Student Journalism at San Rafael High School

Off the Leash

Off the Leash

Off the Leash

Hunter
Narratives
Hunter
Nico Clark, Contributor • June 23, 2024
Taking a Sibling to Rehab
Narratives
Taking a Sibling to Rehab
Oscar Jordan-Shamis, Contributor • June 12, 2024
The Lacrosse Family
Narratives
The Lacrosse Family
Hannah Chamberlain, Contributor • June 11, 2024
Magic Minnesota Summers
Narratives
Magic Minnesota Summers
Taylor Brown, Contributor • June 11, 2024
The Night We Truly Met
Narratives
The Night We Truly Met
James Rider, Contributor • June 11, 2024

Taking a Sibling to Rehab

Society isn’t the kindest to those who fall outside of the lines.
Taking+a+Sibling+to+Rehab

We get into my truck, just him and me, no parents to get in the way. He has slept in the back seats for the last few nights. Arguing with our parents. My mom only letting him in when Dad’s gone. This is different. No arguments. Only business. One goal: get into rehab. We leave home. We cry. We go to Jack in the Box and order him a large chocolate smoothie. The search for help begins. Call after call, everyone is useless. It is 2 a.m. It is easier to get cocaine than it is to get help. Eighteen calls, nothing useful. 

Another reality hits. Help is not coming. You cry as you drive aimlessly. Thinking. Aching. Your parents call, trying to help. They feel useless too. You’re angry. How could they let him get like this? Why does he feel so unloved? Is he going to recover? Who did something to him? Who changed him? What happened to the boy who loved Minecraft and cars? 

It was Wednesday night, lights off, lying in bed, ready to sleep, you heard mom in a disappointed whisper shout, a hiss, “You know you can’t bring this into the house!” Instantly, you knew what it was. Coke. Jasper had been in and out of the house, acting strange again. You knew it was bad. You didn’t think he would bring it in the house. He was not that reckless. Was he? You couldn’t believe it happened again. You thought it was over. How optimistic. How stupid. You instantly felt like you should have known. How could you be so naive? Thoughts were racing. You sprang out of your bed, ran as fast as you ever would in a home. “Why Jasper!?” You yelled, pleading. Over and over, you yelled. You knew he had to go away. He would die if he didn’t change. 

Reality hit. You grabbed your older brother, all 140 pounds of him, pure bone. 

He begged not to go. But he knew, I knew. He saw me. He saw how bad he hurt me. I was in his face crying. 

Three days prior, you enjoyed your birthday dinner with him and your family at Taqueria Bahia. You ordered him super nachos because he was running late. No problem. I have learned not to care. The world is already hard enough for him. No need to make it worse. I think that is what led him down the road of pills and powders, that search for acceptance, the lack of connection, the need to feel something different. Society isn’t the kindest to those who fall outside of the lines. Jasper definitely slips out of the box with Autism, ADHD, and Bipolar Disorder. He always hated school, getting in trouble for misbehaving. You first remember him getting suspended in 4th grade for throwing a pencil at his teacher, Mrs. Davis. The issues continued all throughout middle and high schools, my parents trying everything to find him the right fit. School after school, specialist after specialist. The search was endless.

He has always been hard. Always doing the opposite. Never listening. People can’t contain his energy. They try. They shouldn’t. They get frustrated. They don’t understand. No one will understand. It’s not about understanding. Let it go. Stop trying to change him. Just let what is, be. Only try and guide. Never demand. People don’t get that. I don’t blame them, very few people are like him. 

It’s 3 a.m. 

You can’t take him home. Our parents are too angry. He needs a different environment. Away from home. Even if it’s just for the night. You make him stay in China Camp. A place he can think. You hope he will reflect. He probably won’t. But you hope. You go home and sleep. 

You get up at 8 a.m. and pick him up from Andy’s market on the other side of China Camp. He has to walk 3 miles to charge his phone. You call the numbers your parents send. They take hours. They feel unreliable. After a dozen more calls he is in. 

Jasper goes into rehab the next Tuesday. New Bridge Foundation is his home for 30 days. 

Hopefully a place to find peace. 

It won’t fix him but it will start the road to what I hope is a successful recovery. Handing off the reins to people you don’t know is scary and heartbreaking, no matter their qualifications and expertise. I miss my brother everyday, even though I know it is for the better. Just like all pain, I think time will heal and bring understanding to the chaos of what is now. 

                                  

 

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  • S

    SuzsnneJun 20, 2024 at 7:34 am

    I love that you are writing, even though it’s hard material. That takes courage. I have always found that I can make sense of words when I cannot make sense of anything else. I hope organizing all of these thoughts and events helped bring a bit of order to your chaos.

    Reply
  • C

    CathyAnn IntemannJun 19, 2024 at 10:12 pm

    Oscar- this is so powerful. Continue to be honest with your ” feels” and keep writing. I’m rooting for you all.

    Reply
  • M

    Mr. WintonJun 12, 2024 at 9:27 am

    Oscar, this is superb work. You are incredibly strong. Make sure you take care of yourself through this journey. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • O

      Oscar Jordan-ShamisJun 13, 2024 at 12:33 pm

      Thank you Mr. Winton. My brother got home today 🙂

      Reply