Dear Blake,

I am the oldest of three. We grew up in an abusive alcoholic family. I’m considered the “failure” of the family because I don’t drink. I graduated from college, work full time, got married and have a pretty stable life.

Both of my younger siblings drink and use drugs, and their lives are in constant turmoil. The youngest sibling has mentioned they will need to move by the end of this month and their current job has not paid them for several weeks. I dread that they will ask to stay at my house soon, which I cannot allow because of the drinking and drug use. I know they will be upset that they can’t stay with me. How do I protect my peace without feeling like I’m making my sibling homeless?

Signed, Norman
Anchorage, Alaska

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Dear Norman,

Siblings can be an emotional drain when they become adults. They are even worse when you have to try to explain to them if they have semi-functional brains. Anyway, here are some ideas on how to deal with them. Tell them because you’re a “failure”, you can’t allow them to live with you because you don’t want to be a bad influence on successful alcoholics and drug addicts. Or, tell your siblings that you’re not allowed to be around illegal narcotics or booze, due to your psychiatrist’s recommendation, prompted by your ongoing fantasies of poisoning anyone that has substance abuse issues. Or this idea. Tell them that you plan on selling all of your possessions and live in a Smart Car. If they allege that one of them can live with you in that tiny vehicle, then add you plan on trading that car in for a unicycle. And lastly, this idea. Tell them they can move to your property, but they can only live in your backyard, and you’ll have everything set up, by early January (in Alaska). And add that the rules are, no drugs, no alcohol, and no screaming when hungry polar bears wander by late at night, because shrieks of terror would disturb you as well as your neighbors who like to get a good night’s rest before starting the day. I hope this helps.