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Heidi LPC
Heidi LPC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor
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Our son in the Army just emailed me an exchange between him

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Our son in the Army just emailed me an exchange between him and his brother , very upset, saying he was depressed thinking about the loss of his brothers & sisters from his life. I hardly know what to say to him, to help him understand and feel if not better, not be depressed, just accept what we have to accept. Our Army son is in Germany, the past year, the year before that he was in Iraq, and that puts him a zillion light years away from the kids who stayed home safely within the USA and have not had the decpline of being in the Military. Our Army son is right by the way, he has helped in a real way financially since his dad's company went bankrupt almost 2 years ago. We adopted 5 children but none of them are doing anything worth mentioning except for our Army child. The rest just went off into nothing jobs, no education, being alienated from us also, sadly. I really wonder what I can possible say to this son. Here is the email exchange that he sent to me. = =

Mom, and Dad,
This is what I delt with last night. He really had some nerve. Im not
sure if I was in the right also.

(22 hours agoCalixto ) CALIXTO WROTE...

you feel like going off line and not saying any thing to me every time
i say some thing delete me so you and i don't have to deal with your
falseness of a true brother, grow up! and talk for your damn self but
when you do make sure there your own words... you want to be like that
then so be it. get over the pass every one lives to die anyways.....
you already know .... just so you know i would give my life to save
yours, nonetheless even so with all the shunning, but you want not to
be bothered by me, say it like a man!,, you have no idea what i have
been thru cuz you don't ask and i guess mom was right you have new
brothers and a new life and you really don't give a damn, and i could
be wasting me time, maybe i am saying this out of hurt,,, maybe i am
saying this cuz whatever you decide on doing i will always love you no
matter what you do or say!! miss you big bro.... wish you were not so
distanced from the truth dale!!

(19 hours agoJose F. ) I WROTE....
Stop being dumb. I have been busy picking up the pieces that everyone
left for me, I have been busy paying everyone bills that they left for
me, I have been busy supporting a house that I do not live in, I have
been busy doing my military work, I have been busy doing college work.
You think I am ignoring you out of spite? How dare you tell me to grow
up, you apparently know nothing about me. I have a job, I support mom
and dad, I pay for the house bills and I don't even live there! I have
a college degree. I have a name for myself, check yourself brother
before you use accusations.

I go offline because I am to busy to play games on FB, I have a life
other than this blasted social network that everyone loves to place
their whole life on. Ask yourself, have I ever said Im not talking to
you, that I and going to shun you? How dare you call me a fake
brother, I have picked up your slack ever since you lived at home, I
have defended you, asked mom to give you another chance in hopes of
change, I have asked you to do things so you would stay out of
trouble, you want me to talk for myself? Well now you have it! YOU
need to grow up, you need to stop the drinking, you need to stop the
lies, you need to get an education, for example: ''Cuz, Bra,'' are not
words, i is capitalized like this "I"

How much money have you put into the house? how many bills have you
paid out of kindness? Did you get your own car? Are you in college?
Never tell me to grow up again, because you fail to realize that I am
a man already, not a child.


12 hours agoCalixto

11 hours agoJose F.
Your hopelsess I'm removing you.

Heidi LPC :

Good Evening; I have read your question, and wonder if I can be of some help... this is a very complicated situation, and your son who is overseas seems to be being baited into giving his brother some attention he is looking for... and you are trying to find words to say to your son to help him through--- am I correct?

Heidi LPC :

When I read the exchange, the first thought that came to mind was that Calixto is dealing with some jealousy and is trying to knock Jose's confidence in order to gain some power over him. I can imagine that Jose gets hurt and angry when he is approached in this fashion, especially since he is so far away... and for you, I'm sure you just want some peace and for the attacks to stop.

Heidi LPC :

The best answer I can provide is this: we can only control ourselves, and although you can't stop the boys from hurting one another, you can advise Jose to put down some solid boundaries to let Calixto know what is acceptable behavior towards him and what isn't. The old saying is, "What we allow, we encourage." And another piece of wisdom is that people behave in less than pleasing ways for two reasons: 1. To gain something, or 2. To avoid something. I think Calixto is trying to gain attention, plain & simple. When Calixto makes personal attacks, the less attention paid to it, the less it will be encouraged. However, it is completely appropriate to let him know that these words hurt, and that sometimes the damage we inflict on those we love has a lasting effect... and that you love him, but cannot accept this behavior from him.

Heidi LPC :

It is clear that you love your children, and it hurts you to see them hurting. I hope that the sibling rivalry slowly fades away, and that Calixto can find success in his own life. I also hope that with time, you will get to enjoy some happy times and memories made with your children. I wish you all the very best, XXXXX XXXXX let me know if you have any further questions or information to share! This chat will remain in the "my questions" tab at the top of your screen if you'd like to access it at a later point.... take good care!!


I do agree with what you say, and I appreciate how you are saying it most of all. Calixto has always been argumentative with everybody. When we were sweet and loving towards him, he seemed to get a message that he could then be as nasty as he wanted to be, sadly, he mistook kindness for weakness. He was the most fun to be with, enjoyed life more than all the rest with great gusto, but he now has become bitter and drinking alcohol way too much. He was living back at home last year for about 6 months, but we had to tell him that he had to move out, for the 3 rd time. This was not what we had hoped for once again. When he left he stole the key to the car that his brother has here while he is overseas, as well as house keys, and we had no idea until he came one night and took the car. We believed the car was stolen ( it was actually ) , reported it to the police, but then , in the morning, wow. The car was back in the drive way. We were shocked. The police accused my husband of filing a false police report and threatened him with jail too. Calixto was moving that night to another apartment and we had no idea that he had a key for the car. Calixto was never permitted to drive his brothers car when he was living at home, just on general principals and that applied to anybody. Now, Calixto denies that he stole the key, took the car, and pretends that he is innocent. Then this attack on Jose'. I don't know what to say to Jose' except that he needs to not allow this exchange no matter what. Also, I feel that if Calxito does not return the key to his car, that Calixto has not come out of his denial and is not ready nor deserving of anybody trying to have any relationship with him. We have raised Calixto since he was a baby of only 2 years old but I don't believe at this point that he is ever going to be capable of a normal, non-adversarial relationship with any of us. I wish I were wrong, but I believe that I am not. I had such lovely ideas of us as a family, this makes me sad also. Thanks for your response, it is well said and makes good sense. I am going to relay it to Jose'. He is working way too hard to be distressed with this provocation and sadness both. Again , thanks.

Heidi LPC :

I am so sorry for your pain; as a mother, I can only imagine how you feel having a child turn their back this way. I hope you can remember that it is important for all of you to draw the line for Calixto... and to tell Jose that he is on the right path and not to let anyone deter him. What goes around comes around, and telling Calixto that when he is ready and willing to play by the rules of love and family, you will welcome him with open arms. Letting him know that he has hurt you is also important. But, Jose: from me to you, your brother is feeling less than you, and all you can say to him is that you love him and hope he stops pushing those who love him away... for someday, he may need them. And leave it at that. Jose, thank you for your service and know that this, too, shall pass.... hang in there, folks!!!!!!!!


Thank you again, I have tears once again in my heart. I know you are right. I will share this with Jose', he has been beyond any hope or expectations for us throughout his life. I know that Calixto has hurt him also. I also believe, without any doubt that it is a futile effort to reach Calixto, for now. He loves limits so he can break them. I know that I have to harden my heart, and protect myself , from his emotional damage. I hate it but I also believe that is what Jose' needs to do for now. Life is not always easy. Thank you for being kind also.

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