I know Cory Monteith was a real person. I know the show had to address his passing in some way. And I commend them for not capitalizing on his addiction. As I watched it, though, all I could do was make jokes. I just could *not* bring myself to take any of it seriously, from Coach Beast's heart-to-heart with Puck, to Kurt's refusal to give up Finn's beloved letterman's jacket. It all seemed so fucking contrived.
And then I realized why.
For the better part of a decade my own brother has suffered from an addiction so all-consuming that more than once I wished him dead. It's taken me a long time to be able to admit that to myself, let alone to anyone else, but there it is. His addiction has ravaged our family. It has allowed him to neglect himself, his children, his wife, and anyone else who happens to come between him and his current drug of choice. (Today it's meth and bath salts.)
As an innocent bystander (or uninvolved third party), I suppose it would be easier for me to sympathize (empathize?) with the plight of addiction and how powerless it can make an individual. It might be easier for me to lend a supportive ear, attend NA meetings, or be a productive member of some support system. Maybe if this addict were my child I'd feel more compelled to, I don't know, continue to give a shit about them or their choices.
Unfortunately, that's not my position. He's not my child. He's not even my brother. He's just some seriously fucked up stranger who continues to wreak havoc on my family. He's a selfish, self-serving, immature asshole who's all-too-aware of his actions. When he's sober, he makes empty promises to "meet up for dinner", or "take the kids camping". When he's high as FUCK, he attacks his family members and blames them for the poor choices he's made over the past fifteen years. And the thing is, we've *never* been close. As a child, he would lock himself in the bathroom with a pair of scissors and threaten suicide. Once, he killed a neighbor's cat. He traded his crushed up Ritalin for stereo parts. His behavior was erratic, unpredictable, and frustratingly difficult to manage. Hell, THAT'S STILL TRUE. Millions of times I've questioned how we could have come from the same womb, been raised in the same household. I'm far beyond the point of blaming my parents for my troubled relationships and inability to trust, but dammit if my fucked up brother isn't the reason I'm so painfully afraid of disappointing my parents. Can't have TWO non-contributing members of society to your credit, amiright, Mom and Dad?! (Also, he's prolly the reason I've never so much as even smoked a joint -- not in high school, not in college, not even when I dated James the Drug Dealer. I guess that's a good thang, right?)
The icing on the cake to all this is the last time my brother got clean, sometime last month, after my parents bailed him out of jail AGAIN, he promised the judge, his wife, and all four of our parents that he'd check himself into a 28 day program and get clean. For really reals. And then he turned to me and said:
"You know Mindy, you're one of the people I want to get clean for. To show you I can do it."I couldn't even look him in the eye. I just wanted to scream at his face, "GO FUCK YOURSELF!"
So yeah, tonight's episode of Glee. It's unfortunate that Cory Monteith died from a drug overdose. I feel immense sadness for his friends, family, loved ones, and his fans. But speaking as the loved one of an addicted asshole, I gotta say, maybe it was for the best. Don't hate me, internet.