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Topic: Delusions of Grandeur

25 posts, 0 answered
  1. Quiettall
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    13 February 2017

    Hi. I have an older brother who has been working on an educational project for more than 26 years. In that time, he constantly brags that it is the best project out, that it will be accredited nationally, and according to him, that will force all State agencies to use it to educate teens in their driving skills.

    He has lost respect and all support from the other siblings (I come from a large family) who are sick and tired of his ranting and raving and demanding that they believe that one day he will make millions of dollars from this course being implemented. He went quiet for 10 years and only a week before Christmas, surfaced again with the same story. I have persisted in trying to support him and somehow bring him to see reality, and guide him in his quest to re-establish relationships with his siblings.

    Unfortunately the feedback I have from the other siblings is that I should give up as he has not learnt or progressed with his quest, nor with his grip or lack of grip on reality. What I find sad is he is 65, has a wife who has just discovered she has serious health issues, and yet he persists with the same story and behaviour. Two of my other older brothers have tried gently to tell him, he should be pleased to have developed the project and got it accredited (if in fact he has) and now move on to support his wife, his elderly mother in law, and focus more on rebuilding positive relationships with his family while he has the chance.

    I have taken to monitoring the phone and only accepting one call a week, as he rings every other day where he repeats the same story over and over. I am not sure what else I can do, as he wont here anything about seeing a counsellor, and denies he has a problem.

    Any suggestions? I dont want to abandon him like the rest of my siblings, but it is getting increasingly hard to do anything else with this issue

  2. Croix
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    13 February 2017 in reply to Quiettall

    Dear Quiettall~

    I wanted to remark you seem to be a guiding force in your family. A hard task with no map or compass to guide.

    I don't know if it is of any help but I always find your proposals and actions reasonable and caring.

    Croix

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  3. Quiettall
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    14 February 2017 in reply to Croix
    Thanks Croix. I also find your posts very insightful and informative. It often gives me a different perspective on issues that arise from the postings. Have a great day
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  4. james1
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    14 February 2017 in reply to Quiettall

    Hey Quietall,

    It sounds like this has been going on for a long time which is not only something that really tires you out, but it's also a habit that your brother's had lots of time to reinforce constantly. It must be super frustrating because he seems to be wasting his life, but to be blunt, that's what he's chosen to do. You sound like you know it's out of your hand and you're just wanting to make sure you've exhausted all possibilities.

    I don't mean to sound...I can't think of the word. But you may have thought of all these already.

    Have you tried talking through his plan? I mean every step to really listen to what he's trying to do and why he thinks it'll work. It'll be tiring because it sounds like he can be a bit arrogant, but cut through the arrogance and really get him to talk about what will actually make it feasible. Where will that lead? I don't know. But it's quite possible he feels like no one listens to him and so he just has to repeat and repeat until someone listens. Or maybe he'll just get bored of answering your questions.

    He clearly doesn't like being told what to do. He might even treat any suggestion or guidance as being told what to do, and hence he just doesn't listen anymore. What if, instead of suggesting things to do, you just flat out told him what was wrong? Rather than telling him to mend relationships, tell them the relationships are broken. He might try to run and hide, but that's really, at the end, his prerogative. If you give him facts, he may take them more seriously than suggestions. And perhaps it might kick him into doing something useful.

    James

  5. Quiettall
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    14 February 2017 in reply to james1

    Hi James

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Some of my siblings, and myself have tried to reason with him on each and every part of his "plan". Even as late as last Sunday evening he burnt contact with my oldest brother, when he was ranting about how we was going to bring "Hell and brimstone" down on the Premier through the media, if she doesnt agree to a financial settlement for all the time and energy he has put into this work, without this or any other State recognising his work. My oldest brother tried to suggest to him that to threaten a Premier with media in order to get a financial settlement for an issue which that State would not see as feasible to adopt, is unreasonable and irrational. He tried to talk through possible scenarios with my brother, but the disturbed brother just got "aggro" and demanded "it will happen, and all my siblings will finally realise my success when they see me with the money in hand."

    I will take your suggestions on board and try again to walk him through the issues and offer alternate views and options. At least you cant say we dont try. But as you say, it is his choice. When his calls come through now, even my wife says she is sick of the ranting and repetitive stories, and just says to him, "this is all ok, but why dont you wait until you achieve all this before you ring us back, and we'll be the first to celebrate with you". I'm feeling like I am getting similar way to my wife, but as his brother there is some sense that I should persist with the effort to try and get him to see sense before he goes under, both mentally and financially.

  6. james1
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    14 February 2017 in reply to Quiettall

    Ah geez, that's one heck of a problem you're trying to help out with there. Understandable since it's your brother, but I'd be pretty worn out, so kudos to you.

    It really does sound like you're giving everything a go and I just hope this last bit of persistence will help.

    James

  7. Quiettall
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    23 February 2017 in reply to james1
    While I was in Melbourne last weekend at a training programme for overseas aid, my wife got a call from my brother. He has now been totally closed off from all his other siblings because of his rantings and ravings. Most of them have emailed or texted me saying they wont entertain his calls anymore. So I am the only one left that deals with him. I feel the next call, I will need to give some tough love, It is bizarre that he has burnt bridges with 8 of his siblings all within a few weeks.
  8. james1
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    24 February 2017 in reply to Quiettall

    Hi Quiettall,

    Ah that must be so frustrating. Some tough love sounds like it's in order, though you sound quite skeptical about how successful that will be. Perhaps a way to help view it, even if it doesn't help the situation, is to see it as him giving up on himself, even if he doesn't see it himself. It's hard to find empathy in these situations, but I do find that empathy is just more productive and easier than anger or frustration. It's his problem to deal with and only he can solve it. If he's unwilling to see the issue in his behaviour, there's only so much you can do. But you can maintain understanding and support in case he does decide to change.

    James

  9. Croix
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    25 February 2017 in reply to Quiettall

    Dear Quiettall~

    I wish there was a simple answer -but if there is it escapes me. One thing I did want to ask, if that's ok:

    From both this and other things you've mentioned it sounds that the welfare of your wife is very much in your mind when she is confronted by such behavior and htat you try to shield her. This is an additional stress for you on top of everything else - as it would be for me if I was in your place.

    When she has to deal with unpleasant calls and sometimes visits in your absence does she have effective strategies and a support network that leaves her ok?

    I hope you don't mind me raising the issue.

    Croix

  10. Quiettall
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    26 November 2017 in reply to Croix

    its interesting to read the postings on this topic from early this year. My brother phoned again last week and got my wife, because I was in the shower, getting ready for a meeting. The story and rantings have not changed in over 9 months. We were both shocked he still insists on believing and promoting this fantasy of his. He is totally cut off from the rest of his siblings, and it is of concern as to how many real friends he has left.

    We have decided not to entertain or accept his calls anymore. My wife has arranged to have a girls catch up with his wife (my sister in law) to see how she is ( she has diabetes as well as a very unwell elderly mother in a nearby nursing home). My wife will try and ascertain gently and subtly whether things are ok with the sister-in-law, and whether my brother is under any treatment. This fantasy he has been pursuing has gone on for 23 years, and nearly sent them broke.

    I think apart from this action, we will need to move on and leave him to live his life/their life however they choose, and no longer be captive to his behaviours

  11. Croix
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    26 November 2017 in reply to Quiettall

    Dear Quiettall~

    Yes, 9 months is a long time, and if here is no change by now I guess there is not much hope for any in the future.

    It's kind of your wife to put out feelers with your SIL and also to see if he is being treated.

    Distancing oneself form some people , family or not, is sometimes the only way. This is a truth I had to learn too.

    Croix

  12. Quiettall
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    16 January 2018 in reply to Croix

    Its been a while since I posted on this issue. My brother has become so obsessed with his delusions of grandeur, he has insisted he will earn $4million from the Government and has proceeded to cancel the lease on his rental house without telling his wife, on the basis that he will use the "expected winnings" to buy himself a wonderful new mansion on the north coast of NSW. His wife rang this week desperate to talk to my wife and I for support, after finding out about this. She mentioned that they went bankrupt and lost both their superannuations 4 years ago over his obsession with this project.

    I'm not sure what label to put on my brother's behaviour or how I can help him. We did offer to house his wife as a refuge from him for a while, just to protect and support her. There's not much more I can do. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

  13. Quiettall
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    21 April 2018 in reply to Croix

    I am really pleased to report that through my work with blueVoices and the Primary Health Network here in Brisbane, I have been able to identify resources to support my brother. He was involved in a domestic violence incident which I was able to use in support with the Police to have him taken to Court and ordered to undergo intense treatment for a major delusion disorder. I wonder how many other people have similar issues with family members but have no contacts or connections to support them?

    Fortunately in my brother's case, I hope he will have a better future through appropriate treatment. Unfortunately his wife and son have packed up and left the home and moved somewhere secret, as they feared for their safety. I wonder how he will be when he is eventually released to find he has lost his home and family.

  14. Croix
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    21 April 2018 in reply to Quiettall

    Dear Quiettall~

    Well, I'm pleased to hear from you, I was having a rest the last time you posted.I guess in your brother's case the only real kindness is for him to have to undergo that treatment. It is really sad how such major irrational mistakes affect so many.

    I'd imagine there are an awful lot that don't have your resourcefulness to be able to manage matters properly. It was also a most kind thing to offer shelter to his wife, she must be having a terrible time.

    I do hope matters settle down now

    Croix

  15. Quiettall
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    22 April 2018 in reply to Croix

    Dear Croix

    Its great to hear from you. His wife lost her mother this week in the midst of all this trauma in her life with her husband (my brother). We just hang in there trying to support her as much as we can although we never met her mother.

    Its times like this I enjoy the beautiful weather and the peacefulness of pulling a few weeds, planting out some seedlings and pottering around in the garden. It gives me time to think and relax and refresh

  16. Croix
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    22 April 2018 in reply to Quiettall

    Dear Quiettall~

    There is a lot of wisdom in being outside planting seedlings and pulling those weeds. It is so easy for the mind to focus on the troubles we have, particularly the ones we can do little or nothing about. Breaking that mental cycle I guess is how we can manage to keep going.

    Does your sister-in-law have other family members to help with the things that need doing and the grief?

    Croix

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  17. Quiettall
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    22 April 2018 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix

    Yes the SIL has 2 sons who are there to support her. My brother's daughters have also offered support to compensate for their father's shabby treatment of her. Both of the daughters have grown up, work in the mental health field and live independently of my brother.

    I really enjoyed the weather today. It was nice getting out in the fresh air. I'm also struggling with letting go a very close relationship with a Vietnamese woman who was starting to get too deep and meaningful, and threatening my relationship with my wife, although I feel I communicate better and on a more creative and constructive plane with the Vietnamese woman than I do with my wife. So I have managed to cut off the social media and phone messages and visits but I am still getting the odd sms pleading with me to still see her. This is such a tear at the heart strings.

  18. Croix
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    23 April 2018 in reply to Quiettall

    Dear Quiettall~

    Our hearts do lead us into hard places, often without realizing what is happening until matters become heavy. Then there is then never an easy answer. I suspect you are kind enough and wise enough to make the best decisions possible.

    Croix

  19. Quiettall
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    25 April 2018 in reply to Croix

    Hello Croix

    I appreciate your wisdom. Happy Anzac Day, if there is such a thing. I have felt very melancholy today because of the Anzac Day themes as well as feeling a little depressed over the impending demise of my older brother (due to cancer) and the drama with my other brother due to his mental health issues.

    My older brother's son and daughter in law have returned from Canada early, and his Mum (my brother's wife) has reported he is suffering depression over his Dad and his relationship with him up until now. I think this is a good opportunity for me to reach out to my nephew and his siblings, to show support and care while they grieve for their Dad. I never got to know or felt close to my older brother but I think this is an ideal time to spend time building new connections to other family, so that the time and experience is not wasted. It may also help me lift my spirits by concentrating on others

    Take care and bless you

  20. Croix
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    25 April 2018 in reply to Quiettall

    Dear Quiettall~

    That sounds like an excellent thing to try. Families can get closer in adversity, I guess it is one of the good things that may come out of horrible times. Your nephew would have had a most difficult time with his father, particularly at he has been basically irrational for so long.

    Most children have a strong tendency to blame themselves when it is the fault of the parent. A mischief that is very hard to undo. If I remember correctly your sister in law has health problems too plus an infirm mother to worry about.

    Croix

  21. Quiettall
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    27 April 2018 in reply to Croix

    Hello Croix

    It's funny in a way. I have so many around me needing support. When I am feeling down, bored or lonely, I try to focus on them which gives me a mental "wake-up" call to stop feeling sorry for myself and reach out to others. Even the Vietnamese people I have reached out to locally and back there, since returning from my overseas aid work, are so hard working and struggling.

    Have a great day.

    Regards

  22. Croix
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    27 April 2018 in reply to Quiettall

    Dear Quiettall~

    You mentioned "I have so many around me needing support". I guess it is part of your nature to see peoples' needs and respond to them. I'd imagine it makes you older brother seem more alien and the things he holds as important misguided in more ways than one.

    Seeing the people you know in Vietnam would be a wake up call in another way, as the lifestyle and standard of living is so different from here, reminding one not everything regarded here as important is in fact so.

    Croix

  23. Quiettall
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    9 May 2018 in reply to Croix

    You are so right Croix

    In the last week I have been busy supporting the family with the death of my older brother from cancer. It has been a blessing to support his widow and their grown up children. It has helped me focus more on what is really important in life. It's also funny how my siblings are gathering round the "show support" when many are only in it to push their own views on what should happen and who should do what. I find it fascinating that they take that approach instead of just being available to the ones directly affected by the loss, and keeping their own demands and ideas at bay.

    Or maybe I am just being a bit cynical myself. I guess time will tell when they all get together at the memorial service on Friday. The last time we all got together was for my mother's funeral some 16 years ago.

    Regards

    Quiettall

  24. Croix
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    9 May 2018 in reply to Quiettall

    Dear Quiettall~

    I don't know if they deserve cynicism or not. I do know that for many a death is a very rare event and the ways to give comfort and support are not well practiced. Actually when I think about it how does one learn? By example I suppose plus maybe instinct.

    Most have an inbuilt desire to 'fix' things, and maybe their proposals stem from that. Truth be told a pair of ears is probably the most necessary attribute.

    When someone passes away then comforting others can be a real distraction and comfort to help manage one's own grief too.

    My sympathies on the passing of your brother

    Croix

  25. blondguy
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    10 May 2018 in reply to Quiettall

    Dear Quiettall

    My sincere condolences for the loss of your brother

    Paul

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