I ask for everyone out there to help me. My brother has suffered with a bi-polar disorder for over 15 years and also suffers from alcoholism, drug and gambeling disorder as well as severe anxiety. Alll my siblings and parents have some sort of mental illness (I have an axiety disorder which is effectively treated with Lexapro). My brother has experienced a severe back injury on the job and already has had three back surgeries.
He lived with my parents for the last few years, mostly confined to his bed b/c of his back pain. When he moved in with me last year, his back was in good order and we would go hiking and play tennis. Fast forward to the last few weeks, and he pulled his back while hiking, leaving him with severe back pain, nerve pain down his thighs and muscle weakness in his legs. These symptoms all spell TROUBLE and possible third surgery for him.
Instead of going to see a doctor, he disappears for two days to the next largest city, not returning my calls nor the repeated calls from my three sons (I'm a single mom) who had plans with him. He finally answers the phone to say that he has been hanging out in a city 2 hours a way, getting drunk and feeling sorry for himself. I told him that I loved him and I wanted to know that he was safe and welcome home. He cried and said that it was the best thing he could have heard. He came back home (I had offered to pick him up if had been drinking) and he got picked up and charged with a DUI on the way home. He eventually arrived home at 1am by a taxi, walking in the house, looking like Frakenstein with his stiff legs that weren't working.
The next AM I took him to the ER room where he got some short term pain meds. I continued to support him over the next few weeks, never critisizing him nor saying anything harsh to him (I know if I did, he would explode). Once his back started to feel okay, he started to offer to take my boys to school, to pick them after school (he doesnt' work and I work full time).
I suffer from Crohn's and Fibromyalgia and have more bad days than good, so when he offers to take the boys to school, it is big help. I tell him that he doesn't have to do it but I am thankful for his help. When I have a flare-up, I can sleep up to 20 hours a day, fyi.
Fast forward to last night. I come back from the office at 10pm and need to work so I go in the family room and turn the TV on the lowest volume (can't hear it the next room) and work on my computer until 3am to finish a project. He wakes up to go the bathroom (he lives in my garage by choice - we have plenty of bedrooms but he refuses and hapened to sleep in the living room this night b/c it is too cold) and then comes into the family room at 2 or 3am and starts swearing every four letter word to me, yelling and waking up my three kids. He proceedes to yell all kinds of crazy things, claiming that he doesn't want to be a taxi for these kids afterschool (he had always told me that the highlight of the day was driving the kids and hearing about their days) that he didnt' want to be a 'father' to the boys (he LOVES these boys) that he was tired of me complaining and being lazy (I have a full time job, raising the boys and have active Crohn's.
My brother can be very emotional and irrational at other family members when they confront him (that is why I don't and have never have) but usually Spring is the worst time of the year for him. Last year he ran off to Alaska (never been there before) b/c he thought is dog wanted to run wild there. About ten years ago, during Easter, he thought he was Jesus Christ and strapped a bomb to himself and was going to ignite himself - my other brother found him instead.
With all this said, my brother does not always take his meds ... he was on lithium when he lived with my parents and stopped taking them. I made an appt with my family doc here who prescribed him with other meds which he said worked better. But every time he encounters a problem (DUI, back goes out, problem with the family) I ask him if he has taken his meds and he says no (I can sense when he doesn't.)
So, here I am, he yelled at me forever last night (it was really painful and uncalled for) ... and went to a friend's house for the next few days (he has zero days but may work at the cannibus club to make money). He said he didn't think he was welcome at my house (I said I never said that) and wanted to blow off for a few days. When I said that I was devasted by what he said to me the previous night, he got mad at me and told me 'to get over it.' His behavoir was highly abusive and belligerent.
So .... my question is about the bi-polar disease. Is what I am describing average behavior for someone with bi-polar? I have not really have seen my brother during is manic behaviors, just heard about it from a distance and here I am faced with it. He was so incredibly hurtful last night (not his normal nature) and was the same today on the phone. He kept mocking me and told to 'get over' what happened. My boys heard him last night and was completely crushed by the way he treated me.
Well, have to now but would ge open to settle the issues.
Any help about how to deal with him as well as how to deal wth disease in general.
Thanks so much! Liz