My Brother Is Abusing My Family
I have a brother 3 years younger than me. He is taller and bigger, and thinks he can control people with his words and actions. He tends to not listen to anyone and when someone disagrees or tells him what to do, he quickly uses physical or verbal abuse.
He hits anyone that is in his way, including my parents and me. He has been in trouble a lot in school for hurting kids and injuring them, and he doesn't have many friends. He tends to hurt the people around him and doesn't seem to care or realize that these people are being hurt and abused.
I have so much pain in side of me, and I can't take it any more. I have bruises up and down my arm and I can't keep lying to all my family and friends. I don't even know if this is a severe disorder or a behaviour attitude. Should I get therapy for him or call 911 when this happens? We can't control him. No one can.
I am scared for the well being of me and my family. Someone please help me!
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Rachel, and thanks for telling your story on this site. I can tell that your situation is bad, and that you're at the end of your rope. I will try to help you.
First of all, it is important to realize that your parents are the people who need to be taking charge of your brother's behavior. While he may be out of control now, he was not always big. They allowed things to get this bad, or it wouldn't be happening. I'm telling you this because I want you to understand that your brother is not a bad person. He has been given too much power to control your family with his anger. Yes, it is hurting others, but it's also hurting him. I'm also telling you this because you should not have to be solving this problem as his sister.
That being said, I will now recommend some things for you to do.
If you can get therapy for him, try to get the whole family into therapy, with a family therapist. This is a family issue, not just your brother's problem.
The next time he hits you, yes, I do think you should call 911 and report domestic violence. Tell them that you are being assaulted in your home. It is sad that this has to happen, but the physical abuse has to stop, and since your parents aren't doing anything (I'm assuming), then you have to be the one. Maybe this will be a wake up call for your brother. It might help your brother to let him read this, by the way.
For yourself, it would be good for you to read this page on abusive relationships. Many have been down this road, and you can learn from their experiences (see the stories at the bottom of the page).
The bottom line here, Rachel, is for you to take care of yourself. Your brother's abuse of you has to stop, and that means someone has to claim authority over him--unless he's smart enough to claim authority over himself. And that's where the police come in. When parents don't claim authority, it's time to call the public authorities. You just can't let him intimidate and abuse you and your family.
Write again, if you like.
My very best to you,