After many months, tonight I talked to my Dad. And he was in rare form.
He said my brother's behavior has gotten so erratic that he's been expelled from his group home and his day care. He started opening car doors while the vehicle was in motion. He tried to choke one of his roommates and broke a caregiver's arm. This is not him. What happened to my sweet little brother who was so kissable when we were younger?
My brother has been institutionalized. Dad says he's so overmedicated that he can't climb stairs unassisted and sleeps all day.
He said that one day he was dropping him off at the group home before the expulsion. They arrived at the house to discover there wasn't a staff member there. They drove around waiting for her to arrive, all the while my dad was struggling to keep my brother from kicking the glove box, shifting gears and jumping out of the car. When the employee finally arrived, she didn't have her key. She finally located it, and after they got into the house, my brother went into his room and brought my dad an old family photo of the four of us. Didn't say anything, just brought him the picture. Like that was what was wrong.
In 2000, I made myself the outsider to this situation by moving away. So, by definition, I can't feel as bad as they do about this. But in reality I hurt so much I can hardly even type. But I still don't want to be an insider.
People, when you choose to have children, you should hope this isn't your life 26 years after you make that decision. Right now, I can't see myself ever taking the chance.