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Can my brother be helped?

(5 Posts)
CelticSpring Fri 22-Jul-11 12:36:36

My brother is 33, and like me, we both have a genetic problem that results in fertility problems. This was diagnosed in our early teens. Ever since our teens, my brother has been a deeply angry person who can have what can only be described as temper tantrums on a fairly regular basis. Once, on a family holiday when he was 15, we were rowing on a lake. I wasn't doing it "properly", so he screamed and swore. Only six months ago, I approached his cat when it was on his lawn and it ran under the car. He screamed and swore and so nothing has changed.

As a family we have tiptoed around these tantrums. However, the other day, he rang my parents in frustration, screaming down the phone about everyone working at the hospitals were tw*ts, how I was treated much better at the hospital. My mum was very calm throughout and tried to help but it was difficult to get any sense from him, but my Mum's been upset now for the past week.

He has a partner (I can only congratulate her on dealing with him as it must be very difficult) and they've been together for 12 years.

He really resents me (I did well at school and have a relatively good job, although my life is far from perfect, but he sees me as the golden child), and by extension the relationship I have with my parents.

I think he needs help, professionally in some sense, but he's an adult. However, what can we do? If we offer support, he usually rejects it. He's so angry at the world, and it's horrible to watch. We don't want to cut ties with him but it's so difficult to deal with.

buzzsore Fri 22-Jul-11 12:51:33

Only if he wants help. It's pointless to suggest anything if he thinks he's justified or whatever.

Maybe people should start saying 'unless you stop shouting/swearing, I'm going to put the phone down' and putting it down - or 'unless you stop shouting/swearing I'm going to leave' and following through. There's no reason any adult should have to listen to it. All you can do is change how you react to him and distance yourself when he's unpleasant to be around.

SarahStratton Fri 22-Jul-11 18:53:36

He's 33, not 3. He needs to start behaving like an adult. If someone behaved like that to me, I'd either walk away or put the phone down. And made sure they understand that I won't be speaking with them until they can act like an adult.

fastweb Fri 22-Jul-11 18:59:47

Boundaries. You set clear boundaries of what you expect from him behavior wise (ie do NOT swear and scream at me) and what the consequences will be if he steps over them (eg abrupt end of visit). Then you stick to the consequences.

And keep telling him that a professional visit to help him understand his anger and take back control over it could be a real help to him.

Does he lose it like that with people outside of his close family ?

Ivortheengine8 Fri 22-Jul-11 19:04:16

I can totally relate. I have two (twin) brothers aged 37 now and I remember both of them being exactly the same. They are both little better now but they still fly off the handle from time to time. All my dad's saide of the family have very bad tempers apparently (so does my dad, although a lot better in his old age, he used to be terrible!)
So, I don't know what advice to give but I just wanted to say that I can really relate to it.
My brothers have never been physical towards any of the family or women (although they have had their fair share of scraps between guys and between each other), How do you find your brother in that respect? I know it can sound frightening when they are shouting and swearing etc but it could be a lot worse if they were being physical with it iyswim?

unlike yourself I actually get on very well with one of the brothers (the other not so well but we still get alone as brother and sister and I dont think there is any jealousy etc but they have been through a lot especially the one twin who got into serious drugs at a young age and has been finding his way through that. He has done really well with it and is now back working for a good company and getting his life back together.

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