T Nation

Brother Stealing From My Family


Not sure where to start with this, but it's the kind of thing I don't really know how to bring up with friends and probably wouldn't feel comfortable with it anyway.

Over the past few years, my brother has been stealing from my family, mostly money, but also my mom's pain medication. She's using fentanyl patches, very powerful stuff. He stole a whole bunch of them and ended up skipping school for nearly a month just getting fucked up all day. He also stole her checkbook and wrote nearly $2k worth of checks before he got caught. She opted not to press charges, but sent him to live with my dad, where he's stolen hundreds out of his wallet.

Just recently, he stole a $500 Amex Gift Card I had from signing a new lease with my apartment. Aside from the major incidents, I'd notice the change on my desk missing. I had a book thing with all the state quarters in it that he stole and presumably spent. He broke into my mom's safe and took some savings bonds and cashed them. I could seriously go on and on and on, but you get the point. Kid's a fucking klepto.

I don't know what to do. I called my dad about the gift card and he got pissed at me, telling me that it was my fault, that I know how he is and I should have locked it up, etc. etc. He told me I can't accuse him unless I have proof. Short of fingerprints and fucking dna evidence, he was the only person who could have done it.

Now I'm willing to accept some negligence, but the way I see it all they are teaching him is that it's okay to steal, and that the best people to steal from are your own fucking family because ultimately nothing is going to happen to you.

I honestly think they just don't know what to do, I was hoping some parents here might have some suggestions. And if anybody else has a troubled sibling, how did you deal with it?

For the record, he's 18, not in school, no job, smokes pot all day, I'm 22 in college.

And yes I've tried hitting him. I beat the shit out of him once for stealing money from my wallet and I almost ended up getting arrested for assault. He's the kind of kid that has no problem stealing from me and then turning around and calling the cops when I retaliate.


Honestly, it sounds like he does a lot more than smoke pot.


Set him up, get him arrested.

I dunno man, that's a pretty shitty situation, he needs some kind of discipline. Does he do any other drugs?


I think you need to cut him out of your life or at least don't allow him in home, work or car. Set boundaries.


Drop all contact


As someone who has stolen from his family, you need to shame him so bad that he realizes the pain he's causing. Whether that's getting him booked, holding a family council, cutting him off completely, catching him in the act, whatever- you just need to get him to recognize, because likely he's rationalizing it saying to himself "I need this more than they do," or "If they haven't said anything, they must not mind, especially if they keep me around."

It sounds harsh, but that's what I needed- lots of humiliation and guilt, then a heaping dose of loving as I recovered. I had to work really hard to earn my family's trust back, but now I have it. Not without some reservations- and I can't blame them.


Your fucked, he has to change, you cant change him. I have a 18 year old step son who was stealing from us and smoking/drinking etc. We had to kick him out and he is living with his father barely surviving. My little brother went through the same thing and I had to cut him off. You are not his parent you are his brother, your parents need to take care of him not you. Move on with your life, take care of yoruself, love your parents but you are going to have to stop getting involved or you will end up losing what you have accomplished.


Shit in his skillet.

Sorry, byukid gave some good advice. Sometimes we are burdened by family members, like it or not. Some people give up on them and can move on just fine. Others try to do this but only feel guilt that eats at them just as badly as your brother is right now, so it's just trading one form of torment for another. You (and your parents) will have to figure out the path that's best for you and your family. Good luck.



Not much of a brother if you ask me.


He's not spending all that money on pot, no way if you're saying this has happened in the last year or so. The amount of money you're talking about is more likely oxy or the like, especially given that he stole and used your mom's script.

Your parents are enabling him, and he's an addict.

All you can do is protect yourself and drop all contact with him. In the meantime try and drill some sense into your parents heads.


That's the easy answer, but it's usually much, much more complex than that. I doubt he can help himself.



I am more bothered by your dad acting like you need so much proof about the stolen credit card. It means some of this behavior may be going on because the parents tolerated it until it got out of control.

I would leave him the hell alone. That is just how life is sometimes.

One thing I have learned is that you can NOT save everyone. Some people are going to drown in life and they will take you down with them if you let them.

Quit letting him stay with you and move on.

Your mother should have pressed charges. he acts out because there are no consequences from what you wrote.


He's an addict, obviously, and as long as your parents keep enabling him and he refuses to acknowledge he needs help this shit is going to continue to go on. Best thing you can do is cut him out of your life and you may have to do the same with your parents because they aren't dealing in reality, right now.

Unfortunately, this is something he and your parents have to work through and straighten out. He is not your responsibility, he is your younger brother and at 18, he really isn't your parents' responsibility either.

I have an uncle who's 54 years old and my grandparents and even my mom enabled him for most of his fucking life. Finally my mom and my granddad got fed up with it and told him that they were selling my grandparents' house and giving him the boot unless he started paying the bills. Now his lazy ass is working and doesn't have the money or time to get high, anymore.


He's an addict and addicts lie, manipulate, steal, and rationalize. You need to tell him up front that you can no longer associate with him unless he gets help and stops using, lying, and stealing. Then stick to your guns and realize you cannot change or control him. If he asks for help getting clean, then give it to him, but absent that, you should cut off contact with him until he proves that he has gotten help or is ready to get help.


Your parents are obviously in denial. And your brother obviously has a drug problem. I'm not sure that you, as his only slightly older brother, is in any reasonable position to get him help - that task should fall upon your parents. I think since you have your only place, you're fairly insulated from this behavior and you're just going to have to cut him off or limit your contact with him since he cannot be trusted.

Your parents have their heads in their asses with this "you know how he is" comment; with family and real friends, you should be able to leave a million and one dollars in the open, go to Iraq for a year, and return to a million and one dollars. Again, I'd say get him help, but I don't think you're in a position to do so...this one is on your parents.


I couldn't even imagine a situation like that with my family. If I can't trust you, you won't be around me for long.


Sorry if I missed it, but how old is your brother?


Get some help for yourself. Look into co-dependence and how it affects you. Learn how to move on and be happy in life.


If one of my brothers stole $500 from me, I would either try to help them, or just stay the hell away from them. More likely the second option. If you're in college, you likely can't afford to have him stealing your stuff. I know I couldn't. What will you do when he steals and sells your laptop?


and then denies it.

I would say keep beating the shit out of him, but he is most likely drugged out and delusional and freinds with someone with a gun. to steal $500 from you is insane though..... if anyone ever stole that much from me i would be facing serious charges for assault.