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Mum and brother getting me down. Please help?

By January 18, 2010 - 2:14am
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I am 19 years old and moved out from my mum's house a year ago to live with my partner. My mum is divorced from my dad who lives about 40 miles away but my mum and dad have still stayed close after 13 years apart. Now my brother who is 23 is jobless after quitting his very good job 7 months ago. He has a 16 year old girfriend and they stop at my mums house making it messy and just lie in bed all day.A week ago she kicked him out and thats where all the problems started. He gets aggressive when he gets told off and he pushed my mum (in the past he has knocked her out) she is far 2 soft with him and on the weekend let him back in for a shower and change his clothes, this morning she has been on the phone 2 me saying her old wedding, engagment and enernity ring has been stolen. its so hard cause i feel like im stuck in the middle but i have my own problems, im out of work and cant get any money cause im living with my partner. But i dont want 2 leave my mum on her own cause she is heartbroken but everytime i tell her 2 just kick him out for good she says it would be to hard. He has made it pretty obvious he does not care about her to take her rings that mean the world to her and go and spend it on smoking and drinking. please help ?

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EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to bexiboo)

My advice to you bexiboo us to talk to your brother about stealing and how it hurts not only you but your mom. And tell him what kind of trouble he would be in if the police got involved and found out about his stealing sitch.

March 19, 2010 - 12:22pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to bexiboo)

I'm so sorry about what is going on at home but your partner is right by telling you that other things are more important. You can also try to have a sit down with your brother and your mom and talk it out, ask him what he likes doing and see if there is an add in the paper to try and get him a job. Also you can tell your brother that his girlfriend is way to young for him that it is illegal to be "with" someone that young. I really hope things get better at home and keep trying and DONT give up. Also when you talk to your brother and mother be nice because you really dont want your brother being violent. Try telling your mom not to be so easy going in letting him do what he wants. I really wish you the best hope things get better soon.

March 19, 2010 - 10:13am


I'm so sorry you're in the middle of such a tough situation. As someone who experienced almost the same exact situation as you did for a lot of years of my life, I truly understand what you're feeling.

Let's pick this apart and see if we can't help you a little bit.

First, the problem didn't start when your mom kicked your brother out. The problem started when your brother started taking advantage of your mom. The fact that he would go there with his (very young) girlfriend and lie in bed and mess up your mother's house shows a total lack of respect for your mom as well as for himself.

Your mom did the right thing by kicking your brother out. And I'm sure that was hard for her to do, since she (a) loves him, as her son and (b) probably fears him, since he becomes violent. But she did it. And still your brother didn't have the respect for himself or for her to move on and find his own life.

If he stole her rings, he is truly at the bottom of the barrel. That is a crime, and most likely not just a misdemeanor but a felony. It would be smart if she would call and file a police report, and if the rings are insured she should call her insurance agent as well.

What your mom is doing is called "enabling," Bexiboo. Your brother is the one who is acting immaturely and disrespectfully and criminally, but your mother enables him by allowing it to happen. She needs a counselor or a therapist, Bexiboo. She needs to talk with someone who is unrelated to the family to help her get through this situation. She also needs to change the locks on her house, and make it clear to her son that she expects to be left alone. If she is afraid of him, perhaps you and your partner can be there when she tells him.

What is your father's role in all this? You mention that your mother and father have continued a friendship even after their divorce; certainly your father would be very upset at this behavior from his son. Does he know about it? Has he taken a stand or taken any action?

And you, Bexiboo, your job is to do these things:
1. Detach with love. Say that over and over to yourself 100 times. Detach with love, detach with love, detach with love. What does that mean? That means that you are not going to get in the middle of the situation but that you will continue to support her emotionally. It means you will say things like "Mom, you are smart and you raised us well. I know you can handle this." Or "Mom, this is why you need to see a counselor. I don't have the tools to help you here. But I know you'll figure it out." Support, support, support, but detach with love.
2. Stay out of the middle. It's actually good that you don't have extra money right now, because you'd be tempted to help someone with it, and once you start doing that it's hard to stop. Just like it's hard for your mom to stop helping your brother now.
3. Work on your own life. Look for jobs so that you can be a little more independent. Work on your relationship with your partner. Make a list of things that are important to you, and think about how you can accomplish them. My main point here is that YOU are very important. You are not just a player in someone else's drama.

Does any of that help? Do you think your mom would be open to finding a counselor? And what is your dad's part in any of this?

January 18, 2010 - 10:02am
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