About a year and half ago, I came into some new information about my father. I knew he sexually abused me…but I never knew that he had done it to anyone else. My uncle, his little brother, committed suicide. He committed suicide by police. He had been depressed and was talking about committing suicide when his wife called 911 to Baker Act him. My uncle was extremely close with my cousin, who is a retired police officer. My uncle spent his whole life listening to stories about the department, officers responding to calls, undercover work, everything. My uncle knew exactly how the police respond to an armed man who refuses to put down his firearm. Doesn’t everyone know how that will end? As the police entered the front door of my uncle’s house, he barricaded himself in his bedroom in the back of the house. The bedroom had a back door. My uncle took his pistol with no ammunition in it and fled from the back bedroom and circled around to the front of his house. A few officers were still at the front door, just entering. My uncle pointed his gun at them…
They drew their firearms in response and yelled at him to drop his weapon. He did not. They fired. He died.
Upon discovering that it was an unloaded pistol, they realized he committed suicide by police. He never had any intention of hurting anyone or of shooting an officer. But, it was a quick, easy way for him to go. I still remember tears filling my eyes as I stood in his front yard trying to clear my vision enough to see the blood in the grass where he fell and the circles of singed grass. The singed circles were from all the patrol cars that were idling on the grass as officers probably had to fill out endless paperwork afterward.
I never really knew why my uncle committed suicide. I asked, of course. But, got a vague answer from his wife that he was depressed. I never knew why he was depressed.
About a year and a half ago, I had a deep conversation with my cousin. She grew up with my uncle and adored both him and my dad. She mentioned something about why my uncle was depressed and when I inquired, she replied that it was because no one believed him about something. She refused to tell me what. Aha…I instantly knew. I pressed and pressed…to the point that I refused to leave her house that night until she told me. She finally said that my uncle…all along, my uncle had said that my dad sexually abused him when they were kids. She admitted that no one in the family believed my uncle because everyone thought so highly of my dad. And my dad was a great person…he really was.
But, now…now, I understood! My dad did the same to my uncle as he did to me. My uncle was telling the truth all along and no one believed him. A lifetime of no one believing him finally drove him to suicide. Not only that…but let me say that my uncle was never my favorite relative. In short, he was always an asshole to me. To everyone. I feel guilty saying that, but he was. Even as a little child, I knew my uncle didn’t like me. As an adult, we had an argument over my grandma. She had alzheimer’s and one day, she wandered off and he refused to come pick her up. I was fuming mad for months and we didn’t speak to each other for years.
What broke the ice was that he gave my brother and I some land that he inherited from my grandparents. We mended our relationship, but it was still distant. It always was. The funny thing is that if I had only known…if I had only known what he told everyone else! I would have been the one person who believed it.
Now, I understand my uncle so much more than when he was alive. I understand why he had such a bad attitude, why he seemed to dislike us all so much. Would you be very friendly and loving toward your abuser’s children?! Nah… you’d just want to stay away. He saw his abuser fall in love, get married, have children, have the little white picket fence life. And how is that fair?? It’s no wonder he had so much animosity towards us all.
Now…even though it’s too late…I have so much compassion for my uncle and what he went through. I wish I could have been there for him, but I just never knew. And people who did know what he accused my dad of never told me in order to protect me. Little did they know, that it offered no protection at all.