Attacked by brother, family don't believe me

Ihavepetducks

Ihavepetducks

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Warrington, UK
I went for a drink with my seriously ill mother recently and heard my brother come home (he lives there). I went to his room to say hi and he attacked me. Out of the blue. He pushed me to the floor and tried to drag me down the stairs, and only stopped because as I was trying to scramble back up he accidentally pulled my leggings down.
My dad came home just after and I told him my brother had attacked me and he just shrugged.
I was gobsmacked, and also in shock, and as my mum is seriously ill, and drink was involved I didn't want to escalate the situation, so I just changed the subject and tried to act like nothing happened to protect my mum, until I could deal with it with a clear head.
The next day I told my daughter, but wasn't ready to deal the rest of the family. The day after, I told one of my sisters. She'd heard about it the day before from my other sister, who'd heard a fabrication of the events from my brother - that I'd attacked HIM, and he'd only hit out of me to protect himself.
My whole family believe him. The fact that I didn't kick off or make a fuss on the night 'proves' it to them. I'm being treated like the aggressor and my brother is being treated like the victim.
My brother is an extremely selfish person. He's never lifted a finger for anyone else his whole life. I've repeatedly put my life on hold to help every single member of my family (including my brother) through various crises. I can't understand how they can be so quick to rush to his defence and condemn me. I can't eat or sleep.
I was estranged from my family for a while after I was hospitalised following a breakdown that was largely due to trying to help my family. My CPN said he'd call a safeguarding meeting if I contacted them again. I thought he was being dramatic, but I've only been back in contact for 6 months and already I've been assaulted and repeatedly impugned and driven to the edge of another breakdown.
My daughter and partner don't want me to ever go near my family ever again. My family say I'm selfish and nasty. My mum is dying. I feel selfish and weak and useless and I don't know what to do. Thank you for any help or advice x
 
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dewey

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You say you don't know what to do, but you don't have to do anything. All you can do is continue to live your life. Your family jumped to the defense of your brother, so there's nothing you can really do about it. If they believe him over you, nothing you can really say will change their mind so it's basically wasted energy to even try.
Just move on from them. You have a daughter and a partner now, who are fairer to you and compassionate towards you.
It is natural you want to be there for your ill mother and these will be difficult months ahead if she is close to the end. You should give some energy to caring and spending time with your mum as you have been doing but also keep a clear distance from the rest of your unsupportive family as you don't need toxic energy in your life. Try to handle the situation with them as calmly and pragmatically as possible - the more angry you get, it is not going to help your case with them anyway. They've made their mind up so why waste energy trying to persuade them otherwise.
You say you feel weak and selfish but it's not as if you've actually done anything to suggest you are weak and selfish so those are just irrational feelings you can dismiss.
 
midnightphoenix

midnightphoenix

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Once your mum's no longer around, it's eprfectly fine to refuse to have anything to do with the rest of your family ever again, no appeal, sounds like that's the only thing to do :hug:
 
Ihavepetducks

Ihavepetducks

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I just don't understand how all my family can be so vehemently against me, when I've gone out of my way so many times to help them all. Yet they're so quick to defend my brother, who's never lifted a finger for any of them.
For context, in the year before I had my breakdown all of this happened:
- my sister's husband suddenly left her. She went into meltdown and was admitted to hospital. Her husband wanted nothing to do with her three children and I tried to look after them. I could only do that at her house because I was in the process of transferring my own house to my brother and his pregnant wife, and in any case it wasn't big enough
- my sister threatened to physically assault me because one of her children had pulled a curtain sconce out without my noticing, and I wasn't keeping her house as tidy as she wanted. I took the physical threat seriously as she has previously thrown me down a set of stairs. Among various other violent acts.
- the children were then taken into foster care. I was extremely distressed and felt like a failure
- my dad then had a hypermanic episode. He is the main carer for my mum who has a severe form of MS. She had to go into a home and blamed me for not giving up my job to look after her full time.
- I had a road accident that was my fault, I caused him a severe shoulder injury. I don't know how I didn't see him
- When I ended up in hospital, my whole family abandoned me because I'd had a minor argument with my mum just beforehand, and she lied to everyone about it and told them I'd insulted and threatened her.
I feel like I've missed stuff but that's the essence of it I think
 
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dewey

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Yeah sounds like there are some quite volatile characters, physically aggressive, probably with unresolved anger issues. There's often no logic to the way such characters behave and their outbursts. It's all about them re-gaining lost control and power because they feel powerless and angry and that comes out as violence.

I'm not saying the way they have treated you is justified, it clearly isn't. I'm sorry that a lot of your family doesn't sound particularly supportive. That's a hard pill to swallow, I know. But if you want to move on with your life, it's a pill you're going to have to swallow.

Maybe you have wasted time and energy on them in the past, but if you make a conscious decision to put yourself first you will stop investing that time and energy in them and make the most of your life. So distance yourself from them as much as possible and be grateful you have a current immediate family, your daughter and partner, that do actually respect and love you.

Unfortunately the way you have been treated will likely have left you with residual emotions, insecurities and questions, which you are now raising. You can address these through therapy, I would thoroughly advise you to. But as I said, the only way you can really move forward is to see your family members for what they are, and cut ties I'm afraid.
 
Ihavepetducks

Ihavepetducks

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Thank you Dewey, that is a lovely and very thoughtful response.
I wish I could just see my mum without having any contact with the rest of the family, but my brother lives in her house, and my dad is her main carer and has been very unsupportive. He believes that if my brother attacked me, I must have deserved it.
My mum believes my account of what happened. She's the only member of my family to actually say so, at least. But she also says she won't challenge him, and I should just 'put up and shut up' for her sake.
If only if it were that easy!
You're entirely right that getting angry or upset with them will just inflame the situation. I feel I have no choice but to walk away. I don't want to do that because I love my mum, but I don't feel like I can take any more attacks or abuse- that's why I feel so selfish and weak.
Your advice is extremely helpful though, thank you so much xx
 
Ihavepetducks

Ihavepetducks

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Once your mum's no longer around, it's eprfectly fine to refuse to have anything to do with the rest of your family ever again, no appeal, sounds like that's the only thing to do :hug:
Thank you :) it's looking like that's the only option I have. It still isn't an easy one though - they're still my family. And my mum is still around, and she's suffering deeply, and despite what the family have done (and even though she's supporting them) I'm still deeply distressed at the idea of just turning my back on her.
I'm deeply grateful for your support though :) x
 
Ihavepetducks

Ihavepetducks

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Yeah sounds like there are some quite volatile characters, physically aggressive, probably with unresolved anger issues. There's often no logic to the way such characters behave and their outbursts. It's all about them re-gaining lost control and power because they feel powerless and angry and that comes out as violence.

I'm not saying the way they have treated you is justified, it clearly isn't. I'm sorry that a lot of your family doesn't sound particularly supportive. That's a hard pill to swallow, I know. But if you want to move on with your life, it's a pill you're going to have to swallow.

Maybe you have wasted time and energy on them in the past, but if you make a conscious decision to put yourself first you will stop investing that time and energy in them and make the most of your life. So distance yourself from them as much as possible and be grateful you have a current immediate family, your daughter and partner, that do actually respect and love you.

Unfortunately the way you have been treated will likely have left you with residual emotions, insecurities and questions, which you are now raising. You can address these through therapy, I would thoroughly advise you to. But as I said, the only way you can really move forward is to see your family members for what they are, and cut ties I'm afraid.
Dewey, thank you again for your very thoughtful advice. You're a stranger on the internet who I've never met, but your words have touched my heart and struck a very deep chord. I am so grateful xxx
 
Ihavepetducks

Ihavepetducks

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Also what you're saying is almost word for word what my daughter and partner are saying. I've had trouble hearing them because I was worried they were being partisan, so having an outside voice really helps. Thank you so much :) x
 
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dewey

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Dewey, thank you again for your very thoughtful advice. You're a stranger on the internet who I've never met, but your words have touched my heart and struck a very deep chord. I am so grateful xxx
You're welcome. Dysfunctional families are difficult - I should know.
And you always feel like you owe something to them, but the truth is sometimes you have to put yourself first and take distance. There's no point giving to a situation that won't give back to you.
That's self esteem right there, saying no to those who mistreat you.
I am grateful to have helped <3
 
Ihavepetducks

Ihavepetducks

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It hasn't been easy to cut myself off. I'm still hurt about what happened. And I'm angry, and bitter, and so full of rage, and I hate myself for feeling such ugly emotions :(
 
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dewey

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It hasn't been easy to cut myself off. I'm still hurt about what happened. And I'm angry, and bitter, and so full of rage, and I hate myself for feeling such ugly emotions :(
Yup, some families just don't function right, hence dysfunctional families. The world is full of 'em.
I'm sorry you're full of rage. I know the feelings. X
 
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