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Thread: My adult brother is abusing our mom and I don't know what to do about it

  1. #1
    Flowers Guest

    My adult brother is abusing our mom and I don't know what to do about it

    Me, my older brother, his fiance, my oldest brother (J, 23), my step dad/their dad, and my mom (42) all live together in a small house. We don't have a lot of money - most of the time we make do, but every couple of months or so we dip into poverty and have to scrounge for a while. Most of us are mentally ill, including me, but my brother and my mom are the worst. J has anxiety, depression, SEVERE agoraphobia, and quite a few undiagnosed issues - very likely paranoia, definitely some kind of apetite disorder where his apetite for food is almost directly linked to his mood - and if he doesn't have "an apetite" for it he throws it up (involuntary) - possibly borderline-personality disorder, and he is pretty sure he has shizophrenia (but of course refuses to go to the hospital to get this diagnosed). Our mother has depression, anxiety, less-severe agoraphobia (she takes xanax to deal with it since she doesn't have a choice to not leave the house), borderline-personality disorder, and probably some other things. They are both miserable, basically. But he takes all of his issues out on her. He asks her for help, refuses all of the things she can do, and then tells her she's a shitty mom for not helping him and that he hates her. She will make appointments for him that he keeps asking her to make, and if the place of the appointment changes anything he will refuse to go and tell herit's her fault and treat her like garbage. If she has to change anything about the appointment, it's worse. Whenever the appointment is fine, he cancels it for some reason or other and she is expected to make a new one. Sometimes she will forget he has an appointment - she does this a lot and happens to everyone, she has severe memory issues and she has for years, this is not news to anyone - and then it is ten times worse. When they get into arguments, a lot of the time when they aren't face to face he will send her pages of texts telling her she's a bad mother and that he hates her. He has told her he hopes she gets in a car accident, something she has severe anxiety about, among other things. Recently she went to her sister's wedding in another state, and during the ceremony he texted her asking for money to buy some pokeballs for Pokemon Go (basically some items in a phone app game) before our brother and I went out on a quick shopping trip so he could go with us. She didn't respond in time (because she was in the wedding ceremony) and he told her this, word for word: "Thanks a lot. They left and you screwed me. Again. Just because you decided to ignore me. I hate you. I really, really do. You don't do anything a mom should do and I hate you for that and I always will. I hope you're happy with your actions". Many times during arguments he has threatened to move out and be homeless, and he has threatened to kill himself.

    She can't kick him out or force him into an inpatient facility because she is thuroughly convinced that SHE has to help him, because it's her fault he is the way he is. We have tried telling her that there is nothing she can do to help him, especially when she needs help herself. However, we wouldn't be able to afford one anyway. I have been watching him manipulate her and harass her and call her names and dominate her life for about four or so years and I can't handle it anymore but I don't know what to do. He refuses to believe he's abusive and blames all of his behaviour on his mental illnesses. Mom refuses to kick him out (even though she has kicked out his dad twice), no one is allowed to get invovled in their fights (this doesn't always stop everyone, but every time someone else gets involved it gets worse), and this house has very thin walls so you can usually hear them arguing from any room. I don't know what to do. This is awful and she is never going to heal while he is around her

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    PA USA
    I live on hugs.
    for you. I can only imagine how stressful this situation must be to live with. idk, nothing you can do about your brother's behavior, or anyone else but him. People can change, but they have to want to/have a reason to. Same with your mom, she is aware of the situation and chooses to continue in it. It sounds like it's a lot of stress and bad for her, but only she can make that decision.

    If he's truly a threat to himself or someone else you do have the option of calling the police. Or around here we have a crisis services unit that will come, so that might be an option for you as well. What I did in a similar situation was get my things together to move. It took a while because money was an issue for me too. Can also relate to living paycheck to paycheck on a good week, and choosing which bills to skip paying on a bad one.

    for you. It's unfair that you have to live with the stress of this bad family dynamic between your mom and your brother.
    "You're only given one little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." -- Robin Williams
    "Don't be afraid of the shadows, that only means there's a light nearby." -- Evanescence
    "So when you’re feeling crazy, and things fall apart, listen to your head, remember who you are." -- Three Days Grace
    "But I am not really worried, I am not overly concerned. You try to tell yourself the things you tell yourself to make yourself forget." -- Counting Crows
    "Our brains are sick, but that's OK!"
    "Peace will win and fear will lose."

    "And I will say that we should take a moment and hold it, and keep it frozen and know that life has a hopeful undertone."
    "It ain't the speakers that bump hearts, it's our hearts that make the beat!" -- twenty øne piløts |-/

  3. The following 2 users say thank you to weepingwillow for this useful post:

    Jane (09-29-2016),Manya (09-29-2016)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Kindness & hugs.
    Hear you. Sounds like your mother and brother have a somewhat unhealthy dynamic going on...probably works for them but not easy for you to be exposed to on a daily basis. I would also find it hard to live with and accept a family relationship like the one you describe. Bottom line, however, is your mother does have the choice to ask your adult brother to leave...but as is her right elects to let him stay and accept how he treats her. Not saying that his and her mental problems may not contribute to their reactions to each other, but also accept that this does not remove her right to make her own choices and continue to do this as long as this does not put her own or anyone elses life at risk.

    Idk do you have a case worker? Is the sort of situation s/he may be able to support you with...maybe help you to look at subsidised accomodation options...benefits etc that would allow you to move out and no longer have to witness and live with the stress you describe.
    Rest in my arms precious child; cradled and warm. You are safe. The war is over.

  5. The following 2 users say thank you to Jane for this useful post:

    Manya (09-29-2016),weepingwillow (09-29-2016)

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