I bring him home from the hospital and all-hell-breaks-loose.

What are you doing here? Last time you stole my wallet. GO AWAY. Go live in a shelter! says my younger son.

The shelters are full, it’s always hard to get a cot in winter.

Then go live somewhere else. You are a con man. You are not my brother anymore.

I’m sorry. It won’t happen again because they’ve put me on suboxone.

Geez mom, what the hell. You said yourself he wasn’t coming back here. He sneaks around when we’re asleep. Things vanish. My wallet. Your debit card. Your car. He steals from us. He paces all night and sleeps all day. It’s crazy-living with him. You promised.

That’s when I realize I have completely messed up again. I was told to not make myself available as his caregiver so that “the system” could pick up the slack to get their machinery going to place him and find support services for him. Instead there I am at the hospital with the nurses and patients fluttering around me saying what a nice son I have. The social worker checks me out and gives the go-ahead to send him off with me. And I went along with it based on his story about finding a roommate.

Caught between my two opposing sons I retreat to my room to hide.

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