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Brother Is Unstable

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My husband and I are presently living with my mother in her house for the last 10 yrs. I have a brother that moved in with us 2.5 yrs ago. Years ago he had some sort of breakdown and moved in with my parents and stayed for 4 yrs. I found some odd things on his computers. He was on some sort of online site with animals portrayed as humans. A curvy woman’s body with a sexy fox female face. I also found a small lion cub (Simba) stuffed animal with a small circular hole under the tail that was hot glued around the circle so that one could see the stuffing inside. I am guessing he was using it as a sex toy. I told my mother she asked me to call the psychiatrist he was seeing. I did he told me to get him out of the house immediately. I told my mother and she had him leave. He was laid off 2.5 yrs ago I found evidence of the same sort of behavior. This time it was a small black panther with the same odd hole under the tail and glued around, also his screensaver had a picture of a sexy woman with a fox face. I see little foxes scattered around the room he stays in. Guessing it’s his female animal of choice. I never said anything to my mother she’s been ill so I kept quiet. Lately he and I don’t get along. We (husband and I) don’t trust him. We lock our doors even if we are only outside feeding the dogs. He always lies and has already stole from us but denies it. My mother says she can’t survive without him. Rather than looking for he decided to stay here and care for our mother. She could do more for herself but he waits on her hand and foot. We got into an argument and I told her we were going to have to move I can’t stand living with him. She doesn’t want me to leave. I would like to confront him but not sure how far to push this. He’s very passive aggressive. I know I should leave but really can’t afford to and my mother wants us to stay. She may not live much longer anyway. How do I survive in the mean time? He’s creepy.

Brother Is Unstable

Answered by on -


This type of situation needs to be managed. As difficult as it is to make changes in your life and your mother’s life you;’ll need to face the situation now, directly. If the psychiatrist warned the family and told you to put him out, I’d honor that advice. I would encourage you and your husband to begin a detailed discussion with your mom about what is best for all of you. The goal is to keep the dialogue going with her so you can keep helping her understand your concerns. Also, I’d be certain that your mother’s affairs are in order. It sounds like you may not be able to trust your brother and will have to deal with him even after your mom is gone.

Also, as a side note, research shows that successful aging comes for doing more things for yourself — not by being waited on hand and foot.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Brother Is Unstable

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Brother Is Unstable. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 6, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 12 Jan 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.