Jail and then some

September 24, 2012
By , akeley, MN
One of my brothers, the third eldest, John (names has been changed due to privacy) was taken to prison. From what my mother told me he was selling stolen guns and was found with drugs on him. John was already on probation from an unfinished felony conviction for selling prescription medication. From that felony alone he was told he'd face around fifteen years of jail time which was reduced to probation. Now, I'm almost positive he'll be spending the next twenty years of his life behind bars. In a recent discussion with a close friend I came to realize how messed up life can be.

John was never the brightest kid, at 20 years old he never finished high school and has never even attempted to get his license. He's had a few jobs, all in the fast food industry but has never had anything to show for his hard work other than seizures, bloodshot eyes, a record, and a loss of brain cells. Thinking about my older brother I had to remember all the good times we had when we were younger before the drugs lured him into their dangerous and addicting path. He was your average teenage boy, obsessed with football and girls. All my five brothers and myself could be found playing tackle football in the driveway on your average day or wrestling in the living room.

We weren't a rich family. We were always poor. Even though we never had a lot we always had each other. In elementary if anyone made fun of me my brothers had my back, and I had theirs. I guess I never realized how lonely and pathetic my brother must have felt. Being younger than him and of no blood relation to any of my brothers I always tried to excel at anything I could, I made it my goal to be different then them, to stand out. I was the only child to graduate high school with my class on time, my brother who's the same age as me did graduate, but not on time. I was also the first of my siblings to get my license and a car and am the only to make it to college in a few generations.

While I was with my school friends or at any extracurricular activities John would be home. I guess him being home all the time and never getting out must have done a lot to his self esteem. I've never seen him once in the past three years when he wasn't high or drunk. I asked another brother once why he did drugs and what he told me broke my heart "because it makes me happy...you have no idea, you have so much.." I have never had so much. And I'm not always happy. I explained to him how unhappy I am and how I just keep a smile on my face for my little sisters' sake. I cried while telling him the only reason I'm in school and aren't just like him is because of those girls. He has children of his own and obviously he doesn't have similar feelings. My sisters are just that, they're my sisters, but I've practically raised them their whole lives. They don't know what things were like, the unity we used to have and I feel responsible for them.

With so much wrong in their lives I feel I have to keep on. I feel I can never openly do any wrong around them. I am one of eight children, over half of my family has addictions with either drugs or alcohol, but I don't. I have been teased and brought to tears because of my choices, but I continue each day with a warm heart and a smile on my face.





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