Friday, March 07, 2008

My Uncle Is Dead

My uncle was found dead a few days ago. The cause is not yet known. I'm not sure how to feel about it.
I never really knew him. I saw him as a baby, and once a few years ago at another relative's funeral, but my parents have minimised contact. However, I feel like I'm grown up with his ghost.
He was the one whose daughter disclosed sexual abuse to my parents, and whose children were taken away. It was two of his children who came to live in my home when I was 10 months old, and abused me until the last of them left when I was 5 years old. He also sexually abused my father when they were growing up, and had a long history of conning and emotionally abusing others.
Although my cousins chose how to cope with the abuse, had it not been for having been abused, they would never have abused me. Psychologically healthy 11-16 year olds do not sexually abuse preschoolers. Except for a very small minority (such as true pedophiles, who likely have a hormonal problem), all youth sexual abusers experienced serious abuse themselves.
There's little evidence that my uncle changed his ways. We don't know if he continued to sexually abuse others, but he was still conning and emotionally abusing others up until his death, and he showed no remorse for abusing his children. He had access to several of his grandchildren, from his three oldest children. (The youngest of the three, unlike all his siblings, shows no sign of being abusive, so the biggest risk to his child was his inappropriate trust of his father.) His death, mourned by some, may be the end to ongoing abuse for others.
So, if I'm not too sad about his death, it's understandable. But in a way I am sad. He didn't have much of a life. He wasn't a very happy person. He had talents which he never really used in any beneficial way. He never learnt that he could have a better life than he did, if only he changed his ways. My father says if he'd outlived his mother and sister (both of whom enabled him and supported him a great deal) he might've finally made some good changes, but he'll never get the chance now.
And he was my father's brother. My father loved him. He was kinder, in many ways, than his sister, and taught my father things. Though my parents cut contact with him when they found out he'd abused his children, my father continued to love him. Just like I love his son, despite all the abuse.

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