I think it speaks to my seasonal depression, my 11 posts in January, the 6 in February. Just one in March. I guess it’s still early in April. But lately (especially this past week) I have felt exceptionally more creative. So I try to expend all creative writing energy on something that’s much less depressing than this. Well either that or enraging. But those are pretty much my two options. Which, if i had to pick two emotions to describe my parents throughout my childhood…it would definitely be those two. For certain.
Also, I guess I’m sort of a tool for warmth and sunshine, so I do feel genuinely happier in the spring and summer. I don’t know why, my life isn’t any different. I am certainly not in a profession with summer breaks. IF YOU CAN IMAGINE, my summers as a kid were normally quite terrible. I just remember being really lonely and bored as a kid. I appreciated them more as a teenager because I hated school that much. But it’s not like being at my home was any treat. I’ll admit, I’ve been trying not to think about it a lot lately. Mostly because I’m trying to think about my other writing, which if it’s ever published it’ll be under this name so…watch out. I don’t mean that in a negative way.
But, despite the improving weather, I am still plagued by the past. My past. Sometimes I think about how there’s probably people who do adult things they’re going to regret and lament and feel degraded by because they already have so many of those memories when they were innocent, it’s gratifying to do that sort of thing again when you’re orchestrating it. Or something like that.
I really am lucky that things turned out as well as they have. There have definitely been times before and after my wedding where my relationship with my husband was in serious jeopardy. Honestly, you can probably see from how I was feeling this winter that I was getting REALLY worn thin. And when I get worn thin I snap and start doing things I refuse to feel regret for later. A lot of things wear me thin, it would seem, but only figuratively.
Actually, let’s think about it. It was actually four weeks ago today. I lied to my friend from work and my coworkers about what I was doing on my lunch break. I kept saying I had to run some errands, but I wouldn’t elaborate and one of them joked I was conducting drug deal. I do my best to come off as a narc so I feel like most people would be really surprised if I talked about how I budget weed into my weekly income deductions and have been smoking every day for yeeeeears now. If it’s made me less intelligent, I can assure you that you don’t notice it. Drinking is by FAR more destructive and detrimental to doing healthy things in your life (in whatever aspect).
But on the lunch break that I told so many lies about, I spent most of it writing a really long note in my phone, which I then texted to my husband with a preface that pretty much said this is how i feel and I’m not attacking you but I feel like we’ll never be able to talk about all this at once.
It’s not healthy, but even when we’re in a bad place, we do this thing where we try to pretend like it’s all good, and we are civil and loving towards one another because we don’t feel like fighting about whatever is upsetting
So then we never resolve anything, and I start feeling insane. Then I start suspecting someone else is making me feel this way (A trick I learned growing up). And lo and behold. I was pretty much right. Because we live in this day and age, i emailed the note to myself and will paste it below – read it if you’re so inclined. I’m not going to because I will be caught up in its emotional overtone. I want to actually bother to do this for once.
iPhone note from 3-10-17:
But for those of us who have been rendered incommunicado, the longing to re-express, to learn to feel, it’s fucking there. At least it was for me. It took me a long time. To use “through the wringer” would be quite accurate. But I did it. I’ve always impressed myself with my perseverance. Well that’s one of the things.
See, I don’t know what it was, it was something, but something kept me realizing how shitty things were, and how one day I’d figure a way out. I think my brother got the first part, but his second part was like “and now the world owes me everything.” Which…I mean imagine what having that sort of attitude would get you, and you sort of have my brother.
Have I told you about him, completely? Okay, rough timeline. He’s three years older than me. When I was working at one of my pet store jobs when I was 17, my mom called the store (it was a Sunday) and said my brother was in the ER because he was in a car accident, but it wasn’t so dire I needed to leave work. He was driving to the APPROVED church my father attended in a nearby city, it involved using the highway a short while. He and my father drove separately because my dad went to work afterwards. He only attended this church because a few of his trashy coworkers did. It was raining. A girl, driving a car-full, on her way to work as a counselor a a Lutheran summer camp I actually went to and HATED one year before all this happened, was speeding in the rain, in a hurry to get to the camp. She lost control, hit my brother’s beloved car, he spun out and hit an overpass. The damage wasn’t so terrible, but there was a compression fracture in his back that caused his to be bed ridden in a back brace for months.
and oh…during this time…let me tell you what happened….
My dad decided this was a golden opportunity to quit his job because he could get the health insurance company to pay him to be the ‘at home caregiver’ for my brother, who like I said was in a back brace/bedridden more or less. HE DID NOTHING. HE DID NOTHING. He was being PAID by an insurance company to take care of his injured, bedridden (ONLY) son, and he STILL WOULDN’T DO IT. He literally wouldn’t even pour a can of soda into a glass for him, and if you can’t it up in bed you can’t drink from a can all too easily. And my poor mom would have to bathe him when she came home from work. I would pick up the slack around the house A LOT. I would cook dinner, clean the bathroom, gather and do the laundry….my mom really did have a free part time maid when I lived there. But I was also working so there were times I couldn’t help out as much, plus i was still in high school. But yeah, so my dad quits what would be his last real job to basically scam money for doing nothing. Which I guess with someone like him that’s the ultimate goal. And before the accident my brother had been working a decent paying factory-type job, but of course he couldn’t go back after such an injury. And, in almost like a cliche moment, he developed a vicodin problem.
Then, of course, out of greed and a desire to personally benefit from it, my dad urged my brother to file a lawsuit against the girl driver camp counselor cunt bitch’s insurance. And he did. And he got $100,000.
Now most people would not do well with getting THAT much money at the age of…20/21 and my brother was especially unsuited. Plus not long after the money he was dating this girl who’d emotionally destroy him. I mean I don’t blame her for not wanting to be with my brother but she really didn’t have to suck SO bad when it came to their break up.
But oh, before they broke up for good, for the year or so they dated, my did they live. That’s my brother’s problem, he only considers the here and now. It’s like he doesn’t have what-will-happen-in-5-years anxiety. I never don’t have that anxiety. But really my only true fear is never writing the story I’ve been forming my mind for so long. Any other failure is pebbles in a pond. So what if people hate me and I never make any more friends? At least I’m married to someone who genuinely loves me. Plus most people I’ve known in my life haven’t liked me. So whatever. Fine.
But back to my brother. So he has a lot of expenable money, and for a year he and his GF (then fiancee) live the high life, going to concerts, they went to the virgin islands with her family once, shopping, NOT WORKING, and later I would find out my brother was also abusing vicodin really badly the whole while. Of course she knew and did nothing. It’s so easy to just be an enabler, I kind of understand I guess. Well when you have constant bills and you’re not working, you’re going to run out of money. Once that happened it was the beginning of the end, of course. The break up was long and messy. They’d moved in together, and actually moved once into a new place. But by the end of things, she was living in the same house as my brother (in separate bedrooms) and fucking someone else.
She had my brother thrown in jail. She claimed he was threatening her. He claims that wasn’t the case but I’d say 50/50 she actually was afraid. He’s too much like my dad to not give her that benefit of the doubt. But still….idk she went about shit wrong. Like she stole her jewelry back from him after she’d given it to him. Because she’d gotten him thrown in jail. After he got out they broke up for good and he moved into a different place with a roommate.
There was a day, a bitterly cold winter day. I was…19 or 20, I think 20….it was a Saturday. I worked at my job in one city and was driving home to the city I lived in, I (stupidly) answered an “UNKNOWN” call and it was my dumb brother, telling me he’d been arrested and was in jail and I needed to tell our mom.
YEAH. THAT’S MY BIG BROTHER ALL RIGHT. He mad ME be the one to have to deal with her very distressed “WHAT?!?!” And she was at my Grandma’s Memory Care nursing home room decorating for Christmas. But then she had to leave and deal with my brother. He’d been arrested because he physically attacked his new roommate. Not surprising at all, knowing him as well as I do. To strike out in this rage-fueled fury, it’s very much a part of who we both are. I’m obviously much better at controlling it. My brother attacked his new roommate as they were moving in to a place together. So, now that he was in jail, it was up to my parents and I to pack up the rest of his possessions and move them, or else they’d be lost forever because he had to be out to the place he’d once shared with his ex-fiancee.
That evening/night, it was dark as fuck, it was COLD as fuck, and I had to help my parents (who were both in SUCH stellar moods by this point) pack up my brother’s possessions and move them to a different place nearby. I’d already worked a 6 hour Saturday shift, but there I was instantly sucked in to the drama AND treated as free slave labor. Like always.
My brother was OBSESSED with this 2007 Mustang GT that he had, and he had MILLIONS of things in his garage for it. I remember my dad insisting I accompany him as he moved a truckload of things to the new rental. I honestly don’t have many other memories of him being scarier than he was that night. He RANTED and RAVED the entire car ride over to the new place, and we had four huge Mustang tires to take into the new place, he THREW one down a 2-90 degree-angle staircase and I thought it was going to bounce over and kill me at one point. The next time he was driving a load over, he told me to “C’mon!” and I was like “I’m staying here.” And he stormed off, obviously in no mood to convince anyone.
I remember that night so distinctly. It was miserable, and it was misery I didn’t need in my life. I was already a full time undergrad student who also worked full time at a pet store and was perpetually single. But that night I went home and smoked some weed and watched South Park on my laptop and ate a shit ton of Lucky Charms…and I felt better…by myself and super fucked up. That’s always the way, isn’t it?
Then….my brother obviously soon after getting out of jail ended up moving back to my parents’ house, to their basement.
Then, I guess a few years passed. I met my future husband, we moved in together almost immediately. I finished my bachelor’s degree. The summer when I was 22, my mom had to have back surgery. I hadn’t seen my brother in months. When I did, right before my mom went into the prep room or whatever they call it, I saw him and I was fucking horrified.
He looked exactly like Harry from Requiem for a Dream. He’d become skeletally thin, there was something about his pallor and overall demeanor that screamed FUCKING JUNKIE. That’s always the way. The pills get expensive, but you know what’s not expensive and very easy to get? Heroin.
When my mom was in recovery from the surgery, my brother was nodding off, nose running like a fountain (as Grandma would say) in the waiting room next to me. My dad informed me he was fucked up, as if I was blind and deaf and couldn’t see that. I told my dad he was obviously a heroin addict.
That night my dad confronted my brother, insisted he take the hoodie he was ALWAYS wearing off. He was fucking covered in track marks.
My mom’s first day home from the hospital, my brother is threatening to kill himself if she doesn’t give him money for “pills.” (That’s what she calls it). I arrive, as I was coming over to check on my mom home fresh from the hospital. She tells me what he said. He seems very embarrassed and won’t even look at me. My dad shows up a short while after, he’d been running some errand. He walks into the living room, takes off his glasses and just starts bitch-slapping my brother. He sat there and took it too, he didn’t even raise his hands in defense. My mom told him to stop, of course, my dad very hatefully told my mom to STAY OUT OF IT. I was sitting on the couch, possibly the world’s MOST neutral expression encompassing me. Their dog ran to me for shelter during this storm (his name was Storm). Whatever that means. My brother said he felt hopeless, my dad screamed back that he WAS hopeless. My brother left shortly afterwards, this time not claiming he was about to jump off a bridge (true story from before). He went to his dealer’s house, of course.
He didn’t get better until later, and by get better i mean he takes methadone 4 times a week and he smokes more weed than I could in 5 years in 1 month. He lives in my parents basement and grows dope. He dated my sister in law for like a year and that ended with gore, I can’t just say it was messy. It was fucking gory. But we fucking told her.
So that’s my brother’s story. 100% truth, I promise. I’d never lie to you. This is possibly my last honest space. But it’s time to go, before even I think this is too long.