Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Present

I have went a little longer than usual since my last blog, mainly because my intent had been to go ahead and blog about the day my father was killed.  The day my life should have gotten easier.  Unfortunatley, I went from living with one demon, to one that did far more damage to me in my childhood.

Since then some things have happened though I need to talk about.   The brother I mentioned before that fell of the wagon, has gotten worse, sunday night he was so drunk and beligerant.  He drove with my 5 year old niece in the car.  His wife flipped and called me, he would not let  them leave.  I finally got him to agree to let me get his daughter away from there, but as I was pulling out I had a gut feeling things were going south.  So instead of taking her to my house about 2 miles away, I took her to my brothers neighbors and had her take the child to my home so I could go back.  I am glad I did.

He had thrown their expensive flat screen into the yard, was threatening to burn my house down (he rents from me) was tearing everything up while his wife sit and cried, trying to stop him.  I have always been my brothers life line and he loves me very much but when drinking he turns on me and get so mean.  I finally gave up and called 911. it broke my heart but there was not choice.  They arrested him.  His wife moved ot her moms and the next morning when they released him he called me at 6am to come and get him.  I did not.  I told him until he was ready to get help I was done.  I could not take the emotional abuse anymore, did not have the money to keep fixing his messes.

I am proud to say that on his own that day he called the rehab I put him in before in the mountains. he was told there was a 4 week waiting list, which would never do.  He would have likely killed himself before then with his family gone.  So they realized the emergency of the situation and agreed to take him that day.  His wife drove him up and she told him if he completed the program that she and their daughter would be waiting for him when he got home.

It was bitter sweet.  I was kind of heart broken because I did not get to see him or hug him before he left and he will be gone for all the holidays.  I did tell him that I would make a big plate at thanksgiving and freeze ti for him as I did years ago, before he was sober and he happnened to be in Jail over the holidays.  I hate he will not be home with his family but visiting days are on the weekend, and Christmas is saturday so they will be able to go up and he will see his daughter open presents. I told him that he may not see it now but this is the best, most important gift he could have ever given either one of them for christmas.

Please keep us in your thoughts.  This year will be hard with him gone.  The last time he was there, he stayed sober for 7 years.

I will blog again in a few days, about my dad being killed.  That was one of the biggest turning points in my life, freeing me from a lot of things, but making me a slave to others.  It is hard to talk about but it is time.  I look forward to hearing from you all.  Thank you for taking this journey with me.  You have no idea how much it means.


  1. I was really glad to hear that your brother is getting the help he needs. Obviously the holidays will be tough without him around, but hopefully it will help him to get back on track and things will improve for him, his family and for you.

    It's really impressive how strong you've been for him. Xxx

  2. Have you ever read "Prince of Tides" by Pat Conroy? It is the best book I ever read about the effect of horrendous upbringing on children. The three siblings in the book can't let each other go and yet can't really 'get' each other's choices. The CURRENT life you are describing sounds very similar to the past life you have described previously. This is NOT a normal life. I can't believe you are renting to this man. Do you see that you are helping HIS kids to be returned to a chaotic situation. It is good that he is in rehab, and I hope it takes - but the Thanksgiving plate and the other involvement is totally what is known as enabling. You keep this man from suffering the consequences of his behavior - he still has a home, he still gets Thanksgiving dinner, he get forgiven again and again. Why should he change? "I'm sorry" means nothing when it just happens again. It is wrong to forgive anything because it is done when someone is high. It sounds like this drunk has TWO women on his line - his wife and you. You are not having a normal life. Previously it was the fault of your parents and grandparents, but now it is 100 percent your fault. it is not easy to leave behind people you love(d) but this man is as bad for you as alcohol or drugs would be. All the reasons you can't leave him, are just as strong as his reasons for not leaving alcohol. Someday, after he has been sober AND kind to those around him for at least a year, he may be someone you can reconnect with, but to remain connected in his disfunction is bad for both of you. You can see your grandmother's connivance in your Grandfather's behavior - why can't you see your connivance in your brother's? Will your niece or nephew end up hating YOU for what what you forgave her father for doing? If it was easy to do the right thing, your father, your grandfather, your brother and you would all be doing it. The dream of the lovely man that your brother is inside is one that you and he both share. But it is just a dream. If you imagine that you are really rich, do you you suppose that you can go out and buy a Rolls Royce, just because there is a secret rich woman inside? People ARE the way they ACT, not some lovely beings who are misunderstood. If I only killed people on Sundays, or when I was drunk, would I not really be a killer? The threat of suicide is a potent one. If this man does not care enough for you and his family to keep himself alive, why should you? Do you realize that for his child, this might be as great a relief as your father's death was to you? You really need someone to help you step back and see that YOU enabling this man is no different from every other person who helped or allowed your father and grandfather to continue to abuse you. Is all of this mess helping your marriage? Shouldn't that be your primary concern? I feel deeply for you and I don't think getting out of this cycle is at all easy or looks like it will lead to happiness (though it is the only thing that eventually will, I believe), but I can't honestly tell you that I believe you are right to keep flailing in a pool of tar.

  3. David-

    Your comments are harsh, and as I sit here and read them, they sting, at times I even thing, "how dare he judge me" but when I take a step back and think about it, I realize how right you are, and that I need to hear those things. A few times a couple of people in my family have tried to say those things, but they are too close to the situation and I only resent it.

    You are an outsider looking in, objective if you will so it is different with you.

    I know I need to do this, I just don't know where to start. Part of it is I tell myself, I do it not for my brother but his kid and wife. If I did not offer them my place they could be faced with being homeless and how could I do that to my niece. I guess maybe though, that if faced with that reality my brother MAY be more inclined to do the right thing.

    I guess I carry a guilt too, I feel like he is my child. I started caring for my brothers at a young age when My father kept my mother occupied and forbid her to give us attention.

    Then when he died and my mom prettymuch lost her mind for a while, I was ten years old and had to make sure my brothers were fed, went to school. Then we went to live with my grandparents and I felt I had to protect him from my grandpa.

    I left home at 15 and felt so guilty for leaving my little brother, my other brother had moved in with my aunt so it was only my brother david (his name too) left to take the brunt of it all. So as soon as I could I got him and took him with me.

    I feel like I have to make up for him not having a family, parents, people to protect him. But I know that you are right, I have to let him sink or swim. I just don't know how to start. I feel as if I am turning my back on my child.

    I know it must be done, and as far as my marriage, well I tell myself that I am keeping my husband out of it, and not allowing it to affect him, but deep down I know it is not true. I know he suffers when I suffer and seeing me hurt, I know my stress level affects my family even if I spare them the details.

    I know when I have to drop what I am doing to run over to my brothers when his wife calls me screaming and crying that it is taking away fromhim. I just do not know how to not go. When I can hear her crying and the urgency in her voice and hear my 5 year old niece in the background yelling daddy, no stop, or stop fighting, how do I not go? I know you are right, I just don't know how to get there.

    Again, thank you for your honest comments, I can tell that they come from a sincere place... not a place of judgement.

  4. I don't think I'll ever give you advice. I will listen. I'm in no position to offer advice. You find your worth, you find your way. Thanks for the visit to my blog by the way. Keep writing. Aside from the (clearly important) facts of your background, you have a rare talent for telling a story. I look forward to the day you have told your own story enough that you start using that experience in fiction. You have it in you. I know it.

  5. This is a little bit out of my comfort zone, but I felt like I needed to leave you a comment at least, to make you feel that at least another person is listening.


  6. Judging is deciding that someone is smart or stupid or nasty or whatever. In no way was I judging you - I think you come across as pretty bright (that IS a judgement). When someone presents his or her story to the public, one has opened the door to all kinds of reaction - again a case where other people cannot be controlled. I feel your sad story very much, I have known others who had some of these events in their past, but yours seems to be about the roughest I've heard. I do not feel that simply saying 'You go, girl!' is of any use, nor do I really think it is what you want. Fickle Cattle's comment is suppotive and useful and kind and I hope it helps. I am more prone to say, this is what I see, because that is me, and I can do many things, but being brief is not one of them.
    I am glad you came to see that I was not being judgemental or nasty or dismissive. I hope at the very least, you see that I am actually paying attention to what you write.
    The reality is that your brother is NOT your child. I too had a deep and exaggerated bond with my siblings which often was negative in its effect on me and rarely helpful to them. Although i don't belong to it, I believe that if you have an Al-Anon chapter nearby, it would help greatly to see how to make your life whole and independent of your brother (not necessarily abandoning him)- because that is what they DO - I have known two friends who benefitted greatly. If you can't SEE your brother, or your situation, you cannot change them.
    You say you must make up for your brother not having a family; who is making this up for you?
    I think marriage means you owe a bit more to your husband than 'not affecting' him. The day you took that vow you acknowledged that you were forming a new family. It is more than just moving in together and splitting the expenses. You have made your husband sound like a good guy. My thought is that there is where energy spent would be productive. In the end, you cannot make anyone OK except yourself. But when you are OK, your loved ones benefit.
    I completely understand how it must feel when your brother's wife calls in distress and I truly don't know if I could do other than run over there (again), because it is dangerous and scary and you would be living with the consequences if you did not respond. It just seems like such a merry-go-round - around and around. I suspect you will learn a lot just by writng this stuff - not from the responses you get, but just by putting it into words. It is very clarifying. It doesn't happen right away, but I think it will bring you some relief. Not because we all get to find out what a bastard your grandfather or father was, but because by writing (and you write very clearly and well) you are putting a certain perspective on the past. Keep on keeping on.

  7. You sound like a really good sister, someone who's really stood by your siblings through all their difficulties. I hope things take a positive turn now. And just wanted to say I've been reading, just haven't commented lately. You've been through so much, I just can't imagine... I hope that you're finding it therapeutic to get it all out.

  8. You are so strong, and Phillip is right, you have a real skill for telling a story. That could be because it is your own story but I enjoy reading your blog, not because of the content although that is one reason I keep coming back, the suspense, what happened next? But also becuase you tell it so well.

  9. David is harsh yes, but he is completely right. I'm glad you realize that and that you will sort of try.

    I'm still reading further, but I hope your brother made it through the rehab in good condition.

    You are such a good person, I can see how you can't NOT go. It's hurts you too.