Saturday, July 07, 2007

Tough Choices

I feel like we are in a difficult position right now. I'll throw this out there for all of you, and you can give me your opinions. I have a brother in law who is a drug addict. I posted his picture on my photo blog in case you are interested to see it. He will deny that he is a drug addict, but the signs are there. He has alot of health problems, (some of which are mental) which in his mind prevent him from working. Actually, I think his mental state probably is the biggest deterrent to him working. Either way, I agree with him, he can't keep a job. He gets SSI, which is higher or lower depending on if he lives in an apartment. At present he is living out of his car. He was living with a family for over a year, but things heated up between them, and they parted ways. That was a month ago, and since then he has been living on the streets. My husband went today to try to help him find an apartment, but my brother in law ended up getting mad and in essence has parted ways with us too.
The one thing that keeps going through my mind is a scripture from the Book of Mormon that says, "And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish. Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just...But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God. For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind? Mosiah 4:16-19

Here are my reasons for not taking him in to my own home:
--I don't want him to have any bad influence on my children.
--I don't want him to bring any drugs or drug related friends in to my neighborhood.
--The stress of him living here is great on our family.
--A friend reminded me that he has the ability to find his own apartment and live in a house, he just chooses not to do it.

I think these are good enough reasons, but there is still the guilt that we have been blessed with alot and he has nothing. I know he has chosen this path, but it is hard to see him walk out the door at night to go sleep on the streets, when our family retires to bed in comfortable surroundings. We have told him that he can always come here if he is hungry, but now I think because of his anger towards us, he probably won't come.

What guilt will we feel if he dies on the streets? What responsibility do we have in this? He is an adult, and has his free agency, but he is also family. This is the dilemna that we are faced with at present.


Kris said...

There's nothing you can do until he wants to help himself. You can't make someone save money. You can't make someone get a job. Just as long as he knows you will help him find his own place, that's all you can do. It is hard. But they have to learn, sometimes I think people just like to be "victims"

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't help him beyond giving him moral support. i have a sibling that I wouldn't allow live in my home either, and I wouldn't feel guilty about it.