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My Brother: From WoW addiction to inertial life

2

Posts

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Let's put this simply.

    He is going to continue leeching off your parents until they either die or are no longer capable of supporting him.

    Guess who he's going to turn to then.

    You definitely have a stake in getting this shit sorted out before that happens.

    Seriously, just email your parents a link to this damn thread. Maybe that will get their heads out of their asses.
    Spoiler:

  • tech_huntertech_hunter Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    If your parents are fearing reprisals from your brother for doing what needs to be done, they will just need to follow the same procedure they would if some neighborhood kids vandalized their house file a police report.
    He is an adult and breaking the law by vandalism or destruction of property will cause him to face the consequences of those actions.

    Sig to mucho Grande!
  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    If your parents are fearing reprisals from your brother for doing what needs to be done, they will just need to follow the same procedure they would if some neighborhood kids vandalized their house file a police report.
    He is an adult and breaking the law by vandalism or destruction of property will cause him to face the consequences of those actions.

    This. The man needs help and it may take an event like this for him to realize it. You and your parents should be supportive but more importantly they need to BE FIRM in not helping him continue this lifestyle and take responsibility for his actions.

    camo_sig2.png
  • DuffelDuffel Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    You should quit taking the blame upon yourself for this not being "fixed". There's two groups of people at fault here. First of all, your parents, for allowing the situation to get this bad. But, most of all, your brother. He's an adult, a grown man, who refuses to act with the maturity most of us had picked up by the seventh grade.

    Also, you really shouldn't feel obligated to your brother at this point. I can't imagine your relationship could get a whole hell of a lot more estranged than it is already, anyway. If he does eventually straighten his act up he'll have the humility to realize that you all were doing the right thing. And, honestly, if that's the kind of person he is and he doesn't straighten his act up, then you're probably better off not thinking about him at all. It sounds cruel, but it's not nearly as cruel as what he's doing.

  • LoathingLoathing Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Right, the whole 'attacking mom cause she took my M:TG binder' - what the fuck. I'd be willing to put down a hefty bet that if I did stupid shit like that to my mother, dad would put the godamn beat down on me instantly.

    No, really. What the fucking shit? You just don't do that kind of shit.

    Secondly, people have a point. If this does continue on, hell forbid, what happens when your parents pass on, run out of money, or whatever. "Hey younger/older sister, mind if I crash at your place for a while? I've got no other place to go..."

    And then every time you try to do something about it, you'll start feeling guilty like you are now.

    Fuck that.

    Tell them to drop his ass, either right away to teach him a harsh lesson in life, or give him a small grace period before the said dropping of his ass to the curb. Either way, best solution is to let him the hell go. Sure, sounds harsh but guess what, if he's acting like the douchebag that he's being described as well too bad.

    gnodab wrote: »
    There is nothing quite like smashing a bullhorn so hard in the ass with a supersledge that its head explodes.
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    This isn't the nicest advice, but I honestly think it's the best advice. Forget him. Politely tell your parents that you won't be dealing with him. Hell, you may want to cut your parents out of your life. Your brother has some very, very serious issues and the fact that they didn't address them during his adolescence disturbs me on a deep level. Why the fuck wasn't he given very serious treatment and possibly admitted after he attacked your mother?

    Your parents appear to be completely incapable of dealing with the raging asshole that is their son. Unless you want to get saddled with their baggage when they're gone I'd just walk away, change my phone number and never, ever speak to him again. All that shit I said about emotional support? That was when I thought he was just suffering from some classic untreated depression. Your brother is a classic sociopath.

    Edit: The profile of the sociopath as lifted from a random guy's website on google, which is of course the best way to diagnose serious physical and mental health problems.

    # Glibness and Superficial Charm

    # Manipulative and Conning

    # Grandiose Sense of Self

    # Pathological Lying

    # Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt

    # Shallow Emotions

    # Incapacity for Love

    # Need for Stimulation

    # Callousness/Lack of Empathy

    # Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature

    # Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency

    # Irresponsibility/Unreliability

    # Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity

    # Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle

    # Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility

    Edit edit:

    Your brother might not actually be an honest-to-god diagnosable sociopath, but he's still fucked up and you don't want to carry that bucket of crazy around all your life.

    "Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?"
    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
    "Ain't we just."
  • DuffelDuffel Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    While I agree with DW that your brother sounds like a sociopath, I don't think it's necessary to cut your parents off quite yet. You're probably the only source of solace they have, even though they don't appreciate you as much as they should. Just be more assertive and tell them to stop pretending that you can do something about this situation they've allowed to progress to the point it has.

  • vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Beren39 wrote:
    Also just a sidenote Rent, bipolar disorder and manic depression are the same thing fyi.
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    The profile of the sociopath
    Let's not get into armchair psych diagnoses here. I have a bachelors degree in Psych, and that still leaves me a good six years short of being able to diagnose someone with a mental illness. And of course, no amount of training would ever qualify someone to evaluate mental health over the intertubes.

    Your brother definitely sounds like he needs a qualified psychiatrist / psychologist / therapist. For behavioral issue like these, therapies usually only work when the patient wants them to. I don't think your brother is going to have any motivation to get help as long as your parents keep enabling these behaviors. Personally, I think Endomatic had it right, your brother needs to hit bottom and he's never going to get there as long as your parents keep pulling his weight for him.

    So I hate to say this, but to put it bluntly your parents are absolutely part of the problem here. They seem like they want to fix this but just don't know how. They keep asking you to talk to your brother in the hopes that you know how to fix this, but obviously this isn't something within your power to fix (nor should you have to!). You should suggest that they see a counselor to get advice on this issue. Someone with a family practice preferably, someone who's experienced in dealing with the kinds of interpersonal dynamics that come up in family situations. If the change can't or won't start with your brother, maybe it can start with your parents.

    Xbox Live:vonPoon | PSN: vonPoon | Steam: vonPoonBurGer
  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    My brother was kind of heading down this road, only instead of WoW it was more alcohol, though he did pretty much spend all his time at home on the computer. My parents luckily dealt with the situation before he turned 18 and sent him off to a private school (not boot camp) that gave him more discipline and He now has his own place and works a decent job and is going to Community College part time. So your brother can change. What needs to happen though is drastic action. If your parents want to be nice they can even support him so long as he is enrolled full time in community college and passes all of his classes but they need to transition him into living on his own. If that means he spends some time on the streets or in a shitty rat infested apartment well, in the long run that will be better for him.

  • TaterskinTaterskin Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    bowen wrote: »
    He'll probably get a job once he realizes that food is a nice thing to have.

    This is the truth. Starving helps people get motivated.

    Your parents need to stop enabling his lifestyle. This will involve a painful period where they stop paying all of his bills.

  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Taterskin wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    He'll probably get a job once he realizes that food is a nice thing to have.

    This is the truth. Starving helps people get motivated.

    Your parents need to stop enabling his lifestyle. This will involve a painful period where they stop paying all of his bills.

    Honestly, if this guy is 27 and has been living more or less like a parasite for at least a decade nothing is going to work except drastic, nasty action. He's been in this mindset for so long that the very concept of getting a job and, you know, actually working for a living is so foreign that it will never be a voluntary change.

    Turn off the electric/gas. Lock him out of the house until he begins paying rent. Do not offer a place to stay or money to get by.

    Getting a job is going to suck and will be mighty difficult, but Wal-Mart is almost always hiring. Big Box Retail is probably the best bet. I worked for Toys 'R Us for a summer and I swear the majority of those I worked with had the mental capacity of a chicken (apologies to anyone who works for Toys 'R Us, this was in boonies upstate New York.)

    Have a conversation with your parents. Print out this thread and give it to them.

    There's nothing you can do that will not cause a shit-storm. Force the issue, as this is the only way to actually change behavior patterns that have been in place for 10+ years. There will never be voluntary cooperation from your brother.

    Honestly, if he's a lout as you say he can get a job to cover small rent + expenses. I don't think it's realistic to expect him to become self-sufficient. I think it's important to note that your parents are not going to be able to just "cut it off" and expect your brother to be fine. He will require supplementary support. If he gets a job, allow him some disposable income, but ensure that he's eating and paying bills. He has has a Credit Card, let him deal with unpaid balances. If your parents want to pay for some food, give him gift cards on the first of each month and no more. If he needs to eat he can share meals with his parents, not simply have the money thrown at him. When all is said and done, your brother's life won't change much. He'll still be able to be a loaf and download anime and play video games. I can't imagine he'll be able to secure more than 20-35 hours a week of employment with his history.

    Honestly, I'll repeat: Have a conversation with your parents. Print out and show them this thread. You're in for an explosion regardless, so make it count. Your family is going to pissed that you posted their business on the internet, but getting people mad and worked up over the situation is how you're going to effect change, as passive measures have failed miserably.

    1,000 screaming forumers can't be wrong.

    3rddocbottom.jpg
  • SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I agree with the consensus that tough love is in order here.

    The fact of the matter is that he's pathetic and if he's happy living a pathetic lifestyle you need to make it clear you're not willing to support someone like that.

    steam_sig.png
  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Seriously, I can't imagine how your parents think they're doing him any favors. They're not going to be able to support him forever, and when a person dies from a tapeworm the tapeworm dies too.

  • illigillig Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Duffel wrote: »
    If your parents are worried about him stalking them or lurking outside the house to harm them then they need to get a damned restraining order. I mean, fuck. What you're talking about is essentially a grown man extorting his parents so he can sit on his ass and download anime.

    There's not even a word for that.

    spawn camper?

    :D

  • ceresceres Just your problem OoSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited April 2009
    jhunter46 wrote: »
    I don't think it's necessarily a WoW addiction that is the problem. It honestly sounds like your brother is lazy, and your parents enabled him to remain that way.

    At every step it sounds like some one has been there and allowed him to continue to not do anything.

    I'm sure that WoW, or the Dragonlance MUD or Downloading files gives him an excuse to not do anything, but it also sounds like he could be doing anything other than not working or going to school.
    This isn't about WoW or MUDs or M:TG whatever other crap he's doing that takes up all his time. It's not even really about an addiction.

    Your brother is a SPOILED BRAT. A long time ago he decided he didn't need to do anything because your family would just carry him all the way through... and it doesn't seem like anybody has done anything to firmly let him know otherwise. The really sad thing is, cutting him off now... won't do anything. The best they can probably do is sell the house and make it the police's problem if they live elsewhere now, but they don't sound inclined to do so.

    At this rate, he will keep living until he dies. He will continue to suck down food, oxygen, and money until he expires. I think you know that.

    My personal opinion is that you should probably gently make clear your stance on the matter to your parents, informing them that every time they ask you to fix it it will be another month (cumulative, so the first offense is one month, the second offense is two months, etc.) before they hear from you again, because honestly you can't do anything while they're spoiling him rotten anyway.

    I've got my own life and I've got my own plans
    I hope you understand, and like the way that I am
  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    They should change his internet connection to dial-up. Or continue paying for the house but no longer pay for the internet at all. And they should never give him any money, ever. Pay his bills, okay (if they want to keep enabling him, which is a terrible idea but one the parents don't seem willing to stop) but the bills should go DIRECTLY to the parents. They should send over his food via one of those grocery delivery services and if he doesn't like what they buy him, TOO BAD. Welcome to the disadvantages of not having your own money, job, and independence.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I second the idea of dial-up only. I was actually about to suggest that. Seems like a good way to slowly ween him to be independent without being a jerk about it.

  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I think I understand the situation more now. The parents live in another country and like to have the house as a place to come home to. It wouldn't really be beneficial for them to leave it sitting empty for long periods of time. Having their son living there means they don't have to worry about burglars and I assume he does enough to keep the house from falling into disrepair. So selling the house or changing the locks is not what they really want to do.

    At the same time sending the bum money to buy food, paying his bills, and not charging him rent is inexcusable. You don't need to kick him out but you do need to give him reason to work. Get your parents to stop sending him money for food, like others said, is a good start. If you can get that small victory and work from there, that would be good. This isn't an 18 year old kid who just doesn't have his shit together and needs a swift kick in the ass. This is a grown man who probably has some serious psychological problems due to the way he's lived his life so far. Throwing him out on his ass won't have the same affect it would on some lazy 18 year old, he might not be able to deal with it and suck it up.

  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    bowen wrote: »
    I second the idea of dial-up only. I was actually about to suggest that. Seems like a good way to slowly ween him to be independent without being a jerk about it.

    If you're going to do it, you have to do it all at once.

    Baby steps are going to pitch a fight at the wrong time. "You canceled my broadband!" will turn into the parents backing down and saying "okay, honey, we'll keep sustaining your pitiful existence..."

    If you're going to do anything, go for the gold. Cut it all off at once. At this point you can't be nice and friendly about it. "I'm cutting your internet down to dial-up" is just going to provoke a fight. "I'm shutting off electricity until you pay rent of $___" will force him to either get a job or be really uncomfortable.

    Small-measures won't solve anything. Of this I'm certain. Remember that this guy has been living like this for almost a decade. For reference: I've been working in one capacity or another for over a decade, if you told me "Hey, you can't work anymore!" I'd be at a complete loss for my time and efforts and would probably get wicked bored. The point is that it would force a massive change, whereas "easing" him into a change is going to promote both a fight and little to no actual change. If you're going to fight, make it worthwhile.

    3rddocbottom.jpg
  • Post BluePost Blue Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Is there some physiological reason why he doesn't do anything? How much does a thirty-year-old guy who hasn't left the house in six years weigh? I'm honestly not making fun, but forgive me for imagining a certain South Park character depiction.

    Moments before the wind.
  • NargorothRiPNargorothRiP Registered User
    edited April 2009
    if my sibling had attacked my mom over something like that, I would of in no uncertain terms beat the shit out of them. Your brother is a piece of shit, and deserves to be treated like one.

  • HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Smurph wrote: »
    I think I understand the situation more now. The parents live in another country and like to have the house as a place to come home to. It wouldn't really be beneficial for them to leave it sitting empty for long periods of time. Having their son living there means they don't have to worry about burglars and I assume he does enough to keep the house from falling into disrepair. So selling the house or changing the locks is not what they really want to do.

    At the same time sending the bum money to buy food, paying his bills, and not charging him rent is inexcusable. You don't need to kick him out but you do need to give him reason to work. Get your parents to stop sending him money for food, like others said, is a good start. If you can get that small victory and work from there, that would be good. This isn't an 18 year old kid who just doesn't have his shit together and needs a swift kick in the ass. This is a grown man who probably has some serious psychological problems due to the way he's lived his life so far. Throwing him out on his ass won't have the same affect it would on some lazy 18 year old, he might not be able to deal with it and suck it up.

    This is pretty much the situation with the house, yes, and I'm not sure that they can sell the house with the market as it is.

    Maybe I'm really deluding myself, a lot of you have said that my brother is an asshole but I don't feel like that's true. It seems to me more like he doesn't know how to help himself, is constantly having it reinforced by my parents that he's a failure, and has sunk into a state of "why bother trying because I'm going to fail anyways".

    I'll try talking to my parents about this again but I think it'd be a good idea to try to lay out exactly what I'm going to say and suggest because otherwise I know I'll get off track when it turns into an emotional and painful mess. So to summarize everyone's suggestions and make sure I have this right:

    - Bring up my brother and ask about their future plans with him?

    - Tell them that right now they're enabling his behavior and it needs to stop. Possibly bring up similarities between his behavior and other people with addictions and point them towards literature about creating a bottom for him?

    - Ask what therapy and medication he was on specifically? I'm not sure on this one because I'm not sure of whether or not it's any of my business. I just know that he was going for quite a while because I was around several times when my mother asked him if he took his medication, and that later I was around when she asked him if he thought it was helping and he said no. Shortly after that I stopped seeing notations on their calendar that he had appointments to a shrink.

    - Suggest: A) Not sending him money or not paying for his food anymore, possibly with a cut off time, B) Selling the house, C) Try again to get them to move him out to his own apartment, D) Suggest to them some kind of bribe if he gets a job like a supermarket gift card at the beginning of the month, E) Cutting off the internet to the house and/or switching the services and paring everything going into the house to the bare minimum. Did I miss anything? Other than calling the police, I'm pretty positive that there's no way I'm going to convince them to essentially get him arrested.

    - Last: Tell them that this is it, these are my suggestions and my input and if they aren't going to follow any of it then it's their decision but if they don't then they need to stop asking me to talk to him or to somehow fix this.

    Before I talk to them I'll print this out so let me know if I missed anything -- this conversation is going to over about as well as...it's going to suck. Should I call my brother first and try to...poke him into doing something first?

    Another question: Since he's unskilled labor, is he even going to be able to find a job in this economy? I could easily see my parents giving him a cut off date, him telling them that he's applied but that the economy sucks, and them feeling like they have to give him slack. They aren't going to be able to call every place he supposedly applied to up to harass the manager about whether or not he actually turned in an application.

    Lastly, I can't help but feel like part of the reason they let him do this is because of their cultural values. They come from a culture where the first male is the important one and girls aren't worth anything. Since we're their only two kids and he's the only guy, I wonder sometimes if a lot of this mess stems from not wanting to alienate him because he's supposed to be the guy who carries on the family line. Maybe if I ended up having a kid (male) and gave him our last name then they'd be more willing to kick him out? Not that I'm planning on doing that, it'd be a crappy plan, har har.

  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Something else to consider, besides him getting a job, is signing him up for volunteer work. It won't make him less dependent on your parents, but it'll get him out of the house and build his self-esteem, putting him in a better position, psychologically, to improve his life in other ways.

  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Hypatia wrote: »
    - Suggest: A) Not sending him money or not paying for his food anymore, possibly with a cut off time, B) Selling the house, C) Try again to get them to move him out to his own apartment, D) Suggest to them some kind of bribe if he gets a job like a supermarket gift card at the beginning of the month, E) Cutting off the internet to the house and/or switching the services and paring everything going into the house to the bare minimum. Did I miss anything? Other than calling the police, I'm pretty positive that there's no way I'm going to convince them to essentially get him arrested.

    - Last: Tell them that this is it, these are my suggestions and my input and if they aren't going to follow any of it then it's their decision but if they don't then they need to stop asking me to talk to him or to somehow fix this.

    Another question: Since he's unskilled labor, is he even going to be able to find a job in this economy? I could easily see my parents giving him a cut off date, him telling them that he's applied but that the economy sucks, and them feeling like they have to give him slack. They aren't going to be able to call every place he supposedly applied to up to harass the manager about whether or not he actually turned in an application.

    Don't give him any kind of "reward" for doing the shit he should have been doing on his own for the past 10 years. You don't want him to do this to please the family, you want to do this because he realizes he is fucked if he doesn't. Like bowen said, he needs to realize that he likes to eat and he needs to do something to allow himself to eat.

    I like the lime part. The ball is in your parents' court. They are the only ones with the ability to do anything about this other than nag. It's nice that you're helping but they should be the ones solving this.

    And it's never exactly a great time for a 27 year old unskilled person to be looking for a job, so the economy should not be an excuse. Don't fall in to the "its too hard now, maybe in a year or so" trap because you might never get out.

  • SixSix Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    It's never a good time for a 27 year old with no job history or marketable skills to find a job.

    McDonald's is always hiring.

    XBL, PSN, & Steam: SixkillerNYC Twitter Flickr
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Hypatia wrote: »
    Another question: Since he's unskilled labor, is he even going to be able to find a job in this economy? I could easily see my parents giving him a cut off date, him telling them that he's applied but that the economy sucks, and them feeling like they have to give him slack. They aren't going to be able to call every place he supposedly applied to up to harass the manager about whether or not he actually turned in an application.

    Honestly, base minimum substistance will work. $100 grocery card, $20 gas card and paid bills on the first of each month. Downgrade internet to dial-up.

    Now the goal is to leave him with exactly $0 disposable income.

    So if he wants better internet or a new game or whatnot, he has to make the money to purchase it. Really, if he's working at all he's on the right track. Encourage this with hard love. Don't let him starve, but limit his activities to "really boring" unless he's going to pony up and work like the rest of us.

    And jobs can be found. Especially for unskilled labor. Supermarkets, Big Ticket retail, Fast Food etc. are always looking. The people having trouble getting work are those who have specialized skills or higher education, as that market has actually shrunk.

    3rddocbottom.jpg
  • Track NineTrack Nine Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Just to offer a slightly different angle from someone who can relate in some way to your brother (I'm aware that admission will not end well)

    It's easy to say play hardball and crack down on him, force him into a certain position or hit him with the cold hard truth, but frankly taking such an aggressive or confrontational path may well just make things harder and he may have the opposite reaction to what you hoping to get.

    Look, chances are he's more than aware of how poor his prospects are. I'd happily wager he spends more time thinking about and dwelling on this than you'd expect. If he's been out of work for any length of time then his self confidence is shot to hell and he's probably got doubts about his ability to even do what most would consider menial work. Forget the bravado or tough front, being out of work for a long time is a killer for your self-confidence and the self doubt just snowballs until any job seems out of reach.

    Your parents are always on at him, they're constantly getting at you to get on him and the general attitude coming his way from others is that he is a waste, a loser and a bum. More damage to the self esteem, minus yet more self-confidence and add a touch of "fuck it, they already think I'm worse than sh!t".

    What I'm trying to get at is that, maybe, rather than giving him ultimatums, you should be trying to help him find reasons to do it. Chances are he already feels like shit that that he's up against a wall, even if he doesn't show it, so throwing an ultimatum at him will just do more harm and he'll feel like he has no other choice than to react against it. Honestly, it's very likely that he wants more but lacks the self-confidence and self-esteem to take a shot at getting it - get round those problems and he'll fix the problem for you, or at least get on a path to doing so.

    Headlock incident aside, the guy's an easy target for a bit of hatin' and the easy answer is to go in with ultimatums and the so-called "tough-love". Personally, I think it's the wrong anwer and he'll most likely just react against it - to him you may just seem to be putting him between a rock and a hard place. No matter what you put against him, if he feels powerless against his circumstances he's always going to choose to react against you because that's something he knows he can do.

    Ignore his living circumstances (home, bill and food paid for by parents) and he's in a pretty crappy situation which is going to be DAMN hard for him to get out of. Forget about how he got there, it's all too easy to grumble about what he did and didn't do right (or at all) and look at his situation as it is now. He's in a hole and needs help getting out of it, not someone filling it in on top of him.

    /end devils advocate

  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Track Nine wrote: »
    Look, chances are he's more than aware of how poor his prospects are. I'd happily wager he spends more time thinking about and dwelling on this than you'd expect. If he's been out of work for any length of time then his self confidence is shot to hell and he's probably got doubts about his ability to even do what most would consider menial work. Forget the bravado or tough front, being out of work for a long time is a killer for your self-confidence and the self doubt just snowballs until any job seems out of reach.

    Your parents are always on at him, they're constantly getting at you to get on him and the general attitude coming his way from others is that he is a waste, a loser and a bum. More damage to the self esteem, minus yet more self-confidence and add a touch of "fuck it, they already think I'm worse than sh!t".

    What I'm trying to get at is that, maybe, rather than giving him ultimatums, you should be trying to help him find reasons to do it. Chances are he already feels like shit that that he's up against a wall, even if he doesn't show it, so throwing an ultimatum at him will just do more harm and he'll feel like he has no other choice than to react against it. Honestly, it's very likely that he wants more but lacks the self-confidence and self-esteem to take a shot at getting it - get round those problems and he'll fix the problem for you, or at least get on a path to doing so.

    I think everyone can appreciate your stance and compassion, but the fact of the matter is that for 6 years the "soft" approach has yielded no results. Reasons and help have been coming for the better part of a decade. "Self-confidence" arguments only perpetuate this cycle.

    Know what's best for self-esteem in this situation? Getting a job.

    Give him an ultimatum and he freaks out? Yeah, he's 27. My pity pretty much ends here.

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  • Kris_xKKris_xK Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I cannot get over the Magic Card incident.

    That act alone, where he physically assaults his mother, is despicable. Whatever pity or compassion I had for him at the beginning of the thread is gone. Kick his deadbeat ass out of the house and don't let him back into your life until he's made an honest and heartfelt attempt to get better.

    And if he doesn't try? Fuck him, he's dead anyways.

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  • Hardleft_335Hardleft_335 Registered User
    edited April 2009
    I agree that the parents need to see a therapist. They are half of the problem. A therapist can help them see their role in causing the problem and help them figure out how to solve it. Not only can they not change your brother, but you cannot change your parents. You basically have no power, except a small amount of sway with them that you can maybe use to get them to see a therapist. If not, then you have to let it be what it is. They are all adults.


    Regarding your guilt for your brother: I dealt with the exact same shit. My entire family told me that, because I got good grades, I made my brother get bad grades. He "felt he couldn't do as well and just gave up". I got a job and went to college, which, according to them, stopped him from doing anything except WOW because he knew he couldn't match up. They also asked me to talk with him. He didn't care what I said and still doesn't. I tried being nice just like you. It doesn't work because it doesn't make any sense. Why should he listen to you? Fuck that shit. They just want to shift the blame because they cant deal with their own mistakes.

    Refusing to discuss the brother is the best way to help them realize the ridiculousness of the situation. I cut off communication with my parents for 2 years once in order to get them to listen to me. It worked. The level of bullshit is near zero nowadays. Just tell them you wont talk to them about him, unless they want to talk about his or their therapy/improvement. If they ask you to help 'fix' him, hang up. You should not share the guilt of having fucked up your brother.


    If they do cut him off: A sibling who leaches off your parents will most definitely come to you when they are cut off. I am still paying down debt that is not mine, storing/selling things that were left at my apartment that aren't mine, and am owed thousands of dollars that I will never see all because of a leach-sibling. DO NOT LET THIS PERSON LIVE WITH YOU, EVER.

  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Im pretty sure crappy, backbreaking unskilled labor is always hiring. The brother can do that.

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  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I'll toss my hat in the ring, but I find as much fault with your parents as I do your brother. He's obviously not in a place where he can get out of this addiction by himself. As long as your parents continue to foot the bill for his addictive, gluttonous lifestyle then they are just as much at fault. I see this as an extended, 10 year vacation he's been on, that your parents have paid for.

    My suggestion to the OP is to either get your parents on board, or put some distance between yourself and your family because you will get dragged down.

  • RendRend Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Kris_xK wrote: »
    I cannot get over the Magic Card incident.

    That act alone, where he physically assaults his mother, is despicable. Whatever pity or compassion I had for him at the beginning of the thread is gone. Kick his deadbeat ass out of the house and don't let him back into your life until he's made an honest and heartfelt attempt to get better.

    And if he doesn't try? Fuck him, he's dead anyways.

    This guy deserves nothing, not from you or anyone else.

    He's not your brother, not anymore, and from the sound of it? He hasn't been for awhile. Cut him off, don't answer his calls, or do anything in the way of communication.

    Go visit your parents for a week when they do this.

    And if he goes to make a stink about it? Give him a piece of your mind. When your done? Tell him it was for your mom. He doesn't even sound like he regrets doing it. He's a parasite. And we generally don't suffer parasites any longer than it takes to toss them in the trash can.

    [EDIT] If I sound vindictive, it's because I am. I lost my mother a couple years ago, so this kind of crap -REALLY- ticks me off.

  • leafleaf Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I've skimmed through this and I think everyone is somewhat glazing over the fact that your brother sounds like he has some serious mental health issues. And I don't just mean "olol i guess he really likes m:tg and wow". I mean serious fixation and personal issues which are affecting him to the point of derailing his entire life personally and professionally.

    Not just playing hardball, and while cutting off all utilities would be a 'bad' idea, even cutting off the internet with the tradeoff of going to a psychologist in return for it back. Assaulting your own mother over trading cards, and everything else listed here - there's more going on than what's been said so far.

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  • Hardleft_335Hardleft_335 Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Everyone loves to say, "Play hardball" or "Go easy, he has a mental problem", but the OP doesn't get the choice to do either. The OP can't cut off the electricity or downgrade the internet. She can't do anything except try to get the parents to wise up. If they wont listen, then there is nothing to do except to deal with her own issues and feelings of guilt.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    leaf wrote: »
    I've skimmed through this and I think everyone is somewhat glazing over the fact that your brother sounds like he has some serious mental health issues. And I don't just mean "olol i guess he really likes m:tg and wow". I mean serious fixation and personal issues which are affecting him to the point of derailing his entire life personally and professionally.

    Not just playing hardball, and while cutting off all utilities would be a 'bad' idea, even cutting off the internet with the tradeoff of going to a psychologist in return for it back. Assaulting your own mother over trading cards, and everything else listed here - there's more going on than what's been said so far.

    I think everyone agrees with you about mental illness, though there are varying degrees of response as to the correct way to deal with this. Don't say, "if you go to a psychiatrist we'll go back to enabling you to do nothing with your life." Psychiatric help isn't a magic cure all that will fix everything if the brother doesn't WANT to be helped. I think they should still play hardball, they should reduce his ability to be an unproductive mooch and enjoy fun things without contributing anything to his lifestyle.

    The parents should offer to pay for any psych help he wants, sure. That stuff can be expensive and is not within the reach of someone pulling in minimum wage. They could consider paying his minimum life costs. Let him stay in the house, pay for electricity and water. Do not pay for internet. Order grocery delivery. Give him a gas card. Pay medical and psych bills. Provide him with absolutely nothing else. He can continue having an empty existence doing nothing, or he can get a job to supplement his living expenses with money to let him have fun.

    "Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?"
    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
    "Ain't we just."
  • TaximesTaximes Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Someone I know helped one of their friends enroll in a pretty intense rehab program with the Salvation Army. Enrollees live there and work there, with their basic needs provided for, and the assistance to help them overcome whatever it is they're addicted to.

    Obviously you couldn't force him into something like that, but it's an option if your parents do end up kicking him out. You can let him know that once he actually wants to (as he hopefully would if he were out on the street), there's programs that can help him. He doesn't have to sleep on a park bench and starve to death if he can't find a job immediately.

    No matter what, it's going to suck for him. After years of sitting around doing nothing, he'll probably hate actually having to work, and he'll be miserable. So, it might be good for him to work in an all-encompassing rehab program because they'd be understanding of that in addition to providing other support.

  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Taximes wrote: »
    Someone I know helped one of their friends enroll in a pretty intense rehab program with the Salvation Army. Enrollees live there and work there, with their basic needs provided for, and the assistance to help them overcome whatever it is they're addicted to.

    Obviously you couldn't force him into something like that, but it's an option if your parents do end up kicking him out. You can let him know that once he actually wants to (as he hopefully would if he were out on the street), there's programs that can help him. He doesn't have to sleep on a park bench and starve to death if he can't find a job immediately.

    No matter what, it's going to suck for him. After years of sitting around doing nothing, he'll probably hate actually having to work, and he'll be miserable. So, it might be good for him to work in an all-encompassing rehab program because they'd be understanding of that in addition to providing other support.

    Do they let you into rehab programs if you don't need treatment for any of the addictions they specialize in?

  • LoathingLoathing Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Also when it comes to him trying to find work, even though he has no work place skills/work references there are still places that would take him in. Job Placement centers look for general laborers to fill contracts they get from external companies.

    When I was 18/19ish I worked for one, and it pretty much consisted of getting a call from the job agency saying "We have an opening a SoAnSo Company, you would be doing This, it pays $Blah per hour and you'll be working ThisMany hours a day for SoManyDays."

    Sometimes the jobs I'd get only would last a day or two, some jobs hired on for a few weeks. For someone with only basic highschool it wasn't all that bad, and got me enough money until I moved onto better things.

    gnodab wrote: »
    There is nothing quite like smashing a bullhorn so hard in the ass with a supersledge that its head explodes.
  • ceresceres Just your problem OoSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited April 2009
    leaf wrote: »
    I've skimmed through this and I think everyone is somewhat glazing over the fact that your brother sounds like he has some serious mental health issues. And I don't just mean "olol i guess he really likes m:tg and wow". I mean serious fixation and personal issues which are affecting him to the point of derailing his entire life personally and professionally.

    Not just playing hardball, and while cutting off all utilities would be a 'bad' idea, even cutting off the internet with the tradeoff of going to a psychologist in return for it back. Assaulting your own mother over trading cards, and everything else listed here - there's more going on than what's been said so far.
    I believe the OP mentioned in a later post that they did try therapy/medication and he didn't respond to either so the stopped.

    My sister, although not *usually* violent (although it's not unheard of when she doesn't get her way) was always MUCH like Hypatia's brother, if not in her exact vices, then in the fact that she always behaved as though my parents should just give her whatever she wants or pay for whatever she wants or let her do whatever she wants because she is entitled to it. They owe her. She can be very sweet to non-family, but to us.. well.. she's a bitch.

    Anyway, after years of watching my mother cow to this behavior because frankly my sister can out-tantrum just about everyone I know, I have no patience. She's said some of the worst things to my mother.. things that are unrepeatable (this is a 20-something, not a teenager), and my mother is probably one of the sweetest people. I think if my mother had cut her off years before she finally did, everyone probably would have been a lot happier a lot earlier.

    My sister also does not react particularly well (mentally) to therapy or (physically) to medication. She has many problems with anxiety and compulsion. She has finally moved out, changed her diet, she now goes to school and also works two jobs, and the funny thing is, I think I've never heard of her being happier or more functional. My speculation is that this 18-20 hour per day schedule she's on right now doesn't leave her any time to worry about anything else.

    This is all completely anecdotal, of course.. just sort of throwing my story into the pot.

    I've got my own life and I've got my own plans
    I hope you understand, and like the way that I am
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