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Troubled Brother Who's Posing A Threat To Household

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 12:04 pm
by Nobody's_Perfect
Hi everyone,

It's been a while since I last posted here, but I have an ongoing issue I want some advice on. Be warned, this is may be lengthy.

This is the story:

My brother is 23 years old (turning 24 this year) and still lives at home with my mum. He has no job and isn't actively looking for work, and even claims that he 'doesn't need to work' because he's basically living off my mum. He doesn't want to leave because he's got it so good there and he knows it. She buys all the groceries and pays all the bills and he doesn't pay any rent. My dad doesn't live there anymore by the way, as they have been divorced for many years.

The thing is, over the years he's gradually become more and more antisocial and aggressive and we believe he is suffering from behavioural problems that may be mental in origin (we think along the lines of ADD or ADHD). The problem is, as he's over 18, (ironically) my mum is no longer legally responsible for him and therefore CANNOT take him to a doctor or psychologist. We have asked at the doctors what we should do and all they tell us that as he's over 18, HE must be willing to come in himself and say he has a problem, BUT CLEARLY THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN. So we're sort of in a catch 22 situation.

I no longer live in the household as I am full time university student away from home and as my mum's job takes her out of the house 5 days of the week (live-in nanny), he basically lives there on his own most of time. As far as I know he has very few friends or close friends anyway and as he isn't looking for work he does nothing but be a burden to my mum and at times, makes her fearful to live in her own house, as he often has aggressive outbursts for no apparent reason.

I'm scared for my mum being in the house alone with him when she is. My question is, is there was a way of getting him forcibly removed from the house? Correct me if I'm wrong, but as he's over 18, it's too late to call Social Services isn't it?

Plus, my mum is also scared that if she does get him forcibly removed, he will come back to either break in, vandalise the house or even hurt her.

Don't think we haven't tried talking to him about it all, because we have many times. I think all members of my family and extended family, including myself have tried talking and reasoning with him, but IT IS IMPOSSIBLE. This sounds awful, but attempting to talk something through calmly with my brother ends up as a one way argument where he will just yell the same thing over and over because he can't or refuses, to see your point of view. It is basically like arguing with a child and I am not exaggerating.

What options do we have? Is it literally down to calling the police to get him removed? I really want him to undergo psychological analysis to see if there is something that can be done to help him, because at the moment I wouldn't feel safe staying in the house with him and I am worried for my mum as she it's her house and she still lives there.

Hope someone can help.


PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:41 am
by Yellowcoaching
I think if you are living in fear of aggressive outbursts then perhaps the only option would be to call the police if he acts out.

Your mum could ask him to leave and give him a deadline of sorts and perhaps that might work? Maybe she could suggest he needs to get help for his behaviour and lack of motivation. (He could be depressed from what you've said in your post.)

She could make his staying in the house conditional on some changes, either he could begin working or if he feels unable to work maybe he needs to talk to a Doctor.

It's hard to know just how unstable your brother is from your post, but there are options. How does your Mum feel about asking him to leave?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 2:40 pm
by Bel Bel
a couple of other things your mum could do is make life at home less comfortable
Don't buy foods he likes
Put a pin/password on the Computer, TV, Phone etc so he can't use any of them. Locks on the doors of the living room etc so he can't go in
Don't do his washing
Put the heating and water on timrs so there isn't any when he is in on his own

these things may seem drastic and a bit annoying for your mum at first but if it gets him to realise there needs to be change it will be worth it

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:56 pm
by Nobody's_Perfect
Thanks for both replies.

Firstly to Yellowcoaching:

We have done the whole deadline thing before but that has never worked. He never sticks to them and still hasn't found a job, and if he ever does get one, he ends up getting sacked every time. Another thing, he usually lies about stuff and has a very short attention span, i.e. you'll ask him something and as he's not really paying attention to what you're saying he'll just say 'yes' even what he means is 'no' or will just make up stuff for no apparent reason.

We have suggested him going to a doctor but he point blank refuses to and like the health professionals told us, we cannot make him, he must go in on his own accord (though this will never happen). To be perfectly honest, I don't think he's in the right state of mind to acknowledge a problem, that's why he will always refuse to see a doctor.

He hasn't actually acted out (to my knowledge) but you can tell he has wanted, what's more worrying is that he is a big guy and has martial arts training too. He usually just ends up yelling because he can't understand the actual topic being discussed. We asked him why he doesn't want to move out and experience new things, and he just said because he doesn't want to. Then he often turns the whole conversation round, e.g., on me asks me why haven't I moved out, though I have because I'm a full time university student living away from home and why my stuff is still there?

It is SO hard to describe, but basically he'll often turn the whole conversation round and make it about you instead so he can avoid answering your questions about him.

A really ridiculous thing the other day was he took down my college year photo in the hallway despite it hanging there for over 2 years. When my mum rang me, she said that he told her he'd spoken to me about it and that I said it was ok (blatant lie). So my mum rang me to check, found out he lied, tried to talk about it with him then he just started getting really angry and yelling down the phone to me that it shouldn't be hanging up anymore because I've finished college already(!?!!!) and threatened to break it if my mum hung it back up?!

I don't know if he does it for attention or he doesn't like the fact that I am doing things with my life and have been successful in education or whatever, but it's getting very tiresome.

As for Bel Bel:

My mum only buys like essential groceries, which he will just eat whilst she's away and never buy any food of his own. The computer is in HIS room so pins and stuff are out of the question and I don't think there is the function for the TV and phone (which he rarely uses anyway as he's always locked in his room).

Mum doesn't do his washing, she tries not to to at least attempt to make him more independent.

It's hard for me to write this and to provide a clear picture of what home life is like. He is not your ordinary disruptive post-teen that is staying at home for an easy ride, I am pretty sure he does have some psychological problems which are causing him to be so antisocial. That fact that he said he 'doesn't need to work' speaks volumes of his attitude to life. He doesn't ever plan to leave my mum's house and like I said, I don't know if calling the police is the appropriate action to take to forcibly remove him.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:46 am
by Yellowcoaching
To be honest your brother isn't the only one not sticking to a deadline. If your Mum has given him a date to move out and he doesn't then she does need to enforce it. If that means changing locks when he's out then that might be the only option.

He sounds like a very unhappy and frustrated person and from the behaviour you describe he sounds depressed (obviously I can't really be sure over a forum but it's my best guess).

As a last ditch attempt perhaps you could agree to talk and listen to one another. Let him say what is making him unhappy or lack motivation to move on in his life first. Listen without interrupting or making judgements. (that'll be hard I know but do try). Then have him listen to what you need from him as a familly and see where the two co-incide. there may be more common ground than you think and it could be that with support he may be willing to meet you somewhere in the middle.

It seems to me that there has been a pattern of conflict that has become habitual, the only way to break it is to change what you have all been doing. If you keep doing the same things you'll get the same result.

I think also that perhaps your mum has more of a problem getting her son to leave than either she can say or act on?

Perhaps have a chat with the CAB to find out what you can do to get him to move out legally, but I think this is something your Mum needs to be 100% behind.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:15 am
by snail
The only thing is, I would be worried for your brother's welfare if he was kicked out of the house. I don't see how he could cope, and I could see him ending up sleeping on the streets. Perhaps your Mum fears this too, and this is why she's not being as tough as she could be. I think kicking someone out only works if they are just being lazy - it gives them a kick up the backside - but your bro sounds like he's actually mentally ill (as you've already said).

I think he will eventually seek help himself (he can't be happy, surely) and all you can do is encourage him. Could your Mum make home as unpleasant as possible to help this process along? So (a bit like Bel Bel said) no food in the cupboard at all during the week, and no pocket money at all? After all, how's he affording clothes and things?

Regarding the possible violence I think all you can do is to make it clear that nothing like that will be tolerated: so the first time anything like that happens, the police will be called and he will be evicted from the house, permanently.

It depends on what you think the biggest threat is, really - the threat to your Mum's safety or the threat to your brother if he was homeless? If you really feel your Mum's at significant risk then maybe your brother will have to be evicted no matter what the consequences to him. But as Yellow said, this is really your Mum's decision and she has to take it.