My beloved brother is destroying his life
Hello I'm Stantza,
I came to an advice forum because I have not come across a problem until now that I feel not only distressed by, but also feel an unfounded guilt, sense of responsibility and helplessness for. I'll explain...
I love my younger brother with my whole soul. I have always (esp. during childhood) felt the need to protect and defend him with my life. He is at heart a great, loving, principalled and funny man. Who, as has been revealed to me in the last couple of months, has become not only depressed but paranoid, irrational, verbally aggressive towards his wife, using drugs, somewhat delusional, being in intimate contact with another woman...and most significantly for those who would fight his corner: twisting situations and playing mind games to get the support/sympathy he needs.
What is going on!?
When this first emerged to me, he told me how his wife was down and needed help. She was depressed and going crazy doing all sorts of things. I was in support of him of course. I believed him of course. But now, knowing that his wife has dealt with this for a year at least, and listening to him closely, I'm being spun a tale. My mother is being spun a tale. We both know it, but neither of us know how to approach it. I know him well enough to know he is lying to me and contradicting himself. It is like the things he thinks, the guilt he inadvertantly shows, and the actions he says his wife has done: it's the things he's done. He's looking in a mirror put then putting it upon her.
Mother and I both have depression. It's something we know and live with. But he has never understood or wanted to understand. Almost denying it's a thing. Maybe he has always suffered with it deep down. But this is not something he will accept ultimately, although he has gone through the motions of getting antidepressants.
I've listed this under 'drugs' because of the cocaine, and because I probably missed the correct section. Feel free to move this post obviously.
This is not 'him'.
I feel I cannot support him, defend him or protect him with this, because of the way I've seen him act towards his wife amongst other things, like the way he's clearly prepared to play his own sister and mother and lie to us. Therefore I am lost. I know I need to find some strength from somewhere. 'Why don't you confront him?' Because I see suicide statistics alot. Because I'm concerned if my confrontation riles him up, he'll then rile his wife up. Because his paranoia will make him believe I've 'switched sides' and abandoned him. He is feeling very low. I know he is.
I wish I could just tell him that I know when he's lying. I wish I could call his bluffs confidently. I also wish that I had more strength. But diplomacy and balance is unfortunately my thing. I need to help him. I need to help me to help him.
So if any of the internet peoples of the world can shed light, links, strength, advice...I would be so grateful.
Thank you x
What a nightmare for you!. It is so difficult to watch someone you love destroying everything good in their life. Unfortunately, I don't think you are going to be able to significantly help your brother until he is ready to be helped. While he is lying and manipulating I feel any help offered may just backfire on you or the rest of your family. If you did confront or approach him he will likely deny and lie. I think it would only stand a chance of working if you were able to convince him that you can see through the lies and manipulation and it won't work with you. maybe explain that you love and care for him very much and how hard it is to watch him going through this and that you want to help him. But, like I said, he may not want the help or want to hear it. One thing that is really important is that you take care of yourself. Remember, he is not your responsibility and you have no reason to feel AT ALL guilty for any of his actions.
If I were you I think I would make it clear to him that I am there to help and support him in any way I can but that I will not tolerate any level of lies whatsoever.
Then it is up to him I am afraid. We can force people to get help and we can't make them ready when they aren't. Good luck with it all and remember - own oxygen mask first - ok?