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To think she's out of order not to warn my DB against doing this?

(74 Posts)
Mittens030869 Tue 07-Apr-20 11:23:57

This is about my DM and my DB. He has serious MH issues and I know he will obviously find lockdown difficult to handle. But I was still very annoyed when she told me that he was leaving his flat just to walk around the shops (not an essential errand). Her justification was that he's not likely to get serious symptoms, as he's only early 50s and has no underlying health issues. (This is true, he's hardly ever physically ill at all, though by that score, Boris Johnson wouldn't have been expected to get serious symptoms either.)

Anyway, I challenged her strongly, as it's not so much about him, he's putting others at risk. She responded by backtracking, as is her habit; he only goes out 3 times a week and practises social distancing blah blah.

I reacted the way I did because I'm suffering COVID-19 symptoms and have been ill for 4 weeks. I was serious (moderate, it would be defined as, I think) for the first 2 weeks, since then I'm recovering very slowly, hopefully. I've been stuck in the house and my DH has had to cope with a stressed DD1 (11), who has SEN and adoption related attachment issues, and WFH. So my sympathy was in short supply.

My DM made me feel that I was overreacting and not being sympathetic about how hard it is for my DB. I ended up apologising (as usual) but pointed out that he might get challenged by the police, so she should talk to him about the rules (which she said she hadn't done).

Then she picked an argument about whether cuddling my cats (something that's really comforting to me) might lead to it passing to my family. Because of the tiger in the New York. But forgetting that it was the tiger that sick not the zoo keepers. And also my cats have not had symptoms.

Talk about diverting. I'm tired of feeling like I'm unreasonable when I argue with her. I'm not, am I? My DH agrees with me, as someone with asthma.

MinkowskisButterfly Tue 07-Apr-20 11:29:36

Does he live with your mum? If not then you are bang out of ordwr bitching and having a pop at her. You approach him (via phone etz) He is an adult in suppose? Yes his actions are irresponsible and down right dangerous (and yes likely and rightly will get challenged by the police) but your dm can not control his actions and yabu to lay the blame at her feet.

koshkatt Tue 07-Apr-20 11:31:18

Sorry but what has this to do with your poor Mum? Leave her alone FGS. He is a grown man - speak with him.

onanothertrain Tue 07-Apr-20 11:37:56

Why aren't you warning him if you're so concerned?

Mittens030869 Tue 07-Apr-20 11:42:43

I should clarify ('drip feeding' you might say but I didn't want to go into that) that I'm not in contact with my DB due to triggering issues from childhood. He participated in abusing my DSis and me, though he was abused himself so I'm aware that he's a victim too. But we reported him to the police when they were investigating. So because of our DDs, having a relationship with him isn't possible. Plus he has no memories of our F abusing my DSis and me, he idolises my F so I can't cope with being around him.

He's also been diagnosed as autistic, and is unable to look after himself. So he relies on my DM for everything. Not great, I know this isn't easy, but unfortunately he needs someone to advise him, as social care has always been minimal. I should have clarified, it's like looking after a child really.

finn1020 Tue 07-Apr-20 11:43:52

He’s a grown man, it’s not up to her to police his behaviour, mental health issues or not. You deal with him directly if it bothers you that much.

Mittens030869 Tue 07-Apr-20 11:47:03

I was actually simply pointing out the issues rather than arguing and backed down when my DM replied. She only thought about the risk to him, not the risk to others, that's why I was concerned. I was also concerned that being approached by the police, which he would find distressing.

It was the response about going on about me putting my family at risk by having my cats on my lap in my bedroom that upset me.

Hadalifeonce Tue 07-Apr-20 11:48:49

Surely, as long as he is distancing himself from others, then going for a walk is not bad. I see many people jogging on their own. It's a form of exercise which is allowed, as long as the distancing rules are obeyed.

PeacockPies Tue 07-Apr-20 11:48:51

Honestly, it sounds like you were picking a fight with your mother. ‘Challenged her strongly’ about something that she isn’t even doing!

It’s against the guidelines to go to the shops, we all know that already. He should be taking his walk for exercises and his mental health every day and not going in the shops. He has, according to you serious mental health issues and isn’t adheringbto the guidelines.

None of this has anything to do with how your husband is managing with your dd.

koshkatt Tue 07-Apr-20 11:49:24

Anyway, I challenged her strongly, as it's not so much about him, he's putting others at risk. She responded by backtracking, as is her habit; he only goes out 3 times a week and practises social distancing blah blah

Your OP does not chime with your update really.

PeacockPies Tue 07-Apr-20 11:51:13

She has said that about your cats as she was thinking of a picky little thing that she could throw at you.

Mittens030869 Tue 07-Apr-20 11:52:48

'I was concerned that being approached by the police would be distressing to him' that was supposed to say.

I was concerned that the problem might be that I had too much time on my hands. It's good to have honest answers from AIBU. Thank you. I'm glad I didn't fall out with her.

I'm more concerned about her, and hoping that she stays away from my DB, as she's vulnerable herself being 80. She's talked about coming here with deliveries when I probably do have COVID-19. She also helps with meals on wheels, which is lovely but worries me.

Her lack of interest in rules of listening to advice is what I find hard to cope with. She then picks up on minor things, like the risk from cats.

MitziK Tue 07-Apr-20 11:55:09

Why give a shit about him? There are very good reasons why you don't have contact - if he gets picked up by police and doesn't cope well with it, that's their issue, not yours.

Mittens030869 Tue 07-Apr-20 11:57:55

It doesn't chime, because I was expressing my annoyance and frustration at her lack of willingness to stick to rules. My DH and I both find it frustrating when she tries to 'help' but doesn't listen to advice and later accepts that she got it wrong. It then doesn't learn.

And it's also frustrating that I can't talk about it to him. Even if we were in touch, I wouldn't be able to advise him, as he would shout down the phone at me.

So it's more frustration and helplessness, I suspect.

Wtfdoipick Tue 07-Apr-20 12:00:43

Is he going in the shops and just browsing or is he walking round the area that the shops are, it's not clear from your op. If it's the first then that is selfish but the second would come under exercise and is perfectly ok as long as social distancing is observed. It does sound a bit like you are picking for the sake of picking but that is obviously a trait you get from your mother.

Mittens030869 Tue 07-Apr-20 12:00:42

You're right. I suspect I'm projecting there, as there are so many vulnerable people he could pass it to.

But you're right, I have enough concerns with our DDs to focus on without worrying about him.

Mittens030869 Tue 07-Apr-20 12:02:48

I suspect he's browsing, there's a very big ASDA supermarket he'll be going into. That's why I was annoyed. Otherwise there's a very nice big park a 5 minute walk from where he lives where he can have far better exercise, and with a pond to walk around.

JudyCoolibar Tue 07-Apr-20 12:07:06

If he's going into shops, that's a serious issue as he may well pick up the virus from door handles etc. Could he be persuaded at least to take hand sanitiser with him and use it every time he touches something?

handslikecowstits Tue 07-Apr-20 12:12:22

My advice OP: Big. Step. Back.

You need to detach from all of them. It sounds a dysfunctional situation and arguing with your mother is not helping you at all. Let them get on with it and concentrate on getting better yourself and your immediate family.

I have a situation in my family and I have taken a huge step back for my own wellbeing. I'm not getting involved. It will just cause stress and from your posts, you would do well to do the same.

OnlyJudyCanJudgeMe Tue 07-Apr-20 12:13:22

Basically it’s nothing to do with you what he does or where he goes.

Hercwasonaroll Tue 07-Apr-20 12:16:10

Honestly I could not give even one single fuck about this never mind try and control his behaviour via someone else.

You sound over invested. Leave your mother alone.

Brefugee Tue 07-Apr-20 12:31:19

Your brother lives with your mum?

In any case: his comfort for his MH issues is to walk around, yours is to cuddle your cats.

If he told your mum to tell you to step the heck away from your cats, would you do it?

Just leave him to it. If he does anything the police think worthy of commenting on, they will. Or dob him in to the police if you want. But stop stressing your mum out.

ravensoaponarope Tue 07-Apr-20 12:33:45

But he;s allowed in Asda?

IchbineinBerlinner Tue 07-Apr-20 12:36:23

I'm with you OP. I too have a mentally ill brother who lives with my mother. She protects him and he causes trouble everywhere he goes. He head the coronavirus and continued to leave the house, went to the shops, didn't do anything protective. My mother lied, underplayed and obfuscated. What can you do? Take a step back x

SnapCackleFlop Tue 07-Apr-20 12:45:33

Maybe you’re feeling hurt and angry that it feels like a different set of rules are applied to him? If that’s the case I could completely understand why you feel that way. Maybe it seems like he keeps getting a free pass when other people have to struggle and cope with very difficult things....

For your own sake you’d be better off staying well out of it all. Who told you about it? Does your mum fill you in all the time?

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