Monday, July 1, 2013


“The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.”

― Russell Brand

I write today's entry with a heavy heart. However, I write today's entry so you know the whole story. The rumors and the judgments make it so much more difficult. At this time all we ask is for prayers that the help is taken and comfort to the rest of us.

On Friday, June 28 the family made a decision that forever changed our lives and the life of our little brother. It was by no means an easy decision and one that was done with a forever heavy heart.

As most know, or have assumed, Junior was a drug addict. He has been one since his high school years. To what level, I don't think any of us really know or probably will never get a truthful answer to. We know there was the obvious marijuana, but we also know there was at least cocaine and prescription pain pills of oxycontin. Of course, with the drugs came the poor choices and bad decisions that also resulted in the 3 DUI convictions.

It's so hard to write this. I still remember that sweet innocent little brother that use to come visit me in college. He was such a chatter box and some days I wish he would just be quiet on those drives to Hastings. Everyone loved having him around, I was proud to have him visit.

To some level, I realize today that I mourn the loss of my baby brother. That loving kid has been gone for quiet some time. He really didn't talk to anyone much because I think he was just too high to do so. It breaks my heart because the last visit home in April, he said some pretty hateful things to me. Of course, I realize that it was the drugs talking but also hope that is not the last time I ever hear from him. He might be so angry at us that it just might.

Sadly, the drugs really took hold of him this year. He was no longer any semblance of a brother or son that we knew. As most know, he was not at sausage making this year. What you do not know is that he spent that weekend ransacking my parents and brother's homes looking for any kind of pain pill. My visit at Easter was hard in that it was the first that light was being shed on the level of addiction he now was at. He was stealing things from the house and pawning them for drugs. He was stealing checks and using credit cards without permission. He no longer cared who he was hurting, he just wanted a fix.

Of course, we confronted him. I will not say it was an all out intervention. The fence was split on what to do. On one hand, you wanted him to be the brother & son you loved, you wanted to trust that he would get help. On the other, you feared that he would just keep stealing and hurting those that he loved the most, just for a fix.

On Friday, June 28, we learned that the drugs were still winning. One of his friends called us concerned because he was so "hopped up on pills, he kept falling asleep trying to light a cigarette." We then realized the stealing had continued. The amount of money that was stolen this year through checks and credit cards makes me sick to my stomach. I just do not get how you can do that to your own family. Let's just say that what was taken in two months, most would say you were half way home to a good salary for the year. He was in way deep. He had found a "friend" that would run the credit card numbers for purchase and a lot extra and give him the cash. It was easily $200 a day. How did one not know? It was way too easy for him.  He lived at home and could intercepts the bills.

Through the course of everything, we learned that there was a warrant for his arrest for him not completing the probation for his 3rd DUI. On that Friday, we all agreed that the best place for him to be was in jail. A place where he can get clean and hopefully get treatment for his addiction.

So on Friday evening, the Lancaster Sheriffs office was contacted to notify them of his location for the warrant. The Sheriffs office was very considerate of my parents and wanted to try and make sure that the arrest did not happen at their home. Unfortunately due to another call, they missed him coming home. So, around 5 am, the deputy handling the case was contacted and shortly thereafter, 4 deputies arrived at my parents home to take the shell of a brother and son away.

It is and has been the hardest decision a family would ever have to make. A decision you hope that you never would have to see in your life time for either yourself or anyone close to you. There is never a moment in life that it is easy to have your son or brother arrested. We pray that the decision that was made was one that will save his life and that maybe one day we will have that son and brother back.

Obviously at the time I write this, we do not know how long he will be there but we hope that it is for a good while and that he can get his life back on track. I share this today to spare my family some of the questions of what happened and why he will not be at my parents anniversary. You can never understand the level of hurt and pain this has caused all of us.

My brother faces a lifelong fight. A fight that I believe I speak for all of us in that we will embrace him and help him if he can stay clear of the drugs, stealing and lies.

We just ask that you pray for my brother that he embraces his addiction and is willing to accept the treatment for it. We ask you to pray that he will be able to walk a sober life the rest of his days. We ask that you pray that he can forgive us and some day love us for the decision we made. We ask that you pray for our family, we all hurt and all grieve in our own ways for that brother and son that has been missing for so long. We finally ask that you respect our privacy as we try and make sense of all of this and we mourn the loss of a brother and son we may never get back. 

For now, though, he is in a place that he cannot get his next fix and maybe one day thank us for making the decision that saved his life.

1 comment:

Becky Brdicko said...

Thank you for sharing Jenn. We will say prayers for Shane and all of you! I can't imagine how hard of a decision this was for all of you and how heavy it is weighing on your hearts but you did the right thing. He might not see it now, but someday he will see it was out of love and he will thank you for saving his life. And I can't imagine how hard it is for you being so far away from home during this time. PLEASE let us know if there is anything we can do to offer our support. The Schmidt family is here for you. We've been through a lot in our family over the years and we all stick together. For now I will do what Grandma would do...light a candle and pray the Rosary. Love and hugs! Becky