I know that I should be feeling something other than relief. But, no. It's mostly relief.
It was not a pretty night. There was no family sitting around the fireplace playing Monopoly while the dog slept in the recliner. But it did start out good. I came home from school, and my daughter came upstairs with me and we watched TV together in my bed. She was working on her homework. It was nice. Especially because he wasn't home. Always less tension when he's not here.
And then the door slamming began. As it has been for the past couple of weeks. And then the heavy, angry footsteps coming upstairs. He opened the bedroom door, and stood there all angry and puffed up (with his anger). Accused us of locking him out of the house. It was a stupid, unintentional mistake. It is a busy household. There are four cars total in the house now that my brother is living here. My brother came home and thought that everyone was here - all the cars were in the driveway. He did what the last person home always does - shuts the garage door, turns off the garage lights, and throws the deadbolt on the door into the house. And yes, you guessed it - he wasn't home yet. Thus the accusation that we locked him out.
We tried to tell him that we hadn't done it on purpose; that it was unintentional. There is no reasoning with a drunk; a lesson I have learned over the past twenty years. I gave up and went back downstairs to finish Hawthorne (great show!), and he followed me down (as did our daughter). She is a peacemaker - like I am - but she hasn't learned the lessons that I have finally learned after 20 years. There is no making peace when he's reached that point. She hugged him, told him she loved him, and that no one was locking him out. And as I was coming out of the bathroom, he gave me the finger. Nice. Especially nice in front of her. The *hate* coming from his eyes was scary. That was when I *finally* came to the realization that this situation has escalated beyond my control, and I need help. And I need to do something. Now. Immediately. There can be no more waiting.
I went back upstairs, as did my daughter. We watched a little more of the show; my brother came into the bed with us and watched TV with us. He said he had been cowering in his room. He was upset that he thought he was the cause of all of this.
Daughter went to take a shower; brother went back to his room. And then again with those footsteps on the stairs. Fuck. He *never* comes back up; he always passes out at that point on the couch.
"You win. You win. You win. You win. I can't live like this anymore. I'm out of here. You win. I'm out of here." Repeat. And then he left.
My brother is worried. He is worried about my safety. He is worried about my lack of understanding of the seriousness of what is going on. And he is right. I didn't see it clearly until tonight that this situation has escalated beyond my control, and it is not good for anyone. I thought I was doing the right thing for the kids; him still living here; keeping the house. It is not the right thing. My daughter is afraid. She told me tonight. She is afraid he'll do something to hurt me, and even them.
It is time. And so I am up at 1:00am on a Wednesday early morning. Fully dressed; glasses on; purse at my side. Cell phone charged and next to me. And I wait for morning to come. It is done, and I am ready to face it.