Ah, Jared's Java. Pleasant taste. Slight Monsterism.

Welcome to the home of my mind, where I brew my intellectual and spiritual joe. Sit back and let me pour you a cup or two. I promise not to cut you off, even after you get the caffeine jitters.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reflections on family

Spending time with my brothers is very, very difficult. To say that they drive me crazy would be a dramatic understatement.

My older brother, Jeremy, left home at 15. He had some pretty serious behavioral issues and an extreme love for drugs. So, one thanksgiving night after a huge knockdown drag out with my folks, I helped him count all the change he'd been saving. Why I helped him, I'm not sure. We never really got along. He only wanted to be around me when it was convenient for him and he could use me in some way. Generally, blackmail, on his part, was involved. But, after the change was counted, he went to bed. The next day, he cleaned out his savings account at the tiny bank in town, hitched a ride to the nearest train station and left town.

He never finished high school, did plenty of drugs, continued his abusive behavior with others, and I rarely saw him. He showed up dirty and completely unkempt, with long, uncombed hair to my wedding. It was like getting pictures taken with a strung out Bozo the clown.

I left home at 18. My parents didn't want to let me go, but I went. I got married, and eventually finished college and settled into my life.

My younger brother left home shortly after I did. He's younger by almost 4 years. Drugs, violence and hatred messed him up at a very young age. He was always angry, a fighter. If he didn't get what he wanted, he found a way to force your hand to make you give it to him. And, to top it off, he’s never wrong. Just ask him. He’ll gladly shout you down until you give up any attempt to reason with him and then claim victory. He’s essentially like Eric Cartman, from South Park, except there’s little that is comical about my brother or his behavior.

Both are now off the junk, but little about them is changed. It is like having broken shards of glass stuck in my ears, listening to my younger brother arrogantly spout racial epithets about "those illegals" while he gets drunk at my mom's birthday party. My old brother is better, only mildly. He's burned his brain out on drugs pretty badly. He doesn't talk much. He just sits around and then, every 45 minutes, steps away to a distant part of the lawn to light up a cigarette. He mostly talks to the dogs.

I look at them and wonder that we came from the same parents. I don't get it. I sure don't see the resemblance.

Now, just to be clear, don't feel sorry for me. I couldn't be more grateful for my life. I could've ended up like them, but I didn't. That is happiness and joy enough for me every day. I'm a better man for the pain and struggles I've been through. I wouldn't go back, but I also wouldn't trade them off for anything.

Go mbeannai Dia thu


SilverNeurotic said...

Your post makes me very thankful for my siblings. They are not the greatest in the world, but they are pretty awesome in their own ways. I'm sorry your brothers are so...not good, but I guess in a way they served as a role model of who you shouldn't be.

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KingJaymz said...

My thanks to you who've commented. I appreciate the encouragement. I'm hoping to get back to writing in the not too distant future. I've had plenty to write about, just not as much time. Hoping to rectify that soon.