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I’m Afraid of My Own Brother

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From Canada: I am 17 my brother is 20. As a young child he was a momma’s boy and very kind but he did have anger which was seen as normal. But looking back at his anger, it was there from a young age (from my view anyway) as time went on his anger got worse.

He’s been physically and emotionally abusive to me, which everyone that I confided in said it was just a brotherly thing. He yells at me and my parents, mainly just me and my mom. He is always right no matter what, in his mind anyway. He lies and over exaggerates everything to put the blame on someone else.

My mom will ask him a simple question and it will result in him screaming in her face. We are tired of the way he treats us. Outside of the house he is seen as very polite and kind but at home he treats us terribly. I’m not sure what’s wrong with him, please help.

I’m Afraid of My Own Brother

Answered by on -


It’s true that siblings fight. It’s true that most families experience conflict now and then. But not to the point where a younger sister is afraid of her brother; not to the point where a young man is abusive to his parents and his sister. What you are describing is not a “brotherly” thing. What you are describing is bullying.

Your brother seems to be more in control of himself than you think. If he can be civil to other people outside of the house, he could do the same at home. He is choosing not to. It may be that he has learned that all he has to do is act threatening and he can do what he pleases at home. Other people won’t tolerate it.

There is no good reason for you and your folks to put up with this behavior. At 20, he is old enough to leave home and take care of himself. The condition for remaining in the house should be the same kind and polite behavior he uses outside. Family members who love him should get his best self, not his worst.

If your parents can’t draw a line on his behavior, I hope they will consider seeing a counselor to help them feel okay about making reasonable demands on their unreasonable son. No one should live in fear in their own home. All of you deserve a peaceful and loving atmosphere at home. Your brother will only benefit from learning how to treat the people closest to him with respect and love.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

I’m Afraid of My Own Brother

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I’m Afraid of My Own Brother. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 7, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 24 Jul 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.