I got some sad news about my soon-to-be ex-brother-in-law over the weekend. One part of his plans for the immediate future was to go back to school to pursue a career as a high school teacher. To this end, he started attending the spring 2007 semester at a local university to get his Masters in Education. The semester started about three weeks ago. He withdrew from the University last week after receiving some critical feedback from his academic advisor. We don't know precisely what that feedback was, but he was able to move out of my parents' home using student loans. This move has left him with few material possessions (much of his and my sister's stuff was destroyed by water damage in a storage unit last year), no income, and absolutely no prospects. He seems bent on self destruction.
Mrs. Geek and I have discussed this news a lot. Part of what we keep wondering is why my sister stayed with this man for such a long time. During one such conversation, Mrs. Geek said (comparing my sister and myself) "I'm glad I met the normal one". I almost visibly winced. The comment seemed rather harsh, but I understood what Mrs. Geek was talking about. I've certainly had my share of bad dates and romantic misadventures, but I think I chose well when it came time to marry. My sister chose someone who set off warning flags with me and my parents almost as soon as we met him -- my Mom told me about ten years ago that she worried what would happen if my sister and her boyfriend (now husband, soon ex-husband) had children. She felt that he might not be able to handle it and self destruct. The actual circumstances were a little more complicated than that, but that statement essentially describes what happened.
I find myself trying to empathize with my brother-in-law. He's facing bleak choices... and doing so without a lot of the support network that I have. It has to be hard, but several people have suggested that he needed to get some help and deal with the personal demons that have brought him to this point. He didn't heed that advise and he is cut off, continuing down a path that apparently leads nowhere. My poor sister and her son. This man is always going to be a part of their lives. I hope he finds a way up from rock bottom soon.
on 2007-02-13 at 11:51 a.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond