to you for this book and what you do on your show every day. You are a gift from God to all of your listeners!
"The Lord bless you and keep you" Num. 6:24
Posted by Staff at 9:04 PM