My abusive father died at 82 years of age about seven months ago. Well my first feeling was one of relief, shortly followed by a feeling of great happiness. That made me feel guilty and I have been trying to surpress this "negative emotion".
Just recently however I decided not to worry and admit yes I am glad he is dead. Why? Because he made my childhood absolute hell. He was extremely abusive and worst of all he could turn off the abuse at will and pretend to be a charming and loving father, whenever it suited him. For example if we had friends or relatives staying with us, he would be all smiles and telling jokes at meal time etc. Then as soon as the guests left he would change back to his real self and the spitefullness would begin again with a vengeance.
Once he was trying to teach me to play the piano and everytime I played a wrong note he would hit me on the back with a wooden spoon. I was trying not to cry out loud but it was getting unbearably painful and I tried to stifle a cry, but it came out kinda high pitched and girlish and that made him laugh. Well that was the day I decided never ever to forgive him. I often wonder why my swimming teacher never reported all the bruises...
Something happened in our family when I was very small, but nobody will tell me what. When I was about four a policewoman used to visit us once a week and take my sister and I to the park. My mother told me to be carefull what I said to her because she was a cop and would put me in jail!!!! Needless to say I was terrified of her and hated her visits.... My mother told me repeatedly to say nothing during, after or about the abuse. How can I love and respect her now I am an adult when she was so complicit? (Yeah, think about that. Your kids will not understand or forgive you if you are allowing this type of situation to continue).
So we were in denial playing "what a happy and loving family we are" in front of everybody.
I am writing about this to help get it all off my chest, but also because after exploring this site it is quite clear that to be politically correct "living with a challenging family member" is a very common problem and the person in question is often "challenging" throughout their life and not just when they get old.
So my message here is that nobody has the right to make another person's life miserable, especially when it involves a child. So any parent reading this who has a similar problem has only one option. TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION.
Immediate action involves two options; EVICT THE ABUSER or MOVE OUT.
This may sound harsh and I know some well-meaning people will be offended by my lack of consideration, understanding and compassion. However, my firmly held belief is the majority of abusers are abusive because nobody takes a firm stance and says, "my childrens' happiness is the red line and you just XXXXing crossed it!"