My brother recently turned 37. Despite being just a year apart in age, we’ve never had a particularly close relationship. We went our separate ways during secondary school, where being ginger and wearing glasses made us easy targets for ridicule and ostracization. Every day was a struggle, and it greatly affected our social skills. While I managed to come out of that experience relatively unscathed, my brother never quite learned social cues and had no desire to make friends.
Currently, he has been to university (again) but failed his final year twice. He is now working as a bin man. His only companions are online friends with whom he plays Dungeons & Dragons. From what I can gather from the snippets of conversation I hear through his closed bedroom door during my visits home, he tries to assert dominance and berate others. It’s difficult to gauge the full extent since he rarely leaves his room. He doesn’t interact much with our parents, despite still living with them, and often gets into arguments with our father. He seems to hold grudges over minor incidents from our childhood and hasn’t been able to move on. Adaptability is not his strong suit either. For instance, today my parents had to buy him a new toothbrush because his old one was literally falling apart. I’ve never seen a toothbrush in such a state, but he insisted it was fine.
I often try to talk to him about his goals and aspirations in life, but I’m met with defensive and angry responses. He claims that no one wants anything from life and that if I didn’t have to work, I wouldn’t either. It’s nearly impossible to have an adult conversation with him. While we may not be particularly close, he is still my brother, and I worry about my parents, who are getting older and shouldn’t have to constantly cater to him. Truth be told, he is quite intelligent and has a lot of untapped potential, but he seems to lack any motivation.
I’m at my wit’s end, and my mother is on the verge of breaking down. My father is considering the drastic step of kicking him out to force him to stand on his own feet, but this could potentially push my mother away as well. I desperately need advice on how to encourage my brother to step out into the world. If anyone has experienced a similar situation, I would greatly appreciate any insights or suggestions.
In summary, my brother continues to live with our parents, lacking the motivation to build a life for himself, and refuses to open up to anyone about his struggles.