DEAR ABBY: My parents are in their 80s. I have two brothers. "Pete," the oldest, is in his 50s and lives with them. "Dave" lives next door. My parents support them both financially. Neither one works or even tries to find a job. Both of them are addicted to meth, and one is hooked on prescription pills as well. My parents know it but enable them by paying their bills.
Pete and Dave steal and blame each other or any innocent family member who comes to visit. My parents are in total denial. There is major drug use going on every day, as well as potential violence. Pete and Dave threaten to shoot people all the time.
Part of me understands it's none of my business, and I have no desire to be around such dysfunction. The other part of me is furious and wants to put a stop to them using my parents. If I offer suggestions to my parents -- such as cutting off Pete and Dave -- they get mad at me!
I'm ready to sever all ties because there's no stopping this train wreck. I think my parents actually enjoy paying for my two 50-something brothers so they can stay high, never grow up and always be dependent. Any advice? -- NO NAME IN THE SOUTHWEST
DEAR NO NAME: I agree there is nothing you can do to "save" your parents -- or your brothers, for that matter. Their patterns are too well established. You can, however, save yourself.
If seeing them is too painful, you have my permission to distance yourself from what appears to be their unhealthy symbiotic situation.