Family Problems...so ashamed

jaim38

Well-known member
I'm living in a bad situation. My family is very unstable, with both my mom and my brother having mental problems. My mom probably has dementia and paranoia. My brother seems to be the same, and I think he also has autism. I do have social phobia and bouts of depression every now and then. Talk about the Adams Family.

Anyway, my mom is trying to sue the neighbors. She initially contacted 2 lawyers but both of them rejected her case because it has "no merit." One of the lawyers questioned her sanity and recommended for her to get psychiatric evaluation. But so far, my mom didn't go to any doctor for psychiatric eval.

I tried to convince her to stop suing the neighbors and try to live peacefully; sure, the neighbors may have done some minor things in the past, but they tried to be nice with us. They also invited my parents over on several occasions to partake in meals.

However, my mom won't listen to me or my dad. She tends to listen to my brother, who also hated the neighbors. She also kept on listening to my uncle, who encouraged her to sue the neighbors if need be.

Well, the third time's a charm, because my mom finally got a lawyer to take her case. The lawyer issued an injunction against the neighbors!!! I was shocked when i read the contract that my mom showed me. I didn't want things to escalate between us and the neighbors. My mom already called the cops on them several times, and now this! My family must be the most hated villainous family in the neighborhood, and many times, I'm afraid to go out for fear of seeing the neighbors. I also heard insults thrown at us. This is not helping my social phobia.

So, I called a local hotline (sponsored by my local government) for advice, and I told the counselor everything. The counselor told me some bad news: first, I can't do anything to stop my mom from suing the neighbors because my mom is an adult and she has the money to sue them. No one can tell her to stop. Secondly, even though my mom may have mental disorders, the government can't do much about it. As long as she is not harming herself or anybody else physically, there's no one stopping her from suing anybody. Thirdly, no one can force my mom to get a psych evaluation. As much as I want her to go get evaluated for her mental health, I can't force her because she's an adult.

I am also sick and tired of living with my brother. He also has mental problems; I cannot look at him, because if I look at him he will pinch me or do things to me. I also can't talk out loud to him; if I want to communicate anything to him, I have to write it down on a piece of paper or type on the computer screen and he will respond. If I try to speak out loud to him, he gets angry and uses his hands to close my mouth shut. He is the urchin of the family. When I try to go against his wishes, he has threatened to use force against me. And my mom is no help because he sometimes threatens my mom and he's stronger than both of us. My dad goes to work so he's not home most of the time.

The neighbors think my mom is crazy, and I have to agree that my mom has mental disorders. My brother too. I don't know what to do. Today, my neighbor came over and talked to my mom about the issue. By now, the neighbors probably already received a letter from my mom's lawyer about the injunction. The neighbor talked to my mom but I couldn't hear specifically what they were saying. Later on when my dad asked what's going on, my mom was trying to be secretive about the whole thing but eventually, she told us about the conversation. She said the neighbor denied the claims that my mom made against him.

Any ideas, thoughts, advice?
 
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Lowlight

Well-known member
That sounds like a horrible position to be in, but all situations can be changed!

First question, what is your mother suing over? Is it something legitimate or is it completely off the wall? What the hotline told you was true; you can’t stop someone from suing. If the reason for her suing is something frivolous then you should explain to her that the suit is causing more harm to your family than good. Depending on what your mother is claiming, you may want to stop her for her own safety. If the charge is inflammatory and fictitious then she is opening herself up to the possibility of a slander counter-suit from you neighbors. Maybe that information would send a shock to her system that might dissuade her from pressing forward.

More importantly, what is the problem with your brother? Is he older or younger than you? Has he ever seen a professional to get a diagnosis for a possible condition? I get upset because you say that you can’t look or speak at him without an invasion of your person and space. It is NEVER appropriate for anyone to put their hands on another person in anger. You should have the right to be secure in your own home!

It sounds like your dad seems to be the only one who you would qualify as being in good mental health. In my estimation he will be the key to fixing things. Tell him what your brother does to you. Ask him to lay down the law with him. DEMAND that no one physically harasses you. Once the threats of physicality are dealt with tell him that he needs to do something about your mother. It shouldn’t be the job of a daughter to convince her mother to stop bringing up lawsuits against people. A person who has more authority than you (i.e. your father) should tend to this matter. Try to connect and commiserate with him. Let him know you know how it must be hard to be in his position. The position of having a job to provide for a family that needs him. Thank him for what he does for you, but also let him know how it is to be in your position. Talk about your situation to him without malice or spite. Together you two can provide a united front of positive energy needed to get things back, or maybe for the first time, in order.

If all that fails I would prepare myself for the contingency of moving out. I don’t know how old you are, or your economic means, but start saving and looking for an escape from your current situation. If you air your grievances with your family, and they do nothing to respect your basic rights, then all effort should be made to make a withdrawal from the situation.

Whatever you do, don't let these things poison your spirit. Good things will come to those who work towards them. Keep us informed.
 

jaim38

Well-known member
If the charge is inflammatory and fictitious then she is opening herself up to the possibility of a slander counter-suit from you neighbors. Maybe that information would send a shock to her system that might dissuade her from pressing forward.
She is suing over the neighbors throwing things at our house, damaging the bricks, and most importantly, the dog poop. She told me that the neighbors kept damaging the house's breaks, sneaking into our home without our knowledge, etc. We have cameras installed all over our tiny house (inside and out), but when I look at the video footages, I see no intruder coming into our house or even touching our house. Sometimes, I see dogs coming, but those dogs are not necessarily my neighbors' dogs.

The weird thing is that my mom is making all these claims without any video footage to back them up, so I am worried that the neighbors will countersue us. Several times, she told me that the neighbors snuck into our place, but when she showed me the video footage, I see nobody on our property. But, she insists that the neighbors have somehow "beat" the cameras and like ninjas, snuck into our property. Moreover, she claims the neighbor's dog snuck into our lawn but when she show me the video footage, I don't see any dog. But, she told me the neighbors must have used some advanced electronic devices to interfere with our cameras and causing our cameras to malfunction from time to time! I don't know if she's hallucinating, psychotic, or something else. She also tapes aluminum foil on the walls of our house.

Sometimes when the refrigerator or the tv makes noises, she thinks it's the neighbors' fault. She thinks the neighbors have some kind of magical devices to control our electronics.

So yeah, I question my mom's sanity.

More importantly, what is the problem with your brother? Is he older or younger than you? Has he ever seen a professional to get a diagnosis for a possible condition?
I don't really know what's wrong with him. He probably has some form of severe autism. He's younger than me and has never seen a professional to get a diagnosis. He helps my mom tape up aluminum foil in my room, so my room looks pretty weird now. He claims to be a math genius, but I'm not sure if that's true?? Sometimes, he would touch me in places where I don't want to be touched, but when I tell him to stop, he wouldn't. He has a deep distrust of people. He also has a high sensitivity to noises, especially noises from the neighbors, which annoy him.

It sounds like your dad seems to be the only one who you would qualify as being in good mental health. In my estimation he will be the key to fixing things. Tell him what your brother does to you. Ask him to lay down the law with him. DEMAND that no one physically harasses you. Once the threats of physicality are dealt with tell him that he needs to do something about your mother.
In the past, I did tell my dad so many times what my brother did to me, but he seemed powerless to stop my brother. My brother only speaks to my mom, not to me nor my dad. My dad tries to have a conversation with him, face to face, but he refused. My dad also has to work, so... Several times, I did tell my dad what happened but the next day, my brother started threatening me, saying if I tell my dad again, I will pay. I can't just tattle to my dad all the time, because my dad isn't home 24/7 to help me. He's gotta go to work.

I actually didn't know about the lawsuit until my mom told me. It came as a surprise. My mom actually told me to keep it a secret from my dad, but I told my dad anyway. My dad's reaction is, he doesn't want to care anymore. He doesn't care what my mom or my brother does anymore, because it's futile. There's no changing those people. In the past, my dad did try to change my brother, but to no avail. My mom has been the same person too, no changes. I think their marriage is "on paper only." Sometimes, I ask my dad whether he regret marrying my mom, and he said, "it's fate", whatever that means.

Just want to mention that my dad sometimes has high blood pressure so must not get too angry. Also, sometimes when he sleeps, he jolts and seizes and bites his tongue, and the doctor said it's probably due to stress. He's also planning to retire in the next couple of years. I don't want him to worry too much.
 
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lunarla

Well-known member
Seems like an extremely difficult situation that you're in. Just wondering - how old are you? Depending on your age, I'm sure there's certain things that some kind of Family Services in your community could do to help your situation. You've said that you talk to a counselor on the phone for advice which was very smart. But maybe you could contact someone who's based where you live and talk to them about everything? I know it's a hard thing to do, but your quality of life and that of the rest of your family seems to be very poor right now. It's obvious members of your family have some real problems. But in my perception, that doesn't reflect badly upon you. You're very well spoken and aware. Since your family doesn't really possess the initiative to change the situation or gain help, maybe you could be the one to reach out?
 

Hoppy

Well-known member
Advice depends on how old you are.

You cannot do anything for them, but you have to do something for yourself.

Your father seems to have isolated himself from the problems, and you are worrying about it, but cannot do anything.

Is there a possibility that you can move away, hopefully taking your father with you?
 

jaim38

Well-known member
Seems like an extremely difficult situation that you're in. Just wondering - how old are you? Depending on your age, I'm sure there's certain things that some kind of Family Services in your community could do to help your situation. You've said that you talk to a counselor on the phone for advice which was very smart. But maybe you could contact someone who's based where you live and talk to them about everything?
I am 22 years old, going to school full time, and don't have a job yet. I've worked in the past and got fired. I do have relatives (my dad's side) living around the area, but they look down on us. I am not close to them. They already see me as "stupid" so if I tell them about my mom and my brother, they will think we are one big "stupid" family.
 
Hi Jaim38.

It sounds like you're in a real tough spot. Did you tell the counselor on the phone about your brother? In particular, about how he threatens people? This might make you eligible for a domestice violence shelter. They can help you get out on your own (solving the brother problem). You don't have to be beat up to qualify. You might be able to find help at a church also.

Your mom seems to enjoy conflict unfortunately and only listens to people who agree with her. Realistically no one will change that about her. I bet being on your own would help you feel less ashamed that situation too.

I hope this helps and apologize If I have over-simplified your situation.
 

jaim38

Well-known member
No, I haven't told the counselor on the phone about my brother. He used to be more abusive when I lived with him in the apartments, but now it's not so bad. As long as I try to avoid as much physical contact with him, I am good.
 
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