My home is my personal sanctuary. After living with me for a year, it was time for my brother to get his own place. After I asked him to leave the room he rented, he lived in his car parked in his employer’s parking garage until his car was towed away.
I have told him he will not be staying here. My home is my sanctuary, and he needs to create his own. He is suffering from health issues, is sober, and has a good job with benefits, but cannot afford the cost of living on his own.
I believe I have done all I can for him and need to take care of myself first. But, how do I stay OK with the choice I have made, living in my sanctuary, knowing he’s out there cold, scared, sick and lonely?
Needy family members often burn out the family welcome just as you have described. You did provide your brother with a home to live in for one year. This is very generous of you, so I’m here to tell you not to feel guilty about sending him out to find his own “sanctuary,” as you call it.
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There can be many reasons why someone would choose to live out of their car. There can be mental health issues, and you seem to hint at an issue with alcoholism. Those are often the top 2 reasons for homelessness, but, I have also heard people say they “choose” to live on the streets or in their car. Personally, I doubt that is totally true, yet they do seem to get by.
While it is hard to think of your brother being cold, scared and sick, soften your guilt by thinking of the things you can do to help him. Maybe you can take him meals, or help him get connected with a social service agency? You could assist him with getting medical care, or help him find a room to rent so that he can get off the streets. If he had a good enough job to pay you room rent for a year, there are other places who would take him in.
Whatever you do to help your brother, you do have the right to keep your home sanctuary to yourself. That’s called “setting healthy boundaries”. When you honor what you need, you will feel more generous in spirit with helping your brother where you can.
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- What can you do to help your brother that does not include living with you?
- What will help you let go of the guilt?
- What more can you do to take care of yourself first?
- Do you applaud yourself for the generous spirit you do have?