Well, here's another two cents worth, in my humble biased opinion. I'm a brother and a caregiver for two parents (one's passed). I lost my job involuntarily when the business closed, but regularly put over 50 hours in caregiving, over 50 at work, and live 50 miles from my parents. Did that for over three years, and now for another five very full time. Never made it back to finish my last two grad school classes--2! Still full time caregiver, wound dressing changer, pharmacist, health advocate, transporter (parents, wheelchair, cane, prescription lists, change of clothes, medicines, walker & supplies ;0)), cheerleader, gardener, cook, cleaner, shopper, well--ya'll know the story from there....
Yep, my life events eight years ago are distant memories, as are most of my friends (a few dragged along), my schooling, my income--and my future as I envisioned it--all gone. I am broke, I am afraid, I am worried, I am anxious, I can be irritable, I am fighting a potentially losing battle, I am tired, I am embarrassed to run into someone I knew (sic), I am in default on my student loans, I am harrassed by letters and phone calls. Yes--all true! Haven't had a vacation since 1997, except for three separate overnight stays a year apart four years ago, because I covered the bases with a lot of planning and being a cell phone call away, I am a mess. Except, when it comes to caregiving, I'm on it, at moment's notice. I am rich beyond words with the love and devotion I was given and taught, and gladly have the ability to return and lavish it on the ones I love most. Thankful for the opportunity.
Oh, yeah, almost forgot--I have a brother! Lives two hours away, shows up mostly at holidays with his family, friends, and pets in tow, expecting traditional meal presentation, decorations, gifts, you know--the usual. Parents are glad to see him, gets their minds off things, he gets a warped perception of things aren't so bad. Picks a project he wants to do. Then back to his life, six figure incomes, cars, boats, parties, friends, weekends at play, multiple (4-6) extended vacations a year.
I don't like talking to him much either.
I'll bet his light ain't on tonight typing about me, but he regularly calls me on my birthday wherever he is.
You have to actually want to be involved, and if you want to be, you just jump right in there, darling, make room and have at it, seeing is believing, actions speak louder than words, and when he trusts you enough, he might just expose what's going on inside. You can bet it's a lot, this didn't happen overnight, and he's not going to snap out of it just because it's tomorrow.
Until then, I've got work to do.