Readers' Submissions

My Brother

  • Written by Mark
  • November 6th, 2010
  • 4 min read


I have been reading your weekly column for about two years now and enjoy it very much.

I have a brother who has a mental illness. Whilst, not dangerous to others, his illness leaves him emotionally vulnerable to the manipulations of others. This usually manifests itself in various ways of people, preying on his vulnerability and trust to obtain money from him.

A couple of years ago, our dad( if you could call him that) went to live in Thailand and quickly moved in with a Thai bird he met on Thai love links. He's 65 and she's 38.

Her family had a Timber supply business and he bought it from them and built a house with holiday type chalets that he and his girlfriend rent out to Thais wanting to get away from Bangkok for the weekend. This 'Resort' as he likes to call it, his house and business is in his girlfriend's name as foreigners cannot own businesses in Thailand.

Every three months he has to do the visa run like so many others like him.

Anyway, Our dad( who has no contact with the rest of the family) made contact with my brother, who's name is Steven and started offering him holidays in the Thai paradise, with the promise of lots of girls and more fun than he could handle.

Steven is a good looking guy, well built and 32 years old. But, he has problems maintaining relationships in the UK due to his mental illness.

So he's now been to Thailand three times in eighteen months. Each time he has met a girl in Thailand, fallen in love and had a mental relapse which has exacerbated his mental condition, each time he returns home.

The first two visits he fell for bar girls, who naturally treated him like shit when they realised he had no money and no prospect of sending them money every month.

Anyway, my brother is just back home from his latest taste of paradise and is so much in love, it's positively sickening to listen to him.

His latest 'love' is a girl he met on Thai love links who probably isn't a bar girl, due to the fact that her entire family showed up with her, when she went to meet my brother for the first time. Nevertheless, she spent 4 weeks with him 24/7 and he also went to her family's house for a week. She received no money, other than meals out and whatever he spent on her during his holiday. Now, he's told her he has no real money to speak of and takes medication for his illness. She told him that doesn't matter, so in his mind, she really loves him.

Forgive my skepticism and lack of faith in true love, but how many women would go off with a complete stranger for 4 weeks on the basis of a couple of hours chat in pidgin English on the internet?

He now wants to go and live in Thailand to be with the love of his life, encouraged by dad with typical heaps of enthusiasm. Doctors have advised that these holidays in Thailand have worsened his condition and will continue to do so. The crushing rejection and sorrow that accompanies any huge disappointment he faces could push him over the edge and leave him suicidal, again and again.

Steven is not the type who can go and enjoy the bar girls for what they are and enjoy a holiday. He falls in love at the drop of a hat and is too vulnerable mentally for what is happening to him and will continue to happen, in Thailand at least.

Steven is very headstrong and like all mentally ill, cannot rationalise or exercise common sense or even caution. He's determined to visit Thailand at every opportunity to be with his 'girl', no matter what risk to his health or the ensuing debt this will entail.

Myself and the rest of the family know we cannot stop him from doing what he wants.

He's compulsive and will follow his instincts.

However, he is amenable to the idea of his 'girl' coming to the UK to visit him, for a holiday, instead of him going over there. We, as a family consider this to be the much lesser of two evils, so to speak. At least over here, We cab keep an eye on him etc.

I've heard that it's necessary to show a certain amount of funds, similar to posting bail, to ensure the Thai national will return etc as promised.

Can you or some of your readers shed some light on this , please? And also tell me how to go about organising this? Any information will be greatly appreciated.

Stickman's thoughts:

First of all, it should be stated that any women who "falls for" a guy so quickly is a woman you should be careful. Just what is her motivation?

From the way you have described the situation, I really am out of my depth. It sounds like the most relevant point here is your brother's mental situation and not the fact that the woman is Thai. I hope some in the readership can offer some advice. All I can really say is that I would defer to whatever the health professionals say. They're probably the ones in the best situation to be able to assist your brother. Perhaps the had word also needs to be put on your father to stop encouraging your brother to come to Thailand? That said, it might be too late for that.