• Share. Be Supported. Recover.

    We are a friendly, safe community supporting each other's mental health. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

How to help my brother and sisters?



Founding Member
Mar 10, 2008
A little history: I am 27-years-old, married to a wonderful man, and my half-siblings are 5, 10, 12, and 14. My mother was drunk the first 10 years of my life but was sober until last year. Now, from what my brother and sisters tell me, she has been drunk nearly every night for the past couple of months and does nothing but yell at them. They live in a two-bedroom apartment and my 14-year-old brother sleeps on the living room couch, he doesn't even have his own bed, space, or even a dresser. Her home is absolutely filthy (mice and bug filthy) and the kids never have anything to eat. I have provided food and clothing for them as needed because I can't stand to see them go without. Just this past weekend, all four came to stay at my house and my 5-year-old sister didn't have any underwear or socks. When I asked them about it, they said she just doesn't have any at home so I went out and bought her some. Just the simple basic need fulfilled of new socks and underwear put the biggest smile on her face. The kids also do not receive the medical care they should and none of them have been to the dentist yet although two of them need braces badly.

I grew up with her drunk so I know what these kids are going through and I want to take them away from her before anything bad happens. I was diagnosed with PTSD last year. I was having a hard time because my youngest sister was the same age that I was when things happened to me because of my mom's drinking. I don't want anything to happen to these kids. My husband and I have a house and are financially set to be able to care for all four of my siblings. We have a plan to get legal custody and their biological father is on our side because he wants them cared for but he doesn't want to do it.

This all brings me to my question: as miserable as the living conditions may sound, my siblings still love my mother and want to be there. If we take them away, at least they will be safe and cared for, but it is likely to bring out some anger and resentment. They would be leaving behind the only home that they know, moving to a new community, and having a new school come fall. My youngest sister especially is too little to understand. They already have health insurance through our state and I plan to make sure they get counseling as needed but does anyone know if there is anything else I can do to make this easier for them? Any other advice in general? I guess I just also needed to get some of this out, thank you for reading.


Well-known member
Founding Member
Sep 22, 2008
I don't know the circumstances, obviously, but what I say...and always say....is it is best (in my opinion) for children to remain with their natural mother if at all possible. I wonder if there is another way around this? If your mom could get help to become sober and responsible again would the children be happier. Does your mom know what is happening/likely to happen? Would the thought of losing them be something that would help her? What kind of help is available to her? Helping mothers is always the best way to help children (again this is just my opinion).

However, given that I don't know the circumstances maybe my comments are unhelpful and, perhaps, there is no other way forward (even if I hope there is).
When I was hospitalized during a breakdown my son stayed with my mother and was not allowed to return to me. This time was deeply traumatic for me. My son was reasonably happy to stay with his Grandma for a while but was also angry and resentful at the situation. He was also quite angry with me. Happily he is now home again (7 months later) but I feel angry that more was not done to support me in caring for my son at home.

My maternal Grandmother was a neglectful alcoholic....her children were often in the situation you have described. She later turned her life around and became completely sober and a much loved and respected member of the family. There is always hope.

Perhaps the children could feel less upset if they feel their mother is getting the support she needs in order to be well enough to have them home again?

Again, I don't know the situation....but I believe that recovery is possible for everyone and I hope your mom, and all of you, will get through this difficult time with the least discomfort for all concerned.

Take care :flowers:


I think you are wonderful caring for your brothers and sisters as you do. But you have your own life to live, andI thik you need professional help for both your sibs and your mother.
Things are often done better by writing first, as they should not be ignored. S I suggest that you write and ask for an appointment to go and see a Social Worker (I know they haven't a good name, but they have a job to do and are very busy) Incidentally you should keep a copy of any letters you send. Ask for an appointment to see them yourself first and explain the situation. Then I think your mother is in need of help , but the Sccial wworker should assist with this, as there is a matter of confidentiality there. In your letter tell them who y our G.P. is(or that of y our Mother and sibs if different.)
I am wondering why your father isn't taking some action. Butno doubt that will all be dealt with by Social services.

Best wishes and take care:hug:


Well-known member
Founding Member
Jul 21, 2008
For what it's worth, I became a full-blown alcoholic after my children were taken away from me. My ex-husband had used my confidential mental health problems against me after my mother had passed away (he was afraid of her when she was alive), siting that a "borderline patient" is not fit to be a mother. Little did I know that he'd had someone new on the side for well over a year and wanted me out of the picture. The emotional and physical abuse I took from him that year (2001) drove me to overdose on medication...which played right into his plans to get rid of me, keep my children, and continue on with his new partner.
If I had had a bit of support at the time, I would not have done what I did out of desperation and my children would be with me and not in a children's psychiatric facility. Of this I'm certain.
My 2 cents on mothers and children.


Jun 21, 2009
My mum has got a mental illness when she gave birth to my youngest sister, she had a relapse because she stopped having her injection for her illness...
This was nearly 10 years ago everthings okay now
in the time she got ill for 3 months she was on a mother baby ward in a rehab. I was seperated from her except I visited her but I missed her, I lived with my sisters dad he was drinking after a few weeks social services only let me go there for weekens so I had to live with my nan till my mum come home I can't remember How long My dad was looking after me I was only 9 at the time.
I would suggest you get help for your mum and look after your siblings till she gets better let her see your siblings weekends. This might be the same as what there going through and what you went through but I know what it's like to have a parent missing and ill. :grouphug:


Well-known member
Jun 3, 2009
ON, Canada
I really don't believe a child is best off with their natural mother: just because you birthed a child does NOT make you a mother.
I was taken away by my aunt and uncle, from my biological parents, because both my mother and father neglected my sister and I. Even though I was removed at 2, I still have memories and still have to attend counselling 15 years later.
Currently I am helping my step father to remove my half-brothers from my biological mother. She tossed away two children(my sister and I), always divorces and re-marries, would probably take my brothers, move away and toss them to the curb as well. If anything, I will make sure that every child she has is removed: it's even more funny that the boys are BEGGING the court to allow them to go live with their father.
If a person can't take care of themselves, and isn't taking proper care of the children: for the sake of the children, they should be removed!
My sister and I were found left alone in an apartment building (I was 1 year and my sister was 4 years old) ... ya biological mothers are great...
A good mother is someone who loves, and provides for her children, not just a woman who gets pregnant.
So do what you can to help your siblings! No child should have to live through that!!!


Founding Member
Mar 10, 2008
Thank you for your feedback, everyone. Right now things are at a standstill because my mom is trying to kick it but she's not getting official help, such as through a counselor or AA. She's done it before, I'm hoping she can do it again for the sake of the kids. I visit the kids as often as I can and they still stay over at my house frequently. They at least know they can turn to me if anything happens.

Thank you for your support!
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
T How can I help my brother? People 1
N My brother (19) doesn't eat, won't go out, doesn't study. Need help People 2
S I need help for my brother. People 3
P I don't know what's wrong with my brother and I don't know how to help him People 4
G Seeking help for my brother People 1
O My brother is paranoid, and he's afraid of us. How can we help? People 1
F Need help with possible diagnosis of brother People 2
D Need outside help, brother is acting strangely People 1
C I feel like I'm being gaslighted by my own family- help! People 2
S Seeking Help with Ex-partner with Mental Health Issues People 1
KaoticKiss Help with emotions and dating! People 54
D Toxic parent help. People 5
Pengi_Syd I Just need help People 14
Butterfly_girl Need help and support for my mum People 9
N Please help. People 15
F Need help with a relationship. People 30
W Need advice and help People 5
S Could really use advice and help People 1
R Husband no help at all People 7
C BiPolar Relationship Help. Please. People 1
K Please help me understand what is going on People 8
K Family help :( People 1
Fairy Lucretia we need to help yellows People 6
Y Please help - boyfriend has depression People 3
V Please please help, in a bad way after breakup People 5
P Help on dealing with family members who don't 'quite' get it People 3
T bipolar mother-in-law... I feel so lonely, please help People 13
S Need help to deal with mental pain People 6
gabbyboy How to help my online gf with her family problems? People 2
M How to impress my fiancé’s family abroad? Help me out! People 3
J Looking for some help and guidance to help myself and my girlfriend battle depression People 1
L Help Blocking Positive Emotions? (Yes, weird, I know) People 11
BradyLady Help me with communication? People 3
B Help for my wife People 1
S I want to help my father but I don't know how. People 1
L I want to help my boyfriend with his metal health but don't know how? People 1
Owl93 Help People 1
M Mentally ill mother won't get help. People 22
Owl93 Really need some help to understand People 22
C Boyfriend making me feel crazy? Help! People 4
H Really need some help please! People 4
I Silence and Dating Someone with Social Anxiety. Please Help Me to Understand People 3
S Advice on how to help a friend? People 4
L I have no one to help me.... People 1
G I need help People 1
I Help me, tell me I can sort this last thing. People 1
J Heartbroken and depressed.. Help. People 7
L Please help get my mum home. People 2
L Guys I need help People 5
H Is my mother emotionally abusive? Please help me. People 9

Similar threads