Who's Going to Die?


New Member
Hi everyone - this is going to be long, I'll do my best to keep it short.

There is something very wrong with my 24 year-old nephew. I suspect he's a sociopath, but I'm no doctor, and he's never been diagnosed. He will not see a doctor, when asked he becomes belligerent and aggressive. He blames his parents for his problems. He hates them, and I'm scared for them. He makes up horrible lies about them - he says they're the problem.

Man, I don't really even know where to start with this...everyone in the house is afraid of him. To the point where the oldest daughter actually lived with us for a month before she went away to college. The youngest daughter has been dropped off at our house on several occasions so she's not home alone with Matthew. (Matthew isn't his real name.)

They have kicked him out twice (had to call the police to remove him both times) but he just comes back. The first time was better because he went to live with his girlfriend (now his ex because he punched her.) He has no friends, no where to go, he always brings up that he was "homeless" for a while, although at that time he still had his girlfriend and one or two friends, so it was more couch surfing than homeless.

He does whatever he wants, has no regard for anyone else, thinks the house is his, his parents pay for the brand new car he went out and bought, he doesn't pay rent, etc. etc. Although he's quite capable of getting a job. He gets a job (or SAYS he got a job, in my opinion) and it lasts for maybe 4 days for a multitude of reasons.

He failed the psychological test to enter the Marines, although I think it's the LAST place someone like him needs to be anyway.

Think of every scenario you've read here a hundred times, and I'm sure he's done all or most of those things.

But he's not my son. I don't have children, so don't understand a mother's love from that perspective. I've been watching this go on for years now; the damage that's already been done to the other kids is most likely irreversible. The other three kids are all REALLY amazing kids, straight As, kind, caring, real go-getters, and they feel slighted, they feel scared. One was talking about getting a restraining order on Matthew before she went away to college a few months ago.

My sister is at her breaking point, her husband is getting closer, but he is more easily manipulated by Matthew or something - not sure. What can they do? I can't watch this go on any more. They are ALL miserable, prisoners in their own home. Part of me wants to call CPS and tell them there is a violent adult in the house with a minor - that way it will take the decision out of their hands, which I really think my sister SECRETLY wants. The other part of me knows I can never betray them that way. But SOMETHING has to happen. They keep worrying saying he's going to hurt someone or be hurt by someone, but that's going to happen regardless of where he sleeps at night.

What are their options? He will NOT see a doctor, they even tried paying him to see one. Can they have him committed?

They kick him out and he comes right back, literally, like he owns the place. He'll stay away for a bit and then they'll wake up and he'll be on the couch like nothing ever happened.

I kind of think they should just get him an apartment. I know it's enabling, but at least they can kick him out without the guilt of not knowing if he has a place to go. I think that's the biggest issue they have with kicking him out. That he'll be homeless. Maybe find a monthly rental (if that exists) and pay for three months upfront and let him handle the rest. Thing is...he'll probably just come back after 3 months.

What can they/we do? This can't go on any longer. The family is literally in tatters, and it's all because of him. I realize that people don't choose to be mentally ill, and it could have just as easily been me, or another one of their kids, but the end result is the same, and something has to change.

I hope he's NOT a sociopath (from what I read there's no helping them) and that it's something that can be helped with medication. Although I'm sure he'd never take the medication.

So much for keeping it short, lol. I sincerely thank you for reading this and any advice anyone can give.


New Member
Any help is greatly appreciated. I may not have adequately conveyed the severity of the situation. It's dire. As much as it tears me up inside, I think I'm just going to call the police.


Well-Known Member
The problem is that you cant do anything. Not your house or son. As much as I love my kids, if he were mine he'd be gone even if I had to get a restraining order. If he was violent or broke the law I'd call the police.

But this b is not something you can control. It is hard to watch loved ones self destruct and even take their other kids with them
There is also not much you can legally do. CPS may not be able or willing to do anything either, but you can try. You know this will likely cause trouble between you and your family though.

I feel bad for your situation. It is hard to watch. But it is not your life. Maybe one day the parents will get fed up. It is sad they bought him a new car. Renting in their names can be risky, expensive, and usually doesn't work. It is too bad they let him live with them, but it is their decision. Take care.


Well-Known Member
Hello Oswald,
I want to acknowledge your post and welcome to this forum … although I’m so sorry for the reason you had to find us here. The story you told sounds similar to what many on this site have experienced. It is a scary situation. You have probably spent time here reading others’ posts already. This is a safe place to share. Folks here really understand these situations, and you are not alone.

It sounds like your nephew should definitely not be living with the family, as it is a potentially volatile and dangerous situation. But I understand the fear of confronting him and the fear of possible tragic reprisals, etc.

Perhaps you should call the police, if even just to make a general inquiry / to inquire and get information on what options there are in the situation. SWOT (in the post above) is right that there may be nothing you can do (as an outsider), but It definitely sounds like something bad may happen, and you and the rest of the family feel you are living in fearful danger. I remember once on our street, folks did not report excessive fighting / dangerous type noises going on in a house, (thinking it was none of their business), and someone ended up getting shot. We then had regrets that someone did not call the police (even anonymously) when it was occurring.

I’m sorry I do not have definite specific guidance and suggestions for you on this matter. More folks will be along soon to offer wisdom on your particular situation. It is sometimes slow here on the forum during the weekends. If you have not already done so, it is very helpful to read the Detachment article at the top of this forum. You might share it with your sister also. The article makes it clear that no one is being helped by enabling and putting up with abusive behaviors, and there should be no guilt involved in detaching, especially to protect yourself and stay safe. Reading the article is at least a starting point and may help you stay calm and get more clarity and decisiveness. Here’s the link: http://www.conductdisorders.com/community/threads/article-on-detachment.53639/#axzz4Ly6QnMdQ

Take care. Oswald. I'll be following along with this thread. Keep reading others’ posts on this site and stay with us here. It really helps to visit her often, and it is such a relief to get things out in the open and know you are not alone. I am thankful you had the courage to post here. Just your sharing the story here is a big start for you. I really regret what you and the family are going through. Hang in there.
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New Member
Hi guys, thank you so much for the responses. I guess part of me came here to try and get their perspective, because it's maddening sitting by and watching it happen. I want to understand her better and her thought process. I didn't call the police or CPS today, as I'm just not sure what to do. I don't want to cause a lot of problems, but I don't want any of my nieces to wind up hurt or worse. Or my sister or her husband. She sleeps with a baseball bat under her side of the bed.

Kalahou, I feel like this is one of those situations, no one wants to try and take control of the situation for fear of the blowback, but I truly feel he's capable of horrible things. I mean worse than he's already done. It's almost like mourning a death. We were fairly close, I even feel like we always gave him special treatment above the girls. And to see him turn out this way, or deteriorate is so painful. But honestly, I'm more angry than anything right now.

I know children aren't animals, but if I had 4 dogs, and one attacked two of my other dogs on separate occasions, and then attacked me, I'd get rid of the dangerous dog to keep myself and the other dogs safe. Her husband keeps saying, "I'm not going to abandon my son." But I'm like, "What about your other three kids?"

Should I start saying no when they want to bring one of the girls over because Matthew is in a rage? Or the next time my sister wants to come over to get away from him? Am I enabling them too? I don't know if I have it in me to say no to one of the girls. They're victims.

Thanks for letting me vent. And thank you for the article, I'm about to read it and pass it on to my sister.


Well-Known Member
I think it's fine to let the girls come. Your sister? Your call. Most of all, in my opinion it's best for you to back off. You can't fix this. If somebody does get hurt, and you don't know if that will happen for sure, it is not because of you. You have no ability to fix this.

Most of us here have learned that talking to somebody about fixing their problem (such as it seems you engage your sister and her family) does nothing to change things for the better. They know the situation is very bad but are unwilling to listen to how to make it better.

If your nephew is able bodied it is fine for his parrnts to make him leave for their safety and those of the minor child. He can work. If he wont, he is an adult...then he probably will become homeless by his own choosing. But paying for an apartment for him probably won't work...he will probably break the rules and get tossed out. But if they can afford it, it is an option.

Sadly, it is moot. This matter is 100% up to the parents. The other kids can and probably will leave home. It's the parents home and in my opinion should be their sanctuary. If they are unwilling to protect themselves...you will want to help because you love them. We all love our family.

But often there us nothing we can do. We can point things out. I'm sure you have. But there is no way to force people to take care of themselves.

I hope you maybe talk to a therapist to help you cope with this difficult and heartbreaking family problem. It is hard to watch things like this without a neutral third person perspective to help you find peace about things you can't control...you have done all you can. You are a good person.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Welcome and sad you are here.

Why not have a private heart to heart talk with your sister about what YOU are observing - seeing it from the outside is a big difference than when you're in it - then suggest that she and husband get counseling to figure out how to deal with this situation and devise a plan to move forward with all of this.

That is my recommendation. Other than suggesting this, I don't know what else you can do. I don't know how long they have been dealing with this but until they reach their rock bottom as parents they may not be open to doing anything. They need to realize that HE most likely will not change so THEY have to change how THEY deal with him. They cannot accept that they have to live like this or it will never be rectified.

worried sick mother

Active Member
Welcome Oswald,
So sorry for your need to be here. This is a terrible situation and I imagine it's very hard to watch. I definitely think you should always let your nieces come over to keep them safe. You're right they are innocent victims in this situation. It is very different being the parent because you want to save your child and protect them. I'm sure that's how your sister feels. I agree with the others that there isn't much you can do if your sister and her husband aren't willing. The only thing I can think of is to offer letting your nieces live with you, if that's an option. It is like mourning a death, I've been through all the stages of grief with my son and if I think about it very much it all starts over. Keep posting, it really helps.


New Member
Thanks again guys, I really mean that. I had a long talk with her today; I mean - we talk about it ALL the time, I think at this point it's her husband hanging on. She wants to kick him out, but he's not quite there yet. She gets it, she's miserable, everyone in the house is miserable. She said she's going to start living her life today, which is a step in the right direction.

Can you FORCE someone to get mental help? If so, what's the criteria for being able to do so? As sure as I'm sitting here, he'll never go willingly. Even then, I guess no one can force him to take medicine if that's what the doctors deem necessary. Reason # 8,796 why he hates his parents is they "forced him" to take ADD medication when he was in high school. Says he'll never take medication again. I took ADD medication in high school too, and I'm doing just fine, lol.

I don't tell my sister anything that she doesn't know, but it's always "we're working on it." Meanwhile, the other kids are saying he's going to kill one of us eventually. When this all started, I used to think it was teenage girls being dramatic, but unfortunately that's not the case.

She told me he's drinking again today too, (has had a DWI and been in rehab) which of course freaks me out even more. I know it's not my battle, but it's almost impossible to stay out of it when they call needing us to pick up one of the girls to get them out of the house, etc.

Once they do kick him out, is a restraining order a good idea? It's the only way I can think of to keep him from coming back. Even then, he'll probably come back anyway.

SWOT, I've never thought about it like that, and you're right. If he CHOOSES not to work, he's choosing to be homeless. He hasn't done one proactive thing to try and save up to get out of their house. Nothing.

Worried, our oldest niece did live with us for about a month before she went away to school. She told them if they didn't kick him out she wasn't coming home. So of course, she feels like they chose him over her. All the girls do. All the girls work, they babysit, buy a lot of their own stuff. They even pay for their own gas, but nope, not Matthew. His gas is paid for. Ugh, I'm just rambling and complaining now.

Thanks again

A dad

Active Member
If you are in USA you can not force someone to get mental help also of he is a sociopath you will just waste time and money be it your or the state you can not change someone like that. Is like teaching a fish to walk up straight on land. Not possible when you have no legs and lungs.
His part of brain that deals with empathy is broken not working so you can not teach empathy if you do not have the tools. That is why check and hope that is any other mental illness besides this this if not well sorry so sorry.


New Member
I'm washing my hands of it all. If they don't want to do anything about it, I can't make them. Thanks all and best of luck to you guys with your kids!