Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

A disappointed sister


#1

Twenty years have passed since my brother got schizophrenic.

All those years I fought together with him. Me and my sister and parents went through many sleepless nights, spent many days in tears, visited doctors together with him many times too, thought about his medications, side effects, his well being. We put so much into his health and his life that again, many times we had to sacrifise our own life and needs in order to help him do better. I remember times, for example, when for two years at least I went to see him every day after work, to spend afternoon with him instead of going to visit my friends that I missed or do sports or other things that I loved. We let our parents home completelly to him, we surpported him finantially etc.

In one word, we did a LOT for him, to make him have a life that is “normal” as much as it could be with such illness.

Recently, he got married (we also arranged for him to meet his wife at the first place) and I was very very happy to see him in a relationship. All was well until my husband (who is not a person of a greatest character) insulted him and his wife, saying a few bad things about them. I was very angry with my husband, I got really nasty to him, but I could not devorce him for that particullar reason because our children, my daughters love my husband dearly. Instead, I apologised to my brogher and his wife and they accepted my apologies, but not for too long.

My brother, for whom I sacrified half of my life, beacause he gets subtelly paranoid from time to time, now accuses me of being an ally to my husband in that matter, not respecting him and his wife and trying to control them too (the controling bit is comletelly paranoid).

Now, when I went to visit him and tried to talk to him to explain that my husband and I are not the same person and that I do not share opinions of my husband, but I do have to live with him because of our children, my brother did not want to listen (in a typical schizophrenic manner he was convinced he can read from my eyes), threw me out of the house, he pushed me and when I turned to convince him again he pushed me down a starecase. I fell, I did not get injured and when I woke up he pushed me again and just closed the door behind me - explianing to his wife that nothing happned (as she was coming to see me).

He did get aggressive from time to time before, he hit my late father few times, but he never pushed me so violently - so I could break something.

I am very hurt, of course. I know he is always a little paranoid (it never went away completelly), and he seems like on a verge very often. But his anger would usually pass away and when I would call him or visit him after, he would be ok again. This time though, I guess he was fighting for the pride of his wife too, he pushed me with no remorse.

What should I do? Should I stop communicating with him until he understnads he hurt me? Should I get offended or take this incident as a part of the illness? If I go again to talk to him I am afraid he whould do the same thing.

I am very sad now, as I did really so very much for him, much more than a sister would do for a brother in trouble and I still want to help him, but do not know how to go about the thing that happened.

I am sorry for the long post, if anyone gets to the end of it - please advice…

Cheers,
Dejana


#2

sorry, I don’t know what you should do, but he is either turning into a nasty piece of work, or he is ill in some way.

my sister was violent to my mum and my mum of course forgave her.

I’ve not been violent to family myself (both sister was and i still am schizophrenic.)

I’m not sure what you should do especially as he is violent and a male.

I suppose talking to him again when he has calmed down. Hope that you can get him to see that you and your husband are not the same person.

It does not follow that he will definitely be the same next time you see him but of course it can happen again at some point in the future.

i’m sorry i can’t be of more help but you know him better than me. if you can contact his wife that would be a good idea maybe, to find out if he is ill at the moment generally and violent generally perhaps nowadays.

I’m happy he has a wife. I have a husband now and we’re very happy. If he doesn’t lose his wife he will be a lot less for you to deal with generally.

my sister was a hopeless case, she was unwell for about 12 years straight and then died, but i think i wasn’t the best sister to her. A lot of the time you can’t help. A lot of the time it won’t make much difference that you try to help. I say that for myself as well, there is nothing our sister could have done for me or for Harriet, and yes she did try and yes it is extremely hard on the siblings. in my family, our sister, she is alcoholic as a direct result, i believe.


#3

Hi there,

I am sorry that happened. I would say that a wedding and new marriage, even if it’s a good thing of course, is a very stressful event. It’s a lot of change. For anyone, and I think we all know stressors can make SZ worse. I would also reach out to his wife and get an idea of where he is at in his health and if he is still participating in treatment and doing what he needs to do to take care himself when a life stressor like this occurs. I would not take any chances with the violence, he could have really hurt you! Don’t see him alone or put yourself in unsafe situations until you are sure where he’s at. If his psychosis is getting worse you probably won’t be able to reason with him very well. I know it feels personal, but it may not be-it may be paranoia, which he can’t help. That doesn’t mean you should put yourself at risk by wanting to help him either.


#4

Dear Dejana~
This will pass.
When my son was going through withdrawals ( drugs ) and very stressed out-he hit me in the face. Just the back of his hand-and there was blood. One cut over the eye-looked worse though. I was so shocked and disoriented. I would never have believed my kid would do this-never…
I called the police. They had him arrested, and we went to court. Thats where I found out he had done this to someone else. I did not press charges, but went to court. He acted like he could not believe that I was getting a restraining order against him. To me-this was a sign that I was too involved and not looking after myself. I refused to have anything to do with him for a year. Nothing. It took a long time for me to get over that. i would just say that let time pass, and let him approach you first--however long it takes. Its not ok for him-or anyone to deal like that.
I am sorry, but you will know when it`s ok to talk with him again. OO


#5

Hello,
I have an older brother who has been fighting this illness for many years. My brother and I are very close, and he is my best friend as well as my brother. However, there have been some hard times too.

There are some things I have had to just let go and forget. They were done in the heat of an argument and my brother didn’t really grasp how upset I was at the time.
The flattening of emotions and misreading how upset someone gets are part of the symptoms.

You have every right to be cautious and keep a distance. The thing that has kept the doors of communication open between my brother and I during the dark times, had been letters. I’ve had to let him know in letter that I’m sorry for stuff, and I still want to be his friend.

As far as him apologizing to me? There were times I had to let go of that pain, see a support group and eventually my brother has apologized. But admittedly it didn’t happen until he was more stable and feeling better. During a paranoid flair up or a patch of negative symptoms, he wouldn’t apologize for stuff.

It wasn’t because he wasn’t sorry, it’s just there were bigger battles going on in his mind.

I do hope you find a way to keep that door of communication open and still give yourself some time and space to heal from this.

Letters, phone calls, offers to help with shopping or reach out to his wife and let them know that you’re sorry your husband said those things. I understand keeping your distance for a bit until you’re sure your brother isn’t mad at you any more.
I hope this will heal soon and your friendship will begin to repair.

Thank you for letting me post.


#6

@Dejana , I am so sorry that you are hurting because you love your brother so much. Like everyone else said give it some time for him to realize. He knows how supportive you were of him and he won’t forget the good times with you. Make sure you have a good relationship with his wife and make sure you check on her. I think though it hurts you, best thing to do is to see a therapist and explain. Sometimes they know what would be a good way to handle in your case. Don’t get hurt and don’t try to approach him by yourself. Good luck!


#7

Dear @Heather, @oneof21angels, @CloudDog, @kidsister, @bridgecomet

your kind words are like a healing hand for my soul. I appreciate very much you answered my post. I appreciate that you still have compassion for others, despite all the hardships you, as I did, faced in your lives.

God bless you,
Dejana