Advice Needed On How to Maintain Relationship With Parents-PD Bro

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Petunia1

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I am 35 and have three children under the age of 5. My brother is 31, unmarried with no children. When we were young we often fought, but it seemed pretty normal as there were long stretches of time we got along. However, neighbors would comment they say him screaming loudly at our family dog, whom I know my brother (and all of us, he was a Lab, come on) loved. In his teen years my brother suffered intense depression, often not getting out of bed or showering for days. The memory of my parents lifting his large body out of bed to get him to bathe still hurts. He was diagnosed with OCD and it made sense because he'd make these long lists and wake my parents up in the night to read it to them. Then he'd tap-dance on a board (he want through a big tap-dancing phase) but he'd tap dance for 5 hours straight, until he was dripping with sweat and it was dark outside. He would get into strange fights with people in our town, a waiter, a teacher. He'd be convinced these people were out to get him, that they'd "wronged" him in some way, and he would obsess over being the victim, or martyr. There were some good years, but I noticed he also was hostile to me 90% of the time. If I talked to him he'd purposefully answer in one-word, or not answer me at all. I did my best to invite him to things, to visit me wherever I was living. I got him an internship at my company, and when I got married, asked my husband to hang out with my brother from time to time. My parents are twenty years apart and my brother and mother have a co-dependent relationship that got weirder as the years went on. They like all the same movies, actors, and painters. My brother would spout my mother's exact political views, or say things like "please shut the door, I'm getting a draft," which would sound like something a 60 year-old woman would say, not a 30 year-old guy! I noticed all of this but I was living in different places, getting married, having children. There were times my brother would explode at me, screaming in my face that he wanted to punch me, over something as small as me teasing him about his dating profile, or one of my kids moving his toothbrush on the sink. He once screamed at me in front of my kids, and while my parents got "mad" at him for awhile, there were no real ramifications. My brother would do things like buy my kids extravagant birthday presents, but not play with them if I stopped by and my mother wasn't there to witness him being a "good" uncle. He showed very little (really no) interest in his nephews. My brother went off medication and doesn't see a therapist. My parents finally kicked him out of the house at 30, but whenever I'd stop over to see my parents he would be there, and often he would do this weird martyr act where he'd start wrestling my son, then act like my 5 year-old actually had "hurt" him, and go tell my mother, who would actually agree that a 5 year old can hurt an adult man! Even typing this sounds insane. It all came to a head recently. We had a party and even though I didn't want to, I invited my brother. My son (who is a little wild, as 5 year old boys can be) was playing downstairs most of the party, but came up for ice-cream. He was playing with a nerf gun that had NO bullets in it, and my brother started getting angrier and angrier, saying for my son to get that "gun out of his face." I ran in finally and said calmly that there was no nerf bullets, it was just a plastic gun, and my brother went on a 10 minute complaint about how I don't control my children, and how my son was going to hurt him, etc. He was speaking to my dad in my house, and I finally realized I couldn't relax at my own party and I politely asked my brother to leave. I didn't scream, or yell, I just said I think he should leave. My mother, who wasn't at the party, didn't speak to me for a week. She says you never throw your family out, no matter what. My parents (who don't really help me much with babysitting, but that's another story) have called me over and over, trying to get me to sit down with my brother and talk. My therapist (thank goodness for her) says I've sat down at my parent's kitchen table for 30 years, sharing in the blame when really it's my brother who has the rage/angrer problems, and by agreeing over and over again to hit "restart," I've shared in the blame over and over and never been direct or stood up for myself. I feel so much anger with my parents, because they back up my brother and say they see it 50/50, that I should have "removed my son" from the room when he was pestering/bothering my brother. My son was only acting like a normal 5 year old at a party with lots of adults, I'm sorry but I have 3 kids and a tiny house and I was doing the best I could to ensure everyone was having a good time and for my brother to go on a 10 minute rant I feel is innapropriate. It's my house! And my son's house! My parents keep pointing to faults with my son, which has been incredibly hurtful. After the party incident my dad babysit, and claimed my son bit him on the arm and that the bite was so bad it looked like tetnus! Well, my son did bite him, but he said my father was wrestling with him and he couldn't breathe. I think my parents are looking for "faults" with my 5 year old in order to back up my brother, because they can't admit my brother still has emotional and mental problems. They say he "used" to be depressed, but isn't anymore, but he lives one block from them, is over all the time, and hasn't had a girlfriend in 10 years. He's JUST started to make a few male friends, in the last 5 years. He does hold down a good job, so at least that's a positive thing. I don't know what to do. I feel like my parents are puppets holding the strings, my mother in particular. Does anyone have any advice? I have my own little family to worry about but I used to be close to my parents and this hurts a lot. What should I do? I do go to therapy once a week, that's helping me become more direct as a person. I appreciate any responses, I know you all are busy thank you so much!