Dear Annie: I’m 26 years old, happily married and have a beautiful 2-year-old daughter. My oldest brother is an alcoholic. He was in a terrible auto accident last year and nearly died. I don’t want to enable him by continuing to welcome him into my life.
I’ve tried to explain this to my parents and my sister, but my words fall on deaf ears. Last month, my brother and I got into an argument at my parents’ house because he is jealous that I have a better relationship with his children than he does. It ended with me saying, “Stay out of my life.”
Now, I’m the black sheep of the family while the others still welcome my brother with open arms. I love him, but I can’t deal with watching him kill himself. Am I wrong to walk away? – Loving Sister in Missouri
Dear Sister: This isn’t about right or wrong. It’s about what you can live with. Tell your parents that you are contacting Al-Anon (al-anon.alateen.org) because you want to do what’s best for your brother and also for your family. It will help you deal with your brother and at the same time let your parents know that you care about him.
Dear Annie: “Sticky” said she’s having a hard time in Florida because people don’t use their air conditioning. We moved to Florida 40 years ago. It took us a couple of years to get acclimated, and our electric bill was an incentive to be moderate with the thermostat.
A few years ago, we moved from humid Florida to bone-dry Arizona, and that has been a harder adjustment. Not everyone has the same definition of comfortable. – Old Man Gone West