I've always had a great sense of responsibility. Pride. Great work ethic. Of course, it's not the same as it once was, after being laid off the last job, I realized, that work is work and I don't really give a shit about it like I use to. But still, it does come before most things in my life. Unfortnately.
Where does the sense of responsibility stop, and self preservation begin? It's very possible, that my brother will be going back into the hospital, for another skin graft. Not because he is a poor healer. Or, it didn't take right the first time. Because he did it to himself, by the way he lives, and what he does to his body. I think I am the only one who really see's this for what it is. I remember when my mom was going to Al-anon when we were growing up, and she was getting into "tough love" and we would tell her how mean she was, and she said it wasn't that she is being mean at all. She hung up this sign that said "You have the freedom of choice, but not of consequence".
This goes for my brother. He chooses to live the lifestyle he does. He chooses to go to the bar and drink all his money away. He chooses to not have a car. He chooses to work at a restaurant when he is really smart, and can do anything he wants. He chooses to not care about himself. Those are choices he makes, because they are easier than trying to better yourself.
I did all I can do for him, and I'm at a point in my life where I come first. I have spent the last couple decades, putting myself on the back burner, for the needs of others. It wasn't even in a healthy exchange. I was just taken advantage of, and I let it happen. I'm still young enough to be able to enjoy my life. And I plan to. I can't however enjoy my life, when I work 60 hours a week. Working from 8am-10:15pm 5 days a week. I can't keep doing it. These are suppose to be the best years of my life. Do I HAVE to do it? No. But I want things for myself that require me to pay my bills off. So I do it.
Having my brother stay with me, put me further into debt. Prevented me from paying off any bills for 4 months. I realize, he is family. I love him. I care about his well being. But while I struggled working two jobs, trying to support the both of us, he did nothing to help. Instead, complained about the food I bought. The fact that I had no cable channels. Didn't take him anywhere. He wouldn't even fill out paperwork to get food stamps to help us out. Had no desire to learn how to budget his money, and ran up our phone bill to over $200, and watched me have a nervous breakdown....without so much as an "I'm sorry".
I am 31 years old. I don't have kids, because I enjoy my freedom. I'm too busy working on myself, and bettering my own life, to be concerned with caring for someone who doesn't care for themselves. I know in my own heart, this doesn't make me a bad person. I know, that sometimes you have to hit the absolute bottom before you can come up. I had mine about 8 years ago. When I lost "everything" at once. No one could make me see what I did to myself. What I allowed to go on around me. When you are in your own bubble, you have to see it for yourself, and the same is true for my brother. He has to ask for help. He has to see that he needs it. And until then, I am going to live my life like I have been doing. I stressed all night about what to do about him. But you know what? I bet my brother was having a jolly time at the bar, not worrying one bit about what he would do. And, theres something wrong with that.
Until he decides he wants to better himself, and ask for the help he needs, I'm not responsible for him, and I'm ok with that.