Meet my brother in law - our difficult family member - UPDATED UPDATE

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by goldenguru, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    I've alluded to dear brother in law before. I love him. He is my favorite of my brother in law's. When he's straight he's a great guy. When he's drugging he knows no bounds.

    He is a crack addict. Has been for about 30 years. He's been in prison twice - mostly for theft to obtain $$$$ for his drugs. In and out of rehabs many times. Which leads me to our current family dilemma.

    My dear inlaws (nearing their 80's) called last night. They had gotten 3 overdraft notices from their bank. Long story short they found one missing check from the back of a new box of checks which they keep 'hidden' under their bed. They figure it amounts to about $1500. They can't do anything until Monday morning when the bank opens. There is no doubt brother in law took the check. He's done this several times to several family members before. Including us.

    So - we know if they go to the bank Monday - the bank will press charges. He will go back to prison. Probably for 15 years - which given his age will be close to a life sentence. A bitter pill to swallow.

    Or if they don't go to the bank (they will take the $1500 loss) they would avoid prosecution.

    At this point he's jobless - too many no show days. He has no insurance. He has no car - he always pawns the beaters the family buys him for drugs. He rides a bike and we live in Michigan. Winter is here. I'm sure he's ready to be evicted from his tiny apartment. I don't see any solutions.

    I can't imagine any program taking him with no insurance. And I'm not sure at this point he even wants to go into a program.

    Any insights? We need them.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    He knew he could go back jail when he took the money. Of course your family won't want to see him go to jail. Maybe he's counting on that, and feels it's ok to steal from them. Who will be next? Thant's alot of money, and a huge betrayeal-stealing from your grandparents. I would call the police. From the way you're describing his life, jail may be safer than living on the streets during winter. He won't do drugs in jail-he can change his life around in there if he wants to. I'm sorry (((hugs))))-Alyssa
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    There really is no question.

    He's a grown man, and nobody made him do anything.

    The right thing to do is not always the easy thing to do.
  4. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    have to say I agree with the others. Just because it's "family" doesn't mean it's right. Or should have a blind eye turned to it.
    Yes, he may get 15 years. But with good behavior, he should be able to get parole before that (unless your state has automatic sentencing).
    This may be the wake up call he needs. Or not. But it's not your families call to make - it's the courts.
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Turning him in could be the most loving act he ever gets. It could turn his life around.

    No matter what choice is made there are no guarantees of the outcome.
  6. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    It would be one thing if maybe even one small part of his life was going right to give you some hope. If he wasn't about to be evicted; or if he had a job, no matter how modest. But he sounds to be too far gone to identify and maintain even a sliver of respect for himself or others.

    I would have to turn him in too, GG.

    I'm sorry for the pain this will bring to your in-laws and the rest of the family.

  7. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Look at it this way.....even if you don't press charges he will still need more money.....when your family closes off the $$$$s he will go elsewhere, start robbing businesses etc. If he picks up a gun to use in the robbery or someone else goes with him who has a gun and someone is hurt could you forgive yourself that you may have had a chance to stop this? This is the exact question I have asked myself about our son....

    When family sources are shut off he may become more desperate...My two cents says as difficult as it may be, prosecute him and get him in jail, not a cure, but could help dry him out for a period of time....also your grandparents could take a hit on their cash reserves for nothing, since more than likely he will steal from someone else and they WILL prosecute....
  8. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I have to agree. It is hard though and it is not easy. You have to think what he is going to do with the money. Buy crack. It could kill him. Maybe being locked up could help him get clean and start a new way of life. I dont think he could get crack in there! It could save his life. With life there is always hope. :flower:
  9. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    GG--I would approach him with two options: jail or recovery. There are free programs out there for those who want to get some help. PM me and I'll share some that I know about. He is at bottom now--that's the best time to strike.
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I did my best to think of a reason that it would be better to do nothing, and I couldn't. I'm afraid that the only thing they can do is go to the bank. If they want to try to swallow the loss and close the account, maybe the bank will work with them. I can't see how that will help brother in law, though.

    I'm sorry for your family's pain.
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    This isn't his first time. It won't be his last. How will his family feel if the money he took pays for the drug he happens to accidentally OD on?

    I wouldn't like it, but I'd have to turn him in.

  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I wanted to add that these days it's very lucrative to sell account information, not just steal and write checks. If he deals the info or checks to an id thief, his folks could be wiped out. I hope someone will be checking on their credit reports for them.
  13. Penta

    Penta New Member

    One of the most difficult things I have ever had to do was to have my girl arrested for chasing me with a weapon. It was horrendous to watch the cruiser come up the street, chase her down, handcuff her and take her away. She was only 14 1/2. Yet, I knew I had to do this....if not either she or I would be dead soon, I feared. I loved and still love her beyond measure, but to save us both, I had to do the unthinkable. She spent 1 week in juvenile detention and then was off to Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

    I know your brother in law is an adult and the consequences are far more severe, but the right thing to do is often what you least want to do.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    He's hardly a kid. He broke the law. He has stolen from all of you. I think you may be a little blinded by who he is. He's a drug addict and a thief.
    He should go to jail for what he did. He has shown in the past that he won't accept help--do you really think things have changed? To be helped, you need to be highly motivated. It doesn't help to go to rehab if you're thinking about the next fix...
    I know it's hard, but, for his sake, I'd turn him in.
  15. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    I think that the 'family consensus' is that turning him in and allowing him to bear his own consequences is the right thing to do.

    It is just incredibly hard on my in laws. They are getting too old to deal with this garbage. mother in law stated yesterday that if he goes back to prison that in all likelihood she will never see him again. They have refused to visit in prison and given their age - (unless they live to be as old as Methuselah) :smile: it is a very valid feeling.

    If they go to the bank in the morning (which is the current plan) it will be out of their hands. This will be the 3rd time this particular bank has bore the financial responsibility for his forged checks. No doubt they will prosecute.

    brother in law called me yesterday. Acted as though nothing was out of sorts. Asked me to take him grocery shopping = aka: drive him to the market and pay please. I told him no. It was so hard to think he might be hungry. But hubby would have been furious with me - he doesn't trust his brother as far as he could throw him.

    *sigh* The next few days ought to be - interesting. Every time brother in law faces more prison time he always states - loudly - "that they'll never take him alive".
  16. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    If that really is his attitude, then I would suggest that once the bench warrent or capias is issued, you stay as far away from him as possible.
    If he's hungry, give him the address of the nearest food pantry or soup kitchen.

    I feel for your inlaws, but THEY have done nothing wrong. It's brother in law. Try to help them see this.
  17. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    The right thing to do is to fill out a Declaration of Forgery and let the bank do what they may.

    It's interesting to me how everyone else is fretting over the future of the addict except the addict. I feel sorry for his eldery parents, they have probably enabled him most of his life.

    I watched my Grandmother do that with one of my uncles. Took him in, bought him a trailer to live in, gave him money, bailed him out, and made lots of excuses. Then, one day, my Dad found him dead in the doorway of his trailer. Half in, half out. Drank himself to death.He was in his early 40s. I sometimes wonder if he had ever been made to feel the consequences of his actions would he be alive today?
  18. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Thanks for that post. It makes sense. I havea enabled my son also. Now I am not enabling him. He is in jail. Hard to face but better there than dead.
  19. Anna1345

    Anna1345 New Member

    Before reading any other responses.....

    1. Your In-Laws worked hard their whole life for that money. Who is ANYONE to take it from them? I say prosecute...

    2. Having said that.... No, this won't be easy. He is family and you all just love him and want was is best for him. Is this hard on ya'll's emotions? Absolutely. Again, it is what makes us human and loving. I have found in life that often the right thing to do is not the popular thing to do.

    Stay strong and hang in there.
  20. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    I have just read through all the responses. It is Monday -- did they follow through with going to the bank? I feel for you parents-in-law and your family and you.