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Life with him on these drugs was difficult. The pot was just the beginning. He began getting on harder drugs. They made him a worse monster. I remember sleeping with my parents because we didn’t know if he’d go off the rails and try to kill us in our sleep.

You’d walk on egg shells because you were afraid of what might set him off. He could be physically abusive, but mainly he was emotionally abusive. He was in and out of the system. If he wasn’t in a rehab, he was in jail, or a detention center. My teen years were spent either living in fear or having to go visit him.

I don’t blame my parents. They loved him and knew this wasn’t him. He was a terrific man who had a problem. They stuck by him. They stuck by me too. They didn’t give up on me because they were focused on him. They did everything for the both of us.

But spending your teen years like this, I also ended up having problems. I think it’s what really pushed my social anxiety to the forefront. I also have stomach problems because I was always in a state of panic. There are times too much spice can cause a reaction. Nervousness can make me ill in the stomach even to this day. But I still loved, and will always love my brother.

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