My brother severs ties with us siblings over financial disputes

By Thao Nguyen   June 2, 2024 | 03:19 pm PT
My elder brother claimed our parents’ property and ceased communication with my younger brother and me after our parents’ deaths.

Our family has an intellectual background, with both parents serving as teachers at a middle school in Tien Giang province in the Mekong Delta. I have one elder and one younger brother, each of us distinctly different.

My elder brother is articulate and always well-dressed. He secured a position at a major telecommunications corporation post-university, thanks to our parents’ influence.

I am reflective, emotional, and tend to be reserved. My younger brother is intelligent, quick, and bold in his ideas and actions, although he is quick-tempered. He forged his own path post-graduation without depending on our parents for his career.

Among us siblings, I am often viewed as the least competent in every respect. My elder brother, though seemingly compliant, is actually self-serving and cunning. The youngest is direct, often at odds with our parents, yet he is dependable and practical.

Our genuine closeness as siblings ended with our childhood. Our disputes, errors, and misfortunes began after our father’s death.

Shortly after our father died, my younger brother proposed selling his portion of our parents’ land to fund a new workshop. Our mother initially consented, but our oldest brother swayed her, fearing the land would be wholly sold. Consequently, our mother retracted her agreement and insulted the youngest, driving him to leave and never return.

In this turmoil, my elder brother emotionally manipulated both our mother and me, convincing her to make a will that appeared to leave the land to both him and me, ostensibly to keep it within the family. In truth, the will granted him sole inheritance rights.

My younger brother has long been settled in Ho Chi Minh City with his family, living contentedly, while our oldest brother remains in rented housing. I often prayed for our father’s help from heaven, hoping to win the lottery to buy a house for my elder brother. Ultimately, I handed over all my savings to him, and together, we bought a social housing apartment in District 12.

However, upon moving in, I found myself responsible for household chores and caring for his children, as my elder brother and his wife offered no help.

Between 2021 and 2022, I fell for a widower, but my elder brother and his wife vehemently opposed the relationship. After the breakup, I discovered I was pregnant and was overjoyed at the thought of motherhood. However, my elder brother and his wife scorned me and stirred up strife. After my child was born and I could no longer assist them with household chores, my brother refunded the money I had contributed towards the house, but his demeanor was dubious.

My elder brother exploited our mother’s love and manipulated her emotions, causing strife and falsely accusing our younger brother and me. Our mother, influenced by him, expelled me from the home. I had to depend on my aunt to return. Later, my younger brother persuaded our mother to welcome me and my son back, but my elder brother continued to provoke her, eventually leading her to lock us out.

Following our mother’s death, my elder brother persistently refused to release her medical records when requested. My younger brother suspected him of involvement in our mother’s death, motivated by her assets, as he took control of the land deeds and severed ties with us after her demise. We had once adored our elder brother more than ourselves, but now, our family was fractured by financial conflicts.

Should I do anything to improve the relationship between us siblings?

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