So Enraged and Hurt i'm shaking...

Jenni - posted on 09/16/2010 ( 22 moms have responded )




This is a rather delicate topic for me but i just don't know what to do...
I was visiting with my mom, my sister (who was visiting from TO) and my brother. My brother is a paranoid scitzophrenic which I believe was brought on by an abusive childhood. We've struggled with his anger issues for years. We all try to support him and be there for him but any effort to help him fails. He was first diagnosed with PS 3 years ago, before his issues were attributed to ADHD and ODD as well as anger issues. He's seen many psychiatrists, social workers and been in and out of hospitals. It wasn't until he was 18 we started noticing that he was have delusions. He always thinks people (the mafia, other teenagers, landlords etc) are out to get him and in some cases kill him.
So back to our visit. I had been avoiding him because he hasn't been taking his meds and our last few visits 4 months ago I could tell he was getting progressively worse again. I fear for my children and my own safety when he starts getting like this. Well, we were all visiting since my sister was down and he shows up with his hand and face all busted up. He tells us that he had two incidents. One went like this... he was trying to get a conveince store clerk to exchange his change for a bill and when the clerk refused, my brother began vandalizing his shop. The clerk ran towards him and my brother turned around and knocked him unconscience and ran away. The second incident he wouldn't go into much detail about so i'm thinking it's got to be really bad..... he just said he punched a wall to show his friend how angry he was. I told him, "Steve... You have to stop this behaviour and start taking your medication again... you're going to end up seriously injuring someone and end up in jail. Do you want to go to jail? Or would you rather take your medication?" Like always he blew me off.
My husband and I were going camping for the night the next day and my mom was watching my daughter. When we returned to pick her up my mom said she had something to tell me. I almost didn't have to hear it to know what it was or at least that it had to do with my brother. She tells me that same night that we were visiting he was riding his bike down the river and there were three other men walking. Allegedly my brother said something derogatory to them and words were exchanged. My brother got off his bike and started a fight with one of the men. Another man tried to break up the fight and my brother stabbed him three times with a knife. Luckily the man was not seriously injured and released a few hours later. The story made the paper. My brother was later found at his apartment and taken to jail.
I am at a lost... I don't know what to think anymore or what to do. My brother his 7 years younger than me and I can't help but feel i'm responsible for him. I got him out of the abusive situation when he was 11 years old. I pressed charges against our father and he was put in jail. Just to have my brother go back and talk to him years later JUST to mooch money off of him. It felt like a huge slap in the face. I actually feel like he is mad at me for 'breaking up' the family because he can't live as comfortably (money-wise) now. He has little-no morals and i'm not sure if it's because of his PS or what happened to him. I did everything i can to teach him and guide him in the right directions.
Now i get a call from his lawyer about bail money......... there are so many reasons why i refused to bail him out that i didn't go into detail with her about.... my mom also refused... i believe my sister will as well.... i just feel like bailing him out is basically like saying i'm okay with what you did, i'm ok that you only call me when you want something from me, i condone your violence and manipulation, i don't feel like what you did is a big deal....
as well as... i believe if he does get out, he will run (almost certainly)... if he does get out because i bailed him out and hurts or even kills someone i would never be able to live with myself, if he does get out it's just another slap on the wrist he's gotten a thousand times before...
I've just always wanted to save him and give him a better life than I had... I wanted to be the one to save him since no one was there to save me... i had to save myself... I can't help but feel like a failure.


Sharon - posted on 09/16/2010




You didn't ask but I think you did the right thing. Do not bail him out. His actions have consequences.

You are not a failure.

You saved him from abuse, you saved him from possible death.

You gave him OPTIONS. Just because he's chosen the wrong paths, it isn't your fault. He's a big boy now. I don't like the way my meds make feel but I keep taking them because they help me. Granted for me its antibiotics and not a lifelong thing but look at diabetics? Transplant recipients? Those people have rather immediate consequences for stopping their meds. Your brother does too.

YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE. You're a hero for stepping up and doing one of the hardest things a child has to do.

Jessica - posted on 09/16/2010




You have done the right hing by not bailing him. You offered to help and he refused it. Now you have a chance to force that help onto him. Request to speak at the trial or request to speak to the judge. Tell them of your concerns and that you desperately want help for him. He needs it forced onto him or one day he may end up killing. I know it isn't nice to hear but the comfort of your brother doesn't take precedence over the safety of every individual out there. He needs help and he is not willing to put himself forward for it. Push him to it. He may resent or even hate you for a while but it is in his best interests and in time he will see that.

Katherine - posted on 09/16/2010




Hey Jennifer,
My brother has PS too. I cannot begin to TELL you what he has done. I wouldn't even know where to one incident he grabbed a can of gasoline and dumped it on the neighbors umbrella and lit it on fire because he thought it was a demon, another time he bought a one way plane ticket to Hawaii with nothing but his clothes on his back. My parents had to go and get him. He's stolen cars and gone to Colorado, NY, NJ, and tried to drive to Alaska. He cold cocked my dad, went on drinking binges and got thrown in jail. My parents tried the "tough love" and he ended up homeless and abused by society.
He has a chemical imbalance through no fault of his own. He HAS to take his meds. My parents fought for full guardianship, got in and now he is living in an AFC home.

His life is pretty "normal" He still hears voices sometimes, and he thinks the world is going to end... but he's doing A LOT better. It's all because my parents had had enough of him not taking his meds and acting like a loon. They were afraid for him and others.
So that's my story, and he's doing 100% better.

Ez - posted on 09/16/2010




You absolutely have done everything you can. As difficult as I'm sure it is, you have done the right thing in leaving him in the hands of the authorities. I don't know about in Canada, but here in Aus we can get the courts to order a non-compliant mental health patient to have a weekly injection of their meds. I'm a medical secretary in a General Practice and we have several patients like this. Their social workers call once a week to confirm they have attended their appointments, and if not they get arrested and sent back to jail. This may be a necessary route for your brother. Whatever happens, you must believe this is in no way your fault.

JuLeah - posted on 09/16/2010




First PS is not caused by an abusive childhood- Abuse does not help and the behavior of one with PS often makes them a target, but it is not the cause.
So, you did not cuase this. You can not control it. You can not cure it.
He will make the choices he will make. The bummer part of that is,1) the choices me makes you will disagree with 2) he might be able to make the best choices for himself.
The only way to deal with that is to lock him up and force him to take meds - when on the meds, of course, he won't need to be locked up ..... ugly cycle

The sude effects of the meds are sometimes worse then the symptoms of PS
You can keep yourself safe
You can get support for yourself - I am a BIG fan of support groups
You can even sit with a counselor and hear from a professional that you didn't cause this, can't control it, can't cure it
You can not reason with him - logic will not work
You can talk to him and make him understand - there will never be the 'rights' words to say that will make a light bulb go on in his head and make him take the meds .... this is just an ugly situation and I am sorry you are in it. I am sorry he is in it - I am sure he'd opt for something different if it were in his power to do so.

Get support

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Katherine - posted on 09/17/2010




For his safety and others, she probably should fight for guardianship. It doesn't sound like it would be that hard considering what he's done. What state do you live in?

Jenni - posted on 09/17/2010




Katherine, thank you so much for your response. I feels better knowing that others are going through what me and my family are. Also, I'm intrigued about gaining full gardianship over him (not for me but for my mom) I think I will discuss it with her because it would probably be the best step to take when/if he does get out of prison. I think my mom mentioned it before, maybe it's time we took the steps seriously.

Tah - posted on 09/17/2010




you absolutely are not a failure so we aren't even going to go there, you can't save someone who doesn't want to be saved. You can pray for him, you can encourage him, but you have not failed him. I think the best thing you can do is leave him where he is even though it has to be hard. You have to stay strong and know that by showing him tough love you can ultimately be saving someone's husband, son, father from your brother his behavior and his illness that he refuses to take control of. be strong and you are in our prayers.

C. - posted on 09/17/2010




No, no.. Don't feel like a failure, Jennifer. You did the right thing keeping him in there. He needs to learn that he can't just go out and do things like that. Listen, you did what you had to, to save him when he was younger. He's older now and this is HIS turn to act like an adult. HE needs to be the one to realize that what he's doing is unacceptable. HE needs to save himself the next time or else this behavior is just going to continue.

Don't be so hard on yourself. You did the right thing.

Tracey - posted on 09/17/2010




I know he is your baby brother but he is also an adult and responsible for his own actions. If he won't take medication and then acts in a certain way he needs to be in a place where he can be taken care of, or at least have someone to supervise him . Your brother has been in fights involving weapons, this could happen again, it could happen to your family, especially if he feels you are responsible for his situation by not bailing him out, and previously by putting Dad in jail. You have to put your family and your daughter first. You have done everything you can for your brother, hopefully while in prison he will be put in touch with medical professionals who can arrange a care programme for him.

Kate CP - posted on 09/16/2010




Oh, sweetie. *many many hugs* I can't add much but to say you're doing the best you can with what you have. You've done more for the boy than almost any one else in his life has. It's hard to watch a loved one fall on their face over and over. But sometimes the best thing for every one is to just turn away until they can learn to stop tripping. You did good, honey.

Jenni - posted on 09/16/2010




Tramatic childhood experience increases the risk factor for PS. No one can say for certain what causes PS, it's believed to be predispositioned and other factors can increase the risk for developing PS. Does that make sense?
I find it hard to believe his behavioural problems and illnesses do not stem from childhood trama, that it's just a coincidence... but that's just my belief... i'm not a doctor.

Jenni - posted on 09/16/2010




I'm at the point where I feel i have done everything humanly possible to help him and failed miserably. I want to cut him out of my life completely because of the things he's done and the way he's treated myself and my family. However, i'm afraid of the reprocussions. He's no longer a victim anymore he's become a victimizer. It's at the point where the only thing I can do now is protect society from him. ie not bail him out. We've always had more of a immature mother-son relationship. Which makes my decision even harder because that's how he sees me. It wasn't fair to me or him that we were forced to have that sort of relationship.

Jessica - posted on 09/16/2010




*hugs* I can't imagine how difficult that must be for you. I definitely agree with others- you have done all you can do for him, and you are NOT a failure. You do also have your family to think of and protect and you are right to consider that. I worked in a psych hospital with schizophrenic patients and I can say from seeing others' experiences that it is one of the most debilitating illnesses I can think of. And it doesn't go away in the same way that depression can, nor can it be treated with therapy alone- the most you can hope for is to find the right combination of medications and treat symptoms as best you can. He sounds like SO many patients I dealt with- the single most important thing they need to do is keep taking their medications but so many of them don't. They have some nasty side effects, some of which can be permanent, which leads them to stop taking it... the paranoid delusions make it worse. Your brother most definitely needs professional help, but he needs to be willing to get that help and keep up with treatment..

Rosie - posted on 09/16/2010




my sister is bipolar and an alcoholic. she has manipulated us-me especially- for years. everytime she gets in trouble i'm always there to bail her out literally and figuratively. she and her fiance broke up about 4 years ago and she completely flipped. she lost her 3 kids, they all went to their dad's or other guardian, and basically went off the deep end. my family has told her to give up alcohol-but she won't. i cannot and will not be manipulated by her anymore. she won't help herself, it's affected her kids, it's affected everybody around her.

while i'm sad my relationship with my sister is at an end, until she decides she wants to cooperate i can't be around her. she's toxic. i feel this is better for me, and the rest of my family. plus i can't live with knowing i helped her hurt herself anymore. i wish you the best, and i KNOW you made the right decision. :)

[deleted account]

Ditto Sharon. You've done ALL you can for him. Whatever he does or doesn't do now is all on him. I hope and pray that he gets the help he needs and actually TAKES that help.

Jenni - posted on 09/16/2010




Thank you Tammy for sharing your stories..
Yes we've tried to get him professional help and he was receiving it off and on... like i said he has been in and out of hospitals already... he goes on his medication and then stops taking it... gets in trouble again... goes back to the hospital... it's really a vicious cycle.
All of his family encourage him to talk to us about what happened to him as well as encourage him to talk to professionals... he refuses to go because he doesn't want to admit he has problems and talks very little to us about it... mostly he talks to me about it because i am one of the few who can really understand where he's coming from.
We set him up with an appartment, move him in... within a month or two he gets kicked out... and is living on the streets again... my mom refuses to let him live with her because he has threatened her life and her husbands as well as pulled a knife on them... when he was 14 he pulled a knife on my sister... they fear for their own saftey... i would never consider having him stay with me because i have my own children to protect. Not only does he have violent tendencies but he also doesn't remember to do things like turn off the stove... he is fine when he's taking his meds but he hates taking them and always stops.
When he does talk to professionals he refuses to tell them anything.

Tammy - posted on 09/16/2010




Your brother needs serious help hun. I feel prison wont do him any favours, he needs proffesional help and he needs to get whatever abuse happened to him we he was younger out of his system.he needs to face up to what happened to him talk it out, accept it as past and move on. because this anger and resentment he is holding on to is whats effecting his mind and making him mentally unstable, he doesn't sound like an evil person to me he sounds like a lost soul in dire need of help, support, guidance etc. of course this isnt an excuse for what he does and nobody should have to get hurt or worse whilst your brother is going hrough this mental illness. Would he be willing to see a hypnotherapist? or some proffesionasl who work along the same lines, coz they can help him get his angry feelings and dark thoughts out and get to the root cause which can then help him to move on and heal. in may sound cliche or cheesy but its true. when we accept the root cause of our anger and/or dark thoughts etc we an forgive forget and move on. he needs this so desperatly hun but of course it shouldn't be all on your back to sort him out that isnt fair to you, but I do feel putting him in jail and criminalising him is just gunna spiral him out of control and make him worse! he needs to go to a hospital with proffesionals get back on his meds and get the anger issues he has out in the open so he can heal. hope you are ok and your family can get through this stronger than before. the key is to stick together and be positive. My Dad suffers mental problems and my mother in law has been in and out of mentl illness hospitals constantly for the past 5 years. I also have an uncle who suffered 3 mental breakdowns and nearly killed my nan with a knife but no 1 holds it against him because he was ill at the time. Mu uncle is now living in his own place devotes his life to his new found faith and hasn't had a breakdown for over 15 years because he sought help and found something that gave his life meaning. (God) but he also faced up to what happened in his past to cause his mental breakdown and choose to accept it, forgive and move on. hope this helps and hope you dont think ive babbled on for ages wih useless advice

Jenni - posted on 09/16/2010




Thank you Amie and Sharon. I know i'm doing the right thing but it feels so good to hear it from other people.
Sharon, what you said about diabetics is how we tried to explain to him to not feel ashamed about having to take medication. That his illness is just like any other illness and has terrible results if he doesn't take them. He doesn't listen, he never does.
I think both of you answered the question that has burning me up the most... have i done all *I* can do? and I have... there is nothing more I can do, I am simply not qualified.

Amie - posted on 09/16/2010




I think you're doing the right thing. You're protecting your own family and maybe now he will get the help he needs.

What you and your family have done for him is admirable but at some point, it's not enough. This is what's best for him, even though he will probably be angry about it.

I will advise you to be careful, if he is some how able to get out and knows where you live. I'd be very worried about that. Especially with children around and him not taking his medication.

I hope it all works out and you're all safe and happy in the end.

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