My parents are enabling my addicted brother

My parents are enabling my addicted brother

My brother has been doing drugs for 15yrs.(since 9th grade), he has been in & out of jail, rehab etc.

He is currently living with my parents. (cause the always let him come home)

I am 28yrs old and live with my military husband in a different state than them. So I don’t see them often.

I have chosen not to let my 10 yr. old son spend anytime alone with them this summer & have not visited them. I just don’t want to be around the drama that comes with visiting.

There is arguments over money and I have to hide my valuables and deal with the the roller-coaster of emotions.

My mother makes me feel awful because of my choice. Like I don’t love her.

I am Christian and she says I shouldn’t judge. She makes me feel like the bad guy.

Am I the bad guy?

Should I just deal with him to see my family?

Or should I stand my ground and say as long as you enable him by giving him, food , shelter etc… then I am not coming around.

Do I have to make her choose?

Do you know of any scripture that could help me back up what I am doing is what God would want me to?

Comments for My parents are enabling my addicted brother

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Making the right choice

by: Ned Wicker

You have set boundaries and have taken steps to act in the best interest of your brother.

It must have been a difficult decision for you to not visit, or allow your brother to be around his uncle and grandparents, but why put him in the middle of their problem?

I support your choice.

Your mother does not understand what the Christian scripture says about judgment. Yes, it says do not judge, but if you look carefully and try to take the meaning of the passage from its original Greek, it actually says do not condemn.

You need to make moral and ethical judgments, especially in raising a child. Your brother has made his problem your parent’s problem, and they all want it to be your problem too.

Stand your ground and be responsible.

Your brother needs treatment and he needs to be in a recovery group. If your brother chooses his disease over his family, then he is choosing not to see his nephew.

Your parent’s aren’t helping. They are part of the problem.

Groups like Al-Anon can help them see this situation for what it is.

As long as mom and dad cave in and give your brother what he wants, there is no motivation for him to get help. If they were to join you and sincerely act in his best interest, they too would say no and set some conditions on his being a part of the family.

I know it’s painful and I know you’re the “bad guy,” but you are also the only one seeing this thing clearly. You can point your family in the right direction by being truthful with them, especially your parents.

They don’t want to lose their son, but at the same time they are losing their daughter and grandson, so there are choices that have to be made.

Addiction is a family disease and they need to receive treatment too. The judgment is your brother’s disease is a major family issue, but you are not condemning him or your parents.

No good dead goes unpunished, so do your best, get some resources together and don’t be surprised if they all resist your efforts.

Loving your family doesn’t mean being stupid and blind.

Similar situation

by: Seeking Shalom

I have a sister who’s lived off my parents for a decade, and abuses prescription pills. She tells horrific lies and is manipulative. My parents enable her, and accept her lies. Worst of all, her terrible choices negatively impact my children.

We didn’t realize the extent of the problem until she got high while babysitting our children. After that we set up boundaries. Long story short: my parents didn’t honor the boundaries, and my kids were exposed to a porn movie. Had they honored the boundaries, it wouldn’t have happened.

My parents and sister claim that all of this involves terrible but unforeseeable accidents, which they’ve downplayed or distorted. In their eyes, I should forgive and forget. They’ve called me a bully for not letting go of what I see as a pattern, and called me toxic for bringing up past issues.

I’ve found myself having to choose between keeping my children safe and having a relationship with my family of origin.

Because I’m a Christian, my parents have said I’m not being Christ-like. But their conception of forgiveness is flawed. I’m convinced that Jesus didn’t excuse unjust situations where the vulnerable get hurt over and over again. Jesus taught healing from brokenness, and that involves embracing the truth and working towards reconciliation through accountability and repentance.

I’ve forgiven my parents and sister, but that doesn’t mean that I have to forget and go back to the way things were if my kids will end up being hurt again. They won’t change, and they’ve specifically said that they won’t even have a boundaries conversation, so we’re left without a relationship. This saddens me, but I also feel relieved, and I am resolved that it’s the best possible outcome from a lot of terrible options.

You can’t change your family. You can love them, but sometimes that has to be done from a distance, or with clear boundaries in place. Don’t let them guilt you into accepting dysfunction, or accepting a perverted form of forgiveness that just fuels a cycle of unjust actions. If they’ll accept boundaries, perhaps you can find the right balance of having a relationship without getting you or your son hurt.

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