My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

AIBU?

Unstable brother, elderly mother and cutting ties

79 replies

Harmonyrays · 25/09/2022 05:43

AIBU to go NC with my brother?

My brother is nearing early 40's has adhd, aspergers and a long history of mental health problems (psychosis at one stage)This is life long from severe anxiety in childhood to The psychosis aged 18. He does not work, has no friends and has been extremely violent and aggressive in the past. Smashing doors in the house screaming and shouting, threats to kills BIL in front if his kids. Really awful behaviour but we have always put this down to episodes of being unwell. He's had medication inpatient stays etc. Now he's adamant he's coming off medication and wants nothing to do with mental health team GP etc.

He live with my elderly mother who tolerates all behaviour. He will keep her up for hours lamenting his life's sorrow. All the bad stuff that's happened to him, how people treat etc. He will also have rages where she is on egg shells around him. His behaviour has.meant family do like to visit. Myself included. I have 2 young DC who I take with me evey visit because they love their grandma and vice versa. However this.has meant they have witnessed a few of his rages. I get them.out as quick as I can and away at the time but I know its affected them. That's the background.

So He stopped talking to me about 4 months ago as he decided he couldn't trust me that I was up to.something eetc. I Wasn't its paranoia. This was hard for me.as he would.always contact me (not necessarily in a good way, but if he was upset or needed to talk rant etc) I did not enjoy these calls and they often left me very upset, took me away from my work or kids but I thought it was helpful in that he would at least leave my mum alone and give her peace. Not so it turns out as I would often hear he had been going on about the same thing with her for hours. I was very unwell last year myself entally because of him and his behaviour. I developed an eating disorder and was severely depressed because if him. No one in my family knows this but i ended up in therapy. So when i got my head around him not talking to me and began feel better he suddenly decided to start talking to me last night, in front of the kids. He ended up starting to accuse me again of not being able to trust me etc which the kids were hearing so I immediately said to the kids lets go and get in the car and go home. We live over 2.hours.away and it was about 8pm. Kids were crying they didn't want to leave but I could see where it was going. Anyway when they were in the car I had it out with him. He and mum then said not to go. He'd be quiet and to stay. Mum.was.so upset and had spent the day basically.telling me how she doesn't want to be alive anymore, what she wants for her funeral and it absolutely broke.my heart so I stayed for her
I'm crying now because.she is so broken emotionally and physically right now and this upset between me.and brother.is.not helping
It feels like.she is in her finally months/years and is just sad with life. We lost my dad a few years ago and she's never really got over that. I promised him I'd take care of them both. But I can't. He won't let me help and mum is in a codependant relationship with him.

What do I do? Need to be there for my mum.bit can't without having some interaction with my brother who is unwell mentally at times and generally a very difficult personality. I feel so torn and lost with it.

OP posts:
Report

Am I being unreasonable?

85 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
8%
You are NOT being unreasonable
92%
Porcupineintherough · 25/09/2022 07:26

We had a very similar situation in my family and it ended up with us getting a court order to separate my brother from my dad as the relationship had become so abusive and my dad had Alzheimers and just couldn't cope anymore (despite this the court order was granted against my dad's wishes).


My brother now lives in supported accomodation an hour away. He has gone nc with the family, has a pretty miserable life and will probably never forgive us. I'd hoped, with support, he'd have managed to build some sort of life for himself and found some sort of happiness but it never happened. He needs far better mh care than is available to him.

My dad lives a more peaceful life and with my brother gone van access the care he needs but has never really forgiven us for removing my brother. He's forgotten the financial abuse, the rampages and the violence mind.

I'm writing this to let you know you are not alone and to say that, whatever you do, there may be no happy endings here, certainly not for your brother or your mum. And that's not your fault and that doesn't mean you shouldn't prioritize yourself and your children's happiness. I am so sorry you find yourself in this position.

Report
Harmonyrays · 25/09/2022 07:33

@Porcupineintherough that's so sad to read. But that's the reality that I think we will face. I've tried convincing myself that I can make my mum happy by getting brother and her sorted but actually I don't think it will happen. So I needed to read that for a reality check.

I was just thinking I'd call a family meeting invite sister brother and mum. Leave kids at home obviously and try and have a meaning discussion.about the future. But then who am I to do that?? Why should I? Perhaps i should just leave things as they are.. I just don't know what to do for the best.

OP posts:
Report
LakieLady · 25/09/2022 07:33

This sounds awful, OP and I agree with a PP that it sounds like trauma bonding.

This is a safeguarding issue imo and it may well be worth raising with adult social care. However, it's very difficult to address abuse when the person being abused doesn't want any action taken.

Report
Coffeesnob11 · 25/09/2022 07:33

You can make an anonymous report ro social services about your mum not your brother if you feel she is being abused verbally etc.
Can you afford more counselling for yourself? Whatever promises you made your dad, you cannot look after someone who doesn't want to look after themselves.
What would happen if you turned up and said to your mum, get in the car we are going to the garden centre for some tea with the kids, they deserve to spend some one on one tome with you. We will be home in an hour?

Report
hattie43 · 25/09/2022 07:35

A terribly sad situation .

What is said about your brother once your mum does pass , are you expected to take her place because that can't happen

Report
Fraaahnces · 25/09/2022 07:36

Has it not occurred to you that that entire conversation about burial, etc, was hugely manipulative? I suspect she knows exactly how to push your guilt buttons. Stop playing HER game too… Tell her that you are not up to having a conversation like that, but it would be very smart for her to get a solicitor and get them to put it all in her will.

Report
Icedlatteplease · 25/09/2022 07:42

I'm a mum of a teen who has had his first violent and psychotic episode so I suspect I have a slightly different perspective than most other posters.

As Mums love is not limited and a the measure of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable members. When you take those two statements together it explains why we don't give up.

You may see the pain he inflicts. Your mum sees the pain he is enduring. As a mum our own pain will always be secondary. That isnt the same as you because you see it in terms or victim and aggressor. That doesn't mean one of you is wrong and one is right, if you were looking from either end

Report
Icedlatteplease · 25/09/2022 07:42

Gah posted to soon

Report
madasawethen · 25/09/2022 07:42

You're right. It really isn't your problem to sort. You have your own family and life to live.
They've made their choices.

It is a very sad situation.

Report
Harmonyrays · 25/09/2022 07:42

Mum doesn't see it as abuse. She thinks its her job as a parent FGS. I've said to her if my husband treated me this way you'd have words to say. But still it continues.

He's been in a good spell for a few weeks prior to last night so she again doesn't want to rock the boat.

She will come out, I always suggest it as nice can't bear being in the house knowing he's around. But she always wants us to go back, kids want to go in so I cave. I used to day visits over summer which were gruelling but meant we saw her and now him.

I think prior to his fall out with me I was expected to take him on and support. Mum was thinking about finances etc but I do not want that responsibility at all. It will not end well amd he will resent me.even.more. he thinks me and sisters are the golden children all sorted with career family etc. Little does he know that I'm falling apart at the seems.

I could go back to therapy but just last weekend I felt so strong. It feels like a set back

OP posts:
Report
Icedlatteplease · 25/09/2022 07:42

Of a 6

Report
Sparkletastic · 25/09/2022 07:47

Make a safeguarding report to Adult Social Care about your mum. Try and convince her to come and have an extended 'holiday' with you and sister. Break the cycle she's trapped in.

Report
5YearsLeft · 25/09/2022 07:49

Harmonyrays · 25/09/2022 07:16

@GloriousGlory sorry you've been through this too.

I know that getting him his own place away from mum is the only helpful long term solution. I've tried so hard. When he was sectioned with the team we just about got him an interview at sheltered housing and he said 'no' and it all stopped.

I know it needs fight but honestly mum is a shell of the person she was . he's wearing her down so badly she's not got any fight in her now. So so sad. I live a few hours away, work and have the two kids. My DS will not get involved to help with liais with services he's berated her too much. I do understand her situation.

The only she wants to consider now is downsizing to a 2 bed with him , so when she's gone he has somewhere to live. FfS she's going to go and now one will be there with her but him. Bits that's all she want. She's so sad but I can't get through to her. If i involved social services he will be mad.

I just wanted to say, there’s so much in this comment that causes me so much pain for you, @Harmonyrays . Please look at what you’ve written.

It’s okay for your DS not to engage because your DB has “berated her so much,” and you understand that. Well, I’m sure he’s berated you just as much! You could easily decide you’re not engaging anymore and just leave it be. My concern is, why do you feel it’s okay for her but not for you? Are you a people pleaser? Has your mother been preparing you to be the one that’s “sacrificed” to care for your DB when she’s gone, by applying pressure and guilt? I mean, as you can see, many, MANY posters can quickly point out that your point of view needs some help so you can be healthy, ie when you say you can’t bear to think of how your DB looked when he was sectioned, but the truth is that he will only be sectioned if extremely unwell or violent, and that if he refuses to take his medication or engage with social services, he may need to be sectioned many times in the coming years. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what your DS is doing; it sounds like she’s taking care of her mental health. My issue is that it sounds like you don’t give yourself the same understanding - you have just as much right to never speak to your DB again as she does. You have just as much right to protect yourself from the situation as she does.

And then when you say, “If [I] involved social services he will be mad.” Oh, OP. It’s not about him. Who cares if he’s mad? This is about protecting a vulnerable elderly woman AND YOUR OWN MENTAL HEALTH. And if he gets “mad,” then you: 1. Don’t have to speak to him, 2. Call the police, if he gets violent or ‘in a rage.’ Yes, maybe he will be sectioned, but he is MAKING that choice by deciding not to take his medication or engage with services.

None of this is your fault. And if you choose to walk away because your mother is choosing your DB at the expense of her other children and grandchildren, regardless of whether it’s codependency or a trauma bond, you are allowed to do that for your MH. You can’t set yourself on fire to keep others warm.

Report
Icedlatteplease · 25/09/2022 07:50

Of a 6\9, one of you would see a six and one would see a 9. It is good to remember that other people will not see things the same as you. I have a fairly visceral reaction to the separation story above which isn't as positive as many peoples would be

I actually think it is good for your kids to see as long as they can also get away when they are ready. The reality is that some people are ill. They need our care and patience beyond the normal. As a society we have a tenancy to shovel our most vulnerable members onto to social services and think weve done our duty. I firmly believe Working with social services should

Report
Icedlatteplease · 25/09/2022 07:51

Be a partnership

Report
Icedlatteplease · 25/09/2022 07:55

There's a difference between keeping mum safe, which social services should definitely be involved in, and forcefully deciding that a parent should not be allowed to care for their child in a way they see as right.

Report
Harmonyrays · 25/09/2022 08:00

Icedlatteplease · 25/09/2022 07:42

I'm a mum of a teen who has had his first violent and psychotic episode so I suspect I have a slightly different perspective than most other posters.

As Mums love is not limited and a the measure of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable members. When you take those two statements together it explains why we don't give up.

You may see the pain he inflicts. Your mum sees the pain he is enduring. As a mum our own pain will always be secondary. That isnt the same as you because you see it in terms or victim and aggressor. That doesn't mean one of you is wrong and one is right, if you were looking from either end

That it so beautifully written. A mother's love... I realise I see it the other way now victim and aggressor.
Hugs to you and wishing you all the strength

OP posts:
Report
Porcupineintherough · 25/09/2022 08:07

Icedlatteplease · 25/09/2022 07:55

There's a difference between keeping mum safe, which social services should definitely be involved in, and forcefully deciding that a parent should not be allowed to care for their child in a way they see as right.

It's a nice idea but social services will not intervene if the elderly person says everything is fine. My dad wore long sleeves to hide the bruises, he had every penny is his current account stolen every month -couldn't pay his bills, couldn't buy food, used to ring me confused thinking his pension hadn't been paid - they did nothing. And this was despite him being diagnosed with Alzheimers and being vulnerable. Even when my brother smashed up the house in a rage the police they found my dad with his hands cut to ribbons (trying to clear up all the broken glass ) sitting in the ruins of his living room claiming everything was fine.

Report
Harmonyrays · 25/09/2022 08:09

@5YearsLeft thank you. I see what you mean. I have definetly been one for pleasing others but less so in recent years. But when it come.to my mother. Well I just can't.bear to see her so down and will do anything to help.
But your last sentence so true...
@Icedlatteplease it almost too easy on one level to walk away but then there is no one in society to help with this kind of situation. I will have take time to talk to the kids after those. They need to understand he's not well.but try to.do it.in an age appropriate way.

Sorry if I go quiet for a while. Kids are getting up and we need to get back home. I will come back later and read all replies

OP posts:
Report
imip · 25/09/2022 08:21

Have you considered a carers’ assessment for your Mum? This may bring in help in a different way? I have a similar family situation, but am also a parent of a child with a similar history. Having seen my dbs left without support all their lives, I am so committed to making sure my three autistic dds (one also possible adhd) are able to live independently without many major ‘incidents’. Already I am failing with with with one inpatient stay at 14yo. I guess I also see how I would stay with my poorly child, that is being a mother. There is no good way around these situations, it really is just hard times for everyone involved.

Report
Comtesse · 25/09/2022 08:22

I agree with @Fraaahnces that your DM sounds manipulative, all this talk about funerals to make you feel guilty. Your primary duty is to your kids I’d say, not your brother or mother. Maybe your other sisters have got the right idea for keeping out of the way. Your mother is actively choosing this, and you do not have to go along with it.

Report
5YearsLeft · 25/09/2022 08:42

Icedlatteplease · 25/09/2022 07:42

I'm a mum of a teen who has had his first violent and psychotic episode so I suspect I have a slightly different perspective than most other posters.

As Mums love is not limited and a the measure of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable members. When you take those two statements together it explains why we don't give up.

You may see the pain he inflicts. Your mum sees the pain he is enduring. As a mum our own pain will always be secondary. That isnt the same as you because you see it in terms or victim and aggressor. That doesn't mean one of you is wrong and one is right, if you were looking from either end

I would maybe just say…

You’re sharing from a very vulnerable place and I understand you’re going through something so, SO difficult, that most people will never be able to “understand” in the manner of having experienced it themselves.

But. Please be careful when you talk about a mum’s love; even be careful how you talk about it to yourself, because it can get dangerous. It can make you think you HAVE to do certain things.. You do not have to allow your child to abuse you just because you love them. In fact, sometimes calling the police and having your child sectioned is the right thing to do. No one should be abused by a mentally unwell person, even if that person is their child. I know there are so many emotions tangled up in it, when we’re talking about to a mum about her child (whether that child is underage or an adult) being violent, but abuse is still abuse.

Unfortunately, it sounds very clear from OP’s post that her DB’s behavior has crossed the line into abuse. He is depriving her elderly mother of sleep, he is isolating her, he is stopping her from seeking help from social services (OP is frightened it would send him into a rage?) and these things are going to shorten her mum’s life. This is when love becomes toxic.

Please don’t let yourself be abused. And we all have to be careful about what we teach our children, whether they’re neuro diverse or not. It’s difficult to balance teaching children that your love is unconditional with also teaching them that they must keep taking medication once it’s prescribed, that they can’t simply give up on their illness and stop engaging with what few services are available and make everyone hostage to their rages, like OP’s DB has done. And that you can still love someone, while also needing to protect your own mind. Even mums, ESPECIALLY mums, need to care for and nurture their mental health.

Report

Don’t want to miss threads like this?

Weekly

Sign up to our weekly round up and get all the best threads sent straight to your inbox!

Log in to update your newsletter preferences.

You've subscribed!

PermanentTemporary · 25/09/2022 08:52

What a terrible situation. I really feel for you.

Can you think more positively about being in therapy? Because it is a support you have put in place for yourself that was desperately needed. I wouldn't underestimate how difficult your childhood was watching your brother struggling and being failed, and now seeing your brother struggling even more as an adult.

He's right that you and his other sisters are bloody lucky not to have his illness. But you are not golden children who are sorted. He is very ill and unfortunately his illness is one where it is very difficult to sustain treatment.

What can you do in this situation? Not a lot. You can, however, encourage your mum to call the police if she has a violent or harassing man in her own home. You can ring the hospital team and ask them to refer her to the social workers due to her home environment working against her recovery.

Report
Icedlatteplease · 25/09/2022 09:02

Comtesse · 25/09/2022 08:22

I agree with @Fraaahnces that your DM sounds manipulative, all this talk about funerals to make you feel guilty. Your primary duty is to your kids I’d say, not your brother or mother. Maybe your other sisters have got the right idea for keeping out of the way. Your mother is actively choosing this, and you do not have to go along with it.

When you are a carer what happens after your death is of primary importance. Yes your first duty is not not to die but when that is unavoidable its to try and handover the reigns in such a way that the person you are caring for is properly still cared for. Actually I do believe we all have duty to make the paperwork as easy as possible for those we leave behind. Tbh I'd be more worried that something has happened to prompt it to be a more immediate concern, either your mum has had health news or your brother is deteriorating

It's easy to demonise those who care in difficult circumstances because it eases our conscience when we want to walk away.

@Harmonyrays

Thank you for the hugs. No it isn't simple and getting the balance right is deeply challenging.

On the reverse side of what I've said you can't rescue anyone if you are drowning yourself. Being realistic about what you can and can't do is really really important. Yy to not setting yourself alight to put others out. But really that's where your siblings should be sharing the load.

Yy to involving ss.

IMHe kids seem rely good at accepting illness. But for them it is not the same as for you. His being ill might make them feel uncomfortable but then they know they will go home and then they are safe. It is a different situation when you are worried about your mums safety and your own. Acceptance comes with much less pressure for kids. Acceptance for adults comes with difficult decisions and choices.

@Porcupineintherough

I can't judge because I haven't walked in your shoes. I see it differently because you haven't walked in mine. If I get myself killed caring for my son that is my right and choice to make, and at points that has been I risk I have had to run. Needless to say DD16 sees this differently and she isn't any more wrong than I am right. I appreciate people trying to make my situation safe (and thankfully currently it is), I wouldn't appreciate someone forcefully removing my ability to care. But i am only one person and not everyone agrees with that and thats ok.

A violent relationship is not the same as the relationship you have with your child.

Report
Puppetsare · 25/09/2022 09:27

Is there a support group for loved ones of people with mental health troubles?

Report
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.