Serious family trouble: We are an odd... - Anxiety and Depre...

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Serious family trouble


We are an odd family. A 64-year-old sister, a 59-year-old sister, and a 54-year-old brother. My sister and brother live in my house with me. My sister is just about forth stage cirrhosis from years of drinking and hep C. My brother is clean. Never a drug user, never a drinker. He was very abused and neglected as a child and now he's so messed up I don't know what to do with him. He has constant pain from pinched areas of his spinal cord that have slipped through his spinal column. He is very paranoid. He eavesdrops and takes off on ridiculous tantrums over something he heard. Two days ago, I was talking on the phone to a friend that was supposed to come and cut the grass. My brother cut it the day before because I had foot surgery and he was afraid I'd try to get out there and cut it before the rain set in. My handyman said something about my being jealous of a friend of his. My brother heard this part of the conversation and started going off about how I told people he is jealous of the handyman. He locked himself in his room for 24 hours, and then he snuck out of the house this morning without a word. I believe he plans to go find a better place to live. He is a hoarder. No one, even me, wants all this trash in their houses I'm sure. I look past it because he keeps it in his room and in the shed I had to buy for him and finally out of my dining room and living room. He doesn't understand why the mess bothers me. I don't understand how he can live in such filth. His meds are messed up. He's out on a rant. What am I supposed to do about him? He can't live on his own. He's on disability and can't work more than one day a week by law. If he comes back, it's going to be like living on the inside of an egg carton. My sister and I won't be able to talk, won't be able to laugh, won't be able to relax because he'll be here taking over my house again. Any suggestions?

8 Replies

Well, I can't advise you- but you are entitled to live like you want to in your own house.


That is a tough situation. I commend you on taking care of your family. The only solution I can see is if you helped get your brother a place to live on his own? NAMI has support groups for caretakers of a family member with a mental illness. They might be able to help you out more.


Wow!! Do you ever have a tough job!! I really wish I knew what to tell you, but I’m at a loss! I want to tell you what a wonderful and giving sister you are! Most wouldn’t put up with the hoarding alone, much less the eavesdropping and paranoia. You are a very special kind of person! I wish you the best with your brother and regret that I have nothing of value to offer you in the way of advice. Sending you hugs!!

You certainly deserve peace in your life. Seems your poor brother needs more help than you can give him. Perhaps a "group home" for those unable to help themselves. Keep reaching out with that goal in mind.

Prayers for you, MsGelfling. ((Hugs))

Janet01 in reply to newbie1956

Excellent advise.

This is one of those times when I wish I could wave a wand and fix everything.

I have a lot of sympathy for your brother, but he sounds like he has a couple mental disorders going on that are making it hard for you and your seriously ill sister. JMO, but he needs social services and a place of his own. I agree that a group home or some kind of subsidized living would be best for him. Aside from the emotional turmoil he causes, which can take a great toll, the hoarding he brings into your home could have an unsanitary element. This is a time for peace and a clean and healthy home, especially when you're doing all your can to help your sick sister.

Only you know hte particulars of this situation and can make the right decision for you and your family. Your post sounds like you don't want to let him back in. If it were me, I would tell him NO. It doesn't sound like a good arrangement for him, either.

MsGelfling1 in reply to Windy101

Wendy, I can't tell you guys in this group how much you have opened my eyes to a lot of things happening right under my nose and I didn't even know it. My brother always says I should put our sister in a group home because "she's going to die anyway". My take on that snipe of his is who of us isn't going to die. Perhaps he has been worried about being put into a group home of some sort and that's why he projects that stuff to our sister. I don't think there is much more I can do to help him. I hope I don't have to stew about this for too long. Thank you for your input.

gogogirl in reply to MsGelfling1

While you are to be commended, I like hereiam's post about NAMI. Plus we all know that it does not help to be a martyr. With all of the stress, you could end up ill yourself. Sounds like he needs more help than you can give like professional help. I wish you the best.

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