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Family Falling Apart
In February this year my younger brother cut myself and my parents off from his life and his familys life (2 little kids) for no real reason.
My brother had decided that he never wanted to see my Dad again. He made that clear to me, and to my mum. He didn't have the guts to confront my Dad. He claimed it was because my Dad was angry, negative and rude around him and his children. He claimed it was because of a huge fight that he and Dad had over 10yrs ago. He claimed a lot of reasons for it. They didn't make any sense.
I understood he was upset with my Dad and growing up wasn't easy, he wasn't around. He wasn't perfect but what parent is?! But my brother was so angry, and his wife had always hated our Dad from day one, so they had made there mind up about him.
My mother went to my brother and begged him to change his mind, told him it would kill my Dad not to see his son and grandchildren again. He wouldn't listen, he told her to leave my Dad. She said she wouldn't. He said she could see the kids in secret but Dad would never see the kids again. He kicked Mum out of his house and left her standing in the street crying waiting for a cab.
When I found out what my brother had done to my mum I was angry, I asked him if there was another reason for this? I begged that Dad had to beable to see him and the kids, it wasn't fair. He didn't want to listen he said Dad would never see the kids again for the rest of his life. He said he had his own family he had to protect. It was bizarre.
It is now late July and my parents are not coping. My Dad has been told he could have a stroke any minute, they have both put on weight, drink a hell of a lot, cry everyday and talk about not having anything to live for. My mum won't see the kids without Dad. They are alone in another state with no other support, they are in there 60s, they had planned to retire soon to spend time with there grandchildren. My brother has moved we don't know where (we know what state is all) they are devastated.
I live in another state and I feel useless, I can't believe this is happening, for no real reason. It's heart breaking not just for my parents but for the kids too, and I don't know how to deal with this, I just pretend I am ok so they can't hear my pain. I feel guilty that I haven't given them grandchildren yet, I feel like I need to get pregnant tomorrow. It's awful the pain my parents/grandmother/entire family (virtually we are a small family) are feeling. How do I/we cope?
Welcome to the forums. You are going through a hard time here as well as your parents of course. We are a similar family and I have seen this before. Unpleasant would be an understatement.
Your brother seems to be carrying a lot of anger and not communicating with his dad even to sort out the problem is tragic....for everyone. Your brothers actions will also be detrimental to his own health. He is using a ton of mental energy by not dealing with the problem at hand.
Can I ask you Leisha, is your brother having any difficulties in his life at the moment? Work related.....marriage issues....health issues?
This is very sad as the children are the ones that suffer and they didnt ask for this issue. I find it incredibly tragic that he has asked your mum to leave your dad. Just my humble opinion but that is one very angry guy.
You have great inner strength by posting Leisha and thankyou. The forums are rock solid secure to ensure your privacy. You are more than welcome to post back as many times as you wish.
I am really sorry that your mum was left out in street crying.Thats not on.
My kind thoughts for you
Oh gosh, Leisha, I'm so sad for your situation. It's so hard dealing with family issues because we care about everybody, but nothing seems to go right and they seem so intent on tearing it apart.
I think Paul makes a really important observation that your brother seems to be very angry and it's very destructive. I know your inner voices are telling you otherwise, but this is not your fault at all and there's nothing for you to feel guilty about. And I think it's really strong of you to try and help, because you're caught in the middle of a family issue which you shouldn't need to be involved in.
Maybe I can share my own experience.
I feel for your situation because I've always been caught in the middle of mum and dad's issues. Ever since I was a child, I've been the one they've vented at and it really kills me inside, but like you, I try to hide it and be strong for them.
My psychologist has said that there's nothing wrong with supporting our family, because we really care. But we can't take the burden on ourselves to actually make the situation better. In this, your feelings of helplessness are actually speaking the truth. We are helpless to make things better, but that's not because of any deficiency on our side. It's because the responsibility lies with your brother (mostly) and your parents to come to some agreement.
So please, take care of yourself as well. As Paul said, you are more than welcome to post here any time you like.
This sounds like a very difficult time for you, and I hope you can find some support here.
Hi Leisha, I am so sorry you have to experience so much pain. From reading your post, you are a caring and considerate person and trying so hard to put the pieces together including the family. Unfortunately, it seems your brother has some deep and unrelenting anger with his dad. He may have given you a mountain of reasons why he feels this way, but the situation could be one of two things - there is more to the story that he is not telling you and two, he may be experiencing some difficulties in his life that are compromising his emotions, etc.
It's important that you don't take responsibility for carry the family emotional load. Feeling the need to have children to fill a void in your parent's life is not the answer. Just be there for them, whether that be on the phone or visiting them from time to time. Listen, be present but don't forget about your emotional needs and time out from the family dramas. Family arguments can be terribly draining and leave us in a vulnerable space. Be mindful of your own mental health.
First I just want to thank everyone for there responses. Thank you for the words of comfort and understanding. I am truly greatful.
Paul, you asked if my brother had been going through anything.
I don't really know. At first when all of this happened initially my mum and I had thought it may have been a post natal depression as his daughter was born in Nov. But as this went on it didn't feel like that was the reason any longer. He had just started a new job in Dec and had a new born (with a two year old) and a very demanding selfish (in my opinion) and lazy wife.
Ok that sounds harsh but his wife is very controlling, always has been but since the child has become children more so. I believe that she hated my dad so much that she gave my brother an ultimatum. My brothers problems with my father are not good (I had my issues too) but do not justify these actions (unless there is something massive I don't know) at all.
It does feel like he has just snapped. He does have a lot of hatred for our dad but he also has a lot of excuses and messed up reasons for hating him. For e.g this happened middle of Feb but yet at the end of Jan my brother gave my parents a spare car seat for there car and a port-a-cot for when they look after the kids. Then two weeks later my dad is never seeing them again, doesn't add up to me.
I have asked myself that question Paul many times about what my brother could be going through. It was only 2 years ago my uncle (my mothers only brother) commited suicide, and that day my brother left my mum crying in the street he told her one of the reasons he hated dad was because he was part responsible for my uncles death (because my dad and uncle didn't get along) I mean imagine my mother hearing that. I've never been more angry and hurt for her. And to me thats him trying to find reasons to hate my dad, even though that had nothing to do with my uncles passing at all. Even suggesting it is messed up.
Even on Mother's Day this year he told my grandmother about her own son "he will never see my children again" she was distraught.
I do worry about him. But I worry more for my parents. They are so unhappy and I know I shouldn't feel guilty but I do, I wish I could give them what they want and take the pain away. They keep saying they don't have long left. They have both told me separately they don't want to live any longer if they can't see the kids again. I tell them to stay strong for the family, they say what family.
Further to my previous post I just wanted to say I am okay. It is hard. I have a lot of anger and guilt and pain. I posted here because I feel like I can't talk about it much more with my friends/partner it's just the same thing over and over you know.
I have been crying randomly. I have put on weight and I don't care about how I look as much anymore (I do care but I don't if that makes sense). My sex life in the long term relationship I am in has dropped off almost completely this year since Feb pretty much, as I feel almost dead inside or joyless. I feel like I pretend to be happy a lot.
Its not just this stuff with my brother and family either I have my own stuff too. I have been in financial hot water and just declared part of bankruptcy in March. I am the heaviest I have ever been weight wise. I'm in a job that I've been incredibly stressed and under pressure in and that I go above and beyond for but don't feel like I can progress because I just think well what's the point if we are going to have kids soon. I do wish I'd had kids already, and my age is already on my mind about having kids soon and now this makes me feel more pressure.
I already suffer from anxiety and I am a major worrier and overthinker as it is so this isn't helping. Even though I have a very supportive loving partner and a few friends (I've moved a lot) I sometimes feel like I am torn with the choices I am supposed to make in my life. I have a lot of doubt about everything and everyone and a lot of anger myself.
I am thinking about counselling. Even though I am okay, I know I could be better. I am staying strong for my parents but I think you are right James when you say I need to take care of myself as I am certain after reading all of this back that I am not. Not really.
Like you said Carmela be mindful of my mental health and I think that is where I feel worried now, as I am trying to be so strong but I am breaking down watching a Rv commercial. And that's not me.
Things haven't changed with my brother and I don't see them changing any time soon, I have a lot of hate for him now and I don't know that I can ever forget/forgive this (forgive maybe one day) for the pain and suffering this is putting us all through. My parents are right that they won't be around forever and it breaks my heart to see this destroy there lives and take time from them and time from me with them.
Its really is hard to process it all, I am greatful for any kind words, advice and support.
Thankyou for posting back, it means a lot. You have a stack on your plate right now. When I was in my early 20's I would burst into tears watching Xanadu or a sad cartoon. With my anxiety I started bugging my GP for his help...they can be a huge support Leisha. When I was that teary my counselor told me I was over sensitised through continual and ongoing stress even though that was 1983.
I am sad for what you are going through now. Carmel is correct..our mental health is paramount, otherwise we wont be much help to anyone.
(Hug) for you if thats okay
I once made a list of everything l wanted to do and change in my life when times were tough. I prioritised them and would tick them off one by one. I started with the little things like finishing off a book l started to read 6 months ago, organising a special dinner with my partner once a week, to the more time committed items - like going to the gym to tone up and lose weight, etc. If you can see positive steps in your life, your perspective can change and move you from sadness place to a happy positive one.
I look forward to reading your
I'm really glad you were able to come back and post here. I'm sorry to hear about the added financial and work related stress. Sometimes life really does find all sorts of ways to sit on us when we're down!
I think counselling or even your GP would really help here as it sounds like you're really struggling to keep everything together. Sometimes we can't do things on our own, much as we try and want to, and it's better for us and those we care about to get help.
Have you tried giving the beyondblue helpline a call? They're really friendly people and they will listen to your story and give you some tips as well.
How is your day going?
you have some great advice from Carmela and James. I still 'overthink' and 'overworry' . I think its great that you are a part of the BB family and have the strength to post. Nice1.
If and when you wish to....counseling may be available from your local council/shire....for free...I had a social worker that came out to see me when I was paralyzed with anxiety when I was 23....I had to go the local community center every week for six months but he gave me my life back. I didnt know and didnt care but I found out he was a psychiatric nurse and was doing volunteer work. He was the best counselor I have ever had.
you are super strong to be here 🙂 I hope you can get back to us Leisha...when convenient of course...