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Traumatised by brothers suicide attempts

(7 Posts)
lu00 Fri 30-Oct-20 22:48:31

I lived at home with my parents and brother over lockdown. I’m 20 and it was a bit strange being back ngl. My mum has some mental health problems anyway that cause her to become very nasty and hostile towards me.
But about a month into lockdown my brother became very suicidal. He would take regular overdoses or try and harm himself in other ways. Sometimes it would be serious and we would just find him, other times he would come through and tell us he’d taken about 5 paracetamol but he would still have to go to A and E.
My brother is a very cruel person to me and before all of this we would barely speak because of how nasty sharp and angry he can be towards me. But he’s my brother and I love him dearly.
It made lockdown an awful awful painful time. Everyone in my family needed looking after. I cooked every meal for everyone, I lay in bed with my mum and cuddled and comforted her when she cried. I didn’t sleep for nights on end because I began obsessing over the fact my brother might slit his wrists with a kitchen knife so I would just sit awake in the kitchen to make sure he didn’t come through.
It was honestly the worst time of my life and I had no one to speak to as I really couldn’t speak to my parents or brother about my fears for obvious reasons.
I think it’s important to state, that at the time (and now) when I’m around them I couldn’t make it less about me if I tried - I understand my brothers job loads of pain and that I am not the one that needs sympathy so please don’t say I’m being selfish or narcissistic, it’s just that I’m writing this thread about my experience.
Anyway, my parents also explicitly asked me to not tell a soul and that it was a private family thing. I honoured this and confided in no-one not even my closest friends. I was so lonely and scared and alone.
However I found out a few months into it my parents had told their friends and were also being supported by them. I felt such a betrayal that I had been asked to not speak to anyone about it or release any emotions and yet they were doing it themself ???

Anyway, my brother hasn’t attempted in quite a few months, is on medication and I believe is doing a lot better. I’ve moved back out but honestly I’m not coping. I keep thinking about it all over and over and over and playing it all in my mind. I was to fucking scream at my brother to not even fucking dare try it again , like I just want to forbid him from even ever thinking about doing that again but the reality is I can’t make him, I can’t control his thoughts and now I’m living far away I can’t help or check he’s okay.
I’m so worried we go into second lockdown and I won’t be at home to keep the family together and he’ll try again and manage. I can’t take the worry. I don’t know what to do, not sure why I’m writing this.

I guess I’m wondering if I’m being a selfish bitch or if my feelings are valid ? Has anyone else ever been through this ?

OP’s posts: |
Chinam Fri 30-Oct-20 22:52:28

You are not being in the least bit selfish. You are also not responsible for your brother’s actions. Please seek out some counseling for yourself.

lu00 Fri 30-Oct-20 22:52:49

Also I guess I’m wondering if people have any ideas of how to try and move on a bit ? My family seems to be managing but I’m so stuck repeating it all in my mind everyday, and the sounds of everyone’s screams and cries when they found him and the ambulance and all of it

OP’s posts: |
Nackajory Fri 30-Oct-20 22:59:08

It sounds like you've had a really difficult time. You will be able to move on but you need to talk to someone IRL Living with someone who is mentally unwell is really draining no matter how much you care about them. Be kind to yourself.

lu00 Fri 30-Oct-20 23:00:03


You are not being in the least bit selfish. You are also not responsible for your brother’s actions. Please seek out some counseling for yourself.

It’s hard, I feel very responsible. I’m the strong one in my family.
Also, before he took his first overdose I was getting a charger out his room and I saw quite a lot of pills and not suspecting a thing I just left it thinking ‘oh that’s weird’ and that night he nearly died sad I’ve not told anyone that but I feel so terrible about it. What kind of idiot sees a stash of pills in a teenage boys bedroom and thinks nothing of it

OP’s posts: |
Pinkpanthershow Fri 30-Oct-20 23:06:34

I am so sorry for you, and don’t think you are selfish in the slightest. You need to look after you. Try and speak to a doctor and ask for some counselling. At the very least, tell a friend.
Look after your own mental health and please be kind to yourself. You sound like a good person but you are not responsible for everyone. Take care

icecream2965 Sat 31-Oct-20 09:39:34

Hi op, can I tell you about Rethinks Siblings Group which is a support group for siblings of those with mental illness. It changed my view of things when I used to go along to a few sessions, as before this I felt a lot of shame, guilt, anxiety (they talk about fear, obligation, guilt FOG that family members experience), and like you felt very alone and traumatised by what I'd seen (DB being sectioned and time on the ward) in my 20s.

They meet on Zoom atm, if you email and ask to be added to the list you should find out when they are.

The most important thing is looking after yourself and having good boundaries with your family, your wellbeing, health, stress levels are important and your family should not be dumping your brothers problems on you, you have your own life to lead. The outcomes for your brother, while there is help out there that he can and should be supported to access, are ultimately down to himself, and how much he takes responsibility and tries to have insight. What I found helpful when DB has been bad is deciding what I can do, e.g. a weekly phone call, or a meetup for coffee once a month, without affecting my health. It's not your fault and not your responsibility and ultimately while you can try and help in a crisis you have your own life, you can just let him know you love and care for him. flowers

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