When our mother became ill and almost died, my brother mocked and ignored her in a strange, cruel way. Has anyone experienced this type of behavior? - AgingCare.com

When our mother became ill and almost died, my brother mocked and ignored her in a strange, cruel way. Has anyone experienced this type of behavior?

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He has always been cold, but it seems when people really need help, this behavior becomes even more profound. He also strangely steals despite being well off. Has someone come across this type of behavior? If so, how did you deal with it? Is there a definition to it? I just wish I could understand his strange hostility and maybe try to help him. He was the second of five children and well taken care of by his mother. Thanks.

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Dear Crepella,

I'm so sorry to hear about your brother's behaviour. I wonder if you can suggest he get some counselling or see a therapist. I know no one wants to admit it including myself, but we all have some mental health issues to work through when it comes to our relationship with our parents. This lack of empathy towards his own mother sounds troubling to me.
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My brother is like that. Dad and I were trying to figure out why bro was always trying to punish or hurt him. He finally blurted out that he hates both of us, and Dad didn't pick him on the baseball team 47 years ago! A few days later, he described how Dad didn't celebrate enough when bro won a state level competition, and explained it was because Dad was angry that he himself didn't win. He is one sick dude. As far as stealing, he will steal engine oil, fertilizers, and the lawnmower gasoline any time he can get near the garage by himself.
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From what you wrote, the behavior isn't new. It could be that he just doesn't feel about things the same way you do. Sometimes sickness can make people feel contempt, instead of compassion. I think about something from Gone with the Wind, where Scarlett resented someone feeling pity for her, because she knew it always went with contempt. Of course, Scarlett was very self-centered. 

Your brother is the way he is and I wouldn't worry about it. His relationship with your mother is between him and her. You can only let him know the things he needs to know and the rest is up to him. The stealing? I have no idea. Some people do that even if they don't need. I had a brother (dead now) who would steal anything that wasn't nailed down. It didn't matter if he needed it or not. He was crazy like that. I couldn't explain why he did it, but I knew that he would, so I learned to secure anything that I didn't want stolen.
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