My brother who's a mean drunk lives with our mom. He verbally abuses her, one minute she's afraid and the next enabling. How can I help her?

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I am lost. My Dad has been dead for 3 years. Brother who lives with my Mom, he is a mean drunk, he's ok when he is sober which isn't often anymore, one night she calls me crying, and he calls me saying she is crazy (she is not) and the next day he'll be half way nice to her and she adores him. I've tried to get her to live with me, but she is afraid of the fight it will be when she takes her animals out of the house and tells him he will have to move in order to sell her house. I know she prefers living in her house as she feels my Dad's presence around the house, they lived there for 30 years. I keep hoping my brother will get picked up on the road drinking and driving but he doesn't. He has to blow in a thing to start his truck, which he does for work, then comes home and takes my Mom's car out drinking. He could possibly hurt anyone if he found out someone called the police on him, (I did take my Mom to talk to the police and was told their was nothing they could do unless he hits her). I get so depressed I just don't know what to do to help her. My Dad was her world after 59 years of marriage and she looks to me to solve her problems, but this one I am lost? My brother seems to hate the world when he's drunk and will scream at anyone who disagrees with anything he says. He can keep a job when he wants, will work awhile then quit and the union will get him another job. Any suggestions would be appreciated. thank you

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Tobey - what is your mom's age? Do you think she has some memory loss, even if you wouldn't call it dementia at this stage? Your 5 day old post didn't show up in my emails until the wee hours of Monday morning. I hope you weren't put off by the lag time and anyone getting back to you. I hope you are still checking for answers to your original question and I'm sure we would all appreciate if you could post an update as to the current status of your situation.
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Your mother is suffering because of your brothers drinking. The best thing she can do is get herself to Al-Anon. They will even come to her if she is not mobile. She is enabling him to continue his behavior, which could likely end in him being in drunk driving accident in which someone is killed IN HER CAR, UNDER HER INSURANCE. I'm sure she is aware of this already, but is still doing it. Such is the insanity of alcoholism, and all those it affects. Please, get your mother and yourself to Al-Anon. There, you will learn the steps you need to take to detach yourself, with love, from the alcoholic.
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Tobey - how are things going?. I think the route of reporting him for driving your mum's car would be the best route. Ask the police to make sure you are not identified as the person who reported as you are concerned for your safety. It is possible that the police could pick him up for drunken driving without anyone reporting.
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We had a similar situation with my brother and my mother. In the end, the neighbors called adult protective services. Because of the state he kept the house in, they removed my mother and we've been through months of legal hassles. Despite everything, she still feels 'sorry for him' and cries and wants to help him. She is completely utterly co-dependent. The judge ruled her incompetent due to dementia which is the only reason we have been able to remove her from his influence. A co-dependent person, especially one who has lived that way for years, can not be relied upon to defend him/herself. The best bet is getting him arrested for the driving without the interlock device. If you are the only sibling, it must be terribly hard for you. If you have other relatives, try to get them to talk to your brother in an intervention setting.
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If your mom is enabling your brother I wouldn't bank on her being too proactive in getting him in trouble and/or out of her house. I'm sure she doesn't like his drinking and the chaos it creates but your mom is sick with the disease of alcoholism as well, your brother's alcoholism. Is your mom ready to make all of these very difficult choices that have been suggested? If so, do them quickly before she changes her mind.

Does your brother live with your mom because he can't support himself? If so, look for him to straighten up for a while and lull everyone into a false sense of security while he apparently cleans up his act. Once the dust settles and the threat of eviction is gone he'll go right back to his old ways and your mom will likely give him 2nd, 3rd, and 4th chances while in the meantime, nothing changes.

I'm so sorry that your mom is in such a horrible position, you must be very worried about her. Do everything you can to support her but don't be surprised if she's not on board with getting your brother out.
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The next time he leaves her house in her car, call 911 and have him picked up. Work with the local police, they will help you. Get him off the road before he kills a family.
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Every state has an eldercare ombudsman. I would contact them. Adult Protective Services probably can't do much at this point. I agree with the others about either taking her car keys away from him; if this isn't workable, do call the police and let them know. That might be enough to get a restraining order,

To evict him, most states say you have to write him a letter of eviction that gives him 30 days to find suitable placement. If he doesn't move out on day 30, the Sheriff will escort him.

I know your hear must be broken, but if you can summon up this tough love, I think you will really be helping your mom more than you kow, Please let us know how this works out, I care,
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Your mom is in a very difficult situation, indeed, because she is also enabling your brother, who she will always view as her son, to continue down this route. I have a friend who is in a similar situation with his mother. She just moved into a nursing home, but is mentally competent. By allowing the problem to have contined this long (she's 99!), the problem has now turned into her other son's problem, as he has Power of Attorney, which yields little real control over the issue (as he's found with discussions with an elder law attorney),

So, where does that leave your mom? She is somewhat stuck unless she actually admits to someone -- like Adult Protective Services -- what is happening in her house. Most parents don't like ratting out their adult children when confronted with this. And unless they witness the problem (I called APS) for my own mother regarding the poor homecare she was receiving -- they were also buying her cigarettes under strict medical instructions not to do so, as she was hooked to oxygen 24/7, and the cigarettes could literally blow up in her face. But when APS arrived , my mother answered the door with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth and her oxygen hose draped over the back of a chair and one of the home are people sitting in the living room. They were caught. My mother would cry to ME about all the things that homecare had been doing improperly (the list is huge, and she could only admit to what she could either see or to what she didn't like, so the cigarette issue, which was also killing her, was not a problem in her opinion even though she had advanced COPD).

So, what's my point?... Well, if your mother is mentally competent and is afraid to turn in your brother, APS doesn't have anything to act on. But, I would still call them, because it might help. On the other hand, you have to ask yourself if it might create more problems for her because of his reaction? Remember, she's afraid to lose her independence of living in her own home, and there are many threats to that.

Now, here's a thought, but again, she would need to be agreeable to it... If he takes her car without her permission, call the police and report the theft. If he kills someone while he's driving drunk in your mom's car, she could lose everything! It's would at least get him locked up long enough to get the locks changed on the house. And if your mom doesn't really need her car anymore, try to get her to sell it. Tell her you'll take her wherever she needs to go when you're not working. That will be a tough sell, as the car is viewed as a sign of independence.

Eviction sounds like the logical option, and it is -- but, it's extremely difficult to do. And while he's there, under threat of eviction, if he's a drinker, that stressor will probably make him drink more.

You could try to convince your mother to have the 3 of you sit down and discuss the fact that he's an adult and mom should not, and does not want to, support him in any way, shape, or form. It's time that he take responsibility for his own life and let her spend her "retirement" in peace -- although sober visits are more than welcome. Explain that he can stay until a set date (give him a couple of weeks) to find his own place -- and he can pick up his "stuff" within 2-3 weeks of finding a place to live. He will have to have dates, or he'll never act. If he doesn't respond by the time period he's been given, tell him that your mom (with your help) will move his stuff outside to be thrown away.

He must be told, regardless of which route you take, that the car is absolutely off limits. Demand the keys. If you already know where he keeps the keys, take them. They aren't his, so you're not stealing from him! But if you think that you can rationally get him to turn over the keys, do that. But, he must be told that if he takes the car again, you will call the police and report it stolen. His soberness cannot be a condition for borrowing the car, as you noted he starts out sober when he takes it. If your mom is in the car with him, you may want to allownhisnuse then, but she has to maintain control of the keys, and he has to stay with her at all times whe he drives her anywhere. This will not invalidate his stealing the car if he takes it on his own. You may find it necessary to draft up a simple document after this discussion saying all of this, then take it to a credit union, bank, or the County to have a notary public witness your mother signing it so that your brother cannot come back at some point saying that he had your mother's permission to take the car. That will only make your mom look inconsistent, at best.

Sadly your mom is probably going to be reluctant to go along with any of this. If you tell her that his verbal abuse has the potential to become physical, that will probably scare her more, so she'll want to avoid further confrontation. She probably doesn't see herself as enabling your brother. She's probably afraid to live alone to a high degree. She doesn't want to feel deserted. It's her house. It's her car. And it's her son, making your power to help her limited to suggestions that she might go along with. I'm sure she loves you both, and she will be torn as to how to deal with doing what one of you wants at the expense of another's wishes. When you bring in the police, there's a habit for the abused parent to downplay the situation. They are embarrassed by it all and don't like to show their fragility. They are scared by the repercussions.

Does your mother trust you enough to reticle the house in your name with the agreement that she can continue to live there as long as she is able to do so? That usually makes them think that you're ready to throw them into a nursing home, but a lot of elderly folks will go along with that. She would still be responsible for paying the bills and upkeep. You'd need to speak with an elder law attorney about how to do that.

I have worked in the elder law field for several years, and believe it or not, your mom's scenario is not all that uncommon. That's why I've made some suppositions regarding her thinking. I've seen all too many times how the parent refuses to take action against a leaching or abusive child. They really are in a tough spot. It's heartbreaking.

You may want to set up an appointment with an elder law attorney in your area (please make sure that their focus of law is elder law; after all, you wouldn't go to a dentist if you broke your foot!). You may need to call your local Bar Association to find an attorney who focuses their practice on elder law. This attorney should be able to present you with ideas and explain to you why some things sound easy (eviction), but are difficult to implement.

Above all at this point, I reiterate: GET THE CAR KEYS OUT OF HIS POSSESSION!

My best to you with this. Trying to help a parent can be a devastating undertaking. I've been there, my best friend is going through it, and I watched others for years. Your heart is in the right place.
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Tobey1-I got an Order of Protection on my brother because of him smoking in my mother's house, but she had dementia. He was removed by a sheriff. He was also a drunk, got lung cancer and died at 55 yrs. My suggestion is to have your mother go with you to file an Order of Protection, citing he takes her car without the device on it, drinks and then comes home drunk. A judge will be more inclined to do something about the drinking and driving than the abusive language. As long as he does not hit her, this country still has free speech rights. Good luck!
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all these answers are right BUT just be careful poor you thankgod I dont have to deal with anything like that! Big Hug! Let us know what happens your poor mum she loves her kids faults and all and they will never choose one over the other she probaly feels sorry for him because he has a drink problem but her safety is paramount. Its very tough for you to be in this situation I know I had to kick my bros wife out of here as she was stealing from my mum my bro didnt beleive me and resents me still we have to do whats right to protect our parents from abuse but please get the law to help you.
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