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SIBLING Relationship help

zeppelinzeppelin Registered User regular
edited August 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I have no clue where to start.... this is driving me crazy, maybe somebody can offer insight.

I am the oldest of three siblings. We'll call me Zeppelin. The next one in line is B. The youngest we shall call C.

So I've been away for the last two years at college. Enjoying college-y things. I would say, excelling academically, having the time of my life. I got a great internship last summer. I got an amazing one this summer. The best part, I get to live at home. I get to reconnect with my brothers. I was super excited.

Things started out alright. B had a lot of friends, many of whom I dislike completely. I accepted them anyways if they'd be hanging out with us. Some of them weren't too bad, but I had a problem with a few. The kind that... you can just smell the, god this sounds horrible, failure.

We were all homeschooled... well I was homeschooled for the last 7 years (6-12)... my brothers went into middle school I think.

So anyways, I come back from college... first time home in two years. Things started out all right. I distinctly remember one weekend... we stayed up every night playing Four Sword on the cube. It was amazing... that bond you share with brothers. Work started kicking in and I was getting worn out. B would drift away, but C and I had plenty of fun. B would just be out with friends but I soon found out he's always at church... youth group I guess.

I was raised Christian but I never felt anything. I gave it 10 years... I tried but I never got anything out of it. I don't consider myself a Christian, but I do respect my parents rules/beliefs. About 2 months ago my brother went away on some Christian revival/retreat. When he came back nothing was the same. I forgot to add... he will be joining me in college. I was super excited up to this point but... he comes back. I haven't had a chance to talk to him, see how it went, and we go to a friends house. He starts telling these people he's changing colleges... he wants to be in music ministry or something like that. Christian Music. I want to yell at him and how foolish he is but... I respect his decision. I can't tell him he's wrong. Who am I to say that's foolish?

Now my Dad isn't going to let him switch colleges like this. So he's still going to the same college as I am. But now he's all cynical. He snaps at my entire family. A couple days ago my brother and I are playing Call of Duty 4 and he goes on this trip about how we aren't being productive and we can't serve the Lord by playing video games. Later he comes down with something he had done involving Star Wars and his laptop... and I rip into him about how it isn't serving the Lord blah blah blah and he runs off, won't talk to me.

He tries to make fun of me, how I don't have any friends. How I don't have a social life, blah blah blah. Broken arguments. (My friends are at college... the friends I made here still go to church.. they don't like me now BECAUSE of B) He gets onto my Facebook page and prints off all these pictures of me drinking or with girls or whatever isn't pleasing to the Lord and gives them to my parents. He starts going HYSTERICAL about how I will go to hell etc. etc. And it wasn't a 'I want you to be saved' it was a lot more 'you are a horrible person'

I can't talk to him. It's either how much I fail at life, or he just makes small talk... no eye contact. Just 'hey' or something like that.

What really kills me... the way he treats his friends compared to his family. The other day he yelled at my mom after she asked him if he wanted something to eat. (Literally yelled) His friends rang the doorbell and he was all happy. Hugs 'em and they laugh... I've grown to hate his friends... he gets influenced so easily by them... I want to help him... to tell him friends won't always be there. He won't listen.

C is going nuts too. He treats him worse. I won't go into anymore details but I can't fucking stand B. If he wasn't my brother I just... I don't know. I was cleaning out my closet and found a picture of B and I when we were very young. Arms around each other and smiling. And I broke down. We were best friends. I can't stand this anymore. I love him but he's pushing me away. I thought these next couple of years would be amazing. Now I have no clue. We leave in 7 days. I was shaking after I found that picture. I have no fucking clue what to do. My parents say its normal but it's not, there's no reason for this. maybe it is. Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I should move on, but this hurts I don't know what to do. Please help.

i'm sorry this was so long. I truly, truly thank you if you read this.

zeppelin on

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    CryogenCryogen Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I dont have a lot of advice to give really... my brother and I went through a stage where we didnt get along, but it wasnt quite as intense as you describe. It just passed with time, really.

    I would hope that by him going to college, it will change his outlook on life significantly. Random people he's trying to meet arent going to put up with any extremist bullshit most likely, this should hopefully be a bit of a wakeup call for him.

    Cryogen on
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    XanoXano Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Have you tried bringing this attention to anyone else?

    Since your brother is completely unreasonable, maybe you can share what's going to someone who is in better standing with him. Since he obviously won't listen to you, or how you feel, maybe you can communicate through someone who "B" will respect/listen to.

    Perhaps his pastor/youth leader can talk some sense, and help him understand how you're feeling right now.

    Xano on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    ZeeBeeKayZeeBeeKay Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Just really quickly, turning this shit around on your brother probably won't help. Admittedly I'm a single child, but using the "you're failing the lord" spiel on your brother isn't going to convince him he's being unreasonable; it's much more likely to just convince him that you're an ass. Same goes for trying to tell him how his friends won't always be there for him. Directly insulting what he believes (no matter how much you feel it deserves to be insulted) won't do anything to change his mind or make him willing to listen to you.

    Best of luck, though, hope you guys can work through it.

    ZeeBeeKay on
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    SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    You have absolutely no control over your brother - neither do your parents - the only one that can control him is himself, or when he allows others - those he respect - to influence him.

    He does not respect you guys and is acting very immature - but this isn't necessarily symptomatic of young age - hopefully he grows out of it - but realize that he may not.

    Might be a phase, might not, but there's little you can do in my opinion. When he comes in and tells you that you're going to hell, turn, smile, and say "Yup!" and then go back to having fun. Don't let him get to you, just be all smiles. It's the best defense in my opinion.

    *edit*

    Or you could read the new testament in its entirety and use that to rebut anything he says. I'm not religious at all, but I've read a lot of religious texts to supplement my academic readings and have found that it has given me the tools to intelligently refute others and support my own arguments in religious debates. Let's just say that a majority of christians haven't read the bible nor do they understand how it was conceived. I doubt your brother is reading the new testament and living by jesus christ (who is essentially God head) if he is acting this way.

    Oh, and you should also tell him that hell isn't even mentioned in the bible - that only "hellfire" is mentioned in revelations, which is a controversial text to begin with, and that most of the church's conceptualization of hell is thanks to Dante's Inferno, a work of fiction. And Satan is more or less conceptualized thanks to Milton's Paradise Lost.

    Hell doesn't exist in the bible and is mentioned maybe once, depending on how you translate it. So no, you're not going to hell.

    But uh, yeah.

    SkyGheNe on
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    DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Hmm.. give it some time. College changes people.

    Demerdar on
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    lunarislunaris Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I'm gonna give a nod to Demerdar here and suggest maybe speaking to your parents. Perhaps, when he has to make his own group of friends at college and also live on his own (assuming he's not commuting) the process will mature him. When he also needs to consider internships and such in a year, he will realize how hard you had to work to get what you have.

    It seems like he's trying to be the more dominant brother, so a dose of reality should help.

    lunaris on
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    BetelguesePDXBetelguesePDX Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    If he has a mentor at church, I would approach them and explain his problems. Perhaps the mentor can convince B that yelling at your mom and being an asshole to your brother are not standard rules in the Bible. Use his own idiocy to tame him.

    BetelguesePDX on
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    Vater5BVater5B Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    SkyGheNe wrote: »

    Oh, and you should also tell him that hell isn't even mentioned in the bible - that only "hellfire" is mentioned in revelations, which is a controversial text to begin with, and that most of the church's conceptualization of hell is thanks to Dante's Inferno, a work of fiction. And Satan is more or less conceptualized thanks to Milton's Paradise Lost.

    Hell doesn't exist in the bible and is mentioned maybe once, depending on how you translate it. So no, you're not going to hell.

    This isn't really true:

    2 Peter 2:4-5 says, "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment."

    Matthew 8:12 says, "But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

    Daniel 12:2 describes the duration of hell: "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt."

    Luke 16:22-24 says, "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'"

    Luke 12:5 says, "But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him."

    Mark 9:47 says, "And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell."

    Matthew 23:33 reads: "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?"

    Anyhow, to the OP, there's nothing you can really do. My wife's little sister is the same way. She feels insecure about who she is and what she should do in life so she takes her religious beliefs to a higher plane of zealotry in order to make herself feel better by belittling others. I've known several people who have done this around your sibling's age. They'll either grow up and realize how horrible they've been treating others and how hypocritical they are, or they will grow into a full grown bible-thumper. Either way, they won't listen to reason.

    If you really want to help your brother, tell him that Church Music and/or Sacred Music is a bogus degree. You can get the exact same jobs with a normal music degree, or music ed degree, spend a whole lot more time learning proper music technique and instruction, and when you get a job at a church, if it isn't full time, you can teach music on the side, or take on a multitude of other proper music career options. I've known several music ministers who have had to teach a class or two on the side to make end's meet. I also know several people who teach full time and play at churches on the weekends, whether for cash or spiritual fulfillment. But the kinds of schools that offer a sacred music program often cost just as much if not more as some of the best music schools in the country... and their programs are nowhere near as good.

    Vater5B on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Major East CoastRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Seems to me like your brother is realizing he is going to lose everything he knows going to college and is reaching out to something bigger.

    I would say that part is normal. The obsessive part is not. Just be there to reach back, its really all you can do.

    Iceman.USAF on
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    ThylacineThylacine Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    The exact thing happened to me pretty much, except my brother 9 years younger than I am. He's always been interested in Church, as opposed to the rest of my family who are neutral/somewhat okay with it and me who doesn't want to go at all.

    When he was 14 he started insisting on going, which since it was easier and saved gas my mom goes now too. She says she likes her study group alright etc...I don't exactly agree with going because it's easier than making two trips to town or whatever...but that's not what this is about, and she doesn't spout religious propaganda.

    My brother on the other hand started going all religion crazy. Everything "god this" "god that" he started telling my mom she was going to go to hell because she didn't go to church every single week. She ended that by telling him if he kept saying things like that to her she wasn't going to take him, so he shut up.

    I came back and visited for a couple weeks in the summer after not going there for a couple of years. Well, my brother starts telling me and my husband we're going to hell, and driving me insane with "Why don't you go to church???!" questions all the time. I pretty much countered all of his questions and pointed out how he wasn't being a good christian anyway, because he would act good at church and all righteous constantly...but then he would fight with our youngest sibling constantly and torment him etc. make messes and refuse to help clean or do any kind of chore. If he did "clean" he would tear apart the basement where he room is, dump all my mom's stuff(stored in boxes) and throw it in a corner and clean only his stuff.

    Anyway...last straw came when he was dropped off from youth group. I'd been telling him to pick up his stuff from the livingroom all day. I told him, pick it up or I'm throwing it away. He basically said no and started going on about "At youth group we prayed for 10 minutes straight!" blah blah blah. I said "Well, if you can pray for 10 minutes straight, you can sure as hell pick up for 10 minutes!" He gets in my face(I'm 23 at the time, he's 14 I think...but he's a little taller than me because I'm short) and yells "I DON'T LIKE THAT LANGUAGE! STOP USING IT!!" and tries to stare me down with a crazy eye or something. I basically said "You don't scare me little boy. Now pick up your damn toys." while laughing in his face. I left a couple days later and he told my mom that he would miss us but it was "Time for us to go." lol.

    For awhile he was also on some kind of tizzy about how Catholics were wrong and going to hell or whatever, I am not sure who was feeding him that BS. Probably his father...

    Anyway...especially after all this intolerance stuff started popping up, my mom talked to his youth minister who had a talk with him. Things have been better since then actually. Maybe he's not my "ideal" brother, but I'm not really his ideal sister either, so (a little grudgingly) I accept that he's pretty religious and will probably always be pretty active with the church. But the last few visits have been good, so I won't complain.

    Anyway...you really just need to try and talk with your brother about this before you drift apart further or things just explode. Talking to his minister might be a good idea. Privately, or perhaps together even...then your brother would at least see you are making an effort and respect you more for it. A good minister knows you can't force anyone, family or otherwise, to believe something. Perhaps he can help you and your bother to come to a resolution on how to get along again?

    Your brother is young, cranky about leaving his friends, and probably a little scared too. He doesn't want to go to your college anymore, because he's decided on this whole bible music thing. We don't think it's a good idea, but places like churches push those colleges, how they'll be a better experience etc. It's not all about their "major" there, it's a lot about worship from what my friend said the semester she had to go to one.

    Maybe you could reassure him? Tell him you know it's not his first choice anymore, but that you'll help him find his way around town and find a good church to go to? Reassure him, like others have said above, that having a music degree will give him other avenues of income for if he works for or wants to work for a church that might not be able to pay him enough to stay otherwise etc...

    While you don't have to let him berate you for "not doing the lords work" while playing video games, you do have to work on accepting what he spends his time on(church) which you don't like. He's probably feeling insecure around you, especially if you make somewhat disparaging comments(I know I did) about his church going, and church friends and having church everything.

    I have a feeling things will work out, you just need to meet in the middle somewhere. It just seems like a really stressful time for him, which is not really an excuse for his behavior...but at least an explanation.

    Edit: If you don't go talk with his minister, or even if you do, a good conversation to have might start with. "I know I've been gone for awhile, and things have changed. Why don't you tell me about it?" Ask him how he got into religion/church and actually listen. He may just want to feel validated by you.

    Thylacine on
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    ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    If he has a mentor at church, I would approach them and explain his problems. Perhaps the mentor can convince B that yelling at your mom and being an asshole to your brother are not standard rules in the Bible. Use his own idiocy to tame him.

    This is what I would advise. From what you've said, it sounds pretty clear that the 'new' Christianity that your brother has got into is making him a bit of a dick. You can't stop him being into any variant of religion he wants to, but you can find out whether his self-appointed leaders are reasonable people or not. If they are, you can ask them to encourage your brother to ease off a bit and explain to him that you won't go to hell, etc. etc.

    They might just be complete fanatics of course.

    Æthelred on
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    LachesisLachesis Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    My brother went through the EXACT same thing. His phase lasted many, many years.
    He tries to make fun of me, how I don't have any friends. How I don't have a social life, blah blah blah. Broken arguments. (My friends are at college... the friends I made here still go to church.. they don't like me now BECAUSE of B) He gets onto my Facebook page and prints off all these pictures of me drinking or with girls or whatever isn't pleasing to the Lord and gives them to my parents. He starts going HYSTERICAL about how I will go to hell etc. etc. And it wasn't a 'I want you to be saved' it was a lot more 'you are a horrible person'

    This is exactly how he acted. I was told that I was going to hell more times than I could count. All you can really do is act neutral towards him. He tells you that you are going to hell, just say, "Oh. Ok, thanks." My brother would say things for a reaction. Once the reaction is gone, he may lose interest.

    In my brother's case, as he grew older, he grew wiser. He realized that he was being a dick if he pushed his views on people. He and his childhood best friend stopped talking to each other for years because his best friend was Jewish. I don't know the details, but they just now started hanging out again... 7 years later.

    I can't really say anything on the switching colleges or going into music. Many of my stepsiblings went to religious colleges and so did my brother. My stepsister went to Loyola for her first year, was miserable, and ended up going to a very devout Christian college. One of my stepbrothers is in a Christian rock band; however, he does have a fulltime job.

    Your brother may always be a very very devout Christian. He will learn to balance his life and religion. Right now, he's very excited and he wants to share it with everyone.

    Lachesis on
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    DerrickDerrick Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Well, here's my advice for what it's worth (I'm an only child).


    I'd take him out somewhere for lunch and bring that picture with you. I can't tell you what words to say, but just let him know that your relationship is important and it would really disappoint you if you guys couldn't work things out and had to stay away from each other in college.

    Something my father told me when I was getting around 15 was "I know you've got an attitude because of your age, but I'll be here for you when you come to the other side of it." (paraphrasing) Which kind of stuck with me. It was said matter-of-fact and not as an accusation, and it just stuck.

    Derrick on
    Steam and CFN: Enexemander
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    Eat_FireEat_Fire Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Everyone has already touched on what I would say. One thing I might add is I would not tolerate one of my siblings screaming at our mother. I would be suprised that your dad would either.

    Again , I agree with the "mentor" advice, ask someone to come speak with him from outside the family. Try to iterate to him where he is crossing the line. Explain that he can believe what he wan, but imposing on others is not cool.

    Eat_Fire on
    -Updating life to SP1-
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    SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Vater5B wrote: »
    SkyGheNe wrote: »

    Oh, and you should also tell him that hell isn't even mentioned in the bible - that only "hellfire" is mentioned in revelations, which is a controversial text to begin with, and that most of the church's conceptualization of hell is thanks to Dante's Inferno, a work of fiction. And Satan is more or less conceptualized thanks to Milton's Paradise Lost.

    Hell doesn't exist in the bible and is mentioned maybe once, depending on how you translate it. So no, you're not going to hell.

    This isn't really true:

    2 Peter 2:4-5 says, "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment."

    Matthew 8:12 says, "But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

    Daniel 12:2 describes the duration of hell: "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt."

    Luke 16:22-24 says, "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'"

    Luke 12:5 says, "But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him."

    Mark 9:47 says, "And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell."

    Matthew 23:33 reads: "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?"

    Anyhow, to the OP, there's nothing you can really do. My wife's little sister is the same way. She feels insecure about who she is and what she should do in life so she takes her religious beliefs to a higher plane of zealotry in order to make herself feel better by belittling others. I've known several people who have done this around your sibling's age. They'll either grow up and realize how horrible they've been treating others and how hypocritical they are, or they will grow into a full grown bible-thumper. Either way, they won't listen to reason.

    If you really want to help your brother, tell him that Church Music and/or Sacred Music is a bogus degree. You can get the exact same jobs with a normal music degree, or music ed degree, spend a whole lot more time learning proper music technique and instruction, and when you get a job at a church, if it isn't full time, you can teach music on the side, or take on a multitude of other proper music career options. I've known several music ministers who have had to teach a class or two on the side to make end's meet. I also know several people who teach full time and play at churches on the weekends, whether for cash or spiritual fulfillment. But the kinds of schools that offer a sacred music program often cost just as much if not more as some of the best music schools in the country... and their programs are nowhere near as good.

    I'd say it depends on how you translate it. The KJV and other versions translate it as such - but it's very difficult since it's being translated through at least two languages.

    SkyGheNe on
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    zeppelinzeppelin Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Wow, I really appreciate all the replies/advice.

    I think tommorow I'm going to trial my family to church and talk to the youth minister. His name is Evan... he's been doing his thing for the past 10 years and... I would honestly attribute a lot of my bad feelings towards the church to him. He segregated the kids in a horrible way... I absolutely loathed the man at age... 15, 16 maybe? It's funny because a lot of the kids I know from that time have fallen roughly where I have. None of us will say anything though. Hopefully I'll be able to snag him and at least set up a lunch with him.

    Someone had mentioned me taking my brother out to lunch... I tried the other day and he said "Why would I want to hang out with you when I can hang out with cooler people" or something along those lines. Damn he must be cool 8-)8-)8-)8-)

    I was pretty emotional when I wrote the OP. I'm a bit clearer at the moment. I understand he's going through a lot... he's leaving in less than a week. I was fucking nervous. I didn't want to leave my friends... it was horrible. I guess maybe... I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I've walked this road before. I know it's dark but I just want to be there for him. Help him out. I think the problem might be on my end, not wanting to let go.

    It's weird though too. One part of me wants to help him, be there to pick him up. The other half of me wants to see him hit the ground hard... have him ask me for help. I mean... it feels right. It feels like justice. I don't think I can do that though. Life is pretty fucked up.

    As far as talks on religion... when I used his arguments against him... that sibling rivalry... that one-upping... what goes around comes around type stuff... I shouldn't have done it. I hate to argue about religion because I still think... there might be a God. It might be 10 years of going to Church but... I dunno. I certainly don't hate anybody for doing it. ehhh Time to sleep on this. Thanks.

    zeppelin on
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    ToefooToefoo Los Angeles, CARegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    This is similar to me, except instead of church my middle brother went into the Marines.

    Basically, what it boils down to is that me and my youngest brother now have the strongest relationship. I was away for 7 years working and came back, and everything was fine. Then, my middle brother started acting out trying to prove himself and tell everyone whats wrong with them. I honestly think that this is because you are the oldest and have been doing things with your life, and he feels left out of the spotlight. Its a typical thing in middle children...the oldest is always ahead doing things, and the youngest still gets spoiled and treated the best, leaving the middle child feeling left out and also feeling like a failure. I believe your middle bro is just trying to make himself better, but he's become blind to everyone else's feelings.

    In the end, there's not much YOU yourself can do. The most I was able to do was sit him down and tell him to stop disrespecting mom/dad/younger brother all the time. It won't change much, but he's gotta learn on his own about how he's being destructive...and its extremely sad because my brother (and I definitely think your brother) have the best intentions in mind. Best thing is to sit him down as an older brother without being condescending.

    Toefoo on
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    Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    My brother and I were not on speaking terms for 3 years, and we were on "barely speaking terms" for another 3. We quite literally attempted to murder one another on multiple occasions, and he beat me into a stupor one time to the point where I literally saw stars (didn't realize that could actually happen prior to this).

    We get along much, much better now. It helps that we're both over 30. Oh shit, this just reminded me that my bro is turning 32 this Sunday so I must call him. :)

    Maybe you will reconcile with your brother someday, or maybe not. But one thing I know for certain is that you can't change him, can't divert him from this course he's on, so don't break your heart even worse by trying.

    Regina Fong on
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    TrusTrus Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I went through something similar, but completely different with my brother after he went off to University. For the two years after, we talked maybe once every 3 months, now we talk, quite literally, every day. As brothers you two have a bit of a love hate relationship going on and right now he seems to hate you while you clearly love him quite a bit, all I can say is that give it time, going to College can change a person a lot, being away from your parents can change people a lot, and I think the most important thing, being away from the Church and Youth Group/Minister will probably do wonders.

    Trus on
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    i n c u b u si n c u b u s Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Thats insane my friend, I can't say I've gone through the same. The blood is thicker than water rule applies here and if he doesn't realize it now he will when they leave him one day. He'll also view you differently when you two are at college together and he see you with your college buddies. Who's the cool guy then right? If you ever get the chance to sit him down and have a heart to heart, tell him how you've felt about him, his attitude and his views. Have respect for his beliefs but firmly state that just because he is doesn't mean you have to be the same. Also explain how his friends however bad or good they may be are not forever and will never share the same memories or bonds you two will have. He will come to regret not seeing you as the brother you are. I wish I had a brother growing up and he's lucky enough to have you and C. Good luck.

    i n c u b u s on
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    MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Religious fervor lifts the whole mood. Logical arguments will not work, and turning it back in his face will not work either. It is hopefully a phase. Just try to cheer up and enjoy college. When he's ready he will hopefully try to make amends.

    MikeMan on
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    the wookthe wook Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    as the second of five children, my advice is pretty much let him go off to college. he's a young adult who's never lived away from home for a significant amount of time. you're home for the first time in two years and that upsets the family dynamic he's become accustomed to.

    you need to realize that he may not want to hang out with you in college, and you have to respect that. he's on his own for the first time, and as much as you will want to hang out with him / help him out / whatever, he's most likely looking to distance himself from his childhood, and that will probably include you to some extent. he's probably going to want his own circle of friends that's completely separate from yours, and he's going to want to establish his own identity, one divorced from "zeppelin's younger brother" that he's had his whole life. you've been an older brother but never a younger, and you're probably completely unaware of the shadow you cast in the family. every milestone he's achieved, you achieved first. it's healthy and normal for him to distance himself from family at this stage in life as he tries to figure out who B the man is as opposed to B the boy.

    the wook on
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    acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Institutionalized Safe in jail.Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    B's on drugs. That's my guess.

    acidlacedpenguin on
    GT: Acidboogie PSNid: AcidLacedPenguiN
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    TheHandofHorowitzTheHandofHorowitz Registered User new member
    edited August 2008
    Your sibling is just going through their exploratory stage. It doesn't happen at the same time for everyone, but it typical behavoir for a 15-19 year old to lash out unreasonably, to change their views and habits in a blink of an eye, and to suddenly be really passionate about one thing or another.

    It is part of growing up; you probably did the same thing a few years back. Maybe not as drastic nor in the same manner, but everyone has their own path to adulthood.

    Trust me, in a year, he'll be different again, maybe even back to "normal".

    No knock on homeschooling, but getting out in the real world changes your view. You might have noticed that you suddenly are critical of the past, and how things were; such as your view on Christianity being changed. Your brother is just having his phase, and it sucks. Plus, being the middle child comes with it's own baggade. He has to live up to expectations set out in front of him by you, he needs to be a role model for his younger sibling, and he needs to stand out, even though he's in the middle.

    I come from a family of 9, and yes, the middle child is still THE middle child. Even at 35, he still acts like it some times. He is vindictive, selfish, and self abasorbed. He acts like a great guy when he wants to look like one, but he's a dick deep at heart. But, he is still my brother, and he and i finally had a talk about how poorly he treated me as a kid (I'm 6 years younger, with a brother between us) He actually brought it up and apologized, and by now, it is easy to fogvie. However, he still doesn't "get it", and is in the midst of a divorce because of his arrogance and selfishness (but then again, his wife is cut from the same cloth, so it really doesn't work out when both are takers and no one is giving). I digress. I'm just saying, i understand when someone changes gears and goes from buddy to jerk.

    It's going to be rough. Just rememeber he's still human and still your brother; in a few years, you'll be great friends again.

    TheHandofHorowitz on
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    SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    zeppelin wrote: »
    It's weird though too. One part of me wants to help him, be there to pick him up. The other half of me wants to see him hit the ground hard... have him ask me for help. I mean... it feels right. It feels like justice. I don't think I can do that though. Life is pretty fucked up.

    I've been through this, my brother went through an intolerably religious phase. Having the roots of the same faith myself, but lacking his... adamancy?... I just wanted life to punch him in the face. Granted, he had the ability to be a complete dick while proclaiming his spirituality, but after a while, as the meaning behind what he was learning sunk in past the 'rote and memorization' phase, he became a way better person. He's a pretty awesome cat now actually, I can say without question he's a better person than I am.

    It's kind of like how little kids repeat the things they hear over and over again to themselves or others, learning the words and actions first and then doing them over and over, to figure out the meaning behind them. It's frustrating to be on the other side of that - seeing the words and proclaimations, and knowing that they they obviously 'don't get it'; because if they did, they wouldn't be acting that way. Of course you want to advise them, but they won't listen because they've finally 'got it all figured out'.

    Yah, daydreaming that something whacks them hard enough for them to stop and listen is a pretty common thing. Don't worry about it though, in the end some lessons are only going to be learned by living, and you've lived more than they have. You can't cure youth, it has to run it's course.

    Sarcastro on
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    OctoparrotOctoparrot Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    MikeMan wrote: »
    Religious fervor lifts the whole mood. Logical arguments will not work, and turning it back in his face will not work either. It is hopefully a phase. Just try to cheer up and enjoy college. When he's ready he will hopefully try to make amends.

    Unless of course it's a cult, of which many denominations share many characteristics with. There wasn't much about this revival/retreat in the thread, I assume it was entirely within the church group zeppelin is already acquainted with. Direct experience has proven it difficult to deal with someone when they have to systematically alienate members of their family.

    I don't want this to sound like awful advice, since he's probably too young to drink but let's keep it as an example so I can quote you directly Zep, but any way you convince him that "drinking or (being) with girls" is actually fun, are only immoral if you make it that way.

    Octoparrot on
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    DiscoZombieDiscoZombie Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I'm pretty anti-religion so take my comments with a grain of salt, but I find that religion is often (if not usually, if not always) a crutch and an excuse for people to feel and act self-righteous and holier-than-thou. It's also an excuse for people to be total douchebags because they think Jesus has their back as long as they "apologize" for their sins. Christianity may have good ideas at its heart, but in practice, pretty much everyone warps it to serve their own ends. Bomb those godless heathens in Iraq, kill that abortion doctor, etc.

    I'm getting off on a tangent, but what it boils down to is that it sounds like your brother is just using religion as an excuse to go around exerting his teenage angst. some kids go emo, some kids become bullies, some kids swing the bible around.

    if the change was really sudden after his ministry camp, the more cynical side of me wonders whether anything drastic happened there. indoctrination, abuse, whatever. but it really just sounds like he's stepping his teenangst up a notch since he has a bigger 'justification' for it now that he's tasted a little more religion.

    DiscoZombie on
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    SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    if the change was really sudden after his ministry camp, the more cynical side of me wonders whether anything drastic happened there. indoctrination, abuse, whatever. but it really just sounds like he's stepping his teenangst up a notch since he has a bigger 'justification' for it now that he's tasted a little more religion.

    Most ministry camps (IME) are huge feelgood rah-rah's with an emphasis on sharing the word and taking action in regards to ones faith. They can certainly do a number on teens, very much related to the issue mentioned above; lots of teens have this urge to do something, but they don't know what (angst)- once given a direction, it can be pretty empowering to finally have a place to put all that emotional energy.

    This is rarely veiwed as a bad thing 'in house', as the encouragement to prove or solidify one's faith by one's actions is pretty universal amongst its members.

    Sarcastro on
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