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Hello, again...family problems

LackadaisicalLackadaisical Registered User regular
edited June 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So, I have this problem. My brother, who is four years older than me, is a lazy asshole. I'm not going to describe how we got into this situation, but it's essentially we don't pay rent, but need money for food/utilities.
Anyway, over the past eight months I've spent probably ~$5000, every penny I've earned, paying for stuff for my brother and I. He won't get a job, and he sits on his ass all day doing pretty much nothing (he does do most of the chores around the house). It's more expensive to buy food for two people, than it is for one, and my friends have offered me the opportunity to live with them for pretty much nothing. Do I move out?
It's been almost two years since my brother just stopped going to classes at his college, failed out. He's never had a job in his life, and he probably won't. He doesn't know how to drive, (I've been driving for near six years now) and I'm honestly a little afraid that if I leave he may just sit alone in the house and eventually starve to death...what the fuck do I do?

It's a warm feeling when you realize that people share your views...
mrt144 wrote: »
Sandra Lee and Rachel Ray raped food.
Lackadaisical on

Posts

  • IstElIstEl Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Tell your brother that in X amount of weeks you are moving out, (make it at least 2) tell him your concerned about him but really would like to move in with your friends.

    This will a) Give him time to get a job and start getting money. b)hopefully provide a reality check for him. 3) make you feel better as you will be suporting yourself only.

    Edit: Yes, move out.

    IstEl on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    If he doesn't work, and he doesn't go to school, what does he do? Does he play WoW all day?

    Thanatos on
  • LackadaisicalLackadaisical Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Actually, no WoW at all...hates MMO's in general, he watches old tv shows, dvds, and from time to time, will play CS.

    Lackadaisical on
    It's a warm feeling when you realize that people share your views...
    mrt144 wrote: »
    Sandra Lee and Rachel Ray raped food.
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited June 2008
    You shouldn't have to pay for him. Do talk to him about it, give him warning, and maybe a chance to turn around.. but also say "if you are not employed or SOMETHING by X time, I need to move out because I can't afford to support a second person anymore."

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Sounds like your brother needs a reality check: Habits are hard to break and if he's been provided for his entire life then he's established a habit of lazyness. There's no reason he couldn't go out and get a job other than he doesn't have to.

    Thing is, you're not responsible for your brother's care and you may be hindering him by acting as a provider. If your brother has no medical or psychological reason that he can't work moving out may be not only good for you, but good for him as well. Best of luck.

    Nova_C on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Yeah you can't be spending your life assuming responsibility for your brother. Just give him warning that you're doing this.

    Of course, one way to get a point across would be to turn off TV and internet under the guise of "I can't afford this anymore" which may motivate him to get a job. Might be worth a shot if you're not too keen on moving out.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I think you should save the moving out/moving out threat for a last resort, when you're actually at your wit's end.

    Is it just laziness, or are there other problems? (does he drink or anything, are you supporting "destructive" habits?)

    Note: I'm not saying drinking is bad or anything, but, it's one thing to buy groceries, it's another to buy your brother a six pack a day.

    It sounds like he needs help. Find him a job, make a resume for him and post it on careerbuilder or monster. Find some good online classes he can enroll in through the college he was a part of and lay them out where he can see them. Try some subtle hints first and see where that goes.

    amateurhour on
    are YOU on the beer list?
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Hey, dude. Please do me a favor. Ignore 90% of the bullshit you've just read.

    My brother was in a similar situation. You didn't share the why and how but it is actually pretty important, so without going into excessive detail, my brother did badly in college when he went, and that made him feel depressed so he simply stopped going. The years went by and he started feeling more and more depressed about not having finished school, or not feeling like he could get a job, of not feeling like he had his life together, of not knowing what he was supposed to do.

    So here's what I did: I talked to him. I told him that I was financially unable to support him, that I love him, that I'm concerned for him and that I wanted to help him get his life back together. We talked about why he felt the way he did and what he could do to turn it around. I asked him how I could help without providing money for things other than school and maybe a few months of rent. We figured out what he wanted to do so he could pick a direction to go in.

    Here's what I didn't do: make him feel like a failure. He already felt like one without me having to point it out, and after everyone else had basically given up on him--including our dad--I didn't know how he'd be able to handle it if his own brother gave up on him. So please don't listen to these "tough love" people who have never been where you and I have been; a little tough love is fine but you cannot let your brother feel like you're abandoning him. Even if you do eventually move out, you need to stay involved in his life, keep talking to him, and remind him that you love him and want to help him get back on track.

    You've been paying this guy's way for a while now, and there's a question behind that of why you felt like you had to spend all of this money taking care of your old brother, why you went to all of this effort. My guess is that you love him. Get involved in your brother's life and talk to him about why he feels the way he does, because I will not be surprised if deep down he has some serious problems that he needs help with.

    SammyF on
  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    SammyF wrote: »
    So please don't listen to these "tough love" people who have never been where you and I have been; a little tough love is fine but you cannot let your brother feel like you're abandoning him.

    I highly doubt your brother has had a life anything close to resembling my brother's, so you can shut up about that right now. Fact is, there is no one size fits all solution, but just because your brother responded to you in just such a way doesn't mean that the OPs brother will.

    My brother spent most of his life in and out of jail until my family stopped enabling him. Now he's better - while our relationship is rocky, he's at least not slowly killing himself anymore.

    Nova_C on
  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2008
    SammyF wrote: »
    So here's what I did: I talked to him. I told him that I was financially unable to support him, that I love him, that I'm concerned for him and that I wanted to help him get his life back together. We talked about why he felt the way he did and what he could do to turn it around. I asked him how I could help without providing money for things other than school and maybe a few months of rent. We figured out what he wanted to do so he could pick a direction to go in.

    That would be a good solution. I like to imagine that this is what people do before having to come to these boards for advice, but you never know.

    Doc on
  • KING LITERATEKING LITERATE Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    If he's out of school, then it's the perfect opportunity to get j-o-b. There's no reason for him to be unemployed if he's not in school.


    Offer him an ultimatum: Get back in school, or get a job, or get the fuck out.

    You can choose to tell him or not.

    KING LITERATE on
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  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Doc wrote: »
    SammyF wrote: »
    So here's what I did: I talked to him. I told him that I was financially unable to support him, that I love him, that I'm concerned for him and that I wanted to help him get his life back together. We talked about why he felt the way he did and what he could do to turn it around. I asked him how I could help without providing money for things other than school and maybe a few months of rent. We figured out what he wanted to do so he could pick a direction to go in.

    That would be a good solution. I like to imagine that this is what people do before having to come to these boards for advice, but you never know.

    I would like to assume that's true, too, but on the other hand I assume that if you're taking the time to talk openly and honestly with whatever the source of your particular grievance is, then talking to strangers about what to do ought to be superfluous. Plus it honestly took me a long time to find a way to address the issue with my brother because it was kind of embarassing for both of us. It's hard to tell someone you love that you're disappointed with what he's doing with his life without sounding like you're ashamed of him. He was too ashamed of himself to bring the issue up with me on his own accord. So I would not be surprised or critical of the OP for not having really and constructively broached the subject with his brother.
    I highly doubt your brother has had a life anything close to resembling my brother's, so you can shut up about that right now. Fact is, there is no one size fits all solution, but just because your brother responded to you in just such a way doesn't mean that the OPs brother will.

    My brother spent most of his life in and out of jail until my family stopped enabling him. Now he's better - while our relationship is rocky, he's at least not slowly killing himself anymore.

    You know, the irony is that you were part of the 10% of advice I considered relatively constructive compared to the "tell him to get the fuck out" mentality that's pervaded this thread. But I think you need to remember that I'm not trying to give advice to YOU about YOUR brother. I'm giving advice to the OP about HIS/HER brother. And while my brother's situation is certainly different from yours, it's extraordinarily similar to the OP's. Go back and read the OP and my earlier post, and the differences ought to jump out at you: our brothers failed out of school and spent the next years of their lives on the couch. Your brother had an entirely different set of problems.

    And I'm glad he's resolving them and your relationship is getting stronger, by the way.

    SammyF on
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Doc wrote: »
    SammyF wrote: »
    So here's what I did: I talked to him. I told him that I was financially unable to support him, that I love him, that I'm concerned for him and that I wanted to help him get his life back together. We talked about why he felt the way he did and what he could do to turn it around. I asked him how I could help without providing money for things other than school and maybe a few months of rent. We figured out what he wanted to do so he could pick a direction to go in.

    That would be a good solution. I like to imagine that this is what people do before having to come to these boards for advice, but you never know.
    Most definitely. The OP sounds like he's describing clinical depression pretty well. Ask him what's wrong, support him, but do not enable him. It is definitely possible. He's a big boy and has to fix his own problems (with a little bit of help from family, preferably emotional support and not financial).

    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud on
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Doc wrote: »
    SammyF wrote: »
    So here's what I did: I talked to him. I told him that I was financially unable to support him, that I love him, that I'm concerned for him and that I wanted to help him get his life back together. We talked about why he felt the way he did and what he could do to turn it around. I asked him how I could help without providing money for things other than school and maybe a few months of rent. We figured out what he wanted to do so he could pick a direction to go in.

    That would be a good solution. I like to imagine that this is what people do before having to come to these boards for advice, but you never know.
    Most definitely. The OP sounds like he's describing clinical depression pretty well. Ask him what's wrong, support him, but do not enable him. It is definitely possible. He's a big boy and has to fix his own problems (with a little bit of help from family, preferably emotional support and not financial).

    I didn't want to mention actual clinical depressing in my response, but a huge part of getting my brother help was getting him to sit down with a therapist who set him up with some anti-depressants. He was adverse to pill-popping at first. Hell, I didn't believe in it, it seemed like they were trying to sell us some sort of snake oil that would solve all of our problems. But eventually I learned that sometimes depression is an actual chemical imbalance, and the pill can correct that. It doesn't solve your problems, but it helps you restore balance so you can address those problems constructively.

    Anyway, I'm not saying your brother needs pills, but do keep it in the back of your mind that maybe that's something that might help.

    SammyF on
  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    SammyF wrote: »
    You know, the irony is that you were part of the 10% of advice I considered relatively constructive compared to the "tell him to get the fuck out" mentality that's pervaded this thread. But I think you need to remember that I'm not trying to give advice to YOU about YOUR brother. I'm giving advice to the OP about HIS/HER brother. And while my brother's situation is certainly different from yours, it's extraordinarily similar to the OP's. Go back and read the OP and my earlier post, and the differences ought to jump out at you: our brothers failed out of school and spent the next years of their lives on the couch. Your brother had an entirely different set of problems.

    And I'm glad he's resolving them and your relationship is getting stronger, by the way.

    Oh, I'd assumed you were including me since I also gave the 'tough love' advice. I also get the differences in situation, but I don't think that makes my advice less valid - when your actions are allowing someone to continue doing something destructive then a reasonable course of action, if that person is refusing to change on their own, is to force them to at least be destructive on their own.

    I don't actually disagree with your advice, only I made the assumption that he'd broached the subject already. Also, I thought his brother failed out because he stopped going to class, but I guess it could also be he stopped going to class because he was failing, which is entirely different.

    PS. My relationship with my brother isn't getting better but it's not something I concern myself with since he's at least improving his own life.

    Nova_C on
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Nova_C wrote: »
    SammyF wrote: »
    You know, the irony is that you were part of the 10% of advice I considered relatively constructive compared to the "tell him to get the fuck out" mentality that's pervaded this thread. But I think you need to remember that I'm not trying to give advice to YOU about YOUR brother. I'm giving advice to the OP about HIS/HER brother. And while my brother's situation is certainly different from yours, it's extraordinarily similar to the OP's. Go back and read the OP and my earlier post, and the differences ought to jump out at you: our brothers failed out of school and spent the next years of their lives on the couch. Your brother had an entirely different set of problems.

    And I'm glad he's resolving them and your relationship is getting stronger, by the way.

    Oh, I'd assumed you were including me since I also gave the 'tough love' advice. I also get the differences in situation, but I don't think that makes my advice less valid - when your actions are allowing someone to continue doing something destructive then a reasonable course of action, if that person is refusing to change on their own, is to force them to at least be destructive on their own.

    I don't actually disagree with your advice, only I made the assumption that he'd broached the subject already. Also, I thought his brother failed out because he stopped going to class, but I guess it could also be he stopped going to class because he was failing, which is entirely different.

    PS. My relationship with my brother isn't getting better but it's not something I concern myself with since he's at least improving his own life.


    Nah, you had tough-love advice but it was at least reasoned out about how maybe the OP might be doing the brother more harm than good by enabling the behavior. I was refering more to the people who were like, "this isn't fair to you" without wondering "what's wrong with your brother, and how can you fix it?"

    The main difference is that in your brother's case, he needs to stop doing something (a self-destructive behavior) and in my brother's case, he needs to start doing something. It's pretty clear what your brother has to stop doing, he's just having a hard time with it. My brother knew he had to start doing something, but he didn't know what or how, so he was paralyzed. Which means you have to actively participate in helping them get on track until they can take over the getting on track thing by themselves. And you have to show a willingness to stay involved without enabling or allowing them to remain completely reliant on you because what paralyzes them more than anything is shame, and if they feel like you're ashamed of them, too, it just gets worse.

    I mean, in reference to the OP's brother, dude doesn't know how to drive a car! You can't just give him the keys and stick him out on the road, you have to teach him to drive first, right? It's kind of like that with the rest of his life.

    added: when's the last time you talked with your brother, Nova?

    SammyF on
  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Hm, Christmas. My mom has custody of my brother's son since he was never interested in a kid. Since my parents divorced 12 years ago, my nephew (Who's about 8 now) has become the center of my mom's life. Anyway, my brother had him for a weekend and then refused to take him back to my mom when his time was up (This is time set up by the courts, btw). I called asking what was up and he told me it was none of my business.

    Since then he's changed his number and disappeared again, so I have no way of contacting him even if I wanted to.

    PS. That's typical behavior for my brother. He'll disappear for a while (Longest was 2 years) then come back wanting money. At least, that was what he used to do. Anyway, he told me he wanted me to be the best man for his wedding and I rented a tux and stuff, but he never gave me information on where he was getting married and during the whole thing, once again, his number changed. I just kind of roll my eyes and forget about it.

    Nova_C on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    SammyF wrote: »
    Nah, you had tough-love advice but it was at least reasoned out about how maybe the OP might be doing the brother more harm than good by enabling the behavior. I was refering more to the people who were like, "this isn't fair to you" without wondering "what's wrong with your brother, and how can you fix it?"

    Sometimes, you know, people are notoriously difficult to talk to. Especially family members, and especially male family members -- as a guy myself, I have a hard time opening up to people inside my family, especially my own brothers. This kind of stuff would be best left to someone trained for it.

    And really, it's not fair to him, and also, quite possibly, finding out what's wrong with his brother and fixing it are sometimes beyond his ability and for someone who has the possibility to be depressed you don't want to open that can of fucking worms if you're not prepared. All of our advice was pretty good.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    bowen wrote: »
    Sometimes, you know, people are notoriously difficult to talk to. Especially family members, and especially male family members -- as a guy myself, I have a hard time opening up to people inside my family, especially my own brothers. This kind of stuff would be best left to someone trained for it.

    And really, it's not fair to him, and also, quite possibly, finding out what's wrong with his brother and fixing it are sometimes beyond his ability and for someone who has the possibility to be depressed you don't want to open that can of fucking worms if you're not prepared. All of our advice was pretty good.


    I do know that people are sometimes notoriously difficult to talk to. You know that there's a word for people who avoid problems or won't do something just because it's difficult, right?

    People are flawed. Feelings are messy. Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes it's uncomfortable. Boo friggin' hoo, but being passive aggressive as a means of avoiding a conversation about what's really going on is not a solution.

    SammyF on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    And not necessarily the best advice to begin analyzing something he has no knowledge or experience in. Especially considering his thread history, this is not something I'd recommend at all. It'd be better for him and his brother if he didn't try to analyze the situation and come to a conclusion about his brother's mental health. Leave that to the experts, definitely talk about the situation, ask if he's got a problem, but tell him he needs to see a psychiatrist or other therapy-esque doctors.

    Then again, you don't know the situation either, and this could just be the often case of "I don't want to do a fucking thing because I get hand-outs and I see no reason to go to work or go to school, or do anything."

    Edit: Ceres put it in a more eloquent form.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited June 2008
    You know Sammy, your advice is good in some situations, like say, yours. Ours is good in other situations. It is up to the OP to decide which his is, how long he's put into this, where his breaking point is. Not you, and not us. So he'll look at all of it, figure out what his circumstances warrant, and do what he feels is best. Your persistent attitude is not contributing anything positive.

    To the OP: 90% of the advice here is not bullshit. Many of us have been (in varying degrees) where you are now, or know someone who is. You should decide what stage of this thing you're at now, how bad it is, how badly off your brother is, and make your decision. Talk to him. It's up to you what form that takes. It is okay to say that you can't afford this. You don't have to be nasty, but you don't have to coddle either. And it's perfectly reasonable to say "I can only afford to do this on my own for X more time, and then I will need to think about changing my situation."

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • LackadaisicalLackadaisical Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    bowen wrote: »
    And not necessarily the best advice to begin analyzing something he has no knowledge or experience in. Especially considering his thread history, this is not something I'd recommend at all.
    Edit: Ceres put it in a more eloquent form.

    ^_^
    To be honest, I told him I'm moving out in ~2 weeks. This may sound harsh, but I can't deal with it anymore...it's his turn to sink or swim and though I hope it's the latter, I would feel awful it was the former.

    Lackadaisical on
    It's a warm feeling when you realize that people share your views...
    mrt144 wrote: »
    Sandra Lee and Rachel Ray raped food.
  • ArdorArdor Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I agree with Ceres.

    There's a good many of us who can give good advice due to anecdotal evidence, but it supports a very specific set of circumstances.

    I think the higher level view is this. How much do you care for your brother? If you care about him enough to try to help him (assuming you've done most to all you can now), it just depends where you go now. The pessimist in me suggests that you may care for him for a very long time, holding yourself back. The optimist in me might suggest giving him smoe notice, remind him of those around who can help and move out.

    Do you have parents or family in the area? If so, he can always fall back on them for help should he need it.

    Does he know how to go about finding a job? I only ask this because some people have never had to work for whatever reasons or much at all, so perhaps that is an issue?

    Does he have any friends or people he hangs out with at any time? The above seems to suggest not many.


    If he has people who can help or support him in the area and you're tired of all of this, then he has backup and I'd recommend being respectful in letting him know when you are moving out at least 1-2 weeks in advance. A large part of this is whether he wants to change or not. For some, they can be reminded and cheered up to begin working on their own again towards some goal. Others, not so much.

    Of course, what do you want to do?

    Remember, even if you move out it doesn't mean you can't simply stop by and check up on him once a week or once a month etc. Unless you happen to be moving out of the state or something. I'd recommend not paying for food for him, but that's just me. After all, aren't you moving out so you can live your life?

    Ardor on
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