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Should I tell my parents about my brother?
Hi all! This is a fairly small issue, but I could do with some advice. Hope that's OK.
My little brother is 20 years old and has always been quite self-centred and concerned with what's "cool".
As a teenager he got into smoking weed. I've smoked it a few times myself. But over the last year he's got more and more into experimenting with stuff. Coke, Es, and (a couple of times) Acid. He also has a 38-year-old stripper girlfriend, who's supplied him with some of this stuff.
The other night he told me he and his friends had just dropped some Acid, and were going to spend a couple of days at a friend's house. They got the Acid from someone they trusted, they trusted one another, it was in familiar and safe surroundings, and they got loads of advice from people. So although I disagreed with what they were doing, I thought they were being fairly responsible with it (well, as responsible as you can be with illegal drugs).
A couple of days later, my brother got back to me and told me they'd had Acid, but also Ecstasy, and got drunk on Absinthe, all in the space of a few hours. What the heck? Too far. I told him -- in a light-hearted kind of way -- that that was INSANELY stupid of them, and they should never do that again, but he told me that because he's still alive it was "fine" to do what they did.
Plus, he thinks he's a man of the world. That's the real problem. He laughs off any warnings, and puts "cool" before anything else. A smoking, drinking, drug-taking, long-haired, tattooed guitar-player with a much-older stripper girlfriend, who thinks he's completely safe and completely fine. And he comes from a functional, happy, unbroken middle-class family.
Should I tell my parents about his drugs and his stripper? They would be extremely furious with him. And my mum already has a big problem with stress. Plus, what could they do? He thinks he knows everything. He thinks he's sorted. But hell, he and some friends are planning a trip to Amsterdam soon...
Would much appreciate some advice!
Speaking as a mom (and my oldest is a 21 year old son), I would definitely want to know if this was my situation. Who knows if your parents will be able to do anything for him, but if they are providing him with support, financial or otherwise, perhaps they can try to make it less easy for him to life the life he's living. I would have a heart to heart with them and let them know. Good luck.
I agree with Sunny Mom, that you need to tell your parents. Imagine if something happened to him, as a result of this drug use; you'd feel terribly guilty for keeping his secret.
Drug abuse is a very serious issue - and he is playing with some very dangerous drugs. Your parents deserve to know. I used to tell my kids, "Before you 'tattle' on each other, consider your motives. If you fear someone or something is going to get hurt, then your intention is good. If you just want to get the other in trouble for the hell of it, don't bother."
If your motive is to keep your brother safe (which clearly is your intention), then telling your parents is the best path. Young people do die from drug abuse. At 20 years old, your brother thinks he'll live forever, and nothing will happen to him. That's a tragic outlook, when a person is playing with drugs.
I'd prefer to see someone clean and sober - and cursing me because I told them what they needed to hear ~
rather than see someone still lost in addiction - and liking me because I told them what they wanted to hear.
Thanks very much Sunny and Ruth for your advice. I've followed it.
I got it out the way this morning and told my mum. About the drugs, and about the stripper supplying him. She had her suspicions, but was of course shocked. She was upset -- but very grateful that I'd told her. She's off to tell my dad now -- hopefully he won't be too angry and just yell at him...
They don't have a plan of action yet, but what can we do? My brother's living at home at the moment but they're not giving him money, so they can't cut him off. Plus, he gets some drugs for free. He'll be starting a job soon, and mum's worried that he'll ruin his future by (for example) being found in possession. There needs to be a way to tell him one of the first lessons you learn as a kid -- say NO to drugs -- but he's so obsessed with "cool" and thinks he's a man of the world, there's just no way he'll listen.
Last edited by Soprano111; 07-31-2012 at 06:31 AM.
You did the right thing, telling your parents. As a parent whose is living thru this life, it's best for us to know what we are up against. Stand strong.
Just an update for you good folks who've given me advice --
My dad spoke to my brother. Then my brother aggressively asked me if I'd told them what he'd been up to. I simply said I didn't cover for him. He's being quite grumpy and aggressive towards me -- which is really unfair, given that I've done nothing wrong. And I'm treating him very nicely in turn. I'm really not a fan of this kid at the moment. :/ But, whatever. At least the drug drama is over for now, and hopefully he's not going to snap at me about it again.
It's amazing how self-delusional some people can be.
All I can say is when I was 20 you couldn't tell me anything, I knew everything and nothing could hurt me, so I thought. I look back now and wish I could go back knowing what I do now and get a do over. Telling your parents is just going to stress them out more and its not going to make a difference. Its hard to take but at 20 he is going to do what he is going to do and he is going to have to learn for himself how far he can push this. Just my opinion.
Originally Posted by Soprano111
glad you are trying to get help for your brother, mine passed away at a party when he was 20. Unfortunately it is
a dangerous path to be on. It is sad for everyone who knows these high riskers, there is something missing in their
lives and it is painful to have to experience their unwise choices! It is not for a lack of knowledge and we all know
where this leads!!!!! It is a tragic lesson that seems to just go on and on and families. My parents have never gotten
over their loss, as for myself, it was never a choice of playing Russian Roulette with my life, I like REALITY, the good and the bad, I was not drawn to that uncertainty of playing with life and death and DENIAL Stay strong and educate
yourself so you can be prepared and informed for the impending consequences. Losing life, jobs, friends, family , reality, these kids like so many have to learn the hard way, its a horrible choice that affects everybody in such a sad
unneccessary way. take care!
I think you did the right thing by telling your parents....you can't control how your brother reacts to anything, but at least you aren't enabling him by keeping his secrets....
Last edited by ddcmod; 08-06-2012 at 03:05 PM.
I actually regret telling my parents at the moment. A few short weeks ago, my brother and I were good friends -- now he is extremely cold and rude to me, and very distant towards my parents, because I told them he was into drugs. I've given him a couple of weeks to get over it by just letting him be cold, and by generally being nice to him anyway (by, for instance, lending him books, telling him stuff, and so on).
However, I'm kind of fed up of it now. He's just a rude, boring little prat now; I can't see ANY of the brother I used to be friends with any more. A few minutes ago I decided to actually bring it up with him, and ask him to go easy on the stand-offish behaviour because I don't want us to drift apart, but he just shrugged it off.
So I regret telling my parents, because at least back then I actually LIKED him. Now I don't like him at all, and with birthday and Christmas season not too far off, I envisage nasty estrangements and the like.
Oh, and he's still seeing the stripper who supplies him with drugs.
You did what was best. He is playing all this against you. Don't let go. He's your brother. He will come around one day and be thankful. You should not regret the decision you made. It was the right one. Im sorry your relationship has struggled since. If you were truly friends then he will get over it soon. Good luck.
Quotes that keep me going:
"Do you have another day 1 in you?"
"If not now, when?"
“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”
Clean as of 02.03.2012
For what it's worth, I think you did the right thing too. If God forbid, something happened to your brother and you hadn't intervened, you would be inconsolable. I think your brother is quite lucky to have you, actually.