Social Question

gearedtolaugh's avatar

Is there a positive to this?

Asked by gearedtolaugh (306points) January 10th, 2012

My 15 year old brother decided to write 3 out of 4 bomb threats on the bathroom stall, and then go to the office and tell them that they were there. Afterwards he looked online how to make bombs, and then he finally got caught. He’s expelled and is facing major adult-charges, since he has been charged enough as a child. On his birthday my mother is kicking him out. Is there any positive notes on this? What should I think about him?

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23 Answers

Judi's avatar

He’s choosing his path right now. totally abandoning him probably won’t do any good. The consequences he faces will either make or break him, but he really needs to be in serious counseling. If your mom can’t afford it, tell her to ask the judge for help.

gearedtolaugh's avatar

Would it change your answer if I said he was already in serious counseling?

Judi's avatar

@gearedtolaugh ; That is good. It gives him more of an opportunity to get things right. He is 15, and although it seems young, he really does have control over his own destiny.
I speak from experience as I can relate to your mothers anguish. I had two children whe were out of control as teenagers. One, I no longer worry about (she’s 29.) The other is doing pretty well, holding down a job, and this week, keeping his family together, but I still worry that he is going to “go off” and ruin everything. He managed to keep his job after his last ‘blow up.” I hope he continues to do so.
Does your brother have any medical intervention? Meds?

harple's avatar

The main positive I can see is that he hasn’t actually hurt anybody yet, and the way in which he is displaying his, er, ideas, is so publicly that it seems more a cry for help with the unbalance he is feeling than an actual intent to carry out any atrocity.

As to what you should think of him, only you can know how you feel, and how you feel may change daily or even hourly. He is your brother though, so you have known him longer and at closer range than anyone outside the family, so you can draw upon your previous experience of living with and loving him to inform how you feel.

john65pennington's avatar

There is a huge difference between people who write on bathroom walls and a person that writes a bomb threat, two out of three times. Its apparent that he is looking for attention to himself. Many people have boom boxes in their vehicle to draw attention to themselves and some people write on public restroom walls for whatever reason.

But, writing a bomb threat, is a whole different ballgame. Not only drawing attention to himself, but suggestive damages to property and human lives, shows a psychological disorder that needs immediate attention.

Where are your parents in this situation? Are they arranging mental help for your brother?

As far as you, his sister goes, keep a watchful eye on your brother. Any suspicious activity on his part, should be either given to your parents or the police.

Your brother is in desperate need of a psychological evaluation.

The sooner the better.

janbb's avatar

It sounds cruel, but make sure you take care of yourself and don’t get overrun by your brother’s drama. Keep an open line to him if you can but get on with your own life and your own friends as much as possible. You can “be there” for him but you cannot save him from himself.

marinelife's avatar

Wow, the positive is that your brother sort of turned himself in, and that he got caught.

We can hope that the counseling will make a difference.

CWOTUS's avatar

It’s one thing to write a bomb threat, and quite another thing to make a bomb. The one is stupid, juvenile and thoughtless behavior, the other thing is “deliberate criminal intent”.

If he’s researching (seriously) how to make damaging bombs (not smoke bombs, or stink bombs, or “facsimiles” of real bombs, but real bombs to explode and cause fire, shock and/or shrapnel damage or death), then he needs much better counseling than he’s getting, maybe a new environment (because something is causing this kind of anger, and it may be something close to both of you, but only operating on him) and possibly restraint. That is, physical restraint.

He definitely needs separation from whatever is triggering this behavior.

The positive is that no one has been hurt yet, and the positive for him beyond that is that he’s still a juvenile, and not already in prison. If he stays on this path – and lives long enough – then that’s coming.

GladysMensch's avatar

Writing a bomb threat on a bathroom stall is just juvenile, look-at-me behavior. He should get no more than probation as long as he didn’t actually attempt to create a bomb or acquire materials. However, he might be in in serious trouble if his past shows a history of violence. He could even be classified as a terrorist, and then the government can basically lock him away forever. My advice, get him the best lawyer you can find, and do it quickly.

rojo's avatar

I agree with @john65pennington about the seriousness of the threat. I think you need to view it as a cry for attention. For some, any attention, even negative, is better than no attention. Of course the question is why this need and what has caused him to go to this extreme? You cannot answer this, only he can and that is what the counseling is for.

@Judi I know your pain. We have a similar situation. They are still our kids and we worry even when they are supposedly adults

jca's avatar

I think authorities (i.e. Probation or therapist) might consider institutionalizing him because these kinds of things are taken very seriously. If he makes a threat, people let him “off the hook” and then he carries out the threat, the media will be all over it and someone’s job will be on the line. Yes, it may be a cry for attention but what if it’s more than that? I hope he’s getting more than therapy – maybe institutionalizing him would be a good thing.

To answer your question directly, OP, is there a positive to this? I think if he gets the help he needs, that would be a positive. If he ends up living life as an outsider, that would be a negative.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

he’s 15, be there for him.

Kayak8's avatar

There is a difference between a cry for attention and a cry for help. I would assume it is the latter. As teens, we often engage in impetuous behavior because we are hard-wired to do so. I would sort out the drama from the reality to the best of my ability. I would talk to him and let him know I am there for him and let him know that I love him. I would explain that sometimes our actions speak louder than our words, but he has such great opportunities for redemption if he discovers his ability to open up and talk about the things that motivate him to behave in the ways he does.

I would set very clear boundaries for him (how far you will let him in) and very clear limits for yourself (how far you will reach out and be vulnerable with him). I would also be very clear with him that youthful actions have consequences (as do adult actions) and confirm that this is actually a lesson for him. I might give examples of lessons that I have learned over the years and explain the lessons that were easy and the lessons that took a great deal more effort (growing up is a tough proposition!),

I would let him know that I believe he can overcome his youthful behavior and can be a man HE can be proud of. I would also let him know some of the steps necessary to become such a man.

Ayesha's avatar

I agree with @Simone_De_Beauvoir. Be there for him now.

YARNLADY's avatar

My brother had some very serious issues through out his life. I love him, and I always have, but I am very clear when I tell him that I don’t approve of his behavior. He knows the difference.

bkcunningham's avatar

It sounds like he’s crying out for help.

captainsmooth's avatar

If your brother was 18, a judge wouldn’t consider counseling. Your brother would be on the way to jail.

All you can do is continue to let him know that you are there for him. As others have said, set boundaries for him and for yourself, but he is and will always be your brother.

Good luck to all of you.

smilingheart1's avatar

15 and getting kicked out? Where is the adult in the room?

gearedtolaugh's avatar

He’s almost 16, and I was told it was perfectly legal.
It’s not just the bomb threats, he has history of violence as well.

jca's avatar

Not sure about the laws in your state, but in NY, parents must support a child until they are 18. What landlord will rent an apartment (if your brother even had the funds to rent an apartment) to a 16 year old? Do your parents want him to be homeless? In NY, he would end up in the foster care system and the bill would be paid for by the parents.

gearedtolaugh's avatar

Has been done before, and they’re paying the rent and bills. My parents just stopped caring. Harsh, I know.

YARNLADY's avatar

Are there no mental health facilities where he could live? Here in California, there are several teen homes that are similar to independent living for seniors, only they are for disturbed children/teens.

gearedtolaugh's avatar

We live in a small town, so not in this city, but he’s been to a few foster homes for awhile. Then my mom started fighting to be his legal gaurdian again because she thought he changed, and they said that now she has to keep him.

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