In my extended family, nobody F's with blood. Period. One time, my cousin got involved in an abusive relationship. Still married him, still had kids,
his grip on her mentally and physically was astonishing. No amount of coaxing or intervention seemed to help change her mind, and since she refused to
press charges, it just kept getting worse.
Enter cousin Gothar, who was only made aware after my cousins son of 11 showed up at my door on a Saturday with a fractured arm and afraid to go home.
The kid loved his dad (didn't really know there was a different life without violence) and didn't want him hurt, just wanted his dad to stop hurting
him and his mother.
So I offered a fishing trip with good 'ol dad. Went up to the lake, tossed some lines into the water, but I *dropped* my pole right in the shallows on
shore. He attempted to help me get it, I helped him by pushing his head under the water for a better view. I also helped him keep his head under water
to make the searching more efficient. We tried several times but we're unable to locate the pole.
He was very tired from all the searching, so to keep him from falling down, I tied him to a tree. We then had a talk about how I felt because,
communication about your feelings is important. Talked about how I felt about verbal abuse and how important my family and blood were to me. Talked
about how I felt about domestic violence against women and children. I explained to him that my fierce loyalty to the ones I loved could drive me, or
anyone, to drastic measures. How protecting the ones we love, not hurting them, was important and of course, what the repercussions could be for
someone who violated that trust. He seemed pretty open.
We went home, 2 days later my cousins son is in the hospital. Concussion and permanent hearing loss to his right ear.
So I paid him another visit, to clarify. 3 fingers later and he said he understood. I explained that the fingers he used to abuse his son were mine
now, which is why I had to remove them. He was allowed to keep the rest for now, but if I had to come over again I would leave with more.
3 years. When I got out, my cousin was in the hospital. Broken jaw, missing teeth, broken orbital socket. So I decided an intervention was in order. I
grabbed Her brother and another cousin and had the last conversation. This conversation was a bit less vocal and a bit more "hands-on learning". We
helped him pack what he needed ( he wasn't himself at this point), provided him with contact info for a divorce attorney we knew from highschool,
drove him out to the lake (location from our first unsuccessful conversation) and left him with his cell. Told him to "call an Uber" and let him know
that returning would not be good for anybody, including him.
He didn't return. My cousin and her son no longer talk with me. Said I went too far. Very very sad day for me, and still brings tears to my eye when I
think about them. But..... burying her and her son would have been far worse. The guilt of not doing anything would have been far worse, the blame far
Abuse is about power, and some are less inclined to give it up than others. Add to that lack of self control, and you have a very dangerous person.
Now, I am not advocating violence, although it may seem that way. However, I have seen my fare share of these not ending well for anyone (to make up
for past indiscretions, I now work with a batterd spouse program to relocate individuals who suffer from emotional or physical abuse in a
relationship) and the percentage is high that if some intervention is not done, someone ends up in n the hospital or worse.
Do what you can, when you can. Remember that it's hard to help people that don't want, or don't think they need the help. But recognizing the behavior
or abuse is the first step to ending it. Ignoring it or assuming it will go away, or the individual will "change", usually leads heartache.
Also, keep in mind that this was my cousin. If this had been my daughter, there would have been only 1 conversation. 1. And the husband would have
needed something bigger and flashier than an Uber. Something with a siren and a big red cross.