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Old 07-09-2012, 09:03 PM
 
55 posts, read 191,515 times
Reputation: 67

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I'll try to make this as brief as possible, though it may be a bit long.

Me: I'm 23, college graduate, work full-time as a freelance web developer and writer. I live at home with my parents who are 64 and 62. Both have had health problems in the past (dad had a double bypass in 2004, has diabetes; mom had kidney cancer in 2010 and has had issues with gout and bad arthritis) but are still pretty active now and in fairly good health. I'm the youngest of 5. I mostly stay at home now to help them out when they need it. I could easily get a place of my own, but haven't because it's been most convenient to stick around here and help out when it's necessary (my mom babysits my sisters kids, so I end up helping them, too). I've contributed a lot to this household including appliances that we needed, improvements to the inside of the house etc. My dad and mom aren't the best with money, so I've been trying to help them budget and get things in order for their upcoming switch from private insurance to medicare. I've never really fought with my parents and have never given them any trouble. Essentially--and not to sound egotistical--I've done more to help my parents than any of my siblings have combined. And don't get me wrong, they HAVE helped in the past and are good people, but they've got families so it's a little hard for them to be there as much as I, as a childless person, can.

My brother: He's 32 and the next closest sibling in age. Unfortunately, he's the least mature of us. We've always joked that he's got the maturity of a teenager. Ever since he became an adult, he's gone from one bad situation to another. He moved out of state to attend college for a woman he met on the internet; they broke up and he starved out there because he didn't tell us what was going on. He came home and met another woman on the internet; this one had a child already that was 2. They basically lied to the kid and told him that my brother was his father. The kid is now a teenager and still doesn't know the truth. They had a kid together who is 6 and is the worst behaved kid I've ever seen. The kid cusses, kicks people, shrieks like a monkey anytime he is disciplined, gets in trouble in school etc. It's not the kid's fault, though, as his parents do not take care of him. They stick him in front of video games all day and let him do whatever he wants. No matter what he does, he rarely gets punished for it. Long story short, this relationship ended and my brother moved onto another bad one. That ended, too. At the end of both relationships he was suicidal to the point of needing to go to a mental hospital. Once released he refused to get on medication or otherwise get help for himself. Now he's dating a woman who isn't divorced yet, has two kids, no career etc.

This brother has continually taken advantage of the kindness of his siblings and his parents. He's made us do his taxes, fill out his financial aid documents, help him with fixing his problems around his house etc. Basically anything he can pawn off on someone else, he'll do it because he's too lazy to do it himself. He's currently stuck in a dead end job and is no where close to graduating college, despite having taken out $50,000 in loans and being nearly 7 years into college). When he's come up over the years (for 3-4 years recently, he stayed at my parents house nearly every weekend, eating their food, sleeping all day, making my mom watch his two kids for him, never cleaning up after himself) he's continued to take advantage of everyone. Yet no one says anything to him because of his past suicide episodes and his depression. They talk privately, though.

Out of the kindness of my heart and to help him financially, I offered to let him on my cell phone plan two years ago. That was a horrible mistake as I soon saw my bills go way up because he used so many texts and minutes. He never paid enough each month to cover his share. He also did not pay on time because he couldn't afford to (gave me the excuse that his paycheck before the due date was used for his mortgage). Eventually, they started hitting me with late fees and even put a notice on my credit report that payment was late. All because of him. What really made me mad was finding out he recently blew $300 in a big city with his new girlfriend, yet couldn't "afford" to pay his phone bill on time.

Well, this past weekend, he was being a huge jerk to me and also to my mom. Yet again, he wasn't watching his kids and was letting his 6 year old call my parents names, hit my dad, disrespect everyone else etc. Finally, after hearing him describe my job as "writing porn" (and it's not, it's writing technical computer articles) I got mad. I told him that he should be more concerned with parenting his child, that is child is the way he is because he is not a good father to him, that the reason why my other nieces and nephews are as well behaved as they are is that their parents actually discipline and do things with them etc. He of course started saying more stuff about me and continued to throughout the weekend. He even brought our mom into it, trying to get her to make me apologize.

That was a low blow. Since my mom's cancer bout, she's been very emotional. She does NOT need the stress, yet that's all he's ever done to her. I told him to leave her out of it, that it's between him and I. He accused her of taking my side, yet she's ALWAYS been on his side because she worries so much about him.

Long story short, he went back home yesterday and I made the decision to end the cell phone contract since his 2 year plan was up. I had been thinking about doing it for a while and decided to finally do it. I texted him and told him that I would be ending it Wednesday (to give him some notice to get his own plan). I was nice in my message and explained that I was doing it because it cost me too much and they were marking payments as late. Well, him being the irrational person he is, he basically flipped out. He called my mom, asked her if she thought it was fair, she told him no, yet he said "I'm done with you now" and hung up on her! I then texted him to leave her out of it, that if he wants to be mad at anyone, it's me and I again explained why I was ending the contract. He texted me a long, very hate filled message saying we were poisonous and to have a nice bleeping life. He basically implied that he was cutting us out of his life. All this over the end of a cell phone contract!

If anything, his reaction to this just proves how badly he needs help. He treats every single "no" as being betrayed by his family. Abandonment issues. He's not stable. Despite the fact that we've ALL done a LOT over the years to help him and that he's never done anything to help us--we're still "poisonous". It's always been a "take take take" relationship for him. I don't honestly feel that bad about this, I'm ready for a break from his BS, but I do not want to see my mom upset over this and that's who I worry about most.

I guess I'm just looking for advice. What should I do next? Just ignore him? Reach out to him? Was I wrong in speaking my mind after being verbally attacked by him and wanting to end a cell phone contract that cost me thousands of extra dollars due to his overusage?
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:08 PM
 
578 posts, read 888,931 times
Reputation: 650
How many chances can you give someone ?? You've done the right thing. Take care of yourself and your parents. He needs too grow up. Not your problem
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,822 posts, read 56,000,461 times
Reputation: 19019
Your entire family is enabling him. Google "co-dependent" to see the pattern. Do nothing more for him.

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Old 07-09-2012, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,416,139 times
Reputation: 9552
No, you were not wrong ending the contract, no matter how poorly he treated you. He is refusing to accept his responsibilities and costing you.
You have two choices as far as I can see -
1) You are not his mommy. You are not his keeper. You are not responsible for his choices. And as much angst as it may cause you, you are better off without him. Don't take his calls, don't answer his texts, don't pay his bills. If you must, tell your mother calmly and rationally that you will no longer enable him. This may cause some friction between you and your family, as apparently they are all in on the 'pity poor brother' scenario. You will have to deal with that calmly and confidently. You can refuse to tolerate drama in your life.

2) You can go on enabling him, pitying him, answering his selfish and self-interested demands, paying his bills, and putting up with his rudeness and smart mouth. Your parents can go on putting up with his abuse (his kids were hitting your father??? I would've knocked the kid across the room!) and so can you - thereby encouraging him to believe that he has no limits, no boundaries, and no responsibilities. You can live in a constant drama storm. Stop complaining and enjoy it, because it is you who permits it.

He will not ever stop; because, you see, he doesn't have to, as long as he can guilt you or your parents into being responsible for his lousy choices. At his age, he will just find someone else to glom on to and take advantage of, dump on and pour out his drama on - he will never stop, he doesn't want your help to be a grownup, and never will.

I dumped my brother when he married his 4th wife and kicked his oldest son out of his house (into mine). When he was arrested by the FBI for selling child porn on the Internet (some of which involved his stepdaughters) my mother insisted that I had to pay his $3000 bond and 'take him in' while he awaited trial. I refused, so she did it - and he molested a neighboring teen while he was living at her house! I told her and him that if he ever stepped foot on our property, no one would ever find his body. And - I meant it. 15 years later, he doesn't know where I am (I moved 1700 miles away) and occasionally still calls our stepbrother trying to move in with him. Life is too short to be anyone's - even a family member's - doormat - no matter what guilt trips your parents try to lay on you. Live your own life and pay your own bills, no one else's.
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:11 AM
 
7,378 posts, read 11,551,642 times
Reputation: 8182
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post

I dumped my brother when he married his 4th wife and kicked his oldest son out of his house (into mine). When he was arrested by the FBI for selling child porn on the Internet (some of which involved his stepdaughters) my mother insisted that I had to pay his $3000 bond and 'take him in' while he awaited trial. I refused, so she did it - and he molested a neighboring teen while he was living at her house! I told her and him that if he ever stepped foot on our property, no one would ever find his body. And - I meant it. 15 years later, he doesn't know where I am (I moved 1700 miles away) and occasionally still calls our stepbrother trying to move in with him. Life is too short to be anyone's - even a family member's - doormat - no matter what guilt trips your parents try to lay on you. Live your own life and pay your own bills, no one else's.
Man ...

I can't believe people have immediate relatives like this.

That sucks/
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,031 posts, read 17,348,573 times
Reputation: 41339
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
No, you were not wrong ending the contract, no matter how poorly he treated you. He is refusing to accept his responsibilities and costing you.
You have two choices as far as I can see -
1) You are not his mommy. You are not his keeper. You are not responsible for his choices. And as much angst as it may cause you, you are better off without him. Don't take his calls, don't answer his texts, don't pay his bills. If you must, tell your mother calmly and rationally that you will no longer enable him. This may cause some friction between you and your family, as apparently they are all in on the 'pity poor brother' scenario. You will have to deal with that calmly and confidently. You can refuse to tolerate drama in your life.

2) You can go on enabling him, pitying him, answering his selfish and self-interested demands, paying his bills, and putting up with his rudeness and smart mouth. Your parents can go on putting up with his abuse (his kids were hitting your father??? I would've knocked the kid across the room!) and so can you - thereby encouraging him to believe that he has no limits, no boundaries, and no responsibilities. You can live in a constant drama storm. Stop complaining and enjoy it, because it is you who permits it.

He will not ever stop; because, you see, he doesn't have to, as long as he can guilt you or your parents into being responsible for his lousy choices. At his age, he will just find someone else to glom on to and take advantage of, dump on and pour out his drama on - he will never stop, he doesn't want your help to be a grownup, and never will.

I dumped my brother when he married his 4th wife and kicked his oldest son out of his house (into mine). When he was arrested by the FBI for selling child porn on the Internet (some of which involved his stepdaughters) my mother insisted that I had to pay his $3000 bond and 'take him in' while he awaited trial. I refused, so she did it - and he molested a neighboring teen while he was living at her house! I told her and him that if he ever stepped foot on our property, no one would ever find his body. And - I meant it. 15 years later, he doesn't know where I am (I moved 1700 miles away) and occasionally still calls our stepbrother trying to move in with him. Life is too short to be anyone's - even a family member's - doormat - no matter what guilt trips your parents try to lay on you. Live your own life and pay your own bills, no one else's.
What an excellent response. You said it all.
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:13 AM
 
35,108 posts, read 40,230,180 times
Reputation: 62050
Kick him to the curb for good and move on. He will never change as long as you and others allow him to continue to behave the way he is. Let someone else deal with him and take his abuse.
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:34 AM
 
12,691 posts, read 14,074,796 times
Reputation: 34790
Look, you are helping your parents, and it sounds like you may find that they will be leaning on you even more heavily in the future. Your brother's track record speaks for itself.

Given your role with your parents, you need your brother in your life like you need lice.

Don't spread yourself needlessly thin, clearly it is your parents who need your strength - and goodness.
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:45 AM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,225 posts, read 14,929,741 times
Reputation: 14983
There's not a whole more to say than what others have already. You did the right thing.

The only thing I'd like to add is this: You do know that you can call CPS on the child who kicks your father - and it might be just what those two "unparents" need. Child services can require them to take parenting classes but mostly it sounds as though this child is acting out to get some attention. Remember that negative attention is still attention. It might be the best thing you can do for this child before he winds up in some serious trouble.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,031 posts, read 17,348,573 times
Reputation: 41339
Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
There's not a whole more to say than what others have already. You did the right thing.

The only thing I'd like to add is this: You do know that you can call CPS on the child who kicks your father - and it might be just what those two "unparents" need. Child services can require them to take parenting classes but mostly it sounds as though this child is acting out to get some attention. Remember that negative attention is still attention. It might be the best thing you can do for this child before he winds up in some serious trouble.


I agree. Sometimes reporting a child to CPS is the best thing that can happen in their young life.
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