Making a baby, pretty easy — raising a baby, not so easy. Effective parenting is not easily achieved. You probably have heard the term “enabler” used to describe someone who makes it possible for an alcoholic or drug addict to semi-function in the normal world. From your description, your parents are enablers for your brother. Your brother doesn’t need to deal with the realities of life because his mistakes and shortcomings will be rectified or mitigated by his parents. Pick the wrong career? Do the wrong things at work? No problem because the parents will give you a place to live and money when you need it.
There appears to be great emotional tension in your home. The interaction between your mother and brother raised the tension level to a dangerous point, to the point where your brother threatens your mother with two knives. This occurred after a verbal exchange. Clearly, something was wrong with that exchange and something was wrong with your brother’s behavior. Your brother needs to learn to control his anger, and your mother needs to learn to speak to your brother differently.
I would highly recommend family counseling. When your mother and father, help your brother to pay his bills or give him money for gas, they act as enablers. Enablers inhibit someone from growing. It is the enabler that allows the alcoholic to be an alcoholic. I am sure that no one in your family is deliberately attempting to cause problems and tension in the home, but they are doing so through poor interaction.
Family counseling will analyze the interaction of the family members to determine what needs to be changed. The therapist will then teach you how to make the corrections. Failure to make the proper corrections could lead to disastrous outcomes for the family. I hope you will consider my suggestion. Thanks for writing.
Dr. Kristina Randle