Tuesday, June 09, 2015

If Looks Could Kill, They Probably Will

Here's me about a year after we moved in with my aunt and uncle.

Sooooo, I might get a little heavy here. I said that I was processing things the last couple of weeks, so I'm going to talk about one of those things. If you know me at all, you know that I've had a Dickensian childhood. My dad disappeared when I was 4, my mom died when I was 10 and we were sent from Arizona to a suburb on the South side of Chicago, to live with my very abusive aunt and uncle.

My uncle died a couple of weeks ago. It was expected. Actually, 2.5 years ago, he was told that he needed surgery to prevent an aneurysm, but he had to quit smoking first. He refused and they told him he had 6 months to live. He got a bonus two more years, but it all finally caught up to him. I was talking to John about it and I really don't feel bad about him dying, but now I'm finally feeling anger I haven't allowed myself to feel for many years. I decided not to go to his funeral. My girls went, and I'm glad they did. He didn't really do anything to them, and I'm glad they were there for my one sister who went, out of the four of us.

My uncle was not only physically abusive, but also emotionally. He seemed to take great pleasure in humiliating people. He was a 6' 4' tall, very strapping Irish man, whose clear, blue eyes appeared to bulge out of his head when he was in one of his "moods". We could always see the storm a'brewin', we just couldn't always find shelter from it.

I have seen my uncle pick my brother (who was 16 at the time) up by the scruff of his neck and the seat of his pants and throw him up the very steep, basement stairs, make my female cousin stand on a scale in front of him and her brothers, so they could laugh at how much she weighed and have been the brunt of lovely sessions that began with my uncle asking me why I was so stupid, and when I answered, "I don't know", him slapping me again and telling me that wasn't a good enough answer....And on and on and on and on.

Of course, now many of my family members are in denial about that and my one sister tells me I should get over it. I never know what that means. I have forgiven, but I won't forget and I didn't want to go to the funeral and listen to everyone talk about how great he was. It would feel too much like I was supporting a huge lie. I really do hope that he has found some kind of peace, though. He certainly didn't have or let anyone else have any while he was alive.

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