When I was living with my dad after wasband and I split up, my brother landed there for awhile too, for similar reasons. His marriage broke up because, as we all learned with varying degrees of surprise, that he was a drug addict - first percocets, and then oxycontin. My dad was the one who pulled him out of the back of his pickup truck, where he was sleeping on a piece of styrofoam after my sister-in-law pulled a midnight move with her kids to get away from him, and got him into a rehab program. When he got out of rehab, we were sleeping on opposite ends of the pool table in our dad's games room while we were trying to figure out what we were each going to do next.
met a girl who was married to an alcoholic. She had five kids and no
life, and fell head over heels in love with my brother, who is
gregarious and attentive and has known since he started talking what to
say to everyone without meaning a damn thing he said. The one thing they had in common was that they were
both completely into him. He didn't balk when she started bringing
her kids over on the weekends and began telling them that this was
going to be their new daddy. He even bought her a ring for her
birthday, and went with her when she got his name tattooed on her ring finger to wear under her wedding band.
If she'd been less into him, she would have seen him
slipping back towards addiction, and would have realized the money that
started going missing from her wallet wasn't her fifteen year old
scoring the occasional twenty, or her husband taking money for gas or
smokes without asking her. My dad and I both recognized the missing money, and tried to tell her, but she refused to listen. One day she texted me with the words "Ur bro
just broke my heart. Told me bye & not to call him again." She
came by my dad's house later, crying and half in the bag. I had to call
her husband to come and get her, and lie about being a friend of hers
from school and how she bombed an exam and we'd gone out for a few
drinks and it had hit her hard because she hadn't eaten since breakfast. I was angry about being put in that position, and told her so. I felt like collateral damage, because both of them did what they did and they didn't care who got hurt incidentally.
for me, I had just started work and was saving for first and last
month's rent, and wasn't around too much longer, so we never really came
face to face again. She would send me the occasional text or message
over Facebook, but I live more than an hour away and I wasn't going to
travel to see her to listen to her talk about how much she loved my
brother and how she didn't understand what she'd done wrong. She never
wanted to hear about my life, otherwise it would have been easier to
Last night she sent me a message over Facebook and told
me her husband committed suicide, and it was all her fault, and he'd
made sure she was the one who found him. I was all, OMGWTFBBQ and she
asked me if she could talk to me. I called her, not knowing what to
expect on the other end. Well, maybe that's not quite true. I expected
to hear her tell me she was still in love with my brother. She did,
and added for good measure that her husband had known about her affair,
that back in February he'd been drinking and taunted her about it, which
turned into her flying at him in a rage, whereby she was charged with
assault and lost her three youngest kids to children's aid. They had a huge fight a couple of weeks ago, where he brought up her affair and told her he knew she'd rather be with her f**k-buddy than with him, and she told him, too right I would. She was afraid she would attack him again, so called a friend and spent the night on someone's couch to put some distance between them. She came back to find him hanging from the second floor landing banister.
living in subsidized housing on disability, where she is visited weekly by someone
evaluating her mental state, and gets one hour of supervised time with
her three youngest on Saturday mornings. Her fourth oldest is living in
a group home, where she is getting care for a mental disability. Her
oldest is living with her, because she's older than sixteen and can
She did most of the talking, but said at the end of the
conversation that she felt a lot better for having spoken with someone
rational. I hung up the phone after promising I'd give her a call in a
week or so to see how she was doing, and wondered what the hell I could
possibly say that would be more than a drop in the bucket compared to
the miasma of guilt and sadness and agony her life has become. And the worst of it is knowing that, after all that, she still talks about how much she loves my brother.
Ugh. What a train wreck.