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Sorry once again...brother treats me like crap


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So, my brother a) doesn't "believe" in mental illness b) insults me when I need to borrow 20 bucks. Now for context. I am living on ODSP, same as in US social security. He owns his own business, two houses paid off. I make what my American SSI recipients make. I live in utter poverty, but I am looking at getting work so I can cut ties..all of them..with him. He is always angry...I mean always!! He thinks I am "just" lazy. He is jealous because I have a university education. I teach p/t at a local college. He is my last living relative. This has been going on for 2 years. He only has his grade 12. I have no problem with that, but he does. So, I have been planning to go back in the workforce, despite still being somewhat ill. But, he thinks I am faking it! I tried to explain the neurobiology of mental illness..he couldn't even pronounce many of the terms. He is anti-intellectual. When I am on my way, he can eat my dust. You should hear the mouth on him.  "I have my Father's dreams..I have my Mother's eyes..You can't take that from me..Just go ahead and try!!".

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Well, it's unfortunate your brother thinks that way but he is not the only one. There are ignorant people all over. In one sense, they are blessed by not having to experience mental illness, but then again a touch of depression once might do them some good and give them some empathy. Mental illness sucks and nobody asks for it. We are NOT lazy. We have to claw and fight every day just to live and this is true even if we aren't functional.

My advice is to ignore your brother and not let him make you feel bad about yourself. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, no one can make us feel bad about ourselves without our permission. If you can work and cut at least some ties with your brother it might give you some self confidence not to let your brother get you down. But even if you are unable to work, that doesn't make you a lesser person. You deserve respect.

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Hi jt:

Thanks so much for the advice and support. My brother is really toxic, and like you said, he just discounts this potentially deadly illness we face. I hate demonizing people, but like my Dad said before he died, "Your brother looks out for one person. Himself. Period." I am enrolled in a couple of group therapy sessions, starting mid October. Should be good peer-based support.  I crave human contact...we all do, really. About work...I am going to wait and see.  Thanks for your post.

 

 

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