Tried to help my brother

Old 10-12-2009, 10:13 AM
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Question Tried to help my brother

I guess I'm looking for advice on how to have a confrontation with my brother. Six months ago he moved into my husband and myself's home. He had been forced into early retirement, ended up in bankruptcy, and was in need of a temporary place to get back on his feet. He made no effort for months to look for work but sat in our house drunk 7 days a week. My husband & I are both disabled and I was recovering from surgery. He has mowed the grass & fixed leaky faucets which have been appreciated but the dealing with his drinking has been hard on us. Each time I mention talking he flies off the handle & usually leaves for a few days. A while back he went back to the state he had come from & stayed gone a week. When he returned he said he would never drink in our house again & that he would look for work. He made some half hearted attempts to find work & did not drink in our home even though we know he goes other places to drink. Recently, he has started sneaking the booze in & comes out of his room drunk...his promise didn't last long. We plan to confront him when he returns in a few days as he has left again. What is the best way to do this without screaming, tempers,etc.?
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:30 AM
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This is a very tough one. Your brother has a big problem that only he can address. You can be there for him with support when he is ready to recover. I don't think he will listen to reason before then. Maybe, and this is purely your decision, you should not allow him back into your home until he is ready. Stay calm and tell him he is welcome in your home and has your support, but your health can not take this kind of aggrevation. Tell him about SR and other help groups. If he loses his temper, close the door or ask him to leave. Sometimes we need tough love to realize what we stand to lose if we don't sober up. This of course is just my opinion. I don't know your brother or your relationship with him. I hope everything will work out for you. Good luck and keep us informed.
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:02 AM
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I tend to agree with Saphe. Until he's ready he won't listen. You can point him in the right direction and offer things like SR and AA. Maybe if he realizes that he can't use your home as a base of operations anymore, he'll come that place of being ready. I don't know. But you can't save him and can't let his addiction ruin your health and happiness however much you love him.

Good luck. Keep coming to SR. There's lot of support here.
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:15 AM
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I agree with the statements made, very good advice. I would also like to add this. You and your Husband are not bad people because you don't want that in your house. His drinking problem is not your fault as much as his recovery is not your responsibility. My family told me many years ago that I was not welcome around them while I was still drinking. It took me getting sober to appreciate that. If I was not allowed to hit my bottom, I may still be drinking today. Please don't feel bad for telling your Brother he must leave and not return until he is sober. He may never stop drinking, but you are a good Sister who tried to help, and if he does quit. Chances are that he WILL find work and a place of his own.

About the ugly confrontation, it probably will be unpleasant, but you only have to do it once. Putting it off will only make you suffer longer. My advice is not to wait a minute longer to have your home and peace back. Good luck...

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Old 10-12-2009, 11:39 AM
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:49 AM
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Welcome to SR, and I agree with what's been said. If I'm allowed to get away with drinking with no real consequences, why should I stop? Just sayin'...

Take care of y'all selves first and foremost,
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:02 PM
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It's your home, and you set YOUR rules/boundaries.

If it were me, I would absolutely ask him to leave, period. If he wants to drink, he will.. however that doesn't have to be allowed at your home. It IS up to you, what goes on at your house.. He is an adult, and can figure out the rest. We can be very resourceful if we have to.

You might also check out the Friends and Family section of this forum, they're really great at providing support and guidance over there
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:44 PM
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I find that whenever I need to enter into something like this (communicating my wants and needs to others) that the directness and power behind direct confrontation does not "work."

I know that you are not happy with what your bro has been doing, and in fact are probably perturbed about it. Completely understandable.

The first thing I would do is let go of the need to confront him and take a look at your own wants and needs for your own life.

It is easy to say, "I want my brother to X,Y,Z" and equally easy to feel justified to let him know this because, "It's my house, I was doing him a favor, and he is bothering me because he did not uphold his end of the deal." Comparatively, it is difficult to let go of the outcomes you would like to see for your self, your husband, and your brother. It is equally difficult to let go of all the feelings surrounding those outcomes (good, bad, and indifferent).

(Please know I have had several siblings come live with me because they needed a place to stay for various periods of time, one of whom was an active heroin, cocaine, and anything-else-he-could-get-his-hands-on addict). I personally left them alone even though they weren't really doing anything to help out, and eventually they just moved on of their own accord (Thank goodness)).

So, the second thing I would do is recognize what I can control and what I cannot control. And accept that I really have no control over anything outside of me. No matter what you say, do, think, feel, scream, or yell, your bro is going to do what he does.

Then, what I would do is try to find the most peaceful way to communicate with my brother my feelings and my needs and how he can play a part in making those things "nice" instead of "bad". I do not mean to say be a pushover; I mean to say that there is a way to be firm with him AND kind at the same time.

Perhaps a letter, written in kindness and love expressing these things and asking him one more time the changes you would like to see in YOUR home, would help. Be clear of what you will do if these changes are not made. Don't blame, shame, threaten, deride or otherwise shift any of this on HIM. State what you will do if he does not improve (be specific what he needs to do) and follow through on it if he fails to improve.

Alternatively, in the letter, you could just kindly ask him to leave without providing any explanation at all. How he chooses to react to this is up to HIM. You need not say anything further and let him walk out the door.

Please understand that when a person is forced out of their job, goes bankrupt, and is alcoholic, they are dealing with some mental health issues, for sure, at the least. I do not mean to feel sorry for him, have pity, or anything like that. Just stressing the need for you to maintain civility and softness with your loved one FOR YOURSELF and your own feelings regarding your own behavior.

I hope this is helpful. You can do this.
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:24 PM
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Hi w2Ben

Welcome to SR.
I hope the advice here has been helpful

I hope you'll visit our F and F forum'll find a lot of people there who've actually dealt with similar situations, and a lot of support

Friends and Family of Alcoholics - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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