So, yeah. The family get-together today was crap-tastic.
After hearing the updates from my grandparents on Grant and the accident a few nights ago, I learned about the problems his brother, my other cousin, is having.
Let me fill you in on his history first: Jesse got the same girl pregnant twice, made a habit of skipping out on child support, and spent some time in jail, himself. That's really all I know. Both of my cousins still lived with their mom, Karen, my mom's sister. As far as I know, Jesse's children are upwards of 10 and 6 years old now. My parents have wanted to try and get custody of them because Karen could not support her own children, let alone her kids' kids. And Jesee's babymamma is somewhat challenged, from what I can tell. She already has a third child by a second man, is pregnant again by a third man with her fourth kid, and lives off the state payments from various babydaddies. When Jesse falls behind on child support she has him thrown in jail. She doesn't seem to understand that this makes it difficult for him to keep a job and pay her support.
According to my parents who took Jesse's children for a day a few months ago, the eldest takes care of the youngest while their mom drinks, smokes, does drugs, has men over to have sex with her, and hits the kids. There was an alleged incident at school where the eldest had a bruise and said “I'm supposed to say I fell down the stairs.”
My dad asked me what to do and I said all they can do is file paperwork with Child Protective Services in their county, and to continue doing so until some kind of action is taken.
Then, last night, Jesse was getting drunk in a bar when someone made a remark about his brother killing the 19 year-old on the motorcycle Thursday evening. I don't know the details, except that my aunt Karen found him wandering the streets with a loaded gun this morning, saying he was going to kill that guy for saying something about Grant, then the police would kill him, and that would “stop the demons.”
So my best assumption is that my 27 year-old cousin Jesse is schizophrenic, according to what my grandparents told me this afternoon, and that he's off his medication; and that my 25 year-old cousin Grant is going to prison for a long time.
I will admit that I was basically clueless as to the extent of the troubles this side of my family faced, but I really had no idea how bad it was. I didn't know Karen was dealing with this kind of stuff, or that my grandparents knew about the drinking, the mental health issues, or the guns. My grandfather is a gun fanatic, anyway, having shot himself dinner and trophies many times in the past, but I didn't realize my cousins walked around with loaded handguns.
Karen just lost her husband who, as far as I know, was a wife-beater, and now it appears both of her kids are going away for a long time. I feel for her, but in a sense I also feel as thought this might create a better life for her. Is that horrible?