‘My brother has moved into the family home and won’t buy out my share’

Tell Me About It: He has a free house when I have to struggle to keep a roof over my head

You have attached your idea of wellness to your brother behaving reasonably and buying out your share of the house. The difficulty here is that you have put him in charge of how you feel, and this leads to continuous anguish for you.  Photograph: iStock

You have attached your idea of wellness to your brother behaving reasonably and buying out your share of the house. The difficulty here is that you have put him in charge of how you feel, and this leads to continuous anguish for you. Photograph: iStock

Question: My mother died almost seven years ago. Her house passed to her children – myself, my sisters and brother. However, the day after she died, my brother moved into the house.

I didn’t say anything for the first year, but, since then, every time I ask my brother about the house, he has abused me in some way. At first, he told me he saw himself as a guardian of the house, and that my family was welcome to visit whenever we wanted. I repeatedly explained I didn’t want to do that – first, it simply isn’t a practical option, and second, the abuse I suffered as a result of our mother’s depression and our father’s alcoholism meant I had nothing but painful memories of the place.

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