Should we kick him out?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by ConcernedSister, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. ConcernedSister

    ConcernedSister New Member

    Sorry, I know this is long.. I'm new to this site (what to all the letters stand for? daughter? easy child?..?) & just had a situation happen this morning.
    TL;DR: Past few years have been rough, my bro has gotten in trouble with cops, school, girlfriends, stealing, had outpatient rehab (he just smokes pot/cigarettes, but it's bringing so much chaos). Any advice? Long version below.
    My brother is four years younger than me (I'm 21, he's 16), we were raised by a single mom who works quite a bit. I had my own troubles as a teenager, but things with my brother are worse.
    A few years ago he started hanging out with the wrong kids, smoking pot & cigarettes. Which doesn't really seem like the worst a situation could be. But then Hurricane Sandy happened (we live on the beach, the house filled with water & was pushed off the foundation while we were still inside, we swam out a back window & broke into a neighbors house to spend the night in the attic for the night). We were living in a hotel then, and my mom was working more and my brother just started doing whatever he wanted. He stayed out, stole money, and smoked so much his grades started to drop.
    We eventually moved out and were allowed to stay with a friend. He had his own room and again was smoking everyday, and the friend noticed hundreds of dollars missing. He started getting in trouble with school, got caught smoking in the bathroom and was sent to outpatient rehab. This was quite a struggle because the rehab was in another part of town and he was coming home late and not being able to get his homework done because of how long the commute took. Eventually he got through the rehab and we were really proud of him, but then when it was all done he started hanging out with the kids he met there and getting high with them. His grades dropped more, and he got caught smoking again, and his school asked him to leave.
    He's at a new school now, his girlfriend broke up with him because of his smoking, and he'd been picked up by the cops - but as a minor nothing came of it.
    He's 16 now, has been picked up by the cops again - has a court date next month. He's stolen so much money (cash, credit cards, she thinks he even stole her $1.3k watch) she's resorted to keeping her purse in a safe, and put a lock on her door - which he figured out how to pick, so now she has a deadbolt.
    He's not allowed to spend time with his new girlfriend because her brother doesn't like his smoking and threatened to tell their parents. He's cut class at his new school, my mom can't even trust him with lunch money so she doesn't give it to him anymore.
    He's getting into fights, getting jumped, jumping other people, selling drugs, sneaking people into the house at night and smoking with them. He's been violent towards my mom - think he even broke her rib once but she was afraid to go to the hospital. I try to fight with him, but I'm also trying to be his sister. When we fight he says I'm just like her.
    He thinks her rules are ridiculous. He thinks it's stupid that he has a curfew, so he blatantly disrespects it. She gives him chances to prove himself (here's $5 can you get milk from the store, and he comes home with drugs; you can go out with your friends but be home by 8, he'll come home at 11 or later).
    About a month ago, he cut himself in a suicide attempt. He didn't do any life-threatening damage, but I was a suicidal as a teen so I know even the smallest attempts matter. I called the school to let them know what happened, and he agreed to go to counseling there.
    On New Years he completely disappeared, when he came home he told me that his New Years Resolution is to quit smoking, and so he just wanted one last time to get high with his friends.
    I told him I understood, and I was proud he was stopping. He was good for a week, fought with my mom (who didn't know he was trying to quit so didn't understand his frustration with little things), but I told him that I was proud of him and there if he needed anything. He hugged me and started crying, saying no one has said they're proud of him in so long.
    This lasted a week. This weekend he decided to act out again. He said he slipped up with the smoking, but I told him he could get through it and I'm here to help. I caught him going to hang out with his friend Friday night, but he was home before midnight. I told him that I didn't condone what he did, but if hanging out with his friend on a Friday night, not getting into trouble, and is home before midnight, then it's better than how things have been. I told him that's what a normal teenage life is, but it can't be much more than that. Then he went out again all day Saturday without permission and came home late. Sunday, he did the same & my mom got new locks for the door. Locked him out, but kept the garage/basement door unlocked from outside. Threw all his school things and his blanket/pillow down there. She woke up around 4am and went to check on him, only to find him and two friends - one we've never even seen before, and the whole thing was full of pot smoke. They ran out the garage door, and I called after them. Tried to reason with my brother, just get him to come inside, told his friends they were lucky we didn't call the cops. The one kid had the gall to say he did nothing wrong & that I should let my brother make his own decisions. Then they all left. I don't know what to do.
    My father is a heroin addict living on the streets of Colorado, my mom's brother died from drug use wearing down his body. I don't want to see my little brother going down the same path. He's going to be 17 in April, my mom's on the verge of just kicking him out, she's aged so much in the last couple of years.
    He's lost his school, his girlfriend, got in trouble with the cops, stolen thousands of dollars, he has outbursts of rage and gets violent. But I don't want to give up on him. What do I do?
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    He may be to young to remove from the house by kicking him out. He needs intense counseling and perhaps a psychological work-up to see if there are underlying problems ( depression, ptsd, bipolar, adhd). Your mother will need to initiate things. Do you live at home? Are you working? Congratulations on turning your life around.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi, honey.

    Wow, you're a caring, loving sister. I'm sure he knows how much you love him.

    Considering the history in your family (actually substance abuse can be inherited...or a tendency to become addicted to drinking or pot and other drugs), it makes sense that you'd be afraid for him. However, he is putting you and your mother in danger and is stealing from her and he's broken your mom's rib? Maybe he needs to live in a residential treatment center where he can get 24/7 help and can be watched. That way he'll be getting help and all three of you will be safe. You brother is going down a dangerous path.

    Unfortunately, you can't help him, but you can help yourself cope. You can go for therapy or Al-Anon meetings to see how others deal with having loved ones who abuse substances. It is up to your mother what she allows in her own house and maybe she will go with you to learn to cope and to decide what to do. But you are only his sister and you have no power over him. Only he can choose to get better. You do have power over yourself and your reactions to him, but it is impossible for YOU to give up on HIM. Only HE can give up on himself. You can't force him to do anything to help himself other than cheer him on if he does and that won't change him unless he wants to change.

    This is one of my favorite little prayers:
    "God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I can not change,
    The COURAGE to change the things I can,
    And the WISDOM to know the difference."

    Be good to yourself. Understand your Mom, if she wants to take care of her health, money, and safety as well. I'm sorry you are going through this.
  4. ConcernedSister

    ConcernedSister New Member

    At 16 we can legally kick him out in our area. I'm a college student - away at school during the week but try to come home every weekend, when I work part-time (self-employed tutoring/babysitting). We were always really close, I'm afraid my leaving for school sort of sparked this as well. In May I'll be graduating, but plan on moving in with my roommate permanently while I attend Grad School close by - though I told him I'll always have a place for him to stay if need be.

    My father was sober for ~most of my life, always warned me the troubles of getting into drugs (put 100 kids in a room and let them drink/smoke all they want for a weekend, chances are only 1 will walk out a life-long drug addict/alcoholic, but because of our family history there's a 99% chance that you will be that one).

    I went to Al-Ateen as a kid (my mom's a functioning alcoholic), but never considered going for my brother... That's a good idea, I'll look into it.

    Thank you for that prayer, I actually used to quote that all the time but somehow forgot about it...
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    That is very kind of you.

    One day you may find out even you can't live with him if he steals from you or becomes violent toward you.

    I think it's a great idea to go back to Al-Anon.

    Hugs and take care of yourself. Post anytime.
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    You are a very caring sister which is wonderful. Your brother is lucky to have you. I think given your brothers history it would be a mistake to let him come and live with you and a roommate.... it could be really bad for you if he stole from your roommate! I think you can be supportive of him, but he clearly has some serious issues that he needs to work out. You cant do it for him. He needs to learn that there are rules in society that he needs to live by, otherwise he will end up in jail. So dont protect him from those rules....

  7. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    If he steals, call the police, threatens the police, has the police, hurts the police......every time. Mom needs to take a stand. He may get the message and get some help. It does not help if mom is an active alcoholic.
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow what a load you are carrying on your young shoulders. You remind me of my oldest. There is five years age difference between her and her sister. She was also in college when her sister was acting out the worst. She tried to help her, tried to be the go between and peacemaker and she paid a dear price in having anxiety that she struggles with today. My youngest, the one that was smoking pot and drining at age 14, is adopted and her birth history involves addiction to both alcohol and drugs so we have been very aware of her risks early on.

    Even though we did the best we could keepig her away from abusing substance, sending her to good schools, involving her in good activities, she repeated the same cycle of abuse that was in her genetic makeup. We learned an important lesson about heredity and there there certainly ar epeople who are predisposed to substance abuse. You are so wise to understand this at your age.

    I want to give you hope. Your brother is young. It is so hard for young people to stay away from drugs/alcohol when their friends are doing it and they seem fine. You are right that you can put 100 kids in a room and let them drink/drug all day and perhaps only one will end up with a problem. It is why the neighbor kids could drink and smoke pot and their parents turned their heads while we were doing everything possible to keep our daughter away from it. The best thing for your brother at this point may be that he does get into trouble and that he is ordered into a stronger treatment program. We wre lucky because in our community we had a juvenile detective that took a liking to my daughter and while he gave her consequences he also worked very hard to help her.

    My heart breaks for you having to worry about your brother and also finish school and start your own life. My daughter is now 23 and it wasn't until about 2 years ago that she started to straighten out her life. Her sister is always there for her but will not enable her if she is doing the wrong thing, and she knows it. She now understands how fooolish she was that she threw a college opportunity away while her sister finished college and has a good job. She admits that she made huge mistakes and says she regrets what she has done.

    I hope your brother gets help and I also hope that you get to live your life unburdened by his bad choices. I know you feel sorry for him but as we have learned it's sometimes much better for them that we stop enabling them and let them learn the hard way.