To block my mentally ill brother(30 Posts)
My brother suffers from a personality disorder and to a great extent his problems aren't his own fault but he's a massive bully. He manipulates my mum and me and thinks nothing of screaming at us. By way of an example last week he asked me to take him food shopping. He knows I can't stop outside his house for more than a few minutes as it's a cpz and I'd arranged a specific time to collect him. When he wasn't ready I politely said I'm going to have to drive off and he screamed at me and hung up. He then called me back when he reached his destination and threatened to commit suicide if I didn't give him a lift ( he threatens suicide whenever he doesn't get his own way). When I went back to collect him he still kept me waiting over 5 minutes in a cpz and didn't thank me just launched into a rant about how he's going to complain to the council about the bin men not putting the bin back in the right place.
He terrorises my mum and makes her life a living hell.
He recently locked me in his flat and wouldn't let me out because I was helping him fill in a benefits form but I went to leave when he started screaming at me. He only let me out when I threatened to call the police.
He is so horrible to everyone but I feel really pressured now because he's decided (for no apparent reason) that I am his "only family" now.
He has an awful girl friend who emails my mum threatening her and asking money from her.
My sister forgot to close his freezer when he went on holiday and he and his girlfriend have been sending abusive messages to my sister demanding she pay them £100 for the contents of the freezer (my brother is a vegan so there would not have been anything worth half that in the freezer and it was an accident).
He sent me an abusive text out of the blue today. I haven't been I touch because I have a trapped nerve in my shoulder and have been prescribed strong medication for this.
I suffer from really bad anxiety and when I am not around him my anxiety levels are so much less.
I have blocked him on my phone and this has made my mum and sister angry with me but I just feel like for my sanity I cannot have him in my life regardless of his problems. I do not want to end up as his carer and he seems to be getting worse and worse.
He has a great deal of contact with mental health services and has a girlfriend so he is not alone.
I just don't want anything to do with him but I feel guilty
Someone like this has a girlfriend??
YANBU. You need to look after your own mental health. Your brother has support from professionals. You don't need to feel obligated to someone who treats you like shit even if it's not his fault.
It's not something anyone else can decide for you, but going NC at this point sounds like a sensible choice. Is your anxiety possibly related or added to the stresses he brings to your life? If so then nobody could fault you for making sure your own wellbeing is taken care of.
YANBU, I know it may be guilt-inducing but you have to look after yourself. You can't save him.
You have a very right to block him. Hopefully, your mother and sister will follow suit.
You need to sit down with your mother and sister and have a good talk about all this. They are utterly wrong to be angry with you for blocking him. How they interact with him is entirely their business and the choices you make are yours, but I am guessing they are worried that, if you take yourself out of the equation, more of his needs/bad behaviour will fall to them. I think you are totally within your rights to look to protecting your own mental health given the impact he has on you.
Is he on medication for his condition? Perhaps this needs re-assessing as it sounds from what you say that he is just gettting worse.
I think you have a duty to look after your own mental health first. You know on airplanes, when they tell you to put on your own oxygen mask first - it's that.
Of course your dsis and dm are going to pressure you, but you need to look after yourself and own family first. And db has support and sometimes there isn't any helping someone, or even the help you can give doesn't touch it.
Take some time. Maybe in a while you will feel you want to get involved again (hopefully in a way that doesn't drain you). But if not, it sounds like you have already done a lot.
If it increases your anxiety you are right to block him. What is cpz pls?
Look after yourself first, block him, even go non contact if you have to.
Yanbu- he doesn't get to manipulate you like that without repercussions. Go NC and save yourself a lot of hassle.
Yes, go NC.
Your DM and DSis will be desperate to reel you back in to shield them. Don't let them. They should really be doing the same as you. This might actually help your brother in the long run.
This might help you:
reddit: tactic to stop the most persistent flying monkeys
If a stranger sent you abusive messages and locked you in their flat you would go to the police. If going NC doesn't stop his abuse talk to the police about how to deal with it.
Yanbu at all. I had a family member, raging alcoholic that bullied and abused his mother and sister (who also had different mental issues) for years. They were all adults living in the same house, and eventually his son moved in there too and added to the horror of that home.
After years the bully finally got sober and felt horrible regret over the lives he had ruined for years. During the bad times the mother died, so she never saw him sober. His son continues in his horrible ways. This man ruined his and at least three other lives. Yanbu at all!!
I have a relative with learning difficulties who can be abusive and very demanding on the phone. I have found that being firm and telling her off when she rings multiple times in an evening leaving answerphone messages when we are out, works. She stops, but has been known to leave abusive messages. IME people make a lot of excuses for people with mh and learning difficulties. Often they can help themselves more than the family realise. No-one should have to suffer abuse and he should be called out on his behaviour. I have always said I would block the phone if it started making me ill. What other people do is up to them but we all have a responsibility to look after our own mental health. You have been very kind to him and you can't take any more. You shouldn't feel guilty. If he gets his own way by behaving badly, where is the incentive for him to behave better? I really feel for you. Most people have no idea just how tough it is for the families.
I did this 10 years ago about 18 months after my older brother was discharged after being sectioned and treated after a very severe episode. His mental health issues were complicated by massive substance abuse issues.
I had found him incredibly stressful to deal with for the previous decade but he was horribly abusive towards our mother before and after this sectioning it and violent me on the day. Afterwards, I couldn't meet him and just chat about what we were up to, it was an intense interrogation to get me to agree that my mother had maliciously had him sectioned because she couldn't cope with him being gay which was utter bollocks, she wasn't thrilled when he came out 20+ years before but quickly accepted it and subsequent boyfriends. Mum didn't ask for him to be sectioned, a community consultant psychiatrist and mental health social worker told me to ring the police on my mobile as we sheltered behind my car outside my mum's house as my brother ran in and out shouting and throwing heavy objects at us. Every encounter was a mixture of trying to get me to agree that my mum was at fault and had wrongly had him sectioned, and him asking to stay in my house with me and my children, the eldest of whom was scared of him (because he was always equally intense with her) . He had bullied me when we were children so I was hopeless at standing up to him.
It reached the point that I just couldn't cope and I blocked him. It is sad because weirdly he did like me in adulthood and I think he had a fantasy of us being friends but he couldn't just "be" with me.
Two years ago he committed suicide. I sobbed, and sobbed and felt guilt at not being a supportive sister to him but honestly, I couldn't help him. My support had done fuck all over the 20 years prior to me cutting him out. I think I'd now say I feel general regret but not so much guilt. I just wish he could have been happy, even if it was happy off his tits on drugs and living a chaotic life but he wasn't, he was rarely happy in adulthood, it's so sad.
I saw him 11 months before his death as I invited him to the lunch I organised to celebrate my mum's 80th. I did feel I didn't have the right to grieve and his funeral was strange, I felt self-conscious about crying. I scattered his ashes in his favourite place from childhood and helped mum with the funeral but obviously he'd have preferred me to make the effort when he was alive.
I don't think you are being unreasonable. It's not an easy thing either way.
I have MH issues and a personality disorder, but I take medication for it and I'm not an arsehole to my relatives (well not all the time anyway!). Having MH problems doesn't give anyone carte blanche to behave as they please without thinking of others. It's the same with depression, which is often cited as a reason for infidelity...no it's not a good enough one. Plenty of people have depression and manage not to cheat. It pisses me off.
You need to omit his person from your life. What if you had a baby? You couldn't trust him how to behave around baby.
The thing about this though is separating him being a dick from his behaviour related to his mh issues.
Lots and lots of people even with very severe mental health conditions do not behave like this obviously psychotic breaks etc are different but in general terms I mean.
You as a family must come together to put in place boundaries or you alone for a personal relationship with him (taking into account what he can't help) and if he doesn't respect them you step back, he must understand that he can not treat you like shit just because he isn't getting his own way and that if he does the consequences are you will not be in his life to be treated like that
Obviously that's a mute point if you decide to go nc which is your right and noone should make you feel bad for that.
Have a similarly Ill sibling, and occasionally I go NC. My Mum doesn't think i should, but I've spent the last 30 years supporting them, through ED, suicide attempts, theft from employer etc. Don't always have the energy to give themwhat they want. Self preservation....
It being labelled a personality disorder doesn't make it easier on everyone else. Of course YANBU.
I was on a thread recently and a woman was talking about her mother who had a PD, and those of us who understood told her that she needed to protect herself from her mum's manipulative games. A couple of holier than thous piled in saying PDs disorders who no different from depression or Alzheimer's, as they were something a person cannot help. They were politely told that unless they had experienced someone close to them displaying behaviour like this, they could fuck off.
I'm really sorry OP. My brother also has a PD, as well as schizophrenia. I have no contact with him, though it was actually he that decided to isolate himself, not me. Before that however, I was "the only one who understood" and he would ring me multiple times a day, sometimes being deliberately antagonistic in order to make me tell him to get stuffed, so he could play his injured routine. I can't tell you how difficult it was, and how relieved I was when he stopped contacting me.
So very sad reading this thread. Best wishes to those of you currently dealing or who have dealt with this. No reasonable person could blame you for going NC, OP.
The fact that he isn't in prison demonstrates that this is all within his control, he doesn't act like this with strangers because he knows where the line is. He has pushed back that line for family by being very manipulative.
You could write to him and spell out boundaries of manners and behaviour and give him a chance but he will push against it and you will have to respond with walking away or calling the police.
You need to do something as I fear this will escalate and he will hurt you.
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