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Old 01-01-2019, 02:08 PM   #1
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Default My brother is ruining my family.

I have an older brother in his late 30ís that has severe mental health issues. He was diagnosed Bipolar and is medicated, but I am not sure it is an accurate diagnosis. He has not seemed to get any better.

He was always a kid with a temper, but a fantastic student. He always had a 4.0 his entire life. He has a photographic memory. Heís a wonderful artist and can sketch a realistic photo of someone. The life of the party with a contagious laugh. Studied to be a mechanical engineer and has been in the field since he was a 16 year old intern. He hung around with a rough group in his teens. Dabbled in drugs and alcohol. A couple years ago I found out he had tried almost every drug. It seems that may have been more serious than I knew.

The last decade, and particularly the last 7 years, have been very difficult. Heís gotten into trouble: THC possesion (from driving around with it in his car) criminal damage to property (when his anger got the best of him), domestic violence (he pushed his GF), and multiple traffic offenses. Heís always been a somewhat wreckless driver. Heís gotten into altercations with my mom and dad, which is just absurd. My mom and dad are so stressed out. They let him live with them when he couldnít keep a job. He would drink all night and then sleep all day. He was awful to them, so much so that I find myself unable to have a relationship with him. I live out of state so I only see and speak to him if I go home to visit. I do not know how to have a conversation with him that isnít superficial. Itís like walking on eggshells.

I find myself emotional about the situation and forever confused on how I feel. On one hand, Iím angry at him for treating my parents like **** when all they have done is support him and give him a great life. I know because I lived it with him! Heís never apologized for telling me he hated me for absolutely no reason, because I would witness a freak out and wouldnít know what to say. He doesnít care that he makes life stressful for anyone else. Itís always about him. Things just HAPPEN to him, itís not because of all the ****** decisions he makes. Which then leads me to sympathizing with him because he obviously isnít getting the help he needs. I feel guilty for not trying more, even though he NEVER has and his illness doesnít mean he can just be an asshole to the only people there for him.

I donít know how we can continue to support him without enabling him. I feel like my parents need to establish boundaries- no more bailing him out, helping him pay fines, calling to make sure he gets up for work, etc. I just donít think they know how to do it without feeling like they are abandoning him.
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:49 AM   #2
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Default Re: My brother is ruining my family.

This is a ticking time bomb, what do your parents say? Do they still want him to live with them?
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:11 PM   #3
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Smile Re: My brother is ruining my family.

Hello HelplessSis: I see this is your first post here on PC. So... welcome to Psych Central. I'm sorry you & your parents are having so much difficulty with your brother. I do agree that your parents need to figure out a way to stop enabling him. Here are links to 10 articles, from Psych Central's archives, on the subjects of thinking (or perhaps hoping) you can change others as well as on establishing boundaries. Perhaps some of these may be articles you could share with your parents too?:

You Can Only Change Yourself

Stop Trying to Change People Who Don't Want to Change | Happily Imperfect

When You Want to Change a Loved One

How You Can Help Too Much/Psychology of Women | Psychology of Women

How to Stop Enabling | Happily Imperfect

What Are Personal Boundaries? How Do I Get Some?

I hope you find PC to be of benefit.
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