MB – accept the fact a part of you will always feel torn about ‘helping’ your nephew…because he is blood…and your brother’s child…and there is probably some feeling of ‘helping’ by stepping up to fill the gap left by the loss of your brother. However, IMHO, don’t listen to that sentimentality. It will do neither you nor your nephew any favors. You can not, by force of will or desire alone, no matter how well intentioned, save this young man from himself, his poor choices, and their consequences. All of us have made poor choices in our lives. Some more than others. Some of us are faster learners than others. Some never learn any lessons from our poor choices at all. All you can do is to be there if and when HE chooses to seek you out for advice or help – and by help I mean advice only.
One of the hardest things in life is to watch another make choices that you can ‘see’ are not to their benefit. But, you can still love them just the same, even though it is hard to watch them stumble, fall only to stumble all over again…needlessly. We all have to give others the opportunity to fail – that is how we eventually, hopefully, finally learn about the ways of this life. Some people are humble and willing to seek and consider the advice of others…some aren’t. That’s what free will is al about. Hard as it may be to watch…and do nothing…but stand there willing to council…if only asked. Everyone learns differently. Your nephew may choose, choose, to live out his life never learning what he needs to learn. But that is not your problem nor your fault.
Tough love is a hard row to hoe…but a noble one. Stick too it.
I threw my youngest brother ( a diabetic – shots twice a day) out of my house when he began using crack in the 80’s. Family all thought I was so cruel. How could I do that. I didn’t do it out of the blue. We had talked, I had talked myself blue in the face, we made agreements, agreements broken etc. The day I threw him out, telling him I loved him I also told him whenever he was ready to come back to ‘my.our’ world and sincerelt make an effort to change and be a responsible adult – call me. No ‘I told you s;o – nothing would he get from me that I promised. 11 months later I got a call asking if I would come pick him up. I asked no questions, we discussed nothing about that time. I gave him a one way ticket he couldn’t cash and told him if he wanted to leave this chapter of his life behind to make a plane reservation and let me know when to pick him up. He did, I did. He has been clean for 35 years, great job, family etc. It was his choice to make and his alone. I refused to enable anything but positive choices.
Don’t doubt yourself my friend. You are doing the right thing. I wouldn’t have him come, in his present state/frame of mind, near my BOL either – family/blood or not. It’s hard but it is not your job to ‘fix’ a grown adult that doesn’t know they need repair. My 2 cents.