I found myself trying to mother my brother. Even though I was only 2 years older, with our Mom working full time and unavailable emotionally after she got home, because she was exhausted, I tried to be there for my brother.
Losing our Dad when I was 13 and he was 11 seemed to have a profound affect on both of us. Neither of us were the same people. When I was scared, I would run to him and sleep in his bed, even though he was younger. I always felt like I would be rejected by my mother and told that I was being silly.
When I was making wedding plans, I asked him and my half sister to be the ones to walk me down the aisle, because my Daddy was gone and I was definitely not going to ask my step dad because I could not stand him. My brother walked me down the aisle and sang at my wedding.
A couple of years later when I started having children, he was a great uncle and visited them quite often. He would play with them and they looked forward to his visits. The more I was around him, the more I noticed that he was struggling.
He started drinking. When drinking was not enough, he turned to pain pills. He would go to the doctor and make up extravagant lies to get pain pills. Eventually that would not work, so he started stealing them from his Mom & from me when I had them after having a baby.
His drinking, taking drugs and stealing drugs, eventually turned into stealing money from friends and family to buy the drugs. Then it turned into stealing our mom and stepdad's identity. It was discovered when my Mom went to buy a vehicle. In order to not have to pay the thousands of dollars back, they had to file a police report and press charges against him.
He spent about one year in jail. Mom was sending him money to buy snacks, paper, stamps, etc, but he did not think it was enough, so he asked our uncle to send him money. Our uncle would only agree if he would read and write a book report on the book. Then he would send him money. Our uncle did not want him sitting in there and not using his mind.
After a year, he was released from jail and rented a house with funds that had been placed into a trust fund from rental properties he had inherited. He could not find a job, because of his record, so my uncle hired him to work at his store. After a couple of years of working at our uncle's store and being around positive influences, he admitted that life was not turning out exactly as he had wished.
After much reflection and encouragement from family, he decided to start going to Celebrate Recovery. It helped, but not as much as he was hoping. After some encouragement from friends in his small group, he decided to go into a full treatment Rehab facility. He spent 6 months in rehab and did absolutely every thing asked of him. As of today, he has been drug free and sober for 10 years. I am so thankful that he admitted he needed help, instead of living in denial!