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Old June 16th, 2014, 09:39 AM
hankscorpio hankscorpio is offline
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Loser Brother

I'm a new user on this forum, just trying to find some advice on what to do with my older brother.

Some background: I am 35 years old and come from a family of 5 brothers. My older brother is going to be 37 in a couple weeks. My parents still own the house that we grew up in, and he still lives at home with them. They are now in their early 60's. I live in the same city, own a house, married with a couple of kids, full time job, and all that.

Here's a brief timeline of my brothers adult life:
- Graduates high school at age 18
- Gets 1st job at age 19 doing janitorial work. Works semi-full time. Still lives at home.
- At age 25 impregnates foreign migrant worker who speaks no English and is in her late 30's. Still lives at home.
- At age 26 brings migrant worker to live with him at parent's house with baby.
- At age 30, moves in to apartment next door to parents house.
- At age 32, laid off from janitorial position. Car breaks down and is unable to purchase a replacement. Moves back into parents house with child. Mother moves away.
- At age 33, gets part time job doing labor at Walmart. Uses my mother's vehicle for transport.
- At age 34, invites online female friend to come hang out. She comes up from another state to hang at my parents house. She is in her early 20's, and has had 3 children already, one of which still lives with her. He impregnates her during this time.
- At age 35, baby girl is born. Mommy and daddy live at my parents with child #1 and now the baby. Mommy's other child goes back to home state to live with grandparents.

So here we have the gist of it. There are many, many more details that I could bore everyone with, but I think this will at least paint a good overall picture. I cut off contact with him once he knocked up the 2nd girl, but this has really put a strain on my relationship with my mother- which has it's own unrelated difficulties. I know it's not really my place to "approve" of what he does, being an adult, but I just am unable to deal with this nonsense anymore. It's not right. I have recently made efforts to re-connect with my mother since we really haven't talked since I found out that he knocked up the 2nd girl, but it's very difficult as she will not come to my house and the only way I can see her or have her be any part of my children's lives is to go over there and be around my brother. I would like to have some sort of relationship with her and I would like to include her in my children's lives especially as my parents start to reach their golden years, but it is very difficult to do this over there.

Any thoughts are appreciated. It seems weird to bounce this off of internet strangers, but the only other one I can really talk to about it is my wife and she's probably sick of hearing about it by now
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Old June 16th, 2014, 10:05 AM
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KayKay KayKay is offline
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Re: Loser Brother

Welcome, hankscorpio. And because I can't resist... where can I buy some hammocks? (To other forum members who don't get it - no, I have not lost it. It's a Simpson's reference.)

You know, of course, that there's nothing really that you can do to change your brother. It's really sad that his behavior is impacting your relationship with your parents though. Why won't your mother come to your house? That is the part that doesn't make sense to me. Is she trying to force you to have a relationship with your brother?

All you can do is continue to try to meet your parents elsewhere. Have them come to soccer games, meet for dinner out at a restaurant, spend an hour at the park, etc. Can you time your visits with your parents around your brother's work schedule?

Your parents probably feel pretty powerless in the situation. They probably can't figure out why your brother is behaving that way or what to do about it. However, he is their son and the children are their grandchildren (and innocent in all of this - can you imagine being abandoned by your mother?!) and your mom can't give up on him. He needs her far worse than you do, which, when you think about it, is a compliment to you.

What about your other brothers? How do they feel about it and handle it?
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Old June 16th, 2014, 10:42 AM
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Kazmaier Kazmaier is offline
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Re: Loser Brother

Hey hankscorpio.

I'm sorry to see you going through this with your brother and parents. When siblings are feuding it's very difficult for the mother to tolerate. It's very hard on them. You only get one mother. Family is damn important these days. You must make up with your brother. Try asking your mother how important it is to her that you and your brother get along. This is hard to help with because I've never met you and your family. The list you provided of your brother's faults seems a little judgmental to me. Quite often we are so focused on other people's flaws we tend to not examine our own. God forbid your brother died tomorrow, you'd be stuck with tons of unanswered questions and regret that your last memories of him were negative. How do you think your mother would feel should such a tragedy happen?
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Old June 16th, 2014, 10:54 AM
hankscorpio hankscorpio is offline
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Re: Loser Brother

Try the hammock district

Thanks for responding. . .To answer your question about my mother not wanting to come to my house- I have offered many times for her to come over, or for us to go out to dinner or something along those lines. She won't come to my house- I have lived there for 6 years and she has been there about 5 times. I really can't say why for certain- she does have issues with feeling "inferior" to everyone and I think that has something to do with it, but in any case she has made it clear that she is only willing to host. Now because of my relationship with my brother and my refusal to go over there, my 3 year old daughter doesn't even know her grandmother. I did end up stopping over there last week, which is kind of what led to to post on here as I try to figure out the best way to do this.

I totally understand that it's harder for my mom than it is for me, and she loves my nieces like they are her own (which is a good thing since their parents fail at parenting). I also feel horrible for my nieces, who are too young to even realize what a loser their father is. I've told my dad I don't know what I would do if I was in their shoes- I really don't. And I think it's safe to say that after nearly 20 years of being an adult and still acting like a 15 year old, my brother is unlikely to ever change. When something happens to one or both of my parents (my dad already had a massive heart attack and both of my mother's parents died young from health issues that she is already showing signs of) the house of cards is going to come crashing down and the innocent girls will be the ones that get a raw deal.

My brothers- one I haven't talked to in years and he does his own thing and doesn't stay in touch with the family. One is on the other side of the state, though he's a good dude he doesn't like drama so he just "turns the other cheek" when it comes to our older brother. The only one that really seems to care or sees things along the same lines that I do lives across the country.

Anyway, I don't know if there's a good answer, this is all such a complicated mess. I believe I will continue to try and maintain a relationship the only way that I seem to have available, by stopping over on occasion. I am just scared of what the future is going to hold, and what is going to happen down the road and how much of this is going to be my job to fix. I tried to express this concern to my dad some time ago, but it was somehow misconstrued and all it ended up doing was motivating them to change their will so that I wouldn't be the executor (at least that's what one of my brothers told me)
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Old June 16th, 2014, 11:09 AM
hankscorpio hankscorpio is offline
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Re: Loser Brother

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Originally Posted by Kazmaier View Post
Hey hankscorpio.

I'm sorry to see you going through this with your brother and parents. When siblings are feuding it's very difficult for the mother to tolerate. It's very hard on them. You only get one mother. Family is damn important these days. You must make up with your brother. Try asking your mother how important it is to her that you and your brother get along. This is hard to help with because I've never met you and your family. The list you provided of your brother's faults seems a little judgmental to me. Quite often we are so focused on other people's flaws we tend to not examine our own. God forbid your brother died tomorrow, you'd be stuck with tons of unanswered questions and regret that your last memories of him were negative. How do you think your mother would feel should such a tragedy happen?
Thanks for responding. I understand that it seems a little unfair for me to sit and list all the things that I perceive as horrible life decisions that my brother has made- I'll be the 1st to admit that my own list would certainly not be empty.

That said, I do want my mother to be happy, especially being in her later years. I would feel horrible for the rest of my life if she left this world with a bad opinion of me. That is part of the reason I reached out to her last week after about a year and a half. Most of the reason I can't mend the relationship with my brother is that he has caused my mother so much undue stress and he just doesn't care. He just goes along playing his video games and not having a care in the world, while she continues to support him and now his 2 kids. My dad is retiring next year; this should be the time of their lives where they relax and remember good times, and host holiday dinners and do whatever things they never had time to do before. But instead she gets to wash my brothers dirty laundry and feed the baby when she wakes up in the middle of the night, make their dinner and bring my niece to recitals at school, and file paperwork for her state health insurance since my brother can't be bothered to do it himself. I talked to him multiple times over the years. When he knocked up girl #2 that was the straw that broke the camel's back.
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Old June 16th, 2014, 11:19 AM
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Re: Loser Brother

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Originally Posted by hankscorpio View Post
I am just scared of what the future is going to hold, and what is going to happen down the road and how much of this is going to be my job to fix.
I totally get this.

I have two sisters from whom I am estranged. My dad (now deceased) always put the responsibility on me to be the one who kept the family together even though I am younger than my two sisters. Now that I am older and a little more experienced in life, I understand why. My sisters are fine, fully functioning adults with careers and happy lives. But underneath their exterior, they are just a little bit cuckoo. My dad knew that they would need "family" and he always hoped I'd put up with the bullying and love my sisters despite their faults. I did, until I had kids of my own who took priority over my adult sisters. I saw the writing on the wall, like you have, and wondered what was going to happen down the road after my dad died. Thankfully I have a brother who was willing and able to step in to be my sisters' surrogate parent. Yes, my sisters are in their late 50's and still need a parent. It sounds like your brother will be too.

My husband has a sister with the same story too. We are very concerned that she will become our responsibility after his parents die. It is not a happy place to be - to have to clean up decades of "mess" because of enabling parents (and my in-laws seem to have recognized this and are trying to step back from their involvement in my sister-in-law's life).

I don't have much to offer except empathy and moral support. Keep doing what you're doing. You have to concentrate on your job as a parent to a 3yo little girl and not as a parent to a 37yo man.

I'll start at the Hammock Hut on 3rd.
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Old June 16th, 2014, 11:35 AM
hankscorpio hankscorpio is offline
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Re: Loser Brother

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayKay View Post
I totally get this.

I have two sisters from whom I am estranged. My dad (now deceased) always put the responsibility on me to be the one who kept the family together even though I am younger than my two sisters. Now that I am older and a little more experienced in life, I understand why. My sisters are fine, fully functioning adults with careers and happy lives. But underneath their exterior, they are just a little bit cuckoo. My dad knew that they would need "family" and he always hoped I'd put up with the bullying and love my sisters despite their faults. I did, until I had kids of my own who took priority over my adult sisters. I saw the writing on the wall, like you have, and wondered what was going to happen down the road after my dad died. Thankfully I have a brother who was willing and able to step in to be my sisters' surrogate parent. Yes, my sisters are in their late 50's and still need a parent. It sounds like your brother will be too.

My husband has a sister with the same story too. We are very concerned that she will become our responsibility after his parents die. It is not a happy place to be - to have to clean up decades of "mess" because of enabling parents (and my in-laws seem to have recognized this and are trying to step back from their involvement in my sister-in-law's life).

I don't have much to offer except empathy and moral support. Keep doing what you're doing. You have to concentrate on your job as a parent to a 3yo little girl and not as a parent to a 37yo man.

I'll start at the Hammock Hut on 3rd.
Thanks

At the very least it is refreshing to hear that someone can relate to the issue- and your statement "to have to clean up decades of "mess" because of enabling parents" feels like it came right out of my head.

Thanks for listening!
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