New Member seeking advice about adult brother


New Member
Glad to see I am not alone. I am 1 of 6 children. My mother was probably Borderline Personality Disorder. She absolutely destroyed us all to some degree. The youngest the most. She had him as her surrogate husband since 1983. He has sat around ever since my father died. She has been dead for 8 years and he has gone through his inheritance. Still talking about "getting a job" and he is almost 64 and had the stupidity to collect SS early. Is not above living in someone's garage and then his car. I got him a rented room, paid for by my mother, in his 40's and STILL no job. Now we are planning to retire to the area of NC that my recently deceased OLDEST brother lived which is gorgeous. Unfortunately, my youngest brother lives there in a rented house he can no longer afford which is where he lived with- my mother . I am horrified that I no longer have the buffer of my OLDEST brother. I wrote a letter to my youngest brother telling him that he CANNOT live with- us nor that we will support him financially. My husband is still working at the age of 67 and really needs a break. I sent my youngest brother information from "" about affordable housing and told him to get on food stamps and maybe rent a room which is all he really needs.My sister-in-law had been his go to person since everyone gets to the point of thowing up their hands in frustration. I also told my recently widowed sister-in-law to distance herself from him and tell him to call us in a crisis. I love him and cannot understand why he is oppositionally defiant to all suggestions on how to have a normal life. How do I turn my back on him? He has no substance abuses and never has. He had a love of the horses and betting anytime he had money in his pocket but could never maintain a job or profession. Isn't the gov't supposed to supply a safety net? No one should be homeless. What do I do when I get that crisis call?


Well-Known Member
How do I turn my back on him?

You don't, but you do detach from him. Read the article towards the top of this forum on detachment. It will help. Others will be along who have more experience than I do in this type of scenario. Sorry you had to find us but glad you did. Welcome to our little corner of the internet!

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Welcome sadinNJ, I'm sorry for what you are going through. While you are dealing with your brother instead of your child it's still a difficult situation.

I wrote a letter to my youngest brother telling him that he CANNOT live with- us nor that we will support him financially
I think this was a wise thing for you to do. We talk a lot about on this site about setting boundaries and that is what you have clearly done.

I sent my youngest brother information from "" about affordable housing and told him to get on food stamps and maybe rent a room which is all he really needs
This was a very loving thing for you to do.

I love him and cannot understand why he is oppositionally defiant to all suggestions on how to have a normal life.
There really is no understanding this.
Does your brother suffer from any type of mental illness? If so that may contribute to his behavior but does not excuse it.

How do I turn my back on him?
It's not about turning your back on him, it's about NOT enabling him.

Read the article towards the top of this forum on detachment.
Yes, please do read this article, it really can help.

I'm glad you found us here. Let us know how things are going.

((HUGS)) to you.................


Well-Known Member
Staff member
What do I do when I get that crisis call?

I think it depends on the "crisis." I would suggest keeping a list of numbers for homeless shelters/services to give to him, for one thing. Whether or not he calls them is completely his choice, of course.

I'm sorry you're going through this. I have an older brother who's been homeless off and on most of his adult life; he's 62. He doesn't work, and still thinks he's going to be a "rock star" (he's a talented musician, but no rock star). My parents died several years ago and he and I have had very little contact since. It's very sad, I know.

Calamity Jane

Well-Known Member
He's probably lost the genetic lottery as far as your family history is concerned. It's awful, I know, because my brother is the same way (He's 63).

It sounds to me like your family has afforded him endless opportunities which in any objective opinion would agree that he's wasted. No matter what you do, it'll never be enough and never fix him. Your husband's 67...he needs a break. I don't know what the government can do for your brother that you folks haven't already pursued.

You and your husband may want to seek some kind of professional counseling yourselves to help you deal with this going forward.

Feeling Sad

Well-Known Member
Hi. I have a younger brother who is very similar.

He was the baby of the family. He had heart surgery as a baby, but was fine health wise until the last 9 years. My older 2 sisters have schizophrenia. He is 60.

He lived with my parents almost his whole life. He never finished community college even though he was very bright. My parents bought him a condo. He rented it out and stayed at my parents. It collapsed in the Northridge Earthquake so he just continued living at my parents. My mother made him meals and he never paid for anything.

He has never had initiative or a desire to have a career. He worked at a neighbor's florist shop who was the father of his friends. He started running the shop when the man passed away because his friends had their own careers. He was never driven enough to earn that much. I spent thousands trying to help him get more customers on gifts and vases, etc. He would sell my things and never paid me back for the initial cost. I was a single mother of 3.

He did not have to worry because he lived for free at my parents house.

His girlfriend for many years was special needs. That was fine, but he liked the perks...the rich father that owned a medical corporation, the brunches at the country club, the fancy restaurants, and all of the free trips.

He had a cardiac arrest in 2006. My mother had passed away and he was living with my father. My brother and I were the coexecutors of both of my parents' estates. I brought him to my house when he was discharged.

I had nagged him to get health insurance. He told me a week before his cardiac arrest that he had taken care of it. We found it on his dresser...never filled out. He owed the hospital $350,000.

I then went to bat for him at the hospital to get benefits for him. I asked him if he had ever used our parents' money. He told me no.

I bought him clothes and made him meals. I paid for his pills about $400 a month until his coverage was approved.

I made a $2, 000 payment on his car so that it would not be repossessed. I found out on the automated car payment on the phone that he tad used all 6 of my parents' accounts to make payments. "Press 1 for this 2 for this account... He had even used their money to BUY the car!

He lied again and said that was all that he had used.

I then found that he had written a check from my mom's estate for taxes for his florist shop. He again lied...and said that it was just that one time.

By far the worst, was when he maxed out my father's VISA to the tune of $9,500 in a secret P.O. box. I can remember my father in his wheelchair asking my brother where is the VISA bill. He always just said that he would check into it.

He also lied on the phone when FORD would call for him about late payments and said that you just missed him.

When he was at my house, I went to an attorney. She told me to kick him off as my coexecutor. I was soon faced with my brain tumor and feared if I died my sister with late onset schizophrenia would then be the executor. I read him the riot act. I told him no more spending. He mostly used my mother's money and drained it almost completely. With my father's...he would have to ask. Thus, he used my mother"s. guessed it. He continued and continued spending.

At my father's death he had 2 secret separate accounts under his name filled with my parent ' s money.

We then went through 3 1/2 years in court with my late onset sister. I was in trouble by proxy. The 4 attorneys cost us over $100,000 and we lost an additional $200,000.

He finally had to move out of my parents house. He disappeared for 2 months. He was living in cheap motels. He had let go of the shop when he had the cardiac arrest. He lost his second job at a convenience store because, being stressed he forgot to card someone for liquor.

Guess who took him home? Yes. Me again.

I finally had enough after 5 months of him laying around in his mismatched pajamas all day on my couch just waiting until I prepared his dinner.

I had my schizophrenic son and after effects of my craniotomy to deal with on top of teaching special education.

I told him to find a room someplace. I felt like dirt. He is my little brother. But my 3 sons and I could not longer stand it.
He found a cheap room. He goes to about 6 churches in my town. He sings in the choir and plays his guitar and sings about God.

He feels no guilt. He blew most of my 3 son's and my inheritance. I have lectured him. He sits and is quiet like a bad little boy. He has never apologized. I have told him to get therapy. He never has.

At first I thought that he was spoiled. The baby of the family with a heart condition at birth.

Then I thought that he had a feeling of entitlement because my parents had always supported him and paid for everything.

Now...I think that he is a sociopath. They are not always violent. He has zero remorse, he doesn't care who he hurts, and he LIES.

Your brother will keep expecting help and a free ride from anybody in your family. He will not stop now at his age. Why should he? It has worked for him his whole life. Why change?

Your brother is not as bad as mine.. He's pretty hard to beat!

But, you need to set up boundaries. He will not stop until you make him by not helping him. Do you want him to break up your marriage?

He can get assistance for an inexpensive room in someone else's home. Do not feel guilty. This is on him. My brother was able to do it when I told him to leave.

I still see my brother. It is difficult, but he is still my brother. I used to always treat him to meals and buy him gifts...just 'because'. Now, he buys his own things and we go Dutch. I am teaching him to be responsible even if it kills me!

People at his churches feel that he is wonderful. I have had students' parents praise him, but I know the truth...


Well-Known Member
NJ-- Welcome!

I hope you are still with us.

To answer your question--yes there is safety net--but your brother must avail himself of it.

Sounds like he would rather live off of relatives and friends. And it has worked for him so far.

When that no longer works for him, he will find another way.

Social Services is there and he knows it.

Let him handle it.