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Thread: I need help with my brother

  1. #1
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    I need help with my brother

    Just a quick outline:
    My brother is 32 - 2 years older than me. He has been unstable for a number of years, can't hold down a job, in crippling debt, he abuses the family's trust wth money, he looks very unhealthy all the time (when he makes contact that is). He has a girlfriend and two children, and a stepson. His girlfriend is pretty unstable herself from what I can gather, and it appears to be a very co-dependent relationship - the problems got worse when she came along, and he now no longer sees a child from a previous relationship (my first niece who we all adore and see all the time). She has every now and then sent manipulative and abusive messages to everyone in my family (sometimes pretending to be my brother), some very worrying and mean messages, and as a result relationships between my family members and my brother are very fractured/non-existent. I wish she didn't do this, as it causes me a lot of stress when i hear about it. When someone mentions hers behaviours is just says oh don't worry about it, she's just sounding off etc

    I have been living back at home since redundancy, and the constant exposure to the issues is overwhelming beyond belief. I have tried to help him over the years, I really have, but the worry and the stress is making me very ill. He won't help himself. I like to think I have made better decisions that my dysfunctional family members and I just want to break free from it - does that make me a bad person? I want to concentrate on myself and try my best to be happy despite it all, but feel I can't be happy unless everyone else is, and my worry and anxiety is intense.

    Do i need to just move back out as soon as possible and love from a distance?

  2. #2
    Gold Member maew's Avatar
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    Do i need to just move back out as soon as possible and love from a distance?
    The short answer to this is yes from the sounds of your post. You can't seem to stop yourself from taking his issues personally when you are around the rest of your family, so it might be best to have some distance between you and them.

  3. #3
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    Yes you should move out. I don't think your brother will take your help. Your brother lives at home? He is being enabled by your family.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Learn to love your brother for who and what he is, instead of who and what you want him to be. This means that you need to accept him as is instead of trying to fix him and take on his problems and make it about yourself to the point of making yourself sick with it. Instead of worrying about your brother, consider that you yourself need some serious fixing and out of the two of you, the only person you can fix is yourself. So get on with that and yes, move out and far away from them all.

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  6. #5
    Bronze Member thisisrichey's Avatar
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    In the end.. we are responsible for OUR OWN destiny. Why? Because nobody else will be - they have enough problems worrying about themselves.
    Besides, trying to live a successful and fulfilling life just for ourselves is tough enough.

    It doesn't sound like its' the right thing to do, but the right thing to do here is to do whatever you need to do to make your best life - whatever that entails (moving out, cutting off contact, putting conditions on contact, making rules, etc.).

    Couple of analogies to cement this:
    1. In what way does it help a miserable person be not miserable, by getting help by somebody else who is ALSO miserable? :)
    2. We've all wanted to be healthier or lose weight at one point in time. What has inspired us to finally make that move to do someting like that? Because somebody keeps saying to us "you need ot eat better ane exercise and lose weight!" or when a friend suddenly loses 50 lbs and is cut and has completely transformed their health but never uttered a word to us?

    So maybe the best way to help people.... is to lead by example so they can see that it's possible, then come to you to inquire about it. But most people don't do it or approach it this way.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    The best analogy I've heard that applies to all aspects of living is the airplane instructions that tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first before attempting to help anyone else.

    Focus on your own life, and once you gain the sustenance you need, you'll also gain a far better perspective about what you can actually do to help others.


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