I am Apparently my Brother's Keeper.

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Aulualala, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. Aulualala

    Aulualala Alarmed Jellyfish

    Original Title: So, my brother wants me to lie for him

    Mar. 11 / 17 Update
    TL;DR: My brother wants me to lie to the government for him, and I'm torn.

    Some background:
    He just got out of a housing situation with a friend of his (S) and friend's girlfriend (T), which managed to involve the friend's friend (E), the girlfriend's sister (A), and the friend's friend's girlfriend-du-jour. For a long while, all of them were on the security net and then my brother got employment. I can't remember the agreement exactly, but I know he paid for the internet, a chunk of the electricity, and groceries. The others would get groceries for themselves (while helping themselves to his) from the food bank. E, apparently, was alright in getting enough to share, but he was a later occupant. For a long while, it was T who made the rules, who spent any money she got on cake and treats to self-soothe (any requests to share, even if my brother had brought them something, were met with a 'no') and frequently would hold herself hostage. S spent his money on weed and alcohol. S, when he came in, spent his money on weed so he could sell it, despite living in close proximity to a dispensary and smoking half his product. And A had assaulted my brother in the past, is a minor, and not generally known for her stability.

    For Christmas, we got him a microwave. T said flat out that if he brought the thing home, he'd be taking on all of the electricity bill.

    The place was stressing my brother out enough that he'd stay at my apartment (One bedroom, converted dining room to a second one for my mom but still 1B on paper) for a few days a month, and then he requested that he stay for a month or two to save up money for his own place. After having a breakdown at one of his jobs and subsequently quitting, he was staying with us almost five nights a week. And once S broke a shelf of mementos, that was the last straw. My brother considered any outstanding money he owed S and T as 'paid', and booked it up here.

    So, he's still got the one job and is on the security net. I don't make him pay rent because I figure it's going to be only temporary so that he can get enough for first and last, and move the fuck out. Maybe find a place that's geared to income for low-income people. I don't know.

    He also recently got a doctor who gave him a preliminary mental health evaluation, and came back stating he had severe social anxiety, post-traumatic stress, depression, and I feel like there's more. But regardless, the doctor felt it was severe enough to suggest my brother admit himself to an inpatient program. My brother isn't sure if he should, but came away with a script for ... either venlafaxine or fluoxetine (Which he claims are too expensive. But I'm fairly certain that if you're on the security net, you're eligible to get a card that reduces your medication fee to a two dollar co-pay (that many pharmacies will waive). I wouldn't know, I was on the company drug plan when I had my script for sertraline.)

    And now he wants me to write a letter to the security net and tell them that I am charging him several hundred dollars in rent, so that they don't reduce the amount that he gets.

    The thing is, while I am employed full-time, my mom and I scrape by. Even with me claiming the entirety of the bills, I get a bit of a refund and she has to pay a small amount in income tax (By which I mean, less than twenty dollars). I've been audited by the government once in the past, and I really, really don't want it to happen again. And I'm afraid that if I do this for my brother, it'll come back to bite me as an additional several hundred dollars every month he's here being added to my 'income'.

    A thing I feel flavors all this is that I have been abused by him in the past, physically, verbally, emotionally and mentally. And even though distance has helped, I still don't consider him safe. He considers nonbinary people to be tumblr snowflakes (while talking about how he totally has this trans friend that they treat as one of the guys and nobody cares that the friend's AFAB (which i'm like, bullshit dude)). Any time someone's talking in an upset, somewhat angry, and forcefully calm tone, I flip my shit (Which he realized last year and stormed out the house because he felt attacked because surprise, I have triggers now!)

    He offered to make my work lunches and made me a sandwich the day after the offer. He says he wants to help around the house if someone would tell him what to do, but I'm out of the house almost eleven hours of the day and thus, may not be around to tell him 'Do the dishes, they're piling up in the sink' (when the dishes are, in fact, piling up in the sink).

    I'm the one that pushed for him to get a doctor (Which are free up here), that's trying to push him to take responsibility for his own self, when I'm the younger one, who has who-the-fuck knows what going on both physically and mentally, who has to focus on keeping their own tattered shit together. Him relying on me to prod him is just not on.

    But I'm derailing myself.

    So, as the TL;DR above says: my brother wants me to claim that he pays me rent to the government so that he doesn't suffer a loss of income. I initially said yes, but am now having second thoughts because I /know/ this will bite me in the ass.

    And if you read all of this, you deserve a cookie.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  2. Ducks

    Ducks 79 Plural Fowl Illuminates The Legendary

    Yeah, I'd say don't. It's going to suck either way but he's already not paying rent.
    • Like x 1
  3. budgie

    budgie not actually a bird

    Yeah, it's almost certainly going to come to that. And while I don't know it for a fact, I feel like you having been audited before is going to make it even more likely that they're going to investigate a discrepancy.
    • Like x 1
  4. OnnaStik

    OnnaStik Relatively nice for a bloodthirsty mercenary

    Wow, this sounds pretty shitty for you and I hope it doesn't take a worse turn. :(
  5. TheSeer

    TheSeer 37 Bright Visionary Crushes The Doubtful

    I'm on fluoxitine; it costs about ten bucks a month here in the States.

    My uncharitable reaction is that you could resolve the discrepancy by actually charging him rent. My more measured analysis... he's asking you to enable his maladaptive coping mechanisms (for what sounds like some serious and difficult brainsuck) while avoiding treatment for same. I think you should tell him, "No, but I'll go to the pharmacy with you to pick up your meds."
    • Like x 4
  6. Emma

    Emma Your resident resident

    Yeah, don't lie to the government for him. Hardly ever worth it.
  7. Alaspooralice

    Alaspooralice An actual trash fire

    I'm not gonna say it's always a bad idea to lie to gov, especially if you are pretty sure they have no reason to investigate, but in this case it sounds like a really bad idea. You have already been audited, which means they are probably keeping an eye on your stuff. I would either actually charge him rent, since y'all are struggling as it is, or tell him to be honest and take the income hit.
  8. Lissa Lysik'an

    Lissa Lysik'an Dragon-loving Faerie

    Charge rent. There is ways to pay it back to him that don't come under scrutiny.
    • Like x 2
  9. Scheherazade

    Scheherazade It's a story fractal

    Are there other relatives who might help you if you get them involved in this, ones who could either give him a place to stay with someone he hasn't abused in the past or act as a neutral, more objective observer of what's actually happening in case he tries to lie and you need someone to back you up on things?
  10. Aulualala

    Aulualala Alarmed Jellyfish

    We're the only family in the city, nobody drives, the next closest live about three hours out. Well, except my cousin, but he lives in a city-funded bachelor apartment and would be unsuitable for either of those tasks for a multitude of reasons.

    As a more general update, though, speaking of city-funded housing. I told my brother that I can't take the hit financially, and he admitted he never thought of that (Which... I only about 70% buy that excuse). So he dropped that line of thought. I also printed out the plethora of forms that he needs in order to get subsidized housing, which he stated that he had filled out years before. While he was at a different address than his last (And I also doubt that he let them know that his contact information changed).

    He has not even so much as written down his name, nor made an appointment with his doctor to discuss both the forms (He qualifies under both Urgent and Homeless status) and his medication not doing the job it needs to do. Nor has he made an appointment with the security net to discuss the possibility of getting a drug card.

    I told him that once I got dates for an appointment, I would write him out three letters. One to the city re: subsidized housing (since the apartment's in my name and he's staying here), one to his doctor, and one to the security net. All explaining that he is a temporary resident at my home since it's the winter, but I can not keep him for the long term.
    • Like x 1
  11. Alaspooralice

    Alaspooralice An actual trash fire

    That sounds reasonable. You may have to give him a set time he has be out by if he is unwilling to fill out the forms in a timely manner.
  12. Aulualala

    Aulualala Alarmed Jellyfish

    So, three days ago, I served my brother a letter to pass on to his doctor, the social security net, and a branch of said net that offers affordable housing accommodations as he is, technically, homeless. I gave him until May 1st to get his shit and go.

    (The breaking point for me was when he decided to get drunk and stay at his friend's place, and blow off a doctor's appointment regarding his meds not working. This also meant he did heavy drinking on his meds, which is not recommended for any sort of antidepressant, but I digress.)

    Well, he saw his doctor today, who told him he had to see a psychiatrist to write a letter affirming that he is homeless, as this is... out of his area? So I don't know particularly what my brother told him, because that makes no sense to me. Said doctor - the one who told him that he should probably be institutionalized - also refused to refer him to a psychiatrist and told him that he would have to find one on his own. So that's another duty that's been passed onto me.

    And now my brother's complaining that his pills are going to cost him $30 a month, because his doctor decided to up the dose instead of change what it is. Which... could be solved by him going to the net and getting the card, but again, what do I know?

    I figured an update was in order. The thread title will also be changed to reflect the change in situation.
  13. Pheelog

    Pheelog The Phee-Phee Police

    Update, for all those curious (@Aulualala on another account):

    It's May 1st.

    He's still here, asleep, on my couch. Nothing packed, nothing that shows intent to leave, nothing.

    He asked me if I could hold onto some of his belongings for a bit, that are still at his old residence, but those aren't here either.
    • Witnessed x 6
  14. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator


    can you make him dress up funny and charge admission like a zoo?
    • Like x 1
  15. Pheelog

    Pheelog The Phee-Phee Police


    In all seriousness, I was hoping he would leave while I was at work and stay true to the deadline.

    This is not the case.

    I may have to start charging rent, either monetary or labor. Which, I mean, the latter was what was originally agreed upon, but never happened.
  16. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Yeah, we've had a couple of times when we had roommates who couldn't pay rent, and, well, that they couldn't pay rent meant they couldn't easily move anywhere, either. It can be rough.
  17. Pheelog

    Pheelog The Phee-Phee Police

    He is still capable of doing laundry (Which he doesn't because handling my clothes squicks him? Sorry I wear underwear?), doing dishes (Which he says he offers... when someone's about to do them), or other forms of general housekeeping. I would accept this as payment in lieu of actual money.

    As is, he currently has my bus pass because he lost his transit card in the folds his blankets. We found it shortly after he left, but it means that I'm currently homebound until he returns with it (Which I was assured would be within... well, he's got four more minutes before he's late), and I did have plans today.

    And I'm very salty and being unreasonable, forgive me.
    • Witnessed x 4
  18. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    pretty sure that is actually not unreasonable, like, these sound like reasonable complaints to me.
    • Agree x 7
  19. Pheelog

    Pheelog The Phee-Phee Police

    So he has not requested an extension, per se, but alerted my mother to the fact that he's here until the 15th at the earliest, due to the fact that he needs to wait for the previous tenant to move out of where he's planning to move into.

    Also, by 'belongings', he meant furniture as well as boxes.

    I may have to approach him regarding the likely-intentional withheld information, given that I do not have space for furniture as well. If anyone has any advice, please. I would love to hear it.
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