You Don’t Know Me, And You Don’t Wear My Chains

Dear Brother,

I don’t know why you say cruel things, or why you do things that are morally wrong. I don’t know why you want to be inconsiderate and hurtful. I don’t know why you want to do things that make you not only a danger to others, but yourself as well. I don’t know why you are trying to tear down the foundation that we have all built together, over the past 20 years. I don’t know why you have been so disrespectful, when you know and see how it has caused much pain and suffering.

Why do you want to hurt everyone that cares about you?

Do you believe you’re above me—above us? Do you believe no one has gone through anything like you have? Do you think rules, laws, and conscience are for those who choose to heed them? Do you think we have our own agendas? Do you think we don’t care? Do you think we don’t want you to be happy? Do you want to leave us? Do you think you’ve had it hard?

Because you haven’t.

We weren’t rich, but we weren’t deprived. We weren’t in the fast crowd, but we were popular. We couldn’t do everything, but we did more. We never wanted for anything.

I’ve always had to work harder than you did. For almost everything.

I was smart, so I helped you in school. I was not athletic, so you played outside with me in simple sports that I could maybe win. I was organized, so I helped you get into college. I was not popular, so you introduced me to your friends. I was happy in school, so I listened when you were not. I was not treated well in my relationship, so you didn’t want to be friends with them. I was successful in moving out, so I offered you a place to stay. I was not easygoing, so you taught me to roll with the punches.

But not these punches.

Now, none of that matters. Now, you say things about my life that hurt me. Now, you do things that hurt others. Now, you don’t seem to remember the life we had as children. Now, you don’t seem to care what the future will hold. Now, you have made it so I reap what you sow. Now, your selfish actions and words have caused rifts that extend far beyond us. Now, I have come to resent you.

I never wanted that.

I still don’t.

But now, it is up to you.

I will not be hurt any longer.

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