Sibling of a drug addict

a reflection upon being the sibling of a drug addict

It’s hard to forget feelings — February 27, 2017

It’s hard to forget feelings

I don’t know how I feel anymore.

I don’t think about him very often, yet I feel the presence of him and his addiction everywhere I go.

I feel the sadness, I see the effects, I take the anxiety pill every morning.

 

It has just been so long… all of the pain and the worst moments were so long ago.

It has been so long since things were normal.

It has been so long since he was a good older brother,

Since he’s been in my life.

 

Sometimes I forget that we used to be close.

I forget how much I looked up to him

I almost forget how devastated I was when he fell from grace.

 

Its easy to push memories deep back, but it’s hard to forget feelings.

The feeling of my heart sinking,

Gasping for air,

The dull burn on my arm,

The sting on my cheek,

The sadness behind my eyes.

 

I have grown and changed and moved so far forward with my life,

But the pain is still there,

Not only in the past,

But it makes itself known in the present too.

A nightmare,

A bad memory,

A thought,

A trigger.

 

It will never go away, it will always be there

And I will always be running forward, faster and faster

Away from the pain and into a new life.

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Missing — March 7, 2016

Missing

I still miss my brother

And i’ll be missing him forever

I’m no longer angry or tormented.

I don’t resent him, or at least not as much as I used to.

 

I just miss him

I miss him a whole lot

 

It’s incredibly strange that I haven’t seen him in nearly 17 months.

I never would have thought I’d go so long without seeing him

I never knew that I could go so long without seeing him

It makes me so sad to think that I very may well never see him again

 

At the end of the day when I get over all the pain he caused, I’m only left with the sadness of his absence.

The gaping hole that was once filled with such a lively person

What if my brother wasn’t a drug addict… — August 3, 2015

What if my brother wasn’t a drug addict…

I often wonder what it would be like to have a normal brother. I wonder how things would be if he was not an addict.

What if he had gone away to college in a different state,

And graduated with a nice degree,

And meet a pretty girl,

And got a job,

And lived a normal life.

I wonder what it would feel like to be proud of my older brother,

To admire him,

To visit his home and exchange pleasantries with his wife,

To spend Christmas with him,

To seek him out for life advice.

I wonder what I would be like if my brother had not destroyed my love for the world.

I wonder what it would be like to not be afraid of my brother, to not flinch every time his name is brought up, to not feel uncomfortable in his presence.

I wonder how are family would be…

My mother would be younger at heart, less aged, less tired, less stressed.

My dad would take more ownership of my brother as his son.

My grandparents would be happier to hear about other people’s grandsons.

All of the would’ve’s overrun my thoughts, but there are some things that I know for certain.

I will never know what it would be like to spend Christmas together when we are old, all together at mom and dad’s house.

I can never get drunk with him.

I will never trust him fully.

That uneasiness in my stomach will never go away.

I will never stop worrying about him.

I will have to deal with this for the rest of my life.

I can’t really remember how he used to be before becoming a drug addict,

And I will never know what he is like as a normal person in the future,

Because he will always be an addict.

He may be clean for long periods of time,

But he will always be a recovering addict.

He will always be recovering, but never fully recovered.

It will never go away.

And I will never know my brother as a non-addict again in my lifetime.

The addiction will always be there, lurking in the shadows, casting weariness upon our relationship and our lives.

my thoughts on sibling relationships and addiction — June 8, 2015

my thoughts on sibling relationships and addiction

The thing is no one really cares about the sibling of the drug addict. No one pays attention to how horrific the ordeal is for the sibling. I don’t mean this in a self pitying way, it is simply a fact. People tend to forget about the sibling, and they tend to overlook the significance of sibling relationships. No one really understands how painful it is to watch your sibling self-destruct and become unrecognizable. For me it was as if my brother had died, because the person I knew growing up completely disappeared, as the drugs turned him into a monster. Not only did I loose the person who was once my brother, but I had to deal with the abuse from the drug addict who now resided inside of my brother’s body. It was so painful to watch my older brother who was once so full of joy become gaunt and unrecognizable. Loosing a sibling to addiction is so unfair, because the person may still be there physically, but their personality is completely changed. They go in and out of rehab again and again, on and off the streets, and in and out of your life. You loose them over and over again.

During one of the many periods of time that my brother spent on the streets and I thought he was going to die, I came across these quotes that perfectly described how I felt about loosing my sibling:

“…losing a sibling is oftentimes much harder for a person than losing any other member of the family. A sibling represents a person’s past, present, and future. Spouses have each other, and even when one eventually dies, they have memories of a time when they existed before that other person and can more readily imagine a life without them. Likewise, parents may have other children to be concerned with–a future to protect for them. To lose a sibling is to lose the one person with whom one shares a lifelong bond that is meant to continue on into the future.” – John Corey Whaley, Where Things Come Back

“Not only had my brother disappeared…a part of my very being had gone with him. Stories about us could, from then on, be told from only one perspective. Memories could be told but not shared.” – John Corey Whaley, Where Things Come Back

Loosing my brother to drugs (although he is still alive, the brother I once knew is gone forever) has been the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with and has caused me immeasurable amounts of pain and heartache. I honestly feel like part of my identity was lost when I lost my brother.

A letter to my drug addict brother — June 5, 2015

A letter to my drug addict brother

Oh dear brother,

You broke my fucking heart.

I miss you. I miss the little boy that lit up the room, the boy that could make anyone laugh. I miss watching you play soccer. I miss the lazy days at grandma and grandpa’s. I miss taking our dogs for walks with you. I miss riding in the car with you. I miss watching movies with you. I miss having someone to talk to about anything, someone who knows everything about my life. I miss our inside jokes and our childhood memories, I miss retelling stories with you. I miss all the little things. I miss the person I grew up with. I miss those days when I used to look up to you, when I thought you were the greatest person on earth.

You used to be my favorite person in the world. I used to idolize you. You used to be the only person that could cheer me up no matter what. Now you are the reason for all my tears and my broken heart. You traumatized me. You abused me: Verbally, emotionally, and  physically. I used to have a lovely heart, but now at age 19, I am afraid to love anyone or anything, because you destroyed my sense of trust and faith. You made me scared of life, of people, of men, of love. I don’t think you realized how much I loved you, how much you meant to me… and then you destroyed me and hurt me beyond repair. I’m scared to ever love someone half as much as I loved and adored you. You showed me that those who you love the most have the most power to hurt you. And they will hurt you, without hesitating.

How many sisters get Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because their brother traumatized them? Well apparently I’m one of them. That’s just fucked up.

It isn’t very fun being terrified of your brother. I haven’t slept well in two years. You are the only boy that has ever broken my heart.

Being an only child now isn’t very fun. Especially because you fucked up mom and dad too. You left me all alone. You single handedly destroyed all the best parts about me and all the things I loved most in life: My family, my brother(yes you destroyed him, and the person that used to be my brother is incapable of coming back), and my capability to love and trust others.

I just wish I could have the heart that I had before all this happened. Because I used to care so much and love so much, and forgive with an open heart. If I had the heart I used to have before you fucked me up, I would forgive you. But I don’t have that heart anymore, and I don’t think I can ever forgive you. My heart will never recover from what you did.

Your eyes scare me now. I’m terrified to look into them. I don’t recognize the person behind those eyes.

I have nightmares about you coming back into my life. That is literally the nightmare; that you are back in my life. Your presence is the scariest thing I can imagine at the moment.

I miss you so much and I hate you so much and I love you so much.