I’ve just reached out to K after getting a text from my sister saying that our brother (well, half brother, we all have different dads, but we feel like full siblings) is really struggling and suicidal. He is 49 and disabled and severely traumatised by our mum. His life was fucking horrendous before the pandemic and now it sounds intolerable for him as he is stuck at home with her all the time and she will be being even more abusive than usual due to lockdown and pandemic stress. He has worked as an assistant gardener for a housing association for more than 20 years and it is the only thing that keeps him going as the guy he works with – Alex – is so lovely and really seems to understand him. I’m not in contact with him because it’s impossible to see him without our mum being involved, which has caused so much heartache and guilt and confusion, but I heard from my sister he was in such a bad place at the start of lockdown without his job. He went back to work in June or July and I thought things would have picked up a bit for him since then.
Not so. The text from my sister suggests things are very bad and that he is suicidal and in risk of losing his job due to being so agitated there. He has been suicidal before. I don’t know if he would act on it but I suspect he would as his life is very hopeless. I have been shaking and struggling to breathe since I got the text from my sister. I also feel very disconnected from it all and as if emailing K was an over-reaction. I don’t think I’ll hear from her till Monday now anyway as she doesn’t work Fridays, and I don’t know what she will say. Things have been pretty shit from a physical health perspective the last couple of weeks, which is clearly emotionally-driven and I think due to not having somewhere to take myself or share my feelings so they’re all getting somatised. So maybe I should go back. I don’t know. And I need K now because this situation with my family is fucking unbearable and it never goes away and she understands the whole big fucking mess and all it does to me and the parts. I love my brother so much but seeing him also feels fucking impossible because of all it triggers in me. Sometimes I wish my mum had just killed us all and saved us from this.
Here is what I sent to K, with the text from my sister:
I hope you are doing as well as possible with present circumstances. I wondered if we might be able to arrange a few therapy sessions? I know we said I’d need to come back to weekly therapy if something happened, and that might be needed anyway as I’ve been struggling a lot as it is, but I’ve had a text from [sister] today about G___ and I don’t know what to do. I had a panic attack after I read it and I still can’t stop shaking. I don’t know if I can do what she’s asking as I’m struggling so much already, but I don’t know how to not either and whether it would even help. Here is the text so you can see it’s very bad – he is suicidal and he might lose his job because he’s in such a bad way:
Hi hon- What are your feelings about having contact with g___. He is really struggling and apparently telling Alex he is suicidal, he’s shouting at mum saying she’s ruining his life as he thinks she’s blocking him from seeing anyone. Alex has said if g___ doesn’t calm down he can’t carry on working with him so must be bad. Says it’s taking an hour each morning to calm him and he’s pacing and muttering throughout the day and it’s got worse over the last year. I’ve spoken to Alex, I chased up his autism services assessment but still another 3 months so will ask gp to expedite. I’ve also got the crisis number just in case. I’m also due to Skype g___ tonight to try and get a sense of how he is but think I’ll need to go down over the weekend and get him on his own. Alex sent me a WhatsApp video of g___ being agitated which is hard to see. Anyway, I know this will stress you out too sorry hon but I don’t know what else to do and thought I should check what you and or Nina feel able to do as it’s all coming to a head xxxx
If we could arrange some sessions to talk this through I think it would really help as you know me and this whole big mess better than anyone. I understand if we can’t do this without me committing to returning to weekly therapy – if this is the case please let me know and I will decide what to do. I really want to pay my dad back this winter, and we were obviously all struggling with remote therapy, but my physical health is bad already, I think because of not having anywhere to take my emotions and thoughts at the moment, and so I don’t know what is best over the coming months.
I know you’re likely not working till Monday now so I won’t expect to hear back before then with what you think is best, unless you’re able to reply sooner.