Friday, March 20, 2009

Alone Again

Things have gone from bad to worse.

My brother and his girlfriend left unexpectedly on Wednesday morning.

My kids have taken it very hard. They cried and have been angry and upset. Paul was supposed to stay for 2 weeks originally but then had decided to stay until Jason's graduation so he could babysit the kids. I need someone to watch them during the OCS Ball so I can attend with Jason. Paul had offered to do it and he needs the money. Of course the kids were thrilled.

And then things got ugly.

Without airing too much dirty laundry, I'll just say that my brother and his girlfriend are alcoholics. I had no idea how serious it was until they arrived here to help me. It was my first time meeting his girlfriend and oh my, what a first impression she made.

On Tuesday I was painting the boys' bedroom while Paul watched the kids. Around lunchtime he told me that Vanessa wanted to go out for St. Patrick's Day. I didn't think it was a good idea but they are adults and I figured they just wanted a break. I assumed they'd go get dinner, have a beer, and come back to help me finish painting. I had no idea.

Paul called me from a bar downtown around 5pm and was obviously drunk. I begged him not to drive home. I told him to sober up and call me later. Around 10pm I got 2 frantic phone calls from Vanessa. I couldn't understand most of what she was saying but it was clear that she was a) drunk and b) attempting to drive. I told her to pull over and I heard Paul in the background. She said they were in trouble, maybe lost. They had my GPS so I told them to pull over and get a ride home, using directions from the GPS to get back here.

That was the last I heard from them. Their phone was off for the rest of the night.

I stayed up all night, literally sick with worry. At 7am I started calling the local jails and hospitals. Around 8am I called my parents. By 10 am I had called the jails and hospitals again and I then decided to call the coroner's office. My heart raced and I chocked back tears as I described my brother and asked if he might be there. Thankfully, he wasn't.

I started loading the kids into the van to go drive around and look for Paul and Vanessa. I had hoped they might have pulled over and fallen asleep in a parking lot somewhere. My anxiety turned to anger when my phone rang. It was him. My brother and his girlfriend had (thankfully) realized they couldn't drive and had called a ride service. They were dropped off somewhere (a motel?) but didn't really remember anything that had happened. My brother blacked out. Vanessa was badly bruised from falling while trying to carry him. They were a mess.

When they finally showed up at my house I took Paul outside and told him how worried I had been. He knew he had messed up. I told him I couldn't have that kind of behavior around my children. (Joshua had woken up at 6am upset that Paul had left without saying good-bye!) My brother got emotional, obviously understanding that he had hurt me and the children. I told him he needed to stop drinking or he needed to leave. He went in the house, got his bag, and left. Just like that he was gone.

Understandably, my children are crushed. It has been incredibly hard for them to have their daddy gone for the last 3 months. Life is hard enough right now without another good-bye. Unfortunately my children idolize my brother. And he's definitely not a good role model right now. I had no idea how bad things were. No idea.

So here I am, alone again. I struggle to make it through each day.

Yesterday I had an orthodontist appointment and was blessed to have a friend who was able to sit in the van with my kids while I went inside. We returned home to find out that a realtor was showing our house. We had 15 minutes notice. I had to drag all 6 kids (and the dog) back out to the van. I frantically mopped and rushed out the door. I told the realtor that we were in the process of painting and laying new tile in the bathroom and begged them to look past the construction mess.

Life is exhausting. It's killing me. I can't do it all. I just can't. It's all I can do just to survive right now.

If I didn't have these sweet faces looking up at me, I might actually go off the deep end. Ironically, they seem to be keeping me (somewhat) sane.

His shirt says "Twinsanity²." It was handmade by a dear friend who knows about my blog.

Yes, this is the home of the twinsane for sure. Thankfully we get to see Jason in just 9 more days. We even get to bring him home for a couple of weeks before he heads off to Oklahoma. I need to see him, smell him, feel his strong arms again. I miss him so much. This is so hard.
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