Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following email from a woman who lives in Greece and Cyprus. We’ll call her “Evangelina.”
My brother is 14 years older. He took charge of my life’s choices (where to live as a child, what to study as young person applying for university), and I blindly followed, as I fully trusted him. He was my brother after all ”¦
He then turned nasty every single time I did not fulfill his expectations. He even lied and said often that a choice that was made by him, was only mine.
Like studying archaeological conservation when I knew I am weak in sciences. But he insisted it’s for my interest not to study what I want and I’m inclined toward (I’m good with arts so I was even awarded for painting and I wanted to study graphic design). He objected very strongly and at the time I listened to him as if he is a god, cause he was older.
He directed me to go for archaeological conservation. In Greece it’s not permissible to change study course once you are accepted via exams for a particular school. So after I went into archaeological conservation it was impossible to stop it and go to graphic design (is not allowed, I must sit for new exams next years, lose time that is, and because the Greek educational system keeps changing procedures, I got stuck with this school unable to study anything else).
I was not good in scientific modules, he immediately said I should abandon the university (although he had said before I go into the school that he would fully support me no matter what happens). And that I’m not smart enough for it ”apparently”.
When I abandoned the school and accused him of destroying my life, he said he ”never” chose the school, it was all my fault 100%, and he doesnt even remember himself directing me what school to apply for(!!!!!!!!).
He then many times said he doesn’t remember whenever it was something that destroys my life but started as his idea. He always says, ”I don’t remember, I never said that, it’s all in your sick head”.
Then I was poor and unemployed. He started giving me money only when a gov psychiatrist called him up to ask him why he is not helping me. I was living in isolation, locked up in a bedroom in my mom’s house.
I was 26 years old (now 35). I was like a plant. I went one day to the hospital to take some advice about being unable to sleep.
The psychiatrist asked me to give him the phone number of an older sibling. I never asked the doctor to call my brother. He did so and my brother answered but later in that day he called me to complain why did I mention him to my psychiatrist.
Then he started giving me some money every month. I started traveling cause I lived in Cyprus (an island) for years locked up in a bedroom. I wanted to escape.
I tried to study and travel and even work part time in Germany. He then suddenly stopped supporting me when he found out that I did a leisure trip for a few days in Norway while I was in Germany.
He then claimed he is poor (he is an orthopedic with his own clinic married with a rich woman), and he cannot afford anymore supporting me.
He then sent me same day an sms to tell me that he just bought a brand new car and he therefore cannot send me anything, not even 300 euro. I was indebted in a bank for 2000 euro and he said it’s not his problem.
My mother had to beg money from a local church to help me not starve and pay my return to Cyprus.
My ”brother” again said it’s not his fault and he is actually abused by me. When I went to his house to discuss calmly why is he abandoning me like this, he locked himself up in his house with his wife and child and called police.
When police did not come, he yelled to me, ”You want more money? You want more money? I don’t havd money!”, making me look like a criminal who is crooked and is after his money…..:(
Evangelina – I am so sorry for your experience. It does sound like your brother may have sociopathic traits. We tend to focus on disordered partners here at Lovefraud, but these disordered people often have family members, who are also subjected to their desire for power and control.
Your story is awful, and I do understand what you have been through. Others will have the tendency to blame you, the victim, because you “made your own choices” and “took his money”. But he, through his many abusive tactics that he used against you since your childhood, made you believe that he had all the answers, and that you had none. His goal was to create an entirely dependent person. I, too, was 100% dependent on my abusive parents, who also used their money and “love” as a form of control.
Perhaps you do not believe that you can create a good, independent life for yourself. But you can! Your first step must to be to cut off all contact with your abusive brother. It might be a good idea to relocate. Stop taking money from family members, because they use it to control you, not to help you.
Think outside the box when you try to create a new life for yourself. Perhaps you will have to live with roommates and take more than one job. You are obviously intelligent, and write well in English. Your brother has brainwashed you into thinking that you can never make your own money, but you can. Use your talents. But don’t be afraid to take “menial labor” jobs if need be.
A good book worth reading is Stalking the Soul by Marie-France Hirigoyen. It actually came to mind as I was reading your story. Your brother is a classic abuser.
I wish you well in your recovery!
Where were your parents in all this mess?
I think your brother was certainly setting you up for failure, maybe even jealous of your artistic ability. There are other programs other places, in the US anybody can study at any age ( but it has gotten incredibly expensive). Good luck!