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BROTHER ISSUES
August 21, 2006
9:57 pm
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Pearlseeker, I too praise you for the times you helped your brother and helped him secure some dignities in his life. Its unfortunate that you feel used at times. Youre probably right to feel so. I get help from a sister of mine and sometimes feel like a taker. The real question is what is one really taking and what is one really giving? In my experience all the help I get has no meaning to me if I can´t have it out of love. Then its charity. I do have charity in a country messed up with misery and corruption. People survive! I think your brother will too. If abandoned and without love he´ll probably rotten and feel as misearable as he becomes but still survive. I have an alcoholic uncle like that.

Ive had to ask for help from my 2 bro´s and 2 sis´ when I went to the hospital for a depression crisis with suicide attempt. At the hospital we had a family meeting with the doc which just about crucified me. My sielings told the doc how they could get depressed if they wanted to, they didnt know what else to do to help, I must have been messed up in childhood, the family is wonderful and I dont do anything to attract a man.

Wow! Here´s what the doc and I came up with. People dont get depressed b~/c they want to, family is not omnipotent to know and do everything to help, it doesnt make me messed up b/c I was the sensitive child in the family, my family may be wonderful in many ways but is far from perfect and I dont have to have a man to take care of me to relieve my family. So much for family meetings.

So I get out of the hospital practically as came in, without work and meds not even in effect yet. The day before my discharge the chief doc wants from me a cashflow with monies going out (a sure thing) *and* coming in! Of course I couldnt come up with the money coming in. I had a relapse but discharge was kept.

I felt like staying in the hospital but *treatment* was up. I went home and felt bad for a week. Then I took care of stuff I had to incl. medical stuff previously arranged. Before the month was up I put a banner outside the house and got 4 students. When I told my sis and asked for help with the rent, she told me money doesnt fall from the sky and try to get work. I told her I thought I was trying. Her sermon let me really down. She forgot about it and told me later I was doing ok... I didnt forget.

I still make a great effort to go to the psych, to the shrinks (another one will be dealing with my depression), to take the meds, to get outta bed, to deal with the migraines and temperature issues. And most of all I try to keep sane to keep the students I have.

Every now and then my young sis tells me how she wants to decorate her house but needs to wait for some budget relief. This weekend was one those times. I asked if she couldnt put up curtains to fend off the sun/cold b/c she was helping me, if she was implying that by helping me she and her family are being deprived of first necessities, and if I should feel worse than I do about having to ask for help. Of course she said no, just keep trying to get better.

Well yesterday I taught my Sunday class and asked myself if I wanted to stay that angry with my sis the rest of the night. My head was pounding and all I had was tylenol from the govt pharmacy. I asked my higher power to lift the heavy resentment I felt. I woke up just a bit better to face an ugly weather temperature. I did what I could to remain calm. Then late afternoon, for all the prayers said in the world, I got three phone calls out of which one new student so far and a translation job from a publishing company.

Sorry but I just had to ramble. Your brother´s path is different than mine (or yours) but he too is up for better or worse. If things get worse, I still hell still survive. If its not your fault, theres a higher order, a rhyme and a reason for everything. But if things get better and you helped, you can rejoice! So do your thinking on your own and you dont have everyone´s dilemas to solve but yours alone. Temper head and heart input. Stick to your decisions. Have faith my friend.

August 21, 2006
11:30 pm
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Nappy, you are so very wise. And

watergirl...yes, the car may be the blessing in disguise! Also, my brother goes to a free health clinic, and the doctor said he may prescribe an antidepressant soon. Maybe that will help my brother.

Sininho, I feel used because it has gone on for over 16 months and it is always one-sided. And he does not seem to get better...he seems to get worse.

You are ALL so wonderful to take time out of your day to think about my problem and come up with so many ideas. Thank you so much. I will read your answers over and over to keep my mind on the right track. The next couple of weeks will be hard. My motto is take it a day at a time.

You know, Nappy, what makes me feel strong right now is knowing that there are people out there who truly do understand. I know I am not alone. It means a lot. Soon I am going to let God take the wheel and steer. Your family is lucky to have you.

August 22, 2006
12:01 am
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Pearlseeker, please dont feel guilty or accused on my account. I need to clarify that I think you do have a life to live and drowning really won´t help you rescue your brother when he really needs. It seems that when help issues come up at a higher than subsistance level its usually the limit of the help thats in question. It could be a matter of communicating expectations. I have an older sis that doesnt help me at all financially who actually lives better off than my younger sis. But I understand the "demands" put on my older sis by herself and others make her actually worse off. I try to undrstand that. And there are times when the bond between my younger sis and I gets sick cuz its she who over extends herself. But they will always be my sisters. We will always have a bit of a hard time leading our separate lives and yet coexisting. I wish that you and your brother can communicate and be as honest and as understanding as possible with each other. He seems pretty clear about what he can and cannot do. He shouldnt do that for you. You need to do that for yourself. Prayers to you.

August 22, 2006
12:08 am
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Thank you Sininho. You are right. My brother is pretty clear to me on what he can and cannot do. So, I will have to be very clear to him when the time comes. I will have to set limits with him. I will have to let him know what I can and cannot do. But it will be hard. I have been there 100% for him. And the time is coming where he will have to stand on his own two feet.

I have him in a place now where he can maybe survive. But is is up to him. He has to help himself.

Well, guess I am going to sleep now.

August 22, 2006
8:49 am
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Thats what they call tough love, I guess, and its still love. Prayers to you.

August 22, 2006
9:24 am
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Pearlseeker,
I think you are on the right track. I thought of something, when my brother was "hanging" in my office 7 days a week before he got a job, it was driving me nuts. I really needed my space to work and he was so in the way. But I didn't have the spine to tell him (he is ridiculously sensitave) but I was advised to set rules for him. And to set boundries, and that by doing so , it would make him stronger (??) but it worked!
So by telling your brother what is and what isn't may be a very good thing.
Hope this helps.
By the way, I read your answer about my stupid crush more than once and it really helps. thank you too!

August 22, 2006
11:22 pm
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Hi again, Pearl, I am happy to read all the other posters and the different angles each one has.

When I posted the What Addicts Do I think it was more because it had made such an impact on me. I do appreciate how different each situation and person is.

What was said about you being HELP to him, but a person to your husband also struck a chord. Sounded like what others here have called a narcissistic source supply.

One of the sweetest most loving things I ever saw was my brother-in-law's father, who, as his wife succombed gradually over the yrs (from 40's to 80's) to an altzheimer-like disease, became the most careful and watchful person to her. He would put her coat on her and take her hand and take her for walks, even if she had no idea where she was. When she lost any memories of the present, he would hold her hand and they could still talk of the way-past days.

My point is, if there had not been all the MUTUALLY loving times he could remember and sustain himself with, how could he have remained so devoted to caring for her when she became so incapacitated?

I guess I hear you saying you have not very many memories of when your brother was not one-sided in taking and not giving. Did you say that he says he loves you sometimes?

There just seems to be something we are missing sight of, that would be an ingredient in getting him to step up -- no, not magic!! It sounds like he was never able to feel success at anything. It would be so wonderful if an anti-depressant would help lift him up enough for him to think more hopefully.

Sorry for rambling -- just trying to understand.

August 22, 2006
11:41 pm
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What is a narcissistic source supply?

The Addicts "saying" had some good points to it. Because my brother often says he cannot work and will not work no matter what anybody says or does or does not do. I mean...how stubborn and narrow minded is that! My brother no longer drinks..but he poor attitudes.

No, my brother never says he loves me...however, I am sure he loves me as a sister. I am the only person in the whole world he has right now. Which I do not like. I want him to have other people in his life. I do not like being the ONLY one. It makes me feel like he needs me too much. We do not have much in common anymore. He is only into himself because he has all of these needs. I like what Nappy says about him needing to take care of himself. And he needs to live HIS life and I need to live MY life. That is what I want. Yes, it is good to get so many opinions!! It makes me feel like I do have a lot of GOOD options!

Yes, one of my plans was to see if his free clinic doctor could prescribe an anti depressant medicine. Or refer him to a clinic. Maybe it would help! He is physically weak. And the less you do, the less you can do. He has all these health problems...and is on meds for all except depression. I do not know why his dr. hasn't put him on depression meds yet.

He goes for a stress test Thurs. am. I may also start moving him into his new home, too. My husband won't help. He really really loathes my brother. You see, my brother is like a street person. And because he says he can't work, and won't even TRY, it just disgusts my husband who has always been a good provider for his family.

Thank you ALL OF YOU for your wonderful help!

August 22, 2006
11:52 pm
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Oh, I wanted to tell you how touching that was about your brother in law's father and mother. How sweet. How special. You see, I would never have heard from my brother if he had not wanted money or help.

All my life I had hoped that we could be close like when we were growing up. I used to think about it alot. And I would wonder where my brother was and how he was doing. He was a loner...and 15 years went by once before I heard from him. And it was ONLY BECAUSE he needed something.

Well, I have woke up. I do not want to be giving, giving, giving until I am drained. I am tired of 16 months of this. Love has nothing to do with it. He does not want my love. He wants my time and money, etc. Well, I should not be so cold. Yes, he probably wants love, too. But I do not want to have a one sided relationship anymore.

What your brother in laws parents have is wonderful. It is very healthy and beautiful. It brings out the best in each of them.

August 23, 2006
12:03 am
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Hi, still around.

Narcisism is being truly and totally self-centered, but requires other people to feed into it -- so, a constant supply of people who care about you and "give" towards your good feelings about yourself. (And that is sooo not a clinical description 🙂

If only he could get a roommate and they got along.

Can you ever get him to laugh? Does he ever get pleasure from anything? Yes, I would hate/resent all his assumption that you HAVE to help him.

I like what some are saying about you should not feel guilty about setting your boundaries. I find it hard to believe he'd let the new circumstances just blow away if he really understood and believed that you are going to "step away" from him now because you believe he can handle his life on his own now.

August 23, 2006
12:13 am
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I agree with you...It is hard to believe that he would lose everything just because he cannot come up with $25 month for a nice apt. all utilities included! But he says he has NO IDEA how he will come up with $25. Meaning...sis..you pay it.

Well, he has a few pleasures. TV. I got him a library card...so now he reads non fiction. He likes sports. On tv or in books. He loves his kitty. He likes to eat. And that is about it.

You see, he lives in poverty and has for years and years. No phone, no car. When he drove a taxi, he would use the taxi for personal use, too. He smokes like a cig every 5 minutes. He and his clothes reek of stale smoke. I do not smoke..so it makes me sick to be in his apt. And everywhere we go, I have to wait while he smokes a cigarette. Several times. It bugs me. Ha! Maybe one reason he is so sick is because of this constant smoking?? He said he would rather die than quit. He has few clothes. I gave him some. He has been homeless twice.

So. I am hoping this new opportunity will get him on his feet. Time will tell, I guess.

August 23, 2006
12:21 am
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I live in the midwest US. Cigarettes cost $40 a carton. Honestly, Pearlseeker, I'm pretty sure I'd let loose on him about that one!!

August 23, 2006
12:31 am
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Yeah, you are right. He smokes ALOT. He gets money from food stamps to buy them. I am from the Midwest, too. How about that!!

Maybe if he did not smoke so much, he could use that money to pay the $25 rent???

I have told him to quit. but he says it is the one few pleasures he has in his miserable life.

August 23, 2006
12:44 am
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Got to go to sleep. Sweet dreams.

August 23, 2006
1:18 am
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Brynnie, I made an incorrect typo.. My brother does not get money from food stamps to buy his cigarettes. He told me he COULD do that... But, I told him that that would be wrong. I told him if he would do THAT, he should pay his rent with that!!!

But I think that is the wrong thing to do. Besides, he couldn't afford that anyway. He eats up all of his food stamps (he loves to eat!) Ha!

Yes, it is late. I have to get to bed too!!!

August 23, 2006
9:26 am
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Pearlseeker,
Just a thought, is there an SPCA near your brother? Maybe he could volunteer there. Maybe his adversion to work doesn't include volunteering. And possibly he may connect with the animals (you said he loves his cat)
My brother, whose social skills and nonexistant, relates better with animals than people. And it brings him "pleasure" to be with animals.
Just an idea...And if your brother's life is so miserable, and if he seems to dwell on that, you ought to at least take a break from him and focus on what pleasures you have, KNOWING that you've done more than your share for him!!

August 24, 2006
7:25 pm
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Now that I have read your threads I can relate to the issue of being the only one one in a dysfunctional person's life. I think it all comes down to choices and their consequences, on both our parts, which have been good intentioned but made with more hope and faith than clarity of vision. There comes a time when choices have to be re-examined with a new perspective, a perspective that examines what YOU want for YOU life to be more consequential than the perspective of what your brother (and my x) needs are. I guess vascilating between the two perspectives is what makes my life, and yours, so difficult and painful. New choices need to be considered, calculated and determined before resolve to definite action can be brought to fruition. Letting go is not as easy as just saying "no" when you are the ONLY one someone with dysfunctional diabilities depends upon. So now, if only I can take my own advice, my life can move on and be happier. Not easy. Still not accomplished. But at least we are working on it, right?

August 25, 2006
12:07 am
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Right, Judith...
You have spent years doing what you thought was right...and now deciding and realizing it is time for a CHANGE. Because it is not turning out the way you hoped it would. And it took time for you to arrive at that decision.

Me, too. I thought things would work out the way I wanted them to...and the way they SHOULD have. But, after 16 months...it has not worked out.

One good thing for me. I was with my brother today. Today I realized what a breakthrough I have had getting him govt. housing for only $25 a month. Now he maybe has a chance. And now he will not be such a financial drain. He even mentioned he might try to work one day a week or so washing cars at a car lot.

It was good because I felt more rested and able to cope. And I was able to stand back and look at the situation and realized I have choices, too. Thanks to all of you who have shown me the many choices.

Yes, Judith...it is not easy to escape the guilt of detaching from someone who is taking advantage of you. But in my case, I feel so much better that I see an end in sight. And the great people on this thread have made me realize I have done A LOT for my brother...and I should not feel guilty when I decide that it is time to cut the string.

I am taking it a day at a time. I hope you see an end in sight, too!! For we can only do SO MUCH and then it is time to say...OK, you now have to assume the responsiblity of living your own life. I am getting excited thinking how soon I will be free. Hope you feel the same way.

Have you read Codependent No More by Melody Beatty? That is the book that made me realize I am very codependent. And it gives good advice.

Watergirl, my brother is too into himself to care for animals. He loves his little kitty, but he would not want the work. He is 53 going on 83 acting like 16. Ha!

He is extremely stubborn. Like today I tried to explain to him how he should try to walk a little bit every day to keep his legs strong. (He is getting weaker and his legs are wasting away!) But he says he cannot because his diabetes make his legs feel weak and he gets too fatigued. I tried to explain that the less he does physically, the less he will be able to do. It is just common sense. But he argues with me. I have to take him to the thyroid/diabetes specialist Tuesday...maybe she can explain it better to him.

August 25, 2006
12:18 am
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Judith...you made a GOOD point. I need to remember it. You said that "You need to now think about what you want for YOUR life...like it is worth as much as my brother or your ex's is! In fact, it should be worth MORE!!! For it is our life and we need to value our life as being lived the way WE want to live it...not living it for someone else and letting them control us.

How wise! For we should not throw away our life for someone who does not even value their own!! We should not have to pay for their bad choices. We need to be careful who we let into our lives, because we are too understanding. And we let them use us.

August 31, 2006
11:26 pm
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Hi, all. Well, I have started moving my brother into his gov't. Housing. It is really nice there! And it is only $25 a month. My son is going to help move the heavy furniture this weekend.

My plan was to get him into gov't housing...and then "wean" him away from me. Because he depends on me 100%. He has not worked since Feb. And my husband and I have been giving him money for rent. He has applied for SSI disability and Medicaid. But this takes months and months. And in the meantime, he gets weaker and weaker. He says he is too fatigued to work. Due to diabetes?? He has started seeing specialistHis s...but that too takes a long time to find out what is wrong. Sept. 20, he sees a thyroid specialist.

But my worry is since he is so extremely fatigued he may not be able to come up with the $25 for the rent.

I really wanted to stop being his crutch by Oct. and I hope I will be able to!!! Wish me luck!! He is WEARING ME OUT with all of his constant needs. I want to get back to my own life. I have been his taxi and his financial support for 17 long months.

I pray that he will let me go...or I will have to let him go. But he has a good thing going with me, doesn't he. It is funny because I would NEVER use another person the way he has used me. I would TRY to work...certainly enough to make $25 a month. I pray that when he gets settled into his nice new apt., he will TRY to help himself a little bit.

Is it true that if a person works even just one day a week, he cannot get social security disability? That would be awful. Because he only needs to work to make $25-$50 a MONTH!! But it would be awful if he could not get SSI then.

August 31, 2006
11:29 pm
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You can work minimal hours a week and still get your disability. I believe it was like 20 hours, but check into it to be sure, this is just on going what my clients have told me. Good luck with your brother. Remember to take care of yourself too.

August 31, 2006
11:36 pm
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Thank you for your good wishes!!
I am from the Midwest...and a rep. at the food stamp office told me that you are supposed to be able to get it IF you only make a small amount of money. BUT he said that in his experience he has ONLY seen people get it who have not worked for a long time (12 months...).

So, I am concerned about this. Because here I am insisting he work. And he won't..says he is too fatigued. And if he does force himself to try a day of work, he COULD POSSIBLY lose his chance of getting SSI. HOW AWFUL. So..I am in a delimma...do I continue to give him $25 month for his rent???? Until his SSI court date comes up? And that could be 8 months or so away!

It is not that much money. But I wanted to get out from under all of this.

I guess I just need to take it a day at a time and let God take the wheel!

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