My brother has three children and has screwed his life up to the point that he hasn’t seen his first born in two years (first girlfriend); currently he has to seriously decide whether to claim bankruptcy. I’m not 100% certain if he has to but I know they took away his car and my parents had to pay one of his monthly mortgage bills so he could keep the house.
He finally realized he needed to leave his good-for-nothing, abusive girlfriend (and baby mama). We live 2000 km away from them, but my parents went and got him and his two children (the other one is safe with her mom). They were only supposed to be here for a month, but that was 4 months ago. Now my parents want him to get a job so he can put his kids in daycare because they are absolutely awful. I was a bad kid and my parents could handle it, but I’m watching them crumble under the pressure since my brother isn’t doing a whole lot, so that means to me that they’re bad. He isn’t sure if he should wait until after claiming bankruptcy to get a job or not.
With the back story, here comes my question. What do I do? I’m watching my parents turn into zombies trying to get this all figured out while my brother does nothing. On top of that, I’m going insane. I can’t sleep or eat or focus. I’m watching my brain turn to mush and there’s nothing I can do to change it. I go back to school in September and I need quiet but I can’t afford to move out and I also don’t want to. I love my parents and I don’t want to abandon them and they want me to stay. But living with my brother and his kids in this toxic environment is killing me…and my parents. What should we do?
Dear Anxiety-Ridden Daughter:
Wow I’m sorry to hear about all of this. But the simple fact is that which is allowed is what will continue. So someone needs to put a stop to it and I can just about guarantee it won’t be your brother. I mean really, why should he? He’s got it GREAT! That means the task either falls to you or your parents but he’s not going to do it on his own. Here are some suggestions and what I would do it I were you.
1. Set Ground Rules
Actually this is something that should have been done shortly after your brother moved in, if not before. But given the nature of the move, it probably seemed low priority at the time. It is not now and absolutely must be addressed. If your brother were living with friends or renting somewhere, there would be rules to follow, no? Just because he is related doesn't mean he can run roughshod over you. As a citizen of the household, he has to abide by the rules. Time for a family meeting to go over exactly what those are, starting with paying SOMETHING or doing some sort of trade in exchange for room and board.