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My brother's decisions & problems - what do you think?

My older brother recently moved in b/c he lost his high profile job several years ago and rather than finding a real job, he's been hiding behind odd jobs here and there b/c he's ashamed and scared that someone he used to work with will recognize him. I didn't know this until now.

When we moved him, I also found out that he's a hoarder. He claims that he buys things from yard sales or picks up free things or cheap things and then resells them for more to make some extra money but the problem is that we don't have enough room for all his junk. Aside from that he also had a breakup w/a longtime gf. We found him a temporary job but soon he will need to find another job.

We let him stay rent free & also dont let him pay for anything else yet he keeps insisting on paying when he doesnt have money. Not only that he also gives money to so-called homeless ppl who beg in parking lots. I was upset at him about this & he got upset at me for trying to change him. This irritates me b/c we're trying to help him get back on his feet & yet he acts like he's got money to spare. We're not rich ourselves. I keep telling him that if he really wants to do me a favor, then he needs to get back to being independent soon by finding a better job, paying off his debts & stop worrying about other ppl.

I also learned that he has all sorts of phobias & that some jobs he told me he would apply to, he hasn't b/c he's afraid of rejection. In the meantime, other than his hobbies, I don't know what else he does in his spare time. He doesn't want to go back to school b/c he says he's too stressed out & depressed. He lent ppl his backup money and they never paid him back. I told him that he makes poor decisions & he says that "they told me they would pay me eventually & I believe them" or "its ok, I could afford the loss at the time." OMG! I can't believe how stupid he is! He has rental properties that he doesn't want to let go of b/c he feels like "the economy will turn around eventually." He keeps lowering his rent b/c he's afraid he cant find anyone to rent. He's on the verge of bankruptcy & seems to continue to make foolish decisions. I feel like he's moving at a snail's pace and am not sure what else I can do to make him more productive. He doesn't have money for counseling either. Am I wrong to get upset at him for squandering his money away still when he's dependent on us? If I had someone help me like I am helping him, I wouldn't waste a minute doing the most I could to get out of a hole. It's driving me nuts the way he is. I know he has deep mental issues but I dont know how to help him when he cant afford professional help right now. Any constructive suggestions?


Asked by Anonymous at 6:15 PM on Jul. 6, 2011 in Relationships

This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • "we are powerless over anyone but ourselves". Change has to be his decision. Try to enjoy him and not let it get to you. Ultimately that is how you can endure this with grace. It is hard to see those we love who need to make changes struggle, make mistakes and mess up their own live. There are two ways to look at everything, be glad he has a great heart, he is still alive to share life with and know "this too shall pass". Good Luck. What you are doing for him is very kind. It must run in your family. :-)

    Answer by LeJane at 7:21 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • I am homeless, and jobless w/twokids---if someone approaches me and asks for help, I try and help even if it's 25 or 50 cents---even food or water I have in the car---I just tell them to go check out various shelters in the area---it's where we are, trying to find work and get on our feet. He is justy in their boat, and Im sure he feels for them----not trying to piss you off, just give a little veiw to someone who's in his boat

    Answer by oregonduck at 6:19 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • Sounds to me like you are in a difficult spot. It sounds like your brother has issues that you can't solve for him. He has to be willing to do it for himself. He is never going to get out on his own if he gives the little money he has to other people. Sorry hun. Good luck.

    Answer by zoomomto3 at 6:23 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • Look in your area for income based counseling. He sounds depressed. See if you can get him to set the rental properties up with a property management agency and they can deal with renting them out and dealing with tenants, normally they charge about 10% of the monthly rent. Good luck and keep trying.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 6:28 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • He sounds depressed.

    Answer by pookiekins34 at 6:35 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • I guess I should've explain the "so-called homeless" description. He has given a ride and money to people who knocked on his door before and the couple ended up being druggies and con artists who had killed people in several other towns. He could've been killed that day he took those hitch hikers. He is the type that if someone walked up to him and said to give him his wallet, he would without question. Like I said, he's not too bright. He insists he's just hard wired to help people out yet he never helped me out, his own younger sister, when I was homeless.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 6:38 PM on Jul. 6, 2011