I sense that may brother fakes empathy

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MarlenaEve

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I sense that may brother fakes empathy
« on: July 13, 2021, 02:54:44 PM »
Hi, I have a brother who's a covert abusive person. (not so much a narcissist)

He physically attacked the other brother (a PD) at the beginning of this year. BTW, sorry if this post is long.


I somehow feel closer to this brother but...whenever I talk to him, my intuition says that he fakes his empathy.

We are both looking for jobs (I don't have one and he has one that he wants to quit) and when we get together, he keeps telling me to get any job to move out of our parents' home. For the record, I live with our PD parents, he lives in a shared apartment.

The thing is, I live in the room he lived 10+ years ago (it was my room as a child but when I left home, 'they' turned it into his room).

OK, so last time I talked to him, he burst out at me about messing with the stuff in his room (remember that it was my room as a child but he turned it into his room and now pretends it was never mine). When I moved into his room last year, he left boxes and boxes of old shit, stuff from his ex, memories of them together, their old clothes and shoes, skiing equipment, musical and technical instruments, make-up, notebooks, books, the room was cluttered af.. BUT I hate clutter so I started to stuff his old things into the basement or other places where they could fit, I even sold some old stuff he had. Yeah, it was bad that I didn't tell him that I got rid of some of his stuff. I didn't tell him because I knew he'd never allow me to move his stuff because he loves clutter (our parents are hoarders)

Anyway, each time we meet, he keeps telling me to find a job and move out asap, faking that he knows how 'hard' it is to live with our parents.

However, I overheard him once that he actually wants to move back into his old room and he can't do that because I'm there. It was shocking to hear that.

Why would a 35-year-old man who's quite independent wanna live with dysfunctional parents? He claims he wants to save money on rent...Right.

Should I trust that he really cares about me when he advises me to get a job and move out?

I don't think I wanna continue a relationship with him since I can't trust him and I've heard him talk badly about me behind his back.
What would you do, would you trust this sibling or keep your guard up and not be too hopeful about having a future relationship with them?

BTW, he clearly told me that although he knows our parents are dysfunctional, he'll never leave them and he intends to be there for them because it feels like the 'right thing to do'. Talking to him about this topic is infuriating. He refuses to acknowledge how dangerous our parents are for our personal growth.

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:
the last of the human freedoms-
to choose one's attitude in any
given set of circumstances, to choose
one's own way.
-Viktor Frankl

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Bloomie

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Re: I sense that may brother fakes empathy
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2021, 01:02:36 PM »
MarlenaEve - let's see what you have said here about your brother that you are asking if you should trust:

He physically attacked another family member

As a full grown adult he vacated a room in your parents' home and left a mess and hoard of belongings and has not taken responsibility for them

He attempts to dictate what you do with a space that currently does not belong to him and he is not living in (technically it belongs to your parents, I would say)

You have heard him speak ill of you behind your back and state he wants you to move out so he can move in.

I would suggest that you do what works best for you going forward. Both in terms of getting a good job and settling your life away from your parents' home and all of the maneuvers surrounding who lives where and the hoard.

Something I have learned is to be realistic about how much of my life I can share with someone who seems to have character issues and who has proven they are not trustworthy.

So, if you can accept who your brother has shown you he is and keep the level of contact/connection at a place where he has less chance of betraying you or using you or hurting you, you could decide over time if you can keep some kind of relationship going with him.

Sharing your concerns and hurts around your parents' behaviors with those who understand and who will support you and not those who either don't see things the same way or are invalidating you as it sounds like your brother might do, is one way to take some pressure off of the conversations you are having with him.

Trust is foundational to deeper relationships. It doesn't sound like you trust your brother and that may help you decide how close you can be and how/what you share with him.

Just some thoughts. Wishing you much luck on your job search as you position yourself to get free of some of this by moving out. 

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MarlenaEve

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Re: I sense that may brother fakes empathy
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2021, 12:46:01 PM »
Hi Bloomie.

You are 100% spot on. He's not to be trusted and it's almost impossible for me now to have a relationship with him.

I think I have asked people here whether I should trust him or not because he is actually the only family member left who's not a full-blown narcissist. The other brother is completely lost to NPD and I can't tolerate even 10 minutes in his presence. (we are VLC to NC)

With this brother is different. We actually had the best time together when we were both living abroad in another country (he lived in my apartment and shared my stuff and I loved that). It's sad that I have to let him go for now, he became more narcissistic and untrustworthy since he started being so close to our family.

Thank you for showing me who he is. Sometimes we need people from outside to sober us up. The trauma bond is so strong and it sometimes does more harm than good. It's like trying to fight a lifelong addiction to a powerful drug.  :stars:
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:
the last of the human freedoms-
to choose one's attitude in any
given set of circumstances, to choose
one's own way.
-Viktor Frankl

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LemonLime

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Re: I sense that may brother fakes empathy
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2021, 02:33:34 PM »
Hi MarlenaEve,
I have an older sister who has what I think is covert narcissism.  It's quite mild compared to what I hear on this board.  She is my only sibling and it took me til recently (in middle age) to finally put the pieces together.   I thought she was just sort of low on self-esteem and highly critical of others and prone to ocassional rages (that sounds sort of ridiculous when I write it!).   But she let loose on me a few years ago and refused to take responsibility for her rage, much less apologize.   She did try to hoover me with nice gifts for me and my kids.   When that didn't work she became angry and now does not communicate with me.  I am absolutely positive she is trashing me behind my back, as she has done to others (and probably to me) all these years.  I too feel I was under a kind of "spell" with her, and I admired many things about her.  And she is my big sister, so I always sort of looked up to her just naturally.   We were BFF's for a good 20 years and I thought it would last, but I grew and she didn't.   I grew "cajones" and a spine and decided to make healthy boundaries.   I guess I underestimated the impact of that on her.   Instead of making our relationship "better" it ended it.  But of course that is probably because we can't have a healthy relationship.  You can't if one person has PD traits.  I am still heartbroken and grieving.   Big time.   It's a huge loss, or at least it's a loss of something I thought I had, but probably never did.
I'm so sorry for you.  Hugs.