Family Drama…

I am a family of four siblings.  Three girls and a boy.  I was  four-years-old, my sister was two, and the boy was born.   I remember the excitement of grandparents.   Not just a baby, but a male.  My youngest sister was born three years later. We were all planned…to the month.   My mother  loved babies.  There was no talk about zero population growth—you had as many babies as you wanted and could afford.
But a boy is ‘special’.  Family name?  Not sure, but  his bad behavior was thought cute from the start. He terrorized his sisters, and  the older relatives thought this was natural.  He had some problems in school.  Most boys–especially in America, do, but  he  developed an obsession with reptiles (also bombing, war, breaking things, but  he  really concentrated on reptiles).  He really improved his  grades and concentration on science because of this obsession.

One thing led to another, and  he  got a pharmacy degree, and was doing graduate work in toxicology, but he didn’t enjoy doing animal experiments.  He ended up going to veterinary school.  He got kicked out , but returned in a year & completed his degree.

I had told my father that my brother would make more  money as a pharmacist, but  my father believed in higher education.  My brother  got licenses for both, but never got a job as a veterinarian, and continued to work as a pharmacist, and then things got murky…and he became a drug addict.

This was no accident. While he was in pharmacy school, we discussed drugs (we were both marijuana smokers) and how addiction occurs.  He knew very well, and that once the brain is changed, there is no going back…and he chose abuse and addiction.

You think nobody chooses to be an addict?  Well, there is a personality type that does.  He has Asperger’s like I do, and between that , and  knowing how special he was, and that he could always turn to my father  to bail him out of any mess, he  chose getting high over doing  just about anything else.  I would have  thought his hobby of herpetology would have  kept him from  choosing  drugs, but it did not.  He has been imprisoned several times.

Once, when he was in jail(busted for drugs), he told us later that he had  someone who was supposed to take care of his animals, but  they did not, No matter. They were his responsibility, and a bunch of them died.  Sugar Gliders, mice, rats, and snakes.  My sister found some people to help her clear the house.  I  convinced her to convince my father to get a quit claim deed to my brother’s home to sell it. Whomever they sold it to had to knock it down, it smelled so bad.

Years went by, but the problem  still exists. He went to narcotics anonymous meetings, but when his probation was over, he stopped.  He got his pharmacy license back, but was caught stealing drugs, so lost that license.  All that education. He could volunteer in a third world country, but he has no interest in serving others.

He was busted last year for heroin possession, and a lawyer managed to get him out of Cook County Jail—with no bond and no trial.  i don’t know how he did it, but my father  paid this lawyer, and my brother was supposed to pay my father back.  What he did, instead, was invest in silver, and told my sister that my father wants him to keep the silver. this is not true.

For some reason, my father  thinks some peoples ideas are more important than others.  About 40 years ago, i borrowed money to buy my first grooming shop.  I paid my mother back, and she gifted me the money when i got married, and i used it to buy my first house.  My niece  borrowed $50,000 to ‘invest’ in a property, and told my father she’d give him a repayment contract, and never did, instead using the money to finance   many vacations.  My father let it slide do he can see the great grand kids.

MY youngest sister and I are pretty upset over this whole dynamic of my father loaning money to unethical relatives.  My brother was recently hospitalized for pneumonia, and my father got, again, pressed into taking care of all his snakes and rodents.  My father told me the place was a horror.  You can smell the ammonia (from animal excrement) on my brother’s clothes at all times. My sister was surprised that nobody at the hospital  called in a psychiatrist.

I decided to call the health department in the town where he lived.  They sent inspectors over, and, according to my delusional brother, they told him he had a well run operation there.  My sister’s response was, “Is there an outbreak of mental illness?  That the inspectors thought the smell was ok?  I  expected to see photos of them carrying out stuff on the front page of the Daily Herald!”

I did, too.  What they did, instead, was inform my brother’s homeowners association that  he was running a business in a residential area,  in violation of his agreement.  The homeowners association sent him a notice to  close his business and get rid of the animals.  In  court, they decided to  allow him to keep  four snakes, but get rid of all other animals. I am sure they gave him a time frame to do it. Since my father is angry with ME, I am not sure who paid for the lawyer.   My father whined to my sister that this was how my brother made his living, and my sister had to remind him (like the time she had to remind my father, when my brother complained about the food in prison, that you are not supposed to want to come back) that if my brother was making a living  in reptilian husbandry, he wouldn’t have to work as  a laborer for a moving company at age 56, and he wouldn’t be speculating in silver.

So, I’m the  bad guy, but my sister   has told me I probably saved his life.  My brother has no conception of boundaries.  that’s how it goes.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: