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Mentally ill Brother living with Mum

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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:49 pm

Mentally ill Brother living with Mum

Postby janew » Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:44 pm

Hello All,
This is my first post and it's so long I'm afraid but I'm hoping someone will have some advise on where we can turn to next as a family.

My middle brother David has a history of mental illness going back to 1984 when he had a breakdown and was sectioned. He had split up from his first girlfriend and was suicidal and was being violent to us his family. I was 13 years old at the time and I vividly remember him repeatedly punching my legs in aggression. My Mother had to hide all of the knives in our house at the time as he was threatening to kill us. He was placed in a psychiatric hospital for some months until they claimed he was well again. My mother has memories of him saying to her whilst in hospital "It's ok. I'll be out soon. I know exactly what to say to them". Meaning he knew what to tell the psychiatrists to get himself released.
David was never the same again. He has now spent the best part of 34 years on anti-depressants. We have spent the same amount of time tiptoeing around him, trying to live normal lives. He got himself a second serious girlfriend and moved in with her and for a while things seemed good. Then he started accusing her of seeing other men even though there was no evidence of this. Their relationship ended and he started stalking her which resulted in him being arrested and having a restraining order put on him so that he couldn't go near her.
David moved back in with our Mum (Dad died 46years ago when David was 7 years old). He was on anti-depressants, his mood was black all of the time. He was drinking socially to try to meet new people but he would often get aggressive when he had had too much. This sometime resulted in fighting including with our older brother Geoff.
After a few years David got another girlfriend. His life seemed to lift and he seemed genuinely happy. They got married which was a day I thought I would never see and as a family we thought that he was finally settled.
His marriage lasted 18 years and he is currently going through a divorce. About 10 years ago he started drinking heavily. He was still just about managing to hold down a job (his workplace were brilliant and tried to adapt things to work for him), he would have days where he would just drink vodka all day Saturday and Sunday and then be unable to go to work Monday as he was so hungover. He was aggressive to his wife and 2 stepsons. He became jealous of his wife's relationship with her sons and began to despise them. His only friends were also drinkers who didn't work and he said to me once"why should i have to work when they all sit in the pub drinking all day. I should be able to do that". He gave up work ( although he tells everyone he lost his job) and just sat at home all day every day drinking. His wife was working 4 jobs to try to support them. Because she was working all of the time he accused her of seeing other men (again we have no evidence of this and she always denied it). He would be so aggressive he would have pysical fights with his step sons who by now were growing into young men and were fed up of seeing him in this state.
He finally sought help about 5 years ago and joined a support group called Synergy. He had 1 to 1 counselling every week as well as attended various sessions there. They labelling him "a functioning alcoholic". A title he was extremely proud of and would tell everyone he met. Synergy finally sent him into a rehabilitation unit to try to get him off the alcohol and it did seem to help for a short time. But unfortunately when people started to mention to David perhaps he should start looking for a job and get his life back on track the drinking kicked in again. His marriage finally ended when he was arrested for pinning his wife against the wall by her throat and threatening to kill her. Another restraining order was put on him.
He again moved back in with our Mum, where he has been for the last year. He isn't drinking now which is good but he's still on anti-depressants. He is in a black mood most of the time. He was attending Synergy until a few months ago when they basically said that they had done all they could for him. They had got him off the alcohol and now he should be moving on and looking for a job.
Over the last 2 months he has done silly things to get himself arrested (carrying a knife in public, causing disorder by shouting and being abusive in the streets etc). It is a dreadful worry for our Mum who is now 78. Some nights he goes out and she doesn't know if the police are going to bring him back. He has lied to the police saying he is my Mum's carer and he needs to give her medication (all untrue). He has even told the police that he was in the armed forces and that he's suffering from PTSD (again untrue).
3 weeks ago I received a rambling phone call from him saying that he could smell carbon monoxide leaking out of Mum's boiler and it was poisoning them (carbon monoxide has no smell) and he said it was making them sleepy (David is generally awake most of the night therefore he is tired and sleeps during the daytime. He also has our Mum awake at all hours of the night. talking about his problems). I told him that a boiler check had been done in August and that Mum had a safety certificate from the council. He said the council were lying and they were covering up things. He was saying that he was going to kill Mum because she wouldn't believe him. He got abusive on the phone with me and hung up. I called my Mum's phone straight away and she sounded terrified. He had turned all of the heating off in the house so she was freezing cold. He had told her not to turn on anything electric because the house would blow up (although he had an electric heater on in his bedroom). And he was threatening to rip all of the phones out of the walls if she tried to make a call. She quickly hung up and I called my older brother Geoff who I knew could get there quicker than me. I met him at the house.
David was manic, running constantly up and down the stairs, screaming abuse in our faces, out of the windows and front door. He was threatening to trash the entire house if he didn't get more cannabis. Apparently he'd been smoking it for 3 days. He was immensely aggressive towards us. He had thrown all of his medication over the floor and so hadn't taken it. We were frightened, our Mother was terrified. We called the Police who attended and after he had threatened them with a screwdriver they managed to arrest him. A paramedic team also attended with the Police and the Police assured us that he would see a Mental Health Team at the Police station. I do not know if this happened, but I suspect it didn't.
The following morning the police brought him back to Mum's house to pick up a few essential things. They were then taking him to the council offices to get re-homed. We had said we didn't want him back at Mum's house. The council said that they couldn't help him and even phoned my Mum to ask if he could go back! She said no and he spent that night on the streets.
I helped Mum sort out his bedroom and we found 8 empty bags of cannabis along with 2 bags with cannabis in them. He also appeared to be trying to grow cannabis judging by the equipment he had set up in his room.

A few days after this incident David phoned me. He sounded calmer in his voice but the ramblings were still present. He was now saying that he believed the local area was subsiding which was causing pipes in the ground to burst. That there was marsh gas leaking through everywhere and that the road where my Mum lives was going to blow up. He couldn't understand why no-one would listen to him and he believed everyone was in danger. I told him that the reason he believed this was because he was high on cannabis and needed psychiatric help. He started shouting and was abusive to me so I put the phone down on him.

Mum has now allowed him back in her house. He kept constantly phoning her crying, saying how cold he was and that he was sorry. I understand why she let him back in, she couldn't bear the thought of her son being on the streets. However it is an absolute nightmare for her. He's aggressive and keeps her awake all night. He thinks everyone is against him. He rambles constantly about this all being this ex-wife's fault. Mum is so frightened of him she has taken to wearing daytime clothes to bed in case she needs to escape the house quickly. She keeps a metal bar hidden in her bed in case he attacks her. She is in a constant state of nerves not knowing what he might do next. He keeps telling her that he's the only one who loves her and that me and my brother Geoff are going to put her in a care home (completely untrue).

He has a support worker who has been trying to get him accommodation through the council, but the council keep saying he's not priority. I was working with his support worker to see if we could get him in some sort of assisted living as he is a vunerable adult but he has now blocked me out because he believes he should either be allowed to take over Mum's tenancy or the council should give him a flat/house of his own.
As it stands at the moment I can't have any information from his support worker or the council as he has told them he doesn't give his permission for me to be involved. The council say he hasn't filled out forms and that they haven't had any recent medical records for him.

I am at a loss. I'm so worried about our Mum. I just don't know what to do now to help her. She is terrified to say anything to him in case he kicks off again. I've asked her to come and stay with me but she's too frightened to leave him in the house on his own. She's keeping him on just her pension, he gets dole money but doesn't give her anything towards food or bills.

He thinks he can speak to our dead father on his phone, even asking Mum if she would like to talk to him too! He thinks he's got HIV, gall stones and is schizophrenic. He's even said that he's got a daughter he's not allowed to see. This is something that he has never mentioned to us as a family before and has come completely out of the blue, so we suspect he's lying.
We have realised that sometimes these outbursts are caused by family events. For example when my older brother Geoff had a heart attack, a few weeks later David had one of his episodes. Recently I became a Grandmother, so all family focus has been on the new baby, sure enough David has his latest outburst. My older brother Geoff thinks that this is done deliberately, that David is scheming and calculated, he seems to be able to turn his mental illness on and off when it suits him. To new people he meets, friends or councillors he is kind and charming, but to us his family he is aggressive and unpredictable.
I just don't know what to think anymore. Surely he must be ill because why would you put your own Mother through all the stress that he is obviously causing her.

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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:16 pm

Re: Mentally ill Brother living with Mum

Postby upwards-is-the-aim » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:54 pm

Blooming heck

There is so much there I honestly have no idea where to start or what to suggest and that is not like me at all

If nothing else welcome to the forum and well done to all those of you caught up in this hellish situation

About the only thing I can say is sometimes there really is nothing you can do that has a neat/nice solution
Do you save person A or person B

Good luck

Hopefully someone wiser than me will come along soon

Yes he is ill and if he is is not he might as well be ill - and so is ill
So ???

Sorry to not be more helpful
Trying to help and be supportive to others on this forum is one of my attempts to reduce my own depression. Getting ourselves out of our own head circles is usually a good thing to do. Maybe try it yourself

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