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Thread: brother possibly staying for extended time

  1. #1
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    brother possibly staying for extended time

    So, long story short, Me, oldest of 5, living on my own, might be hosting my younger brother (22) who was living with our mom. Middle (28) and youngest sister (17) also lives there with mom.

    There was an incident the other weekend with one of his friends who is in the military and was visiting. Military friend was caught trying to kiss our youngest sister and when brother saw this he flipped out (which I can't say I necessarily blame him for). Things got heated, words were said (by all parties), and point is that there was an environment where he felt that the best decision was to leave the house and stay with a friend (different friend from military friend). He had an outburst and said some things that he probably will regret down the road, but that's an issue to tackle another day. He's currently with said friend for now but this won't last too long. Ideal next choice is for him to stay with me for a few days, possibly more, and then help him make his next move, which I have offered.

    He's been dealing with a few emotional issues and needs help getting set in the right direction so he can get his life going, so him being at the house with mom and sisters was never going to work out as it is, but it's just unfortunate it manifested itself in this way. Either way, what was done (and said) was done and here we are. As the older brother, and as someone who has some room available (albeit not much in my 1 bedroom apt) I have the capacity to host him for a short period until he is ready to get back on his feet and hopefully get an apt with his friend who is ready to move in with him once he has a job and some footing.

    So, my question:

    While I'm hosting my younger brother, and playing this role of helper and host, what are some ground rules I can set while he's here?
    As mentioned, its only a 1 bedroom apt, so space is limited. He's stayed over before and slept on the couch etc, so I don't see the sleeping arrangement as being a huge issue. I guess my main concern will be when I'm at work and, inevitably, he's here in my place just sort of doing his own thing.

    Now, that being said, I do have a plan as far as helping him get a job, get emotionally stable, and eventually getting on good terms with the family again...but those are all things that will take some time. For the right here and now, we need to establish a baseline.

    How can I best do this? I love him, and will do what I can to help him, but I also am trying to get my life going in a certain direction and having my own place without disturbances is a big part of that.

    Has anyone else dealt with this kind of situation where you host family for a short period of time while they get back on their feet? How did it play out?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by Guitarguy_82; 10-18-2018 at 12:13 AM.

  2. #2
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    Well, I'm a bit fuzzy in the details here. Why wasn't the military friend thrown out of your mother's home rather than your brother being thrown out of your mother's home?

    And what exactly are you worried about having your brother stay with you? Are you afraid of him going through your stuff? Or are you a loner?

    I would say the guideline you're looking for is that you need to tell him is a time limit he can stay with you, whether it's two weeks, a month, six weeks, or whatever. Help him as much as possible, but you want to be firm with when he has to move out by that time so that you light a fire under his behind to get a job and move out.

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    You are going to need to establish a firm timeframe here.

    You say you have a plan for him to get emotionally stable, get a job and get back on his feet. That's admirable, but it's also a tall order. What is your plan, exactly? What happens if it doesn't work or he's not willing to put in the effort?

    I would be concerned about the emotional instability you're hinting at. That is something for a medical professional to address, and as you said, it's going to take a while to find a path of treatment or care that works and that he's willing to commit to. What sort of outburst did he have at home that led to him actually not being welcome there?

    As for him being at your house while he's not at work, well, I think all you can do is make it clear he is not to have anyone over while you're gone. I'm not sure what else you're concerned about there - could you elaborate? I would also be asking him for proof that he's working on his resume or job-hunting or making an appointment with a doctor (or other such productive activities) and not simply hanging out.

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    Hey thanks for the replies so far, I guess I should expand on the situation a bit more just for context. Apologies for the long reply:

    Why wasn't the military friend thrown out of your mother's home rather than your brother being thrown out of your mother's home?
    Ok good question, so basically neither was thrown out necessarily. Military friend was only in town for a short period of time to begin with. Brother, when he saw the kissing incident, I guess had a bad reaction to it all. I guess it was something he was suspicious of for a while ever since military friend came into town. For some context, the military friend is someone he's known for a long time...and seeing this guy try to kiss our sister...well I can imagine I'd be just as upset if I saw something like that going on from someone who I thought was a good close friend. Brother, from what I'm told, and from what he's told me, got very upset, and I guess said some things that were hurtful to everyone. Something along the lines of "you can all go to hell" or something like that. There's probably more that was said that I'm unaware of, but that's the overall theme.

    So, military friend wasn't thrown out, which from my perspective I'm still somewhat confused about as to why he was even still there (keep in mind I didn't find out about this whole debacle until a few days after it had already happened), but either way, Brother had an emotional outburst, said some things out of anger, and for whatever reason, felt like his only recourse was to simply exit the house. Now from what I'm told, he came back to the house the next day, had a confrontation with military friend, and military friend is now back on the road.

    In the aftermath of it all, Brother still had a lot of anger and resentment towards the situation, and I guess he "shut down" and basically holed himself up in his room. Understandable.
    Then, (and the details on this one are still murky to me) middle sister decided that she became a lawyer all of a sudden and was saying that Brother needed to leave the house because he was being too loud or reckless or something in his room and was bothering our mom who has been ill and hasn't had the energy to really confront anyone or deal with much. Again, I don't have all the details on this, but it went from bad to worse, more words were said, and middle sister decided that she was going to threaten calling the cops on Brother for not doing what she said and for, I guess, just being a "nasty" person. Again, not sure what was going through her head. She has her own issues that make me question her thought process at times.

    Either way, Brother didn't want to deal with it anymore, decided to leave, basically told the family "goodbye", went to his other friends house. Mom called me the next morning, saying brother was gone and nobody knew where he was. That's where I decided I needed to step in and find out exactly what was going on. Found out he was with this other friend (the one he wants to eventually move in with), called him, talked with him and brother, and convinced him to come stay with me for a while.

    As of today, he accepted my offer, and he is currently here. I figure today will just be a day of getting him comfortable, getting him fed, making sure he has some clothes and toiletries (apparently he had nothing on him after leaving the house, not even his phone), and just establishing a baseline.

    And what exactly are you worried about having your brother stay with you? Are you afraid of him going through your stuff? Or are you a loner?
    Not necessarily worried, I've just never had a situation like this where family is staying for an extended time, and in such a way where he's not exactly welcome in his "main" home, and I feel like I can play the role of helping him out. Not really worried about him going through my stuff per se. I don't have anything to hide or am embarrassed about...although if he does, I would hope that he reflects on it and would think "why am I snooping on this guy...he's pretty boring"
    I guess I'm a loner in the sense that I don't have many friends and I'm currently single, but I like to look at it more as I'm just focusing on bettering myself. I'd like to get my career at a certain place and I find that excess friends or relationships get in the way of that right now :)

    I would say the guideline you're looking for is that you need to tell him is a time limit he can stay with you, whether it's two weeks, a month, six weeks, or whatever. Help him as much as possible, but you want to be firm with when he has to move out by that time so that you light a fire under his behind to get a job and move out.
    Good point. Yeah I'm guessing this will be a few days, maybe even a few weeks. I'm fine with that only because he's my brother and I feel like I can help him move in the right direction over time.



    ---

    You say you have a plan for him to get emotionally stable, get a job and get back on his feet. That's admirable, but it's also a tall order. What is your plan, exactly? What happens if it doesn't work or he's not willing to put in the effort?
    You're right it is a tall order. I don't assume I'm going to fix him or solve all his problems. However seeing as how I'm the only member of the family that is willing to at least hear him out and work with him despite anything he may have done...I feel like I can at least give it a try.
    My plan is basically to 1) let him bring up the subject if he wants, 2) from there, ask him about what he thinks he can do to start approaching the family again (cutting the family out is not wise in my opinion. being angry for a while is one thing, but abandoning them is another) 3) and if not, what his next steps should be. Basically, I want him to feel like he's in control and has a plan. I simply want to be the facilitator. I'm not a therapist, although I've seen a few and might suggest he see one. Who knows, maybe he'll agree and see that he's not alone. In addition to those main points, I want to establish the baseline rules while he's here for him to follow and know that, hey, this isn't a permanent thing, and that he also needs to start thinking long term about a plan of attack for how he wants to carry out his life.
    If it doesn't work...well then I tried, and he's free to make his own choices as an adult and face any and all consequences.

    I would be concerned about the emotional instability you're hinting at. That is something for a medical professional to address, and as you said, it's going to take a while to find a path of treatment or care that works and that he's willing to commit to. What sort of outburst did he have at home that led to him actually not being welcome there?
    I agree. Like I mentioned, I don't know 100% of everything that was said, but I do want to at least provide an avenue for him to feel like he's not totally cut out from everyone and can recoup while he's here with me. I do plan on talking to him about anger in general and maybe some suggestions about his next steps, but that's something I'll play by ear.
    As for the home incident, from what I'm told there was more than one outburst towards military friend. I believe there was also a physical confrontation, although he never mentioned it. I don't have all the details. I guess he was just in general really angry at everyone. I'm taking the healthy assumption that there's more going on with him and probably some deeper issues (his dad, my step dad, passed away a year ago and it hit him particularly hard, so that also plays into it a bit I'm sure.
    As for him not being welcome, I think the only one in the house that doesn't actually want him physically there is probably middle sister, the one that tried to call the cops on him. She's only been staying at the house for a few weeks as it is as she's been in between apartments and jobs. She has her own issues though. Mom seems wiling to work with him and even pay his cell phone bill so he at least has some method of communication. And youngest sister, well I'm not sure her feelings on it yet. I haven't spoken to her since this whole thing blew up. I'm guessing she's not too terribly happy with him either and probably feels hurt. Probably confused as well.

    As for him being at your house while he's not at work, well, I think all you can do is make it clear he is not to have anyone over while you're gone. I'm not sure what else you're concerned about there - could you elaborate? I would also be asking him for proof that he's working on his resume or job-hunting or making an appointment with a doctor (or other such productive activities) and not simply hanging out.
    Good point on not having anyone over. The only other person who could even possibly be included in that is the one friend he stayed with for a day or so, the one he eventually wants to move in with. Even then, brother has no phone with which to reach out to anyone.
    Also good point on the resume and job hunting. I have a few ideas for him as far as working from home (he doesn't have a car), so we will see how that goes.
    Ditto on the doctor or even therapist if he's interested in it. I'll share my therapy experience with him and offer to pay for a 1st visit just so he can have a 3rd party to vent to.
    As for the other concerns, like I said above, I'm not terribly concerned with him going through my stuff per se, just more what kind of expectations I should lay down while he's here in this particular manner. He's family, so my home is open to him, but he's also not exactly having a great last few days and has said some hurtful things to the family in general. So I can't just give him a free pass, but I also feel like I can be the bridge to help him reconnect at some point, if that's what he wants.

    Just need to figure out how to properly navigate this.

    Sorry for the long reply, I just wanted to be thorough and clear up any confusion.

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  6. #5
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    It sounds as if you have a good plan. . I was going to chime in about the time line, but someone else did already.
    Setting the time line helps you reinforce the expectation, otherwise it's a little ambiguous.

    I learned this from managing employees. Telling them you want one this is altogether different then giving them a timeline in which it's excepted to be completed.

    It would also be a good opportunity to sit down with him and let him have a say in this. The perception of turning over the power to them gives them the sense of ownership. In the end he'll feel more of a sense of accomplishment.

    Good Luck!

  7. #6
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    The problem with taking someone in who has no job and emotional problems is that it's like life support: it's easy to put someone ON, but when the results are not self sustaining, how do you take him off?

    You can have the best plans in the world, but you can't control the outcome. I'd make sure that brother has an exit plan to someone else's place before taking him in, and I'd want to speak to the next host myself to confirm the date for brother's exit.

    Better yet, I'd stay out of this and offer help to brother from afar. He'll be far more motivated to do the best for himself without settling into the comfort of your place.


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