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I have struggled with whether or not to publish this, but after this latest hurt, I feel I am left without alternatives. We, as a whole, need to express these feelings and I know many of you, my visitors, will hear.

I have recently experienced the disrobing of a wolf in sheep’s clothing and it has really thrown me.  It has altered what I believed to be reality and has me now questioning everything I was told by him.  Approximately five years ago, shortly after the death of my father, I was feeling a real longing for family.  Out of necessity, I chose to cut my ties with the rest of my blood relations, but there was my father’s younger brother, whom I had never really known.  I contacted him and after many telephone conversations and meetings, we decided to get to know each other. He was gentle, sincere and often made me laugh with his stories.  I was able to learn a lot about my father that I had never known and it felt good to have a connection to him and to family.  My Uncle Sid was slowly finding his way into my heart.

He frequently questioned why when he told me he loved me I wouldn’t say it in return and I had to explain to him that most people just throw that phrase around until it becomes almost meaningless.  I don’t believe in saying, “I love you” just for the sake of saying it.  To me, love is the most precious gift that can be given and I won’t say it unless I mean it. He was taken aback, but when I explained that when/if I ever did feel it for him, he would at least know it was real. 

I was hospitalized a few months later and was giving my psychiatrist some childhood history.  It was easier to fill in the blanks in one particular area, because Uncle had helped me to understand what was going on with my father at the time.  Actually, based on what he told me about Dad, it was a little more acceptable to me that Dad hadn’t been involved in his children’s lives at the time.

Well, it would have been except the psychiatrist was questioning Uncle’s memory.  To him, the story just didn’t make any sense.  It was suggested to me that I ask Uncle about it, because it “didn’t have a ring of truth.”  I called him from hospital and he insisted that what he had told me was really how it happened and that he had no reason to lie.  I accepted that, yet it still was bothering me. The more I looked at it, the more I could see the Doctor’s point.

Not wanting to upset Uncle Sid by questioning him again, I asked someone else to call him and find out if it was the truth.  After many denials, she was finally able to get an admission from him that he had made it up so that I wouldn’t hate my father and it wouldn’t hurt me more than I had already been hurt.

Needless to say, I was extremely upset when I learned the truth.  I wasn’t hurt so much by the truth, but by the fact that someone I was choosing to trust had bold-faced lied and then tried to make me guilty for questioning him.  This was not the kind of “supporter” I was in need of and I decided to end the relationship, before he was able to hurt me further.

After a few days, I spoke with him about it.  I told him how hurtful it was that he had lied.  I explained at length how I need honesty and value it also.  I talked about the big difference between omitting a fact to protect someone’s feelings and outright lying.  He cried, pleaded for another chance, and insisted that he only had the best of intentions.  He swore he would never hurt me again.  I chose to give him another chance, but warned him that if it ever happened again, I would not tolerate it.  There would be no further chances.  I could not have one of my closest supporters lying to me about anything.

Many, many times over the course of the past four years I had to cajole the truth about situations out of him. He would allude to things, but seldom come out and say them.  Looking back, I think it was a game to him or a test to see whether or not I cared about his life.  And I did care.  He said he saw me as a daughter and there are parts of me that saw him as Dad.

Over the years, he had nagged or pushed me into accepting many expensive gifts. He was always saying that he had lots of money and that he loved to make me smile.  I told him repeatedly that I did not want his money.  His gifts were not necessary and frankly I was uncomfortable receiving them.  I only ever wanted his smile, his dancing eyes, and his love and respect.  I wanted him to spend his money “spoiling” himself.   He reasoned that because he saw me as a “daughter” and because he had already “set up his other daughter for life” that it was only fair he should be allowed to spend money on me.  I got tired of arguing with him and him trying to make me feel badly for refusing his gifts. 

Now, let us fast forward to January 2003.  I was having a very difficult time emotionally and physically.  I felt at the end of my rope.  Uncle was pushing me to apply for admittance at a private hospital in the United States that has a successful Dissociative Identity Disorder program.  It didn’t matter how much it cost, because he wanted me to get better.  I found out that it was almost $5,000 US per week and there was just no way I was going to allow him to spend that kind of money.  So he tells me to find a new private therapist whom he wanted to pay.  It was important to him that I feel better.  He gave me ten signed cheques and made me promise that when I was ready, I would use them.  I wasn’t ready yet though.  My trust issues had been seriously rocked after what had happened with my last therapist and it was going to take me some time to have the strength to try again. 

Shortly thereafter, Uncle called me to say that he had ordered my dream car in September after he received his $350,000 insurance settlement and that it was being delivered in late February or early March.  I was absolutely stunned that he would do such a thing without first even asking me.  He reminded me that he had always said he was going to buy me a car for my 45th birthday and since it was a convertible, he wanted me to have it for the summer months this year.  I honestly didn’t think he had been serious all of the times he told me that he would buy one.  What could I say?  He had already put $15,000 cash down on it and delivery was expected within eight weeks, so he could not cancel it. He was so excited.  He talked about what options he had chosen and said he had wanted to keep it as a surprise, but that he thought it might help to cheer me up. His plan had been to have the salesman drive him to my house with a great big bow on the hood.  I must admit, the sound of that did make me smile.

Over the next several weeks, things mostly got back to “normal” in terms of day-to-day life.  Uncle and I had always made it a habit of speaking at least once a day and he often would bring up my “new car” and the fact that he was in touch with the dealership regularly to track its' progress.  After talking about the car with him, I decided it made more sense to have it painted blue at the factory, rather than white and custom repainting it pink upon its' arrival.  He wasn’t sure that he could still change it but after he called the salesman, he assured me that there hadn’t been a problem. 

His insurance settlement seemed to be burning a hole in his pocket.  He kept talking about all the things he wanted to spend the money on.  He was really excited about the possibility of traveling and asked me to begin researching where in Europe I’d like to go.  His dream had always been to visit the Holy Land and he had decided to take myself, my husband and our mutual friend Nancy with him for at least one month next summer. He booked himself a two-week cruise to the Caribbean for March and also wanted to take me away for a week. He decided that we should go to Florida right away and then he still would have time to rest at home for a few days prior to his cruise. As it turned out, he paid for the flight and I paid for the condo.

Florida was fun, for the most part.  I found his mood was a little too intense at times, but on his insistence I blamed exhaustion.  One thing for sure though, regardless of how tired we were, we always managed to laugh and have fun together.  I think though, before the end of the week we were both ready to go home and sleep in our own beds. 

I was speaking with him on the phone a couple of days after our return, when he told me there was actually another surprise that he could no longer keep to himself.  He had ordered my husband a brand new Mustang convertible at the same time he had ordered mine.  He had arranged for them both to be delivered on the same day, April 8th and wanted it to be a surprise.  He had put $15,000 cash on it as well and it was intended as a joint birthday gift/congratulatory gift, as Kevin had just written his final exam to become a CGA. 

I was so excited for Kevin and was just bursting to tell him that he too was getting a new car, but I thought that we’d keep it secret, because the news should come from Uncle, not me.   Uncle did allow me to call Kev’s parents and share the news with them though, in case they wanted to come to town the weekend of his birthday and see his shock.  They too were excited for Kev and surprised that Uncle would purchase such an expensive gift for their son.  They even thanked him personally, over the telephone.

The weekend before Uncle’s cruise, I decided to pick him up and bring him to the house for an overnight visit.  On the drive back to the house, he told us that there really was no cruise.  There had never been a cruise and it was just a cover story for all the running around he had to do in regards to the real surprise… he had bought himself a two bedroom condo!  I was so happy for him and looking forward to his being closer to where I live.  He would be only fifteen minutes away by car, rather than forty-five minutes and he would have plenty of room for visitors!  He shared lots of details about the condo, but would not confirm which development it was in because he wanted to save something as a surprise. . Because he had asked for some alterations to be done so that it would be what he always wanted, the builders were due to have it ready for him to move in on April the 8th. I was so excited for him!

Two weeks later, on the weekend of Kev’s birthday, we picked Uncle up for another visit.  While Kev was at work, Uncle decided that we should tell Kev about the car this weekend so that he would know what was being given as a birthday gift.  So, over dinner that night, after talking about the condo and all his current furnishings he had already arranged to sell, he shocked Kevin with the news.  Kevin could hardly speak.  I mean, what would you say?

Everything was so exciting now.  Uncle had arranged the condo and both cars for April the 8th, which was now less than three weeks away.  My friend and I offered to help him pack his apartment and also take him shopping Wednesday and Thursday of the coming week, which was the last week of March.  On Tuesday night, he called me to say he wasn’t well and didn’t want to go shopping.  He insisted that as long as he had a bed, a television and his computer when he moved in, he would be okay until he felt more like shopping.  When speaking with him over the next couple of days, he said he felt like he was coming down with something.  He just wasn’t feeling well.  He has epilepsy and stress can cause him to have more seizures, which is what appeared to be happening.  He was also complaining of chest pains.  Moving is stressful for anyone, even if it is exciting.

I got a phone call from his ex-wife Sunday night, March 30th; describing to me a letter he had sent home to her and her daughter after his daughter had visited him that afternoon.  It was dated sometime in January and detailed his bank account numbers, the location of his will etc. and was a thinly veiled threat of suicide.  It was a letter that obviously was to be read after his death. 

I was so upset and worried that I called him immediately.  His response to me was one of anger.  He insisted that all he did was have a letter delivered with some information for his ex-wife and that she wasn’t even to have opened it right away. I brought up the suicide threat and after much tearful conversation, he spoke the words that still stick with me…”It was just a ploy to make you know what it’s like to feel hurt.”  That really stung. How sad and heart wrenching it was to hear those words come from your lips. Those words have haunted us.  How can someone such as you, who professes to love, be so cruel?  Only you know that Uncle.

The next morning, I was trying to reach him and he wasn’t answering the phone.  I was beginning to become quite worried. He finally called me, in a fog.  He said he had fallen, hit his head and that there was blood everywhere and he couldn’t stop the bleeding.  I immediately called 911 and sent an ambulance to his apartment.  My friend and I rushed to the hospital but were not allowed to stay due to SARS.  We went to his apartment to get him some clothes and clean up the blood and called the hospital every half an hour to find out when we could pick him up.  The hospital decided to keep him overnight.

The next day, we picked him up at the hospital and brought him back to stay with Kev and I for a few days, until he felt better.  During the week, we enjoyed each other’s company playing with his new puppy and talking about the condo and the coming move.  He still wanted to go shopping, because he had sold nearly everything in his current apartment but his head was hurting too much so it was obviously going to have to wait a while.  He arranged to stay in his apartment until the end of April so that we would have the time to pick out new things, before he actually had to be out.

I dropped him off at home, on Sunday the 6th and spoke to him on the phone before I went to bed. He was in good spirits.  I spoke to him briefly the following afternoon and he seemed down.  He was secretive and snapped a couple of times when I asked him about the cars and condo pickup the following day.  We hadn’t yet made a plan. He and I both like to have plans in place.  I couldn’t understand what the change was about and he didn’t offer any explanation.  Frankly, I was so stressed with all that had been going on I didn’t push him for an answer.

I was so upset about the “ploy” comment the previous week and not being able to talk about it any further, that my stress level had gone wild.  I was looking after him and his puppy for a week and now he was acting strangely.  Kev, my friend and I spoke over dinner on Monday evening about everything that had been going on and it suddenly seemed like there were an awful lot of untruths in the air.  The more we three talked about the situation, the more implausible everything seemed.  I just knew that I was having trouble sleeping, was feeling especially jumpy and that something had to give. I arranged to see my family doctor the following day, in hopes that he could arrange a crisis hospitalization for me, before anything terrible happened.  I was not able to reach Uncle to say goodnight.  I didn’t think much about it, because he often shut his ringers off so that his sleep would not be interrupted.

The following day, I saw my family doctor and shared with him what had been going on.  He agreed that I was under far too much stress and that he would try to arrange for a bed for me the following day.  He felt it would be best if he arranged something rather than my just presenting at emergency, because with the SARS scare in full swing, Toronto hospitals were taking emergencies only.  He found it hard to believe that Uncle was behaving this way toward me and I could not explain why it was happening.

During that same day, I received a call from his daughter asking if I knew where he was because she could not reach him.  Being that it was now the 8th, I thought he might be out signing the final papers on the condo or something like that so I assured her that I knew of some errands he had to run that day.  After dinner, I called and left a message too.  By 10:00 pm, when I hadn’t heard from him, I was becoming worried yet again.  I called to say goodnight, but had to leave a message.  My doctor had given me some tranquilizers and I had to have a short sleep.  I asked my friend to spend the night, in case I got a call regarding the hospital first thing in the morning and she agreed.  I woke up at around 12:45 am and now was so worried about Uncle that I decided I had to go down there. He not only had talked of taking his life in the last few weeks, he had complained about severe chest pain and the hospital had not gotten back to him with the results of the 48 hour machine he had to wear after leaving with his stitches.  My friend and I were half expecting to come upon his lifeless body, but we had keys to his apartment and I simply had to know what was wrong. 

We arrived at his apartment around 1:30am and my knock on the door got no response.  I used my key to get in and he was standing there, making himself a peanut butter sandwich.  He said he had just woken up and that the phone must have been off the hook.  I told him I needed to talk to him and that I was going into hospital the following day.  He said he was happy I was going in, that I should get some help.  Then he said he needed to talk to me as well and sent my friend out to the hall.

Now, he tearfully confessed to me that he had tried to take his life that day and had woken up.  He also admitted that he had tried to kill himself twice the week before.  He said he wished he hadn’t come home on Sunday, because he was happier at my house.  Then, he admitted to me that there were no cars or condo.  He had made them all up.  He was in fact, broke and bouncing cheques.  He never had had a great deal of money, but he pretended to so that I would like him.  He had been lying about his finances from the day I met him, even though he knew that money did not matter to me. 

He went back to live with his ex-wife and daughter that night and I went into hospital the next day.  After he called me on my first day in hospital threatening suicide to me on the phone and upsetting me to the point of wanting leave to protect him, my doctors and nurses suggested that I needed space from this manipulative emotional abuse.   I have many feelings and thoughts about what has happened.  There is so much more involved than what I have mentioned here.  So many other exposed lies, I couldn’t possibly include them all.

All survivors have trust issues and I am certainly no different.  Developing loving relationships is so hard to begin with, because I have to choose to trust the other party.  My uncle knew all about this and yet chose to continue to live his lie. Being someone repeatedly hurt by family members in the past and now having to deal with comparable hurt from still another family member, has left me numb.  Having trust betrayed, especially by someone who was supposed to be one of the major supporters on your healing journey, feels like having your heart and soul trampled on and crushed.  This cold, deliberate, calculated, hurt coming from someone who “loves me” but who also knew that lies and manipulation would trigger me badly is bigger than I can describe.

I choose to write the following as though I am addressing him directly.  I know he will read this.

Uncle, I feel as though all of this has been a terrible nightmare and I can’t for the life of me figure out why you did what you did.   I guess I need to wake up and realize I made a grave mistake in giving you that second chance and letting you into my heart.  To use your famous word, I was foolish.

I am tired of people saying they love me and then turning around and abusing me in another way.  Hearing “A ploy to make me see what it’s like to hurt” from someone who professes to love me - wow.  Love like that I don’t need or want and believe me, I already knew hurt.  Words DO hurt and they hurt even more when they are coming from someone you trust who is trying to hurt you.

I never, ever would have imagined that YOU would abuse me like this.  Not after all of our “heart to heart” conversations and those empty promises you gave me.  Its been made quite obvious to me now, by your actions and behaviours that my needs and feelings did not really matter to you.  You knew how important honesty was to me and you swore you would never lie to me.

I never, ever wanted your money.  My love is not for sale; it was a gift that I gave to you.  I opened my life, my heart and my home to you and all I asked in return was love, respect and honesty. In doing so, I allowed myself to be open to hurt from you.  How many times had I explained to you that I value honesty? With your constant lying, I don’t know what to believe any more.  I have all of the emails and letters you sent and also the Dad's book you filled out.  I now wonder just how much truth they contain and what your "family" would think if they read the contents.  You have lied to me and stolen from me.  We had a joint trading account and in September of last year you removed shares of Photon Dynamics that I had purchased with gift money from Kev's parents.  How kind and loving of you.

Early in June, after receiving disgusting guest book entries and emails from Samantha, out of the blue, it was suggested to me that because of the contents and the lies she was telling about me having caused you a heart attack, among others, that the contact was essentially originating from you. Strange that somebody thinks I caused you a heart attack while I was in hospital when, in fact, you suffered an angina attack.

I called you and read you the contents.  You were appalled that she and Phylis would collaborate in writing such filthy, hurtful lies.  You swore to me that you had not spoken to them and the only family member you had been in touch with was your brother in law.  I chose to believe you, even though other people were far more than skeptical.

After that conversation, we had been speaking some and I was hopeful that we could work through some of the hurt you inflicted.  You said that you were taking "anger management" and that you believed you were learning a lot and becoming a "better person."  Given your latest attacks and lies, I think you had better reconsider that statement. 

Your latest attacks were, to say the least, disgusting.  In the early part of May, when you started once again to hurt us, I gave copies of your emails to my family doctor and my therapist, to be placed on my file.  I needed them to see just what kind of person you really are.  They will also have copies of the most recent guest book entry and your disgusting, degrading email, using my abuse to hurt me.  I am sure they will be interested in your threats to make it your life's mission to hurt me more.  You even acknowledge in your recent email that you have been in contact with Phylis.  I imagine you are fabricating still more stories. 

Do Phylis and Samantha know that you are lying to them as well or did you tell them that you not only hate them, but that you hold them responsible for my father's death.  Did you tell them that you feel he was neglected to the extent that you felt it was tantamount to murder?  These are only some of the things you have previously stated.

Yes, Uncle Sid.  I did marry John, my abusive stepfather, and you know the reason why I did.  I did it to humiliate Phylis and it worked!  It made outsiders question just exactly what had gone on in her children's lives and in her home.  It made her look bad and she has been extremely angry with me ever since.

You, of all people Uncle Sid, know what type of person your friend Phylis is.  You were witness to her testifying in court against her own, sexually abused, granddaughter, calling her a liar.  You saw Phylis' daughter stand up in the audience and scream out about how she had allowed the rape and abuse of her own daughters.

How dare you abuse me with my history and that of my siblings?  How dare all of you?

You were not there, Uncle Sid.  You were not there to see horrific abuse in the Children's Aid.  Do I know what it feels like to be hurt Uncle Sid?  I've been to hell and back.  Your ploy to make us feel hurt worked.  Are you proud of yourself Uncle?  Can you sleep, knowing that you have used what little of my history you know to abuse and batter me further? Does that make you feel like a big, strong, father figure? Does it somehow make you feel better about your shameful behaviour?

You all seek to paint me as evil rather than seeing the truth and taking responsibility for your own part in it.  There are parts of me that are raging and there are parts of me that are profoundly saddened by your actions.  I live with the shame, self-blame, humiliation, horrific nightmares, memories, body memory pain, and constant feeling of not wanting to be. You, the "adults" made us what we are, a survivor.  We lived through it all and shall not be silent any longer.  No more secrets. Yes, Sidney, our relationship was full of lies, your lies. It is dead now and I do not wish any further contact from you. It’s your loss, because in me you truly had someone who loved you and wanted nothing material from you.  Has it hit you yet?  YOU have to live with the shame and humiliation of everything said and done in the last few years. And you ALL need to take responsibility for your actions and stop trying to pass the blame onto anyone or anything else. You are all obviously very sick.

You may dedicate your lives to attacking me and in your words, "rebuke" everything I say. That would be pathetic, but fine. You cannot however REBUT truth, one of which is you are all ABUSERS.

 

June 28, 2003

It might interest my readers to know, that on July 7, 2003 I found out that I was pregnant and had been since February.  A week later, I was informed after my ultrasound that there was no heartbeat.  My doctors and therapist agree that the stresses put upon me during this time had very likely contributed to the death of what would have been my first child,  who was  much anticipated and very much wanted.  This abuse continues to have tremendous cost.

 

   
           

       
   

 

   
   

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