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View Full Version : Brother’s Day of Reckoning has come [a long rant]


JamesMom
07-20-2011, 05:38 PM
I have written about my brother about a year ago and now his poor decisions have come up to bite him in the rear and we are going to let it. Thanks in advance for letting me share this story with people who might understand.

Background – He lives in a rented trailer with his dog. He worked as a local delivery driver for a company since 2002. In 2006 the corporate grapevine spoke of moving the company to Mexico. My brother did nothing to prepare. In 2008 half of the staff was let go. My brother did nothing. In March 2009 he was laid off. Wow. Didn’t see that coming…

And my brother did nothing. Not even when our mother was wasting away in a nursing home 15 minutes from his house. He visited her a whole four times during her last year while I handled all her affairs and my family. One of his few visits was the day she died in February 2010.

This whole time he has lived off of $1300 month unemployment for the Texas max of 93 weeks submitting the bare minimum to keep the checks rolling. In other words, didn’t really look for work. Last unemployment check was Dec 2010. This happens to be the month his driver’s license was due. His last DWI of 2001 (one of several) showed up on his record and needed to pay $200 fine to get it cleared. He refused. So he has no license to look for a job in his field – driving. His car, a 1986 model, broke down in August of 2010 and has sat idle in his driveway since. He still smokes and drinks which he admits costs him $300 a month and has an $80 monthly Direct TV bill…

In early February 2011 – I finished settling my mom’s estate (of which she left NOTHING to my brother, smart woman) and offered either a new car or cash to my brother out of my share (I also shared with my other not-mentioned siblings – read my previous posts if interested). Broke, he took the cash.

Fast forward to July 2011 and he is broke again, but has a drug-addicted girlfriend (his words – so guess where my mom’s money went…) – car still not fixed, no driver’s license (but has state ID) and he is 48 hours from being evicted. He is 2 months behind on rent and can’t move into a friends unit because he lives in the same complex. The landlord would file eviction paperwork on anyone who houses a person behind on rent or evicted. So, he calls his sister (Me) for the first time in a month. Like a schmuck – we pay his back rent with the advice to move ASAP as there is NO MORE MONEY from us.

He claims he got a job (only say he ‘claims’ because if you were out of work for 2+ years, wouldn’t you be screaming from the roof tops that you got employment!! I didn’t hear a peep from this guy until the eviction was about to go through –curious) washing dishes but ‘hurt’ his back 2 weeks in and ‘might’ need surgery. He is filing for Social Security Disability. The position is hourly and he is in too much pain to work. His cell phone is on our account and we have paid his share this whole time. Now I refuse to answer the phone and listen to more excuses, but I needn’t worry – he hasn’t called even to thank us for bailing him out after the check cleared. He can leave a message.

This Friday – rent is due again. If he doesn’t pay it (and he can’t – not working and charity won’t pay $575 in one go) and if hasn’t moved – then he can’t move into his local friends places because of the Landlords rules about housing people behind on rent/evicted. Hope the shelter is safe.

My prayers go out to him and hope he is safe, but we can do no more.
His decisions have led him to this place. He cannot move in with us because his values and behavior are not those I want around my kids (drinking, smoking, swearing, references to sex & drugs, etc…) and we don’t want him disrupting our lives so he doesn’t have to disrupt his. BTW – he will turn SIXTY in December.

Thanks for letting me rant. I have lost sleep over this, but I know I am doing the right thing – but like a parent, I have to let him make his own mistakes as an adult and it’s hard to watch.

bdcp
07-20-2011, 05:46 PM
Way past time for him to grow up, be an adult and take care of himself. I agree, you've gone way beyond what is necessary. He's proven how irresponsible he is. Don't let him pull you down with him. You warned him so let him figure it out for himself.

bumbershoot
07-20-2011, 05:46 PM
Oh my goodness. You've been very kind to him. Hopefully this will be his rock bottom and he can go up from here.

sydneysmom
07-20-2011, 05:49 PM
First off, take a deep breath and give yourself a HUGE hug. You are no longer CHOOSING to be an enabler. GOOD FOR YOU !!! :grouphug: I'm so sorry about your mother. I know that you must be in so much pain from that, and this certainly doesn't help.

In my opinion, you are doing the right thing for YOU and your family. Eventually, he may see that you did the right thing by him too. You seem to have given him every opportunity to turn his life around, and HE has chosen not to. HE made those choices. YOU must make yours. It sounds like it was a very painful decision, but hold firm to what decision you made. Because if you let him make you feel bad and you cave in, he will be able to roll all over you any time he wants. This might be the kick in the **** he needs to turn his own life around.

My prayers are with you..... I wish you the best of luck and much love. :hug:

mrsklamc
07-20-2011, 05:55 PM
Sometimes the kindest thing you can do is let people lie in the bed they've made.

mousebymarriage
07-20-2011, 05:56 PM
:hug: I'm sorry you are dealing with this. I know it's hard but, I think it's time your brother learn to stand on his own two feet or suffer the consequences of his laziness.

Disneybuckeye
07-20-2011, 06:05 PM
My heart goes out to you. What a difficult situation you are in. I do not blame you for not helping him as he clearly does not have his priorities in order.

csharpwv
07-20-2011, 06:10 PM
OP your brother sounds a lot like my Mom's youngest brother.
I didn't meet him until I was a junior in high school, he had been in prison the whole time.
He is a very bright person, but he always used his intelligence to stay a step ahead of the authorities.
When he was in the military, he went AWOL. He ended up on his parents door step. His dad, and a friend of the family loaded him in the car - and drove him 18 hours back to the base. On the way home, his dad and friend stopped off at another family member's home to catch some sleep before make the 16 hour drive back. He beat them back home.
He once stole my Mom's car, wrecked it, and claimed to not know what happened to it.... the keys were in his pocket, along with a traffic violation from the accident.
He was released from prison in the late 1990's and was back in a few short years later on parole violations, theft of a car, forgery, and a various other slate of offenses.
After he got out once again, the calls resumed for money, for a ride, for anything.
He never sent letters, he never sent a birthday card, he never wanted to be around unless it was of benefit to him.
He is a liar, a thief, and a bum.
When my Mom passed away on May 1st of this year, her older brother was going to get the younger brother released for 1 day to attend the funeral. My Dad stepped up and said NO -absolutely not. It was what Mom would have wanted, and by her NOT answering the phone when he called over the last year - she wanted nothing to do with him.

There comes a time when you have to say - enough is enough.
It is with confidence that I say that I am 100% sure your brother was never involved in your life, a role model to your children, or a source of price for your parents. Barely getting by, belief that the world (and your entire family) owes you something, and the total inability to be responsible for anything are all capstones of this type of person.

In all reality - he is a loser, and you have given him every opportunity for him to pick himself up, dust off, and start fresh.

With people like that, it is always the fault of someone else. There is never a mirror for them to look in and see that they put their life on its ultimate course, and they chose their destination.

Don't you dare feel guilty either - you have helped, you have tried, and you have given him every opportunity.

If you are smart, you will discontinue his cell service as well.

I just don't understand how someone can have so little pride in themselves.

GinnyEmma
07-20-2011, 06:37 PM
Eh, they will be lucky if they can evict him. Either way it is his mess. What should be easy isn't. I do find it a bit off to be both offering up prayers for someone while trashing them on a msg board.

MPLsDad
07-20-2011, 07:10 PM
You've done the right thing. You've lost your mom and suffered through your brother's bad decisions. You've given so much. Let the pain of all of this leave you and live your life knowing that you've tried to help. May I make one small suggestion and take down this thread before someone posts a dissenting opinion that makes you feel otherwise...STAY STRONG!!!!:goodvibes:goodvibes

bettymae1121
07-20-2011, 07:16 PM
Sounds like he's just trying to "coast" until he can apply for SS early retirement at age 62.

mjantz
07-20-2011, 07:22 PM
Your have my sympathy. I expect we'll be hearing from my SIL once my in-laws are gone & they can't bail her out anymore. I have wondered how many times she would have been homeless if not for their interventions. DH & I have decided we will keep our doors open to her kids (who thankfully seem to be on different paths) but we will not enable her in any way. If she ends up homeless so be it. The gravy train will be gone.

csharpwv
07-20-2011, 07:28 PM
Eh, they will be lucky if they can evict him. Either way it is his mess. What should be easy isn't. I do find it a bit off to be both offering up prayers for someone while trashing them on a msg board.

I don't think the OP was 'trashing' her brother at all - she was pointing out the pattern of poor decision, and bringing to light that she is at the end of her rope with him.

I can think someone is the biggest idiot on the face of the earth, and still pray for them.

The op's brother defies reason.

figment3258
07-20-2011, 07:33 PM
My heart goes out to you. :hug: I grew up with a half sister and half brother both are much older than me and my dad was always bailing them both out and nothing ever changed until my dad passed away and my mom wouldn't help them very bad situations fast forward 8 years and my brother drank himself to death and the half sisterly and out of mental hospitals unemployed and loves living off the system the swerving is they both had kids it's hard o watch family suffer but some times it's the only thing you can do.

LoveBWVVBR
07-20-2011, 07:38 PM
Wow, my mom's brother has a twin:sad2: IMHO you are doing the right thing by distancing yourself from the situation. He needs to take care of himself.

FWIW, my mom's brother ended up living in a homeless shelter for a while. Even that wasn't enough inspiration for him to get a job:sad2: Some people never change.

nunzia
07-20-2011, 08:06 PM
You know..you can only do what you can do and you've done more. We have people like this come in EVERY DAY insisting they get helped..some nicely, some not so. I'm sorry, but I hope he doesn't get disability..I hope he wises up and at least finds a way to take care of himself for a couple more years..at which time he will start sucking Social Security out of the system as well..

bumbershoot
07-20-2011, 09:12 PM
...while trashing them on a msg board.

Describing someone's own actions isn't trashing them.

a1tinkfans
07-20-2011, 10:07 PM
I have written about my brother about a year ago and now his poor decisions have come up to bite him in the rear and we are going to let it. Thanks in advance for letting me share this story with people who might understand.

Background – He lives in a rented trailer with his dog. He worked as a local delivery driver for a company since 2002. In 2006 the corporate grapevine spoke of moving the company to Mexico. My brother did nothing to prepare. In 2008 half of the staff was let go. My brother did nothing. In March 2009 he was laid off. Wow. Didn’t see that coming…

And my brother did nothing. Not even when our mother was wasting away in a nursing home 15 minutes from his house. He visited her a whole four times during her last year while I handled all her affairs and my family. One of his few visits was the day she died in February 2010.

This whole time he has lived off of $1300 month unemployment for the Texas max of 93 weeks submitting the bare minimum to keep the checks rolling. In other words, didn’t really look for work. Last unemployment check was Dec 2010. This happens to be the month his driver’s license was due. His last DWI of 2001 (one of several) showed up on his record and needed to pay $200 fine to get it cleared. He refused. So he has no license to look for a job in his field – driving. His car, a 1986 model, broke down in August of 2010 and has sat idle in his driveway since. He still smokes and drinks which he admits costs him $300 a month and has an $80 monthly Direct TV bill…

In early February 2011 – I finished settling my mom’s estate (of which she left NOTHING to my brother, smart woman) and offered either a new car or cash to my brother out of my share (I also shared with my other not-mentioned siblings – read my previous posts if interested). Broke, he took the cash.

Fast forward to July 2011 and he is broke again, but has a drug-addicted girlfriend (his words – so guess where my mom’s money went…) – car still not fixed, no driver’s license (but has state ID) and he is 48 hours from being evicted. He is 2 months behind on rent and can’t move into a friends unit because he lives in the same complex. The landlord would file eviction paperwork on anyone who houses a person behind on rent or evicted. So, he calls his sister (Me) for the first time in a month. Like a schmuck – we pay his back rent with the advice to move ASAP as there is NO MORE MONEY from us.

He claims he got a job (only say he ‘claims’ because if you were out of work for 2+ years, wouldn’t you be screaming from the roof tops that you got employment!! I didn’t hear a peep from this guy until the eviction was about to go through –curious) washing dishes but ‘hurt’ his back 2 weeks in and ‘might’ need surgery. He is filing for Social Security Disability. The position is hourly and he is in too much pain to work. His cell phone is on our account and we have paid his share this whole time. Now I refuse to answer the phone and listen to more excuses, but I needn’t worry – he hasn’t called even to thank us for bailing him out after the check cleared. He can leave a message.

This Friday – rent is due again. If he doesn’t pay it (and he can’t – not working and charity won’t pay $575 in one go) and if hasn’t moved – then he can’t move into his local friends places because of the Landlords rules about housing people behind on rent/evicted. Hope the shelter is safe.

My prayers go out to him and hope he is safe, but we can do no more.
His decisions have led him to this place. He cannot move in with us because his values and behavior are not those I want around my kids (drinking, smoking, swearing, references to sex & drugs, etc…) and we don’t want him disrupting our lives so he doesn’t have to disrupt his. BTW – he will turn SIXTY in December.

Thanks for letting me rant. I have lost sleep over this, but I know I am doing the right thing – but like a parent, I have to let him make his own mistakes as an adult and it’s hard to watch.

:grouphug:
Life is difficult for many, you have tried your very best and he does not "get it" Lets just pray that he one day can appreciate all your help and that he can get the help NOW that he truly needs to lead a productive life in society...We can only hope....
Best of luck to you and your family. It is not easy being the sibling of such a person as he. :grouphug:

JamesMom
07-21-2011, 03:00 PM
OP, here.

Thanks for all the posts. Honestly, I was suprised by the (mostly) favorable responses. I guess I was expecting for people to call me heartless for letting him live on the street, lol. Families should, in most circumstances, look out for each other, but sometimes you just have to let them go. It's hard because my family isn't close and my brother and Aunt are pretty much the only family I have contact with - everyone else has faded out or is dead. So to 'lose' another family member is sad.
My Aunt and I have shaken our heads for years (decades) over my brother's actions. My mom was the same way in terms of blaming others while taking the easy road - which in our opinion, isn't that easy when you see where the road leads in the end.
Sigh. Oh well. Hopefully this will be an object lesson for my children as to what not to do, as it was for me.
Thanks again for listening!

lovehoney
07-21-2011, 03:57 PM
Your post brought me to tears. It must be hard to see someone you love making such bad decisions. I think you can still have love in your heart for someone and let them go. That's what makes it so hard.

Rainman415
07-21-2011, 04:06 PM
I also have one of those BIL. He has lived with pretty much everyone in the family at least once, until he wears out his welcome. Last November once again he has been fired from his job, recently divorced and no longer has a place to live. So what do I say to my husband??? It's cold out and almost Christmas honey...we can't let him live on the street. My husband says we will regret it but I say, we can't turn away family. Well guess who was right?? He told us when he moved in that it's just for 6 weeks so he can get another job and save money for rent. Every day all he does is watch tv. Well 4 months later we confront him and let him know he has one month to find a job and a place to live. He tells us he doesn't have to take us talking to him like that. So we tell him you have a choice....find a job or go. He chose to pack his things and leave right then. Then he goes in the garage and calls my husband out there and threatens to beat him up....lol.....mind you they are both in their early 40's. Then he gets in his car and instead of saying thanks for giving me a place to live for free....he proceeds to flip off my husband all the way down the block for all my neighbors to see. This has been going on for at least 20 years. No one can help him. He must help himself. Of course he believes that none of this is his fault, and says we blame him for everything. So he immediately moves to Nashville to make it big in the music industry, find a job and within 2 weeks is fired again. Again, not his fault. There's so much I could go on for weeks. This person is no longer welcome in my home. I don't want him around my children. I fear he will be living like this for the rest of his days. It's sad, but until he takes responsibility for his actions, he will continue to live this way. OP....you are doing the right thing. :sad2:

disykat
07-21-2011, 04:26 PM
Not saying he was pushed in a stroller at age 11, but it reminds me once again to teach my kids to expect more of themselves.

It's really sad that he never learned how to be self sufficient and hold himself accountable. That's a big lesson that more and more people don't seem to be learning!

disneychic2
07-21-2011, 04:27 PM
We all want to think of our siblings or other family members as being basically decent people. Unfortunately, many are only fooling themselves. OP, you have done what you can for your brother and that knowledge should comfort you now, when you are at the end of your rope. It truly is enabling his behavior every time he gets bailed out of his messes and it helps no one. I'm glad you are done with that and moving on. As a pp said, get him off of your cell phone plan ASAP. My only brother died when he was 18 and I can't really imagine what it would be like to have to turn my back on him, had he turned out like your brother. Be strong. Be encouraged. Be at peace. You are doing the right thing. Prayers to you.

crisi
07-21-2011, 04:36 PM
Yep. Be at peace with yourself. If you are having problems letting go, you might want to try AlAnon. Even if he isn't an addict, you have been codependent.

thegilchrists
07-21-2011, 04:45 PM
I am right there with you! But in our case it is our son and DIL. Now , mind you , they are in their early twenties......but this is where they are headed.
We are raising their children as they were taken away due to the filth they were living in............we have paid their bills( most recently $700 in utilities)since we were trying to help them out and put their utilites in my name. DIL is 3rd generation public assistance and her mom gave birth to her in prison for drugs. All in all, we have given them right at $8500 in the last year or so.
No thank you, no effort to find jobs, if they have a penny in their pocket they are blowing it on some selfish stupid thing for THEM not the kids.:mad:
Did not mean to thread jack but you are doing the right thing........do not let anyone tell you otherwise. We are not well off by any means but scrimped and saved so the grandbabies could have something and in the end, we just enabled the losers-yes I called my kid a loser.......don't bash me but after 4 years of trying to help and doing for them and the grandbabies...we have had enough.:headache:
They may grow up SOMEDAY.....they may not. We have done what we can and will do no more to help them until they begin helping themselves.
Every family has one or more of these personalities.....you have to do what is best for YOU and YOUR Husband and YOUR kids.

HUGS TO YOU(((((((:goodvibes)))))))
You are not alone!:grouphug:

Sherri

MomiTo2SwtGuys
07-21-2011, 05:57 PM
Sad situation. I don't understand why some people choose to live this way. It reminds me of my MIL. I hope he can get back on his feet. You should not be responsible for him though. Good luck! Prayers and best wishes.

TLuvsD
07-21-2011, 06:27 PM
So sorry you are dealing with this, I think you are making good decisions...at some point his life is his responsibility.

DisGirl819
07-21-2011, 10:55 PM
Oh my, that sounds like my brother's future. :( He's almost 30 and my mom is a complete enabler. He's never learned to live on his own, he lives on excuses and my parents. I think you've done everything you can to help him turn his life around and he has chosen his path and chosen to keep living his life of irresponsibility. Good for you for standing up for yourself and your family.

momof1princess
07-21-2011, 11:40 PM
i'm so sorry, OP :hug: please don't feel guilty, you've done everything you can for your brother; it's time for him to help himself.

i know how you feel...my mom is just like him. my grandmother, who is now 82 years old, is STILL helping my mom pay her bills, because mom's SSD doesn't stretch quite far enough. don't get me wrong, when my mom worked, she worked really hard, BUT, she has no idea how to manage money, and now has NO savings or 401K to fall back on-she blew it all on her loser ex-BF. we all chip in from time-to-time and get her whatever she needs-groceries, medical co-pays, gas money, etc. when my grandmother dies, i don't know what mom will do, because none of us can afford to pay her bills. it's going to be ugly.

MEM
07-22-2011, 03:11 PM
Dear OP,

I also feel you are doing the right thing. If someone always bails out your brother then he has no reason to grow up and become a responsible citizen. My parents were always horrible with money and even as 45 year old adults with 4 kids they were always baled out by one or more of their parents. My sister seems to be the only one who inherited that gene. My two brothers and I are extremely careful with our money. I can't send my mother cash but I can send her things she needs, offer to buy her new eyeglasses, shoes, etc. and promise her that she'll never be homeless. Unfortunately DSis now lives with her so there's two money mis-managers sharing a household.

fkj2
07-23-2011, 09:25 AM
I don't think the OP was 'trashing' her brother at all - she was pointing out the pattern of poor decision, and bringing to light that she is at the end of her rope with him.

I can think someone is the biggest idiot on the face of the earth, and still pray for them.

The op's brother defies reason.

You keep doing what you done, you keep getting what you got.

The brother has no incentive to modify his behavior if the OP continues to bail him out. Personally, some people can't change; they're content to bump along and hope someone else will bail them out. I think we can admit we all know someone like that. At some point, for your own sanity, it's time to cut 'em loose or the drama goes on and on and on....

seashoreCM
07-23-2011, 09:56 AM
Don't throw good money after bad.

Don't pay his rent for him, all that does is make the landlord one month richer and you one month poorer.

Have you done some Googling about "tough love" yet?

Topper
07-23-2011, 05:17 PM
This has nothing to do with the Budget Board. No matter how any of you try to spin it.

mrsklamc
07-23-2011, 05:53 PM
Many many things are on the budget board that are unrelated to budgeting; but I would guess op posted this here because she has posted other issues w/ her brother before that were budget related and is sharing the follow up.