Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]

Alcoholic brother

  • 16-07-2020 5:10pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 51 ✭✭


    Hi all,

    I apologise in advance if this topic isn't suited to this forum.

    I'm looking for a bit of advice concerning my brother who is 40 years old, lives with my parents and is an alcoholic.

    He lived in a different country for the best part of 18 years and returned 3 years ago after his marriage breakdown, due to drink but he won't admit that of course. I was quite young when he left the country so I would say he's somewhat of a stranger to me and I never had much of a relationship with him. He's been nothing but a concern since his return. Multiple jobs in pubs and shops all resulting in being let go for one reason or another (never his fault of course), many episodes of blackout drunk in which sometimes he seems to hallucinate that he has met people from his past that no longer live in the country, injures himself by falling and he's a compulsive liar. Just in general he's not pleasant to be around as he's quite argumentative and single minded. When confronted he of course denies there is any alcohol issues. I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I haven't smelled alcohol from him the past 3 years. He contributes nothing to my parent's household, literally nothing and this is partially my parents fault for treating him like a child, my mother more than my father. I think my mother is in denial if I'm being honest. She has a few times admitted he has a problem but usually gets guarded when the situation is brought up.

    I'm due my first baby in September and I feel like the issue needs to discussed again but more effectively. My parents couldn't be more excited to have a new grandchild but I'm uncomfortable with him being around my new baby. Since lock down he seems to have drink on him morning and night. He just walks around the town all day drinking from a plastic bottle. Before he was mostly in the pubs, as far as I know. I'm well aware that there is nothing that can be done for my brother until he himself admits he has a problem so I guess I'm looking for advice for my parents and what they can do or say to him to stop "enabling" him.

    Bit long winded and there's many incidents I could go into detail with but I don't think it's necessary. Thanks!


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,319 ✭✭✭JustAThought


    Do you live at home in the same house as him OP? Tactics depend a fair bit on that I would say.

    Must have been a bit of a shock for your parents to be landed with a returning adult child moving in with them and discovering he is an alcoholic too - can’t be anyway easy.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Music Moderators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 22,357 CMod ✭✭✭✭Dravokivich


    I'm not keen on the position of people being labeled "enablers ", you didnt put the drink in his hand. Don't think too much on it.

    You've a kid on the way , focus on the kid. If your brother is disruptive, don't welcome him and make it clear why he isn't welcome.


  • Registered Users Posts: 51 ✭✭anfield90


    Do you live at home in the same house as him OP? Tactics depend a fair bit on that I would say.

    Must have been a bit of a shock for your parents to be landed with a returning adult child moving in with them and discovering he is an alcoholic too - can’t be anyway easy.

    No I've lived with my partner for the past six years. We knew there was issues going back years as any time he'd be home on holidays he'd be pi**ed every single day and every phone call home he'd be slurring his words and generally just not making sense.

    You've a kid on the way , focus on the kid. If your brother is disruptive, don't welcome him and make it clear why he isn't welcome.

    I absolutely get what your saying and he would not be welcome in my house but what do I do about visiting my parents in their house, the house I grew up in? I feel like he shouldn't be taking that experience away from my child if that makes sense. I already try and time my visits to when I think he's out, I guess I could continue that way....


  • Registered Users Posts: 366 ✭✭DonnaDarko09


    OP you don’t live at home and unless your parents are willing to do something, there’s very little you can do in this scenario I’m afraid. I have a similar, albeit more complex situation with one of my siblings and it took me years to accept that I cannot actually make my parents do anything if they aren’t willing to. I have also labelled them “enablers” but ultimately I feel really sorry for them as they are in a hard place and don’t want to kick their child to the street when they are obviously sick.
    If you are that concerned about having your baby around him, simply make your parents visit you in your home. Or else just be extra vigilant when your brother is obviously drunk and around your baby.


  • Registered Users Posts: 51 ✭✭anfield90


    OP you don’t live at home and unless your parents are willing to do something, there’s very little you can do in this scenario I’m afraid. I have a similar, albeit more complex situation with one of my siblings and it took me years to accept that I cannot actually make my parents do anything if they aren’t willing to. I have also labelled them “enablers” but ultimately I feel really sorry for them as they are in a hard place and don’t want to kick their child to the street when they are obviously sick.
    If you are that concerned about having your baby around him, simply make your parents visit you in your home. Or else just be extra vigilant when your brother is obviously drunk and around your baby.

    Thanks for your comment, it make a lot of sense. I feel truly sorry for my parents and it's one of my biggest issues with the whole situation. They were just living their lives, enjoying retirement with all their kids having moved out and he rocks back in like wrecking ball. It's tough seeing someone having no regards at all for others but I guess that's part of the disease.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,920 ✭✭✭Cash_Q


    anfield90 wrote:
    I absolutely get what your saying and he would not be welcome in my house but what do I do about visiting my parents in their house, the house I grew up in? I feel like he shouldn't be taking that experience away from my child if that makes sense. I already try and time my visits to when I think he's out, I guess I could continue that way....


    It is crap and you should be able to come and go freely, especially with a child, but you know yourself you won't want to expose your child to that carry on.

    One of my uncles is an alcoholic and if we were to visit my Granny he was always told to stay up in his room. My dad/other relations would make a point of visiting the day before his next dole payment as he was most likely to be out of money/dry for the night.

    Maybe chat to your parents about it, see if they'll agree to establishing explicit boundaries with him when the baby is around. If you were to visit in the mornings would he even be up?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,826 ✭✭✭Truthvader


    As everyone has pointed out there is nothing to be done. Your brother will continue to drink unless or until something so painful happens that he has to stop. To date none of his personal disasters have convinced him.

    There are no answers for your parents either. All they can do is manage it from day to day as best they can. Get on with your own life and be ready to offer help ONLY ONLY ONLY when you are asked


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,099 ✭✭✭RealJohn


    To be honest OP, I think you have to take a hard line on this. You have to look out for your child.
    I think you should talk to your parents, and tell them in no uncertain terms that they will never see their grandchild in their own home, unless your brother is either gone, or gets help. It's a horrible situation, and I don't envy you having to give your parents an ultimatum like that, but your child has to be your first priority, not your parents' feelings.

    Of course, it complicates matters if you might need them for babysitting in the future, but then, if your brother is that much of a concern, they're probably not an option for that either, unless he sorts himself out.


  • Moderators, Music Moderators Posts: 2,147 Mod ✭✭✭✭Oink


    We also have an issue from time to time. I have made it clear that my children (or me for that matter) will never, ever be in the same house as a drunk person. Either they leave or we do. No ifs, no buts. Anyone who doesn’t understand can take a hike. No one can be expected to take that kind of cr@p. I suggest you take the same line.

    (Excluding the scenario of adults having a reasonably good time between ourselves, or the harmless auld one in the corner minding his own business and not bothering anyone. For example)


  • Registered Users Posts: 51 ✭✭anfield90


    Just after checking in for the first time in days. Thank you all for the advice! All seems to point to me having to be tough and get the message across that his behaviour will not be tolerated by me going forward. There's no more I can do other than that. I'll have my own little family to take care of soon and that has to be my number one priority.


  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 12,348 Mod ✭✭✭✭JupiterKid


    As a recovering alcoholic myself, OP, I can tell you now that your brother will not change until he genuinely wants to change. And the fact that he is still in complete denial means that he has quite a way to go before that point is reached - if it is ever reached.

    His drinking is almost certainly getting worse, as the disease of alcoholism is progressive and it gets worse, never better. Unfortunately there is nothing you can really do about your parents putting up with his carry on, you need to concentrate on your own new family moving forward.

    Hopefully your brother will come to the realisation that he simply cannot continue down the road of drinking himself into oblivion and has to change. Giving him ultimatums will just not work. Your parents are really doing him no favours by putting up with his behaviour.

    He needs help but you need to detach as best you can and focus on your own well-being.


Advertisement