letting each other go

Archive for February 26th, 2007

Preparing for the Worst?

Posted by Leo G on February 26, 2007

I’ve been watching “Juvies” on MTV. I guess it’s a morbid kind of curiosity, watching those kids in lockup. Or maybe it’s systematic desensitization. I feel like I’m preparing for the worst.

When I was nine, my brother started using and running away. He ended up in every juvenile facility possible, eventually breaking out of them all. He was a mess: drugged up, violent, and completely egocentric. It broke my parents’ hearts and ended their marriage. It broke my heart too, because I always felt I was the only one who still loved him, even though he was doing stupid and hurtful things. He was a stepkid to my dad, who disowned him pretty quickly. It took longer for my mom, but she eventually gave up too. That left me, just a kid, but a kid determined to not give up on him.

It took around ten years, but he got his life straightened out. He’s been clean and sober for twenty years or so. He’s got a great wife and a daughter who is severely disabled, but still her parents’ heart. He finally found a job he loves just last year. So I know that it’s possible to survive, but I just don’t want to watch it all again. I don’t want to see my son suffer (and make others suffer) like my brother did. I don’t want his heart or mine to break like that.

But even though I don’t want any of this to happen, I feel increasingly fatalistic about the whole thing. Every time he says, “I don’t care,” I hear the sound of the big doors locking behind him. If he doesn’t care, then we seem destined to go down that terrible, terrible road.

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