I am a grandma now. When my oldest son was 15 he moved out of our home. He has his original family, mother, father, and younger brother intact. No divorce, no problems except for him. He started pushing against authority, refused guidance, skipped school, occasionally took money that didn't belong to him. Eventually, there was no peace for him or us. He moved out after coming home a long time after a city curfew and his dad locked the front door hoping he would knock. But he knew he would be in for a lecture and just left. The next day he moved his clothes out (after breaking a window to get in) and never came back. He went on to school, worked at a local store, went to Vietnam, got married and divorced. But through all this when his younger brother reached his 40's I learned that his brother thought it had been his fault his older brother had left! I was totally shaken. All those years of misplaced guilt. Please, oh please, after this long 'round about way of getting here, don't ever feel it is your fault he left. He has his own agenda and you won't know until perhaps years later what the real reason is. I would implore you to stay in touch with him. Write to him, send him small presents, write him a poem. Anything to let him know you care. He is wrong to leave if your home is stable. He is shortchanging his future and you should never think of following in his footsteps. No doubt your parents are hurting beyond what you can fathom right now so be kind to them also. You will cry and you should but never stop being kind to the others in your family. My heart bleeds for you -- I have been there and I can tell you that the wound has never healed. At times I even wished my son were dead because at least then I would know where he was and I could mourn him and end it all. But I didn't know and I didn't know who was influencing him. Time passed and we have re-established a kind of relationship but he will never feel comfortable at home again. I mourn this every day of my life and will go to my grave feeling this way. Please try not to feel it is your fault in any way. I wish you much happiness and you will find it if you don't let your brother escape your love. Barb
P.S. I'm sorry this was so long but it came poring out of my heart. Much love to you.