- March 14, 2017 at 9:45 pm #677919
My husband and I are college students and live (temporarily) with my mother in law. My mother in law welcomes Fred, the brother in law, into her home when ever he wants to come over and talk about conpiracy theories. Fred wasn’t always crazy, but over the past year he has been “researching” (on youtube) about the earth being flat, all celebrities being transgendered, celebrities faking their deaths and being reborn, governments and scientists lying to us, and biblical end times just to scratch the surface. I am a logical science-minded person who wants a well educated electorate. Therefore, I condemn Fred’s behavior. My mother in law on the other hand repeatedly coddles him and protects him from criticism. Fred wasn’t always crazy, but he has always been violent and had a short temper. He has lashed out at those around him countless times (some times I’ve witnessed myself, some others have told me about). He has become even more violent whenever someone questions his conspiracies. He has screamed at the top of his lungs at his mom (my mother in law) even when she is coddling him. He has gotten in a physical altercation with my husband and threatened to beat him up when their mother isn’t around. I am legitimately scared he is going to go off the deep end one of these days and go on a killing rampage. What do I do? Do I just ignore him until my husband and I can move out of his mom’s house? Do I get a restraining order? Do I report him to the police? Last year a man who thought people in government were aliens went and shot up a church near my house and then he went to the whitehouse. Maybe you heard of him on national news? Fred reminds me EXACTLY of that guy and I don’t want to wait around until he kills someone.March 14, 2017 at 10:32 pm #677927
What does your husband say about this situation?March 15, 2017 at 4:00 am #677941
I can’t imagine that slapping a brother in law that has gone off the deep end with a restraining order to stay away from you and his mother’s house will go over well.
Also, reporting him to the police would open up an entirely new can of worms, especially if he’s one that thinks that we’re in a “big brother” type of situation. If the police check on him, he’ll say it’s because he “knows too much”.
I would leave this in the hands of your husband and mother in law. Do not engage. Do not get involved.March 15, 2017 at 5:59 am #677946
I’d drop the talk about him being coddled. You can’t talk someone out of mental illness. At the same time that his mom is putting up with his conspiracy theories she is supporting you and your husband by letting you live in her home, which many will see as coddling.
If you aren’t safe in your MIL’s home then you need to find a safer place to live. Even if you have to get student loans or live somewhere less convenient or work more and take fewer classes. You need to prioritize your safety and take it into your own hands. If you are old enough to be married you are old enough to take responsibility for yourself. That means provide your own safe environment. Look into on campus student housing for married students. It is usually very affordable and on campus so very convenient for school.March 15, 2017 at 7:53 am #677953
Newsflash: The mom is NOT going to stop parenting her son exactly the way she does right now. This is it, baby. You’re a mentally abled girl (I assume? Although your restraining order idea is ridiculous) who happens to live in her house, you are just fine, and you need to stay out of this.
My mother and aunt both have adult sons who have significant problems, and NO ONE is going to get them to change how they treat these kids, not even their other adult children.
Get over it. If you truly feel you’re in danger, move.March 15, 2017 at 8:07 am #677955
You need to move out.March 15, 2017 at 8:55 am #677963
I think that the talk about “condemning” him vs. “coddling” his crazy theories is besides the point. You can’t talk him out of being mentally ill. He’s dangerous and in need of treatment. Unless he’s getting treatment you can’t stay there. I would talk to a social worker about what your options are and make plans to get out immediately.March 15, 2017 at 9:21 am #677966
I would take all of Skyblossom’s advice, and please stop referring to your BIL as “crazy.” It sounds like he is possibly suffering from a legitimate mental illness, and saying things like “he’s crazy” or scared that he’ll “go off the deep end” come across as degrading and like you’re not taking his mental illness seriously. I hope you and your husband can support your MIL (who is absolutely coddling her adult, married son by letting him and his wife live with her) who has to really be struggling herself. Being the parent of a child with a severe mental illness can be physically, emotionally, and financially taxing.
Also, just no to the following: “I am a logical science-minded person who wants a well educated electorate. Therefore, I condemn Fred’s behavior.” Are you really only concerned with Fred’s behavior because it contributes to an uneducated electorate? That doesn’t even make sense.March 15, 2017 at 10:06 am #677973
The cold, hard truth is that if you and your husband are college students with no financial alternative than to live with your mentally ill BIL, whom you seriously believe could become violent and kill people, then you were all-caps STUPID and not ready to marry.March 15, 2017 at 10:15 am #677974
I agree that you and your husband need to find a different living situation immediately. Like everyone else has said, it will probably be less convenient and more expensive, but it is absolutely necessary. I do believe that your brother-in-law is potentially dangerously and that living with your mother-in-law is unwise.
Having said that, I think you’re being too hard on your mil. What exactly do you think she should do? Her son is an adult (and is, ahem, apparently able to live independently), so she can’t just have him admitted into a treatment facility. He’s prone to violent outbursts when challenged and, as Skyblossom says, unlikely to obey legal restrictions if they are issued. Her “coddling behaviour” is probably her only way of maintaining contact with her son who probably has little contact with anyone else. Do you think banning him from the house would be effective, or would he come back anyway? Do you think if he was arrested now, he would get proper treatment? (I’ll answer this one: NO, HE WOULD NOT.) The sad fact is that this man is unlikely to be kept in custody until he has committed a serious crime, and there is little anyone can do to stop is erratic behaviour before that happens.
And, like everyone else, I think it is a little ironic that you’re blaming your mil for “coddling” one son who is clearly mentally ill and needs support, while being perfectly fine with her allowing her other son (and his wife!) to live with her. When you do move out, make sure you keep in touch with her regularly. As much as this affects you, it affects her so much more. You owe it to her to be emotionally supportive after all she’s been doing for you.March 15, 2017 at 10:22 am #677975
First, being educated is great. I would like a well-educated electorate, too, but not everyone has access to or can rise to the same level of education. Frankly, this attitude is why some people refer to those with degrees as “elitists”. Temper that logic with compassion. You’ll come across as less arrogant.
Second, not everyone who behaves badly or believes in conspiracy theories is “crazy”. Some are, yes, uneducated, some are afraid, and some are just awful people. Your BIL may indeed have some mental problems, but unless he’s been evaluated by a professional, please don’t call him crazy.
Third, your MIL is clearly the type of woman who coddles her sons. This is not going to change. So, if you don’t like your living situation, move out. That’s what a smart, educated person would do.March 15, 2017 at 10:27 am #677977
I’m still wondering what your husband’s take is in all this. You don’t even mention him, and it’s his mother and his brother. Does he think his brother is dangerous? Does he think everything’s fine? Is he concerned about your safety, or his mother’s, or his own?
If your BiL is truly ill, and dangerous, then it’s not as simple as just moving out. Your MiL will still be there, and the danger to her will probably escalate once you and your husband move out. I assume you want to help your BiL and MiL, and just leaving them to their own devices is not going to make things better.
Call the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) hotline at 800-950-NAMI and describe the situation. They can help you figure out the options in your area for getting help for your brother in law. This link also has information for family members.