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Positive reinforcement folly

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posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 06:49 AM
I just need to vent somewhere. I have this half brother, we have the same mom, different dads.
He is a drug addict, and constantly in between stints in prison, or in rehab programs, being homeless and leachign of off someone.

He was raised very differently than I. Whereas me and my other siblings were brought in the textbook X generation way (basically total neglect and rejection), this brother came into the world being treated as a messiah by my mother, because it was his conception that finally convinced her boyfriend of ten years to marry her.

Seeing as completely ignoring and hating (or beating and injurying) her offspring didn't turn out so well with us, she decided to try the opposite method with him, and never ever punish him, use no negative enforcement, and keep him constantly watered down with statements about his genius and basic awesomeness.

The idea, at that time, was something like- if they believe they are great and good and they will become so.

The result, instead is a raging narcissist, drug addict, unable to hold a job, unable to sustain a relationship, and a horror to be around. This started young, as he got kicked out of schools and friends of my parents quietly distanced themselves, until my mother and stepfather were left alone with this insupportable monster.

For a while he found a girl with low enough self esteem that she was able to feed and respond to his narcissism. until she was sucked dry (emotionally, physically and financially) and had to leave him to save her self.

So He's posting all these drama laden long updates on Facebook that waver between attention seekign victimization wails, and sickening drawn out statements abotu how extraordinary he is and any person who can't recognize that does not deserve him.... ladaladalada.

He's got well meanign people writing back to him, giving him strokes and telling him he's a wonderful person, and all the crap that is so damned prevalent in that So. California culture... It's making me pull out my hair, because I have gotten used to a totally different philosophy since I left!

-It is-

Be realistic. Don't lie to those you love. Don't bull#. Love them enough to give an accurate reflection to them of who they are and what they have manifested in this world. Help them ground themselves, so that their efforts dig into the ground and allow them to move, rather than spinning helplessly in the air.

I just want to scream! This kid is NOT LOVED by those around him, from what I can tell. And yet I know that if I was honest and showed my care, in the way that I am used to expressing it, it would be seen as the opposite. By him, by his entourage, by my own family.

If I could, I would say "No, you are not extraordinary, you are not a genius, you are not talented and awesome.
Those may be potentials, but they are not the reality.
You are a drug addict, you are irresponsible, you are inconsiderate of others aroudn you and use people, steal from those you love, and lie to them. You were not able to continue your education long enough to make any intelligence manifest (had an '___' overdose in the first month in college, had to be hospitalized). Basically, up to now, you have just been deadweight on the society.
You do not have to amazing or awesome, just be normal. Strive to stay off drugs, and hold down a job, and be a honest person with those you around you. That's all. "

I just cannot stand the american idea that if you criticize someone, you hate them (or are otherwise trying to hurt them). Does no one recognize the pain it causes people to be unaware of why things are happening to them because no one will tell them the truth??

I know no one will find this of interest to read. I needed to get it out anyway. This isn't abotu Facebook- if it wasn't that vehicle, it would be by telephone, or email, or letter. It is this sort of narcissistic attitude that so many young people have that I think is damaging, and I find it difficult to observe.

posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 07:42 AM
reply to post by Bluesma

For a while he found a girl with low enough self esteem that she was able to feed and respond to his narcissism. until she was sucked dry (emotionally, physically and financially) and had to leave him to save her self.

If anyone knows where I can get one of these, let me know.

I need one that hasn't been sucked dry yet.

posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 07:56 AM
reply to post by Bluesma
You are a lot nicer and have a lot more patience than me Bluesma, and I give you respect. I would have already told him how the cow ate the cabbage and then some! I was raised to be very blunt- there have never been any punches pulled in my family and we were all raised to be brutally honest. Your half brother wouldn't last a day around here! Best thing you can do is cut this person out of your life, and if another family member brings him up refuse to discuss him. You didn't make him the way he is so you shouldn't have to tolerate him. He may be your kin but you don't have to associate with him.

posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 03:18 PM
reply to post by Bluesma

There is a wonderful short story by Hermann Hesse that describes this situation very well, it is titled 'Augustus'. It tells the story of a woman who is given a wish for her newborn son, and she asks that he be loved by everyone. After living his life, adored without question, using and abusing all that bestow their love upon him, eventually he realises the vacuousness of his existence and he is visited by the wish granter, who offers to replace the wish with one of his own choosing. After much thought, he asks, that he be given the capacity to love everyone. His life changes dramatically, he is assaulted by all those, nolonger under his spell, who feel cheated by him, who he decieved and hurt, but he sees the world in a whole new light, and he does indeed love everyone, and as such finds beauty everywhere, in the simple things, and now, as never before, is happy. Beautiful story.

I can sympathise. My brother was raised under very similar circumstances, he can do no wrong, but is, in himself very wrong, he lies, he cheats, steals and has very little respect for the vast majority of people, especially women. I don't blame his upbringing entirely on that, he is adult, of sound mind, he has the capacity to change, but as yet, has found no reason to do so. My mother who has lived her life in worship of him is seemingly incapable or unwilling to realise his faults for fear of what it says about her, and her choices. At this point in my life, for my own sanity, I am completely estranged from them both. I have never been happier or healthier. I know that it can't last, but for the time being I make the most of it. I recommend that you do the same, be happy in your strength and independence. You raised yourself, and therefore only have yourself to answer to, pity those less fortunate.

All the best.

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