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(5,946 posts)
Sat Nov 7, 2015, 05:54 PM Nov 2015

when do you give up an walk away?

Brother is a drinker with bottles (hidden poorly) everywhere, I was estranged from his family due to his wife thinking I took his side too much. Well, they did not help by screaming and setting him up for DUI's by giving him booze and then sending him to the store. Did I say he was not bright. After Mom died, he really had to stay with them. but he worked hard and earned good money and fought a lot. I lived my pleasant little life without him in it. Then his wife died and no one knew what to do with him. He went into a tail spin and cried and would not bathe, and would not move. I went over to spend time with him to remind him of the good things in life, to assure him he could make choices, he needed to control his own life and not be dependent on his 30 year old single daughter. I will not take him in. I went over and tried to help him get an apartment or even just out of the house, I walked him through the ads and then went to pick him up to look at the ones he picked, he was drunk, and would not bathe and would not even entertain leaving and then went ion to a 1/2 hour spiel of what I could do with my genitals, a lot of which I had never heard before. Look, I have been yelled at, screamed at a lot of times, but even my ex never cursed at me. Meanwhile brother was over there and smirking, I knew he felt powerful doing it trying to drive me out - so I gave him his wish I left and have not returned, now his house is about to be sold from under him, it is in foreclosure, can I just walk away and not look back? His 20 something daughters are lost, but they gave him beer to keep quiet like their mother, bad bad. And they ignore his bad behavior, which I find hard to do not having to deal with crap for decades. One has small children and the other is on the verge of getting married.

fyi I was married to an alcoholic,and went to alanon, changed myself and for some reason that kind of made him change himself, I learned to just walk away if he wanted to drink and he really hated that. But it took him years to get sober and me filing for divorce. We were married 20 more years after that and he said he could not even imagine drinking again because he loved his life so much. So been there, done that,. This is more immediate though, decisions have to be made. I could walk away and let the sheriff throw him out when someone buys the beautiful house on foreclosure sale. I could buy his house and leave him there to rot. (it would take a lot of my savings, but I could do it. ) eventually the power and heat and water would be turned off. I can never ever take him in to live with me. EVER. so can you walk away and let someone on the street in the winter?

Time for me to go back to al anon, but kind of have to decide where I stand much sooner.

14 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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when do you give up an walk away? (Original Post) hollysmom Nov 2015 OP
Judging on that info Old Codger Nov 2015 #1
Open AA was a fantastic help for me dixiegrrrrl Nov 2015 #2
Good deal Old Codger Nov 2015 #3
was there with my ex. years and years ago. hollysmom Nov 2015 #6
Pretty much why I quit going to AA JayhawkSD Feb 2017 #14
Walking away is not giving up. TygrBright Nov 2015 #4
maybe I misstated my goal. hollysmom Nov 2015 #5
No telling Old Codger Nov 2015 #7
Save yourself madville Nov 2015 #8
believe me my involvement had nothing to do with saving him. hollysmom Nov 2015 #9
Sorry you have to face this. Conch Dec 2015 #10
update hollysmom Sep 2016 #11
i'm sorry for your loss NMDemDist2 Sep 2016 #12
thank you hollysmom Sep 2016 #13

Old Codger

(4,205 posts)
1. Judging on that info
Sat Nov 7, 2015, 06:26 PM
Nov 2015

A basic rule of thumb for this type of thing comes out to the same as drinking, whenever you are fed up and have had all you can stand.. You cannot save him only he can save him... It is hard but the saying around the tables is let go with love... old cliches abound in AA and Alanon.. you need to take care of you...

Hope you can save yourself and he can save himself... good luck with whatever way you decide to go..

Go to Alanon, go to AA also, I am a 30+ year member of AA, my wife found more encouragement and positive hope at AA meetings, she never went to mine but picked an open group and did for herself.. seems to have worked for her.


(60,010 posts)
2. Open AA was a fantastic help for me
Sat Nov 7, 2015, 07:35 PM
Nov 2015

I found the local Al-Anon group was too unhealthy, but the small out of the way AA I attended with my alcoholic friend had a LOT of very old timers, and they welcomed me with open arms.
This was 30 years ago, and later I learned about Co-dependence issues when that became more mainstream.

I had to let go of a drug addict brother for some years, luckily he has since found recovery and is doing well.


Old Codger

(4,205 posts)
3. Good deal
Sat Nov 7, 2015, 08:09 PM
Nov 2015

My wife found more positive energy at AA, she said that Alanon was way too downbeat and depressing...



(3,163 posts)
14. Pretty much why I quit going to AA
Wed Feb 8, 2017, 11:30 AM
Feb 2017

Meetings were full of people who professed to be drug addicts, family members of alcoholics, adult children of alcoholics and codependents. They were talking about things they had discussed in Al-Alanon meetings, in ACOA meetings, etc and were seldom reminded that they were currently in an AA meeting.

I couldn't relate to them. My father was an alcoholic, sober nine years when he died, so I guess technically I was at the time the adult child of an alcoholic and qualified for Al-Anon, but I wasn't dealing with those issues. I was dealing with a drinking problem, and listening to someone talking about their codependency issues didn't help.

And yes, these were supposedly closed meetings. Closed meetings were available to anyone who had "an addiction or dependency problem."

AA certainly helped me, and I've been sober 35 years now, but it isn't offering me much that I find supportive these days.


(5,946 posts)
5. maybe I misstated my goal.
Sat Nov 7, 2015, 10:50 PM
Nov 2015

I really can't see him getting help, I just kind of want get him out and ensconced in a place where i don't have to worry about him, sell his house and get a fair price o the girls don't go bankrupt supporting the hous , and to save his girls. They enable him by protecting him, much like I think his wife (obviously we did not like each other) who I believe kept him drunk to control him. The girls grew up in this dysfunctional family, they are in denial, but are aware there are problems. They don't understand what is going on with their support. And yes, people think I am mean because I won't tolerate crap. hey think with dealing with him and their other relationships they don't have time for Al anon. This is reminiscent of my other thinking I was mean to my husband when I would not take crap from him when he was drinking.
About Al anon, I had to go to multiple places because some were too religious for me and were clique like filled with nonsensical ideas. Yes the guy who wanted to keep his wife pregnant so she would stop drinking, I kept thinking fetal alcohol syndrome.


Old Codger

(4,205 posts)
7. No telling
Sun Nov 8, 2015, 12:17 AM
Nov 2015

whether he will or will not get help,that is something you have no control over. If you can do the other things you describe ok but if they don't want help there is nothing you can do there either.If you tolerate crap you are being mean to yourself and not helping anyone at all... By tolerating it you ok it...


(7,413 posts)
8. Save yourself
Sun Nov 22, 2015, 05:32 PM
Nov 2015

and get back to work on not trying to control others' lives. You swooping in to save the day does them a disservice by enabling their present behavior. If they truly want help they will help themselves.


(5,946 posts)
9. believe me my involvement had nothing to do with saving him.
Tue Nov 24, 2015, 05:23 PM
Nov 2015

I had not seen him since he was in his 30's since his wife banned me, I kind of wanted my brother back, but this is a shell of a person in his 50's. I know not to tolerate abuse, so I would not go back until I got an apology, but his daughter begged me to come again because he was getting worse since I refused to visit.
And I wanted to spend time with his daughter and ignore him to some degree because I was working on her resume and she needed a lot of changes to it. When I got there , she was at a birthday party and he was alone. Cursed at me at the door, so I just went back home. No interest in dealing with him.
I am just thinking that it has gotten to the point where my brother is mentally damaged from the alcohol and probably a number of concussions as he has been known to get into fights and car crashes and maybe I should look into getting him committed. I can't change him and I don't want to care for him. I just don't want to wake up with police trying to drop him at my house one day. And I would like to see his daughter have a life outside of the constant verbal abuse. When she was little she used to comment how quiet my house was all the time, no yelling. no cursing (except my ex but that was not often and it was never aimed at me but at a car or a gadget that failed, hehe).


(80 posts)
10. Sorry you have to face this.
Fri Dec 4, 2015, 06:39 PM
Dec 2015

I had to ask the same about my brother, twice.

I am what my wife and co-workers refer to as a functioning alcoholic. Whatever I am I have been so for a decade.

At any rate, I took him in nearly 15 years ago (I was in my early 30s he in his mid 20s). It got to the point that when Shoprite had a sale where canned food was cheap I would give him $20 and if he came home with ANY food we saw that as a positive and used it as an opportunity to provide positive attention.

Regardless of our support emotional, financial, roof, etc. he spiraled mightily.

My wife at the time and I never stopped caring but we cut him loose. He had to find his own way...which resulted in jail and drugs and more jail. Which for a milquetoast family was a big departure from what cousins and others were doing.

Like others hare have stated... he had to determine his own stopping point.

Yes he is someone who will always struggle with addiction with drugs and alcohol...that said, he has been clean for close to five years. Remarried, has a family and from every indication is finding his way.

He embraces religion more than support groups but does both when he needs.

Expressing "good luck" is shitty because I recall how awful it felt to feel as if I was turning my back on my little brother.

He understands and I like to think we are as close as we were when we were kids.


(5,946 posts)
11. update
Tue Sep 20, 2016, 04:00 PM
Sep 2016

Well my brother died in the spring, he skipped his daughters wedding to get drunk and when she came home at night he smelled so bad. He was screaming and yelling at her, so she called an ambulance, the took him, with a great deal of difficulty to a hospital, turned out he had sepsis and it was too late to help him, he died the next day. YOu might say he is at peace, with both parents dead, I have become a fixture in his children's' lives, was there when welcoming his second grandchild, first by his youngest daughter. The kids are deeply in dept from first their mother's hospitalization, she thought she was healthy so she didn't bother to get hospital insurance, and from their father's extreme hospital stay. He broke a lot of things trying to leave, not covered by insurance.

So no more stress about helping him. Regrets sure, I didn't have to call him a useless piece of crap the last time I saw him. But at least he won't drag his kids down with him. They sold his house and I got the money I lent them to save it from foreclosure.


(49,313 posts)
12. i'm sorry for your loss
Thu Sep 22, 2016, 09:04 PM
Sep 2016

sadly, so many of us end up like your brother.

the family is blessed to have you part of them.


(5,946 posts)
13. thank you
Fri Sep 23, 2016, 05:38 AM
Sep 2016

I am the old one, and when I was sick, my niece came to take care of me, so I try to be there for her, her life was not easy with her parents, they really did not help her much and were dependent on her for income, and taught her lots of not good things, like how to shop lift. Oddly enough she turned out to be a good person and now she is a loving mom, So, unbeknownst to her, she is my main heir. heh, I worry so much about the next generation and the isolations of the families, I feel like the last generation that talks to second cousins. everyone in my family is so isolated from each other.

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