When I got home from work yesterday, my mother told me that my youngest brother would be having a hearing with his Colonel at 5:30 this morning to determine his future with the Army.
We learned last week that my brother failed two drug tests during the month of January. The levels on the second one were three times higher than the first.
This life cycle of an addict....I cannot understand it. The destructiveness. What seems to be determination to ruin their own lives. My baby brother is different than the brother in between us. He makes huge strides forward and does good. I have such high hopes for him. I know he is smart, sweet, loving and strong (when he isn't using) and I want only good things for him. I know he can have those things, but only if he will forever abandon the drugs. And he always goes back to them. The reality of this crushes those of us close to him, time and again. Why? WHY? Why do you keep doing this to yourself? You should have so much better.
I slept through my alarm this morning. I was not there....I was in the middle of a vivid dream.
In my dream, I am going to Huntsville to interview an inmate there. I park my car and get into a line of people waiting to cross the highway. I am in a line of military personnel. I pass by a military police officer. In front of her stands a small young man wearing a baggy green jail jumpsuit. He is handcuffed and leg ironed. He stands slumped over, defeated, and I can’t see his face. I end up standing in front of a drill sergeant and we begin to walk across the highway. I begin hearing the military police officer repeatedly say my little brother’s last name. I turn to the drill sergeant and implore him: "Please...I’m his sister...we haven’t heard anything from him and we know his hearing was this morning. Can you please tell me what happened?"
The drill sergeant gives me a confused look and motions towards the slumped over young man in the jail jumpsuit. I take a closer look at the man.
It’s my brother.
I ask him what happened. He says he is going to a military prison for two years. The tears ensue from both he and I. I walk alongside him until we get inside prison walls. I hug him goodbye and tell him I love him and to be strong.
Then I have to tell my family what happened. More tears from everyone.
I don't know if military prison is even an option in his situation. He will probably be kicked out of the Army. Perhaps the bars in my dream represent the way the drugs have trapped him.
I wake up, and it is cloudy and dreary outside. I have this ominous feeling hanging over me. I carry the gravity of the situation on my shoulders like a ton of bricks. I am so sad about the whole thing. I just want him to leave these demons behind him. I do not feel like anything good is going to happen for my baby brother today.
I hope I am wrong. But we all have to live with the decisions we make.