I need help for my Brother

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by Grant'sbrother, Aug 3, 2010.

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  1. Grant'sbrother

    Grant'sbrother New Member

    Hi, my name is Bazza.
    My younger brother (43 years of age) has threatened to commit suicide at various times of difficulty throughout his life over the last 20 years.
    He is a regular pot smoker, lives by himself and has recently been quite abusive toward his children, his mother, and now, me.

    We all love him, and suicide is the very last option, suicide prevention teams cannot help as he tells them that he's OK and thinks it's everyone else's fault, not his.
    I don't know if this is the right forum to ask, but if anyone knows where I can get confidential advice, I would greatly appreciate it.
  2. Issaccs

    Issaccs Well-Known Member

    I'll have a look and see if I can find any information or organisation to help you however I'd need a location, No use me providing UK services if your off in Michigan.
    Also this is probably the wrong forum but it wont be an issue to have moved once a mod notices.
  3. Grant'sbrother

    Grant'sbrother New Member

    I live in Sydney Australia, my brother lives in Tasmania
  4. chjones21

    chjones21 Well-Known Member

    Has he had some psychiatric intervention or medication at all?

    He could be passive-aggressive as you say that for him, it is 'everyone else's' fault but really if you could persuade him (and find a good therapist - that is the most tricky part!) there is probably help out there for him.

    It is difficult making the decision to go and see someone because then you start HAVING to take responsibility for yourself and your actions and perhaps he has developed the passive-aggressiveness/fatalistic attitude as a coping-mechanism as a result of stress or fear or negative emotions in the past.

    There will be some good therapists who can probably help him have a much more balanced and happier life but the trouble is you have to wade through about a gazillion useless ones sometimes first (who also have the potential to do harm rather than good too).

    And in the end, he is going to have to want to seek the help himself unless you section him, which given that he seems in sound mind I don't suppose you will be able to do or even want to do...

    But you can do some of the leg-work for him, perhaps. Look for a good psychiatrist and talk to them first --- just to warn you, they can be really expensive if it is not covered by insurance or national health!

    Tasmania may not be an easy place to find really good psychiatrists/therapists but you never know .... there will be one at a hospital I suppose, just as to whether she/he is any good ---- ????

    As for yourself, don't put up with the abuse if you can manage not to. I really can't tell you what to do or how best to deal but I do think it is a relatively well-known trait of abusers that they will use the fact that others care and/or are emotionally involved with them to be abusive towards them. If I were you, I would look up and google some articles on 'abusive people' and how to deal .....

    Good luck with it!
  5. chjones21

    chjones21 Well-Known Member

    here is something I googled on abuse, if you think it fits your brother:

    Powerlessness, hurt, fear and anger are often unresolved issues for both the abuser and the abused. Childhood patterns can be re-enacted in emotional abuse with one participant taking the 'parent' role and the other adopting that of the ‘child’. A person may also be an abuser in one relationship and abused in another as they reverse unresolved emotions. Abusers find it difficult to handle their feelings and blame their problems on others instead.
    When is the right time to seek help?

    If your behaviour starts to change and you are no longer able to find satisfaction in your work or social life it is time to consider seeking help. If people you trust express concern about you or your relationship, it may be helpful to assess whether it is abusive or just conflicted. There is plenty of current information on abusive relationships to allow you to do a reality check; through books, on the internet, with a health professional or experienced counsellor. You may need help to assess your self-esteem and what can be done about the problem.
    Medical Help and Treatment

    Emotional abuse can be damaging, and often taps into earlier patterns. It is important to seek help and support to prevent it from becoming entrenched. It can be helpful to seek help from a counsellor or therapist in order to know yourself better and escape from a cycle of powerlessness. Learning to care for your own needs and to feel entitled to be confident and respected is a good start to being able to claim your own self-esteem.

    Acknowledging that a relationship is abusive can be a useful call to action. There are a variety of help sources available for sufferers.

    If the abuse is in an intimate relationship it may be worth considering Couple Counselling as an individual. It is not usually appropriate to attend with the partner to break free of the pattern. Counselling is not recommended for abusers, who may use the opportunity to re-enforce their own inability to take responsibility and ‘poor me’ position.

    Counselling, psychotherapy and CBT all have their place and for many people it is the beginning of a long, but rewarding journey to a better and more fulfilling way of living by breaking old, unhealthy patterns.
  6. Grant'sbrother

    Grant'sbrother New Member

    Thanks very much for your input.
    There is much more background to this scenario which I left out.
    The dynamic between he and our mother seems to reinforce his deluded belief that he is right.
    My mum doesn't know most of what he has done and diminishes what she does, they have both described taking their lives together recently, which is terribly hard to listen to.
    She will soothe any of his problems with gifts, unfortunately she is no longer able to afford the price tag of his wishes, my elder brother and sister have tried desperately to break the pattern, but she can't see, and won't do anything different than what she has done in the past.
    He is heading for a fall, his abusive texts toward me were extreme, and weirdly enough, if his name was the person the texts were sent to, they would make much more sense.
    He truly believes he is the one hard done by, and has no involvement in the sad things that have happened to him over the years.
    Thanks again for your input
  7. chjones21

    chjones21 Well-Known Member

    He does seem emotionally abusive so you have to learn to reject the abusive behaviour without necessarily rejecting your brother. Reject the behavior, not the person. Be very clear about this. Explain that their abusive actions are bad, not that they are a bad person.

    Help your brother understand this. Abuse is a learned behavior. He can unlearn it and it is a choice HE MAKES every time he chooses to be abusive.

    Obviously there is a dysfunctional relationship between your brother and your mother. Perhaps your brother learned the abuse from watching the relationship between your mother and father (???) or perhaps she indirectly encouraged the abuse from your brother because of her own emotional manipulation and her own low self-esteem.

    There must be lots of reasons behind all this but I simply don't know if there is anything you can do. You can point your brother in the direction of a psychiatrist, that's pretty much it.

    I don't think that you can change his mind, you can't rationalise him out of it, it is a behaviour pattern that he is in, and probably has been in since childhood that was encouraged and enabled in his childhood.

    He has to seek help if he doesn't want to maintain his abusive behaviour. I think that is all he can do and I think that is all you can do to help him.

    It doesn't really matter what he "truly" believes, in the end. Either he wants help or he doesn't. If he doesn't, there is nothing more you can do but perhaps you should find a counsellor to talk it through with, one who specialises in emotional abuse, and then they can probably make the whole situation much clearer for you in terms of what would be the best approach to this situation.

    I think a professional's opinion would be well-worth getting. Rather than some random poster on the internet who really doesn't know what she is talking about, at all!

    You could look up an abuse number, ask for a counselor, go and talk to them and see if they recognise the patterns that your brother and mother exhibit, show them the texts that you have received and ask their advice. They are probably text-book cases of a dysfunctional relationship that equally probably have text-book solutions on how to deal, get over the ingrained habit patterns. Experts may well have seen this a thousand times and know EXACTLY what needs to be done and how best to address it.

    So that is what I would do, go and find a counselor - show them the texts, explain the whole story and ask for their professional advice.
  8. Grant'sbrother

    Grant'sbrother New Member

    Thank you and point taken regarding seeking professional advice, something I will do on Monday (at school).
    I did reply to his texts with exactly the separation of brother and abuse as you suggested, I told him very clearly that I love and care for him regardless of what he says, that was received with another dozen disgusting texts.
    I spoke with my elder brother yesterday and I understand he is seeking legal aide to get access to his kids, unfortunately for him they have hard evidence of his abuse, and incidentally are old enough to make a decision to communicate with him if they want to, and have decided not to.
    My late father was never abusive to my mum but was an absent parent to his children, he was not demonstrative of his love, and I think Mum overcompensated for this. She has always been quite emotionally manipulative and historically rewards bad behaviour by acquiescing to the demands of the wrong doer.
  9. johnnysays

    johnnysays Well-Known Member

    Have you considered that it's partly his fault, not all his fault?

    I think it would be more productive to not put all the blame on him so that you could inject your own thoughts.

    If he feels you're respecting his opinions, he may listen to you.

    Also.. pot smoking does not automatically mean someone is bad. It's just a terrible way to feel better. Pot is actually less addictive than tobacco (especially) and alcohol. Cigarette smoking is, by far, more carcinogenic, even in slight amounts.

    I've known many people who have smoked and drank throughout parenthood. They were, outside of this bad habit, good people that worked in the community and had their own children too. Some people smoke and drink and fail, some people smoke and drink and succeed. Sometimes it matters, sometimes it doesn't. Similarly, in school I knew lots of kids that made bad choices and got into trouble and even got some bad grades. But guess what? They moved on to become successful husbands and career workers. You can't always make a judgement on someone based on what they do or have done or say. Many times it's just out of the blue. Sometimes it's predictable. We should always give people the benefit of the doubt because most people will return it in kind.

    I remember once talking with someone about someone else I knew. Just because the guy had less money and didn't have an education and was older and single my friend started insulting him and throwing blame at him. I understand why my friend feels that way, but I don't agree. I don't similarly feel that just because someone is not doing well that it's all their fault.

    Of course, I blame everything in my life on me, but I usually find it hard to blame other people. This world is a punishing place. All sorts of things happen. But as you say he has children, and that makes his failures as a person even more consequential. You say he's been suicidal for 20 years. This means he probably has a psychological issue. He'll probably battle suicide for the rest of his life.

    The relationship you have with your brother is at the point where I cannot see you two communicating effectively. Too much going on between you two. I hope your brother wisens up, but these kinds of things don't change as quickly as we want them to. Sometimes they don't ever change at all. Perhaps his children should go to a foster home? Something needs to be worked out, but I don't think anything will get better if you guys trade shots and wound each other.

    You need to work with your mother. But it's her choice to do what she's doing. Pray to god that she makes the right choices. If you know they're up to something, you have no other choice than to alert authorities so that they can respond. And be sure that someone is checking up on the children to ensure no abuse is going on. Your brother could be charged child abuse and separated from them for good.

    And please find a way to release the load on yourself. You cannot do this all yourself. It must be stressful.

    And don't make this a crusade. Remember, we're all people, we laugh, we cry, we hurt. Seek expert opinions.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2010
  10. ASkylitDrive

    ASkylitDrive Well-Known Member

    This isn't the wrong place one bit. You are in crisis, and your brother is in crisis. Therefor, you came to the right place.
    What is best has been said here. Seek him professional help. There is a certain time when a line is crossed, and I think it applies to his abusive nature. It probably isn't his fault, but just a reaction to what is going on around him. He'll be able to get the help he needs.
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