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Abusive Brother Living With My Parents And Me

by Sabrina

My brother has always had anger problems. His choice to fix his problems is to yell, scream, throw things and blame everyone else for what is wrong. He never takes the blame for anything, even when it is obviously his fault. For example, he backed his van out of a garage and side-swiped the mirror and broke it. His response to it was to blame his wife by telling her "you didn't tell me not to do that!"

He got married in his early 20s and his wife became the victim of his temper. If she did something he didn't like, he had to scream at her about it. If she spent 10 cents more on groceries than allowed, he would go ballistic. She had to ask permission to spend money. If she tried dressing up and putting on make-up he'd tell her she looks like a ridiculous clown.

They ended up having 5 kids together. His oldest, a daughter, has always been treated as if the other 4 kids are her responsibility. While his wife was at work, he would stay in his room, usually asleep and put his daughter in charge. If the other kids did anything wrong, it was her fault for letting them.

He lives like a slob - very messy, disorganized, with piles of junk and trash as high as the door knob of the room. If the kids touched any of his stuff, or did something bad, he would scream at them, and hit them excessively hard. This could even be over something as simple as not picking up their toys. Sometimes he punched them in the arm or the leg.

When his wife was pregnant, she had to sleep on the couch because he would have his things all over the bed and she wasn't allowed to move or touch them because "she would lose them." When he gets really mad he starts pacing really hard, or jumping up and down. He might pick something up and throw it - though he says it's not his fault if it got broken!

One time he was fighting with his wife and ran out the door to go to work, slamming it behind him with the door locked. He had forgotten something in the house and instead of asking someone to unlock the door he just kicked the door in, scaring his kids who were just toddlers at the time.

These are just a few examples of how he could be. Many times his wife gave him ultimatums of getting counseling or they were done. He went to counseling but it never did any good. He always went right back to his old habits. Many times I came close to calling child services for the kids’ sake. I bit my tongue because I was afraid of what would happen to the kids - if they would get taken away or something like that.

After enduring 13 years of abuse, his wife decided to take the kids to a domestic shelter. She got a protective order for herself and the kids. She also filed for divorce. The protective order meant that my brother couldn't live at his home anymore so my parents allowed him to come live with us. He still does not feel that he has ever done anything wrong or deserved to have his life changed for him.


He rationalizes the situation by insisting his wife is leaving him because she wants to hook up with another man. After she left, he went to another counselor for his temper, but according to my brother, all they did was talk about his wife leaving and that he was a victim of the situation. He truly believed that if he went to counseling one more time, she would take him back.

The counselor never got a hold of his wife or any of us family to get the whole picture of the situation or what he's really like. Now that he's living at home with my parents and myself, he has redirected his abuse towards us.

My parents tell me to shrug it off because he's just going through a rough time. He is always screaming at my parents. He has punched/kicked holes in their walls, and throws furniture in the house. He tore into my dad one day, saying that my dad has never loved him, never done anything for him.

My father has been paying the thousands of dollars in bills for the divorce attorney since my brother can't afford it. Anything we do is wrong in his eyes. He has begun trashing our house with his junk, taking no consideration that he's sharing a space with other people. He gets mad when we tell him the truth or if we disagree with anything he thinks or says.

He is paranoid that his attorney isn't doing a good job and is constantly on the Internet reading up on laws and determining what actions he thinks she should be taking every second of the day. If she doesn't call him every day, he calls her to find out what she has done, racking up more bills for my father to pay on the attorney.

My father is determined to maintain a relationship with the grandkids. He contacts my brother's wife and he has become the middleman for answering questions about bills, banking accounts, etc., since my brother is not allowed to have any contact.

My father takes the brunt of the abuse because of my brother's controlling nature. My brother will get into my dad's phone to make sure he worded everything in texts exactly as he wants. If my dad has any other conversations with my brother's wife then he gets mad at claims my dad is taking "her side."

Our house has become a war zone. We are made to feel like we are walking on glass, waiting for a bomb to explode. I get tense at the thought of coming home from work every day.

My parents are always stressed and fight with each other now too. Yet after all this evidence that he is abusive, my parents continue to take his side. They continue to say he's just stressed because of the divorce and let him stay with us, watching him slowly destroy our home.

It is not my house and I cannot kick him out. I want to move out and get away but my parents get defensive on me and tell me I'm being ridiculous and give me a hard time. It would be hard for me to afford my own place which is why I still live with my parents, but the stress of living penny to penny seems better than living with a toxic, cruel person.

I'm trapped in the middle and it hurts to watch my brother be so horrible to our parents who have been nothing but kind to him throughout this whole ordeal. What can I do? Is there anything I can do for my parents?

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Sep 06, 2016
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Your Instincts Are Right
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Sabrina

You are right that some financial stress is a far better choice than to live in this environment any longer.

With the best of intentions, I'm sure, your parents are making your brother's problems worse, and they don't even have the wisdom to support your desire to move out on your own.

Move out. Leave them to sort out their own difficulties...they're not your problems. Your brother will either get better or worse, that is up to him and him alone.

Your focus needs to be on yourself. I hope you can love yourself enough to do this.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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