Happy family: Alina and Vicki (left image) in 1989 and twin sisters Vicki and Valerie (right) in 1997.
It is important to note that he never once hurt any of us, although we didn’t know if he would, and believed he was very capable of doing so.
I went from feeling sorry for him to trying to block him out of my life.
Then the other sister is already related to her brother-in-law's family. And if my other great uncle would get around to marrying I'd have a 2nd cousin who would also be a great aunt.
It was actually an on going joke that the _______ boys took away all the _____girls.
After Fred died, I was cleaning out a few drawers in his room and came across legal pads he had filled with notes and drawings.
As I read the writings and saw page after page filled with row upon row of dots, it became clear to me just how tortured his mind must have been.Unless you have witnessed schizophrenia firsthand, you can’t possibly imagine the fear, the frustration, the anger, the sadness, and most of all, you can’t begin to understand the hopelessness you feel for your loved one.It’s an ugly fight, and the reality is that few ever win the battle.I was in my early teens and Fred was probably about 17, so just about 40 years ago.Fred was a normal kid, an awesome athlete who excelled at every sport he played, but around his senior year he seemed to be angry all the time and would come and go at home as he pleased. When someone you know and love begins to slowly change before your eyes, no one thinks, “Hmmm, he must be mentally ill.” You think drugs, you think alcohol, you think of any excuse but mental illness.Coming home from school one day, I opened the door and found Fred sitting on the steps with a family photo album.