I've recently eluded to some legal problems that my brother is going through without really elaborating on them.
To be quite honest, its occupied a lot of my thoughts and attention lately - between my dental problems (they're still ongoing) and him, I've been rather distracted the past couple of months. I've ran into some friends and bloggers out around town and ignored them because I was in midst discussion about this very issue. That was rude of me, and I apologize.
Heres what has happened.
In late April my brother was arrested on a Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning for attempted robbery. We, as a family, knew that my brother had been stealing for over a year at that point -- but as far as we knew it had only been from us. The year before my brother had stolen a large number of dvds from me. My gut instinct when I discovered all of these dvds missing was that it was him. The easiest way to confirm if it was him was to go to the local store that buys used dvds and ask to see a list of what he had sold to them. I got the list and went through it with my sister and we discovered that he had been stealing from both of us for several months.
I went to my mom and told her that either he needed to own up to what he had done and make amends OR I would ask the store to press charges. She went ballistic. I was NOT going to press charges and send her son to jail. At that point I grudgingly dropped the issue for the sake of family peace but told her how I was concerned that if something didn't happen to stop him, that he would progress to burglary and get himself into BIG trouble or possibly even injured or killed. She did not listen to me. My mother never listens to me.
So, I was right. He did progress to burglary and was caught. His photo was even on the evening news. That just about killed my grandmother - seeing her only grandson on tv as a criminal.
That following Friday I went to his arraignment hearing with my mom where my brother was released on his own recognizances, also known as OR. He got home that night to discover that someone had stolen his cell phone and Rolex watch (he'd bought it with the insurance settlement from a car accident he'd been in a couple of years prior). Hello? Is that you, karma?
So, he'd been arrested for attempted burglary and was stolen from during the few days that he was in county jail.
Being an idiot, he tracked down who stole from his and went to the guy. Not in a diplomatic "hey, thats not cool" fashion, but in a violent manner. He beat the guy, severely. This happened on Friday night and as of Saturday afternoon the guy was waiting for surgery to repair his crushed jaw. Waiting because his concussion was too severe for him to go in for surgery. My brother was immediately arrested for assault Friday night.
He is now convicted of felony assault and will spending at least two years in state prison.
He deserves to be there. He ABSOLUTELY deserves to be there. He has never had to face the consequences of his actions, my mom has always made certain of that, and now he has to - its high time that he did.
However, I hate seeing him about to go off to prison. I've visited him once and seeing him in the orange jumpsuit, talking to him over a phone through the plexiglass window is hard. He was a good kid growing up, I never imagined, prior to a year ago, that he would end up like this.
There is a part of me that, no matter how old he gets or what he does, will always feel like a protective older sister. As much as I know he belongs where he is, I DO NOT like it by any means.
So, in a couple of weeks he goes before the judge for his official sentencing. From there he goes to the general intake facility in Tracy and then he will be assigned to a prison anywhere in the state. I hope its relatively close so that mom can visit him regularly like she has been since this whole thing started, and I think I'd like to visit him occaissionally as well. Grandma, Grandma can't go visit him. I think she'd like to, but that would tear her apart. She would break down. I think he NEEDS to see her reaction to seeing him where he is, but its not worth what it would do to her.
I've been torn about whether or not to share this with everyone. I suppose I feared judgement from people. But, I can't not share it. It's been a big part of my life the past couple of months and will continue to be for the next couple of years. It has become a part of who I am. I love my brother despite his shortcomings and I am affected by this. I just hope that this changes him for the better, like he claims it has, and that he can learn from this experience and grow from it.