Thursday, July 9, 2009

The View From My Ass The Family Edition

I usually try and make it a point to not discuss too many of my family issues because well we all have them and since I hate listening to other peoples I figure they would hate listening to mine. We'll I am going to break the one my Cardinal rules this once and write about a family issue. I can write about this and feel fairly secure the person in question won't see it since he doesn't have internet or a computer for that matter and if somehow he does well so be it. First some background.

I have a different family situation than most folks my age. My Parents were both married before they married each other. From My Dad's first marriage came 4 children 2 boys 2 girls. From my Mom's first marriage came a son. They are the "his" and the "hers" I am the theirs. I am at least 10 years younger than all of them. So I have 3 half Brother and 2 Half Sisters. One of my Brothers is gone he committed suicide in 1989 and I do not have much contact with one sister and none with the other this leaves 2 Brothers. Now of my Brothers the one from my Mom's first marriage I am very close to. He's done well for himself yeah he's had issues like all of us and I don't always agree with everything he does but he's a good guy my other Brother is...well strange. No all of us are strange to some point, myself certainly included, he's got issues.

My Brother is 47 years old he has some severe mental issues he is a diagnosed paranoid Schizophrenic but the surest way to really get him mad is to tell him so. He's right to an extent people do laugh at him and make fun of him. There's a part of me that truly feels bad for him because I have been through it myself with the multitude of physical ticks that I have acquired over the years. But He also brings it on himself. It's one thing to swing your hands back and forth or rub your hands together when you are nervous and don't even know you are doing so it's another to walk down the street having a fantastic conversation with yourself laughing hysterically at your own jokes. My Brother works menial jobs such as dish washer at a restaurant which are about the only jobs he can get but invariably a confrontation with co-workers real or imagined ( usually they are a little of both) Will lead to him either being fired or quitting. Of all the emotions I feel for my Brother no question there is a little bit of pity and sympathy but it's offset by anger and apathy. I have gone through life having people laugh at somethings about me that I felt were unfair but I never quit a job over them. I either laughed along with the crowd and that almost always took care of the situation and I would become quite friendly with co-workers or I would say hey I have Cerebral Palsy what is your excuse for being fucked up? My Brother takes everything personally and to suggest to him that he could do things to help himself like...not tell himself jokes out loud and crack himself up would be to pick on him.

Anyway in 2002 he met a woman on the internet who lived in Seattle. I have no idea how he got access or how he met her but he met her and she talked him into moving out there. Now My Brother who struggles to find livable shelter in Omaha took a greyhound bus to Seattle. As most of you know the cost of living in Seattle is only...oh 3 times + higher than it is in Omaha and we tried to tell him that. First he bought a plane ticket but somebody told him not to go or so he claims, so he ate the cost of ticket. He still has the ticket and shows it to me when I see him. I suspect that somebody told him not go he then bought the ticket and got cold feet and then used what people told him as an excuse.

In April 2003 he called My Parents. he was homeless in Seattle the girl kicked him out and he was claiming he was robbed of everything but his bible certificates ( he's an uber Christian. A proud member of Kenneth Copeland ministries) and 3 Captain and Tenille albums. My parents who have helped him time and time again said we'll get you back but you can't live here, there is some jealousy between him and my other Brother so that was out and well my Sisters were as bad off as he was so he asked me to put him up.

Now let me digress here for a minute. My other Brother is doing pretty well financially and has been for a while. but unlike my Brother and myself he was blessed with athletic ability. He is about 6'2" played Quarterback in high school and has managed to turn his gift for carpentry into a nice living. There is a huge jealousy between my Brothers so they essentially don't speak to each other. My Brother can turn to me for help because...well he's "fucked-up" too and he'll understand what I am going through and he is more likely to help me. That's how he looks at it. Well in April 2003 I figured my life couldn't get any worse and I put him up. It was a disaster. I couldn't stand living with him and his strange behavior and I didn't have the heart to kick him out even though I always swore the next time he told me the shroud of Turin was real or show me is Mexican peso or his plane ticket to Seattle I was gonna kill him. Well in September of 03 with him having done nothing to move out I met the Contessa and it was while we were dating sometime in October she asked a good question to which I didn't have an answer: Why is it you're paying the rent and yet you are the one who has to get a motel when I am in town? I gave him till January to find his own place and a job and when he did I gave him some money and the bedroom furniture he was using at my place.

Sometime early in 2004 he sold the furniture I gave him and went back out to Seattle. This time when she kicked him out He called me first and I said no way no how. He called our aunt and told her nobody would help him and she payed to bring him back. Eventually he found another apartment and a job and was doing ok for a while. But the old demons came back. He got a girlfriend he met at church but she turned out to have 12 different personalities or so he said, His health started to fall a part, he doesn't eat well, smokes bargain basement cigarettes and has no health care and has never had any, hie mental health was never good and people were picking on him again. My Dad's death I am sure bothered him though my other Brother had to stop me from killing him when he fell asleep at the serivce then woke up let out a huge yawn and stretched his arms. And his Mother died this year and that bothered him as well.

Well He quit his job again, he claims to be in constant pain and now he says he can't pay his bills. The Last time I saw him was May I asked him to watch out Animals for a few days while the Contessa and I went to Denver. He did it because we pay him well ( we give him enugh to cover a month of rent for a few days work) and give him more food in a few days then he noramlly gets in a month. When we got back the house was empty of food. We we're gone from Wednesday until Sunday and a month's worth of food was gone. Now he can eat but no way could even he eat that much in such a short time. He packaged up the food and took it. Didn't ask if he could he just took it. If he had asked I would have given him some food. Not all of it but some of it. He didn't say thank you either he never does... to anybody who does anything for him.

He's been playing his little pity games now for a while. If he doesn't get help he's going to die. We get a letter or 3 from him a week saying the same thing. I do not read them BTW. The Contessa reads them and I just shake my head. ironically enough he writes these on the stationary we gave him for Christmas. We didn't know what to give him so we gave him a ton of paper, envelopes, pens and stamps. I am no longer the bachelor living alone spending my nights losing my earnings at Ameristar 4 nights a week. I can't put him up again and wouldn't if I could, you know once burned and all that. The one we got to day contained his apartment bill and a note that said if he doesn't get help paying it he was going to either commit suicide or go to Seattle if he had to walk. Well you know now that I re-act quickly and often harshly so it was best that the Contessa with output from me composed our response. We said we had bills to pay of our own and neither of us were thrilled with our jobs but we weren't quitting. We gave him phone numbers to inquire about food stamps, salvation army catholic charities and other numbers he could call for help with his mental and physical health. But no way would we put him up or pay his rent. I am sure I am on his shit list now. But i'll live and so will he.


Ranger Bob said...

Count. That's a tough situation to be in. On one hand you can't continue to be an "enabler" and always support him when he needs money or food. But on the other hand it sounds like he needs some serious medical help and or medication to help him deal with his illness.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Ranger I agree with you though I don't believe I am an enabler now though I have been in the past. When I "help" him now I do so in exchange for a service I.E. Watching my house and pets when I am out of town. I do not give him money or help for no reason. I am pretty sure I am out of his loop now anyway.

Ranger Bob said...


I have a brother in law in California and a sister in law. Both lived being enabled by their parents, and as a result they are both totally screwed up. The brother in law needs meds but will never accept this. The sister in law never paid a mortgage in her life ( and no she is not a liberal, just an idiot). My mother in law has essentially been a horrible parent by enabling her children to become lazy and rely on her for funds. I am sure she regrets this now but now it is to late.

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