DEAR ABBY: My twin brother is an alcoholic and homeless. He has never held a job. Although we have drifted apart, he still contacts me when he needs money, guilt trips me about not having a place to go and once even faked a drug overdose to get my attention. I have helped him many times, but he always goes back to his old ways.
My heart breaks for him, and the thought of him not having a place to go worries me. I have a family of my own to support and care for. He has shown no gratitude for what I have done to help him, and he insists that nobody cares about him. He threatens suicide and won't get help for his alcohol abuse.
My fiance refuses to allow me to help him anymore. I feel helpless and exhausted. I'm tired of constantly worrying about him and letting him make me feel guilty for the life he has chosen. Other relatives will have nothing to do with him. He refuses getting professional help. Please tell me what to do.
- Thinking About My Womb mate
DEAR THINKING: The only person who can divert your brother from his self-destructive path is himself. Because your attempts at helping him have all failed, recognize that although he refuses getting professional help, it doesn't mean you shouldn't.
You appear to be a kind, loving and generous sister who has been taken advantage of for a long time, and it may very well take the help of a mental-health professional to help you separate from your twin. Please consider it, because the sooner you do, the sooner you will begin to feel better.
DEAR ABBY: Three years ago I was laid off from my job and fell into hard times. As a last resort, I moved back in with my parents and got a job at a retail store.
Over the last three years, I have paid off many of my bills and repaired my credit. I'm now searching for a roommate to share an apartment. My parents say my siblings and I are always welcome, that we should move out when we are ready and come back if we need to.
I have met a lot of judgmental people along the way who assume I want to "live with my parents forever and remain a child" when they learn that I live with them. My family takes care of one another and does not abandon anyone once they have reached a certain age. What do I say to people who want to advise or admonish me about something that is none of their business?
- Still an Adult