Several years ago, my brother left his job to go on long-term disability. He blamed his manager for bullying.
He tried to convince everyone that the company and union were stacked against him.
He’s grown increasingly agitated and suspicious of almost everyone, particularly his relatives.
He writes us long, angry letters filled with wild, unfounded theories about how we’re conspiring against him.
Despite helping him out greatly in the past year, he recently cut ties with me in an email that even hinted at physical violence.
Now there's zero chance I’ll communicate with him and risk escalating this abuse.
He seems unable to see that HE is the abusive one.
He’s cut ties with all family and calls his doctors and psychologist incompetent. He reacts with rage if anyone even mentions mental health issues.
How can we get him the help he needs?
Do we wait until he spins out of control, potentially hurting himself and others?
Brother Needs Help!
He surely needs help, but so do you in response.
This double-barreled dilemma is too huge a responsibility to stay distant from, and too hard to handle without professional guidance for you.
Take the time and effort to explore what’s available in/near your community, regarding mental health assessment, anger management, depression, and paranoia.
While you can’t force him into treatment, it’s dangerous to ignore him till something drastic occurs.
See a mental health specialist separate from his to avoid confidentiality restrictions.
Learn the signs when you and other family members can consider an intervention, and when police should be involved.
There’s social responsibility in at least trying to find out how to prevent a disaster to himself and others from happening.
Readers’ Commentary The topic of whether to “out a cheater” draws even more personal stories and opinion (June 7):
Reader #1 - “Twenty years ago I had an affair with an employee, after over eight years of working closely together. Neither of us was happy in our then-marriages.
“The other staff members reacted with self-righteous anger, ostracizing her, not speaking to her, excluding her from lunch excursions, etc.
“One sent a poison pen letter to her home, but she opened it herself.
“One spoke on her phone message system with an electronically altered voice, but she played the message herself.
“We hung in and finally disclosed when our children were all older.
“We’ve had, so far, a happy 20-year marriage and smile and thumb our noses secretly at those preachy, toxic, interfering zealots.”
Reader #2 – “When my husband got a new job, the children and I stayed behind to sell our home, which took one year.
“When we arrived, he was into a one-year affair with someone he’d brought into our new home and with whom I became friends.
“I later learned that family and friends knew of this affair and didn’t tell me. If I’d known, we wouldn’t have moved, and my children could’ve remained in their home with me.
“My children had to go to college in our former city and board there.
“Yes, I should’ve been told.”
Reader #3 – “I’ve been cheated on several times, and every time mutual friends who’d known later said, “I wanted to stay out of it.”
“I hadn’t created this uncomfortable situation for them, my cheating partner did that,
“Friends protected them and allowed my life to crumble without my even knowing it.
“By saying nothing they ARE choosing a side – the side of the cheater since secrecy is what they want.”
I didn’t fit in with the popular crowd while I was in it for a year. I got picked on and didn’t handle it well. I was called a whore and slut when I hadn't even had my first kiss.
I decided I’d show them! I made a lot of mistakes with guys (sexually) and the rumours about me are getting too much for me to handle.
I have a therapist and have stopped everything I was once doing, but nothing has changed.
I need people to stop talking about me.
Stop the Gossip
Keep seeing the therapist. Avoid the bad-mouthing gossips.
When you’re not around for them to bait, they’ll get bored and find another victim for their need to look superior.
You’ve learned an early important lesson: This “popular” crowd is only high on itself by putting down others.
Be true to your own values, and you’ll find true friends.
Tip of the day:
Confronting escalating anger/threats requires contacting all resources including police.