Dee. My brother. I love him so dearly. I feel so helpless and angry that all I can do is watch as he is consumed more and more fully by his sickness. He has refused to talk about his mental illness this entire year. I know he is aware at times that something is wrong but he won’t talk about it. I try most times when we do speak because as I mentioned in my last post, his brain truly is burning. How can I not say something to my loved one is on such a dark path? He gets worse every day that goes by, his behavior escalating and becoming more erratic and dangerous on a daily basis. He is screaming to the world for help, a world that is incapable of helping. I always thought that I would get through to him, talk him through his sickness, let him know that he is not alone in this fight and he has a family that loves him. It is so strange that the harder we tried to tell him that the more he felt alone, depressed and paranoid. That was the sickness though. I so struggle with when to intervene and when to leave him be. He has the right to decide his own treatments, where he wants to live, how he wants to live, if he wants to share his struggle with mental illness. But what happens when he is trying to kill himself? When is it ok to step in and when are we infringing on his autonomy? This is one of the questions I struggle with every day. I think that if we traded places I would want my family to help. But the thought of being in a locked in a treatment center, required to take medications with dangerous and side effects, how terrifying that must be. Would I rather be left alone to live in my alternate reality? I’m unsure.
Dee was committed to a long term, state run, mental health treatment facility last week. It’s not the worst one available but it isn’t the best. It’s large, 287 beds. The state finally mandated his treatment after a very scary few months especially those last 48 hours in which he threatened himself, others, committed crimes, etc. I still can’t believe my sweet, shy, witty little brother can be described as such. He is so sick. He was collecting weapons, a big hunters knife that he wore on his belt and played with. He tried to purchase a gun. He grew to be so hateful and violent. All the sudden raciest remarks were flying out of his mouth, hateful things against women, the non- religious…. and on and on. He thinks the government, the university, his family are all trying to hurt him and he needed to protect himself. That everyone wanted to tear him apart because he was so smart and special, and god-like. Fairly typical paranoid delusional behavior. My mom, who he lived with, was in fear of her life. She called me to let me know she had updated her will last week, that I was to be the executor and she told me verbally what she wanted.
Dee and I had such a bond growing up. I am 5 years his senior and played a maternal role for a lot of his life. He would come to me for my opinion and we would have long discussions about life and philosophy, science and art. At family gatherings we were the two rolling our eyes at each other in exasperation at our dysfunctional family. I never though we would loose that connection. I am now one of the primary family members associated with his paranoia and he hates me for it. I haven’t been able to pick up the phone and call him yet. I am terrified to hear his pain, or more of his delusions. I don’t feel like I am able to hear those things right now. Guilt. I feel so guilty for feeling like that. It’s strange but now that he is finally committed, there is no denying that he is that sick. There was a part of me that was living in denial. And now I am awake.
I hope for treatment and recovery. I hope for his future. I hope for healing for our family, just beside ourselves having watched him crumble. I fear for his life in that hospital but hope.. I hope he is medicated and finds clarity. That he can start new. Hope.