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Relationship with alcoholic brother

Old 12-09-2017, 07:54 PM
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Relationship with alcoholic brother

I am 58 and my brother is 55. We live in the same area. He has been an alcoholic basically since high school. He has been fired from probably 15? Jobs since high school because of drinking. We came from a working class family but I had the grades and initiative to go to college and then grad school. I went on to have a wonderful family and career and he lived with my mom and dad getting hired and fired.

Mom and Dad never made him be accountable for anything. About 10years ago he became eligible for SS due to alcoholic heart failure. He has never admitted verbally he is an alcoholic or thatís why heís on disability.

My whole adult life Iíve had to hear from my parents about the awful things my brother has done. He has lost jobs, has verbally abused them, says he lives there to take care of them. At the same time he would text me really drunk and just say the most awful cruel things to me-drove me to tears. Because my mom and dad put up with this they couldnít understand why I just couldnít brush it off. My husband and now young adult kids know that he has said these things to meó I think Iím better than anyone else, Dad has done him wrong etc.

Since he hasnít had a job and lives on SS, he has no idea how lucky he and been that mom and dad let him live itís him all these years. They were the ultimate enablers.

Dad died a year ago and mom died a month ago. I loved them so much. My 1:1 relationships with them were so warm and close. They enalbled my brother his whole life. Because he lived with him his whole life, my mom even asked me to take care of him when she was gone. I skirted the answer.

He is such an ass and even thinking about having a relationship with him how gives me a panic attack. Heís living in the apartment he shared with my mom and dad until he gets until a subsidize place. He never had a family of his own and his alcoholism has driven his friends and family away. He doesnít drive because he lost his license 15-20 years ago due to DUIs.

I tolerated him when my mom and dad were alive out of obligation. Iím struggling with what I should do now that theyíre gone. I loved my mom and dad so much but hate doing what he put them through and the really awful things he would rage at me while drunk. Iím crying even typing this out.
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Old 12-09-2017, 07:58 PM
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And I’d like to add that I’ve had my own drinking problems. Our family is definitely genetically inclined but I’ve corrected my problem. Rarely drink- several times a year
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:05 PM
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Even though he lived with them with no job I managed both of their intensive health care needs and hospital needs at end of life—working full time with my own family. I was so stressed and am just now healing from the intensity of the last two years, even though he likes to tell people how much he did. Ugh—I’m a hot mess.

My mom and dad were such enablers. Since I loved them so much I’m struggling with what my obligations are. I panic at the thought of seeing him at all. My reaction is not reasonable for what’s going on, so I don’t understand that aspect of it.
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:19 PM
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Do we have the same brother, Bebrave?
The situation you are describing almost exactly mirrors my family situation.
Alcohol addict sib lives with my 92 year old mom, and has for years.
He has lost so many jobs, burned through a marriage and several relationships.
Gets a small disability stipend that my other sib, his guardian, manages for him.
He is a horrible person, self centered, nasty to my mom at times, all the while living in her home and sponging money from her when he is too lazy to get his a** to his bank.
My father died about 10 years ago, and that was when my brother’s drinking really took off.
My mom can’t say no to him, never could.
I guess the only thing I would say is that, if it were me, I would help him navigate getting a subsidized place, as those pathways can be tough for the addled brain.
And a subsidized place takes the onus off you to provide for him.
Again, me?
I would have no problem going no contact once he was moved in.
My brother doesn’t drive, either, and he manages to get around.
He walks, occasionally takes a cab ( not often. Cabs take up drinking money) and gets rides from people.
Honey, you don’t owe him a damn thing. He has had a life just the way he wants it: a place to live and drink, money to spend on booze, and parents who cushioned every fall.
I, too, have struggled with drinking, now sober for 4 years.
I consider my brother an excellent role model of how not to be.
Good luck and good thoughts.
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:23 PM
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And, like you, I take care of my mom because my brother, who thinks he has the mother he had 20 years ago, when she answered the phone for him,steered him to jobs, and gave him everything he needed and wanted, has absolutely no concept of caring for an elderly person.
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:25 PM
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Maudcatmi was hoping you’d see this! I’ve been following your story.
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:29 PM
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Sounds like you two are sisters by different mothers.......

B,
You owe him nothing. You did what you needed to do by taking care of your parents to the best of your ability. I would give him a time frame as addicts work on their own clocks and this could take him years to move out.

I would not subsidize him in the least. Help him get settled and move on in life. You has taken up enough space in your brain for a life time. Walk away my friend you are entitled!! Hugs!! (you might consider seeking out a therapist or some alanon meetings so you can make peace with this yourself)
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:31 PM
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Lol sorry for all the typos, I’m looking forward to more feedback.
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:55 PM
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Al-Anon helps me a lot with the resentments.
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Old 12-09-2017, 09:19 PM
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Oh boy.

My sister and I are in a similar situation, although it's complicated by the fact that she has children as well.

She and I were victims of physical abuse (not by my parents). She, however, endured sexual abuse as well from a family member. It is pity that preserves what little relationship we have with each other, but it's the anger at what she's done with her life that defines the way I relate to her. I know it's judgmental, but anybody who dumps her teenage daughters on two elderly parents with cancer doesn't really garner much respect in my book. I have my own family, and for a while when my parents were undergoing treatment things got incredibly hairy. Fortunately, her ex-husband has them 50% of the time, while she spends the child support he provides on plastic surgery because she "deserves it." The conversations between her ex-husband and me, when they do occur (usually once a year) , resemble the conversations of two soldiers exchanging wartime stories.

I know she's damaged. I know she endured things as a child no child should endure. But I hate how her life has become an unintentional testament to her abuser, and how she's basically modeled her life to be just like him. I hate how she hangs out with the woman who physically abused us, and effectively dismisses my own struggle to be a functional human being. I hate the walking on eggshells. I hate how she surrounds herself with inherently broken people, and I stand back in awe when I observe her emotional assembly line - she charms people to do her bidding and then throws them under a bus on a continual basis. It is telling that her closest friends sided with her ex-husband.

I remind myself of those reasons when people tell me "I should take care of my sister." In my mind, anybody who says that should be willing to pledge their own financial resources to help her. It also just makes me sad that everybody thinks that she's incapable of taking care of herself, her most of all. One acquaintance remarked recently "She has one of the most passive mindsets I've ever encountered."

My allegiance is to her daughters, who have had no say in this whole sorry mess. I'd like to think if she was of her right mind, she would wish me to do what I'm doing now. It's a tragedy to know that she's internalized so much of her abusers' behavior to the point that she drugged up her mind into a state of permanent delusion. If she actually took steps to face what she's done and to do the hard work of healing herself I would be so proud of her. But at this moment I refuse to participate in the illusion that everything is OK. Because it is most definitely not.
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Old 12-09-2017, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Maudcat
Al-Anon helps me a lot with the resentments.
Looks like I'm overdue for a visit!
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:17 AM
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I might look into Al-Anon. I was thinking of going to a therapist too. I saw one for 3 sessions after my dad died a year ago. All of this is very fresh, my mom died just 4 weeks ago today.

Maudcat, a question for you. Does your brother have any friends? My brother has driven most away, and the extended family really only tolerated him for my mom and dad.

Thanks for the input everyone. I feel like I should be grieving and healing and moving to the next phase of life with my husband and family.
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:40 AM
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He has ride buddies, people who see him walking and pick him up, but no friends.
My brother’s life, like many hard core addicts, is a very small box.
He watches tv all day, goes out briefly to get more booze, and drinks until he passes out.
With regard to the future, he will live witth my mom until she passes, or he does.
Not sure who will go first.
Then I think we will be looking at nursing homes for him, as he is in very poor physical and mental shape.
Assuming we can find one that will take him.
Uck.
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Old 12-10-2017, 09:07 AM
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Man I can relate. He is very frail for his age. Hard to believe he’ll last a few more years. Thanks for talking to me! ��
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:17 PM
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My pleasure. Hang in there and take care of yourself.
Hugs.
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