Saturday, January 23, 2010

Do I LOOK Like a Bank?
Introducing: My Brother, the Man Child

I have a 37 year old brother who is the epitome of a 'man child'.  But not in a handsome, funny way as shown on TV sitcoms.  More like in a completely dysfunctional, irresponsible and pathetic way.  He has managed to dodge any form of real responsibility his entire life and continues to play the victim card.

He is two years older than I am, but at one point in time, we were side-by-side in the high school year book, if that gives you any clue to what I'm describing.  I believe he dropped out of high school his junior year.  Then he proceeded to drink, smoke, drug himself and hang out with other winners.  Stole things, was an accomplice to burglaries, did jail time, asked everyone for money to help him out because he was going to turn his life around each time.

He's part of the reason I moved away at 19.  I didn't want him showing up on my doorstep and begging to sleep on my couch or asking for a hand out.  When he has visited my older sister, even just a year ago, he has stole things from her.  He has crashed at my little sister's house and just trashed the place and sponged off her.  He's clueless, messy and ill-equipped to be a man.

I worked various jobs since the age of 12, and that shithead was always stealing my money or the nice things I bought with my money.  If he wasn't stealing from me, he would harass me until I paid him off to leave me alone.  Just thinking about it makes me angry all over again.  

Fast forward to about a year or so ago... My brother was working as a dishwasher at a diner, renting a trailer from a woman and riding his bike to/from work.  (He couldn't drive since he had a DUI and his truck engine blew up - on the same night).  I kept getting calls from him that he had had a seizure and was pulled out of a ditch or off the floor of his work.  The medics would arrive at the scene, take him to the ER, do a full work up on him, prescribe him anti-convulsive medicine, tell him to go to rehab and ask him to follow up with a physician.  

He wouldn't do any of these things.  He didn't want to stop drinking (one ER doctor felt that he was having alcoholic detox seizures), he didn't want to follow up with a physician, didn't want to fill a prescription, none of it!  He would rather spend his money on his cell phone and lap top - which would be great if he was a businessman, but he's not.  He never paid his expensive ambulance and ER bills either. 

He started dating this girl about a year ago and things seemed promising.  He was going to turn over a new leaf.  However, since he had an outstanding DUI that he never showed up to court for, when they went out to a bar one night, he got carded and his name showed up as a wanted person.  So he went to jail.  Yep - cause and effect.  You do the crime, you do the time.  Seems obvious, right?  

But he's always the victim.  He and his girlfriend continue to pester me.  For money, for me to write up a letter attesting to his character, take his expensive collect calls, etc.  I have sent money twice - $50 once and $10 another time.  I did not write a letter to the public defender attesting to his character.  I'm not a liar.  I told his girlfriend exactly what kind of person my brother is and that it's good that he's in jail so he can learn a valuable lesson.  But she wears these things called 'rose colored glasses'.  

The story gets better.  My brother's girlfriend discovers she's pregnant! *oh great*  First of all, she already has 3 kids that she is sharing custody with her ex-husband and can't even provide for them.  Second of all, she has no job or stable living arrangement.  Third of all, my brother has no business being a father when he can't even take care of himself.  He crumbles under even the slightest amount of pressure.  He does not follow any civilized standards for living: nutrition, hygiene, dental care, etc. (His teeth are black and rotting and he doesn't get them treated).  He is practically illiterate, has one or more mental disorders and is emotionally unstable.  

Another wonderful thing that happened to him while he was in the county jail was that his landlady filed charges against him for r @ p e. WTF?!  He apparently has no recollection of this event as he was drunk, he claims.  He had a very lame defense of how crazy and jealous his landlady was because of his girlfriend.  JEALOUS?! Really?!  The prosecutor put pressure on him and claimed she had video evidence (how and why would someone video tape this?)  They did some sort of plea agreement, he plead guilty and got sent to prison for 8 months.

He is not a very good candidate for prison - he is a fragile weakling that is easily bullied.  He gets overwhelmed very easily and is prone to emotional breakdowns.  But - one must face the music eventually, right?

I feel I've done enough by writing him an occasional letter, putting a little money on his books for stamps and stationary, sending a gift basket for Christmas and taking a few collect calls here and there.  (Those calls are very expensive - about $25 each.)  Lately though, I've distanced myself from him and his problems because it's just too much to wrap my mind around.  AND - it's not my problem.  He's not my son and he's not my husband - he's my brother.  I have my own family, children to raise, responsibilities to take care of... and he needs to live his own life and deal with his consequences.

I just continue to pray that he speaks to a chaplain or a psychiatrist there.  I pray God will work a miracle in his life.  I'm going to stop caring that he doesn't take my advice and uses me for hand outs and sympathy.  Tough love baby!

Today his girlfriend (who is due any day now), sent me a text message that said, "'B' has been calling you 'cause he has no money for envelopes.  He has to stay [in jail] a month longer."

I groaned when reading this - and how is this my problem??!  She should be sending him money, not me.  I text messaged back, "Did he say why he has to stay longer? I work long hours and miss his calls.  We're rarely home.  We also are short on cash.  Daycare is not cheap."

She text messaged back, "He doesn't have an address to be released to.  They are working on something now.  He has to stay an extra month."  Me - no response. 

Seriously, I put $10 on his books in December.  Plenty to buy stamps and envelopes.  I still haven't received a thank you letter for this gesture either.  He has a month or so left in prison.  I am not his bank or his bitch.  I am NOT giving him anymore of my money.  His girlfriend needs to stop spreading the guilt on me too.  I can just see where this will go when she has the baby and uses these tactics to get me to help the poor hungry baby.  I'm so glad I don't live there - and I'm thankful for caller ID.  

Word of the day: "Codependency" - the tendency to behave in ways that negatively impact one's relationships and quality of life. This behavior may be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, compliance and/or control patterns.  

According to a friend who is a self-proclaimed expert on this, I might be a tad bit codependent.  Looking it up on Wikipedia (, I don't fall under the categories you would normally think of (denial, low self-esteem or compliance patterns).  I would fit more into the 'control pattern' type (but I really don't have a problem with it - honestly):

  • I believe most other people are incapable of taking care of themselves.
  • I attempt to convince others of what they "should" think and how they "truly" feel.
  • I become resentful when others will not let me help them.
  • I freely offer others advice and directions without being asked.
  • I lavish gifts and favors on those I care about.
  • I use sex to gain approval and acceptance.
  • I have to be "needed" in order to have a relationship with others.
Apparently there is a 12 step program to become cured of this...    

In terms of my brother, it starts with not accepting his collect calls, not obsessively worrying about his life and his future (or lack thereof) and stop sending him money.  Put it all in the hands of the power above.  I also hope his 'issues' are not genetically-linked.  

1 comment:

  1. Wow. My goodness. I can't even imagine having a sibling like that. The stress must be...well, unimaginable. I'm sorry you're going through this. I'm sorry he's like this, and that he has a child on the way.
    Anyway - I know you follow my blog and I've been meaning to stop by and say hello and thanks for reading! I see you're in the OC? Me too! ;)