Family...a living nightmare

My family life is a living nightmare. I have posted before about the situation but I am increasingly finding myself becoming more and more frustrated and unable to handle the situation. For those of you who are new, I live with my Mom, my brother, his girlfriend and their 5 yrs old. My brother and his girlfriend were addicted to drugs for about 2 years. In the beginning of 2010 they were arrested (which may have been an answer to my prayers). My brother went to what people call a fake it to make it drug program and his girlfriend got out of jail after a month and came to live with my Mom and I again. The only thing that has changed is that they are not on the drugs anymore but the fighting and walking on eggshells is. Everyday I live in fear of fighting and I’m literally tired of it. I cant take it anymore. Many of you might say well, why dont you move out. The thing is I just started a full time job and I do not make enough even with that to live on my own. I also do not want to leave my Mom alone in this situation because what we suffer is pure abuse. Emotional, verbal, financial, etc abuse. I dont know what to do anymore.

I am very sorry for your predicament. Have you ever talked to your Mom about why she continues to let your brother and his girlfriend live under her roof? I am sure them having a 5-year old is a large reason; nonetheless, I am sure most, if not all, the drama is do to them.

If their drug problem is that serious to the point where it has gotten them in trouble with the law, have you ever considered reporting them to family services?

but if your mom agrees to live in the abuse, are you obligated to agree to live in hell with her? if you want advice on how to change your mother’s mind and eject your brother and his gal and the child, no one will be able to give you anything you can hang your hat on. you CANNOT make another person choose what you would choose. You just can’t. and i imagine it’s little five year old grandson that keeps your mother on the hook. but do you have to be also?

congratulations on your new full time job. it will be twice today that i recommend craigslit for a rental, but i do recommend it. a freind of mine just rented a “room” in a house for really cheap. the “room” is a suite with kitchen privilidges in a safe neighborhood close to work.

so my suggestion: look for a room. focus on your own freedom, your own good choices, your own ability to make it in the world. and pray.

three things may happen:
you might actually succeed at this (I bet you do!)
your little neice/ nephew might actually have a sane quiet place to visit every now and then
your mother might actually be inspired and empowered to start making her own good choices

oh, and why not go to Al-Anon or Nar-Anon or any other co-dependent program? while you may not be co-dependent with your radical brother, you’re more than certainly co-dependant with your co-dependant mother.

Beat me to it, Monica, was going to suggest Al-Anon for both the OP and the mother, if the mother really wants to break free.

There is no reason both of them have to sacrifice their own lives for sake of 2 addicts, even recovering addicts. (Doesn’t sound like much recovery though.)

Find a group here. Attend ASAP. Listen, learn, and recover.

Don’t worry, you “qualify,” even if your problem isn’t alcoholics but drug addicts.

Your wish not to leave your mother to cope with this alone is admirable, but it does sound as though you could do with a little “time out” yourself. Is there a sympathetic friend close-by that you could stay with for a week or so? A little peace might give you the strength to return to your family situation refreshed, more objective and better able to cope.

Can you persuade your mother to lay down some ground rules for your brother and his girlfriend? Ones that must be obeyed, or else they must leave? If you can find the numbers of some local shelters or refuges for them to go to if she did send them packing, then it might help your mother to stick to giving an ultimatum… as well as reinforcing your seriousness to your brother and his partner. As others have said, support groups for the friends and relatives of addicts could be very useful here.

Strange as it may sound, writing a letter to your mother about the situation might be helpful in getting her to take action. It has more impact than a conversation, and you can spell out just how stressful life has become for you.

I am praying for you, and all of your family.

I think it’s time for your mother to put her foot down on this. What are your brother and his girlfriend doing? Drugs? Been together for at least six years and still not married? Do they even have jobs? It sounds like they need a good talk about personal responsibility, and they need to stop using everyone and everything around them.

If your mother is worried about her grandchild, maybe it’s time to take legal action so she gets custody (parents are unstable and not fit to have custody right now) while his/her parents work to get back on their feet. They need to go to rehab and be off of drugs for at least six months, and financially independent with their own home in which to raise their child. There are two of them, and they should be able to afford their own place with two incomes. And there are programs to help parents find work, food money, etc.

I think your brother and his girlfriend need a good timeline that they have to follow or they get kicked out. The kid can stay, but they are adults and need to do their fair share.

  1. Continue to go to rehab. I can’t tell you how many times people who used to be on drugs end up going back on them. A guy I know went to prison for four years for stealing, got off drugs during prison, and then as soon as he got out he turned back to the drugs. If someone who’s been off drugs for four years can go back to drugs, then certainly someone who’s been off for (at best) two years can go back to them. Support groups are also good because they can have a buddy to call and talk to when they are tempted to get back on drugs (stress, etc.).

  2. They both need to find jobs, or at least be volunteering somewhere by the end of April. There are social programs to help parents, and they need to take advantage of them while they’re in need. Food stamps, housing assistance, and even job internship programs (you start as a volunteer and then most people end up getting hired within a few months) are available to them. And by the end of summer, I think they should be able to afford their own place.

As for you, you can always check Craigslist for affordable housing and roommates. There are also sometimes some 1-bdrm apartments or studio apartments that are cheap.

Two things to think about:

  • How old is your mother? Depending on your community what you’ve described may be considered elder abuse, which would trigger law enforcement and social services advocacy for your mom.

  • Who owns the home? If it’s your mom she’s a landlord as well as a parent, which affords her the right to get to say who lives in her house and who doesn’t. If you’re living in a rental, check with the lease and see if your brother’s family is entitled to stay there.

I know it’s difficult with your small nephew, but perhaps if a little more legal discipline were introduced into the situation your brother and his girlfriend might shape up.


Hi Guys,
I wanted to let you know whats happened. On April 1 **** hit the fan. My brother’s now ex girlfriend left with my niece. My family (Mom, Dad, brother) and I havent seen my niece. It hurts. I was very happy that things happened the way they did because I finally had piece. I pray for my niece. I was confirmed at the Easter Vigil and thats what gave me the strength to finally say I put my trust in God. I still put my full trust in God but the sadness is starting to take over and I dont know what to do. I think I put everything off (dealing with that fact my niece was actually gone) for a month and now its starting to hit me. I feel like Im going to loose it. I dont know how to explain it. Something inside doesnt feel right. Not sure what to do. Im not bringing it up to my family because they are a bigger mess than I am.

Call Catholic Charities and see if you can get in to see a counselor. If you really feel desperate, call a suicide hotline and talk to them.

Congratulations on your confirmation. I will add you to my prayers.