blogger web statistics

Adult Brother Showing Signs of Emotional Abuse Toward Elderly Mother

by Anonymous
(Minnesota)



Dear Dr. DeFoore: My adult brother, 51 years old, lives with my elderly mother in her home. My Mother is mentally alert and physically active as she walks independently and still drives her own vehicle. She also grocery shops and carries on with her activities of daily living with independence at the age of 78.

My brother has lived with her and my late father for probably 15 years now as my brother was in financial troubles and had lost driving privileges due to a DWI. He has consistently been employed during this time but never paid a monthly allowance or helped with monthly bills at the house as he had "his own expenses to take care of" due to child support, legal woes due to DWI, credit card bills etc.. So he has poor credit.

Well, my parents have enabled him to be quite dependent through the years, all in the name of "helping him" or taking care of him so he doesn't have to live on the street. Well, my brother was really never very respectful toward either of them, often arguing with them over money, chores, or various reasons. He also had some good times and memories with them. We as siblings have just continued on with our lives and families but were often upset that our brother could never move out of their house as he was the source of so much angst and issues.

Now, Dad has passed away and my brother's anger seems to have escalated. The anger rears up at various times when my Mom hints at maybe having to sell the house or make decisions for her own well-being.

In the latest episode, she sold a second car that was not running and she wanted to get out of the driveway. She sold it and he came home unexpectedly and flew into a rage over a car that did not belong to him, it belonged to my mother. He threatened to break a planter, insulted the buyers with racial slurs, came in the house and ripped pictures off my mother's wall and yelled at her.

To my knowledge, he has not physically harmed her, but I have seen his "tantrums" and they scare me and my Mom. She called a friend to come over, another elderly lady and he said to her, and "yeah, and you too can get the hell out of here!"

I have a terrible relationship with this brother but get along fine with my other siblings. One reason I have conflict with him is his lack of respect and dignity towards my Mom. He emotionally abuses her and threatens to sometimes harm himself or emotionally blackmail her if things don't go his way. He does treat women as "second class" citizens and has very traditional views that they should cook and clean and not "talk back."

I am working out a plan for my Mom to sell her home and move to a senior apartment per her wishes for her future. It still is 10 months away for a move. Yet, we are afraid this brother "will blow a gasket" or do something irrational when he finds out, because he is unpredictable and it threatens his living situation. So she keeps this information from him as she feels threatened by his response.

What resources are available to help this brother and my mother? What is the best way to address his anger issues as he is an adult and does not listen to his sisters or his Mom?

He has a lot of anger but can turn around and be nice to her the next day. He has poor social skills and a low self-esteem with signs of depression. He does not drink anymore to our knowledge and has a valid driver license but poor credit, making moving out difficult for himself.

Comments for Adult Brother Showing Signs of Emotional Abuse Toward Elderly Mother

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 09, 2021
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
To Megan
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Megan, and thanks for telling your story here. Your situation is so very tragic. I'm sure it must be extremely painful and frustrating to you to be aware of this abuse and yet unable to intervene on your mother's behalf.

As an elder, she of course is still free to make choices in her life. Sadly, she is making very bad choices that are leading to further abuse by your brother...and, the fact that she attacks you when you try to advise her is especially alarming.

I agree that she is in a battered woman syndrome, as you suggested. These patterns are so hard to break, and can only be broken from the inside...that is, your mother has to be willing to take action to end the cycle of abuse.

In my experience, you simply cannot help someone out of the misery that they are continually creating for themselves. You may want to reach out to this Domestic Violence hotline to see if there is further support for you.

Meanwhile, I suggest you do your best to let go, pray if that is meaningful for you, and do your best to hold your mother in your highest regard, hoping that she will take positive action on her own behalf.

All the best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

Nov 09, 2021
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
To Megan
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Megan, and thanks for telling your story here. Your situation is so very tragic. I'm sure it must be extremely painful and frustrating to you to be aware of this abuse and yet unable to intervene on your mother's behalf.

As an elder, she of course is still free to make choices in her life. Sadly, she is making very bad choices that are leading to further abuse by your brother...and, the fact that she attacks you when you try to advise her is especially alarming.

I agree that she is in a battered woman syndrome, as you suggested. These patterns are so hard to break, and can only be broken from the inside...that is, your mother has to be willing to take action to end the cycle of abuse.

In my experience, you simply cannot help someone out of the misery that they are continually creating for themselves. You may want to reach out to this Domestic Violence hotline to see if there is further support for you.

Meanwhile, I suggest you do your best to let go, pray if that is meaningful for you, and do your best to hold your mother in your highest regard, hoping that she will take positive action on her own behalf.

All the best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

Nov 06, 2021
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
My Adult Brother is a Monster
by: Megan

I really need a support group. And advice please.

My brother is 33 years old. He has Bi Polar and refuses medication. He is a vile, violent, shiftless parasite of a human. He abuses my elderly mother.

He physically attacked my 70 year old mother in her own home, killed numerous pets in his rage because he was having a tantrum and could not have his way just like a child. He is an adult.

He was arrested, served time in jail, however to this day does not take ownership of what he did. Nobody in the family speaks to him apart from my mom. He is hated for his treatment of her and others.

He lost his housing as he refuses to work but has housing income through SSI. He moved back home as an adult man 2 years ago. Lays on the sofa day after day, runs my mom around like a slave...she is now 75 with multiple health issues. He does nothing but rant and rage and play video games and smoke grass 24/7. He steals from her, threatens her, dominates her, and refuses to leave and go make his own life. He refuses to help with chores...he literally does nothing. He is like a 5 year old child.

She is terrified of him and afraid to force him out. I live in another state and worry about her 24/7. I have begged her to come live with me to get away from him and be able to enjoy the rest of her life. She is in denial. She will not leave and will not throw him out.

I don't know how to help her. Please, any suggestions are so appreciated. I am afraid he will kill her. The cops have been called to the property numerous times. He has an arrest record a mile long – beating girlfriends, lewd acts on a minor, stolen property, drugs, physical attack on my mom. He is committing elder abuse on a daily basis.

Every time I try to talk to her about getting him out of the house she attacks me! I know this is a battered woman's syndrome but how do I help her? I am terrified.

Oct 01, 2015
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Help Is Available
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hello - Thanks for telling your story here. It's good that your mother has you to help her. As you well know, your parents created this situation, and unfortunately your brother has cooperated by becoming a highly dysfunctional human being.

I suggest that you and your mother both read this page on parenting adult children, especially the stories by other parents, that also include my responses and advice.

You are correct in your thoughts that your mother and brother need to be separated physically. These situations never get better until the adult son/daughter is living separately.

Your brother is on his own re. living and making it on his own. And that is exactly as it should be. You and your mother have to let go of the need to take care of him...you can't, and he has to, one way or another.

I hope this is helpful.

My best,

Dr. DeFoore

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Parenting Adult Children.