First, I would like to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for taking the time to read my story. Whether you are able to help or not, I genuinely appreciate your time.
A little background- I grew up in Upstate New York in a wonderful family. My brother and I were born 15 months apart and growing up we did everything together. He was a star athlete and unbelievably smart. I looked up to him- he was my closest friend, my protector, my role model. He was accepted into Boston College and our whole family was ecstatic.
A few months before his high school graduation, he started acting different. Most people chalked it up to nerves about starting college, leaving home, etc. I knew that there was something more. He was agitated constantly, would sleep until noon, miss class. That was so unlike him. It escalated and everyone realized the seriousness of the situation when he didn’t show up for his graduation party. Later that night, I remember confronting him about it. Tears in my eyes, I asked, begged him to tell me what was wrong. The look in his eyes terrified me, I didn’t even recognize the person I was looking at. He shoved me and left the house- I was in shock. Our parents were in shock. How could this be happening? The next day, a police officer showed up at our home, my brother in the backseat. The officer told my parents he had attempted to break-in to a house at the front of our neighborhood. He would have been arrested, but the family knows us well and did not press charges.
Finally, Justin put it all out on the table- cried so hard that his whole body convulsed. I couldn’t wrap my head around it- I couldn’t understand why, how this happened. Justin had been using crystal meth.
For those of you who have had an experience with addiction, either personally or through someone you love, you know the devastation that comes from it. It tore my family apart. Justin never made it to college, as rehab was the only hope we had. He agreed to go, but left after 8 days. He was already 18 so nothing we did could make him stay.
My mom, my dad, my grandparents, me – we were all in a constant state of anxiety, terrified that Justin wasn’t going to make it.
THE CURRENT SITUATION…
Its been 6 years since that summer, and Justin has been in and out of rehab 7 times. It’s an emotional roller coaster and a vicious cycle. When he’s clean, I can’t help but see a light at the end of the tunnel. Then the relapse. Always the relapse.
My parents are broken. They are emotionally drained. They put everything they had into trying to help him. He breaks their hearts more each time.
I moved 1500 miles away from my family 14 months ago, for a new job. I speak to my parents almost every day, and I can hear the fragility in their voices. They miss their son, and feel like this is their fault.
Just over a week ago, I received I started receiving notifications that my checking account balance had fallen below $25.00. I, of course, assumed it was a mistake and contacted the bank. They informed me that it was “due to the multiple checks I had written” to my brother. Justin had found some of my old checks and was forging my signature. The amount he took totals at just over $6,000.
The bank said that unless I press charges, they are not able to refund the money. Justin came to me crying, apologizing, and agreed to go to rehab. He’s my brother, my family- even after everything, I could never press charges. Knowing this would kill my parents, I didn’t tell them the extent of what he took- especially over the phone.
As shown in attached photo, I have a negative balance in my account, and no money to get home for Christmas.
If anyone could find it in their heart to help me during this difficult time, I would pay back every cent once I’m back on my feet and have a chance to speak to my parents in person.
My paypal link is below:
Thank you again for your time, and happy holidays.