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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
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    1,139

    Default Should I interfere? My brother...

    I can't even explain how disappointed I am in my brother. Warning, this is long and part vent!

    Background:
    My brother is 20 years old, I'm 22. Our parents have been seperated for the past 13 years. We lived together with my mom for about 4 years after they divorced then he went and lived with my dad while I stayed with my mom. Long story short, he got into a lot of trouble in his teen years with drinking, drugs, partying and was arrested twice at 18 and went to prison for 2 years for Unarmed Burglary of an Occupied Residence. He was sentence to 4 years no probation at a youthful offender institute but got his sentence changed to 2 years and 4 years probabtion. He was sent to a prison near where I went to college so I went to see him nearly every weekend before I graduated, my mom went once a month and my dad never visited. We weren't close in our teen years but became close with our visits and he got out in late July and was living pretty well but then the major partying started again. My uncle got him a job at his restaurant- he had to convince the owner of the company to bend the rules to hire him with a felony, but my brother blew that chance and got fired after working there two months for being late too many times.

    So as he gets more and more into his partying, we've drifted apart again. My mom has been pretty enabling in his situation but finally put an end to that and is letting him make his own decisions/mistakes and has stop pestering him about everything and in turn, he is ugh, just being himself.

    I'm really upset because he didn't come to Thanksgiving. All we heard while he was in prison was that he wanted to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve with our family, and then, he doesn't show up. He promised my mom he would be there, knew where it was, what time it was, etc. My mom called him about 50 times (seriously) the day before to remind him but he didn't answer or call her back. He calls at 4:00pm on Thursday (we had dinner at 1) saying he just woke up, he was so sorry, etc. He promised her earlier in the week he wasn't going to go out drinking (there was Pub Crawl, Wednesday night on the Key, which I am sure he went to). We were all so disappointed in him, my mom especially, it really breaks her heart. She is trying really hard not to enable him or baby him anymore and is just letting him suffer the consequences of his actions.

    So here is the problem, my mom is getting married on Sunday at 11:00am. She is pretty much convinced he isn't going to show up and it is really upsetting. Plus, her FH's daughter is in town and basically being herself (you know, a total spoiled witch) and being really nasty to my mom and that is upsetting her too. I bought my brother some nice dress clothes and left them at my mom's a week ago for him to try on and he has yet to come over to try them on. My mom is not going to call him or anything anymore about the wedding. I really understand that and her frustration with him and agree that she shouldn't have to chase him down to come to a family holiday or her wedding.

    But part of me is ready to go hunt him down and scream at him for being so inconsiderate. I'm really tempted to just go over and tell him how much this means to our mom, all she has done for him, and that he will not be easily forgiven for missing this. But another part of me really thinks I need to just let this run its course and let him make his decisions, he is an adult and all. So, what should I do? Any thoughts or advice?
    I took a chance to follow my heart and it led me to yours.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    4,942

    Default

    So the choices are
    1. Hunt him down and scream at him for being so inconsiderate.
    2. Tell him how much this means to your mom, all she has done for him, and that he will not be easily forgiven for missing this.
    or
    3. Let this run its course and let him make his decisions.

    Why not do all three?

    I'm a huge proponent of changing expectations to more closely match what has historically been true anyway. Sad as it may seem, your brother has already showed you what you can expect of him. I think you should expect exactly that.

    I would tell him how you feel, tell him you can't watch him harm himself, and let him know that you will always be there to help if he wants to be healthy again. But that in no uncertain terms will you help him slowly kill himself or hurt the rest of your family.

    There are support groups for the family members of substance abusers - do you need help finding one?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    163

    Default

    I agree with the above poster. Do all three...but remember (for your own sanity!) that you have to then drop it and let it run its own course. This way, you have done the appropriate "older sister" duties, but then you have to leave him alone to make his own choices, mistakes and all. You can't live your brother's life for him, but you can tell him what you think. This must be so hard for you to watch. Hope it works out for you. And congrats to your mom! Focus all that energy into positive energy for her and everything should sort out right.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Hi Brandy - I'm so sorry to hear about your situation, that must be so though and stressful for you, too. It's funny because while reading that entire post, I kept on saying to myself, "I'd hunt him down and strangle him". You certainly should hunt him down - be honest with him, letting him know how much pain he has caused everyone while at the same time, telling him to shape up and grow up. I know this will be hard, so good luck. I hope everything works out well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Western New York
    Posts
    4,159

    Default

    My FH's brother was in a very similiar situation to your brother, he was in and out of prison and he took his family for granted, not to mention saying and doing some really horrible things. Now that his brother is older, and has his own family, he has realized what he has done and is really trying to come around and make things right.

    Sometimes you cant make someone change, they have to learn the lesson for themselves. I hope that you brother does come around, if not now, later.

    I think you could use your time best, by supporting your mother and trying to make this a very special day for her.
    Kristen & Jason 5/19/06
    Our Peanut has arrived 5/20/09
    Our Bean has arrived 11/30/11

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    4,945

    Default

    Speaking as someone who has been in a situation somewhat like yours, focus your time and energy on making your mom's day special.

    Your brother is going to do what he wants; he'll straighten out his life if and when he wants to. It seems like he's in a very selfish place right now and it doesn't matter whose feelings he's hurting - it's all about his wants right now.

    I can honestly say that the family gatherings, vacations, holidays that my brother didn't show up to were actually better than the ones he attended and spoiled with his selfishness, drunkeness, chaos, etc.

    Please feel free to IM me if you'd like to talk in more detail about all of this.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
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    Default

    Thanks everyone for your kind words and support.

    On Saturday I called him about a million times and he wouldn't answer his phone and his voice mail was full but he finally went over to my mom's house, tried on the clothes, and promised that he would be at her house at 9:45 am tomorrow to get ready. Well, I start calling at 9:15 and no answer, etc. So at 10:00, I told my mom to just go and let me worry about it and I went over to his house, yelling, what the hell's wrong with you?, etc. Aww... he wasn't too happy about that, oh well. I gave him his clothes and told me I wouldn't take him there now, but he has better be there by 10:45am. He was really upset and embarassed and called me on the ride over there and I laid the guilt on him and told him how serious this was and told him to just do this today for our mom. And he did. He had a bit of a bad attitude but he was there for our mom on her special day. He wasn't the worst one there either, my mom's husband's daughter was herself and the last one there (a half an hour late). But, we got through it and I'm going to just let him make his own choices now. The wedding was really beautiful and special
    I took a chance to follow my heart and it led me to yours.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Gorilla Village
    Posts
    8,858

    Default

    Glad everything seemed to go well for your mom (and you)!
    Women are angels, and when someone breaks our wings
    we continue to fly...on broomsticks.
    We are flexible like that.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Western New York
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    Congratulations to your mom. I hope that in the end your brother realizes what is important in life and comes around.
    Kristen & Jason 5/19/06
    Our Peanut has arrived 5/20/09
    Our Bean has arrived 11/30/11

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    207

    Default

    Yay! Good thing to hear that everything worked out just in time.

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