Dealing with Addicted Brother

Old 02-06-2012, 08:52 PM
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Dealing with Addicted Brother

I am new to this site and am looking for validation, support, and/or advice. My brother is addicted to narcotics and our family found out just over a year ago. My entire family has stuck by him throughout the year trying to help him only to be let down with relapses over and over, him stealing from my parents, siblings, and other family members.

Anyhow, a few weeks ago, things hit the fan when he stole from someone else's house and the police were called. However, he was not arrested because there was not adequate proof that he did it, etc. At this point, I decided that I was finished putting myself through the pain and suffering and he was not ready for help or sobriety. I also sat down with my parents and tried to explain to them that they are enabling him by giving him money, letting him live there, making excuses for him stealing (stating he was drunk), etc... This did not go well with my parents "choosing" his side and telling me that I did not understand because I am not a parent. Since this event, my entire family including my parents and all 4 siblings are not speaking with me because I am choosing to "walk out on my own brother instead of supporting him".

I am so conflicted on whether I made the correct choice or not? Also, how can I maintain or reconcile my relationship with my parents and other siblings when they are so mad at me for making this decision and they all live at home with my parents and addicted brother so he is always around and there!!! My heart is breaking because not only did I make the most difficult decision ever to tell my brother that I was not going to sit around and watch him hurt himself and my family over and over again, but now no one will speak with me!
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:44 PM
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You absolutely did the right thing!

I was the last in my family to detach from my SA. I was so angry at other Family members who refused to help and support him... Now, finally, I see that it was actually me who had the problem! I had to get there on my own though. When I was at the height of my codependency there was nothing anyone could have said to me to make me think otherwise.

As hard as it can be to accept, the only person you have any control over is yourself. You're doing the right thing by your brother and can be a good role model for thevrest of your family. They may not see that now but hopefully if they eventually do you'll have enough recovery under your belt that you'll be able to help them when they decide they need your support.

Focus on yourself, read as much as you can, and find your own happiness. If you do that everything else will eventually take care of itself.

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Old 02-07-2012, 07:57 AM
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My daughter and my husband were the first to detach from my son and his addiction. I didn't understand why they were doing it. I was angry with them. I didn't think they were being supportive. I tried desperately to keep them in the insanity through my own series of behaviors and manipulations.

This is a family disease. It affects everyone around it. It's often referred to as the dance of addiction. Because each of the players are dancing with the addict. You've chosen to step off the dance floor....and believe me.....that's a good thing.

As much as I love my son, I love my daughter too. It was her steadfast courage (and my husbands) that eventually opened my eyes to my OWN behavior. Not because they were pointing out what I was doing "wrong" but by stepping off the dance floor. When i was out there dancing alone with the addict, I became very aware of my own behaviors (dance moves).

I understand now that it was very very hard on them to watch what my son's addiction was doing to me. Probably as painful as it was for me to watch what my son's addiction was doing to him. I began to change, go to meetings, read, hang out here on that I could get better. My husband and daughter deserve to have a healthy loving wife and mother.

Addiction is an ugly ugly disease that tears families apart. I refused to lose all of the people I love to addiction through collateral damage. And I live with the realization that I will lose my son to this disease if he doesn't choose to do something about it. It's been 15 years that we've been dealing with this. I will always have hope. I don't fear what I can't control. And I live my life and enjoy the healthy relationships without letting my son's addiction take everything from me.

This all came about as a result of those around me whom I love so much having the courage FIRST to detach from the addict and me.

gentle hugs
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:44 AM
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You are a strong person stay that way! I was one of those that thought my son would turn his life around after getting into trouble because his sister did.
He did not!
Parents feel very guilty and go over and over in their minds, 'what did I (we) do to cause this and how can I (we) stop it'.
The addict is very manipulative and knows how to play on the hearts strings. In one sense your parents are correct, you are not the parent so you do not feel the guilt.
Sadly, you can not make them see what it is doing to them, and hopefully your brother will not go through their entire savings before they see him as an addict.
My son was in program after program and had so many chances. Now at 33 he was clean an sober for 1 year and going to college on the deans list.
He was in a bad relationship (they all are with him) and both relapsed (I didn't know she was recovering too) living with her mother. The girl kept harrassing us and I had to call the police to stop her. Turns out she (maybe both) were harrassing others.
I had started giving him money too because I did not want to accept that he was using again. THEN I STOPPED!!!
Now he is homeless, no job, no money, no friends, literally just the clothes on his back.
I hope he has bottomed out - your brother will have to too - and no one can save him but himself.
I am 59 and very tired of it - I wish I was as smart as you and had your strenght when I was your age.
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