Dear Dr. Brilliant;
Last October I loaned my brother $450 to cover the cost of a medical test. I told him in no uncertain terms that the money was coming out of my daughter Leah’s 2013-14 tuition account and the loan MUST be repaid by May when the bill was due. He agreed and I gave him the loan.
In April, I called my brother to remind him. His exact words to me were, “No problem.You can pick it up anytime.” We made arrangements to meet. But much to my dismay, when we met up he said he didn’t have any money and it was all gone!
I was astounded. I asked him what happened. He just shrugged it off as if it was of no consequence.
I didn’t want to create a drama, so I just very diplomatically told him that I really needed the money ASAP. He couldn’t think of a way to pay it back in time and said he would have to take it from my father’s bank account. Dad didn’t deserve that, I told him so, and asked him to try his best.
In September, I got two messages on my phone from my brother, then a snotty voice message accusing me of ignoring him- I hadn’t checked my cell phone and didn’t even know. I was so put off by his attitude that I just couldn’t speak to him at that moment. Then we got into a mess of phone tag and missed calls, while tension built.
Today, I finally sent him an email saying that I was really upset and disappointed about the loan default and his outright insolence over it. I told him that until he repaid the loan I’d like to keep a distance and that I expected a check for $450 asap.
Part of me thought that he might get pissed off about my email, but part of me was kind of hoping that the least he would do was apologize. This is the response I got:
“Screw you! STRONG detailed message to follow”.
Any thoughts on this? What do I do with this piece of work?
Callous disregard, blaming, and the inability to see the effect one has on others, are the behaviors of addiction. It makes no difference whether your brother is gambling, on drugs, or involved in some other addictive behavior.
He is blaming you instead of addressing the issues and his own behavior. He is unaware of the consequences he has on others. This makes him dangerous to be around. He is inconsistent, manipulative and self-serving. There is no way to make sense of, appease or rectify this kind of behavior. It is just toxic to anyone who might care about him. Behaviors like this function like a social cancer digging deep into loved ones psyche via guilt, duty, and compassion- then sucking the life force out of them.
Neither your love, your forgiveness or anything else you do will penetrate his thinking.
The best you can do for him is just walk away. No contact.
Dr. Brilliant Cliché
Granny says: Everyone has someone like this in their family and too many of us waste a lot of time and money thinking it is up to us to be responsible because they just can’t be. This is called enabling, and it makes it possible for them to continue their irresponsible ways. It would be better to let the guy hit bottom and face reality.
Dr. Brilliant is right. He may be your brother but he’s still toxic and dangerous. I trust you’ll never make this mistake again. Just walk away!