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Old 06-19-2008, 09:03 AM   #1
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Not sure what to do

Hi there,
A family member of mine (going way back to when he was young) has shown signs of having a possible mental health issue.

He did seek help and was on medication but after the relationship he was in ended, he stopped because he didn't feel he had a problem.

Signs include depression, threats when he can't get his own way, rage & foaming at the mouth, emotional manipulation, verbal abuse, violent actions (speeding, hitting himself, very confrontational and angered). He's been in jail a few times for his behaviour but nothing seems to stop him or help him realize he's the one with an issue, not everyone else.

Of course our parents try to prevent and supress these dramas as much as possible by trying to "better" his situation, helping him at every chance they get. Me not wanting to deal with his abuse & emotional manipulations, have distanced myself and have stopped being involved in his life since I moved out of the house at 16, not having any contact with him.

My parents are held hostage to his ways, since there is continual drama in his life and they are all "do or die" situations that they need to immediately help him out of a jam. Since he's an adult now, they expected his ways to change but because its continuing and only getting worse, they're starting to become exhausted and emotionally drained since they can't have a life of their own. They aren't sure how to change things for the better and I'm sure they worry about retaliation and the well-being of his wife and children if they force him to get him help or atleast not help him anymore.

Does anyone have any advice?

 
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:13 AM   #2
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Re: Not sure what to do

sorry to hear about your brother.....if I were to take a guess, I'd say he's got BPD, borderline personality disorder. He fits some of the characteristics to a T. Unfortunately, these types of people don't think they have a problem, they'd rather blame everyone else for their misfortunes. Your parents are walking on eggshells around him trying not to upset the apple cart, and sorry to say, they aren't helping him. They need to stand up to him and take some of their power back. He's a grown man, there is no excuse for his behavior. It's good that they're worried about the wellbeing of his wife and child, but what's his wife doing about the situation? She also needs to take a stand and stop putting up with his abuse. It's time for some tough love from everyone who's being abused here.......other than that I'd say you've got the right idea......stay away from him.

 
Old 06-19-2008, 10:36 AM   #3
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Re: Not sure what to do

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Originally Posted by rosequartz View Post
It's time for some tough love from everyone who's being abused here.......other than that I'd say you've got the right idea......stay away from him.
Thanks for the words Rose.

The unfortunate thing about it is that everyone makes me feel that I am the one that needs to 'be an adult' and not let this upset the family dynamics (as screwed up as it may be). I can remember being told this as a child growing up. Everyone catered to him and there was no such thing as tough love.

Right now, I am the only one that sees things as they are so its difficult for me to convince my parents otherwise, since they are so concerned in fixing his life.

Would them stepping away cause more problems because he doesn't have the mental capacity to deal with things on his own (especially since he's never learned that)? I think that's why they haven't done so yet. With so many threats & guilt-trips (why don't you care, if you loved me...etc) its hard for them to stand up.

Unfortunately, in the meantime, I have to watch it all go from bad to really bad and I feel so out of control.

Family functions are stressing because I'm not sure what mood he's in and what kinds of things he'll say/do. Most of the time he's ok but there have been many occassions where he gets mad at one thing, slams doors, makes sarcastic comments, and treats everyone like poop. Meanwhile, my parents make excuses that he's having a bad day or week or month.

Then of course, I don't want to let his prescence prevent me from enjoying the holidays so I end up going, having being guilted myself in not being "the bigger person"...but its getting to the breaking point where I can't put myself through this, and watch as everyone ignores the issue.

 
Old 06-19-2008, 12:34 PM   #4
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Re: Not sure what to do

I can't decide if it's more like a family of ostriches burying their heads in the sand, or the emperors new clothes......
either way, they are deluding themselves. you're the only one who's got their head on straight. Sometimes it's hard to be the only voice of reason when you're surrounded by people creating chaos. I'd walk away, you can't get thru to them. I'd walk away and keep my head up high because I'd know I was right......

 
Old 06-19-2008, 01:54 PM   #5
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Re: Not sure what to do

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Originally Posted by rosequartz View Post
I'd walk away and keep my head up high because I'd know I was right......
It's not about being right though, however, I do understand what you mean. I'm frustrated mostly that they can't see what I see, which makes me sometimes feel that I'm the one that needs the help?

If I walk away am I running away from the issue? When will they see? Will they ever? Am I not being supportive if I do turn the other way? Such confusion.

I'm trying to remember the saying:
Nothing changes if nothing changes.

It reminds me that if I continue the path I'm currently on, nothing will ever change. But is it truly up to me to change things? Will my action or inaction be enough to help them see things clear? Or will a tragedy have to happen? It's so scary to feel so out of control.

PS Rose: Thanks for brining my attention to the "Emperor's New Clothes" story. I got a smile out of it and some insight.

Last edited by misskitty88; 06-19-2008 at 01:56 PM.

 
Old 06-19-2008, 02:12 PM   #6
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Re: Not sure what to do

Quote:
Originally Posted by misskitty88 View Post
It's not about being right though, however, I do understand what you mean. I'm frustrated mostly that they can't see what I see, which makes me sometimes feel that I'm the one that needs the help?

If I walk away am I running away from the issue? When will they see? Will they ever? Am I not being supportive if I do turn the other way? Such confusion.

I'm trying to remember the saying:
Nothing changes if nothing changes.

It reminds me that if I continue the path I'm currently on, nothing will ever change. But is it truly up to me to change things? Will my action or inaction be enough to help them see things clear? Or will a tragedy have to happen? It's so scary to feel so out of control.

PS Rose: Thanks for brining my attention to the "Emperor's New Clothes" story. I got a smile out of it and some insight.

it is very frustrating when you are trying to get thru to someone and you just can't for the life of you understand why they don't understand what you're trying to tell them. After a while you get tired of beating your head against the wall. You will never get thru to him, and I'm not so sure you will get thru to the rest of them either. It's not up to you to bring about change. You've tried, it doesn't work. You need to walk away or your thinking will end up as distorted as the rest of them. Your action/inaction won't matter. I'm sorry to say it like that. I too used to think I could help people "see the light". That works only if they want to.....not if they insist on wearing blinders.
nothing changes if nothing changes......I like that......
now how about this one.....the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
do something different......see how the result is different.....it can't be much worse than it is now, right?

 
Old 06-19-2008, 03:15 PM   #7
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Re: Not sure what to do

So true Rose.

 
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