Verbal abuse from brother part 2


#1

My brother got verbally abusive with me at Christmas, It was at my mother’s house, where he lives. The abuse went like this. He came down the stairs greeting everyone with his middle finger.He asked me why I was there and then called me a liar and a b-tch, this continued unprovoked for about a half hour. He was not drinking at the time but had been drinking the night before.

About a week later, I had to call my mother. My brother answered the telephone. I told him I didn’t want to speak to him and he said "why not?’ I told him what he said and did that day and I said had no idea that he hated me that much.
He said that he didn’t hate me but that he was just having a bad day. I told him that I didn’t care if he was having the worst day of his life, that was no excuse to say the abusive things he said that day. He said he was sorry I felt that way.

I feel I must cut him out of my life now because I think if he gets away with this verbal abuse the next time it may be physical. He owns 2 guns.

How do I forgive (and possibly help him)? I doubt that he would seek help for his anger issues so I’m not even going to suggest that to him. He has been asked to by other family members and he says there is nothing wrong with him. Should I cut him out of my life and my families life?


#2

If you feel he is a danger to himself, you or the general public you are allowed to call the poliece. He sounds mentally unballanced.


#3

From what you describe it seems like your brother doesn’t have much self-control, so doing anything provocative should be avoided. That would include announcing that you are cutting him out of your life. Nevertheless, it seems like your presence alone is enough to provoke him, so your instinct to avoid interacting with him would be prudent. I would avoid discussing the incident any further with the family. It will only produce more tension because some family members will feel they need to choose sides, and that never ends well. (And for heaven’s sake, don’t post this on your social networking site! My nephew’s girlfriend does that and causes continuous heartache for us.) When you feel you need to talk, do so confidentially with a friend who is unconnected with the family. You may wish to ask your pastor for an appointment, although if the whole family belongs to the parish, I can see how this might not be easy or practical to carry out.

Forgiveness cannot be bestowed upon someone who doesn’t ask for it, but you can pray for the grace to be able to do so if your brother begs your pardon and seeks your forgiveness. My guess is that you would gladly and joyfully do that at this minute if he would ask you, so maybe you aren’t having a problem with forgiveness. Perhaps you meant that you wish you could rid yourself of the hurt and upset that you are experiencing because of the way he treated you? And maybe you’re upset because other family members do not seem to be supporting you the way you need them to? It is a noble thing to desire to be more like Jesus and to love those who offend you. You will surely be helped by praying for grace to be more like Jesus. I don’t know how, but praying for those who offend you brings you peace. Pray that everyone in the situation will respond to the promptings of the Lord. All of the problems in the world would vanish instantly if everyone would just do what He tells us!

I shouldn’t neglect to say that receiving the sacraments of reconciliation and Eucharist will also be a powerful aid to you.

I pray that Our Lord will bless and protect you and that your prayers for your brother and the rest of your family be answered.:gopray2:


#4

I remember your post from last time, and it's a sad situation. However, I don't know that cutting him out completely and antagonizing him to the point where reconciliation in the future will never be possible is the only option considering in light of this new development.

He says that he doesn't hate you and is trying to make excuses for his behavior ("just having a bad day." I think that means he is acting like a spoiled brat that got caught, not necessarily someone who is so full of hate that they want to hurt you without remorse. That sounds a lot like my brother. He's been getting away with extremely rude and sometimes verbally abusive behavior towards family members for years because my mom rolls over like a doormat and just takes it. He has NEVER been held accountable for his words and actions, and my mom will vigorously defend him against anyone who tells him they don't appreciate what he's said and done to them by making excuses for him (her favorite is "he's depressed.") I think your brother has simply been allowed to grow into a spoiled brat, not that he is necessarily a dangerous person preparing to shoot you and your family. Please think honestly about it - do you really, truly think he is going to go nuts and kill you with his guns or did you just say that because you are angry with him and want another reason to justify cutting him off (not that you don't already have enough reasons).

If you can't handle your brother's awful behavior (I know I sure couldn't), by all means stay away, but I would try to do it in a way that does not escalate the situation. Tell him you love him but that you and your family can't be around him as long as his behavior stays the same and that you hope in the future things will be better. That's probably the best you can do in this situation. The only one who has any chance of holding him accountable for what he does is your mother, who from your last post sounds perfectly content to let him live in her house and continue being abusive without any consequences.


#5

I have not involved the family, though I see where you might read this. My brother has had abusive anger problems in the past with other family members. They have asked him to seek help on their own. The only family I would be keeping away from my brother would be my own husband and sons, I have not shared this with any other family members.

I do not consider my relationship with my brother to be close(i really don't like him), I tolerate him for the sake of my mother and my nieces but I have always been kind and polite to him.I have always ignored and made light of his rude and boarish comments.I say things to him like I know you really don't mean that when he says mean and hurtful things.I laugh it off. But this is the first time he has attacked me aggressively and viciously.I think he has come to the point where he feels he can get away with serious verbal abuse because I have put up with so much in the past.

I am not the only target of his verbal abuse, he does this to everyone eventually.
I am the first person who wants to do something about it. But what and how, I don't know.


#6

[quote="m_crane, post:1, topic:225552"]
He came down the stairs greeting everyone with his middle finger.He asked me why I was there and then called me a liar and a b-tch, this continued unprovoked for about a half hour. He was not drinking at the time but had been drinking the night before....

About a week later, I had to call my mother. My brother answered the telephone. I told him I didn't want to speak to him and he said "why not?' I told him what he said and did that day and I said had no idea that he hated me that much.
He said that he didn't hate me but that he was just having a bad day. I told him that I didn't care if he was having the worst day of his life, that was no excuse to say the abusive things he said that day. He said he was sorry I felt that way.

[/quote]

"I'm sorry you feel that way" is the modern way of saying "I'd welcome it if you'd switch your noodle about this issue, but I'm not changing mine."

If he's never been physically abusive with anybody, I'd think he's just a jerk who thinks that he is entitled to say whatever comes into his head, vitriolic or not, civilized or not, hurtful or not. There are people who really do believe that "sticks and stones break bones, but words never hurt anyone." They have self-control, it just doesn't extend to their lips. If he's ever gotten into fights, thrown things, broken stuff, or driven in an erratic manner when angry, though, I think you're wise to steer clear of him, whether he has firearms or not.

Either way, you would be in the right to not return to a home where the host tolerates a stream of abuse like that....meaning your mom. If anyone, even a relative, ever lets someone lay into you like that, whether the other person lives there or not, then don't go their house any more, and let them know why. If they let you know they have changed their house rules and will not let it happen again, then whether to give them another chance is up to you.

If you don't make it clear that you won't tolerate that kind of abuse again, you'll get it the next time your brother gets out of the wrong side of the bed, stubs his toe, or whatever qualifies with him as a "bad day," be sure of that.

PS Since you've always put up with him or made light of this kind of thing, be a little more understanding of your mom's permissiveness. This is the first time you've let her know that you wouldn't rather defend yourself. If his anger problems have included physical violence, just let her know that the recent escalation concerns you enough to keep you away from him. If he's ramping up the verbal abuse, but with no physical abuse and a statement that he bears no particular ill will towards you, just let her know that you see your former policy of tolerance have only made things worse, and so you're not going to tolerate the intolerable again. If she's on your side, give her a chance to honor your wishes.


#7

I remember your other post. Your brother sounds like a hard case, one who will not seek help nor allow himself to be helped. He may not remember his behavior, and possibly regret it when he's sober, but doesn't mean much the second or tenth time he repeats the behavior. As I recall, he has two daughters you want to see. Can you have them to your own home or take them out, rather than seeing them at your mother's house?

Sometimes the only thing we can do is forgive, pray for, and stay away from an abusive relative. You don't have to say anything to him about what you are or are not doing.

God bless


#8

[quote="Charlotte1776, post:4, topic:225552"]
I remember your post from last time, and it's a sad situation. However, I don't know that cutting him out completely and antagonizing him to the point where reconciliation in the future will never be possible is the only option considering in light of this new development.

He says that he doesn't hate you and is trying to make excuses for his behavior ("just having a bad day." I think that means he is acting like a spoiled brat that got caught, not necessarily someone who is so full of hate that they want to hurt you without remorse. That sounds a lot like my brother. He's been getting away with extremely rude and sometimes verbally abusive behavior towards family members for years because my mom rolls over like a doormat and just takes it. He has NEVER been held accountable for his words and actions, and my mom will vigorously defend him against anyone who tells him they don't appreciate what he's said and done to them by making excuses for him (her favorite is "he's depressed.")This sounds very much like my brother I think your brother has simply been allowed to grow into a spoiled brat, not that he is necessarily a dangerous person preparing to shoot you and your family. Please think honestly about it - do you really, truly think he is going to go nuts and kill you with his guns*He has thrown my other brother through a glass window and he has punched my sister in the chest, she had to go to the hospital. He said they went after him first.His ex claims he was physically violent to her* or did you just say that because you are angry with him and want another reason to justify cutting him off (not that you don't already have enough reasons).No I am not angry with him my feelings toward him died along time ago (but I was shocked and disturbed)

If you can't handle your brother's awful behavior (I know I sure couldn't), by all means stay away, but I would try to do it in a way that does not escalate the situation. Tell him you love him but that you and your family can't be around him as long as his behavior stays the same and that you hope in the future things will be better. That's probably the best you can do in this situation. The only one who has any chance of holding him accountable for what he does is your mother, who from your last post sounds perfectly content to let him live in her house and continue being abusive without any consequences.You are also right about this

[/quote]

I hear what you are saying but I think my brother has crossed the line from spoiled brat and may be on the way to "going postal". He seems to hate everyone.I have tried over the years to befriend him (inviting him over to watch football and things like that)

I did not elaborate but last Sunday, I had to visit my mother. After Mass she invited me in for lunch.She wanted company so I went in. My brother did not come out of his room. (He knew my husband and I were there) I was nervous the whole time and couldn't wait to leave. I am afraid of my brother now. I do believe he hates me.


#9

[quote="m_crane, post:8, topic:225552"]
I hear what you are saying but I think my brother has crossed the line from spoiled brat and may be on the way to "going postal". He seems to hate everyone.I have tried over the years to befriend him (inviting him over to watch football and things like that)

[/quote]

If he has been violent, you definitely should not go near him. Have you called the authorities yet about his two daughters? They are currently in a home with someone who has proven himself to be violent and abusive - you just said that his ex accused him of domestic violence. I think the real question here isn't what you should do to protect yourself, but what you should do to protect the children. It's time to stop posting and start doing something about it for their sakes! You have a moral (and possibly even legal) responsiblity to report him if he is around children.


#10

I wanted to add to my last post that I do believe he hates me now.
I didn't believe this before, though I knew he was full or anger and hosility. I think that he has grown in hatred instead of getting better by the friendship my husband and I have offered. He has gotten more abusive towards others, namely his children and my mother. It's only a matter of time until this happens again but it won't be to me.

A Priest told my mother that it wasn't her son she was having problems with, it was the devil and gave her a prayer to pray for deliverance. He didn't out and out say that my brother was possessed, but I wonder.


#11

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.