The opposite of love isn’t hate…it’s indifference

I heard it on Oprah once when she was interviewing someone and at the time, life was good. I was happy and things with my brother were what I thought of as “great” – when I look back on it now with hindsight, it’s because I wasn’t challenging him on anything and was just stuck in worshipping and protecting him at all costs. Not even lying when I say AT ALL COSTS. I was willing to lay down my life for my brother, that’s the mindset I was in.

I remember the first time Jay betrayed me.

It was when Anne ruined my life. She stole $30K (!!!) from me, took my car and turned my parents, the Church and almost all my friends against me. Her lies completely destroyed me.

During the time of Anne’s reign of my life, it was my 21st birthday and I was in hospital. I was allowed ‘temporary release’ from hospital to celebrate my birthday so I excitedly went home and tried to plan my birthday party.

There’s a scene in the movie “Jerry Macguire” where Jerry has lost his reputation at work because he wrote a heart-felt manifesto and sent it to everyone at work. (I see you, dude. I’ve done similar things, caught up in the passion of the moment). At the time, Jerry thinks he’s revolutionising being an Agent to Sports celebrities by putting heart and passion into the business and of course, that’s not what makes the dollars, so everyone immediately takes about 50 steps away from him.

Knowning he’s suddenly on his own, Jerry calls his clients to try to get them to join his team. Jerry’s been fired and wants to make his own firm and take clients with him. It’s a stellar plan, really.

One by one, Jerry frantically calls and each client either says “fuck NO” or makes a lousy excuse for why they can’t remain clients to Jerry.

At the same time – maybe it’s shown on split screen? (I can’t remember, I just remember the pain) – a rival agent who is slick AF and all about money is calling the same clients and getting them onto his team. I think in many of the calls, he’s telling customers that “Jerry is crazy/Poor dude’s lost his mind, yeah haha what an idiot” and clients (they got the manifesto too – bless you, Jerry) are concerned and all rushing to stay in the stable business that has already been created – and the other agent is the main salesperson for them. So the other guy – I think ironically his name is Jay too – wins outright and gets almost all the clients.

Jerry is left with TWO clients. Probably out of a hundred.

He loses so badly that it’s painful to watch.

Well, the same thing happened with me on that fateful afternoon when I went through my address book and called friend (started with A in the address book and worked all the way to Z) after friend “Hey, do you want to come over for my birthday dinner tonight?” and got the same responses Jerry did. Anne had reached everyone before I did. Everyone had been turned against me and warned against being associated with me.

Every rejection to my party ripped through my heart like a tornado. I felt as if I was diseased and no one wanted to be associated with me. I’d become a leper – cast out of the community. Unclean.



No friends would come to my party. I was 8 years old again, on the playground where no one would be my friend. No one would even make eye contact with the shy girl by the sandpit, hoping for a friend to build a castle with.

Well, that’s okay because all I needed was my brother. Jay can come over and we can share KFC and laugh at our favourite movies. When everyone else had abandoned me, it was going to be Jay that stayed by my side.

Fuck you, Anne. You took my mates but you can’t mess with the bond between my brother and I.

This cheered me up.

Brushing my tears away and nodding to myself with renewed strength “Of course Jay will come, he’s my best friend” I dialled our home phone number.

“Hello?” Jay’s voice.

I felt so comforted just hearing it. Here was my salvation. Everything was going to be okay now.

“Jay” I sighed, relieved to be speaking to family.



“So you know it’s my birthday today, right?”


I forged on ahead, shaking off the doubt that started to blossom in the pit of my stomach.

“I uhh” I gulped, tears welling in my eyes because suddenly my hope was dying. I suddenly knew the answer but I needed to hear it. I wanted to put myself through that final blow. I needed to know the truth and I needed to hear it from my brother then and there.

“I’m having birthday dinner and no one else is coming. No one wants to celebrate with me, Jay” I broke then. I was trying to hold it together, but here was the one person I could be honest with. Be myself with. Here was the one person I could trust in all the mess Anne had made.


“Uhh yeah…I heard about that” Jay confirmed.

Who had he heard it from?

Oh Anne. No. Say it isn’t so.

“I’m uhh…” I gulped down more tears, they were really flowing now. Every second on this call with my brother where I could feel him taking steps away from me was tearing at my heart “I really need you here. I need you to be on my side. Please” I admitted. I pleaded.

This is where you put me at ease, bro. This is where all my sacrifices and all my work in our relationship and how much I have loved you and given up for you, worshipped you and protected you – this is where it all comes into play.

“I can’t” Jay sighed. Annoyed. Distracted.

“What?” I couldn’t believe it.

“It’s too…uncomfortable for me” He said. HE DIDN’T EVEN TALK LIKE THAT. Where was this coming from?!?

You’re uncomfortable about coming to my birthday party???

I didn’t understand.

“I gotta go” and HE HUNG UP.

The fuck?!?

What has just happened?

So you know what? I spent that night ALONE.

I nursed my broken heart as best I could that night. All the rejections from my friends hurt me deeply but oh my God that call with my brother – that scorched my very soul.

Jay did it again and again and again. Whenever times got tough, he was the FIRST to run from me. As he and I got older, he separated himself more and more from me but as we got older, he excused his behaviour expertly so that I was always holding on. Always hoping for a smile or sign of approval or affection from my brother. At each betrayal, Jay gaslit me into believing it was my fault so I’d end up apologising for how he broke my heart.

I had a blood clot in my lungs that could instantly KILL ME if it moved to my heart. Did Jay call or even text? NO HE DID NOT. Mom tried to excuse his behaviour – she always does. “He’s so busy with work”. Too busy to text me when I COULD LITERALLY DIE at any moment, Mom? Really? And this is OK with you and Dad because Alun is legit terrified and his parents IN WALES have called EVERY SINGLE FUCKING DAY to see how I am…but nothing from Jay. NOT A WORD.

Jay’s lack of concern was excused. It still hurt like a bastard. I could have died and Jay didn’t care enough to fucking text “You ok?”

That’s the person I’m dealing with. Not the little boy who caught tadpoles with me in the pond. Not the teenager who would listen to “Boyz 2 Men” with me for hours and we’d plan our futures together. Not the 20-something-year-old who played guitar and wrote songs with me. Not the 30-something who flew out to England to live with me because his wife was “being mean to him”. He’s not the person I think he is. He hasn’t been that person in a very long time.

My brother is super smart. He’s slick, he’s charming and says just the right words at the right time to the right people. He’s powerful, he’s a master manipulator and he’s good at getting his way – especially when it comes to me.

Earlier this week, Jay stopped speaking to me. AGAIN.

I made a stand that Alun and I weren’t able to accomodate Mom – so that was the end of Jay’s responding to me via text or Facebook messenger.

I messaged: “Hey Jay, Mom said you guys paid for her flights, we’d love to help and pay half towards – how much shall we send and which account suits you best?”

No response.

“Mom lands this afternoon (Saturday. No she didn’t) is that right? Did you want us to go pick her up and help you guys out?”

No response.

“No idea when Mom is flying in now (SUNDAY) can you guys update me, please?”

No response.

All this week I’ve been in hospital, guys. I’ve had a brain bleed and my hands and fingers swelled up. Terrified, I’ve and been prodded, poked (in the SPINE of all places) and can’t sleep because the Observation ward in the Emergency Department is so noisy – even at 2am, the beeping and rushing of sneakers on the linoleum floor keeps me awake and I AM EXHAUSTED.

But in spite of how truly UNWELL I am, I’m still trying to reach out to my only sibling.

Jay…are you there?


I’m scared in hospital, bro. Doctors made me bend over and PUT A GIANT NEEDLE IN MY FUCKING SPINE to draw out fluid to see what it wrong with me, Jay. I could really use a response from you right now, bro. Please. Please let me know you’re there.


I’ve been scared of the arsenal of weapons my brother will be stocking up to annihilate me with for leaving Mom with him instead of taking on all the responsibility.

But the truth is, there will be no arsenal. That requires passion and insight. Anger requires an emotional response. Hatred demands action of some kind.

But indifference? It requires nothing at all. NOTHING.

And NOTHING is what I’m getting from my brother and what I’ve gotten for 10 straight years.

On the day our Dad died and I got ONE text message IN RESPONSE to all the loving, tender, caring ones I’d sent. IT TOOK MY DAD’S DEATH FOR JAY TO EVEN SEND ONE TEXT.

What hope do I have now?

So Jay doesn’t hate me, no.

He just doesn’t give a shit either way.

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