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Going NC - but how?

(10 Posts)
doitanyways Sat 02-Jan-16 01:23:18

I am very shaken and upset but hopefully calm enough to make some sort of coherent sense.

I have posted on here before about my brother, who is 37 years old. He is autistic. This is an informal diagnosis as he will not accept this despite it leading him into numerous personal and professional situations of conflict and difficulty.

The story in brief is that he was quite heavily involved in drug abuse throughout his late teens and early/mid twenties, stopped when he was beginning a course which led to a professional qualification but instead started abusing prescription drugs. He began work when he was 30 but stopped after 2 years because of this dependence and because of the nature of his work, was suspended then unable to practice for four years. When he went back to it he was dismissed after 6 months but because of emitigating circumstances (the death of our dad) they let him resign and go out through the back door as it were. He got another job fairly promptly but was dismissed from this too in May 2015.

Since then he's barely worked. He's done the odd day here/there (he is signed up with an agency) but even with this he's got into trouble and had to leave one place due to making inappropriate comments.

I always do a bad job at explaining this but in his mind, he's not fast approaching 40 with barely any work record behind him. In his head, he's on the cusp of getting an amazing job and then when this happens everything will fall into place. He'll get a smart flat, nice car, girlfriend, holidays will be his.

The reality is even if he does manage to get a job in his field (it's a shortage area so it's possible though unsatisfactory references are holding him back) he would lose it after 6 months.

He lives a very sad, very empty and very isolated life. The town we grew up in is a poor town, a shabby one which was badly affected by the closure of the mines in the 80s and it's mainly populated by two big council estates, kebab shops and betting shops. He sits in my dads house every day, which wasn't that gorgeous when my dad owned it (it's fair to say dad developed a little bit of a hoarding habit which I suspect may have been the embryonic stages of dementia - would buy things like kitchen towels and loo roll on 'buy two, get one free!' and then forget he'd bought them) and now is even worse, cold and grubby and soulless. He has very few friends - there's a couple from school days who were part of his misspent youth taking drugs and going to festivals - but most of them have disassociated from him and I understand why. One friend of his refuses to speak to him at all as he brought up them all going to the red light district in Amsterdam (I don't condone this but they must have been 19/20 at the time and he brought it up at this mans WEDDING when they were 32/33 - and the poor bride) and another friend refuses to have anything to do with him due to him saying something stupid about the baby being addicted to drugs when born when the friends wife was expecting (that's two different friends, if that wasn't clear - sorry.) Because these two friends won't have anything to do with him he isn't invited on group events like birthdays or Christmas dos.

So in terms of support - financial, but more emotional - I'm the go-to person. And I am not joking, for the past eighteen months I have been hearing the same things over and over, the same futile plans for the future, the same anger at the fallouts and arguments, the same rage against the professional body that suspended him. On and on and on and on. It's draining but it's also BORING. It's so boring, and I'm conscious of being boring too.

Anyway, he had been talking to a girl on the Internet and got the train to the city centre to meet her. Fine. But then couldn't get back. I have been at work all day and we are in the middle of storm frank and the winds and rains accompanying it and I get a phone call at midnight asking me to pick him up, obviously drunk, BELLOWING my name repeatedly (I've only realised tonight but he's got a particular way of saying my name, stressing the second syllable in it, that puts my teeth on edge) - and I kmow everyone's going to say well why did you go? Because really what choice did I have? He wouldn't have been able to afford a taxi, and despite people saying maybe I should have, leaving him out all night in the city when it's January and freezing and wet just - I just couldn't.

The thing is that I nearly fucking DIED! I was half asleep and came within a nanosecond of not just killing myself but someone else as well.

And I was thinking - he won't have cared about that, and he won't have cared about the other person. Not because he's selfish, it's a sort of trait that goes beyond that, I just don't think it would have crossed his mind for an instant that maybe yanking someone out of bed to come and collect him in a storm possibly isn't fair and maybe he should have checked the train times beforehand or arranged to meet this girl on a day that isn't a bank holiday.

And I was also thinking that I don't care. I am now past caring what he does or why. I just want him to fuck off and to leave me alone, but he won't, it's like being stalked by your own shadow. I turn around and there he is.

I live in an apartment in a village only five minutes from where he is. Do I have to move? And that's another thing; he presses down on the buzzer so hard and it makes a terrible noise that reverberates round the whole flat.

Do I have to change my phone number, vanish from social media, leave my job, leaving everything? He'd still find me.

How the hell do you just cut someone Out?

IguanaTail Sat 02-Jan-16 01:33:55

It sounds absolutely terrible. I would start with changing my phone number, because if he is unable to afford taxis then it will limit how he can contact you.

On social media, just adjust your name slightly.

It sounds terribly hard.

IguanaTail Sat 02-Jan-16 01:35:13

Oh he lives 5 mins away.... I think I would consider moving. But don't leave your job. You can tell reception that if he drops by you are available at never o'clock.

whatdoIget Sat 02-Jan-16 01:37:16

Is there a midpoint between jumping to attention to respond when he calls, and cutting him completely out? Ie enforcing rigid boundaries. Whatever you do will be so difficult though. Apologies if you've already tried enforcing boundaries and it hasn't worked.

doitanyways Sat 02-Jan-16 01:44:58

I can't cut him out and can't really enforce any boundaries, and I am just stuck with this horrendous situation and unfairly I am now wide awake raging with everyone.

whatdoIget Sat 02-Jan-16 01:48:10

I don't blame you for wanting to cut him out. It sounds like you've done your best but what can you do really. Perhaps he'd be better off if he had to live his own life without you as a safety net?

goddessofsmallthings Sat 02-Jan-16 02:51:52

Tell your db that due to changes at work you won't be having much spare time in the future and won't be as available to him as you have been. If you think he may forget this information, write it in a letter and refer to it whenever you speak to him.

If he's phoning you on a landline keep your answer machine on and only pick up when you know it's not him calling.

If he's phoning you on a mobile don't answer when his number, or any number unknown to you, is displayed and text or call back when you feel up to it and it's convenient for you to do so.

When you talk to him on the phone, keep it brief - use excuses such as something boiling over on the stove, someone at the door, just going out etc, to curtail any conversations that are rehashes of old ground.

Unless he's coming to your apartment by prior arrangement, don't answer when your buzzer makes the 'terrible noise' that announces his presence.

Arrange to see him on a regular basis once a fortnight or once a month. Keep these meetings short, say an hour max, and continue to emphasise how busy you are and that you rarely get time to socialise.

Block him from viewing any social media sites you are on and tell him that you've given up fb, twitter etc etc.

It will take some time but putting these small boundaries in place will go some way to remove you from the onerous burden of being his first port of call in any real or imagined crisis.

Don't let misplaced guilt or feelings of responsibility for him deter you from taking action to decrease the number of times he imposes on you as you weren't put on this earth to be your brother's keeper, nor should you assume any kind of parental role towards him.

LadyB49 Sat 02-Jan-16 04:26:39

Apart from being autistic has your brother been diagnosed with any specific mental health issue.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 02-Jan-16 08:30:06

"can't cut him out and can't really enforce any boundaries"

That is part of your problem here also; your apparent inability to do either of the above. Why did you write that first part in particular after asking about how you cut him off?.

A key to boundaries is knowing your inner self: your beliefs, desires, needs, and intuitions. When you know your inner self, it will become nearly impossible for someone else to manipulate you. No persons who were controlled by someone with a personality disorder had healthy boundaries in place.

Healthy boundaries ARE:
1.present
2.appropriate
3.clear
4.firm
5.protective
6.flexible
7.receptive.
8.determined by US

How to Develop Boundaries

An important first step in developing healthy boundaries is to get acquainted with, and take ownership, of your true self. This is essential before healthy boundaries can be set and maintained. As adults, we are responsible for the decisions we make in life. We have freedom to respond, to make choices, and to limit the way others' behaviour affects us. As a "free agent", we can take responsibility for our freedom by setting boundaries, or borders, between ourselves and those around us. Some people refuse to set boundaries because they see them as selfish. Others actually use them to be selfish. Both are wrong. Boundaries are about self-control.

What was growing up like with him?. This all really started in childhood. Do you on some level feel some degree of responsibility to or obligation for him because your dad has not stepped up here because of his own problems.

You do not mention your mother; is she alive?.

It is hard I grant you being the last one left but he is leeching off you and he knows this as well. He certainly knows how to manipulate you. He may be autistic but that is no excuse or justification for the ways in which he has and is treating you now.

Taking care of you is not acting selfishly. If he continues in the same vein I would call the police each and every time.

doitanyways Sat 02-Jan-16 09:02:59

Thank you.

I guess because I know him, and he's been the same since we were children. If you did anything he didn't want to do he whined until my parents broke. Even stuff like music in the car - if it was a tape (80s/90s!) he didn't like, he'd whine and shout THIS IS RUBBISH so no one could hear it anyway, that sort of thing

Hes the same now.

He'd know I was in, unless I hid my car!

My mother died when I was 16 and he was 18. I was about to sit my GCSEs and he was about to sit his A levels.

I'm rarely in. My life is pretty packed and full on but it's as if I can never really relax. And I always feel guilty. I went to the Christmas markets with friends a few weeks ago and I felt like I should have taken him.

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