Tantrum Warehouse
Tact Free Since 2003

Thinking About Jbro

J's brother called last night.

I talked to him for a long time, which I never do, and he was sad. I just wanted to cry the entire time.

It is not fair what has happened to him. Yes, he is a brat. But he has had a very hard life and virtually no parenting and to be honest he is much less of a brat than most eighteen year olds.

The forestry service has him on contract. But they can exercise that contract any time for a YEAR. That means he could still not be with them in June of next year. In the meantime, he is homeless. Sleeping on couches at friends' houses or in cars. He can't work because he doesn't live anywhere.

He is talking about joining the army. The infantry. Because that is what poor white boys do honestly. I know this. I knew it would happen. But I want so desperately for it not to happen. I would love for him to join the military. But the COAST GUARD. And not in the middle of a war. If he joins the army in the infantry he will be in Iraq in six months.

And we will still be there. I have no doubt of that.

It was all I could do not to tell him to come here. Even though I know that we cannot have him in our home. That our marriage couldn't take that sort of strain. He is a damaged young man. No one has ever taken care of him. He doesn't know how to take care of himself. He doesn't bathe properly. He is barely literate. He and J fight like cats and dogs. He takes drugs.

I don't really blame him for the drugs bit. God knows that everyone in that family, including J, has taken drugs. But that doesn't mean that its a free pass to get fucked up. Has he met J's dad? I mean, I know it isn't his father but he has met him. Jdad is totally fucked up and part of that is from BRAIN DAMAGE from doing PCP.

I don't know how to help Jbro. I can listen. I think that helped. It is easier for me to be sympathetic than J. J wants to fix things, he wants to scream at Jbro's dad. He wants to call Jmom and rail at her. He wants to find a Coast Guard recruiter that will take Jbro. But he can't listen. He wants to fix things.

But we can't fix this. He is a man now. And we can't send him money, he will just buy drugs. We can't find him a job. We can't even convince him to call his Uncle in Sacremento to see if they can help him.

I am heartbroken because I can see that there really is no good solution. Nothing that we can think of that will undo everything that has already been done. And I feel tremendous guilt. Because we could have pushed for custody a couple of years ago. We might have won. We were a middle class couple with their own home and good jobs. He was fifteen. It was probably too late. But we might have got him into community college. Or trade school.


But we couldn't. We were only twenty three. And we didn't have much money. We weren't and aren't equipped to deal with a drug addicted anti-social teenager.

But sometimes I still wish we had.

8:09 a.m. :: comment ::
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