My sister called early this morning and told me our brother Michael was beaten by drug dealers again. My first response "Did the beat him like the last time, when he was beaten nearly to death in the summer of 2005." When that happened we thought he would realize he have a problem and seriously go back into rehab to get some help when we found out he would survive. Thankfully, He was not beaten as he was in 2005 and I breathed a sigh of relief. We also talked about how each of us prepared ourselves knowing our brother will die by the hands of drug dealers. I told her how I have a twinge in the pit of my stomach that this summer will probably be the year we will be attending his funeral; she sadly told me she felt the same way.
After I hung up the phone with my sister, I thought about the destruction of Crack Cocaine. How it not only destroys the addict, the collateral damage of crack cocaine is the suffering of the addict’s family. Crack cocaine destroyed my brother when it hit the streets of St. Louis in the early 80’s. Unless, crack cocaine affected someone in your family you can only imagine the destruction and drama a family endure. It is a slow cancer sucking the life out of the family you once known before crack cocaine. It is not like in the movies where there is a happy conclusion; it's like living the movie Ground Hog Day only it’s a horrible nightmare that wakes you in the middle of the night drench in sweat and breathing hard because of the dreams you have about your brother. Only to realize the nightmare is the reality of my brother's destiny.
I can only imagine how my father felt that day my brother called him and begged him to pay $500.00 to his dealer or he was a dead man by the end of the next day. I will never forget that sound of fear and pain in my father's voice when he called and told me, "I had to pay the money because I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't pay and they kill him".
I can only imagine how my mother felt that day when she was too afraid to let him into her house and sent him away without opening the door. I will also never forget the sadness in her voice when she said, "I was afraid to let him in the house because I was alone and didn't know what he will do in his present state of mind". The sadness in her voice was joined by pain and hurt when she told me her final words to him that night without opening the door was, ""M", Go away".
I do not have to imagine how I felt and feel as a sister when I stopped enabling him. Bailing him out of jail and giving him money was an enabler for him to continue his lifestyle…I had no choice but to stop giving in to him. I feel as if crack is killing me because I had to watch, I am still watching after nearly 20 years, how crack cocaine is slowly killing my brother, and I live daily with the knowledge, one day a dope dealer will beat my brother to death or shoot him dead. I constantly have to tell myself I should not feel guilty for deciding not to enable him with money, money that I know he would use and buy dope. I know there is nothing I could do to help my brother until he wants to help himself. He does not believe he is a junkie and he believes we are the ones with a problem.
I miss the laughter and fun we use to have when we were younger. No matter how much I try to convince myself I have prepared myself when it comes to my brother, I have a hurt in my heart that is aching terribly because there is nothing I can do to prevent what I feel and know will happen to him if he do not admit his addiction to crack cocaine. All I can do is continue praying God hear my prayer to grant mercy to my brother and not let him suffer anymore, in due time I will know how my prayer was answered.