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Bratty's Brother

caninelover's picture

Last time I wrote about Bratty's long-lost sister, so this time I'll write about SO's middle son - Bratty's brother who we're calling Luke.  Luke is a year older than Bratty and just turned 25 (Bratty turns 24 next month).  He graduation from college 3 years ago as a Drama major.  He loves to act on stage and particularly in Shakespeare productions.  He is still living at home with Darth Vader (BM).

After SO and Darth Vader split, the oldest child, Princess, was off to college.  So it was Bratty, Luke and Darth Vader at home.  Bratty claims that Darth Vader was verbally and at times physically abusive to her (but not Luke) because Bratty still wanted to see SO. 

SO shared one story from that time period where Bratty (then about 15 or 16) decided she didn't want any of the food in the house and walked to the grocery store at night without permission from Darth Vader.  When Darth realized Bratty was gone, she and Luke jumped in the car and headed to the store (where they figured she had gone).  They found her in one of the aisles and here is where the story splits.  Bratty claims Darth Vader grabbed her arm and was pulling her out of the store.  Darth claims that Bratty took off her shoes and threw them at her and Luke.  At any rate the store called the police to handle the commotion.  They interviewed Luke and he corraborated Darth's version.  Bratty never forgave him for it.  

Since then, Bratty and Luke have only seen other a couple of times - once at Princess' graduation and once at a breakfast with SO when Bratty was visiting from college.  SO said it was an awkward breakfast and Luke was quiet most of the time.  

SO had no contact with Luke for awhile after the split, due to Darth's PAS.  However, out of the blue one day when Luke was a senior in college, he emailed SO asking for help with the next semester's tuition.  SO agreed to help and they have been meeting regularly for lunch or dinner ever since (with a bit of a hiatus during the early days of the pandemic).

Pre-pandemic, Luke was working on getting voice-over gigs (he had a nice deep theatrical voice) and auditioning for roles but not much has panned out.  Once the pandemic hit, he seemed to lose any motivation and spent much of the last year collecting unemployment and playing video games with friends online.  Darth doesn't charge him rent though he says he contributes towards food and pays for his own car.

SO met Luke for lunch last week and told him he was getting re-married.  Luke said congratulations and seemed genuine about it (though he's stated in the past he has no interest in meeting me, which is also fine with me).  SO asked him if he would want to join us for a reception next summer in the mid-west, and catch up with his extended family (who Luke has been estranged from since the split).   Luke said probably not but he'd think about it.

I told SO I wouldn't expect much improvement in his (or his family's) relationship with Luke until he moved out of Darth Vader's place.  SO asked him about moving out on his own in the past and all Luke said was he's thought about it but no action towards that goal so far. 

As far as Bratty and Luke go, Bratty did send Luke a Happy Birthday message this year.  Not sure if Luke will reciprocate or they'll see each other much if Bratty does move back to this area in the fall for post-bacc 2.0.  We'll see...


Gimlet's picture

Isn't it crazy how PAS and parental loyalty affects families?

Luke is a higher functioning version of OSS here, as he has an education, but many of the elements are the same.  I don't see OSS moving out of BM's home either, even though he gives it plenty of lip service.   He has been up and down on employment and he is also estranged from DH's family, although he did reach out to MIL recently. 

Luke also sounds more honest than OSS and more reliable. 

I also think OSS has to move out before anything changes and DH is starting to see that OSS isn't good for YSS.  He loves him but he's also learning to accept that OSS is not a healthy, functional person.

caninelover's picture

Definite similarities but you're right in that Luke is higher functioning.  He even had a GF for awhile in college but they broke up when she moved away after graduation.  He did work at an Escape Room pre-pandemic that just opened back up but realizes he needs more steady work.  I think if he gets his act together enough to move out, then he may be a successful adult and his relationship with SO may heal.  But, he could still follow the easy path to Loserville if he just hunkers down at home with Darth.

Gimlet's picture

I hope he makes it out.  It's hard to see the forest for the trees and as long as he lives with his mother, that will be difficult.

I don't have much hope for OSS.  He lacks the level of potential that Luke has. 

I will never understand parents who care more about getting their own validation/emotional support than they care about doing right by their kids.

caninelover's picture

He seems like a good kid, just immature and lacking a push.  It sucks because I don't think Darth will give him the push he really needs to become a fully functioning adult.  I think she probably likes having him around the house, so unfortunately he'll have to find that motivation himself.

Harry's picture

The move out on your own type of money.  So Luke will be with DV until she throws him out.  Or Luke gets off his rear and gets a real job. ( not likely)   Bratty and Luke are fighting for being DV favorite child. 
You know bratty loves drama, if there none she starts it. You just must disengage from it all. 

Stepdrama2020's picture

Did I read that correct you have never met Luke?

caninelover's picture

After one of his shows we waited for him to congratulate him on his performance.  SO introduced me and Luke was gracious and said all the right words - but when SO has asked him if he wants to meet with us for dinner or something Luke has declined.  I don't blame him at all and have told SO not to force the issue.

justmakingthebest's picture

My SIL (26 yrs old) is a drama major, she is doing pretty well for herself. She works under the department head for a local midwest college. She gets to help with all of the plays and performances the college puts on. She really seems to enjoy the work. It also allows her to take on some local theater roles. Maybe Luke could look into something like that. It isn't a big or grand theater life in the streets of NYC but it is following a passion and having a way of doing so while maintaining steady employment with growth opportunities! 

caninelover's picture

And there is PLENTY of good paying production work around here.  Luke just got lazy because he was getting a fat unemployment check that allowed him to pay for his car and his food.

Yes, if he were really really serious I think he would pick up and move to where the action was.  Which is what SO also pointed out but no action yet.  Frankly it would be great if he just got a job as a Production Assistant with one of the big studios - that would eventually pay enough for him to move out.

JRI's picture

It's a shame that the kids are all estranged from each other.  I never expect our five to have close relationr, they are much too different from each other.  But they still communicate occasionally.  Too bad for Proncess, Luke and Bratty.  Maybe things will change as they age.

caninelover's picture

It's a shame for them.  Especially Princess and Luke because Darth is estranged from her siblings too, so they are really cut off from all their aunts and uncles too.

MissK03's picture

I really don't grasp the concept of not wanting your own space. It's so strange to me. Maybe he will come around at some point... It will have to be after he moves out from DVs force.

IDontCare3117's picture

He probably feels he does have his own space.  He gets treated like an adult the adult he is, and come and go as he pleases.  He doesn't have any adult responsibilities, though, and any money he has is "fun money".  Not a bad deal for him.

thinkthrice's picture

In generations past, the incentive to move out was strong.   There were RULES to rebel AGAINST.  The modern day disney parent provides children with 0% responsibility yet 100% authority as a peer to (usually) the BM.  She wants her adult children to live with her as roomies and mini spouses.

In generations past, the nuclear family wanted their children to launch so the parents could enjoy their golden years together and retire in peace. 

Today, especially in the last 10 years or so, the stigma of living with your parents well into adulthood is gone. 

caninelover's picture

Zero responsibility but 100 percent authority....why would anyone want to leave that situation?

caninelover's picture

Its too cushy for him.

CLove's picture

Got a parttime job finally! Maybe she and Luke are spiritual twins!

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

It's sounds like Luke is very comfortable in his current situation and Vader intentionally keeps him that way so she is not alone.

Maybe SO can entice Luke by sending him job postings he might be interested in. 

Our BM does things that intentionally handicap SDs from becoming independent because she doesn't ever want to lose her control.

caninelover's picture

That's what I think...Darth doesn't want him to move out and leave her alone.