My Brother Paul
It is hard to believe that Paul had found a job and an apartment prior to going off the deep end. He even got two cats. But like everything it never lasted. Paul never did well with getting up for school. My mom had so many fights with him just to get him out of bed. Then one day, he thought he was Jesus.
Paul got a burlap sack and he started to wear it everywhere in the dead of winter without shoes on and without a jacket. I'm not sure what he wore under it. I think that he had a t-shirt and shorts. People would stop him and ask him if he knew he wasn't wearing shoes.
I asked him where he would go being dressed like that and he said he would go downtown and walk back and forth on one city block. I think he felt like he was being a 'witness for God'. I would ask him if people said anything to him and how he was being a witness but I can't remember what he said. I don't think that he ever answered my question with any satisfactory response.
I was so relieved when he found out that Jesus wore shoes.
I was in high school at this time. One of my teacher's made a comment about this guy in a burlap sac without shoes. So thankful that she made that comment when I was at home sick. My friend told me about her comment. (Just goes to show when you make a comment, you just never know who you may be offending.) I'm not sure how I would have reacted if I had been in the classroom that day.
Other than going downtown, he spent the rest of his time in our apartment. We had a plastic owl and some stuffed animals but he had to turn them around. He was thinking that they were staring at him.
He started to meet with some Jehovah's Witnesses. He started to take the bible quite literally. He would actually go into his closet to pray.
Strange behaviour changed to paranoid behaviour. He would not drink any of the juice because he started to think that someone was trying to poison him. I would offer to drink some of the juice from the jug but that wasn't good enough. He would tell me that God would protect me.
He wouldn't eat any of the food my mom would make unless he stood behind her and watched her make the food. He had to stand there the whole time she was preparing the meal. It would have driven me crazy but my patient mom allowed and didn't make any fuss.
My brother then disappeared.
I am reposting some of my past entries to catch people up if they haven't read them in the past. Please bear with me as I repost these old entries. There is more to this story.
Wow! Looking back on my life now, it doesn't even seem real. I was young and didn't know any different but it doesn't even seem real.
My brother Paul wasn't around much. He got in trouble with the law and so he was in and out of group homes and jail. But when he was around there was never a dull moment.
The apartment we lived in was infested with cockroaches. It was absolutely disgusting. You would walk into the kitchen, turn the light on and the kitchen would move there were so many cockroaches. The apartment was sprayed numerous times to get rid of the cockroaches which seemed to lessen the number.
Our laundry room in the basement had rats and they were trying to get rid of them. The rats had made a tunnel to the front step which they filled in with cement. The rats still managed to get out. I heard rumours that the rats were as large as cats but I thankfully never saw one. I really dreaded going down to the laundry room.
When Paul was around, he would walk around in his gitch. If I happened to bring a friend home, I would have to peak my head in the door and ask him to put his clothes on. My friends would often just get a good laugh from his behaviour. I was really embarrassed.
My mom was pretty depressed. She slept a lot. She had a severe stutter and a lot of fears about speaking to people. My mom did the best she could with what she had. Raising three children on her own without any financial support from my dad would be pretty tough. Living on social assistance as a single parent with a son in and out of jail must have been very trying.
We didn't have a lot of food but thankfully when my mom was too unwell to get out of bed, I ate a lot of toast with peanut butter. (Thankfully I am not allergic to peanuts because that was what sustained me.) I love toast and peanut butter. Thankfully things didn't get that bad very often and thankfully we had bread in the house. When the peanut butter ran out I would eat jam.
In grade ten I had day surgery. My brother came to pick me up because at this time my mom was working at a restaurant part time. I never saw him but I could hear him laughing in the hallway and muttering to himself. I can only imagine what the nurses were thinking about this guy. Of course they didn't release me because of his bizarre behaviour. I was so mad that I had to stay in the hospital. That was my brother's typical behaviour. I had to stay in the hospital until 9:30 or 10pm. So much for day surgery eh?
My brother's behaviour just went from bad to worse. Bizarre guy! But the story will continue next time. I promise you the good stuff is coming. I'm just kinda giving you some background to give you an idea of where I came from.