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My Brother: From WoW addiction to inertial life

HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
edited May 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Since proXimity posted about his friend being addicted to WoW, it made me think that maybe I should post because my brother is one of the extreme cases. I'm not sure of whether or not there's any advice people can really give, I mean, until the other thread came up it didn't even occur to me to ask for advice because at this point I've reached a resigned point of general helplessness.

My brother was addicted to a Dragonlance MUD when he was in high school. This resulted in him dropping out of high school for several years, and he was able to eventually graduate late after going through a considerable amount of effort.

He went on to college and got addicted to WoW. After his second year he was kicked out for having too low of a GPA and failing his classes. He moved back in with my parents who supported him while still pressuring him to either get a job or go back to school. Initially, he went to the local Community College but after a semester he dropped out of that too to play WoW and to download anime. This was...6 years ago? Fast forward to today.

At this point, he is 27 years old. My parents have moved out of our old house and are living elsewhere but they continue to pay the bills for it and to give my brother enough money to pay for food and transportation. From a completely objective standpoint I guess I could see it as a pretty cushy life, not really having to work or do anything but stay home and do whatever you want to.

When I've talked to my brother, he's said he isn't as into WoW anymore but still plays. He seems to spend a lot of time downloading large masses of media files (music, movies, anime, whatever) and occasionally raiding. My parents used to pressure me a lot about, "Why don't you talk to your brother? Can't you make him get a job? Maybe you can talk to him (implication: and fix this)." He no longer has any friends in the area IRL that he can talk to face to face and I'm very aware of this so when I talk to him I try not to harp/bring up him finding a job or doing something with his life. I feel like he gets enough of that from our parents and if I started doing it then he wouldn't really have any family he'd feel open enough to talk to at all.

I live about a thousand miles away now and have for several years. My parents have backed off in their phone calls on getting me to talk to him and magically fix things but my suspicion is that it's because they also moved away and are kind of ignoring it as a problem. Overall I'm pretty conflicted about the whole situation:

- Obviously he's my brother and I want him to do well and be happy. I don't get the impression that he's all that happy with where he is right now, but at the same time it seems like things are decent enough for him that he doesn't really feel the drive to change things.

- I worry about my parents, my dad retired a year or two ago and my mother is probably going to retire in the next few years. They've always been very conservative so financially I think they'd be fine if they only had to worry about themselves, but if they have to support my brother as well I'm afraid that he'll essentially drag them down with him and it'll screw up their lifetime of saving up to retire. Not only that, the vibe I get is that my mother feels like a failure because my brother is a stay at home deadbeat and my father is ashamed. When they talk to their friends or colleagues and everyone is talking about what their kids are doing I've heard them generally clam up and change the subject.

- This feels selfish, but part of me worries about what will happen when my parents eventually pass away. If my brother is still a deadbeat then, what will happen to him? He's family and I feel like there's an obligation there, but at the same time it makes me feel angry in a sort of, "Don't you dare show up on my doorstep and expect me to take you in, I'm not a pushover like our parents! Move your ass and get a job!" way.

- Particularly during the holidays when I see my family again, I feel like that's the time that my parents turn the pressure back up to "fix" my brother. This is very stressful and makes me angry and resentful; in addition, it makes me feel like they're blind to any of my accomplishments in life because they don't really see 1 kid that got out and is doing ok, they see 1 kid that's "failed".

There have been a number of incidents over the years that have occasionally seen my parents calling me to complain about my brother's antics. An example of this would be him getting his own credit card, purchasing himself a new computer, and having it shipped to my parents' house. When the computer arrived my mother happened to be in town and she also was there when it was delivered. She asked my brother who was going to pay for it when he had no income and he told her, "You are." After a prolonged argument with him and I assume a lot of yelling/screaming, she proceeded to call me up to tell me all about it and to ask me what she was supposed to do.

Currently, things are in a holding pattern - my parents visit my brother in the old house during parts of the year and he does some chores/housework for them to justify them paying him stipends of money. I only go home to see them once a year and when I do I get slammed by the "You should talk to your brother" and the toxic/tense environment. My brother continues to stay in the house not looking for a job, not going to school, and not doing anything.

What should I do? Should I do anything? Is there anything I can do? This whole situation isn't a sustainable one, but no one really seems prepared to change it.

tl;dr: My brother is 27 years old and lives in a house owned by my parents. He dropped out of college, has no job, and doesn't try looking for one. My parents pressure me to "fix" his situation but won't kick him out because he's family. The whole thing is stressful and I feel like I should be helping or acting or doing something but I don't know what to do.

Hypatia on
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Posts

  • ThylacineThylacine Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I hate to say it, but I'd probably just tell your brother what you said here. If he isn't a total jerk he won't want to screw up your parents retirement and life savings because no one has ever forced him to do anything.

    He's letting everyone down, but part of the blame is on your parents as well for letting him sponge off of them for so long. They're not doing him any favor by letting him live this way.

    You also need to talk to your parents and tell them to stop pushing this problem off on you. It makes you uncomfortable, and ruins the time you spend with them. You aren't enabling him to live the way he is living, therefore you do not need to talk to him about it.

    I know you want him to be happy, he's your brother...but the way you described him he sounds like a mooching jerk. I don't have sympathy for that.

    Thylacine on
  • LoathingLoathing Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Wow.

    Not to be a dick, but if he hasn't changed in 6+ years or so, then no amount of nagging will make him change. And the fact that you're parents are putting pressure on you to somehow magically fix this problem is pretty lame too. I guess they see it as "Well if Son A has managed to do well for himself, why can't he help Son B do the same" so they keep bugging you about it. Not fair to you in any way, but that's how I see it.

    Best way to 'fix' this problem would be for the parents to pretty much kick his ass out. When I was 19 I pretty much did the same. Got kicked out of school, and spent two years jobless and playing WoW. Parents ended up saying Fuck This Shit, said I had to pay for my own food and pay them rent if I wanted to live in the house.

    Ended up having to get a part time job, which sucked because I never completely finished school. Then ended up taking after work/at home classes to actually finish my schooling, and then a few months after that I ended up starting up my career which I am with to this day. Went from fucking hobo mooching off the parents to normal decent joe making $40k a year at the age of 22.

    So yea, my advice might be harsh but hell it worked for me and I was doing the same thing to my parents. I didn't make them pay my visa off though....that's just fucked up.

    Loathing on
  • crakecrake Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    That point where your brother said "you are" in response to the 'who's going to pay for the computer' question, suggests to me that he completely expects his parents to support him in all ways. Why does he trust this fact so thoroughly? Because your parents aren't giving him any reason to assume anything else.

    I mean seriously, why was there even a long and drawn out argument over payment of that computer? What was his argument? How in the world did he come up with any line of logical reasoning that allowed your mom to be steamrolled by him?

    At this stage, your brother needs to be cut off. Not cold turkey - there's no need to be unkind to him. Your parents should simply give him a deadline and sell the house. "Joe, in three months we're putting the house on the market - you're gonna have to find your own living arrangements and a job to pay for it."

    If they want to be extra kind, they could give him a portion of the house money to keep him going for another two or three months in the new apartment. After so many years of being a dependent, it's going to take him some time to get on his feet.

    The key is to set the terms and stick by them. They can keep an emergency fund to help him out if he ends up on the street, but that's probably an unlikely scenario.

    Your job in all this might be to help him find an appropriate apartment, and/or ways of making his salary pay for what he wants out of life. I'm sure he'll need a fair amount of advice.

    crake on
  • LoathingLoathing Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    And if someone suggests "If his parents kick him out, you could let him stay with you for a while until he finds a place to live" I'm going to stab you so hard.

    Loathing on
  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Tell him the truth: If he doesn't change his lifestyle he's going to end up putting even more strain on the family as your parents get older and less able to support him. He's also putting you in a weird position since your parents for some reason want you to fix this. Small things like getting a part time job or volunteering or getting a hobby that might develop some skills would go a long way towards making him independent. He sounds like he's had a lot of failures in life so his confidence is most likely at 0% when it comes to school, work, girls, friends, etc. so don't expect instant results. You need to help him get that confidence up before he's going to start doing things on his own.

    My dad had a brother like this. He worked a shitty, dead end job his whole life and lived with his mom. His mom, my grandma, died last summer. Then the economy went to shit and he got laid off. now he's living in government assisted housing and burning through his inheritance & unemployment, not even looking for work. He actually expected his siblings to keep paying for him to live in my grandma's 6 bedroom house by himself.

    Smurph on
  • EchoEcho ski-bap ba-dapModerator mod
    edited April 2009
    Hypatia wrote: »
    An example of this would be him getting his own credit card, purchasing himself a new computer, and having it shipped to my parents' house. When the computer arrived my mother happened to be in town and she also was there when it was delivered. She asked my brother who was going to pay for it when he had no income and he told her, "You are." After a prolonged argument with him and I assume a lot of yelling/screaming, she proceeded to call me up to tell me all about it and to ask me what she was supposed to do.

    Okay, this part made me see red and look for a way to slap people over the internet.

    The proper response here is "your credit card, your credit card bills".

    Echo on
  • ArtreusArtreus I'm a wizard And that looks fucked upRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Man. They should really just stop paying for everything for him. I know this isn't advice so much but him being "family" doesn't mean you have to pay for him to be a lazy asshole.

    My dad is allowing my sister to live off of food stamps right now because she dropped out of college, and is wasting all of her money on useless things she doesn't need. If she gets evicted from her apartment, I am not going to let her move in with me (if I even had the room) and just keep doing nothing.

    If you can do anything at all, you should try convincing your parents to give him a deadline. Either he finds a job, or they stop paying.

    Artreus on
    http://atlanticus.tumblr.com/ PSN: Atlanticus 3DS: 1590-4692-3954 Steam: Artreus
  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    What can your parents do? They can stop being spineless and enabling him. A few questions:

    1. Why/how did they move out of the house and let your brother keep living there?
    2. Your parents continue to pay for an internet connection AND his WoW account at the house?

    Here's how the situation should work if your parents actually want to make your brother's life better:

    They have to stop enabling him. Moving out of the house and leaving him there and then giving him money to pay the bills was a very bad idea. I assume he just spends that money on internet and WoW.

    Personally my solution to the problem would go something like this.

    1. Your parents stop being spineless and enabling him.
    2. Your brother moves back in with your parents.
    3. Your parents stop giving him money for anything, if he wants food he eats what your mother cooks for dinner, etc.
    4. His computer time is seriously reduced because it is taken away and:
    5. Your parents force him to get a job, any job - flipping burgers, whatever.
    6. If your parents have an internet connection set the router to block connections to WoW servers, etc.
    7. Your parents find a therapist to send your brother to in order to deal with his addiction and the obvious other issues he has.


    Just because he's "family" doesn't mean they have to fucking coddle him. They need to wake up and realize that he is unable to fix his situation on his own (which is FINE) and that they need to help him fix his situation. Right now they are only enabling him.

    tsmvengy on
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    He'll probably get a job once he realizes that food is a nice thing to have.

    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
  • tsmvengytsmvengy 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.

    I suppose, but if the brother's psychological problem is as bad as it seems he could be so depressed that he can't even muster the energy to do that.

    Reading the part about how the OP's parents moved out and continued to let him live there just made me scream "WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING?!"

    tsmvengy on
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  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Hey, I was a deadbeat in high school, dropped out two years early, then fucked up community college
    By the time I was 17 my parents gave me two options: stay and pay rent or GTFO
    What did I do? Joined the army
    At 17
    Now I'm 18 and I'm self-sufficient, buy my own shit, have no debt, and am building up some long-term savings
    Oh, plus I found self-reliance and direction
    If a fucking 18-year-old can get his shit together better than a fucking 27 year old, something is painfully wrong. Tell you parents to stop giving him money and evict him from the house. He's being a fucking useless prick and y'all need to stop enabling him. That's what my parents did and I turned out okay

    Rent on
  • Element BrianElement Brian Peanut Butter Shill Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I like the Join the Army direction this has gone. It's too bad they can't just send him away to boot camp...or can they?

    Element Brian on
    Switch FC code:SW-2130-4285-0059

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  • oncelingonceling Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Parents: Can you talk to your brother about getting a job?

    You: I can come over and talk to you about not enabling him anymore? How does that sound?

    onceling on
  • illigillig Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    OP, i'm just curious: Do you think you have any chance of convincing your parents to stop coddling your nearly 30 year old brother?

    I'm asking b/c these threads pop up every few months, and follow the same path:

    1. OP bitches about family situation
    2. Lots of people chime in about kicking the free-loader out on his ass
    3. OP doesn't actually have any pull with his family, so advice is guaranteed to be ignored
    4. Nothing changes

    illig on
  • ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I'll back up this being largely the parents fault. I could never leech that much because my sense of self-worth would be totally deflated and I'd be depressed beyond any amount of entertainment could help, but, if I didn't have a drive to be somewhat self-sufficient I could see someone staying like that forever. I could see it being an even stronger temptation if I imagined that my parents were rich (mine are well-off, but not support-me-for-the-rest-of-my-life rich).

    They really just have to cut him off. Give him, like, 6 weeks warning and cut off food and expenses, and another 6-8 weeks after that and make him pay for his own rent, either by paying a fair rent for the house or by moving somewhere else. It ought to be plenty of time for him to find some crappy job that will pay the minimum bills, it won't be great but it'll force him to get out of the house and work on a regular basis. Unfortunately, without anyone else there with him the odds are kind of high that he'll spend 20 minutes a week "looking" for a job, then claim he can't get one and needs more time. If someone wanted to take a "kick his ass" vacation for a week it might not be a bad idea to stay with him and make sure he goes and looks, or even drive him to places to fill out applications.

    He should forget about going back to school until he can finance it himself, otherwise it's just another potential 4 years of him leeching off your parents and doing the minimum workload, probably ending up with a pretty generic degree that won't earn him much more than he can now.

    Scooter on
  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    next time your parents pressure you into fixing your brother, just tell them to stop enabling/supporting his lifestyle. It is entirely their fault for continuing to fund his pursuit of doing nothing.

    NotYou on
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    In as much as blame can ever be laid outside the individual, I agree with most posters that this is your parents' fault. I'd go so far as to say that this is very much your parents' fault, and they have done your brother a very grave disservice by enabling him to this extent. He's obviously not a motivated individual, and they've given him every reason and excuse to not change that.

    I understand that you want to help him, without enabling him the way your parents do. That's a good thing, and you're a loving brother for wanting good things for him. You can't step in to "fix" him or anything, nor should you think you can. The best thing you can do is to share your views with him and be willing to support him (emotionally, not fiscally or anything like that) if he faces the struggles that it's going to take to get his shit together.

    Don't support him with money, living space or any physical goods, period. He's had more than enough coddling from your parents, and the only way he's going to get any better is to face what most of us refer to as "the real world." If your parents continue to let him live off them and he never changes that, well, there's nothing you can do about that. That's a life, and while it might not be what you want or what's best for him, you can't change it. Maybe they'll wisen up eventually.

    The armed services is certainly an option if he's looking to get his shit together. You're not going to be able to magically push him into it, but it's an option you can suggest down the road when he realizes that there is no fucking way he's going to get much of a job with his lackluster lifestyle history. Again, it's going to be between him and your parents as to whether he'll ever actually have to face up to the consequences of his decisions. Also, the military can't always magically fix everyone. There are some people so lazy that the armed services will just toss your ass back out rather than deal with your bullshit.

    Lastly, your brother is an asshole. I hope you know that, and don't ever feel like you've let him down in some way. It sounds like you are willing to help him steer his life in a better direction, and that's the kind of love that someone shows family. You aren't responsible for holding his hand every step of his life, something your parents seem to be happy to do. Someone who is willing to take advantage of the people who care about him in such a selfish way is hurting the people around him, and you need to keep that in mind when worrying about what you can do for him. Don't let him take advantage of you.

    Darkewolfe on
    What is this I don't even.
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I like the Join the Army direction this has gone. It's too bad they can't just send him away to boot camp...or can they?

    A) Wait until he leaves the house for some reason
    B) Change all locks
    C) Tape recruiting brochures from various services to door, with a note that says, "if you can't figure out what else to do"

    Bye!

    In seriousness, they need to make it unpleasant for him to live there. I can understand as a parent not wanting to see your kid on the street, but at the same time that doesn't obligate you to provide much more than a roof and food.

    mcdermott on
  • DuffelDuffel jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Some good advice in this thread. This situation is mostly your parents' fault. It's obvious that your brother doesn't respect them, and why should he? They're such pushovers that he can sponge off them for nearly thirty years, refusing to get a job or do anything productive at all, and on top of all that be a complete dick to their faces ("You are" - ughh) and get away with it. Then they come and try to push the problem off on you, which is another case of them running away from their own obligations. They're refusing to deal with a monster of their own creation. I'm not trying to insult your family, but that's what we're looking at here.

    It's not fair of them to try to force you to deal with this; it's their responsibility. The only thing you should do is try to convince your parents to collectively grow a pair, because the time for them to act like adults is way overdue. They could have and should have stopped this behavior years ago. You've got your own life to live. Be a good family member and try to get them to do the right thing, but don't go out of your way to do it. If they have to deal with diminished circumstances in their retirement, they have nobody to blame but themselves. And if your brother ends up on the street (after having a period of time to get his act together, of course) then, well, that's his fault too.

    I'm not trying to be harsh, honestly. But this situation is so ridiculous it's hard for me to process that it actually happened. Don't let your brother sponge off of you (somebody has to cut him off or he's never going to stop doing this) and don't let your parents guilt-trip you for their own mistakes.

    Duffel on
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I like the Join the Army direction this has gone. It's too bad they can't just send him away to boot camp...or can they?

    A) Wait until he leaves the house for some reason
    B) Change all locks
    C) Tape recruiting brochures from various services to door, with a note that says, "if you can't figure out what else to do"

    Bye!

    In seriousness, they need to make it unpleasant for him to live there. I can understand as a parent not wanting to see your kid on the street, but at the same time that doesn't obligate you to provide much more than a roof and food.

    I like this idea.

    I also would suggest convincing your parents to (in the summer) turn off the electric/gas etc. until he pays rent.

    Sorry he's your brother, but this guy is a class A douchebag.

    The Crowing One on
    3rddocbottom.jpg
  • DuffelDuffel jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Actually, I think a better solution would be to cut off the fucking Internet.

    EDIT: Although I guess electric would cover that.

    Duffel on
  • mullymully Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Definitely your parents fault. Tell them to cut the umbilical cord, already. They are crippling him by babying him to a point where he sees absolutely no need to go make a life for himself. They are not helping; they are HARMING. Not just him, but themselves. Make sure they realize that. Tell them those words.

    Remember that (assuming!) you are an adult now, and mature enough to realize that your parents are not super-Gods who are always right. Welp, bucko - it's time to tell your parents that they are wrong. Tell them to cut the cord, and if they do, stand back and watch your brother act like a turtle on it's back. Don't worry, he'll flip over, it just takes time and severity of situation.

    mully on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    The real question is what the fuck you do as a 27-year-old with no significant employment history. That can't look good.

    But you know what doesn't fix that?

    Doing nothing.

    mcdermott on
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Duffel wrote: »
    Actually, I think a better solution would be to cut off the fucking Internet.

    EDIT: Although I guess electric would cover that.

    I was going for a "No video games or hot showers" route.

    I'd kill for the ability to loaf around like a jerk at 27. Just not at someone else's expense.

    The Crowing One on
    3rddocbottom.jpg
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    The real question is what the fuck you do as a 27-year-old with no significant employment history. That can't look good.

    But you know what doesn't fix that?

    Doing nothing.

    I think that's where the armed services come in. The armed services is a brilliant place to build a career for an ambitious, young individual who wants to learn a specialized skill set while serving their country. It just so happens to also have space available for total burn-outs with no life skills and no worthwhile profession.

    Darkewolfe on
    What is this I don't even.
  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    The real question is what the fuck you do as a 27-year-old with no significant employment history. That can't look good.

    But you know what doesn't fix that?

    Doing nothing.

    I'd make up a story like being bed ridden, or living out on my aunt's farm... sheesh, not gonna be easy to get a job though. I have friends a year out of college who can't find work...

    NotYou on
  • LoathingLoathing Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    The real question is what the fuck you do as a 27-year-old with no significant employment history. That can't look good.

    But you know what doesn't fix that?

    Doing nothing.

    I think that's where the armed services come in. The armed services is a brilliant place to build a career for an ambitious, young individual who wants to learn a specialized skill set while serving their country. It just so happens to also have space available for total burn-outs with no life skills and no worthwhile profession.

    I'd say 'You need someone to cook your food...' but in all honesty you don't fuck with the cooks, plus they wouldn't let him graduate as one if he was incompetent.

    Supply Tech maybe? No offense :P

    Loathing on
  • DuffelDuffel jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    It is definitely going to be difficult to find a job in this economy with no skills, and even the dimmest boss is going to realize that someone with no college degree and no work experience at nearly 30 years old isn't going to be a great employee. He'll be doing pretty good to get a job as a fry cook or something.

    Still, he made his bed and he's going to have to lay in it, unfortunately. I can't imagine that this guy would do particularly well in the military - he's probably not in very good shape unless he's got a bowflex laying around or something - and of course the fact that he lacks self-discipline isn't going to help, either. But, once again, this is a situation that's been building for years.

    Duffel on
  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    The real question is what the fuck you do as a 27-year-old with no significant employment history. That can't look good.

    But you know what doesn't fix that?

    Doing nothing.

    I actually didn't want to change this into a "join the army" thread, I was merely relating my life experience in that I was much like the OP's brother but I changed for the better but...now that I think about it, he's basically going to have to join the Army
    I don't know of any place of prospective employment that'd hire a 27-year-old with no employment history

    Rent on
  • EndomaticEndomatic Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I willing to bet your brother even WANTS to make a change, but doesn't have the motivation to do so.

    The required motivation?

    A bottom.

    You have to manufacture a bottom for him to hit. This is true for any addiction. It's how professional interventionists approach addiction.

    Kicking him out if he doesn't get a job etc or merely the threat of doing it may entice him into action.

    If he you absolutely don't have the heart to kick him out for real, make it a scene. Get some people involved. It's a little underhanded, but I think the ends justify the means. Make him think your parents can't afford it. You can get creative.

    He may "hate" you for it in the short term, but in the long term, he will thank you.

    Also, he doesn't have to join the army.
    He could try being honest.

    He might get lucky enough to have someone take him on. The whole "trying to get my life in order" is a pretty noble objective and endearing to the right people. The fact that he's not a chemical addiction case will help his chances immensely.

    If he's clean, and speaks and carries himself professionally, he can get a job. It will be tough, but it's doable.

    Endomatic on
  • jhunter46jhunter46 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    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.

    jhunter46 on
  • HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    illig wrote: »
    OP, i'm just curious: Do you think you have any chance of convincing your parents to stop coddling your nearly 30 year old brother?

    I'm asking b/c these threads pop up every few months, and follow the same path:

    1. OP bitches about family situation
    2. Lots of people chime in about kicking the free-loader out on his ass
    3. OP doesn't actually have any pull with his family, so advice is guaranteed to be ignored
    4. Nothing changes

    Thank you for all the responses so far, unfortunately some of them I have tried in the past years so I just wanted to clarify on a few of things:

    - No, I know I can't convince my parents to just kick him out of the house. I've suggested it before but not very strenuously because of an incident when he was in high school and addicted to M:TG. My mother tried to take away his Magic cards to get him out of bed and to go to school. I had a ride to class from my friend's dad and had forgotten something so I went back into the house to grab it. Inside, I found my mother with the binder of cards in the kitchen and my brother with my mom in a headlock, attacking her and screaming at her. I ran back outside and got my friend's dad and we got back inside in time to see my mother drop the binder crying. My brother then grabbed the binder, ran back to his room, and slammed the door.

    Essentially I'm really concerned because it's easy to say "kick him out" but my brother isn't dumb--let's say they come back and have the police evict him, what's going to stop him from camping outside the house, attacking them if they come out, breaking and entering, tracking them or their friends down, etc? Will he get thrown in prison if they won't press charges? I worry that trying to force them to do this is going to escalate the situation to a point where it becomes dangerous for them or takes them to a point where it causes a permanent rift/bad blood thing.

    - I've tried suggesting that he join the armed forces several times and he's refused, there's no way to force him into it, is there? Even if there were, they wouldn't keep him if he refused to cooperate, would they?

    - My parents paid for therapy for him and at various times he was on different drugs. I don't know if he isn't ready to change or what, but after a period of time I think both he and my parents agreed that it was a waste of money and wasn't helping the situation at all.

    - Tried talking to the manager of a local bookstore I used to work at about hiring him -- my mother actually asked that I do this because she had driven him there to apply and he told her that he did. The manager went through all of the applications and told me he had never applied...I didn't tell my mother, maybe I should have. I just felt like telling her would mean another screaming/yelling fight that would just make both of them feel worse.

    - Last holiday when I saw my family I tried talking to him a lot about how great it was to have my own place and money to spend and the freedom to not have parents nagging me all the time and I tried suggesting that maybe he could get a job doing data entry. He told me he doesn't like dealing with people, so I suggested getting a night shift stocking job, his reaction was basically, "Uh huh."

    - I tried suggesting to my parents that they rent him an apartment and help him move out to it, maybe pay for it for 3 months and then just stop helping him to pay the rent. Unfortunately, I don't think anyone is going to lease to him without co-signers which traps them into paying rent for him if he doesn't for the length of the lease. They didn't seem too keen on the idea either and I'm not sure if they could force him to move out.

    Really, I know that I personally can't force any changes to happen or make my parents do anything which is why I wasn't sure of how much advice people could give. It does weigh heavily on my mind though and sometimes I get trapped into this whole cycle of thought:

    "Shouldn't I be able to help somehow? -> My parents seem to think I can. -> Am I really trying hard enough? -> Should I be way more harsh on my brother instead of trying to keep things so he feels he can talk to me if he breaks out of this? -> Am I being selfish by trying to avoid this as much as I am? -> Isn't it selfish that I dread going to see them each year because the situation is so tense and miserable? -> Shouldn't I be able to help somehow?"

    This is usually set off when my parents call me up and ask me to talk to him or call him to try to help. I've told them before that "I'm not his mother or father" but the last time I did that my mother started crying and it turned into feeling like a horrible person when she got into saying that maybe she wasn't a good mother etc. so I've been trying to avoid saying that outright again.

    Since I think someone asked, my parents moved out of the old house because my mother got a job outside of the country, so now they return to it when they're in the U.S.

    tl;dr: I have guilt about this, I know my ability to fix it is limited but it still really depresses me sometimes. I don't know how to fix it or what the right path is.

    I do like the idea of creating a bottom for him, I'll suggest it to my parents but I'm not sure of how to create that kind of a situation without things getting violent or beyond control.

    P.S. I'm his sister, not his brother, haha :D

    Hypatia on
  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Woah
    Okay
    Okay
    Ummm...that assaulting his mom thing...uh...he needs a psychological evaluation. He sounds like either a bipolar or a manic depressive
    Also, Hypatia, I'd almost recommend going the ultimatum route; tell your parents "either you kick him out, or I'm not gonna see you guys (or him) any more". Because honestly, it sounds like your whole family, including you to an extent, is enabling this insanity. This is just ludicrous
    Edit: how much older is your brother than you? this high school incident- is your brother still like that? Was it just puberty/ teenage aggression?

    Rent on
  • Beren39Beren39 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I don't know if issuing an ultimate deadline right away is such a good idea, try easing into it by refusing to give financial support besides the basics (food, etc, no paying for credit card charges). Cutting off his internet access sounds like a great motivator, and one that wouldn't prompt immediate confrontation (like actively taking his magic cards away from him in his presence). Also just a sidenote Rent, bipolar disorder and manic depression are the same thing fyi :P.

    Beren39 on
    Go, Go, EXCALIBUR! - Trent Varsity Swim Team 2009, better watch out for me Phelps!
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  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Beren39 wrote: »
    Also just a sidenote Rent, bipolar disorder and manic depression are the same thing fyi :P.
    Man, I knew that "psych degree in 24 hours or less" college was too good to be true

    Rent on
  • KakodaimonosKakodaimonos Code fondler Helping the 1% get richerRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Do you know what he was taking or what the diagnosis was? It really does sound like he's either bipolar or depressive. Does he have phases where he's much more energetic and outgoing?

    My sister is bipolar and she's ok as long as she keeps taking her meds, but if she goes off of them, she will just hide in her apartment and watch TV all the time when she's in her depressive phase.

    And regardless, this is a shitty situation your parents are trying to put you in. You are not responsible for your brother and frankly, neither are your parents at this point. At some point, all of you need to decide how much you are willing to do for your brother. Your brother is a grown man and if he does have problems or issues, he needs to be learn how to deal with them on his own.

    I know how you feel, I get the same mix of annoyance which turns into anger which turns into guilt when I think about my sister and what I am able to help her with and what I am willing to help her with. But you have to live your own life and you can't always help them, especially if they don't want your help or they're not willing to take the steps needed to take care of themselves.

    Kakodaimonos on
  • DuffelDuffel jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    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.

    Duffel on
  • KajustaKajusta 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.

    Two words?

    Fucking insane.

    I'd personally go the "easing" in route. Once he realizes your parent's are going to stop paying for essentials, internet(in his case), electricity, food, etc., the sooner he'll either shape up and take control of his own life or he'll hit his own personal bottom and work his way up from that.

    Kajusta on
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  • B:LB:L I've done worse. 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.

    Hikikomori (or more specifically, Parasite Singles)

    Fucking insane works too. The best advice I can give is that it's not your fault, and don't blame yourself if he doesn't change.

    B:L on
    10mvrci.png click for Anime chat
  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered 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.

    Ganker?
    Oh god I'm so sorry

    Rent on
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