Ask Amber: How do I confront my parents who are enabling my demon brother?

By | April 25, 2012 at 3:27 pm | 4 comments | Ask Amber, feature slider, Features | Tags: , , , ,


Sometimes I wish I was a Mexican singer with blue eyes. True Story.

Anyway, here’s this week question.

Hi, Amber:

My family is driving me crazy, specifically my older brother. He gets all the attention. He doesn’t support himself, he’s in and out of jail and he’s always drunk and high. And my parents help him out all the time. They keep giving him money. Meanwhile, I work a steady job, have my own place, and if my parents need help with anything (usually dealing with my brother), I’m there for them. I recently asked them to help me buy a car and they said, “You have a good job, you can do it on your own.” They bought my brother a car last year and he wrecked it. I’m just so mad because I feel like I’m being punished for being independent. I’ve tried to tell them how I feel but they don’t care.

I’m pissed. How can I deal with this?


Hi, Rebecca:

Wow. Your brother sounds like a raging alcoholic. I bet if I ever met him I’d fall in love with him. Kissy kissy, crazy brother!! Or, maybe he’s a heroin addict. If that’s the case, no thank you. I have a phobia of needles and dying. One time, a nurse lady stuck a needle in my arm and said, “Oh no! The needle is too far in your vein.” I threw up all over her neck and boobs. It’s possible your brother does meth. If so, and you want to pick a fight with him, tell him, “Whoa, check out your protruding cheek bones! It’s like your face is a Transformer!” He’ll probably get mad, and either think about getting clean, or he’ll do so much meth his cheek bones will swallow his eyeballs.

It’s obvious your family is dysfunctional. It’s what I like to call, “We-can’t-function-junction-what’s-your-dysfunction-oh-that’s-awful-life-is-hard-let’s-overdose.”

I think every single family on the planet has alcoholics and drug addicts among them. And for the family members who don’t drink or do drugs, it doesn’t matter because insanity is contagious. Look at your idiot parents, for example. They’re consumed by your brother. Without knowing it, they’re reinforcing his bad behavior, creating a monster demon son from Hell. They give him money? They are basically paying him to be a monster demon son from Hell. They bought him a car? They gave the monster demon son from Hell a way to transport his problems around town. I think you should spank your parents in public and say, “What I’m doing to you right now is as ridiculous as what you’re doing for Demon Boy.” They won’t get it, but don’t give up.

I have a feeling you’re the truth teller in the family. You see things for what they are and you verbalize it. It’s not easy to take on this role in a family; people get angry with you. If your Aunt Barbara smells like shit, you’d probably say “Aunt Barbara, you smell like shit.” If your cousin Bob doesn’t respond to facial expressions or sarcasm, and is always talking about trains, you might say, “Hey, Bob. Please shut the fuck up about trains and take a social skills class. You have Aspergers.” He won’t hear you say that because he’ll be talking about trains.

You’re seeing the insanity for what it is, and it’s making you insane. It’s time you got the attention you deserve, and since you’re going crazy, why not channel that wild energy and use it to your advantage?

There’s three ways to get attention from your parents:

1. Get naked and run around at birthday parties, family reunions, baby showers, weddings and funerals screaming, “My parents totally fucked me up!”

2. Tell your parents you’re pregnant. As months go on put cantaloupes, soccer balls, balloons and pillows under your shirt to make it look real.

Then, in the eighth month of your fake pregnancy, go to their house, poop in the toilet and scream, “MOM! DAD! I AM GOING INTO LABOR IN HERE!” When they run in, point to the turd log in the toilet and say, “Oh, look! My baby looks just like my idiot brother!” Then take a pillow case filled with rocks out from under your shirt and give your parents head injuries. WHOA THAT IS WAY TOO RUDE. I CHANGED MY MIND. Take a basketball out from under your shirt and ask them if they wanna play some hoops.

3. Blow up their house.

But, seriously, tell your brother you are cutting him off until he gets his shit together. And, tell your parents how you feel without placing blame. Let them know you will no longer help them help the demon. And, lower your expectations of everyone. The more you expect your parents to give you attention and money, the more you’ll be disappointed. Try to be successful on your own and lead by example. Hopefully, they’ll start to naturally gravitate toward you because you’re fantastic and amazing.

Good luck, Rebecca.



Featured Artist: Charley McMullen is a cartoonist/comedian/filmmaker based in Ms. Tozer’s hometown ofPueblo, CO. His cult comic strip The Men from Cyclopolis is featured regularly on

About the Author

Amber Tozer

Amber Tozer is a stand-up comic and writer living in Los Angeles. She finds human behavior both hilarious and horrifying. Follow her on Twitter @AmberTozer

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  • Cameron_Slade

    Brilliant as always. Amber is the gem of this incredible site.

  • Lloyd Dobler

    I think Amber Tozer is either a genius or mentally handicapped. Or both. I want it to be both. I love you. Is this weird yet?

  • robt martin

    When I saw the column name, “ask Amber,” I was sure you were going to be Amber Tamblyn, daughter of Russ Tamblyn and girlfriend of David Cross. I was hoping to steal you away from Cross, which I am sure I could do — I’m even older than Cross is, almost as old as her semi-famous Dad. But no, you’re not even her. What does your Dad do?

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