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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » How to keep my little brother out of my room?

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Author Topic: How to keep my little brother out of my room?
NekoNightly
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Member # 108618

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I'm of legal age now and have had a boyfriend for over a year now, and we're sexually active. The problem is, I live in a family home, though my mother's aware of it and helped to show me how to get hold of protection, I happen to have a 6 year old autistic brother in the room next to mine, and every night he walks into my room to check if i'm in there, because he has anxiety and can't be upstairs on his own. He does this at random times, 2am even sometimes, he'll just wake up and walk in and I have no way of hearing him coming, I've attempted asking him nicely a few times to just knock and i'll call to let him know i'm there, and that if my door is shut it means i'm in there (it's always open when i'm not in my room, I have nothing to hide, and if it's shut there's always a valid reason like I saw the cat scratching excessively and don't want him to go in my room until he's had flea treatment. The problem is, my brother's at that age where he believes everyone who's not 30+ is on his level, and he can do what he wants. Since he's autistic he has no regard for explanations or threats so explaining your side to him makes no difference. He's also excessively violent, and he broke the last lock off my door in a temper, though it was only a hook and eye. It's easy enough to say "Don't do sexual things while he's in the house" But he doesn't sleep out, and doesn't go out, and I only see my boyfriend once a fortnight since University means he's 120 miles away from me usually, except for the odd weekend, so I really don't have much choice. Reasoning with my brother doesn't do anything, threatening doesn't, and i have a really expensive carpet which I really don't want to get wet or dirty. Also he's a 6 year old kid, I can't booby trap it. I don't mind if he goes in when i'm out, but he's walked in on me during sexual things before, luckily I had a blanket over me so he didn't get it and I pretended to be asleep. And since it's a nervous thing he does, and my mother goes downstairs when he goes to bed, there's no way for her to stop him. I tried getting a doorstop but my carpet's so slippery, and I have no idea how to fit a lock, plus my mother has arthiritis in her hands, and my boyfriend hasn't the first clue either, none of us are inclined that way.
Even when i'm NOT doing those things, I don't like him walking in, as even in winter my bed is directly above the boiler downstairs, so I tend to not wear clothes or just wear my underwear while playing games or browsing the net, and I don't like him walking in as he's at that age where he's extremely interested in what girls have, and since he's autistic he has no idea how something like personal space matters, or how it's wrong to attempt to look at your sister there. I just need some tips for the actual keeping him out! He can't read yet and would disregard signs anyway, and I have an inward opening door or else i'd just tie the handle to something. I just want a more or less foolproof way of keeping my brother out.. I actually am really happy with my sexual self and don't want to sacrifice that part of my life for my brother. We would just go to my boyfriends house, but he has an overpossessive mother, plus his house is 4 hours drive away, he's intending to move here with me after university but I only got to begin seeing him frequently when he moved to uni :/ There is no other place we can go, or way to avoid my brother..

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Aningan
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Member # 97717

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Hi NekoNightly! I can totally understand why this situation bothers you. Having the privacy when you need it can be a big thing.
One idea of solving the problem might be, as you've mentioned, having a door lock. I would suggest installing a latch lock (tougher one than hook and eye type, I imagine one with a sliding bolt). It's pretty cheap and easy to get. Mounting it requires drilling some holes and screws to join evcerything together, you can do it yourself or ask someone to do it for you.
When your brother tries to open the door, you may ask him to wait a moment so you open it for him. If he tries to bash it, you should say that you will open it only when he stops hitting the door. Is this a realistic option to do?
Putting aside the lock thing. Maybe you could make the "knock before entering" rule somehow an interesting thing for him? For example he might like ringing a bell more than knocking at the door - untill you allow him to enter. The bell would hang next to your door or stand on some furniture, like the waiter bell.

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Jacob at Scarleteen
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 66249

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Hi Neko, Aningan's suggestion sounds like it could be helpful... it just depends on your knowledge of your brother and your household, if an agreement like that could be something to aim for.

I'm also thinking that it's really great that you're seeking a peaceful helpful way to to deal with this. Situations like these can be so frustrating and sadly aggression is very common when other people struggle to deal with the emotions that an autistic sibling or family member can unknowingly trigger.

I can understand that threats and explanation didn't work and I would advise against the former just because that's a dangerous road to go down. I would say that your boundaries are something that maybe don't even need explanation. I like the bell idea as this gives him something to do, and makes it easier for him, so I would maybe think about it along those terms: how he can respect your boundaries, rather than 'why'. Because as far as we should be concerned, your boundaries count because you set them, you deserve that autonomy and little else.

I'm wondering where he goes when you are not in the house, is a similar arrangement as that possible in the long-term? If to him he feels he 'needs' you to be available to him so he can sleep upstairs, is napping downstairs an option for him... can your mother make that easier for him if he needs that to be an option?

In general I'm thinking that your mother, if someone he can respect, can broker that sort of agreement, so he knows what his options are if you're not available and you can have a lock on your door which he is asked by her and you to respect. That too could be a helpful option too.

How do these suggestions sound to you, do you think your mother would be able to help you this way?

[ 12-28-2013, 10:40 AM: Message edited by: Jacob at Scarleteen ]

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NekoNightly
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I've returned after attempting to enforce a knocking rule. He has been kicking the door repeatedly for 3 hours solid today, and when I don't answer him he's been opening the door and running in and screaming at me at the top of his lungs. I tried talking to my mother and her response was "maybe if you didn't rage at him so much and just let him in your room he wouldn't kick the door". And she yelled at me after I got angry and swore at him when he came up to the bathroom and I caught him watching me in the shower, which has now made him believe even more that i'm something to undermine. I've asked for a bolt lock, to no avail. The bell would be the worst idea in the world because he'd just stand outside my room for hours ringing it. also we have pets who would whack into the bell in the night and make a lot of noise. Like I say the last door lock got ripped out of the wall, and my doorstop doesn't work. And it's not napping that's an issue, he doesn't nap since he's past that age, but when he goes to bed he's sometimes awake until 11 playing on his 2DS or watching TV in his room and freaks out if I leave my room, so I sometimes go 4-5 hours without a drink depending what time I went upstairs, if I forget to take one up with me. If I say "i'm getting a drink" he follows me downstairs and kicks off.
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Sam W
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Member # 108189

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Hi nekonightly,

Sorry to hear that the situation hasn't been improving. It sounds like you've had some discussion with your mom that didn't go as you had hoped. When you talk to her, have you brought up your concerns and feelings around your boundaries and privacy? It seems to me like she would, in theory, be on board with making sure your brother didn't walk in on you and your boyfriend.

Would it be possible for you to get the bolt lock yourself and have a friend help you install it? Or do you have concerns about the consequences of that?

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