I thought I'd try and organize all the thoughts I've been having lately into one simple journal entry

Why here? Why on Gaia? Only because it's the one site I'm on that I'm at least somewhat anonymous. I'm fairly certain no one knows my name, and no one really cares enough to ask, but I feel as though I need to tell someone this because it's eating away at me.

I feel powerless. I feel like a coward. I feel selfish.

I cried in the shower today. I cried in my bed when my roommate was out, and even now I think I might cry while she's lying there asleep.

I just learned yesterday that my brother might have schizophrenia. He was staying at a mental health institution for a couple weeks because he had been running away from home, and he wasn't responding to anyone. While he was in there, I had been told that he was psychotic. I really didn't know what to make of that as now it's kind of a weird term people use as an insult for people they don't really understand. Also, I live a state away from any immediate family, and I have for two years.

I took a trip to visit him at the hospital. I was home for two days but I was only allowed to see him for two hours. When he came into the waiting room and sat down, my eyes could not keep from watering. He had Vaseline smeared all over his face, which was emotionless for almost the whole duration of the visit. My mother kept asking him questions, but he was very slow with answering, and sometimes he couldn't really make sense of the questions. He often answered with "I don't remember."

Before my visit, my mother had told me my brother was forgetting things, such as who went with him to prom, etc. I thought that he might be messing with her, but when I got some alone time with him, he told me that "they" had taken his PSP. I wasn't sure who "they" were, so I asked him a couple more questions, and then reminded him he wasn't allowed to have electronics in the facility. I think I died a little inside when I realized he was forgetting things. I remember it eating away at me at work, and I remember crying a full hour on the bus ride home. I didn't want my brother to forget me - forget our talks, forget our laughs, forget everything we've done. My brother and I went to prom together.

It's odd, but during that alone time I had with him, he began talking much more. He asked me what I was up to and actually listened to what I had to say. A couple days prior to visiting him, I had burned my wrist on my flat iron and it left the longest scar. It looks as though I might have slit the skin open, and I'm sure that's what other people are going to think whenever they see it now. He was concerned, and I assured him it was only an accident. It was bothersome at first, but now I think I'm glad I burned myself, although I might be living with the scar on my wrist for the rest of my life.

I was looking up some information on schizophrenia yesterday, and to my surprise, I found out genetics have some say in who develops the illness and who does not. I know it sounds stupid, but I can't help thinking that it could have been me - or rather, it should have been me who was emotionally withdrawn and hearing voices in my head. All throughout my childhood, I remember feeling as though I was the black sheep of the family - like I never fit in. I was incredibly shy in school, and it wasn't until recently that I became more outgoing and loud.

I also feel as though it was my fault he got into this mess. He was fine when I left for school two years ago. But soon after, he quit his job because he was being threatened and locked himself in his room.

I remember one day, I came to visit the family and decided I wanted to take everyone to China town for some fun. My brother declined, and I couldn't help feeling as though he should just disappear. He didn't seem to be listening to me and he didn't seem like he cared much that I was visiting, and so I was very upset with him. Now I look back on that and realize this was probably the beginning of his illness.

Before my brother was hospitalized, he had gone missing for a night. My mother called me crying, and I thought about giving my brother a call - thinking he might listen to me. And then I remembered that I was the one telling my mother that my brother needed to grow up and get his own place already. I told her to kick him out. I thought he might have overheard me, and that he probably wouldn't pick up my phone calls either. So I brushed it off and waited to hear what happened from my mother the next day.

I feel as though being so far away from my brother when all this is happening is very selfish of me. Although, I don't think I would know what to do if I were back home. It's hard for me to understand what's happening to my brother, and so it's hard to talk to him . . . it's hard to do anything with him. I feel horrible. I feel like a coward for not being there with him, and for finding it so hard to pick up a phone.

But I need to go to work now, so perhaps it's best if I leave my thoughts glued to this journal and look back on them later . . . I can't cry at work.