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Brother's Keeper
Old 06-10-2019, 11:15 AM   #1
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Brother's Keeper

In the Old Testament story which coins the term, the implication is clear that we are, indeed, expected to be our Brother's Keeper.

The Bible speaks of Abel finding more favor with God than Cain did. However, Genesis is suspiciously silent about whether Abel might also have been a GIGANTIC, IRRITATING PAIN IN THE A$$ WHO DROVE HIS BROTHER INTO A SCARLET MURDEROUS RAGE VIA CONSTANT WHINING AND PARASITISM AND AFFECTED HELPLESSNESS! ARRGH!!

(Breathes heavily.) Okay, now that I've had my outburst, I'll lay it out. It's my family. Again.

I have a relative who has a long history of being both accident-prone and a huge drama queen. This relative recently had surgery; his post-surgical stay in the hospital included daily diatribes on various social media complaining about how awful the nurses, the food and the other patients were.

Apparently, hospitals should recruit only nurses fresh from their centerfold photo shoots, hire celebrity chefs to prepare every meal to order, and provide a soundproofed individual suite to every patient in recovery. But I digress.

After three weeks he was released, which sparked complaints about his having been tossed out like an old sneaker by an unfeeling medical establishment.

My relative, not feeling up to negotiating the stairs to his 3rd-floor condo, prevailed upon a nearby family member to take him in while he continued his recuperation. Within 2 days, he was begging me to rescue him from her house because it wasn't comfortable enough.

Granted, my house offers a first-floor guest room with an attached full bath; our other relative's house doesn't. It's also true that she has more daily commotion going on, since she cares for one of her granddaughters. Since I'm still w*rking OMY, during the daytime my empty house would be much quieter and more conducive to healing.

Okay, I get it. Brother's Keeper. Sure, he can come and stay at Casa Mdlerth. I'll collect him, transport him the 150 miles to here, prep the guest quarters with some handicapped amenities, and slide him in.

How long will it be? Probably a month, maybe two. But after only the first weekend, I'm wondering how many of us will still be around in a month, maybe two. Are there any retired psychics out there who might be able to tell if a rubber room is in my future?

Every movement is accompanied by groans of agony just to let us know how much pain he's in. He is encamped in the keeping room adjacent to the kitchen, with the TV on while he diddles over his cell phone. He tires too easily to make a pot of coffee, but he can hobble with his walker out to the deck for a cigarette. There's more, but that should be enough to outline the picture.

The situation reminds me of the play "The Man Who Came to Dinner". I've mentioned on these pages my recourse to humor in times of stress. But I know that humor is a lot funnier in the third person, or at some later date than during the actual event.

I know also that it will be harder for DW to endure this adventure than it will be for me. I've known this relative my whole life, and am more used to his dramatics. (She has no experience with whack-jobs. Her side of the family is maddeningly competent. It's only her in-laws who are head cases!) Half of my challenge will be to insulate her from his antics.

A recent thread included a post by a member who had tended her disabled husband for decades. Compared to her Job-level patience, mine is as a mere grain of sand . I could be driven over the edge in a week, depending on how much humor I can muster.

Anyway, if I end up disappearing from these pages soon, it could mean I can't type because my arms are wrapped in a straitjacket.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:26 AM   #2
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Took me a couple minutes to read the post, and I'm already sick of the guy - good luck!
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:29 AM   #3
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I know also that it will be harder for DW to endure this adventure than it will be for me. I've known this relative my whole life, and am more used to his dramatics. (She has no experience with whack-jobs. Her side of the family is maddeningly competent. It's only her in-laws who are head cases!) Half of my challenge will be to insulate her from his antics.
IMHO you owe it to DW to reject the request and tell him no.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:36 AM   #4
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So he's already in your house? You knew not to post this before you said "yes" because it would be 10-1 against.

I'm assuming you haven't got a firm exit date planned for this brother? And if you try, something something how could he possibly put a date on healing...

Were I in your shoes I would at least say no smoking on premises. Period.

Were I your wife I'd be booking some spa trips.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:38 AM   #5
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He was in the hospital for three weeks? He must have been at death's door. What was he in for?
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:41 AM   #6
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I've always took Abel as If not a royal pain in the A$$, then the irresponsible one of the siblings. The one who is the narcissist, out and about having the good time when Cain is the responsible one, who doesn't get noticed and is expected to be responsible.

I remember hearing this story long ago and questioned why God had a favorite (I thought the big guy wasn't supposed to have favorites, but what do I know? I didn't want to question him too much as I didn't want to burn in h*ll for challenging ).
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:44 AM   #7
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So sorry, I feel your pain. I think everyone who reads is going to feel your pain!! Agree with Nemo2 completely and also wonder if braumeister might be right as well. My son bought a metal sign that he didn't officially give me as a gift, he just kind of put it up over my work bench in the garage, 'Happy Wife, Happy Life'. For us guys, a 'Happy Wife' is one priceless commodity. I would likely feel compelled to accommodate if there were no other reasonable options but there would definitely be some serious conditions. One would be regarding the cigarettes - see the smoke detector/CO detector thread! What are the chances, in his severely limited condition, that he isn't going to light up in your guest room and then doze off due to his Percocets? How is he going to get medical follow-up so far from his home hospital.

We are all going to be looking forward to updates on this thread! Really hoping that there is a heaven for you and your DW!
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:45 AM   #8
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Sounds like my mother only worse. Yes. I hate him too

How sick is he really? I'd maybe throw some money at him on the front end if needed,
then disappear.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:51 AM   #9
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Assuming he's in, I would work on a plan where he does a little more every few days, to prep him for being on his own. I would consider the no smoking rule anywhere on premises. I would also have him start by making coffee. In a few days start adding other things like meal prep, light cleaning, and so on, eventually getting out of the house and doing his own shopping. Keep it to reasonable things that you think he should be capable of during recovery, but enough to give him the idea that he might as well be home if he's going to have to do all this stuff.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:54 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mdlerth View Post
Anyway, if I end up disappearing from these pages soon, it could mean I can't type because my arms are wrapped in a straitjacket.
You’re already getting good advice from other forum members. I just wish you the best of luck with this tough situation. If you do choose the courageous and unpopular option, please report back here regularly and let us know how it’s goimg.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:54 AM   #11
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Find out what food smells he abhors...and start cooking lots of them.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:55 AM   #12
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Don't disappear! This is a good place to share, and get ideas/perspective on how to manage a difficult life challenge. As for me, I think despite your feeling the need to be his keeper and help out ---your willingness to do so is/should be contingent upon his willingness to be a respectful guest. Even then, given the circumstances, his time of "recovery" in your home should be for a defined/limited duration. If he doesn't agree to those conditions (and be extremely grateful that you're willing to have him in your home), then maybe he should go back to the nearby family member where he might find more welcome conditions (or no conditions at all!). Of course, he also has the option of going home, and if he needs help with shopping, meals, transportation, etc... there's always task rabbit, uber meals, and uber/lyft types to help. He could even hire a caregiver to come for a few hours a day to help around the house (his house). Keep in mind, he was discharged from the hospital, and it appears wasn't deemed to need a rehab facility....(sounds like they released him as "ready to return home" and it was his preference to ask for a relative's help).

So, I wouldn't kick him out...just discuss the need for greater respect (as you and your wife define), let him know the conditions and, of course, give him a defined timeline of when his visit ends. This is both reasonable and respectful (to both him, and you and your wife).

With expectations better defined, your recovering visitor ought to be able to make a better decision on whether staying in your home for a short while is actually best for him. If nothing else, you've established a mechanism for accountability, if needed.

PS. I was drafting my response while many good suggestions were posted above. While my comments were more direct than some, given his personality (as described) the more subtle suggestions that nudge him towards the door may be more effective. I don't envy your situation, and wish you the best of luck with this.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:00 PM   #13
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Find out what food smells he abhors...and start cooking lots of them.
And mention that you have some friends from the FIRE forum who are visiting for a couple months starting July 15 so that is the absolute end date as you need the room! There are six of them and they are [insert name of ethnic group most reviled by brother] or maybe just nurses, he doesn't seem to be fond of them.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:05 PM   #14
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Find out what food smells he abhors...and start cooking lots of them.
+1 lol

I actually am my brother's keeper, as I made a promise to my (still alive) parents to take care of him. He has a slight form of autism, but mainly independent.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:14 PM   #15
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Possession is 9/10ths of the law, and he is possessing a room in your house, and YOU will be the goat if he is out on the street...This sort of situation reminds me of my daughter's current dilemma.....trying to extract an entrenched boyfriend who is a habitual liar when the October wedding date, dress, venue, and other preparations have already been done, and paid for, she's heartbroken, and pissed.

The final straw in a long series of incidents is when he lied about another credit card that he racked up $2300 @ 38%, but refused to show her the bill, or acknowledge it was real.

Good luck getting rid of your deadbeat brother.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:20 PM   #16
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Offer to help him sell his 3rd floor condo & buy a 1st floor unit.

I would not put DW in a situation like this. She's my first priority, my uber-brother if you will.

Also, drama queen? Why through womenhood under the bus? This guy is a drama KING!
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:33 PM   #17
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When something like this happens, all you can do is ride it out and make sure you don't repeat the same mistake. Hang in there, Mdlerth. Let the time solve the problem.
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Keep 'em coming
Old 06-10-2019, 12:51 PM   #18
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Keep 'em coming

Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
IMHO you owe it to DW to reject the request and tell him no.
Too late. Genie out of bottle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
So he's already in your house? You knew not to post this before you said "yes" because it would be 10-1 against.

I'm assuming you haven't got a firm exit date planned for this brother? And if you try, something something how could he possibly put a date on healing...

Were I in your shoes I would at least say no smoking on premises. Period.

Were I your wife I'd be booking some spa trips.
Spa trips? That, Miss Aerides, is a brilliant idea! Thank you!

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Originally Posted by Mr._Graybeard View Post
He was in the hospital for three weeks? He must have been at death's door. What was he in for?
He was injured in a traffic collision. Messed up one leg, and it took multiple surgeries to piece back together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I've always took Abel as If not a royal pain in the A$$, then the irresponsible one of the siblings. The one who is the narcissist, out and about having the good time when Cain is the responsible one, who doesn't get noticed and is expected to be responsible.

I remember hearing this story long ago and questioned why God had a favorite (I thought the big guy wasn't supposed to have favorites, but what do I know? I didn't want to question him too much as I didn't want to burn in h*ll for challenging ).
It confuses me too. It's probably a good thing I didn't major in theology.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:52 PM   #19
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Another suggestion:
Get a pad of paper and a pen, then sit down with him and make a list of just exactly what he needs to hasten his recovery.
Write down his requests, being extremely specific ("more time" doesn't cut it).
For each item on the list, decide what you're willing to do and what he must do himself.
Make a schedule of what he's supposed to be doing and when/how often.
Hold him to it.

I doubt he expects such helpfulness and it may drive him out sooner.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:04 PM   #20
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OMG the poor guy. He really must have suffered, and still be suffering. I wouldn't be at my best, either. In addition, I would be worried that I might never walk properly again.

That, of course, doesn't excuse his horrible attitude toward the rest of the human race, especially the ones designated to help him (nurses and relatives in particular). And the smoking - yech! Isn't there anything nice about him that you can encourage?

Anyway, I'm leaning toward some of the suggestions about cooking smelly foods, playing music he dislikes, etc. to give him some incentive to get well quickly and get out. And please be extra nice to DW while the two of you are "keeping" Abel.

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T


He was injured in a traffic collision. Messed up one leg, and it took multiple surgeries to piece back together.

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