One Day Too Many

If you’ve never had a loved one go missing; you’re damn lucky. If you’ve never lost anyone close to you, especially a family member, you are luckier still.

I have spent most of my life watching family members leave this plane of existence for another. I’ve written too many eulogies and speeches not to feel the heavy emotion of deep loss. However, my brother’s mysterious, sudden disappearance is scarier than all of those losses combined. Mostly because, no one seems to have any answers, and the ones they do have are either asinine or terrifying.

People do not just disappear into thin air. Especially not people who are roughly six feet tall and armed. My brother has had to defend his life once before; and he sent the other person to the hospital after warning them NOT to come closer. If you’ve warned a person multiple times that you’re armed and they expect you to just stay put and take a beating, then they simply do not know that my brother & I weren’t raised to behave that way (No, he did NOT shoot anyone. I only wish he had.). If you come at me, I’ll come back harder. My brother is a gentle soul, but if you push him, you will likely get a beating. I keep telling him he’s too Zen for me, that I like my anger, and he keeps telling me to forgive people and pray for them. See what I mean?

It has been over a week of me not knowing where my brother is. The police in Pennsylvania threatened me with imprisonment and a fine if I am “filing a false missing persons report”. For one, I’d never do something like that and two, I expect to be taken seriously by anyone wearing a fucking badge when I call them with a legitimate issue. You can’t keep telling me “We don’t know your brother.”, because that’s got nothing to do with this particular situation. There’s a reason you don’t “know him”; he’s a good kid. He’s not out robbing banks and knocking over liquor stores. He’s only a pain in the ass if you’re his sister. He keeps to himself, minds his own business, but is cautious and aware of things most people are not.

My brother is smart, and by smart I mean MIT/Harvard kind of smart. His intelligence is mind-blowing to people because they’re expecting him to be silent muscle, or they’re simply not expecting his level of intelligence to go beyond one realm. He’s always been this knowledgeable little sponge. Sometimes I’m blown away by his ability to take things apart, put them back together (“No, I’ve never done this before.”), or explain something with such precision that it makes my head hurt. He is the exact opposite of me in that he is extremely likable. I have never heard anyone say they didn’t like him.

My brother & I are very close. We’ve had to be, because at the end of each day, all we have is each other. I know he has my back and he knows I have his. Ultimately, he is one of the only people I would willingly take a bullet for. Other people have, sadly, shown me their true colors as I deal with horrible situation.

For starters, I do NOT need to be lectured on what to do or how to do something. I’m a capable human-being. When I have to block a family member from contacting me because she sticks the knife in my back and keeps on twisting; under the guise of “caring” and “providing helpful information” (The fact that I didn’t say “FUCK YOU!” or “BITE ME!” is a testament to my reining my temper in at the last second.), that tells you a lot about who I deal with on a regular basis. A normal person wouldn’t say “Sorry to hear, sweetie.” I’m not sorry to say that if you say that to me, it makes me want to punch you in the face. I didn’t just break up with a boyfriend, you dumb cow. My brother is MISSING, it’s not something trivial! This person doesn’t even know my brother to say the things they did, but wouldn’t shut the fuck up. I finally had to say “All I really need right now is support. All you have managed to do is anger and enrage me, so I am stepping back until I can be a decent human-being.” I said that because the questions wouldn’t stop, and I let them know that enough is enough. This person was pushing the last of my buttons (How many times do you have to reiterate that you’re not okay?!), and doesn’t know when to stop in general. If you push me and you don’t stop, I will absolutely lose it on you. I didn’t do that. I respectfully backed out the best way I knew how, but this person made it all about them. When it’s one of your siblings, then we can discuss your hurt feelings, but until then, NO, the world does not revolve around you. It’s not about you, this isn’t even about me, but if you want to be supportive, don’t throw it back in someone’s face and say you’re sorry you bothered to inquire. My personal life is not a fucking newspaper.

If you don’t know my brother’s middle name, date of birth, place of birth, who is Godparents are, or anything unique about him, then you don’t get to ask me stupid fucking questions. And there is always a difference between someone who genuinely cares and someone who wants to gossip, just as there is a difference between people who pretend to care, but sleep just fine each night while you cry hysterically from worry. I know the difference based on how others behave. Pushing someone who is already hanging by a very fine thread is dangerous. But this person couldn’t respect me enough to back the fuck off. I’ve gone months without speaking to them before and I can go a year this time without batting an eyelash. I don’t need this kind of drama in my life when I’m dealing with a serious situation. Moreover, don’t Facebook message me or text me for “updates” unless you live in another country. Those are the only people who get a pass. Everyone else is fully capable of picking up a phone and saying what they need to say, without being passive-aggressive, or aggressive. It’s called compassion. Don’t claim to possess it if you do not actually utilize it.

I’m an extremely private person and I am waiting for more information before I do anything that I feel is invasive to my privacy, or my brother’s. There is always a proper and improper way to handle a situation. I’m handling things in a manner in which I feel is correct.

You can support me, say a prayer or a kind word, or get out of my way because at this moment, I am a ticking time bomb. My brother is OFF LIMITS. I don’t appreciate anyone making up conversations I never had with them. Focus on your own family problems, don’t stick your nose into mine.

My best friends both said “What do you need? I’ll do whatever it is you need to help.” and they live an ocean away. My “relatives” did not say that. Hell, most of my “friends” didn’t say that, either, but I don’t fault them. I fault the person who messaged me last night and came at me when I am already raw with emotion. She always accuses others of attacking her, but the fact of the matter is; she likes playing the role of victim. She doesn’t know any other role but the role of victim. In every situation, it somehow becomes all about her and her role as the victim once she’s pushed you to the point where you have to tell her to back off. I don’t have respect for that. Many of us carry childhood issues with us, but when you’re pushing 40, you need to work your therapy and stop playing the victim card with everyone. It’s the reason people don’t respond well to you and it’s the reason people don’t like you. It took me a few years to see the pattern, but now that I do, I’ve stopped allowing myself to be turned into the “great evil” for speaking the truth.

When someone is bleeding from head to toe, do you throw them into the Dead Sea? No, you don’t. Therein lies the problem here.

I can let some things go, I can forgive certain things and I can forget others, but when you constantly play the victim card with me, I question how valuable the relationship is. I also realize that some people self-sabotage to the point where they have no friends or loved ones to turn to. But there comes a time when you can no longer make excuses for them.

I’m just trying to get through this dark cloud hanging over me where my brother is concerned. I know full well that I am not some “great evil” for saying I am stepping away. If I’ve said nothing and every other thing you say is an attack (“Sweetie” does not soften a damn fucking thing. I’m not five.), then it is up to that person to know when to back off. If you always have to say something to back them off, that’s unhealthy. Being told I’M the unhealthy party is utterly laughable.

Sometimes, people forget who they’re talking to. They get too damn comfortable. They start thinking you’re exactly like them. They don’t realize that the silence from one day too many has hit you hard, and that saying nothing is better than talking shit.

It’s a damn good thing she wasn’t standing in front of me.

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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