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Joe's story
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Joe's Story

Joe is now 21. He has as a brother 4 years older than him. His parents have lived separate lives in the same house for many years. The family is in crisis. His mother desperately seeks someone to talk to and signpost a way forward. She cannot cope with how desperate she feels about Joe, her husband and her other son who may well be addicted to cocaine.

Her husband was hugely successful, made a lot of money and now he doesn’t work. There was no stability with him as he suffered from manic depression. Other times he is very aggressive and can be violent to Joe and his mother. Joe latched onto his mother when he was young, has an idealised relationship with her and she with him. She hugely approved of him judged and disapproved of his father. He has lived with his mum right up until the present.

Joe has been prone to excessive alcohol. He is also extreme, obsessive and compulsive in his life, work and his view of his abilities.

He is very stuck in his attitude towards relationships. He has, most recently been totally obsessed with a girl before and after she ended their relationship.  He and his girlfriend had an extraordinarily co dependant relationship. One had to be up and the other had to be down. But this is how the whole family operates.

He had been sexually abused by his brother for 4 years as a child – it got to a point where he wanted it and sort it out. This has informed every intimate relationship since. He says he is fairly convinced he is heterosexual but finds that he is very passive and submissive. Joe has a stutter that has been very bad in the past. He has toyed with the idea of having a relationship with another man. He has come close but never done it – he believes it wouldn’t satisfy him but that he doesn’t want it. He feels that it would debase him in a way that he would deserve because of the past. He is very confused and often close to breaking point. But then so is everyone in his family at one point or another.

He talks about going for people who are not available or who don’t want him as a kind of punishment and this punishment is fulfilled when everything goes wrong. He is obsessed, even addicted with sex which he doesn’t think is right. He oscillates between being passive/vulnerable/impotent/submissive.

Within the family there are huge conflicts about relationships and each person is obsessive and compulsive in one way or another.