What to do about my "brother"


#1

Hello there!

I am completely lost on what to do with my brother. To cut an extremely long story short my brother has ever since he could walk and talk been a black sheep. He is all but exiled from our family due to the fact he has on his own driven our family into the ground. The constant lies and thieving (we are talking going into family bank accounts and emptying them and things of that nature, not just petty theft) are only a small part of what he does. Its the emotional blackmail and constant harassment of family members that are currently causing a lot of grief.
My oldest brother and I are far better at dealing with this as we grew up with him, but he is targeting my parents and other weaker members of my family such as my desperately ill grandmother. I have watched my parents over the years go from the extremely happy outgoing loving people they once were to the constantly depressed, angry and beaten people they are now days. Not a day goes by that he isnt up to some form of emotional bullying, thieving or spreading lies.

He refuses to get a job because he "doesnt like work" and lives off of government handouts + what he can steal/bribe out of the family. I dont use this word lightly but he is pure scum, he is evil and will never change.

I live in the same town as he does (lucky me) and as my mother lives some 90 miles away and cannot handle him in person, I am the one who is sent to take him shopping or drop off money when my parents have simply had enough and given in. I am fine with this as he is scared of me due to my size and occupation and knows I simply wont stand for his rubbish. Yesterday was one of these days where my mother was at work and being bombarded with hundreds of calls from him so she gave in and asked me to take him food shopping and put money into his account. He had told her he had a money off voucher so if she sent him x amount he could spend y amount instead. Turns out (surprisingly) this was a lie, however he still spent her money on his shop. This left me angry enough. The sight of him on a good day literally sends a shiver down my spine, he disgusts me and makes me feel dirty.
On the way dropping him home I had to stop for gas so whilst I filled the car up, I gave him the money and sent him in to pay for it. Thinking nothing of my STUPID lapse in judgement off we went and I carried on my day. Skip to the evening after I had finished working I got a phonecall from my parents asking me to call them. The police from my town had contacted the police from their town to inform them I had ran away without paying for my gas and that I MUST go and pay it now or I face prosecution. I was shocked as I have never dealt with police in my life! It turns out he used the money to buy cigarettes even though I had just given him two packets out of my own money!!

These are just a few examples of the type of person he is, every chance to abuse somebody he takes. He is a leech who feeds off of the weak. I hate him with every fiber of my being.

What on earth am I to do with somebody like this? Catholic friends say to forgive and forget, but he wont stop, ever!

Sorry for the venting, but thank you for reading. Any and ALL advice is appreciated.


#2

get your mother a private phone number. Change her locks. Then learn to say "NO" to everything short of him dying in the hospital. Until your family realizes that they are not doing him a favor by enabling him, he will continue to be a predator.

then pray... a lot!


#3

The thing is me and my brother can do the NO thing extremely well. But it is my parents who cannot. Regardless of what he does he is their son and they cant completely cut him out despite our pleads. And then when my parents are at breaking point, I do anything they ask of me to help them and stop his bombardment.

So unless they stop, I cannot stop. Catch 22, dammed if i dont, dammed if I do!


#4

Prayers for all of you.


#5

Unfortunately your parents are allowing him to be the leach he is. By giving in, they are not encouraging him to grow up and take responsibility. I agree with the other poster, change her phone number and her locks. Maybe even try to put out a restraining order on him being within a certain distance from their home? Good luck.


#6

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Perhaps you could turn him in for stealing your gas money? All I know is I've seen people go down this road and others like it. My brother was an alcoholic, but he never believed it. Then he got arrested for DUI, went to jail for a night and was put on probation and community service. He hasn't drank since. Maybe what your brother needs is a wake up call from the police.


#7

[quote="Stevonsky, post:1, topic:254502"]
Hello there!

[/quote]

vsedrive completely.
This is fight and all ammunition is all right. Defend your parents, change the lock of your parents' home, threaten him (you both are 2 men) that if he ... if he ... you will do .... and ... Be creative. Go back to him and steal the things he has stolen.

Corral him to a corner and threaten him. For each nauseating thing he does, create a defense, put alarms on the house, I am just inventing, whatever.

If he steals something that is your parent's call the police. After all that was not given to him and belongs to you inheritance.

There is no sweet talk to people like this. they only understand the brute force.

if needed more ideas, I may (perhaps) have some more ideas. Just dont let him free from the hook.


#8

[quote="Stevonsky, post:3, topic:254502"]
The thing is me and my brother can do the NO thing extremely well. But it is my parents who cannot. Regardless of what he does he is their son and they cant completely cut him out despite our pleads. And then when my parents are at breaking point, I do anything they ask of me to help them and stop his bombardment.

So unless they stop, I cannot stop. Catch 22, dammed if i dont, dammed if I do!

[/quote]

Just tell your parents you can't deal with it any more, that you've had the police called on you and that it's tearing up your spiritual well-being to the point that you're despairing of God's call to salvation for your brother. You are not the one who is going to be able to help him and you need to bow out... and you need to tell your parents you're bowing out.

You're enabling them to enable him. They're grown ups, let them handle it and tell them you're done!


#9

Did he do jail time for 'emptying bank accounts'?


#10

Thanks for all the advice.

No he did not do jail time for emptying the accounts as the bank did not want to waste time pressing charges on somebody who cannot pay it back, and my parents refuse to press charges at all.

I want to bow out as suggested, and yes my parents are adults but if I bow out then there is no filter left between him and them. How can I force them to cut all ties to him? There has got to be a way somehow. I understand I am enabling them to enable him but like most people here, I cant just watch my parents suffer.

I wonder on what grounds "physical" intervention would be justified?

Thanks again!


#11

My sympathies.

Dear wife has a son who is like this. There is really nothing you can do to change him. Your description is of a sociopath and that is all there is to it.

The only thing you can do is to try to protect yourself and your parents.

It's difficult to give any substantial advice in such a situation but I would advise that you talk to an attorney about your options. This person is harassing your parents, basically extorting money from them. This alone might be sufficient to get a court order against him particularly where your grandmother is concerned.
There might also be ways for your mom and dad to put their money away so that it's protected from him getting to it.

Also, sit down with your folks and talk about how they feel abut all of this. It's important that you all understand each other. As someone else has said, when they give in they are just enabling (and validating) his lifestyle and methods. There has to be a stop to it somehow.

Finally - While we are suppose to Love one another, there is such a thing as "Fraternal correction" and Jesus did tell the Apostles to buy a sword...:D
So if push comes to shove, it might require that you and your older brother to apply some "behavior modification" techniques ;) so that his fear of you extends to how he relates to your parents.

Others who say "forgive and forget" probably have not dealt with such a situation. Forgive is one thing, but forget is another. To forget is to permit a constant repeating of these things. To remember, but keeping your cool, allows you to deal with the issues in an appropriate manner that protects the innocent from predation.

Hope some of this helps.

Peace
James


#12

Just a quick thought about giving him money - it sounds like your folks give you money to give to him for whatever reason (Groceries).

Especially since he has now stolen money from you (the gas business)
I might suggest that if you get a call to take him grocery shopping with x dollars, that instead YOU go shopping, spend x dollars on some basic essentials and deliver them to his place. Tell him that from now on, this is how it will be since you cannot trust him with either their money or with yours.

In this way you take the control away from him while still fulfilling a Christian task of giving him food.

Also tell him that if he complains to your parents about this new arrangement, that you and he might have "something more than words" on the matter.

Don't get angry, don't shout or become physical (unless he does first) but be clear and firm so that he can be in no doubt that you are serious.

Peace
James


#13

The friends who tell you to "forgive and forget" are not doing you any favors. Our Lord told us to instruct the ignorant and admonish sinners. The right thing to do (and most loving) is to be harsh to someone who thinks it is quite all right and is enabled to do what he has been doing for years.

An intervention may be the best thing to do.


#14

[quote="Stevonsky, post:10, topic:254502"]
I want to bow out as suggested, and yes my parents are adults but if I bow out then there is no filter left between him and them. How can I force them to cut all ties to him? There has got to be a way somehow. I understand I am enabling them to enable him but like most people here, I cant just watch my parents suffer.

[/quote]

It's their choice to suffer to help him, not yours. Why are you taking responsibility upon yourself for their choices?

Why would you want to FORCE them to cut ties with their son? Perhaps you should consider that you'd be doing the same thing to them that he is: forcing them to do something which is in YOUR will, not theirs. You'd be becoming what you hate.

For another thing, you don't even know WHY they are helping your brother. They may be helping him because he was abused by an adult as a child and they know the spiritual damage it did to him but don't feel the need to share it with you. Stop trying to force THEIR decisions based on YOUR knowledge.

The reality is that they have their choices and you have yours. If you've reached the limit of what you can do and maintain spiritual health, then you need to bow out. STOP accepting responsibility for choices of others which are beyond your control! Bow out, and PRAY.

Let the Holy Spirit do this job, since you're obviously not helping and are actively hurting your own spiritual life by continuing to believe in your own strength and ability to change that which you cannot. What you are being called to do (bowing out of the fight) is going to require something difficult: humbly admitting that you don't have the tools to fix this one. Swallow your pride and give it to God!

I wonder on what grounds "physical" intervention would be justified?

On no grounds whatsoever unless your brother becomes a physical threat to others, and even then you may only do so in defense of others (and no preemptive strikes!)


#15

You are creating your own problem.

If you want to end your involvement with your brother, "Idiot", just do so. The fact that your parents won't cut Idiot off is their problem. You must set boundaries. That means when your parents reach out to you to help them, guess what? you tell them NO.

Does this mean that you don't have the same unhealthy relationship with your parents as before? YES and that is a wonderful thing. You can then have a relationship with your parents that is free of Idiot. It might not be as often or as "close" but it will be actually genuine. I think you are more scared of the fact that they might not have a relationship with you if you don't help them with Idiot. That is a tough thing to confront, but what if that is the reality? That they only keep you invovled in their lives to aid with Idiot. Why would you want that? Now, that might not be the case, and they might be upset with you and limit their involvement with you if you refuse to help with Idiot, but at least you will know the truth!

Clearly your help is solely motivated by fear and that is not a good way to help anyone. Rather you should be motivated by love.

Now on to IDIOT. He sure sounds like he's a drug addict or an alcoholic or both. Sounds like he needs a treatment program. It also sounds like he needs to be in jail or both. Possibly agree to help only if he gets help for his problem.

Btw, you have to learn to forgive him, but that does not mean that you forget and that in forgiving him there are no consequences.


#16

[quote="JRKH, post:11, topic:254502"]
It's difficult to give any substantial advice in such a situation but I would advise that you talk to an attorney about your options. This person is harassing your parents, basically extorting money from them. This alone might be sufficient to get a court order against him particularly where your grandmother is concerned.

[/quote]

I would agree with this advice - speak to an attorney. Depending on the age of your parents and grandparents, this might qualify as elder abuse.

Also, all of you should find out about putting fraud alerts or credit blocks on your credit reporting files. If your brother gets hold of your social security number (or other family members), he could open all sorts of accounts in your name and really have a field day. Better to be pro-active now instead of trying to lock the barn door after the horse is gone later on.


#17

[quote="WhatMeWorry, post:16, topic:254502"]
I would agree with this advice - speak to an attorney. Depending on the age of your parents and grandparents, this might qualify as elder abuse.

Also, all of you should find out about putting fraud alerts or credit blocks on your credit reporting files. If your brother gets hold of your social security number (or other family members), he could open all sorts of accounts in your name and really have a field day. Better to be pro-active now instead of trying to lock the barn door after the horse is gone later on.

[/quote]

A+++ advice. Talk to a lawyer, and get you parents to talk to a lawyer, even if you have to drag them there. AND start reporting him to the police. If he threatens someone, report him. If he steals something, report him. Also take the earlier advice about changing phone numbers and locks. This guy is seriously bad news and will ruin the lives of everyone in your family if you let him.

You don't have to let him.


#18

Promethius the only reason my parents help him is to stop his constant harassment. He has had no such negative impacts in his life. My parents are extremely open with me due t the fact I'm the son who didn't go off the rails. There is nothing they are hiding about what he has been through.

And yes it's all easy for you to say just bow out but then I have to watch my parents suffer. My mother openly said to me once that if she could end it all without hurting her parents she would because she was so fed up of it all and it's only gotten worse. Not sure what kind of person you are but I cannot just watch that happen for the sake of my own wellbeing.


#19

[quote="Tighty_Whitey, post:15, topic:254502"]
You are creating your own problem.

If you want to end your involvement with your brother, "Idiot", just do so. The fact that your parents won't cut Idiot off is their problem. You must set boundaries. That means when your parents reach out to you to help them, guess what? you tell them NO.

Clearly your help is solely motivated by fear and that is not a good way to help anyone. Rather you should be motivated by love.

Now on to IDIOT. He sure sounds like he's a drug addict or an alcoholic or both. Sounds like he needs a treatment program. It also sounds like he needs to be in jail or both. Possibly agree to help only if he gets help for his problem.

Btw, you have to learn to forgive him, but that does not mean that you forget and that in forgiving him there are no consequences.

[/quote]

AMEN! As an alcoholic myself (not saying this is his problem, he sounds like a sociopath) I know that the only way I "got it" was to drive everyone out of my life who even remotely cared about me and then and only then did I see what I had become.

Steph


#20

[quote="Stevonsky, post:18, topic:254502"]
Promethius the only reason my parents help him is to stop his constant harassment. He has had no such negative impacts in his life. My parents are extremely open with me due t the fact I'm the son who didn't go off the rails. There is nothing they are hiding about what he has been through.

And yes it's all easy for you to say just bow out but then I have to watch my parents suffer. My mother openly said to me once that if she could end it all without hurting her parents she would because she was so fed up of it all and it's only gotten worse. Not sure what kind of person you are but I cannot just watch that happen for the sake of my own well being.

[/quote]

All the more reason for you to get help from any and every avenue possible. If I'm reading right your mom even considered suicide?? You really need to talk to the authorities. This is a legitimate concern and reason for issuing a restraining order.

Let your parents know that you will be there for them. Get legal advice and be willing to take the bull by the horns if need be.

Do everything you can to remove any avenue for him to abuse your parents. As others have said, change locks and phone numbers.

Like I said earlier it's hard to give really specific advice, but it does seem like it is time to take action for the health and well being of your mom and dad.

Peace
James


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.