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family dynamics...need your input!

Posted by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 6:13 PM
  • 8 Replies

To explain quickly:  we have been full-time caregivers for my ppd/mr 8 yr-old nephew rj for one week and four days.  he was placed with us due to his parents having chemical dependency/mental issues. 

I already know how deceitful and manipulative my brother has been.  I also understand the chemical dependency issue as my husband is a recovered alcoholic since 1989.  However, my extended family does not.  He has been soaking them for money, even after rj was taken from him.SS has offered assistance with transportation expenses to and from court, (they are 50+ miles away)  but he refuses to accept it...instead he keeps asking our parents for it?

How would you handle this?  Should I just stay silent.  Should I mention it to ss so they canmake sure he gets the proper treatment and solve the PROBLEM?  Should I once again confront my family(yep done this)?  I do not believe he will get the proper help if this is not dealt with!  

I know this is kinda off the subject of the blog...but i've gotten soo much good advice here and seen so many other blogs dealing with different issues i'm hoping for some closure on how to handle this.  thank you and god bless!   

by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 6:13 PM
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by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 6:24 PM

You will be the bad guy because you want to take away his "friend" (drugs or whatever) and you are going to try to take way his way of getting it.  Now that I have said that and prepared you for that, he needs to be cut off from help from the family.  He can't do his life if his family stops "helping" him out.  I would tell the family this.  Also it's always easier to just deal and look the other way so don't surprised if you get no response or they agree and then back. 

Sometimes it takes talking to family A FEW TIMES (eye roll) for it to finally sink in.  Also give him no choice, let him know that it's either jail or rehab.  You will not watch him kill himself with drugs.  Whatever he says is just white-noise in the background, you will get cussed at and what comes out of his mouth WILL be vicious and mean but remember it's NOTHING JUST WHITENOISE, it means nothing.  The end result will be worth it when he's clean and on the proper meds to get his life back on track. 

I'm manic depressive and bi-polor and I used to do everything under the sun....acid, cocaine, drinking, weed, every pill I could grab, crack.... I do nothing now.  I have a beer every now and then, I even quit smoking cigs.  IT CAN BE DONE.  Good luck to you hun and let me know how it goes and remember you ALWAYS have support in here.  :)

by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 7:57 PM
1st of all, I love how you call it chemical dependency. Its a much nicer way of putting it lol. 2ndly, I'm jealous because I'm in the exact (almost) situation but I can't get custody of my nephew :(

To answer your question, I don't know how old your brother is, but mine is 29. Last year I finally gave up on him. Not that I don't think he can change but that I realized I can't change him. There is only so much you can do for these guys before you have to just show them a little tough love. If you don't they will keep taking and taking, like your brother. Last year my mom was forced to make the hardest decision of her life. She had to kick my brother out in the street. He stole some money from my sister. So she had to show him some of that tough love. Its hard but if you don't they just keep taking advantage of you. You have to let your brother know you aren't going to be doing anything for him anymore. Nothing at all. Its a sucky situation especially when kids are involved.
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by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 8:37 PM

 I think you should tell your parents and then let them decide.  That way you always know you did everything in your power to do the right thing.  I always believe people should be told the truth and they allowed to decide on their own.

by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 9:05 PM

My best advice after working with court systems, foster care, etc is to report what you know the facts are to the social service agency and let them be the bad guys.  You confronting family is not going to help, as you said, you've done it before.  If he truly wants help he will get it.  However, in my experience it doesn't matter that kids are taken away, they aren't going to do it until they are ready.  No matter what you must follow what the agency says about visits and discussions of the case...which is usually none.  Being a relative placement like this is the HARDEST position to be in for all involved, but you are amazing for being able to to this for your nephew. 


by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 10:48 PM

ss is being really relaxed...they have left it up to me...when and where and how often they can come visit.  I'm not sure this is a good or bad thing.  so far i've asked they only come on wknds...because of rjs school.  i really don't think they will keep this up either.  also i really don't trust ss.  i don't want them to use this against me, as in i might be helping him too.  idon't know, its so hard to know whats right.  i also don't think it will do any good to again confront him and my family.  they are all so hard-headed!  I will cont. to pray and maybe god will reveal to me what to do.praying

by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 11:01 PM

my bro is 42 yrs old.  I'm not sure theres much hope for him to hes doing the same thing as usual and thinking he can manipulate ss.  he voluntarily signed up for treatment and he honestly thinks rj will be back with him in 30 days or so.  but, talking to ss they are looking at extended placement as this is not the first time he has been taken and for the exact same reasons and they went thru mandatory treatment then.  his main problem is mental illness....but he denies this too.  i also had to sit and watch the first time rj was taken.  he was put in foster care in another state, as again i was too far and in another state to help.  this time they are breaking the rules and letting him stay as he can still attend the same school and close to visit his parents...which he does not care much about.  on fri he seen them and was excited, but mostly for his toys and clothes they brought. ( kinda sad)  my bro was hurt..but was glad it was not so traumatic and that he was soo happy.  Funny how rj introduced us and made us shake hands when they came to visit, like we'd never seen each other before..cute.   its sad, i'm afraid he won't get the help he needs and they will return rj to him and i'm also afraid he will not surrender to chemical help and get on meds and lose another child (yes he has three daughters he does not see).  oh and guess what, him and his partner are expecting another...and yes ss have asked me if its possible the baby can come here too..kinda messy huh...anyway too much to thnk of...and my answer was possibly.  

by Silver Member on Feb. 13, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Oh my God!! It is amazing the tests and classes we have to take to get a degree, to get a license, a gun.... but any moron can become a parent and ruin their kids' lives. Sorry....

I commend all of you ladies who are so supportive of their families and pick up the slack with their nephews and nieces. I would honestly say that if you have spoken with your parents and they are not listening to you. Then they may have to find out for themselves and they will. Sometimes loving a family member means that you make them take responsibility for themselves.

Any kid cannot have that kind of instability around them. It really affects them. I commend you for letting him visit his kid. But I don't even think that you should do that. What kind of man continues to have a chemical dependency, have you take care of his kid and visit when he decides he wants to be a father. It's ridiculous. I know that this sounds harsh and I can imagine how difficult it is for you. But your brother is an adult who knows what he's doing. The kid is an innocent child who deserves more stability, and since your his caretaker, he needs for you to be as stress free as possible.

It's strange, I didn't see you mention your nephew's mom. But anyway, your his mom at heart, because you are the one taking care of him.

Good luck!

by on Feb. 13, 2012 at 2:09 PM

its kinda weird, rj's mom is pretty much not a factor even though she lives in the house.  she is the bread winner(has a job), but has absolutley no motherly instincts.  For instance, I made supper for them when they came.  Very much a family tradition when inviting company over.  Rj sat between them and neither one of them helped him.  I asked my bro to dish him up some enchilada dish only because rj was trying to help himself and failing.  He grabbed the lettuce and his mom watched him while he tore several pieces off and tried to shred on his plate.  which was fine....its good for his motor skill i'm sure. But, he had such big pieces and she didn't even try to finish shredding it for him, so he would try and succeed in taking huge bites of lettuce almost choking a couple of times.  I just sat and observed with different eyes this time as times before he was not in my care and i tried to overlook those things.  Of course, he made kinda a big mess with all that rough shredded lettuce on his plate and of course they not even noticing.  I'm probably reading some into it.  I guess i would call her unavailable.  oh she has a lot to say when being critical and was quick to want to leave as she said she did not feel good.  I honestly believe she felt just fine..just either felt uncomfortable or really does not care.  I know how all this must sound.  I'm pretty sure it is as bad as i've always felt about it...but god has softened my heart to their position.  Rjs behavior around them is quite normal for autistic children as they only live in the moment and they cannot be judgmental.  that is probably why he really showed no emotion to them leaving...and little with them here.  He knows when he's uncomfortable and comfortable, but thank goodness he has no idea how totally awful they are!  He is a truly amazing kid, ya know.  However much you think I'm saving his life, you have no idea how much I believe he's saving our life.  He has brought so much to us these past few days and no matter what happens with him he will always be a huge part of our family FOREVER!  angel

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