I'm ready to live an independent life but I'm held back by my timid brother

DEAR DEIDRE: I AM ready to get a new job and find my own place but I’m lumbered with my little brother.

I’m a man of 26 and he is 23. Our parents divorced and we moved away with Mum to make a fresh start.

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She found a new man and moved in with him a year ago and my brother and I live in the little house Mum bought after our parents split up.

I made a lot of friends but many of them went to university and never came back.

My brother is very timid. He’s like my shadow. He works in a supermarket but has no social life.

I now want to spread my wings by myself and enjoy some independence, but how can I leave my brother behind?

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DEIDRE SAYS: You can’t always be there for him and, actually, he isn’t your responsibility. Explain to your mother what you would like to do and try to get her blessing.

If she is prepared to be there emotionally for your brother, you can start making those important changes in your life.

But also plan some weekends when your brother can visit you or you can return home.

Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind and making that break away may be the best thing to happen to your brother. It might bring him out of his shell.

My support pack on social anxiety may help him too.

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