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Old 01-18-2013, 03:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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trying not to feel guilty about getting on with own life

Hi everyone, this is my first post...

My younger brother has been addicted to solvents for over ten years. He also drinks a lot and uses various other substances. I am nine years older than him and have watched him on a path to self destruction ever since he lost his mum when he was 12 (he is my half brother). He has almost destroyed his relationship with our father and is currently manipulating our grandmother into giving him hundreds of pounds a month, apparently to live on but obviously to fund his addictions.

As you can imagine there has been all sorts of chaos arising from his addiction over the years and I have become drawn in, in various ways. I try not to give him money but sometimes I give in when he's managed to make me feel particularly guilty about not having any money for electric or whatever. He's never worked and my dad and now grandma have funded his lifestyle.

Over Christmas he got really abusive when I wouldn't give him extra money as he hadn't budgeted for electric over the holiday period. I always feel bad for him over Christmas as he generally spends it alone as he's burnt his bridges with most family now. I wrote him a long letter explaining my feelings and highlighting that it wasn't my fault he had no electric (which he had tried to imply because I refused money). ANyway he did apologise so we made our peace but then two weeks later he is vile to me again when I refuse to act as guarantour on a loan for him! I really need to cut off contact for a while but have never done this before so any support gratefully received! I usually call him back immediately and get way too embroiled in whatever crisis is occurring. I have a baby son and need to focus on my own family now.

APologise for the long post Xx
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Buttercup, welcome to SR. You've come to the right place for support for your most reasonable actions. The only hope for your brother is for him to suffer the consequences of your actions. Stay strong.
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Until everyone stops enabling him, nothing will change. He will not embrace recovery, why should he? Everything is going his way, evryone is babying and pampering him.

He must fall to his knees before he has any chance of getting clean and hopping on the recovery train.

I would suggest that you read Codependent No More by Melodie Beattie, the stickeys at the top of this forum and cynical one's blogs, all will help you to truely understand what you are dealing with.

You have your own family, concentrate on them, they don't need all this turmoil and drama in their life, your emotions do affect them. How about going no contact with your brother?

Keep posting, it will help and I am sorry that you are having to deal with his insanity.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR......I hope you find strength and support here.

It's very very hard to watch someone do the things that drug addicts do. And it's very difficult to deny them when they are using powerful guilt tactics. It's hard to even consider standing by idly while they endure the consequences of their addiction and lifestyle. It's hard to say "no".

It's very powerful to hear (or read) that it's ok to let the addict face their own consequences and that we aren't to blame for the outcome. And it's very important for the addict to have the opportunity to dance with their addiction alone.

I'm sorry that your brother's addiction has affected your family but you hit the nail on the head. You have your own family that needs your love, support and attention. And that's ok.

You and your dear brother will be in my prayers.

gentle hugs
ke
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome Buttercup, I'm sorry for what you are going through and I'm sorry your brother is suffering with the fall out from his choices. I agree with the previous to posts. When dealing with addicts the hardest thing to do is typically the right thing to do. It sounds as if you know this and are looking for some reassurance. I'm glad you found this site. I have found the support and advice is truly heartfelt and even if I can just "pop on" for a couple of minutes there is always a useful take-a-away. Stay strong and focus your energy and attention on those who can reciprocate it freely back to you. Your brother may very well see your strength and empower himself through that. Hug to you, Lizwig
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Maybe start with screening his calls and waiting until the next day to get back with him.

It will give you time to mentally arm yourself and by then any "emergency" may have found a new host.

Setting a clear boundary and sticking to it would be the ultimate goal.
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