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Brother came back from his trip as a monster. I hate him now. Am I overreacting?


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My brother and I have always had a pretty good relationship despite living in a turbulent household (parents always arguing and dad, cheating). We're both in our twenties and I'm his older sister by 5 years. In our culture, we stay with our parents until marriage, and family is everything. So despite all the turmoil between our parents, we've all always tried to work things out to keep our family together. I've always been a mega nerd, scoring high marks and basically just dedicating my life to academics. My brother's always been extremely social and has gotten into trouble over the years (getting arrested, stealing money from our parents, partying day and night, getting kicked out of university). Basically, although we've gotten along well, we're obviously different people.

 

Everything was fine, and then he moved to Australia for a year. I cried at the airport. Despite the move, we still had a great relationship, and talked on the phone for hours at a time. He moved back a few week ago, which I was so excited about. However, he's come back a monster. He started going on rants about how he truly understands what life is about now, and that we're just doing everything wrong as a family. He said he's going to "fix" everyone.

 

He started by screaming at dad in front of construction workers about his cheating behaviours, even though we were all embarrassed and told him to stop making this a public problem. He continued by going to dad's workplace and arguing with various workers about what their exact role is and what they accomplished that day. He grabbed dad's phone at various times mid-call and would ask questions to the person on the other end, to make sure he wasn't cheating. He then attacked mom about how she takes pain medication (recovering from shingles) because that's "poison" to her body and that she should instead do weed. My mom is conservative and very straight-edge so she'd never do that, but he continued on about how she's closed minded. He got into fights with her over some other things too and called her two-faced and a liar. He then attacked one of the twins, who broke up with his girlfriend early this year. He accused him of still talking to the girl. Twin showed his phone and everything, but our brother still went on a rampage about how he knows he's still totally talking to her. He yelled a bunch at the other twin too which resulted in the twin crying, even though the twins are 19.

 

Then came my turn! For some background info, I tried out anxiety medication (Zoloft) at the end of 2018 and had a severe reaction. Right away I became incredibly lactose-intolerant and extremely sensitive to all kinds of foods, resulting in severe diarrhea or throwing up. My doctor disagreed that the Zoloft caused this, but the specialist I saw told me it definitely could have been a rare but severe side effect from this psychiatric drug which is known to be harsh on the stomach. He gave me a simple diet to follow and expected me to build up a tolerance against these reactions. Regardless, what was important was that either way, I was not well. I followed his instructions though and my reactions lessened, but haven't fully gone away yet. So, back to my brother. He randomly confronted me in the kitchen, asking me to tell him what's "really" going on. Honestly, I had no clue what he was talking about. He started glaring at me and telling me to tell him the truth. Turns out, he thinks I'm just pretending to have these reactions so that I have an excuse to not have to study (I'm trying to get into law, and was waitlisted twice due to a low lsat score). He even confronted the twins about how it's suspicious that I was waitlisted in a row, that he doesn't think I even wrote the lsat, which thankfully the twins saw and had the emails of. But that didn't stop my brother from continuing his rampage. He claimed I'm just pressured to go into law (untrue, it's very much so my own choice) and so I'm totally faking all this. I was pretty shocked, and told him that this is all real, that he could take a look at my previous blood test if he wanted. Unfortunately, while looking for it in my binder, I remembered that I had thrown it out as it didn't show anything substantial. This triggered my brother into a craze as he started ranting about how he's "catching the lies" and that I should fess up right now. At least my parents and the twins all know this is all real, and told him to stop acting like this, but he doesn't listen to anyone. Finally, I was discussing how upsetting this was to my mom. That's when my brother came barging in and started accusing me all over again. He said I maybe even secretly do drugs (ridiculous). I asked him why he even thinks all this nonsense, and he said, "I'm just saying that you should really tell me the truth because it's going to be so awkward for you when the truth comes out at the doctor's". He believes the doctor will let us know that this is all a fake ruse or that I'm doing drugs which cause these reactions. I got so upset that I got teary, and then he said that if I was being honest, that I wouldn't cry. That made me even more upset, and then he accused me of fake crying to garner sympathy from mom. He also accused me of lying about the anxiety medication, saying that first I called it Zoloft, and then I called it Sertraline (which is just its drug class, my god). He says everything I say is suspicious and so interesting, as he puts it.

 

Every single day he rants about how I'm a liar. He yells, "my sister has been lying to all of us for 3 years! She's basically 30 and she's going no where!" Not only am I not at all 30, but it hasn't even been a full 2 years since I got these reactions. Further, these reactions happen about once a week to once a month, if even, when I accidentally consume dairy or something greasy/upsetting. It doesn't stop me from studying or living an otherwise normal life. My mom wants me to take him along to my next doctor's appointment, and while I can't stand him, I'll do it just so he shuts the hell up about me. However, even if he apologizes later to me, I don't think I can ever see him the same way again. My academic accomplishments define so much of my life. My wall is covered with my awards and scholarships over the years as school has always been the one thing I'm good at. It's the only thing I'm so proud of. I worked my ass off and even helped my brother to graduate from high school, which he always credits me with. And so for him to accuse me of being a fake actor, feigning an illness for 2 years just so I can avoid studies, is so insulting and hurtful to me. I have a bachelor's, double minors, and double certifications. My life has revolved around my education and my family knows that. He told my mom he'll accomplish double what I have by the time he's my age though, and that I'm wasting away my life, pretending it away and lying to everyone. My next appointment is with a stomach specialist (gastroenterologist) and so it'll be a long wait, but the time between now and then is killing me, hearing him yell out accusations day after day. I've totally had enough of this. I feel so distressed and angry when I even hear his voice.

 

He's supposed to be my brother, acting like family and supporting me, not discouraging me, doubting me and accusing me. Our last argument happened when he burst into my room, yelling out accusations again but this time I exploded on him. My hands began to shake in anger, and once again he said if I was innocent then I wouldn't even get angry. I have NO idea why he's gone insane like this since he's gotten back from his trip, but he's completely destroyed our relationship and I want nothing to do with him. I can't even believe this is really my brother, who I loved so deeply and cared so much about ever since we were little. It's like something has come over him in the worst way. I feel very picked on and bullied. Not even my worst enemies have spoken to me in the way my brother is. He claims he's doing all this because he cares for me and wants the truth to come out. Just crazy. Obviously, this is all still happening and I'm very angry and heated still, but I really do believe I don't have love for him anymore in my heart. In fact, I can't stand him. If I never saw him again, I'm confident I'd be just fine. In my heart, he's no longer a brother of mine. I do recognize he's young/not the most mature, but I still feel this way, especially since I know I'd never do this someone at any age. Am I overreacting?

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He's either mentally ill or is using drugs. He won't stop unless and until he gets professional help.

 

Put a lock on your bedroom door and your phone. Do not cater to his delusions. And despite your culture, you might consider moving out so you can get some peace.

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How old is he? It sounds like possible early signs of schizophrenia (but like others stated, could be drug-related).

 

My brother started acting like this when he was in his early twenties, now he's full-blown schizophrenic, so I understand your pain if that's what this is. I'm so sorry either way.

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I really don't think that your brother is acting normal at all! Something is very wrong here! I live in Australia and I can assure you it's a very lucky country with a high standard of living. Most Australians are nice, friendly people who don't actually behave like this. However, we do have an issue with crystal meth here which is apparently getting worse. Don't get me wrong, it's only a small portion of people here that use it. It sounds like when your brother went to Australia he may have gotten onto some drugs. Especially drugs like crystal meth can really change someone's personality and make them aggressive and paranoid. Otherwise how can he have just become a completely different person. Unless he's starting to get mental illness. I really think your whole family needs to confront him and ask what has he been doing in Australia. Why is he acting like this. He is very abusive and I think he needs to see a psychiatrist and possibly go on some psychiatric medication. I would also suggest not engaging with him. The twins don't have to show their phone. You don't have to show your medical tests or take him with you to your doctor's appointment. He's acting like a complete nutcase and it's none of his business.

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Distance yourself and accept the changes in your brother. There's nothing else you can do and you're not a magician or a doctor. He should see a doctor. Find a place of your own and move out. Take care of your health.

 

He's your brother so I understand there's a lot of love there but it doesn't sound like he's been on the right track for a long time.

 

(getting arrested, stealing money from our parents, partying day and night, getting kicked out of university)
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He's either mentally ill or is using drugs. He won't stop unless and until he gets professional help.

 

Put a lock on your bedroom door and your phone. Do not cater to his delusions. And despite your culture, you might consider moving out so you can get some peace.

 

This was my first thought too.

 

Something is going on with him that runs deeper than a big ego and bad temper. I get that he's very difficult to even be around right now, but I would be very concerned that he needs professional intervention.

 

What do you parents make of his complete and disturbing change in behaviour?

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You are in a dangerous enviroment...seriously you don't know what he is capable of..it could turn very violent. You either A) tell your parents they better get a handle on this and get him help, or kick him out, or B) go live with relatives. Sorry but screw traditions...your safety should come first.

 

There is nothing you can do for him. He is out of control.

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So what is your plan to get yourself out of this situation?

 

I'm going to save up and move out. While it's my brother who is the instigator, my other family members, by basically doing and saying nothing, essentially condone this behaviour and I've had enough. I knew in my mind I wasn't exactly wrong to feel the way I do about the situation, but I wanted to make sure by asking the forums. I've kept my bedroom door locked at night long before posting and I'm just happy that I'm not crazy in feeling this way about my brother. Thanks again.

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I'm going to save up and move out. While it's my brother who is the instigator, my other family members, by basically doing and saying nothing, essentially condone this behaviour and I've had enough. I knew in my mind I wasn't exactly wrong to feel the way I do about the situation, but I wanted to make sure by asking the forums. I've kept my bedroom door locked at night long before posting and I'm just happy that I'm not crazy in feeling this way about my brother. Thanks again.

 

They may not want to isolate or antagonize him and there may be issues of privacy, logistics or other things going on also if he's receiving treatment or he's in the process of entering a treatment program. If your whole family is truly dysfunctional and there's no help at all, avoid certain individuals. Best to keep to yourself, don't internalize this and stay on top of your studies or work. Don't get involved right now in the thick of it. You're doing the right thing. Move out but figure out something that works for you - don't jump at the nearest opportunity and end up in a bad situation also. Stay safe.

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They may not want to isolate or antagonize him and there may be issues of privacy, logistics or other things going on also if he's receiving treatment or he's in the process of entering a treatment program. If your whole family is truly dysfunctional and there's no help at all, avoid certain individuals. Best to keep to yourself, don't internalize this and stay on top of your studies or work. Don't get involved right now in the thick of it. You're doing the right thing. Move out but figure out something that works for you - don't jump at the nearest opportunity and end up in a bad situation also. Stay safe.

 

Thank you so much. And yes, I haven't told any of them I plan to leave and all that. I'm just studying and staying to myself in the meantime. I appreciate your thoughts :)

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I'm going to save up and move out. While it's my brother who is the instigator, my other family members, by basically doing and saying nothing, essentially condone this behaviour and I've had enough. I knew in my mind I wasn't exactly wrong to feel the way I do about the situation, but I wanted to make sure by asking the forums. I've kept my bedroom door locked at night long before posting and I'm just happy that I'm not crazy in feeling this way about my brother. Thanks again.

 

This is the best plan. Honestly, I'm not sure if your environment was ever a very healthy place for you. Your father cheating and the problems between your parents feel like they took on toll everyone. While you tried to make things better and focus on keeping everyone together, you're brother has always acted out. Moving away only gave him a taste of "freedom" and seems to have encouraged him in his self-destructive behavior. He needs to address why he is behaving this way and the family needs to call him out on it and put a stop to it. He can't fix everyone else, especially when he is adding more drama to the situation. For your own health, it is best to remove yourself from the situation.

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