Post # 1
I never thought I would post anonymously but I need advice on a very sensitive subject and am honestly embarassed to do this under my regular name.
I received an email today from my Mother that had been sent to her by my oldest brother – we will call him G.
He is 9 years older than I am and my earliest memories are of him picking on me and beating me up and then molesting me starting when I was 7 years old. My parents found out and it stopped but it was never spoken of again. My brother had drug and alcohol problems and after a brief stint in the airforce where he was discharged honorably amazingly over an issue that involved an officer he continued his downward spiral. He was jailed at one point and homeless a couple times and when I was 16 he came home to live with us again. He started by exposing himself to me and I handled it without letting my parents know. I did not see him again for 20 years until my Grandfather’s funeral 5 years ago. During those 20 years he had a short lived marriage, bounced between jobs and survived mostly due to my other brother (call him S) who is 5 years older than I am. He continues to have drug and alcohol problems. He lived the last few years on unemployment and the odd jobs that my other brother could throw his way, costing himself income he badly needed. Finally my SIL left my brother S over the problems that G caused in her home and in her marriage for the past 20 years.
So back to the email. My brother is going to be homeless again. He was trying to find a home for his cat that he has had for the past 10 years and then was going to try and get himself sober and straightened out with the assistance of the Veteran Administration. He wrote my mother to let her know that he was losing his apartment and this was what was happening. I called my mother and she was very distraught. My father refuses to bail my brother out again and honestly my father refuses to help any of his children in any way not just financially but emotionally as well. My mother has no independent income and even if she did she has a lifetime history of dramatics and focusing on her own needs.
Again due to my very painful relationship with G I maintain my distance but against my better judgement I am going to arrange to have his Kitty shipped to me and foster her until or if he ever gets on his feet again.
I feel however because even though it would be a financial strain to bail him out, my Fiance and I make good money and we could make it happen some how. The argument is that he needs to grow up and pull himself out of his problems and he is not my responsibility.
But I am so torn. Is offering to care for his cat and not try and save him utterly heartless. I have been praying all night on what is the right thing to do and feel so torn up on the inside. Even if I did not have the pain from my past with him I would question if I should make him do this on his own but now worry that I am being spiteful in not bailing him out. I am the only one of four children that have a relationship with our parents and I saw them as my burden. Do I have to be my brother’s keeper too?
Post # 3
Wow, so sorry about all of this, personally I would not bail him out or provide emotional support given his history. I would probably offer to adopt the poor helpless kitty to prevent it from going to a shelter or being put to sleep, but I would have your mother tell him that she found someone anonymously willing to adopt the cat permanently so that you would not be required to have any future contact with your brother. I wouldn’t want him to think that you were doing him any favors, nor would I want him to attempt to visit the cat or come back for it at a future date.
Post # 4
I’d adopt the cat and tell him to get F*ed. It isn’t the cat’s fault her owner is a tool shed. It isn’t your responsibility to help him, but I can’t see letting an innocent animal suffer. Sorry you’re going through this <hugs>!!
Post # 5
Sorry take the cat and ignore this person.
Post # 6
wow. I would take in the cat – like @DaneLady said, it’s not the cats fault. OR – make sure the cat goes to a shelter to be adopted and not left to roam the streets.
As far as your brother, I wouldn’t lift a finger. My brother acts the same way – always getting bailed out of trouble, helped financially. He never changes and isn’t grateful for the help. I’ve told my mom over and over again to stop helping him. He can’t fix him self if someone is always there to do it for him. She is started to see this now, and is pulling back some.
We have to remember – they are adults and they need to figure out how to get themselves out of trouble. Now if this were the first time something bad had happened, and you had a good relationship with him, then yes – help out.
Another thing to think about is your Fiance. How does he feel about this??? I KNOW my husband would not want to help my brother – he’s told me this!!!!
Post # 7
Don’t do anything for him. He is using your family, he destroyed your brother’s marriage, he molested and sexually harassed you. He doesn’t deserve your help. If you reach out to help, you’re just enabling his behavior. I completely and totally agree with your dad. This is his fault, he needs to grow up and take care of himself.
If you want to take the cat, fine. But DO NOT help in any other way and don’t foster the cat. Adopt her and tell him to get stuffed. I will say it again, he does not deserve your help.
Post # 8
It sounds like your brother is a very troubled person and I am so sorry to read your story – after all that you have been through you come across as a very strong and “together” person and that is a credit to you. Personally, I feel that taking the cat might open up a channel of communication with your brother that you might find unwelcome given that he has been so abusive of you in the past, although you will no best how to manage this. While I understand that you feel that you should bail him out, I don’t believe that this is your obligation. However, if you wanted to go this route, is there a third party who could oversee him getting back on his feet, or who the money could be entrusted to, so that you can ensure it is spent in the right way? As he has a history of substance abuse i would be wary of what he might do with the money if left to himself to manage it. If you do decide to help I think it is a very noble thing to do, but I urge you to find support for yourself and someone to support him, rather than having to be directly involved.
Post # 9
I think you should take the cat, mostly because I’m an animal lover and who knows what might happen to it otherwise. Other than that, keep your distance. Do not bail him out and do not contact him.
Also, I’m really sorry you had to go through those things when you were so young 🙁
Post # 10
No. Dont help. Enabling him is so much a part of the problem with drug users. Let him get it worked out. Hopefully he will find himself back on his feet.
And take the cat. Dear God. Dont let her go to Animal Control or the streets. Poor thing.
(I say this with a brother and SIL both who have been arrested over 10 times for drug and spousal abuse charges)
Post # 11
Take the cat – she cannot help herself.
Let your brother figure this one out himself – he is more than capable of helping himself.
Post # 12
I’m sorry you have to go through this and relive hurtful memories. I voted no. He’s a grown man and needs to figure this out on his own. I strongly believe that you can only do so much for a person, but he’s made his choices and needs to live up to them and find the motivation within himself to change.
Tough love. If you do this for him now, what’s to say he won’t take advantage of you and your husband — jeopardizing your new family. I know he’s your brother, but this isn’t just about giving money and expecting it all be to alright. You are opening up the doors for him to potentially do what he did to your other brother’s family to yours! Discuss all possible options and outcomes before you 1) bail him out 2) take in his cat.
It sounds harsh but you’re opening yourself up for some hard times ahead. This isn’t something to be taken lightly. Your own family (you & your husband) comes first! Know what you’re getting into.
Post # 13
I think it’s good that you are helping that cat. I would have done the same on the conditions that he signed a waiver that the cat was mine now and until a point in the future when he had a home and sufficient income to care for the animal, and that any communication would be done in writing, not via phone, or by proxy like through your mom. If he abused that, I would get a restraining order…cat or no cat.
We have had a situation with abuse in or family, not sexually, but physically and verbally and with drugs/alcohol. I finally said enough was enough when my therapist said, “Do you honestly believe it will change anything? Has this person given you any reason at all in the past to believe that helping X would be anything more than enabling him/her?”” And I said “No”. That was it, and I feel so much better. And it turned out that X family member had not changed one bit, and continues to abuse those around him/her. I did not bail that person out, and I do not think that bailing out your brother is a good idea. I believe that will just open your life up to turmoil.
If someone has a history of that much abuse, it is your responsibility to protect yourself, and your new family (you and FI) before someone who has never protected or helped you, and frankly most likely will not do so even with your help. If he really wanted to change, it would have not gone this far at this point. It seems he is just continuing the pattern of abuse and trying to use those around him. On the same note, you cannot afford to lose yourself to someone else’s destructive tendencies, and that is what happens with this type of person. I just tell myself every day that I can’t be there for my family that loves me and care for me in manner that they need if I am mentally destroyed or hurt by abuse. My family was not supportive of me not bailing X out at first, but now that X has not changed, they say “How did you know?” and I say…”I’ll know things are different when X apologizes and shows remorse. Then I will help.” I need a meaningful apology with no strings attached. Until then, I’m not there to be someone’s bank or punching bag.
Post # 14
I think I would send money to try to help him. I think you are your brother’s keeper… No matter what. I understand that he’s been a pretty rotten guy with a terrible history, but nothing will improve if he doesn’t get help. That’s for sure.
Post # 15
You are not responsible for his poor decisions and what sound like possible mental issues, and you should not bear the financial burden of them, blood relative or no. Blood is only so strong a bond; he’s already shown you he has no regard for your safety and well-being, and while it’s admirable that you’re kind-hearted enough to still care about his, I would stay out of it. I would not bail him out under any circumstances. Hopefully in jail he will get the help and motivation he needs to rehabilitate.
Personally I wouldn’t even take the cat because although I love animals, I know that the cat’s presence, knowing where it came from, would fill me with resentment, and the kitty would deserve better than an owner who’s made unhappy at the sight of it. I would do all I could to help it find a good forever home, I just couldn’t take it in myself. But that’s me. If you feel you can provide a good, unbiased and loving home for the cat, then adopt it, but I agree with PPs about not letting your brother know that you’ve taken it in.
Post # 16
I would take the cat and let him deal with his own demons. There are some people who need to hit rock bottom, get a reality check, and spend some time learning the repercussions of their actions. Believe me. You two don’t have a good relationship (for good reasons), so why would you bail him out now? He won’t learn anything from that. Let him sort it out on his own, but I agree with the PPs that the cat has no way of fending for itself or asking for help, so I would take her in and love her to pieces.