Today is my baby sister's birthday. Happy birthday Thana. I was at Chili's today for lunch with my hilarious southern belle friend whom I work with. While digging in my purse, I realized my phone was ringing. I looked at the screen and it said "Withheld" meaning the number was blocked. I knew who was calling; my brother. I answered it but answered too late. He hung up and never called back. He also didn't leave a message. This heroin addict doesn't leave messages for those that have been involved in the very thick of his disease.
On my return to the office I tried to call my dad to no avail. So I called my sister to wish her a happy birthday. I told her I got a call from a withheld number. She told me it was my brother. She talked to him earlier and she told him needed to call me. When he asked her why, she told him "because she loves you and is worried about you." He said "well she said some pretty mean things to me." My sister explained to him how I was pissed and rightfully so, and when people are pissed at that level, they say things they don't mean. So in light of his hurt feelings because of my out of control tongue on Sunday, September 19th, 2010 let me go back and explain just what happened.
This is the THIRD time my brother has lived with me in the last 9 years. I am unfortunately what is referred to as a "mother hen" or a "nurturer" and I have been so since I was a baby girl. When my sister was born, she was MY baby. It's a trait that the good Lord gave me and as hard as I have tried to strip myself of it....it never goes away. UGH!!!!! I opened my home to my brother again after his last "THIRD time served" (THIRD seems to be the lucky number) in the county jail. It wasn't supposed to happen for a third time, him moving back in with me, it was only supposed to be for a few days.
I however, don't have the stomach or conscious to willfully live in a warm home with food in my stomach knowing somebody in my family, especially somebody so close to me as he is, lives on the streets or in a homeless shelter. Not at the ripe, young age of 27. I know all about the "tough love" and I KNOW I shouldn't care after all we have been through but it's just not who I am. It's just not me. I have TRIED to change, I have TRIED to walk away and I have TRIED to be hard and say noooo way but at the end of the day, he is still my brother. A brother I have taken care of along with my dad for a number of years.
It was a very cold day. Extremely overcast. I believe it even snowed that day. He was released early that morning but I couldn't get too him until I got off work. So my amazing dad picked him up from jail, gave him his heavy work coat, got him something to eat and gave him a few bucks and he took the bus to the mall. He watched movies all day at the mall until I was once again able to swoop him up and carry him under my wing.
He has been living with me since April. On Sunday September 19th, I got up early that morning. My oldest son had texted me late the night before. He is out of state completing his second year of jr. college. I'm so proud of him. He had a friend in town and wanted to know if I could get him some food and send him a little money and his friend would be at the house later in the day to pick them up. Of course I would do this. He is my son. While drinking my cup of Joe and going through the grocery ads, my brother with his EXTREMELY heavy feet plowed up the stairs sounding like a herd of elephants like always. He asked if he could use my card to get a refill (Big Gulp). I reached into my purse and handed him my change and said "here, use this." He said well I want to get some breakfast taquitos. So off he went with my debit card.
I haven't felt right the last couple of weeks with him. His daily routine had changed. He wasn't looking or feeling well. Things just weren't right once again. So I went downstairs while he left for his "refill and breakfast taquitos." I got on the computer and looked up my account and immediate confusion and fear embraced my body. My account was approximately $600.00 short from what it was on Friday the 17th. I got this hot, hot rush over my body. I felt like I was suffocating and couldn't find air anywhere. "My house payment hasn't cleared, oh my hell it's going to bounce. I have no money to buy what my son needs. I have no money for groceries." These thoughts just literally racing through my mind and I couldn't turn them off. "What am I going to do?"
I ran upstairs. I yelled for my boyfriend gasping for air. I was crying the hardest I have cried in a long time. I was fighting my way through heavy air trying to climb my staircase in my home. I made it to the top, held onto the railing and again gasping for air, yelled for my boyfriend's name. I went around the corner and ran into his arms. I said "he has taken $420.00 out of my account." My boyfriend COULD NOT believe it. He just couldn't believe it. You could see the color slowly run from his face. I cried in the pit of his chest telling him my house payment was going to bounce and I have no money for groceries. I was so confused and in such a daze, as if I had been punched or drugged myself. I had to ask my boyfriend if I was the one who took that money out. I knew in my heart I didn't but my mind wouldn't register the same feeling. Money is tight right now so I'm watching what I spend. I have never withdrawn that kind of money "just to have" and not remember what I've done with it. I let go of him running for my phone STILL gasping for air. I frantically tried calling my brother and of all times for my phone to freeze up it was at that very moment. I pushed and pushed every button I could but the damn phone wouldn't cooperate. My boyfriend grabbed his phone and said "here." At the very moment I pushed the green call button on his phone, my brother pulled up.
I ran outside screaming at him. Screaming "where is my money". I will NEVER forget the look on his face. He knew exactly what I was talking about and he knew he was caught. I went down the stairs of my porch and over to him. I yelled at him the same words I cried to my boyfriend over my mortgage payment. I was SO disappointed, hurt, angry and ashamed again and my body just let go. I started hitting him. I pushed him, I slapped him and even punched him. I was in such a darkness that I couldn't even think straight. All the while asking him how he could do this again. "How long have you been using again" I asked. He said "a week." Another lie from his mouth. It's been longer than that.
I ran in the house to call my dad. My niece answered the phone and as I'm crying hysterically, I told her I needed to talk to grandpa. He got on the phone and I KNOW his heart must have stopped dead in its beats the moment he heard my voice. I know he thought I was making the call we have all waited for so many times. He thought I was trying to tell him I found him...I found him dead in my house. Overdosed on heroin. Fortunately I didn't have to one, find his dead body anywhere in my home and two, I didn't have to make the most horrifying call a parent dreads to ever get. The call that their child is dead.
My dad told me "calm down, tell me what's goin on?" I did. He dropped everything he was doing and drove to my house. My brother came in the house, went in his room, locked the door and came out with his phone and wallet. I said "how could you do this. Why do you think I am your bank? I have children I have done everything I can to help you when nobody else wouldn't or couldn't. I let you take my car when you had your classes and for anything else you needed. I have done SO MUCH." He said "because I'm a piece of shit drug addict. I don't care about anything, whether I live or die." At that moment I grasped what air I could and said "oh God just do it then." He looked at me and said "you remember what you said because it will be on you when I do it" and he left.
This is what he means when he says "She said some pretty mean things to me" to our sister. I know what I said and this is nothing I haven't said to him before. For me, after all these years of going up and down with this addiction, years of him threatening he will take his life, I almost wish he would finally just pass away. Please just take enough and finally let go. He will no longer have to suffer from the demons that ravage his body. He will no longer have to run from the very reality that he can't stand to face. He can be free of the pain that eats him alive and he won't have to open his eyes every morning and face another day. His addiction, our addiction, will once and for all be over. It will have come to a stop with no chance of relapse. We can all somehow move forward hoping the heaven's have embraced your soul and you are happy, safe and most of all, clean.
I KNOW it's terrible. I KNOW I will have to answer to these thoughts but I am so tired of my brother being an addict. I am so tired of fighting for his sobriety when he won't fight himself. I'm so tired of supporting him even when he is working and paying to live with me. I'm so tired of him taking the life out of our dad. I'm tired, I'm TIRED, gosh damn it I'm TIRED!!!!!
I hate heroin and don't even have my own love affair to brag about it because thankfully I have never used it. I say love affair because that's how he describes it. It's a love affair that takes over every piece of functionality you have and it seduces you in a far different way than an actual love affair with a human does but provides the very same excitement you get when you are with that "other" person. Your warm, your fuzzy, your caught up in the rush and you are loving every minute of the feeling it gives you.
I did say some mean things Sunday morning and I'm sorry. Things I probably shouldn't have said but I did and can't take them back. But you also stole money from my checking account for the brown tar in a syringe to shoot through your already fragile veins so you can escape the reality that haunts your soul and mind. I'm sorry if you feel what I said was "mean" or "hurtful". They were meant to be. I wasn't going to sugarcoat the fact you are using my home, my car, my son's car AND my money to feed your addiction. YOU hurt me too and I still love you more than you will ever know.