Wanting to find forgiveness...

Discussion in 'Grief and Bereavement' started by GypsyGirl, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. GypsyGirl

    GypsyGirl Well-Known Member

    Last Monday night (10/08), my brother-in-law took his own life by hanging himself at his parents home. My little sister is now a twenty-seven year old widow with two beautiful kids ages two and seven. They were married for seven years.

    He had always been physically, verbally and mentally abusive to my sister and in all honesty I hated him for it. You know how sometimes you can just tell that some people are downright evil? I honestly felt ire for him from the first time I laid eyes on him. Especially when he started having eyes for my sister. Well, they weren't dating long before she got pregnant and decided to marry him. And no matter how many people told her that she didn't 'have' to, she did. She said that she didn't want her baby to group with a single parent and at that time she still trusted him I think. I don't know how many times I saw him out with other women while she was at home pregnant, or how many bruises my sister got from 'falling down', or 'running into things'. I later found out he was the cause. My niece, at only four years old told me crying how daddy hit mommy and knocked her over the back of the couch at their apartment. I even told my sister many times just to let me at him, but she, like many other confused girls, said that he didn't mean it, he loved her, it would never happen again, etc...

    They ended up having another child - my sister loves being a mother - who was born with all sorts of medical problems and had his first surgery when he was only days old and has many more to come. And no matter how many times that darling boy would smile at him or reach for him or coo, my brother-in-law would just look digested and walk away. He was actually ashamed of his own child and even said many times that he was 'wasting his hard earned money'. I never did see him show that child any love whatsoever - ever. Those kids loved their daddy, and he should them none in return. My little niece was petrified of him. She was always so afraid he was going to get mad at mommy again. The poor thing even started hyperventilating and crying once because my sister misplaced her cell phone and she didn't want her daddy to find out because he'd hurt mommy.

    Through all of this, my sister loved him. When I went to be with her after I got the call, she seemed almost relieved, and guilty at the same time, but in disbelief that anyone could do that to their own children. She had even told him earlier that day that if he didn't make an effort, she was leaving him for good. He did have Bipolar Disorder and had had mental issues with it his entire life. And he had been taking medication to help him. But she said he had stopped taking it days ago and was worse than ever. She had moved in with our mama last week and he was there off and on. But the day he died, he came over screaming at her and then left completely calm - as if nothing had happened. She told mom that she was scared that he was going to come back and hurt my mom, herself or the kids. He even called once he got to his parents house and said he was going to kill himself. He had been in the habit of threatening to do this for as long as I can remember, but my sister still called his mother after he hung up the phone. But she chose to 'let him have his privacy' and said that he was always better if he could be left alone. She was the one that found him.

    Here is my problem. I felt nothing for him when my sister called me. Absolutely nothing. I hated (and hate) him so much for what he had done to my sister. And now I hate him even more for doing this. I have never been so angry at someone in my entire life and not been able to do anything about it. And I can't see to find anyway of forgiving him in my heart. And it is a horrible thing for me to be having such terrible thoughts about the dead. I hope he suffered, I hope he's suffering now... I just need help to find forgiveness and not to feel such anger and hatred towards him. I thought that maybe someone on here would have some advice or words of wisdom for me. My sister has always had a close relationship with God and I believe that she already has found forgiveness. She is a strong women and I love her very much.

    No matter how I felt about this man, I didn't want things to end this way - no one ever does. Thanks so much for listening to me. I didn't know where else to turn - I know I came to the right place. Thank you.
  2. numberman

    numberman Well-Known Member

    It is understandable to feel as you do but you are also a good person to know that such feelings are at best counterproductive and at worst self-destructive.It sounds like your brother-in-law fought the demons inside his head for a long time,he and his close family ( including his parents)have suffered a terrible loss, every life has a value

    I don't think you need to,but you could take confession at church,maybe that would help your sister who is going through the most dreadful time.

    Whatever a parent is like.there is still a special bond between parent and child and these events are bound to have a very traumatic effect on the kids.Please try to focus your efforts and energy on them.

    You will receive the most enormous sympathy and support through this forum and perhaps in time your sister can too
  3. Trip the Dark fantastic

    Trip the Dark fantastic Well-Known Member

    In the short term, the loss is surely a mixed blessing for your sister. On one hand domestic violence is inexcusable. full stop. It has stopped now. That she stayed with him despite the physical/mental abuse speaks of perhaps deeper feelings for him. Emotions - which for an outsider - are difficult to comprehend. Most far-reaching; the children lost a father...even if this father was only the sum of paternal potential, rather than a finished product...Alas, all this is in the past now and you, your sis and her children have to deal now with the extent of such a loss.

    To say first things first. You feeling nothing for him, or you experiencing anger are absolut understandable reactions to such an event. As such there is no need of harbouring guilt about how you feel right now. Anger usually occurs when you feel helpless and powerless, something you must have experienced on many occasions. Feelings of resentment and and powerlessness in the face of witnessing the injustice done to your sister, are now trying to cleave a way through your very core. At a later stage guilt may surface for having expressed these negative feelings. For now, your feeling are nothing but a natural reaction and should be acknowledged as part of a grieving process - as unlikely as it may sound right now for you. Again, treat what you feel as a temporary reaction to a dramatic event and accept them as the necessary valve to deal with the unexplainable.

    Once your balance has returned, I'm convinced all your strength is needed to support your sister and her children because they are the true victims of their fathers decision.
  4. Sadeyes

    Sadeyes Staff Alumni

    My father was a vicious man who raped and tortured me. When he died, I felt the most grave conflict about being both pleased that he had died and suffered, and saddened by the loss of the (much imagined) father who loved me. It took me years to acknowledge that most of life is in the gray areas, with little being all good or all bad. I have since forgiven myself for being true to the way I felt, and understand that we can hold in mind many, sometimes conflicting, feelings for ppl or events. Please be kind to yourself; from you post it sounds like you deserve this and more...big hugs, J
  5. GypsyGirl

    GypsyGirl Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry it took so long to get back here...

    The Saturday following his death, I went to the memorial service with my sister at the church they were married in nearly eight years ago. We listened to the preacher do the usual 'saint' speech while my sister just looked at me the whole time with this look on her face that said, "who is he talking about again?". I did so well until everyone was leaving after the service.. until my sister just broke down. I had barely taken two steps out of the church when the swearing began ... my purse went flying one way, my keys the other and I kicked the first thing that was there - I nice hard stone pillar on the front walk of the church. Of course I fell in a hole walking to my car - damn these heels... I took it as a sign; kind of like, "Alright, you got that out of your system - now quit kicking churches... you need to calm down now.":agreed:

    I want to thank you for taking the time to listen to me. I was beginning to feel like such a terrible person for those feelings I was having but you showed me that it is natural - if I didn't care about my sister, how else would I feel? I still feel angry occasionally, but I refuse to let myself be influenced and surrounded by negative energy. I have so many better ways to occupy my time. What I am determined to do is to show my sister that her future will be what she makes of it. She's strong - she'll make it.

    I feel so content knowing that I can come here anytime and that there are people that will listen and not judge. You are all so beautiful. I will do anything I can to help anyone that needs it - and I happen to be a great listener. :cheekkiss:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you... I cannot say it enough.
  6. Trip the Dark fantastic

    Trip the Dark fantastic Well-Known Member

    ....You go girl go... !! :biggrin:

    Luckily for your church you didn't have a bolder handy when you started flinging things around. :rolleyes: Luckily the swear-box was under lock and key... Regrettably, I was not around to witness your made-for-the-movies defiance stint with the high heels....

    Well done you. The next step is; doing some hard thinking of how much energy there is to go round of supporting your sis, but also for knowing when to stop. The feeling of elation and liberation will fade and than some hard decision will have to be made.

    I'm confident ! Being a key-flinger puts you into the echelons of athletes, having trapped your stiletto will set you on the way to a Marilyn Monroe stealing scene...and having the compassion of wanting to help others is just priceless.

    Go girl go...:biggrin: