Monday, August 13, 2007

When Abuse "Hits" Home

Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, Assholes with an Anger problem.

Whatever label you put on it, I never thought of it as something that would happen in my family. I went home over the weekend and discovered that my one and only first cousin, an Autistic 17-yr old, was coming to live with his grandparents full time. At first, I was delighted. I knew my uncle had mourned his move to Colorado with his mom and step-dad, so my cousin living in the same town as us was going to be great for our side of the family.

But why was his mom giving him up?

Well, you see, his step-dad was beating the bee-jesus out of him. And apparently, the bastard is also beating my ex-aunt and the child they have together. And while I'm SO thankful that my cousin is out of harm's way I'm boggled at why she's still with this miserable man. Oh, and I forgot to mention that he's run them and my ex-aunt's sister (who has 2 types of incurable cancer) into bankruptcy, which means (you guessed it) he's been taking the child support my uncle can BARELY afford to send every month (he makes half of what my aunt makes, but had a crappy lawyer and got royally screwed on alimony and child support) and has been spending it on sports cars and other toys. Instead of, you know, on my cousin's welfare...oh that's right, he was beating him, so obviously my cousin's welfare wasn't high on his list of priorities.

I'm just stunned at the whole situation. I know any autistic child can be a challenge, and while I think that a good swat on the rear can be effective in getting a child's attention, I just can't imagine how unhinged a person has to be to beat all the other people in their family. And the fact that he is beating everyone else means that it isn't autistic challenges he's frustrated with and lashing out at...he's just a bully and an asshole and as far as I'm concerned, there isn't a hole deep enough for him.

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