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Thought Question: He is your favorite uncle...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by getbent, Jun 10, 2020.

  1. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    Just as an aside, my favorite uncle is an incredible intellect, but he and my father, and their sister were beat to a pulp by their father... a man who came home from WW2 with no other coping mechanism but alcohol.

    My favorite uncle... he lived life in the shadow of my father.

    My favorite uncle... came home from work one day in ~1982 to find his wife in bed with another man. He never recovered from that.

    He became a successful radio DJ, an “on air personality” whom a whole lot of people loved. But it was an act.

    He became a hermit later in life. A shell of a man. His only son (my older cousin) passed away of cancer two years ago, and he didn’t even go to the funeral.

    He’s a man with a wicked sense of humor. And a deep, deep scar. George Carlin meets Woody Allen.

    He’s still alive. I think he drinks most of his calories. I wish I could rewind back to 1978, when he was happy and throwing the baseball with the boys in the backyard. I wish he could feel that joy once again, even if only for a few minutes.
     
  2. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    I got a small, real-life version of this.

    Neighbor. Middle school science teacher. Did tons of extra-curricular stuff with the kids around town--science camps, camping lessons, always teaching 'em manners, Golden Rule mutual respect. He not only thus minimized bullying among kids but always found a way to get the shy or damaged kid sociable, confident, flourishing. He retires, sustains all the extra-curricular stuff.

    (If your skin is crawling here....)

    He's the middle school girls' gymnastics coach. Girls' basketball coach or ref. Sunday school teacher. One of the town's private pool's caretakers. On the town's Civic Beautification Committee. Helped the town's kids make a time capsule to be buried in a new town park. Etc., etc.

    Another neighbor and a colleague had warned me about him when we first moved here. And the vibes that I got through careful hawk-eyeing were enough that my daughters--four and six when we moved here--were not to be with him without another adult--ideally me or their mom--keeping an eye on things. So when he asked our youngest to accompany him to the hardware store for some part for the swing set or something he was (too generously) helping me fix, and they left without asking me or the mom, and upon returning the kid reported that the teacher had--"but also didn't"--"feel [her] butt"--that was it. Not enough evidence there to call the cops--the youngest daughter was famously iffy on her facts--but we prohibited both kids from being near him without us right there. And told him so. He was "hurt," "confused," and plenty sheepish, but that was that. He steered clear of them, we kept them from him, and also kept an eye out when he'd have kids to his home, for any reason. And short of slander, we warned others, as our other neighbor and my colleague had to us. I informally spoke with our local Commonwealth's attorney--he'd actually been a former student of mine, so it was very low-key and thus candid--and we just didn't have enough to be worth reporting things to the police. Who, we were told, were already "keeping an eye on" the "situation," ready to "jump on" actionable evidence.

    A few years later, he's busted for dozens of acts of molesting little girls. Sentenced first in Ohio, to 15 years. Then to 40 more years here in Virginia. And at age 65, that was a you'll-die-in-prison sentence, indeed.

    Turns out, lots of parents had told the school system about their suspicions and of gray-area things. Even though the criminal evidence threshold wasn't there until some girls came forward, the school system really did nothing all along.

    I've had moments of near-forgiveness or pity where I've seen myself visiting him in prison just to...I dunno. Signal that someone knows he wasn't a total monster. There was good in him. I'd seen it. His compassion for left-out, emotionally scarred kids was not entirely predatory pretense. Or him projecting him being the outsider onto those kids. He did have a heart. I knew how much he had respected and mourned his father, how much he loved his mom. But nope, I've never been to prison to see him. Never written him. And never will.

    It's a struggle for all of us, to leverage our conscience and compassion against our darkness and cruelty. But some lines you just don't cross and stay human enough to deserve kindness. And children's innocence is foremost among those lines. Forgiveness is sacred, sure. But trust--especially children's (and puppies'!) trust--is even more sacred. You violate that even once--much less over and over--and you've placed yourself outside of the human circle.

    That's Member of the Species Stuff 101.....
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
  3. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    +1 Yup, it is a sad story, but too many scars created by this predator monster. You can always remember the good times with him, but now you know his dark side, which unfortunately changes your experience. Unredeemable.
     
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  4. Harry Styron

    Harry Styron Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    My wife was the guardian for her much older schizophrenic brother for the last ten years of his life, after he had been largely ignored by the rest of the family. He had done bad things decades earlier.

    I admire her for her care for him, at a time in which she had her hands full with our children and her teaching job. But I don’t know that it meant much to him.

    It might be worthwhile to find out if the uncle wants to see you. It is really hard to imagine what kind of relationship, if any, that he would want. There is a good chance that he has dementia to some degree. He may also feel enormous shame and would prefer to be left alone. If he doesn’t feel shame, then he maybe sociopathic to a degree that he is not much like the person you once knew.
     
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  5. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    Very poignant patterns here, Stubee. And I'm not surprised, given how humane you always are.

    My first and also third (how's that for sounding pimpy?!) wives had been abused as girls. And as you note, the damage that does both the direct victims and others they try to be emotionally and physically close to by itself tells us why molesting children is so monstrous, so far over the line. The momentum, the consequences, the shrapnel, the damage is like a centrifuge around an implosion. Both would weep, or erupt, or cower in their sleep, which they both dreaded slipping into, even though each day's shadowboxing at their always shadowing-their-hearts abusers would exhaust them. Neither could really take anything--a sweet sunset; a true new chance in life; their own children's innocence, most tragically--to heart. Too much scar-tissue in the way. The trust they so wanted, the dropping of guardedness, by itself set them off to pre-emptive attacking.

    My best friend of many decades had a brother who was molested as a teen. Same damage pattern for men as for women. Abuse of others, self-abuse through drugs/alcohol, desperately reckless trust followed by cycles of paranoid mistrust and self-isolation, parenting that either doesn't respect boundaries or uses abandonment as a weapon--round and round it goes, with very few people being able to break the cycle.

    So, yeah, some lines surrender forgiveness rights when crossed. As others have generously noted here, if one wants to go the eternity-crossing extra mile and forgive someone who does this to children, that's one's own call. But it's not for me. I'm too angry at the damage such monstrous selfishness does. We just have no right for human belongingness if we treat a child as our poison's toy.

    Gonna stop now since I'm just going around in my own circles here. Best wishes, and healing, and wisdom, whatever it may be, to all.....
     
  6. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Considered. And discarded.
     
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  7. Skully

    Skully Doctor of Teleocity

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    I assume this is not a hypothetical. It may be splitting hairs, but I think it's part of the equation -- statutory rape or forcible rape?
     
  8. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    you ask a million scientists the same question, you will get a million answers ;

    this quandry is one you need to sus out yourself , you have love and respect for your memories with this man , now he has been convicted of a heinis crime look at where he is in life.
    then decide for yourself , you will know what to do and you will find an answer, your answer.

    Best of wishes, this one is for you to decide.
     
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  9. Rockinvet

    Rockinvet Tele-Holic

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    What a most unfortunate position you are in. I’ve seen some very good heartfelt comments in this thread. If it were me I would seek professional advice if I could. I wish I had better advice for you my friend. I can only tell you that I do agree with a few other posters that I would visit and voice my disappointments with him. Whether I would say goodbye depends on his response.
    Oh and if there are professionals here man, please help our brother.
     
  10. black_doug

    black_doug Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    With all due respect, that's up to @getbent to decide.
     
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  11. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Yes, I can only offer my opinion.
     
  12. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Sounds like we've all had some contact, however oblique, with somebody who has harmed kids.
    The visceral response makes sense.
    Me too.
    2 part response - guys that do this kind of predation are the reason why it was so darn hard to get screened, approved and renewed as a kid-activity volunteer at my daughter's old school - last 15 yrs coordinating a ski school, last 10 yrs calling bingo (hey, it's a gig...):rolleyes:
    Gotta certify and get re-certified and be real intentional about how we do our svc w/ kids to stay in the clear.
    [supplemental comments about the complicity of archdiocese staff deleted to avoid lock issues]

    Part 2 - a relative (not an uncle) was taken into custody, and ultimately charged, tried, convicted, appealed, sustained and incarcerated for a cold-case murder of a neighbor girl that occurred when he was just an adult or nearly an adult (20+ yrs later).
    I sucked it up and made the difficult step to visit him several times in jail, as he awaited trial.
    We never discussed WHY he was in custody, but tried to talk about everything else.
    Not sure who was more uncomfortable, but I'm glad I didn't just shut it down w/o making the effort to connect.
    We didn't and I made no further effort to connect until I had to send him notice of a relative's death, confirming that he was an heir, but had been written out of the will.
    No contact in the roughly 10 yrs since.

    OP's question seems much harder than the one I faced. If OP (or anyone else) wants a PM conversation about the challenges, I'll try to hear you out and respond if you want it.

    Peace - Deeve
     
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  13. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Visit him.
    Start by asking if he really did it.
    One of my best buddies is a registered VSP.
    I know he didn't do it.
    "Justice" is imperfect.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
  14. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Friend of Leo's

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    Tough call. I'd probably feel the most for the cousins who may be horribly embarrassed, ashamed, etc. by what their father did. I might look to them for how to proceed regarding prison visits and so forth.
     
  15. kingofdogs1950

    kingofdogs1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    I've been presented with the choice of whether or not to visit a close relative in jail who did some very, very bad things.
    My brother was sexually molested as a child.
    My brother sexually molested his daughter for years.
    He spent a long time as a guest of the state.
    I chose to not visit him or put money on his 'book' for the prison commissary.
    The abused niece turned out about as bad as a person can.
    She killed twice in meth deals gone bad and is doing 2x-life w/out parole.
    She is, possibly, the worst hustler and con-woman I have ever know. She was hustling volunteers who were trying to help convicts.
    I have never visited her in prison.
    Sadly, after my brother got out he was caught grooming daughters of friends. At age 70.
    By some good fortune my nephew has survived and has a wonderful family. We are close and I have great-nieces and nephews who are great kids.

    Mark
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
  16. Irondog

    Irondog Tele-Meister

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    some of those arguments make sense on the surface. Society can tolerate 18-year-old having sex with a 17-year-old and I think the laws, reflect some of that nuance.
    human sexuality college courses and textbooks, describe the vulnerability of virgins at 16 to 17 years old. consent within tightly defined age groups it is expected, that line is somewhere very close to Elvis Presley (24 dating 14 yr old), most people think he crossed the line or certainly stood perfectly in the dark gray area. the fact that they were in love and got married allows some forgiveness in the 50's.
    now that we are more thoroughly educated in psychological trauma of young brains experiencing dramatic events that the general population doesn't experience, i.e. they become damaged dysfunctional people.

    It absolutely becomes predatory behavior for a 25-year-old uncle to start grooming naïve near virgin 16 yr old in their sexual adolescence. Stealing away their ability to blend sexuality and love into their personality and growth pattern and their own personal journey and psychic evolution. absolute perversion to steal someone's innocence, and their innocent journey under the illusion that I know you want to have sex with somebody.

    so I could go visit him and say what are you going to do to repair the damage that you've done as a vile sick predator. do you have any sense of the damage that you've done to these people. I now see the damage you've done to me since you were grooming me for an attack. Start atoning.
     
  17. Harry Styron

    Harry Styron Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Goethe is often quoted as having said, “There is no crime of which I do not deem myself capable.” Each of us has behaved shamefully.

    Last week, someone that I was close to, a very good man, attempted to stand up for a disabled person, got in a fight and was fatally shot. There were apparently no witnesses. No charges have been filed.

    We dream of justice, but it is just a dream.
     
  18. dented

    dented Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I pay to have him put down. But first I go and give him a kiss.
     
  19. cravenmonket

    cravenmonket Tele-Holic

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    Going to visit him and talking to him does not in any way mean you support what he did, or make him the victim, or suggest you take his crimes lightly. Does he deserve to suffer? I would think probably, yes. But for me personally, I would try not to decide that one person's suffering is less painful, or less deserving of compassion than any other's. As long as I am able to do so, I would strive to relieve another person's suffering in any way I could.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
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  20. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    If one of my Uncles, let alone any member of my Family, did anything like that, I would never talk to them again.
     
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