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#10000 - 09/11/10 02:37 PM Re: Brother is anti social I need help [Re: twin]
twin Offline
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Registered: 09/05/10
Posts: 74
I've been thinking about this on and off for days. Somehow we've got to figure out how to not to let the dysfunctional and destructive relationship between my brother and my mother destroy my relationship with my mom.

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#10001 - 09/11/10 10:50 PM Re: Brother is anti social I need help [Re: twin]
Dianne E. Offline

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Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2788
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It is a great thing to think about. He could impact you for the rest of your life and your relationship with your mom in general. Please don't let him take that away from you.

You might think of ways to respond when you see him at your moms. Take the high road, he is just a snake slithering around and not worthy of your attention. That attention and energy needs to go toward your mom. If you have to let your mom think you don't find him disgusting and a crook, so be it as long your siblings have a tight string on the finances etc. By provoking him or taking his bait you will give him some nasty things to get your mom involved in. She knows deep down inside her heart. I know how hard that will be but I get the sense your and your families are very united to help your mom.

Many times it will be hard but without information and any anger from you where does he go from there? Your mom will see your smiling faces and people that care for her. Will it be easy to ignore your brothers nasty attitudes? I doubt it but it is one of those horrible things in life.

Circle the group around her with love and affection. Your brother is more than likely an expert at provoking incidents, just don't go there.

Di

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#10002 - 09/12/10 09:07 PM Re: Brother is anti social I need help [Re: Dianne E.]
twin Offline
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Registered: 09/05/10
Posts: 74
I agree with you 100 %. The most challenging part is that some of my "less evolved" siblings still fall for his drama and lies. You know how that is. Personally, I don't like drama. I avoid it. I've got other siblings and their spouses who really love the drama. I can't control that, but I wish that we were all on the same page. It would make this terribly awful situation a small bit easier. I'll let you know what happens.

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#10003 - 09/13/10 01:45 AM Re: Brother is anti social I need help [Re: twin]
Dianne E. Offline

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Registered: 11/15/02
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Please do let me know how it works out. Is there any way possible to get through to these drama siblings? Are they close to your mom? I might remind them that they are adults and not children. If they would acknoledge to stay out of the conflicts will be the best for your mom and I hope they can help you in overlooking your brother's actions. That is what I am wondering if they can accept some logic knowing that doing otherwise puts your mother in a terrible situation at her age she doesn't need.

My brother is not a Psychopath but I had to eat a pile of crow to make my mother happy. My mother supported my decision to not deal with him in the beginning. But as she got older she wanted everyone to get along. I did it for her; I called him up, sent things etc. because I knew she would be asking if he heard from me etc. I only did it it for my mother and it worked, she passed away thinking everything was okay. If they love your mother they would cut out the conflict so her days at the end of life will be the best way to show her compassion, after all I hear in your posts she was a very good mother, why treat her rotten when it is only making her worse.

No one and I mean no one should be dragging an elderly person through the mud. Canít they do anything about joining together with solidarity to not torture an elderly person who is your mom? They are no better than your Psychopath brother by carrying on this way and emotionally abusing your mom. Abuse is abuse. I would hate to look back and think (obviously I didnít) that I had any part in making her life miserable and nerve wracking instead of the peace she rightfully deserves.

I have a thought I try use in life, which is any different the person who starts the conflict or the one who joins in.

Di

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#10004 - 09/13/10 01:08 PM Re: Brother is anti social I need help [Re: twin]
Violet Offline
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Registered: 07/08/10
Posts: 105
Hello Twin,

Sounds like a real sticky situation. It also sounds like you are doing an excellent job trying to keep things as healthy as possible on your end. It is great that you have your sister who you are close with to discuss everything.

You wrote: I try to see her as a victim of him. That is true, and you are a victim of him as well. The wrath of a Psychopath spreads through many people. How sad that he has caused a wedge between you and your mother. I have issues with my own mother, somewhat related to yours, and I know how painful it is. You write of your sadness and concern for your mother, and I can't help but feel sad for you. You seem like such a caring and compassionate person, it must be hard carrying around so much worry.

You said it is very hurtful when your mother attacks you for not buying in to his cons. You seem like you are truly seeking peace, and want to let go of all the pain. I read that your sister is in counseling. Have you considered it yourself? If not, I so strongly recommend it. You don't have to be the one with "the problem" to benefit from counseling. It is often the families of "the problem" who need the counseling the most.

Carrying around all that pain and frustration is not good for you. Take care of yourself and let some of this out of your mind. Talking to the right person can really change your life. A good therapist will be able to tell you exactly how to deal with him, and exactly how to deal with your mother as far as her denial. You are correct to assume that she will never see things differently at her age. But YOU can see things a little differently, in a way that hopefully won't drain you of so much emotional energy.

It is great that you want to make the most of the time you have left with your mother. How wonderful that you are able to take such a tragic situation, and still stay centered enough to focus on what really matters. Diane is right in so many of the things that she has said. With your mother's age and health, it is so important to make the most of this time, and to continue to seek as healthy of a relationship with her as possible. It can get twisted quickly-when our heart breaks because we see our parents as victims, than our heart breaks again when the inevitable dysfunction causes our parents to hurt us.

While you are on your journey seeking understanding and peace, please be open to the option of counseling. There is a big stigma associated with therapy. It is commonly thought that therapy is for the person with "the problem". Sometimes therapy will work for that person, other times it may not. But what is underemphasized, in my opinion, is how important it is for the families, who are affected by these people, to seek validation and support. Not only to heal from the lifetime of pain that has accumulated, but also to gain knowledge in the best ways to protect yourself from future pain.

You also wrote: To offer her support gives me a front row seat to the destruction. To distance myself gives him more access to her.It seems that you can't figure out where to stand. Your love for you mother draws you near her. The horror of his presence, and how it affects her, repels you away. But then, when you are away, you are drawn back in because of your love and concern for her.

What I am trying to say is, you don't need to keep switching spots. It doesn't have to be at one end, or the other. There is a comfortable healthy spot in the middle. Let an experienced therapist help show you where that spot is.

You don't have to be so near the fire that you get burned as well, but you don't have to stand at the end of the road either, feeling bad that you are not trying to put out the fire. Think of a therapist as a trained firefighter. They can tell you how close you can stand, so that you don't get burned. They can tell you how to clear up some of the smoke, to see things more clearly. And they can tell you the quickest way to extinguish a fire, should one start again. They can help you learn how to decide when there is a dangerous fire, if it is worth fighting, or when it is best to stand back.

That was a very big analogy there, I guess I got a bit carried away! Dealing with intense emotions made me think of fire! I hope you got the point I was trying to make. You are a very strong person to witness this for so long, and through all the pain and frustration, you still hold your love for your mother as your focus. It takes a strong spirit to stay centered while seeking understanding, peace, and closure.

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#10005 - 09/15/10 06:17 AM Re: Brother is anti social I need help [Re: Violet]
twin Offline
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Registered: 09/05/10
Posts: 74
Thank you for your kind reply Violet. I've been in counseling on and off since my 20s . . . much of it to deal with my brothers who have varying degrees of personality disorder, mental illness and alcoholism. Right now, we're going to a support group for family members of the mentally ill which is helpful.

I like your analogy of the fire. Looking back, I've done that over the last two years especially since he first started taking over the car. Trying to be there for her and help her, but not get dragged into his drama and game-playing is a very challenging position to be in. Over the last few years I've taken her to cardiologist, pulmonologist, neurologist appointments for heavy breathing and tremors. The cardiologist and pulmonologist all said she was healthy given her age and asked about her stress level wondering if the symptoms were possibly panic or anxiety. The neurologist saying that some of her tremor was neurological, but a lot was stress.

I've reviewed the Hare Psychopathy Checklist. It is stunning how many characteristics he has.

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#10006 - 09/15/10 01:26 PM Re: Brother is anti social I need help [Re: twin]
Violet Offline
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Registered: 07/08/10
Posts: 105

Hello Twin,

I understand exactly what you mean when you look at the Hare checklist. My child's father is a Psychopath, unofficially confirmed within the past few monthes.

The term Psychopath has kind of been used loosely. In casual conversation we think of a serial killer or some other real wack-job. It was through talking about him, with my therapist, that we first identified him as a narcissist. She speculated that he was most likely a Psychopath as well. Well that term didn't mean too much to me at the time. I knew that a Psychopath meant someone who was "crazy", and it made sense that she agreed he was nuts! It was through my own research, mostly online, that I was able to place him even further down the continuum- not just a narcissist, but a raging Psychopath! Not "kind of" a Psychopath, because I don't think there is such a thing.

When learning about psychopathy, it just described him exactly! It felt like I had just discovered something incredible....wow..."so this is the NAME for all of this"! Oh yes, it is so undeniable when placed on the Hare checklist, isn't it? My emotions related to this discovery, my unofficial, yet undeniable diagnosis for all of his madness:

First, relief..this is a real form of a personality disorder, real mental illness. I had shamed myself for years that I chose such "a loser" to be with. This man was no longer just an abusive a-hole, a drunk, a thug. He was now a Psychopath, and with that came SO much understanding. When I learned how his sick mind actually works, I felt relieved to an extent. I was relieved that he didn't treat me that way as a result of my actions. We didn't "bring out the worst in each other" as he always said. He had a very convincing way of twisting around his horrible behavior in to something that I really believed I deserved! When I was able to view myself as his victim, rather than his partner, I felt less responsible for all of the pain that came from my relationship with him. By understanding why I had been attracted to him, I was not so ashamed for "choosing" such a horrible person.

Next, I felt intense interest in the whole topic. My new knowledge of psychopathy explained so much about my relationship with him, it really helped define the volumes of pain I had buried. I was inspired to find out as much as possible about the entire topic. Now that I knew what his problem was, I hoped it would be so much easier to deal with him in regards to his (sketchy)relationship with our daughter. I read a few great books on the topic. And I read many, many posts on this forum. I took it all in, I applied it all to him, and it made sense.

Following that was the panic. The more I learned about psychopathy, and the more that I applied it to him, the more my mind raced with the "what-ifs". What if he really was going to slit my throat that time he held up the knife? What if he really was going to drag me out to the lake and drown me like he had threatened that night out at the beach? What if all these years of his nonsense really do accumulate until he snaps? What if he really did sleep with over 200 women before he met me, what if he wasn't exagerating?

After I applied all of these endless what ifs to myself, then I applied them to my daughter. What if he managed to break her heart as he had broke mine? What if he got violent with one of his girlfriends in front of her? What if she witnessed him treating another woman the way that he had treated me? What if he decided to end his life-long battle with the law and skip the country, with my daughter? What if she grew up attracted to a man like him? On and on the what ifs went. I had to make conscious efforts to turn off the what ifs in my head. It was really consuming my thoughts, until finally, I decided that I will not be afraid of this man any longer.

After I fully acknowledged all the danger I had been in, after I fully embraced all the horror of the truth, and all my fears for the future, I HAD to let it go. I could not let the fear consume my mind or my heart any longer. So after I finally realized that I had a choice to refuse this fear, I found strength. Strength to accept the truth, strength to understand it, and strength to believe that the goodness of people in general is stronger than the evil of a Psychopath. I found the strength to believe that the goodness, power, and divinity of the universe are on MY side. I found the strength to accept that it was in my destiny for me to have been with this man. I found the strength to realize- that even out of all the immense pain that this man had brought into my life, he also gave me my daughter. Without him, she would not be here. Without her, I don't know who I would be. So far that has been my conclusion, my closure of sorts, on this journey of understanding and healing.

I had intended to write specifically to you Twin, but I guess I got into my own testimony of sorts. I am not sure where you are at in your journey of understanding and acceptance, but maybe you are able to relate to one of the places that I have been on mine. It seems that Psychopath's leave similar trails of heartache and devastation behind them. Perhaps that is why it feels like we are recovering together on this forum.

I'm so glad to hear that your family is going to a support group. When I think back on the almost decade that I spent trying to handle it all on my own, it really saddens me. Therapy and support groups can't really do anything to change a Psychopath or their behavior at all. But they really do seem to help with the recovery of the Psychopath's victims. I can only imagine the web you are tangled in with the Psychopath, and your mother, and with six other siblings on top of that. It must be absolutely draining of your emotional energy to deal with it all. Hopefully the support group you are attending is able to provide you with some useful advice and helpful suggestions. And hopefully this forum will bring you the same validation and support that it has brought me.

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#10008 - 09/21/10 08:38 PM Re: Brother is anti social I need help [Re: Violet]
twin Offline
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Registered: 09/05/10
Posts: 74
Hi -

I've got a few updates. I gave myself and my mom a little bit of a breather and did not see her for about 2 weeks. Given that she lived with me for over 2 months this was quite a change. It gave me (and her I suppose) an opportunity for some emotional distance which is allowing some of the more immediate wounds between us to heal a bit.

I consider my sister to be a miracle worker because she somehow persuaded our mom to attend the family support group meeting with her. To her credit, my mom attended. She didn't speak, but she seemed to listen quite intently. I'm doing my best to give my mom attention and help for her needs. On Friday, I'll be bringing some meals over and taking her to lunch. I'm back to my previous approach of not bringing up his name, but being aware of his influence on her well-being.

I recalled something that I wanted to share: One time my brother borrowed $30 from my mom. He paid it back, but at the rate of a $1 a week for over half a year. Can you imagine? What a mental screw job.

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#10013 - 09/22/10 10:35 AM Re: Brother is anti social I need help [Re: twin]
Violet Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/10
Posts: 105
Hello Twin,

Thank you for the update. It is great to hear that your mother was willing to attend the family support group meeting. Even though she didn't speak, her physical presence at the meeting was a huge step toward at least acknowledging that there is a problem! Even if she is not able to acknowledge the problem out loud with words, she must know it somewhere in her heart. Overcoming the denial in an unhealthy relationship is really the first step toward any emotional healing. Problems can not be worked on until they have been acknowledged. Her willingness to attend the meeting is such a big step in the right direction.

I hope you are able to celebrate what a huge step this is for her, especially at her age. Your previous posts showed so much concern for the emotional pain that your mother is enduring. Please realize how truly great this small step is for her. By actually acknowledging that there is a problem, she has opened the door for so much emotional healing and growth. This door may remain open for awhile...she may look at that open door for some time before she decides to walk through it and continue in the direction of healing.

Prepare yourself for the frustration that is inevitable while you wait for your mother to be ready for the next step in healing. She is facing a lifetime of denial and unhealthy rationalization, it will not be easy for her. But I do feel so encouraged for you that it is indeed possible.Yes, I agree, your sister may be a miracle worker. I do firmly believe that everybody has a purpose in this world. No doubt your sister serves as a tremendous guiding light in your family.

Yes time does heal some wounds. It sounds like the two week break was good for both of you. I can relate, to an extent, to the tension that you have with your mother. My mother coddles my adult autistic brother and is in denial of his full capabilities. It is a painful thing to watch. In so many ways. I pity her for all the pain she has lived with, how hard she has worked to give him the best life she possibly could, yet at the same time, I get so angered over how she has overcompensated to the point where it has completely drained her. Her motherly role has gone beyond being supportive to the point where it is now enabling. Enabling to the point where it has cut off his room for growth and potential to work and function independently as an adult.

So when I hit a dead end with my mother, in regards to my brother, or various other things, I also choose to just stay away for awhile. Sometimes there is only so much you can say to someone. When the person you are trying to get through to just refuses to accept or acknowledge what you are saying, it can be so frustrating. One persons denial combined with the other persons frustration can quickly result in painful words that only make the entire situation worse. There does come a point in time when you really do need to remove yourself from the situation and just take a breather. It sounds like you made the right call.

Good luck, and please let us know how things progress.

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#10024 - 09/25/10 08:41 PM Re: Brother is anti social I need help [Re: Violet]
twin Offline
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Registered: 09/05/10
Posts: 74
I saw my mom on Friday after about a 2 1/2 week absence. I brought her about a week's worth of meals and took her to lunch. During lunch I noticed that she seemed down, but she wouldn't discuss it easily. As I was preparing to leave, my mom mentioned that this brother called her to ask if he could buy her car with a portion of his settlement from his disability. Mind you, my mom hasn't yet decided that she is no longer driving after her previous fall . . . but she is 83 y/o so her days of driving are limited. She said that my brother wants to buy her car but is "afraid everyone is going to be mad at him." I responded that given that perhaps the responsible thing to do would be to not buy the car, but of course he's convinced my mom that this is the only used Honda in the area. I told her that she ought to get the car appraised so she could get a fair price for it, but she said that she had a price in mind. (I'm pretty sure it is well below the car's worth.)

It was so hard not to be angry, but I managed to ask my mom what she wanted to do . . . she wasn't sure. I told her that I didn't think that it was necessarily a good idea given the history but that I knew it was her decision. I also told her that no matter what I wouldn't be angry with her because I knew that she was put in a terrible position. It was sad because she was crying saying that it was hard to have a son who was "not independent" which is as close as she has gotten to saying that something is wrong with him.

My mom isn't poor, but financially she shouldn't be selling a car that is worth $8000 for less than half of what it is worth so he can have it.

ugh.

The good news is that I handled this without displaying my anger. I tried really hard to see her as a victim rather than a co-conspirator.

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