27 yr old brother STILL out of control

I am 23 and have a 27 year old brother. To give some background information: after he graduated high school, he did not continue education and went into the restaurant business. He did cocaine and crack cocaine for several years and is an alcholic. He has been fired from at least 8 jobs (tardiness, absenteeism, stealing $, etc.). He just moved out from my parents' house 1 year ago. Just before Christmas, he was fired (again) from a job and now cannot find any work. My parents are scared that if he can't make rent, he will have nowhere to go and he will have to move back in. He has had 2 DUIs and just recently got pulled over for speeding and has 12 pts on his record, so he is on his 3rd suspension.
My parents have bailed him out of jail, paid off drug debts, continue to drive him around, etc. I know they are enabling him. My dad is known to my mother and me as a "saint," because he never yells and is extremely forgiving. My mother is more of a tough love parent, but the two disagree on how to deal with each situation that arises. I am sure they are not immune to the wake my brother's actions leaves.
I live 4 hrs away where I go to graduate school. They do not tell me anymore about what goes on at home because they don't want to add stress and "bother me with the same old stuff." My parents have always said "he my brother has to see the light from within.. and someday he will "get it"... etc."" Needless to say, he has burned several bridges with me. We are all beyond sick of it, but yet, it still continues. I guess I am just asking for some professional advice. I've just had it and I feel so bad for my parents...

-Sleepless in OH

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Mar 08, 2012
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No Spontaneous healing - apart from God
by: Don

HI Sleepless!

There are two ways to enable...to be too submissive and to be too controlling.

Sounds like mom and dad are caught in this polarity - one at one end of the continuum and one at the other end. In a polarity, the further one goes toward their end, the further the other partner goes into theirs.

The only way this polarity can exist is for denial to remain intact. You are not likely to break through mom and dad's denial any more than you can break through your brother's denial.

The best thing you can do is take care of yourself so you can stay out of the family dance. This 'detached' position lets you watch the big picture and intervene when there is a motivating crisis ...

The crisis can motivate action, if big enough, and help collapse the wall of denial for at least one of them. I would also go scope out the Alanon meetings and learn as much as possible so you will know your own issues and what to do to help when the next crisis hits.

Oh...and get some sleep! :)

Don

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