My brother’s struggle began last spring. But that’s not my story to tell.
My story is just an aftershock.
When I first found out about my brother’s problems, I ran to the edge, didn’t look back, and dove in. I knew, together, we would beat this.
It didn’t take long for it to be clear that no matter how many support groups, helping hands, and long tirades and tears I threw together, nothing would happen until he decided he wanted those things too. It was obvious, but I was blind. Even with his own troubles getting worse, and my constant failures to get him help continued to pile up, I could not take no for an answer. I had an empathetic ear, an open heart, a broken spirit; there must have been something I could have done.
Seasons passed and too many tears were shed. Too many late night calls were made. Too many game plans and sympathetic talks with loved ones were held. Too many grievous secrets were kept. Too much pleading and begging took place. Too many nightmares were had. Too many trips to the hospital were made. Too much fear and anger was swelling.
It took ten months for my heart to dry up. And once it withered, it couldn’t take too much more.
My love was turning to anger. My empathy was turning to anger. My hope was turning into anger.
I knew I had had enough. The decision was made out of rage. It was made for my own protection. It was made for my own sanity. It was made out of defeat. I had to let my brother go.
So. I cut him out of my life.
It was only a defeat in my own powers, though. My own will, and strength. It was a glorious defeat and once I waved the white flag, I knew I should have raised it long ago. I tried my best, I gave all I had, and I failed. But it was not my battle to win.
This whole debacle was too big for my little hands.
Now it’s time for me to heal. I’ve lost a lot of traits I prided myself in. I don’t have an sympathetic bone in my body any more. I’m a little straight edge. I’m a little less empathetic. I’m a little more untrusting. But I’m working on it.
I knew it was okay to let him go. Give my heart a rest, let my soul quiet. I am not a bad person for taking a step back. I am not a bad daughter for protecting my own little family. I am not a bad sister for giving up.
But when he’s ready, my arms are open. Until then, my door is closed.
Thanks for listening,