Need help with my brother


#1

My older brother really feels like a tripping block between me and God. He is a vehement racist, criticizes me and mocks me for trying to be a good Catholic, and tells horrible, hateful jokes about pretty much everybody and everything that isn't him. He thinks he doesn't have to go to Mass or confession. He seriously goes about life thinking he doesn't have to answer to anyone.
I don't try to evangelize him, but if I so much as go to Mass or confession by myself, he is hateful to me and makes fun of me. I don't want to be mad at him, but he does it so often that it's really wearing down on me. I don't know what to do.
Any suggestions? Please help me.


#2

Have you been honest with him about how it makes you feel? Is he aware that it genuinely hurts you, or is he oblivious and blind in thinking it's 'just a bit of fun'?


#3

When I try to explain to him that religion is the only thing that gives me peace in life, he doesn't listen. For example, today i went to confession ( I go every week) and it took me about half an hour after dropping off some checks at the bank. When I get home, the first thing he says to me is "did you go confess your one sin of the week?"
And it's not just about religion. He's always been mean to me. He tells lies about me to his friends, which causes a bunch of false gossip about me, he steals stuff from me, he beats me up, he tries to break up the few friendships I have...the list goes on.
And he is totally aware that it hurts me. His idea of "fun" is tormenting me and making my life hell.


#4

I'm so sorry you're having to go through this, it sounds thoroughly miserable and draining.

Firstly, I hope you don't feel guilty for your feelings about the situation...it is completely natural to find it such hard work, brother or not.

It sounds like a classic 'bullying' scenario from where I'm sitting, although, of course, I don't know either of you. Where one person torments you because they feel lacking and unhappy with themselves and their own lives. I know this doesn't make the actual attacks any easier, but perhaps keeping this in mind will help you to 'rise above it' for lack of a better term.

It also seems to me that he might choose your religion to attack in particular because it brings you peace, perhaps this makes him jealous? Because he has nothing to bring that peace to him also.

I can only suggest that you try and cut him off whenever he does it. Perhaps he will get bored if you reply the same thing every time he says something. 'I don't want to talk about that with you'. Perhaps if you use something like that as a mantra, something quick and simple everytime he tries to get a rise out of you...because it sounds like that's what he's trying to do....he might get bored of it. And then if he pushes 'why not?', just say it again.

Other than that, the only other practical thing, other than obviously searching for strength and will power, would be to suggest that you might need to limit the amount of time you spend with him. That might also get the message across. I would never suggest anyone should cut off all contact, but maybe limiting the amount of time spent with him, if at all possible, might help you keep your calm, and give him the message that if he doesn't behave in a pleasant way, you won't want to spend time with him.

He's your brother, and yes, it sounds like he does need help to sort his own happiness and peace out, but sometimes you need to protect yourself too. And if he continues to be this way with people, they won't want to spend time around him. Perhaps giving that clear message will make him think about his choices.

I'm sorry it's not much. And it's only my view/suggestions.


#5

It's sad to say this, but sometimes you can't change racism and hatred. You can pray for them, and you should, because that kind of hate will eventually consume them.

Your a great guy (I assume gender based on screen name, apologies if your girl) to worry about him as much as you do.

I don't know your age-have you spoken to your parents about this? Do you have proof about him stealing from you?

Your both in my prayers.


#6

[quote="Rascalking, post:5, topic:204850"]
It's sad to say this, but sometimes you can't change racism and hatred. You can pray for them, and you should, because that kind of hate will eventually consume them.

Your a great guy (I assume gender based on screen name, apologies if your girl) to worry about him as much as you do.

I don't know your age-have you spoken to your parents about this? Do you have proof about him stealing from you?

Your both in my prayers.

[/quote]

I'm 18 and he's 19, and yes, I'm a guy. I don't have proof that he's been stealing from me, unfortunately. As for my parents, I don't tell them about this because I'm afraid of being a "tattle-tale". I want to be an adult and handle the problem myself.

If I think about it, I seem to put myself in situations that set me up for him to be a jerk to me. I hang out with him and his friends a lot because I don't have that many friends (which is a whole nother problem), and they're not very bright. He thinks he has to impress them, so he labels me "the b**** " of the group. His idiot friends go along with it, making sex jokes about me and the priest or my friends from my youth group.


#7

Then I can only say that you should perhaps limit your time with this group, and find, frankly, nicer friends. They're not friends if they behave so badly towards you. By following your own convictions and exploring your own interests, be that your religion or a hobby/interest, you will naturally start to socialise with other people far more in line with your own interests. Don't put pressure on yourself to find other friends, otherwise it will become too stressful and won't happen easily...if you relax and find a life and way of living you're happy with, friends/relationships will fall into place before you know it and without you even realising it.

You're young, you have loads of time to find friends...the most important thing is to live a life that makes you happy, and then if you come into contact with others in the same lifestyle as you because of where you go and what you do, these people will naturally fall into friendship with you. The most important thing is that they are genuinely friends who love you, not take fun out of tormenting you, and if that takes a little time, then it is time well spent.

I hope that helps.


#8

Thank you. I'm going on a retreat this week, so I'm hoping to make new friends there, and catch up with old friends from youth group. Another problem is everyone I know that is a potential friend is going off to college somewhere else, and I'm staying at home at a junior college. I can't afford tuitions for a Catholic University, so I pretty much feel stuck.


#9

He sounds a lot like my brother. Get a good education, choose friends wisely, and set your own path in life. He may never come around to being nice, but you can forge ahead with your own life and set an example for your brother what it means to be healthy and loving. Good luck. Pray, Learn, Unite with other Christians, and Sacrifice through love and charity.


#10

Hi Jack

I am a 40 year old woman and my older brother did the same things to me. Since you have been through it, I don't need to bore you with the details of his abusive.

How did I handle it. Finally when I was 32 I told him I no longer wanted him in my life (which was easy since by then we lived over 1000 miles apart)

And what has my life been like for the past 7 years? Whenever someone finds out we don't speak, they lay the guilt on me 'He is your only brother' Every second Christmass I sit alone in my appartment becausee my parents have to take turns letting us come home for the holidays (I refuse to go when he is there) My parents are very aware of all the cruel things he did to me and think it is all my fault for not letting it go.

Sounds horrible right ? No Way. Everyday, I look in the mirror and see a woman who was strong enough to walk away from an abuser and I have God to thank for the strenght he has given me.

So... am I telling you not to have any contact with your brother after you no longer live with him? No. I totally trust your judgement on what to do. I am simply letting you know there are options and loosing contact with a brother is NOT the end of the world

CM


#11

Next time he heckles you over confession, tell him you confessed the sin of hating him :wink:


#12

[quote="Apollos, post:11, topic:204850"]
Next time he heckles you over confession, tell him you confessed the sin of hating him ;-)

[/quote]

He would just turn his nose up at me.


#13

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