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My drunken uncle nearly beat my aunt to death

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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:27 AM
Original message
My drunken uncle nearly beat my aunt to death
many times...sometimes he beat her so badly that she couldn't see because the swelling was so bad in her face.

He fathered 9 kids of whom 7 survived to adulthood and of the two that died...one died because that winter he drank his paycheck instead of feeding his family and taking care of them...and the infant died in a house where there was no money to heat it.

Times were hard and people in my family looked down on folks who took welfare and the motto of "you made this bed...you now must lay in it"...was thrown up at my aunt...

However that didn't mean that her brothers could endure it...they wanted to kill the bastard for the beatings and she would beg them to spare him....not from love...but more because she didn't want her brothers going to jail.

When my own father died, I was a child and I remember thinking..."why is uncle xxx allowed to live while my own good father dies?" I remember that drunken lush coming to my dad's funeral and mumbling what a good man he was and even though I was only 10 at the time...I kept thinking..."why isn't it you in that casket..." because even at a young age I knew what a jerk he was...and it was when I learned that the good do die young...

When that asshole died, some of his kids put together a funeral for him...and they carried on like he was some sort of saint ...perhaps it made them feel better but you know what...the phony funeral alienated them from their own mother...she had endured beating after beating...she had begged for food to feed them because he treated them like shit...and to see some of her kids try and canonize him in death because they didn't want the world to know him for what he was...a monster....was more than she could handle.

When another of my cousins who had endured much the same lost her husband...her kids rallied around their mother and basically had a giant sigh of relief that the monster that had dominated their life was finally dead...at his funeral they shared the story "warts and all"...and I remember people walking away from the gravesite shocked at the honesty and mumbling about "speaking ill of the dead" but you know what...it was the best thing they could have ever done...

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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:33 AM
Response to Original message
1. What can one say to a story like that?
:hug:
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:33 AM
Response to Original message
2. good post.
and it makes sense. people who live to hurt others should not be mourned.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
3. Denial--it ain't a river in Egypt.

", some of his kids put together a funeral for him...and they carried on like he was some sort of saint "

My guess is those kids were super sensitive as to "What will people think" if they didn't do that. And/or they had their heads firmly up their arses.

Some people are into protecting their parents no matter what kind of monsters they are/were.

Sorry for your aunt. Too bad the SOB didn't die earlier.
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. you know the best part is how he died...
you see when he finally retired...he didn't want to share his pension with her...he wanted all to himself...

So he left her...ain't that joke...

But here is the schadenfreude moment....

no one would take him in ...

so some lady let him live in her barn where he froze to death...
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. There is justice in this world, after all! nt
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querelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
4. Speechless
I really don't know what to say. My family never tolerated violence of any sort. My parents didn't even believe in spanking. I punched my brother in the mouth once and was grounded for a month because of it.

At least he's dead now and your aunt can get on with her life. How is she now anyway?

Q
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. she is in an assisted care facility
she has a little apartment and eats in the communal dining room...she finally has peace in her old age...

I remember when her uncle died...she didn't want to go to his funeral because he was one of the ones always preaching at her about her situation...about how it was either her fault or telling her not to have more kids...and I remember her being pissed off that people wanted her to go to his funeral to mourn someone who had made her feel like shit most of the time...

As an aside...growing up she was always a hoot...always wanted to see the better side of life...

When she would want to get away from my uncle (her kids were raised at the time)...she would come stay with our family for a few weeks...

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Lil Missy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
5. It amazes me what some people endure and survive
I hope your aunt is doing okay now. And I'm sorry about your loss at the tender age of 10.
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
7. It's sad when people use funerals as the place to take a stand.
Edited on Thu May-17-07 09:02 AM by Gormy Cuss
For the record I had a family member like the uncle you described but he also abused his children from the time they were babies. When he died the mostly grown children were both glad that he died and sorry that he was never made to pay for the years of abuse. His funeral neither made him out to be a good person nor was there any statement of how despicable he was. It was a simple ceremony to mark the end of his ability to harm anyone any more. Only his mother and siblings held on to the notion that he was a good man. Everyone else knew better. Nothing needed to be said.
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. No, everyone takes their own path
What works for some doesn't necessarily work for others. I think this is the sort of thing that no one has a right to judge. Everyone reacts differently to how they handle it. Some are too embarrassed to bring it out and continue the lie, others find it liberating to drag out into the sunshine.

Julie
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philosophie_en_rose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. I agree with you.
No one has the right to judge how other people react to trauma. That judgment perpetuates the abuse.
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Do you really think there was no judgment in the OP?
Edited on Thu May-17-07 09:30 AM by Gormy Cuss
The judgment was pretty clear: the denying children were wrong, the ones who took a stand at the gravesite were right.

I raised a third way to handle it for two reasons. First because it is what I have experienced and and second in hopes that it illustrates how the well ingrained concept of not speaking ill of the dead in our culture doesn't mean that the dead are canonized and all transgressions forgotten.

How the family members handled it in each case is entirely up to them.
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. my cousins held a funeral and lauded their father as a saint..
they basically tried to grasp at any fragment of what little humanity he had...and in the end it was a farce.

the same man they wouldn't take in after he left their mother because he didn't want her to have his pension...(he froze to death in a barn)...they tried to canonize..

and what little fragment did they come up with...that he had fought in WWII...that was his redeeming quality...

their false canonization of him...caused their mother untold grief...

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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Yes and that was the way they chose to handle it.
Was it the best way to handle it? I wouldn't think so and it certainly doesn't sound like it from your description. That they caused their mother grief is sad. I have been to enough funerals to have witnessed a whole range of demons exorcised by family members as part of the event and IMHO it's never been good. The family has the right to handle the event in the way they choose and I would never say otherwise, but the example of your cousins is a good one for illustrating that some ways are worse than others.

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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. No, no, it was
so my comments apply there too. It was apparent to me that the OP didn't fully understand the deep embarrassment that often plays such a role in the behavior of those from abusive homes.

Julie
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