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My Brother's an Alcoholic and I'm Scared of him

by S

My brothers been an alcoholic for approximately ten years now and recently my family has been taking steps to try and help him beat his addiction, nothing seems to help and everyone is terrified and stressed, but that's not what I'm writing about.

A few years ago when I was 15 my brother and I were alone in the house, he had been drinking extremely heavily, I was in my room when he came in and started pestering me, then for no apparent reason he attacked me and tried to pin me down somehow I escaped but since then I've been secretly scared of him.

We live in different states now but recently my mother and I went to visit him. When we met him he was completely intoxicated, he forced me to sit on his lap and touched me in extremely inappropriate places right in front of our mother. I just found out he will most likely be staying with us indefinitely, maybe I'm overreacting but I'm terrified to be alone with him. What do I do? Answer

You have to talk to someone and be upfront and honest about what happened and what your fears are. Don't rationalize that what he did is somehow okay or excusable ... it's not.

Obviously your mother would be the best person to start with, but if she doesn't take your concerns seriously enough, talk to other family members. But whatever happens don't let this get brushed under the carpet.

You need to make it clear that you're not comfortable living under the same roof as him, and see what alternative arrangements can be made. Your brother's alcoholism explains part of his behavior, but in no way excuses it, so whatever gets said, you need to be firm and strong until your message gets through.

If it means you having to stay with other family members or even a friend, then do it. You shouldn't have to be fearful living in your own home if your brother is around and has been drinking. Hopefully your Mom will realise with him living with her again, how bad things are, and that it's unlikely to help him deal with his alcoholism.

Looking after someone with a drinking problem isn't the answer. Until your brother decides he actually wants to beat his alcohol addiction, there is very little anyone can do to help him. And having him come to live with you again is not only probably just going to further enable his alcoholism ... but cause a huge amount of stress, anxiety and unhappiness at home.

So do what is right for you. Make yourself heard, and don't be scared to lay a charge against him if it happens again. Go to the police immediately! And don't feel you need to live at home if your mother isn't prepared to reconsider ... do what you have to to try and make alternative living arrangements.

It's hard and far from ideal, but your safety and well-being are the most important things. Stay strong and you'll find a way to get through this.

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