Death

“Your sister’s dead.” – Text message from my mother. 7807695890_90e7f24c3f_z

We were training for a sky dive when I told my brother I thought he might be making a big mistake with this marriage. I told him something to the effect of two wrongs don’t make a right – he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia not too long before and I had some serious concerns about her mental health as well. Our father had convinced him that his schizophrenia had been a misdiagnosis, so he never received any treatment. I was afraid that without either of them getting the help they needed that this marriage would be a jump without a parachute. He just laughed and told me that that’s exactly why they’re so perfect for each other – they understand each other better than anyone else ever would. So, terrified, we leaped out of that plane.

Their marriage was certainly rocky. They were children, she was only 17 and he was 18. They beat on each other. They both abused drugs. They’d have a fight or temporarily break up, and my brother would be jumped by a gang she was affiliated with, axe-wielding members taking aim at his face. They’d forgive each other and begin again. Shortly after they were married, my brother put a baby in her. She was very pregnant when my brother filed for divorce in June. She had the baby shortly thereafter, and in mid-August, I got the text while I was at work. A TEXT MESSAGE. My sister-in-law, 18 and with a newborn, had committed suicide.

I’m not sure if they would have gone through with the divorce or if it was just another little fight. I know my brother absolutely loved her. And now he was left with a beautiful baby girl who looks just like her mommy, a broken heart, a sick mind, and so much uncertainty. My sister’s death really fucked my brother up. I’m sure he felt that it may have been partially his fault having filed for divorce a month or so before, and her being pregnant. I’m sure it hurt to look into his daughter’s beautiful face. I’m sure he had no idea how to be a father or how to live without his wife.

He tried to work, but would have to miss here and there when his daughter was sick or daycare plans fell through. He got fired from his job for his absences. He got fired from his next job. He’s grieving, trying to figure out how to be a father, battling the demons in his mind, and now can’t pay his bills or hold on to a decent job. He lost his mind, spiraled into the darkness. He committed armed robberies of convenient stores and robbed other drug dealers, and dealt some himself. He was arrested and sentenced to hell on earth, decades in prison, missing the entire childhood of his daughter and then some.

In prison, he continues to deteriorate. He starves, eating food off the floor if he has the chance. He’ll experience episodes of psychosis, and hears demons telling him that he’s the Anti-Christ. They tell him to eat his own shit. That he should just kill himself. And he tries. During these episodes, he gets put into solitary confinement, the most excruciating torture imaginable. Leaving him to face his demons alone, screaming.

My brother is not dead. He still has a life to live. But I seem to be grieving him. It feels as if he’s been completely lost. Like I don’t know him anymore. When I talk to him, I’m talking to a stranger. He’s more and more frequently attempting suicide. I haven’t spoken to him in weeks because of this. I’m terrified that one of these days he will be successful in his attempt. This fear looms over me each day. With every phone call, my heart skips a beat. I don’t know if I could handle another text message from my mother.

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19 responses to “Death

  1. cavellemartin

    Thank you so much for sharing. It’s so important that people understand the reality of mental illness. It’s not something you just “get over” if left untreated these things really do happen. Best wishes to you.

    Like

  2. cavellemartin

    Reblogged this on Mental Break and commented:
    A real look into mental illness and if left untreated how it can affect everyone involved. A must read!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I pray for peace for your brother, for you.xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. you, your brother and his daughter are in my prayers

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kat

    I’m soo sorry for him, for his daughter, for you…everyone who knows him.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jamesleard

    I feel your words in my heart. I am diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder. Thank you for letting us hear from your heart. I feel truth and realness in your words…straight from the soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. beautifully written and heartbreaking- sending love x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Life can be so incredibly cruel. I am so incredibly sad for all involved. Man!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This was a heartbreaking read for me. My heart goes out to both you and your brother ❤. Stay strong dear, this life is worth fighting for. you’ll make it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A touchingly sad write. Mental illness is an illness. Until it begins to get the recognition it deserves and funding it needs things of this nature will continue.
    I’m so sorry for the pain you are enduring. I pray that someone with a bit of compassion sees his pain and gives him care. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I pray for you, your brother and his young child. May his daughter be the light of all your lives :’) And dont give up !

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I pray for you, your brother and his young child. May his daughter be the light of all your lives :’) And don’t give up !

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Certainly you have a right to be scared … but you also have a right to be happy as well. Realizing you have your own life to live will not prevent you worrying about your brother, and that speaks well of you as it suggest you have great love for him as it should be. The hardest part in life, is doing all we can for those we love, within our power of course. After that outcomes are rarely left in our own hands, and you have nothing to feel guilty about, but to live your life—the best you can.

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  14. Matthew Chiglinsky

    What’s the plan then? If medication doesn’t work, why not euthanasia? All these “prayers” are meaningless sentiment that don’t actually solve the problem.

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  15. Reading this has truly shocked me. So much to the point that I’m hoping it simply isn’t true.

    Like

  16. This happens all too often. For various reasons, many people with mental illness end up in detention facilities where they have little to know hope. These facilities are not designed to adequately care for people with mental illnesses, as you may well know. Hopefully your brother has an advocate within the family that can try and appeal and get him the care that he needs in a facility that is trained and equipped to handle it. I sincerely wish the best for you, your brother, and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. A very sad story. My sympathies.

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  18. I with britjo on this. You need to fight for your brother’s rights to be placed in a mental health facility. However, my experience with mental hospitals is that they are all about medicating people into submission and then sending them out doped up. Those places should not be confused with on-going mental health treatment from a professional counselor or team of counselors.

    Write your congress at the State level – Senate and House members. Tell them about the facility. What is happening to your brother. Talk to various ministries or organizations that are visiting the prison/detention center to see if they can do anything for him. He DOES NOT need to be in solitary confinement for suicide attempts or suicidial ideation. He needs mental help. Solitary is just putting more ‘demons’ in him.

    Please fight for him until he is dead. Never give up. Create a team for him that you all can support each other with and send him letters of encouragement, books to read, etc…

    Like

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