Dear Abby: My parents are in their 80s. I have two brothers. “Pete” is in his 50s and lives with them. “Dave” lives next door. My parents support them both financially. Both of them are addicted to meth, and one is hooked on prescription pills as well. My parents know it but enable them by paying their bills. Pete and Dave steal and blame each other or any innocent family member who comes to visit. My parents are in total denial. There is major drug use going on every day. Pete and Dave threaten to shoot people all the time.
Part of me understands it’s none of my business. The other part of me is furious and wants to put a stop to them using my parents. If I offer suggestions to my parents – such as cutting off Pete and Dave – they get mad at ME! I’m ready to sever all ties because there’s no stopping this train wreck.Any advice?
– No Name
Dear No Name: I agree there is nothing you can do to “save” your parents or your brothers. Their patterns are too well established. You can, however, save yourself. If seeing them is too painful, you have my permission to distance yourself from what appears to be their unhealthy symbiotic situation.
When to call police
Dear Abby: My next-door neighbors yell at each other and their children a lot. The shouting sounds like it is escalating. This morning, the father yelled at his young son, telling him to name the letters of the alphabet. His “lesson” was filled with anger and profanity when the boy made mistakes. It was finally interrupted by the mother, shouting for him to stop. He then screamed, “Shut your mouth!” and she responded, “Don’t you TOUCH me!” I don’t know what to do. At what point should I call the police, or is this none of my business?
– Worried Neighbor In California
Dear Worried Neighbor: The turmoil in that household isn’t healthy for the children. The next time the father starts shouting, call the police to report a “domestic disturbance.” The verbal abuse could very well escalate to physical violence (if it hasn’t already).