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Hi, ya'll. It's been a while since I've posted, but I stop by to read your posts and put out positive thoughts for all you angels on a near daily basis.

As most of you know, I care for my husband (62) who is disabled with his back, diabetic and still suffering chronic pain as an after-effect of open heart surgery some 5 years ago this month.

My mother (86) is still in the nursing home, doing physically pretty well (diabetic, Parkinsons, major stroke about 4.5 years ago). She's showing signs of increasing mental decline - not processing well, but still in a happy place mentally and satisfied with her care.

My latest challenge is my oldest of 3 brothers, who has come to live with us for lack of having any place else to go. I don't know where to start. We have never gotten along well. He bullied us younger sibs in childhood, including some "inappropriate touching" toward me when I was too little to know what was going on. As teens, he "scared off" any budding relationships I was trying to have with fellas to which I was attracted, trying to set me up with his friends. We haven't been around each other except fleetingly at family functions for the past 35 years. (My mother hadn't seen him in 8 years.) My sister has always rescued him before, but she is having major health problems herself and her husband won't have any extra put on her right now (good for them).

So my brother is an alpha male wannabe. Always had problems with authority. Was in the Navy in the 80's, so is a non-wartime veteran. Got malaria, which has caused damage to his heart. He's had a few heart attacks, but claims to not have blockages. The VA was carrying him medically until the end of September. I don't know what happened, but they kicked him out of the system. They have all his medical records, and I cannot get access to them without his cooperation, and even then it may be a fight to get them for him. I thought we might be able to get him on SSDI, so he would have enough money for rent and food, but I can't get him motivated to take action to do that or pursue further contact with the VA.

He arrived labor day weekend, after a 36 hour bus ride from Denver. I gave him the larger bedroom upstairs, but swapped out the beds so if we do have houseguests, they will have someplace to sleep. He shipped his computer here so he can do some online income-generation that flows to a debit card. I don't know the particulars, but I gather he is not making as much money as he was led to believe he would. He doesn't have a driver's license, so is dependent on me for his transportation. He makes noises about finding a min wage job close by and eventually moving out.

Eventually can't come soon enough for my DH, who says the guy gives him the creeps... me, too. I've had to really stand up to having my personal space invaded when cooking meals or working at my desk or just about anything else I do. We are opposites politically. I've stopped watching the news or listening to the radio when he is present, so I don't have to listen to his editorial comments. Otherwise we have a town hall at our house... not fun. Thank goodness for radio on the mp3 player, satellite tv in the bedroom, and a wifi-enabled laptop computer.

One more thing, then I'll shut up for awhile. My DH's brother has been doing contract work in Iraq and is home this week. We haven't seen him in over a year. We want to make the 3 hour drive to go visit and stay overnite. My brother has offered to housesit and has learned my routines caring for the dog and horses. I really want to go, but DH doesn't trust my brother alone in the house with "our stuff." For all his bad behavior, my brother has never been accused of theft or even plundering (I asked my sister directly about this). He seems sincere in helping us in this case, and I'm inclined to let him. DH thinks this is another power play to take over our home.

So that's what's been going on here. As always, prayers and positive energy are always welcome. I have asked our middle brother, who will be here Thanksgiving, if he would consider taking him back to Texas with him - but he is getting laid off soon and this oldest brother eats A LOT.

must - think - happy - thoughts....

Hugs,
Barb
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{{{{{Barb}}}}}}

It's so good to hear from you... however, it is distressing to hear your story... And, while I would like to support you on a positive note.. the only thing that seems to be coming through me is listen to what you and dear hubby are feeling and let him go... you don't need it. Since, he is not totally above board with his health, the VA etc.. not willing to take any kind of work and totally dependent on you, do you really need this?

I will send loving, hugs and prayers in your direction... but I am also praying you set the boundary and say NO.. Keep us posted...

richest blessings

gail
Dear Barb:

I am so sorry to hear that your brother is imposing on you. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this challenging time. Hopefully this will be short-lived!

Just try to take deep, deep breaths and know we are here for you... This too shall pass? Take care dear heart!

Hugs, Glenda

[This message has been edited by glenderella (edited 10-13-2009).]
Thanks Gail and Glenda (my guardian angels).

Gail, you are so perceptive. It truly is a gift. BTW, I want to extend my heartfelt congrats on your recent move. I'm really very happy for you.

We went ahead and did our visiting. It was good to see the in-laws when there wasn't a funeral going on. I wish we could have stayed a few more days.

DH's cousin is in his 5th year of ALS, breathing with assistance from a device used by quadriplegics that stimulates the diaphragm. He's so upbeat, even with his limitations.

So then we came home to my gloomy brother. sigh. I did make a major point of thanking him for watching the place for us. I wish his presence here wasn't so irritating, but his whole demeanor and temperment are just not compatible to our lifestyle.

I'm doing a little research on malaria and the VA today, just to make sure I've got my facts straight. Then sometime in the next couple of days I'll find the courage to suggest he call our brother to make travel arrangements and also his friends to see if one of them will take him in. He really does need to be in an major metro area that has accessible public transportation. We are out in the sticks, and even if he found a job and apartment in a nearby town, he'd still be calling me to take him places.

Please pray for me to find a way to talk with him that won't hurt his feelings or anger him too much, but still make my point. DH has offered to do it, but he's rather blunt. I want to try a softer approach first where perhaps it won't be unbearably tense while we wait for him to depart.

Thanks again for all your help and support.
Hugs,
Barb
Here's another update on the situation with the oldest brother... he's on a bus headed back north - hooray! The middle brother was making noises like he would postpone his visit if things were so tense here (which they were). He became the intermediary, with some prodding from me and our sister, and persuaded the big brother to leave sooner than later. Whew!

I won't feel I have my house back until I get his computer shipped out and wash everything he touched!

Mom's disappointed that both brothers won't be here together for the holiday, but she knows the family dynamics and understands.

I'm so emotionally exhausted. Housework will be good therapy. Think I'll start right away.

Thanks, as always for your loving, caring energy.

Big hugs,
Barb

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