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24 yo brother...ARGH!

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by sparkles2307, May 17, 2010.

  1. sparkles2307

    sparkles2307 Terd of Hurtles

    My brother is 17 mo younger than me, we have always been really close, best friends for a long time really. He went into the marines before he graduated HS, spent a semester at a marine prep school his jr year, and was shipped out to Afghanistan right after he graduated in 2004. He went to Iraq 2x after that deployment. He's been out for about a year and a half now, lives in state but at the other end, and is never around! I dont even know him anymore! And any effort to get together is like treated as besically "family comes after friends and booze" so is this a normal thing for a 24yo or is this an issue stemming from his time in the war? I never even know when he is in town, his gf has to tell me to be sure we can get together, and even then he doesnt have time for his nephews, who used to be #1, he just wants me to meet him at the bar, end of story. I invited them for dinner one night, made a huge turkey dinner, mom and stepdad were there on time, and about 1.5 hours later I called my brother asking WHERE he was and he said "O, well we're just now leaving to head that way so we will be ther ein an hour or so." Uh, what!? Seriuosly, I am just about to strangle him.... so please tell me this is a normal 24 yo thing that he will get over!!!!

  2. Depends on the 24yo. Going into the military as early as he did this may be his first real taste of 'freedom' so to speak, so he's living it up. Not much different than when kids go off to college. Mom and Dad (and sibs) take a back seat to the frat brothers and whatnot.

    But, you're talking ex-marine, no ex-frat boy so there's another level to consider. Civilian life is NOT the same as the military at all, and that will take some major adjustments all around. Used to his life revolved around the job, not a lot of questions asked (allowed) about where you'll live, what work you'll do, how you dress, etc. Now all those decisions are on his head and that takes time to adjust to. Also, not having your military 'family' around is a jolt as well.

    And all that doesn't even take into consideration that time abroad is rarely a cake walk. There is no telling what the guy saw and did and how those things are effecting him now that hindsight is kicking in.

    If it was me I'd prolly be just as flustered as you. Particularly on the time thing, I HATE being late and get majorly miffed at people who are late... IE MIL even holds up funerals... it's just flat out RUDE. GAH. Better stop now before I go Full Blown Rant. But I hear you.

    In your shoes... seeing as you can't possibly know what's going on in his head... I'd err on the side of caution... let him know you're there... miss him... etc. so that if/when he needs to talk he has an ear... but also give him the time and space he needs to adjust to civvy life, his memories, etc. on his own if that's what it turns out that he needs. But, I also wouldn't coddle him since if I did that to either of my brothers, my DH, my son they'd all freak thinking something was majorly wrong. I'd tell him he's a dork for leaving you standing there holding the bird for hours, and leaving your whole family waiting... actually I'd prolly smack him in the head with the turkey neck... but then we'd move on.

    *passes salt cellar*
  3. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    I thinks a combo of things..
    age... the military.. AND he has a gf ...
  4. sparkles2307

    sparkles2307 Terd of Hurtles

    Sad thing is his GF wants to come visit and he always says no. She and I get along great, talk frequently, the boys LOVE her, we even went on a road trip from MN to WY together. Its just him. We do tread carefully, not knowing what he is dealing with mentally and emotionally, but for gosh sakes if you say you're going to do something flippin do it! He can't snow me, I grew up in our parents' house too, I know they taught him to do what he says he will do and NOT TO BE LATE ---EVER!

    Ok, well that being said, I think I might need to bring wine to supper tonight, in case he stands us up yet again...
  5. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Three tours in combat zones at a young age. It may not be PTSD but it sounds like he could use some support from the sort of organizations that deal with it.
  6. Speaking from personal experience the military can bring major changes to families. Being in you see and experience things you will never forget but you also see and experience things you never want to remember and wish never happend. People on the home side of the fence know you are different but don't know why. On the other side of the fence you don't want to talk about it and more so feel uncomfortable with the people you know the best. It's really really hard to put to words, like PineappleMama said let him know (and he does allready I would expect) that you are there and care. It just takes time. It's ok to let him know your feeling on bad or disrespectful behaviour.

    I'm not a big fan of DR's and shrinks so if you really want to see what's going on with him skip the bar, have hubby watch the kids, take a full cooler and 2 chairs out to the barn and have a bro - sis talk. It may take awhile and you may not like what you hear but it's worth it.

    Wish you the best
  7. herfrds

    herfrds Songster

    Jan 11, 2010
    Ok this does not sound too normal to me.
    Especially the drinking part.

    Contact your local AA and get some support there. I hate saying it but there is not too much you can do until he hits bottom.

    Look around for a pychiatrist who does eye movement therapty. Helped me when I needed it.
    Keep their number handy.

    Your brother is going to need help, but it is hard to get someone in unless they are ready for it.

  8. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    His behavior actually sounds a great deal like my nephew's. 25 years old, two tours in Iraq and he will not visit family--holes up in his apartment playing online video games that my son (15 months younger) outgrew years ago. Kept saying he was going to enroll in college--that went on for two semesters before he finally did. Signed up for classes and never went. I'm not sure if he withdrew or failed. I know that part of it is post war trauma--mostly over lost friends. But a whole heck of the irresponsibility was there before he entered the service (skipping classes is a good example), and was repeated during his service (an attitude of entitlement and "I'm smarter and know more").

    Yes, there may well be issues that he needs to deal with a psychiatrist or counselor for, but he also needs the people who love him to stand up to him and demand that he treat them with respect. That he needs to cut the crap and be polite; that you KNOW that he knows how to behave, and that if he makes a committment, you expected him to keep it. Tell him that you love him...and you expect common courtesy from him.
  9. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    A marine does not go back on his word and they are not late - unless there is something wrong. How much of him is still a Marine? My guess given how young he was when he went in - Most of him! See if there isn't some one else who understands him better who can talk to him. If you can do it right, remind him that Marines keep there word. He'll probably do it or he'll blow up at you and you can get it out.

    I wish you both well. Tell him I said thank you.
  10. sparkles2307

    sparkles2307 Terd of Hurtles

    He actually did really well in college this year, I'm really happy about that. He doesnt call anyone "Sir" or "Ma'am" like 99% of the other ex-Marines I have met, I think he is fiercely loyal to the men he was there with, but that doesnt spread out an cover anyone else. IDK its going to take some patience for sure!

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