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Helping my brother

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by Mari, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. Mari

    Mari Member

    My brother is 46 has a career lives with my not so healthy mother and is a raging addict. At least 8 DUIs in and out of jail and rehab at least 5 times. This last time was for suboxone and alcohol. He was sober maybe a month and has since gone back to using. The courts said prison or Half way house but he can't pass the piss test to get in. My mother is not well many issues but I think my brother is putting so much stress on her that she is going to die. He needs to move out and sink or swim on his own how can I help facilitate that!!!!
  2. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Mari... Welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing. That's certainly a difficult situation for you and your mom. Especially your mom.

    It sounds like your brother has been taking advantage of your mom and that your mom may be enabling him, too. Allowing him to live with her at age 46 with all the baggage he carries is sending him the wrong message. The old saying goes, "If nothing changes, nothing changes." Looking at it through your brother's eyes, why would he want to change if he can use drugs and alcohol and continue to live with your mother? He's got the perfect arrangement for an addict. I agree that the best thing for everyone involved is to have your brother move out and go at it on his own.

    As far as how to facilitate that goes... That may be a bit tricky. I think that your mom--or you and your mom, since you say she's not well--need to give your brother a date (maybe two weeks or a month notice?) and tell him he needs to be moved out by then. If he doesn't move out, you can then have him evicted. Just tell him that his jig is up and he needs to start taking care of himself. Tell him you're concerned about his behavior and his well being, but that you're also concerned about your mother.

    As a parent, your mom may believe that she's helping your brother by giving him a place to live. But by doing so, she's just allowing the problems to continue. My son was addicted and living with us. My wife and I finally decided that we needed to get our lives back and told our son to go to rehab or leave the house. After a few days, he chose to go to treatment and finally got clean after seven years. We didn't let him live with us again, though, because we didn't want him to fall back into bad habits in familiar surroundings.

    I honestly believe that telling our son he had to get help or leave our home was a turning point in him getting clean. He finally realized that he couldn't keep freeloading off of us anymore. He had to go out and start taking care of himself. And that wasn't easy to do while he was still using.

    Is there a risk involved when you kick someone out of your house? Sure. But the bottom line is that your mom needs to have her life back, free of all the stress your brother is imposing on her. Too we become addicted to our loved one's addiction and it makes our lives a living hell.

    I wish you the best of luck. Not only will you be helping your brother, but you'll be helping your mother, too.

    We are here to help and support you any way we can. I'm keeping good thoughts for you.
    gracer likes this.
  3. 13toomany

    13toomany Member

    denokat you obviously know what you are talking about. I can tell you Mari he speaks the truth. My mother also allowed my 30 something brother to live with her and my dad. Both my parents were older, having had my brother at a late stage of life and their health was not good. I tried for years to get them to kick my brother out because no matter what we tried with him, he just would not seek help and continued his ways. To you give a small example of his destruction, I brought my parents to visit me since we lived in a different state and I wanted them to have a break. They told my brother he could not stay there while they were gone. He did leave, but when they were visiting me, he broke into the house and stole about everything they owned....t.v.'s , jewelry (which wasn't much), firearms, microwave oven, tools, you name it. My parents came home to a house that was cleaned out. Even THEN, my mother did not want to kick him out. I finally convinced my father that is was the right thing to do, even if they didn't press charges, which I wish they had done.

    As denokat says, your mother is NOT doing your brother any favors or helping him in any way by allowing him to continue his behavior under her roof. It will eventually lead to NOTHING good for everyone, I will guarantee you. Please know that I am thinking of you and if I can offer any help to you, please by all means contact me. I realize how very hard this is for you and your family.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  4. Zimbitt

    Zimbitt Senior Contributor

    Be there for him, don't force him to do anything. Try to find some sort of alternative that he would enjoy doing to replace the addiction. I do have to say since he is affecting your mother then something needs to be done, how does the mother feel about all of this?
  5. 13toomany

    13toomany Member

    Zimbitt I would imagine she feels like any other mother feels. Mothers have a way of wanting to protect their children, no matter their age. The unfortunate thing about this is that when the child (or in this case ADULT child) is a drug user, being a mother and protecting them is NOT doing them any good. Tough love is required.
    deanokat likes this.
  6. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    Tough love isn't always the best answer. But a lot of times it becomes the only answer, IMO. I would say this is one of those times. A 46-year-old man, living with his mother, taking advantage of her--I assume he's not paying rent--so that he can continue his habit. It's time for him to start taking care of himself. Is it a difficult thing to tell him he has to leave? Absolutely. But sometimes the best things are the hardest to do.
  7. 13toomany

    13toomany Member

    deanokat you are so right on! I finally was able to convince my parents to ask my brother to leave AFTER he almost wiped them out completely with their belongings when they were on vacation. He did leave, but used the "feel sorry for me" card by saying he was sleeping under the interstate bridge because he had no place to go. They felt sorry for him and once again let him come home (mind you he was in his 30's).....not long after being back again, he forged some checks and put my parents into even a worse situation. These things kept on and on until we (my other siblings and I) INSISTED they get him out of the house. They finally relented and he left. There are a million stories between this on and how this ends and I will attempt to bring it along as I go, but honestly, PLEASE don't wait to get a person like that OUT of your home. Believe me, it is hard, but the RIGHT and ONLY thing to do.
    deanokat likes this.
  8. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    There comes a time when it's really the only solution. It was very difficult for my wife and I to give our son that ultimatum, but our life was a living hell. We finally decided we couldn't live that way any longer.
  9. 13toomany

    13toomany Member

    I am sure it was......I pray all is well with your situation now deanokat. It's always a tough decision.
  10. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    @13toomany... Our son is 3 years + 1 month clean and sober. Full-time job, has an apartment with his girlfriend, and is living and loving life. I am grateful every single day.
  11. Thejamal

    Thejamal Active Contributor

    Sorry to hear your story. It sounds like your mother and you have done all they can to help your brother, but he has absolutely zero interest in trying to get clean and help his own life. There are few things more despicable to me than taking advantage of an old sick woman as your brother is doing to your mom. People in my family had done that to my grandma, but unfortunately, my family found out too late.

    My advice would be to talk with a lawyer and see what your legal options are. If you can get him kicked out for abuse or some other legal reason, that would be the best route to go. Without the courts or the authorities, it doesn't seem like your brother will leave.
    deanokat likes this.
  12. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    This is really good advice @deanokat, but two problems I see here is that sometimes mothers are so blind, or perhaps loving so much their children, that they prefer them doing whatever than getting them away. My sister is around the same age @Mari is, but while she is not addicted, she doesn't work and gets my mom using her scarce income to pay for her own expenses. My mother moans about it, when I tell her to ask my sister to work at least, she refuses to do something about her.

    Mari's mom may think that her brother is way too much in need of her side because besides not working, has the addiction problem. Good for your and your wife @deanokat get your son walking away for his own good sake, so let's home Mari's mom do the same instead of keep being supporting him.

    The other problem I see is her brother, himself. If he is not caring go to jail and do all what he's been doing, he may not care (or not be conscious at all) of the health problems his causing to his mother.

    If I could and were in Mari's shoes, I would bribe one of his addicted friends to invite his brother to go away. Perhaps the promise of fun and more alcohol and drugs going after such a friend would make him step out by his own will. But this is still more tricky and might be expensive unless the friend would sell himself for cheap to do this.
    deanokat likes this.
  13. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Hello there @Mari! Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the trouble you are dealing with about your brother. Well, I am not sure what to say but I suggest just try to encourage him to take recovery seriously. The best thing you can do is to be there for him and never give up on him. There's no hopeless case so I think there's still a chance for him to change.
  14. sunflogun

    sunflogun Community Champion

    Not only is bad enough that a drug addict ruins his life, but ruining also the life of family members is even worse. I have a close case like that, but what can a mother do?
  15. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    I understand what you're saying, @MyDigitalpoint. The mother's been enabling the son for so long, she may not know any better. She may have to be educated in order to start understanding the situation better. And if her son can't see the damage he's doing to his mother, or if he doesn't care, that's all the more reason to get him out of there as soon as possible.

    Maybe @Thejamal is right...Maybe talking to a lawyer would be a good idea.

    And @dyanmarie25... I agree that @Mari shouldn't give up on her brother. There is always hope, IMO. That said, the situation as it stands is toxic for Mari and her mother. I think they both need to let go with love and see what happens. As long as the brother/son is allowed "safe haven" in his mom's house, nothing is going to change. He's too comfortable in his situation. He either needs to go to treatment or just leave and fend for himself. Just my $0.02.

    @Mari... I will continue to pray for you and your family. Hugs to you.
  16. EditorsRHumansToo!

    EditorsRHumansToo! Community Champion

    Hi @Mari Your poor mother will be the priority at this very moment. Can she live with her sister or extended family? She has to move out of that miserable situation with your drug-addicted brother. We want to better your mother's condition, or liven up her dismal situation away from a depended son.

    Meanwhile, your brother has to decide to get himself rehabilitated. He still has hope. Let's just hope that he considers that. And see for himself his need to get a life away for drugs and alcohol.

    Pease take courage. Be strong for your mother. I hope she gets to stay with family very soon.
    deanokat likes this.
  17. crc3thebest

    crc3thebest Community Champion

    For all it is worth, I hope you are doing well! Showing love and compassion for your brother will definitely help the situation. Instead of getting into heated arguments and putting your brother down, show your brother love beyond his addiction. Within no time you will see his confidence grow rather than pulling a sword. Focus on why you love your brother in the first place. Hope this helps, God Bless!
  18. sunflogun

    sunflogun Community Champion

    Love is something necessary to help an addict, but at the same time we need to keep our head clean so that they don't manipulate us, so that we don't fall in their game.
    deanokat likes this.
  19. 13toomany

    13toomany Member

    I know this may sound silly, but perhaps @Mari you should have your mother read some of these posts. Sometimes hearing what others go through and how devastating it can be to the whole family, just might do the trick. In the meantime, yes, you must shower your mother with love and understanding, all the while keep trying to show her that her actions are only hurting your brother and herself. Sometimes it's a long process.....it took me many, many years to show the truth to my mother. A mother's love is something that transcends all things bad I'm afraid.
    deanokat likes this.
  20. MNyte

    MNyte Member

    @13toomany No, you are right, reading these posts will help. Peoples consent is not something to just discard, as it holds weight. When actually taking advice in to consideration, it will help. As toomany said, doing it with the whole family will help a ton. As you all read the posts, you consult and correspond with each others opinions on what to do. With positive assurance, you all may jump to a generally good conclusion.
    deanokat likes this.