I learned long ago that I should never blog about specific people in my life. That being said, I'm going to throw caution to the wind here because I hope that the benefits will outweigh the risk. I need an outlet that doesn't involve anger or someone that wants to 'fix' everything for me. You know, I don't even want feedback. I just want to document this and get it out of my head.
I have a brother that is a drunk. He's been using one substance or another for nearly 25 years now. We were close in age, so I became pretty familiar with his dysfunction (and that of our parents) early on. I may not have known exactly what was going on, but this isn't new to me.
However, it still goes on. It still rules the dynamics in our family. It often ruins my family.
He was sober for nearly five years. He rejoined the family, developed relationships with his siblings, nieces, and nephew. Things were pretty good. Then he disappeared again.
Well, he didn't disappear. That would be too easy. He still lives in my parents' basement. He still talks to my parents (which I guess is good). He still has his meals cooked and his laundry washed by my mom.
He hasn't talked to anyone else in the fmaily in more than three years.
I live in a different town than my parents, so when I visit, I'm expected to stay with them. I like that my kids love to wake up their grandparents by jumping on their bed first thing in the morning. I like that my children enjoy playing in the same yard that I grew up in. I do not like that my unstable brother in residing in the basement while my children sleep. I try to stay awake as long as I can to listen for him. There is no bathroom in the unfinished basement, and no kitchen. So he comes out from under his rock every night to eat and shower. By the end of my visits home, I'm so sleep deprived, but my kids don't seem to notice. It's about them, right?
My older brother is angry, so angry. I relate. He was away at school and stayed away after he graduated. My parents never told them, and I was rarely taken seriously as the little sister. He was first faced with this when The Troll started working the 12 steps 8 years ago. So my brothers developed a friendship for the first time in their lives before the Troll disappeared. I would be angry, too.
My parents want so badly to keep the Troll safe. My mother still holds hope that we will be a happy family once again. She tries hard to glue the broken pieces back together again. She mentions the Troll's name whenever she can in conversation. This just angers the older brother. I can see that she is just trying desperately to keep the Troll in our family. She doesn't want him to be forgotten by his family, even if that's what his preference seems to be. This is her coping strategy.
I don't know if time or distance has effected me most. For the most part, I think I can see the situation clearly. I'm not angry anymore. It just is what it is. I worry less about the Troll and more about those that surrounding him. I'm concerned that they won't heal until he does. And it's a horrible thing to put your life on hold in hope that a very unstable person will get better someday. I fear that my family will never be whole again.
I do resent the Troll for breaking my family in the first place.
I wish that the rest of us could somehow relate to each other like normal people do. I wish that I could talk to my parents or my older brother without anyone getting defensive or offended in some way. I wish that we could just decide to let it go. LET. IT. GO. All of it. The anger, the hope, the denial, the past. Start over and just love one another.