letting each other go

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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4 Responses to “Preparing for the Worst?”

  1. Grace said

    Ah, Leo…”I don’t care”….He does, deep inside…he really really does. He’s not thinking straight but don’t give up. Remember, in the Grand Scheme of things…YOU were chosen as his dad for his journey through Earth School. You were CHOSEN. For a good reason!

  2. Leo G said

    I just keep telling him that we care. We care about him. We care about his future. We care about the tough things he is feeling/experiencing. But the only thing that matters is that HE start to care. The drugs don’t help that. The whole *point* of marijuana, I think, is to get high so you don’t have to care.

    No one could love this child more than I do. In that way, I was chosen. He will never ever be able to doubt that I love him. Even if I worry too much. 🙂

  3. Tug said

    Can your brother, who has been THROUGH this, talk to your son at all??

  4. kristi said

    I just found your blog. I have brothers who are both drug addicts. It is the hardest thing ever but my children are still small and I pray to GOD that I never have to see my kids go through this. It is so heartwrenching. I try to see the beauty in my brothers but there are days when it is difficult. And yet I feel guilty for telling them no.

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