Hello.My brother has been ill since he was in his early 20s. Now he is in his late 40s. We lost contact for a long time till 2015. He didn’t want any contact from me. Since his first pychotic break out,I’ve always felt hostility coming from him which I didn’t comprehend at the time because I tried to help him in every way possible.
He was at college during the first psychotic break out. He left his school and for two years he spent his days in his room lying. He was hospitalized and medicated at the time. My mother was alive and she was responsible for him and I guess I wasn’t fully aware of what we were experiencing because when he got relatively well he went back to school and finished it, I thought everything was over .
I knew he had many inadequacies, tendency to violence and some bizarre choices that irritated me very much like wearing coats in summer but I was focused on my life ,was trying hard to build a life of my own so ignored many things.I thought they were temporary and some of them were really so. He began to have proper clothing choices after a while. We had fights whenever I expected healthy behaviours from him. I didn’t know the seriousness of the illness.
He lived with my mother until her death.Then with me for a couple of years. During that time I realized for the first time that there was something very serious going on. But my mistake was ; I now acknowledge ,thinking his behaviours were towards me,against me. I had my own problems to cope up with , I wasn’t his parent so I let him go and we began to lead our own lives. He went away and didn’t contact me,changed his phone number when I tried to contact .
In 2015 we kind of reunited when I was informed that his living conditions were miserable. I tried to help him as much I could,made his conditions much more better. I suggested he could work at home or we could find a job for him ,maybe parttime and something he could manage but he kept not hearing me. He said he worked a lot during the years we didn’t keep in touch and he was tired. No connection with reality.
This was the second time I needed to confront schizophrenia ,all over again. For two years I have been observing and learning different aspects of this illness but to tell you the truth it is tough sometimes. I’ve been slowly accepting that he will never be the brother I yearn for.
He refuses treatment. He doesn’t think there is anything wrong with him,I think.He thinks he is leading a normal life.(learning – no insight in this illness ) For a couple of times I gently reminded him of his first pyschotic break up and he accused the conditions,he found millions of reasons for that. He rationalizes and accuses my parents,their divorce ,my father not being there,me etc.etc. He pities himself and sees himself as a victim all the time. He accuses me even for the childhood fights we had.
I got shocked a couple of times when I heard some bizarre accusations from him,things that could never have happened. He said things like "do you remember when so and so happened ? " Well,nothing of that kind happened,no way.(learning about delusions)
In spring I invited him to a summer house we rented to stay by himself because we weren’t available to go there till summer and I thought that could be a nice change for him. He came and we (my spouse and I ) did everything we could to make him a little bit happy. He stayed there almost 3 months and we went there a couple of weekends,took him out,bought him presents just to put a smile on his face. And he did feel happy I think from time to time and he apologized from me once for all the misdoings he did in the past. He said he had a nice vacation all over and thanked me before he left.
After he returned to the town he lives,after some time he wrote to me accusing me of attempts of sexual harrasment during the time we spent together in the summer house,telling me that he felt very uncomfortable a few times and it won’t be approriate for us to be together again under the same roof. You could imagine how shocked and hurt I was. I couldn’t speak for an hour or so. I didn’t reply to him,my spouse said," He is so ill that he doesn’t know what he is saying.Don’t mind,I wouldn’t lose sleep over it " Well,I tried but it hurt.
After that incident I felt like I’ve become alienated from him and although still paying for his vital needs,I have become distant,never discussed that accusation cause I think it is futile.
But it made me think," am I doing wrong ? " and " what could be done ? " " Is there a chance for him to improve a little bit if he goes into treatment after all those years without any treatment ? " I am his only family member who cares so what can I do to get him into treatment ? " Should I cut the ties ? " As I am a sister and not a parent,am I taking too much responsibility ? " "How can I care for myself in regard to my brother ? "etc…so many questions