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My brother killed a few people and then himself. These things happen every now and then, a person snaps, gets their hands on a weapon and innocent people die. Then everyone spends some time trying to figure out the reasons why, expressing their righteous anger, debating what went wrong and who is to blame, just to finally forget about it and move on until the next one does the same and the cycle starts again.


You’d expect it to be different when it is someone you know personally, especially your own family, but our family just mimicked the same process everyone else has. Same conversations, a little more grief of course, complicated grief. Filled with shame, embarrassment, blame and anger. You just want to disassociate yourself from the whole thing. It is difficult to understand what you are feeling and what the appropriate reaction is that you should be demonstrating.

For instance, I couldn’t just say to my friends “I miss my brother.” Or “I feel sorry for my brother.” Because of what he did. You can perhaps say, “I wish there was something I could have done”, since it implies you care for the victims, it is their deaths you wish you could have prevented. It is a very safe, neutral phrasing filled with good intentions, so we all used that one a lot. But I am not here to talk about my feelings.

Of course there was something we could have done, there is always something. Blame usually falls onto parents, so it was hard for them. Our parents weren’t monsters, just completely useless. Mom doesn’t want to take anything seriously and always acted like things were just fine, and dad just lives in his own world and work.

I could have done something though. Most people don’t think that we were that close. There was an age difference. We started our lives distanced from one another because of it, and his ended that way. But he used to tell me things. Probably because I always listened and never said much. And because he had no one else to talk to. He wanted so badly to find someone who could relate.

Mental problems. Emotional problems. That seems obvious to everyone now, that was obvious before, but what do these things really mean?

I will tell you what it felt like for him. How it started. He was 13, he told me, when it first happened. Something went wrong in his brain, causing delusions and hallucinations which manifested so that certain people started appearing monstrous to him. I think back then, he told mom about it, but she just figured he was imaginative and he realized that no one would understand. Maybe because we have the same blood, he would sometimes point at a person to me and ask “You really don’t see it?” And I would be silent and shake my head.

I didn’t see it. I knew he had problems. I didn’t know what to say to it all so I’d just let him talk. We never hung out much, but he would come to my room to vent sometimes, and that was our relationship over the years.

His ways of dealing with his disorder varied. First, it made him scared and anxious. He was smart enough to know he sounded crazy when describing it, so he withdrew. People frightened him. He was so alone, in a world full of monsters. He would point out at people we knew or famous and important people and tell me what they really were, so the whole world looked fundamentally dangerous to him. He was frustrated that no one else saw it or understood.

Then he would struggle with himself. A part of him suspected he was just insane. He tried sometimes, he really did. To just ignore it, learn to live with it. The other part of him grew more delusional with time. He noticed patterns, he observed these people and came to the conclusion they were all bad and what he saw were their true faces. But he couldn’t prove it, and it drove him mad.

One time he saw me with a guy I was dating and later almost ordered me to never be with him again because he was “one of them.” Again, I stood silent but dismissed him in my mind as I always did. I mostly just felt pity. I thought he was just jealous because I was normal. But when that same boyfriend hit my puppy for playfully biting him, I wondered if my brother saw something I missed and just pushed a metaphor to the extreme.

He became obsessed with these monsters he saw, and focused on reading about famous murderers and criminals. Then an incident occurred where some guy shot random people (like my brother would go and do later), and it added fuel to the fire. He felt like he finally got a sign that he isn’t crazy. Namely, the shooter according to him did not shoot random people at all. He only killed monsters.

It was a bad case, a very famous case, and I was upset that my brother would go and blame the victims, but I didn’t say anything.

As we were both growing up he was less and less a part of my life, it was just hard for him to have his own. We didn’t get to talk so much and when we’d see each other it was always with one of our parents, but his condition never stopped being an obsession for him. And he still had no one to confirm it, no one to tell him what to do about it.

Finally on one of the rare occasions where we spent some time alone he thought that he could vent to me again about his monsters and big plans, but this time I couldn’t listen to it anymore. I told him then, that he was insane. That he was paranoid and delusional and needed help, and that I didn’t want to listen to that crap anymore.

The way he looked at me then… it was weird how I never acknowledged how important I was to him. Only person he confided in. I didn’t think about it that way because on the outside it seemed he hardly even cared about me and we had nothing in common. But I should have known better. He never talked to me again.

Not that long after, he did what he did.

“I wish there was something I could have done…” I wish there was something I could have said. It would be this. I got angry at him that time and snapped, not because I got fed up. But because it was around the time I started seeing the world through his eyes. And I hated it and blamed him for it. I didn’t want to be like him, and that was why I was angry. He wasn’t the only one.

And it continued. We both had the same gift, and it is a gift really. I wish I could have told him that too. That he wasn’t crazy, I know a part of him always felt that he was despite of how much he tried to say that he was right. He was right. He was always right. All the people he would point out, it was all true.

Because of him, I don’t have to go down the same road he did. Doubt myself. Fear. Keep it in until I snap. There are other people there like us, I know it. I have confidence now, and I accepted my gift.

I wish he waited just a little bit longer for me to come to terms with this. I am being smart now. I am social and independent. I hang out with monsters, I seek them out. They don’t even know what they are, it is funny. I look into their grotesque faces no one else sees that way, and I learn. He already did a lot of research for me to build upon. And I play it smart, it is easy. When you’re a pretty girl, everything is easy. Everyone will follow. Safety is important, I don’t take risks. I am an opportunist, I wait for the right moment to act. I am still practicing, improving. But I am doing such good work. I hope he is proud. I hope he somehow knows.

I wish there was something I could have done, because there is so much more he could have done. More than just those few. But it’s ok. I will do it for him.


Credits to: Darksister6

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