What would you do? Brother

(15 Posts)
Seymourcrelborne Mon 31-Oct-16 13:31:54

Posting here for traffic and hopefully some good advice.
I have a 32 year old brother who lives at home with my mum and dad.
He's been living there for 2 years now. He has quite a specific job skill that unfortunately has dried up over the last 5 years meaning that he has gone from freelance work to nothing. He has no form of income. My mum and dad pay for his food and the roof over his head. He pays nothing no rent at all and does not contribute. He does not help at all around the house, mum does all his laundry and cleaning etc. He pretty much sits there on his lap top either on Facebook, or watching tv. My mum and dad have talked to him about getting any job that will pay the bills but he refuses saying he only wants to work in a specific field. He is in debt to the bank and a few loan companies and the tax office.
His relationship with my mum is now pretty toxic and they no longer even talk let alone get on. The situation is at the point where my mum believes it's affecting her health.
I love my brother but I don't know how to help the situation. I don't know what I would do if I were my mum? She is terrified that debt collectors are going to come to her house at any time. I have found my brother in my mums purse on one occasion too. My mum refuses to through him out as she won't see a child on the street. How Can I help? It makes me so sad seeing the whole torrid situation take its toll on my mum and dad.

Cakedoesntjudge Mon 31-Oct-16 13:54:18

To put it simply - you can't.

I have every sympathy, I have a very difficult little brother but a lot of his behaviour has been enabled by the actions of my parents. It has driven my older brother and me mad because they both end up so upset and stressed out but they don't make the necessary steps to prevent the behaviour (think continuing to give money handouts when he's skint despite knowing he has a drugs problem).

Me and my other DB have discussed it at length and eventually we both told our parents that we didn't want to hear anything about it anymore if they weren't going to make changes. It's been going on for years and we've both found it exhausting to spend hours and hours giving advice and picking up the pieces for both DPs to continue to refuse to act different as they find it hard not to give him money etc when he asks.

Your DM should be refusing to do his housework and telling him if he hasn't got a job in x amount of time that's it and he's out. He's an adult who is perfectly capable of providing for himself if he chose to. By continuing to do everything for him and making it clear she won't chuck him out your DM is enabling him to behave in the way he is. If she's not willing to change that then I don't see him changing unfortunately and you sadly have no control over either of their behaviours.

Seymourcrelborne Mon 31-Oct-16 14:15:07

Thanks. What you say makes sense. It's just so frustrating. I can't talk directly to my brother because he is just so defensive and becomes quite nasty. He can't possibly be happy lying in bed all day doing nothing but watching tv. He doesn't go out as he has no money. It makes me so sad to see. Your right though. It's terrible to see if affect my parents in such a way. I said to her today she has to take drastic action as he won't change. She just says it's all so unfair and she shouldn't have to. I'm literally out of things to say to her

ThatStewie Mon 31-Oct-16 14:24:21

Cake is right. There is literally nothing you can do. The only thing your parents can do is evict him. If they aren't willing to do that, then your brother has no incentive to change. The only thing you can do is change how you respond to the situation. If your parents try to bring it up is respond with 'I will not discuss this with you as long as you continue to enable X's behaviour. I am not responsible for your choices.' Put up very clear boundaries with your parents and your brother. If he brings up your parents, tell him you do not support his abusive behaviour towards your parents. It's incredibly difficult to be this blunt with family but you cannot fix this. Only your parents and brother can do that and they have to want to do it.

Seymourcrelborne Mon 31-Oct-16 14:36:42

Thank you. Great advice x

orangebird69 Mon 31-Oct-16 14:42:26

A bit of 'sensible head on' advice... get your parents to find paperwork, inovices, proof of purchase etc for anything valuable. If the bailiffs come knocking for debt recovery, they'll need to prove what belongs to them and what doesn't.

Seymourcrelborne Mon 31-Oct-16 14:48:57

Really? Could they take things if mum and dad can't prove they are there's? TVs computers etc?

orangebird69 Mon 31-Oct-16 15:04:56

Yep. And vehicles. Even if the V5 is in your mum or dad's name, unless they have the sales invoice or finance in their name it's fair goods.

rabbit12345 Mon 31-Oct-16 15:13:05

Agree with cake also.

For years I tried to "help" my DP's when they would moan about my middle age brother living at home and not contributing. I never came out well from it and it took me a long while to see that they have enabled his actions for a long time.

Charlesroi Mon 31-Oct-16 15:34:37

Your mum mustn't open the door to debt collectors and certainly never let them in. Your parents are not responsible for your brother's debts.

She should stop cooking his meals, cleaning and washing. I get she feels she has to buy food, but it certainly doesn't have to be anything other than the basics.
Severely limit the internet access? He needs it for job applications but not arseing about on FB all day.
He's going to need money for clothes and other things and, sadly, he needs to find a way to fund this.
It sounds like the guys confidence has taken a real kicking but he needs to get some help to get going again.Only he can do this but maybe you could email him suggestions - min wage agency work is a start and he could use the money to update his skills. Look at Futureheads and Coursera for free courses on all sorts to get started. It shows willing at least.

Oh - if you do have any influence with him, get him to sort something with the tax people. They're pretty reasonable but have very sharp teeth if you piss them off. The loans can wait.

Seymourcrelborne Mon 31-Oct-16 19:46:13

Thanks I'll look at those websites. I send him a lot of jobs I see and he doesn't want to apply for any. Unless they are in his specific field. I've had some good advice which I'm greatful for. I guess it just has to take is course.

BusyHomemaker Mon 31-Oct-16 20:00:26

Is he claiming JSA? It would be worth him signing on if not that way be can pay for his own food at least. Step Change are a debt charity who can negotiate with creditors for him.

Seymourcrelborne Mon 31-Oct-16 20:37:45

He isn't claiming no, he used step change but stopped paying them.

Could your brother be suffering with depression? I can imagine this situation dragging someone down (especially given that it's gone one for a couple of year). Obviously not saying your bro is but it could be a reason for this sort of behaviour, especially as he is being enabled by your mum 'who won't see a child on the street' (although at 32 your brother is far from being a child)

Seymourcrelborne Tue 01-Nov-16 06:46:19

I think he Ian depressed yes. He shows what I think are some classic signs and symptoms. I just can't understand any other reason for the situation. Part of me feels so desperately sorry for him (which I know he doesn't want) and the other just wants to shake him. I've suggested talking to someone but she dismisses it and says he isn't depressed.

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