Thursday, July 6, 2017

Why I've Been M.I.A. Lately

It's been a couple of months since I last sat down to write a blog for the Wu's Feet Links Columns Blog. It's been three months since I last published an interview to the Wu's Feet Links Interviews Blog. I've been popping into the Wu's Feet Links Forum sparingly as well. A few of my posts there have mentioned that I've been dealing with something and that I would with all of you soon. Well, that's what I intend to do today.

This month's blog entry will have nothing to do with feet or foot fetishism. It isn't about anything sexy or teasing. This will be anything but those things. What I need to do is share something with all of you. I debated with myself for weeks whether I should bring this up, but the idea that I could possibly help someone out there was too strong. That's why this column is being written.

I want to come here to say that I'm currently dealing with a family member with a severe addiction to heroin and/or pain killers. Even though I've been out doing my photos and trying to live life, it has been a looming presence over both my and my parents' shoulders. Things have gone from bad, to worse, to rock bottom, to how in the hell is it still going on?

For a few years now we have known that my younger brother has had an addition problem. Things first came to a head when he was arrested for stealing from his job. After going to court a few times he wound up with probation and a restitution payment. For many, that probably would have been enough to say that it's time to clean up and get my life on track. Not the case here.

Time progressed after this to where my brother's girlfriend finally had enough and left him, taking their daughter with her. My brother would only see his daughter if/when he saw her at my parents' house. My parents love spending time with their granddaughter and my brother's now ex-girlfriend said she just didn't want my brother taking her without them around. In his case, I found that totally understandable. Still, this was not enough to straight himself up.

From here things really turned for the worst. My brother just wasn't finding the help he needed and reverting back to his deadly habit. At this point, my parents allowed him to move back home and try to help him in any way that they could. What would ultimately end up happening, however, was a few thousand dollars worth of their property would find their way to pawn shops, or sold to who knows who? A number of items that I owned were also included as share a storage locker with my parents and he got into it and took some of my collectibles and property.

At this point I was infuriated! Time and time again my brother would tell us how things are going great, all the while stealing from right under our noses. My mom was now a wreck and my father was at the point where he wanted him out of the house. I told them they had tried, but I agreed with my father. They had to send him out on his own. Years of support was only enabling him to continue his habits at our expense. My parents had paid to get him help, allowed him to live somewhere to get back on his feet, helped him with his bills, and so much more. The thanks they got were a bunch of things stolen from them. My father was able to find a good number of items in local pawn shops, but that meant buying back our own things. I told my father to file a police report to get them back, but my parents did not want to send him to jail. I think that is where he belonged. Still, all this didn't stop his ways. Not even after they threw him out of the house.

Finally, things looked good, in my eyes, for my parents. They were not going to have to deal with my brother being in their house stealing their property. My parents finally seemed to come to terms with him either doing what he was going to do to himself, or finding help on this own. We were freeing ourselves of this without him in their house. So we thought. 

More things turned up missing. He was allowed to stop by the house to pick up his mail, or see his daughter from time to time, as long as someone was there. Still, he was able to take things out of my parents house. It got to the point where he was no longer welcome to the house at all. This broke my mother's heart, but she knew by continuing to help, she was actually enabling him to keep up doing what he was doing. Still, not something that has been easy for her to handle.

Once again, at this point in time, my brother made a statement that he was going to find help. Sadly, I counted this as another ploy to gain trust, but for the first time my parents told him that he had to be the one to do it. I agreed. Someone in his place will only stop doing what they're doing once they decided it's time. None of us can do it for them. Right now, he is jobless, but was able to check himself into a long term facility that helps people in his situation. I hope this is the time that actually works, but at this point, we're all a little defeated and know it's out of our hands.

The above recount leaves out so many little details and issues of heartbreak and anger. I didn't want to go into any of the details here at the start, but not mentioning them didn't really portray some of the things that my parents and I have been going through with my brother. I tell you these things not to drum up sympathy for us, but to share what we went through. If you're someone who has dealt with such things, you exactly what I'm talking about. I want you to know that you're far from the only person dealing with this horrible ordeal. And if you're the person who is struggling with the habit, or any habit for that matter, know that you have to be the one to help yourself. You're only hurting yourself and your family members. Things can get better, but they sure can get worse too!

I thank all of you for giving me the ability to share this with all of you. If even one person gets comfort, or hopefully finds inspiration to help themselves out, then I will be happy that I made this choice to share my situation.