Friday, January 7, 2011

My brother

I have bit of a guilt trip going on before I even write this. The intentions of this blog have always been about ME and talking about the things that I love, the things that make me happy, a place to vent MY feelings and insecurities. I'm actually a really open person once you get to know me, and I'll share things about myself that most people probably wouldn't, but that also makes me the type of person that I am. I lack shame and often talk too much about myself, but on the other hand, I rarely feel that I'm better than anyone else and I like that about me.

For once I feel a little restricted in what I say here, but it's a subject that is weighing on me heavily and I like to use this place as a vent, and also to look back on what I write and evaluate myself, finding the true core of my problems and addressing it. I feel reserved to write about it because the subject matter is about my brother and includes information about him that he probably would not readily share with others. However, this blog IS somewhat under the radar (I do not have it listed in searches) and my readers are really few, and limited to my friends and family so I have decided to post about it as I would any of my other problems. I hope you respect that I am sharing my views and opinions on issues not just about myself, but my loved ones and trust that you will never use the information to hurt someone I love.

Now that I feel a bit less reserved, let me pour out my heart. :)

My brother is a year younger than I am. We grew up extremely close. For most of my life growing up, my mom raised us alone, so being a single mother, she worked a lot and we didn't have much extra money to do many extracurricular activities. My brother and I spent a lot of time together and we hung out with the same group of kids staying at whichever apartment complex we were living.
My brother has always been the outgoing one. As a kid he made friends in an instant because he was brave enough to run over and just start playing. He had that same "high on life" attitude that I also see in my oldest daughter. Just an overall eagerness to do something fun and a carefree attitude that made him easy to get along with, always ready to go to the greatest lengths to get you to laugh and enjoy his company. He loved everyone like they were family, a loyal friend but wore his emotions on his sleeve. I, being the more reserved kid, hanging back and observing before trusting someone enough to be my friend, expected every person to be rude and waited for someone to be nice before testing out the waters of friendship. My brother, on the other hand, was the opposite, expecting everyone to be wonderful and then being shocked when anyone was hateful or mean. I remember watching him get hurt again and again, when someone was mean to him. He really took it to heart. He'd cry in disbelieve in the earlier ages, but as grew up and puberty came on, the reaction to that pain was less sadness and more anger. He felt betrayed by people easily and would erupt in rage that someone could be so disloyal, when I viewed the same things as people being people, and fairly minor issues.
When he would try and get justice for these "wrong doings" he was blown off by teachers and other authority figures and he felt his feelings were never important or justified even though he WAS in the right. The issues were just not viewed as importantly as they were to my brother. And so, a decline in his respect for authority began.
Through the years he had his ups and downs. Always hanging with "the misfits" because he felt loved and belonged there. Druggies are a dangerous group of misfits and after a tough break up and the death of a close friend, my brother fell into that category as well. Family tried to help, he reached out to those already on their way down. He ended up in jail where my family and I all thought he would get the wake up call he needed. He stayed there for a year and when he came out, he quickly went back to his old ways, even delving deeper into the party scene. We were very estranged at that point. He was hard to contact by phone and even harder to visit with in person. He was a stranger to me.
Then one day I get a call and he informs me that he is going to be a father. I heard him sounding more like his old self than I had in years. Having gone through hard times myself, even dabbling in drugs in the past and coming out of it all for the love of my children, I had really high hopes.
I didn't hear from him again for a very long time. He pretty much disappeared, hiding from all family. Finally we found out that the mother of his child had doubts that it was my brother's baby and was not contacting him at all. I think my brother was in a really hard place of wanting to hate her for tricking him and being "disloyal" and "deceitful" but a really big part of him wanted to keep loving her and hoping the baby was his.
In 2009 my dad planned a huge summer reunion on his property in AK. My grandparents said they would try and find my brother and bring him along. We all doubted it, but hoped he'd show up. On the way there, I got a call on my phone and found out that my brother had been invited to the hospital to visit his SON that was just born and although it was shocking and I really didn't know what to think about it all (was this boy even his?) I felt..happy. Actually, I just felt love for this tiny little human I had barely heard about.
Surprisingly my brother came with my grandparents and showed up for our AK camping reunion. It was a good decision. The babies mother needed time to soak it all in and figure things out. My brother needed time to do the same. He sat there and beamed, and started to imagine a life with his son.
Unfortunately he imagined a life with his son and with the mother of the child and this was not how events happened. Frustration with love and finances ensued and my brother found himself partying to escape the heart ache. He watched as the mother of his child was going through hard times herself and knew he would need to take more responsibility for his son very soon, but he was in a horrible living situation, especially for a baby, and no money to get out of it. He made a bad decision and went to a big city to do a big drug deal for "easy" and fast cash, where he was caught and arrested. Only a month or so later, the mother of his child was also arrested for past charges and so, my nephew was left, not even a year old, without either of his parents.
My mom, grandmother and the baby's other grandmother, took on custody and we watched him turn one while we waited to find out when either my brother or the baby's mother would be released. Almost a year later (would be a year on Feb 2nd) my brother has an opportunity to be released today, or continue on for the full 2yr sentence he received. The baby's mother's release date is still undetermined.
I am a ball of emotions.

Elated that may be reunited with his son soon.
Scared that he will fall back into his old ways as quickly as he did before.
Hopeful that the love and new responsibility of his son will keep him straight.
Worried that he will be overloaded with finding a job, a home, and the responsibility of being a first time dad and sole provider for a toddler.
Fear that he will not be released and have to stay in for another year.

Through letters I know that the drug addicted stranger is not coming out of prison ...

Praise god I just literally got the call that he is RELEASED!!!!!!! Now I have to go cry for like an hour and relieve a full years worth of tears. I'll continue this later if I have time since I'll be hugging my brother as much as I can now. <3

I'm pressing post without editing so scuse me, but I want this saved.

1 comment:

  1. I commend you for sharing such raw emotion and vulnerability. I find it truly amazing that you are able to post this with such stronghold love. You are an incredible example of familial unconditional love.


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