Simon asks: My brother has a habit of showing up at my front door in the middle of the night drunk and stoned. He keeps waking me out of a sound sleep when he pounds on the door and rings my doorbell. Sometimes he yells loud enough that he wakes up the neighbours and I have gotten complaints. I’m super frustrated but I don’t want to call the police on him. How can I stop him from doing this?
Thanks for your question, Simon.
The only way to really stop him is to set appropriate boundaries and let him know there will be consequences he won’t like if he keeps doing this to you. (It’s best to do this when he isn’t drunk or stoned. Perhaps you can take him for coffee in a public place during an afternoon so that any emotional ‘freak-outs’ can be kept to a minimum.) He is exhibiting very self-absorbed actions that are interrupting your necessary sleep and also upsetting your neighbours. What he’s doing is simply not okay, by any definition.
I know that you love your brother – even when you don’t like his behaviour. But here’s the deal: If you continue to put up with this with no difficulty to him, then why should he stop doing it? He gets what he wants – to be let in and tended to by you whenever he feels like it. The most loving thing for you to do, in my opinion, is to help him grow up by not enabling or supporting him when he’s in the throes of active addiction. That shift in direction on your part will give him a fighting chance of choosing recovery, rather than staying stuck in addiction.
All my best,