August 21, 2011
By Anonymous

This society I live in is broken. Brothers who you once knew become strangers. Who is this shouting demon who lives in my house? I don’t know him. He looks like the boy who once invited me to play with him and his action figures, yet he doesn’t. Now, there are frowns etched on his forehead from his constant anger, frustration, and confusion.
What created this monster? A monster that yells and curses at my parents every day. The monster that leaves my mother with a broken heart, my father with lost hopes. He frightens our dog who doesn’t understand why this member of his pack yells with such a monstrous voice. He listens to no reason and belittles my attempts to bring him back to reality. He leaves me, his sister, to watch as my parents sink further and further into a state of constant worry and sadness.
What created this monster? There is no solid answer. I know though that it is not my parents’ fault. Accusations fly out of his mouth and like venom, spread through my parents. The venom paralyzes them as they sit and mutely stare at the stranger their son has become. “I never asked to come here!” he yells. “You took me away from all of my friends, my life, and my home!” he screams. His face is a mask of twisted rage and confusion but his eyes are blank. He paces back and forth in front of my parents, lashing out like a wild animal whenever they try to reason with him.
Then as if a switch has been turned, he begins to cry. A storm of broken sobs escape him. He crumples to the ground, beaten down by the grief and disorder raging inside of his mind. I watch him being consoled by the very parents he had just insulted and cursed. He doesn’t seem to realize what a transformation he has undergone. My parents helplessly look at each other and I see an ocean of confusion engulf them.
It is true that my parents took us away from the only home we knew. They brought us to the United States because of my father’s job transfer. I was seven and my brother three years older. We had to go to a new school, learn English, and adapt to a whole new society. It is an understatement to say my brother did not adapt well. This society changed him. He became a monster with empty eyes. He became friends with three of the worst vices—alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes.
Now, this monster has insinuated himself into our lives and my family is broken. My brother is gone. I cannot find him, cannot get past the monster that lurks within him, holding him hostage. My brother has let a demon take over his mind. A demon that beckons and taunts, thwarting his sense of right and wrong. A demon that twists his mind so he thinks that it is okay to drink beer and then put his life in danger by driving to a friend’s house. A demon that enjoys marijuana, the atomic bomb that kills his brain cells and makes him act irrationally. A demon that refuses to realize he is addicted to cigarettes.
I never knew you could lose someone who never leaves. I never knew that I would have to become the older sibling. I never knew I would have to be put aside so that my parents may deal with the monster my brother has become. Instead of the loving brother I once had, I end up with a responsibility, worry, and heartache beyond my years.

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