When Hate Shows Character

On June 30, I posted a blog about “hating” evil.  I got the following response from one brave young woman, and I’m making her my guest blogger today:

Hi, Dr. Laura:

I am 27 years old and have been listening to you for as long as I can remember.  My mom turned you on in the car.  She was a stay-at-home mom, but we did way more than just stay at home.  I listen [to your radio program] via Streamlink, so I just heard your commentary on hate.  You have made me feel even more right in my choice to hate.

I have a brother-in-law who is a skinhead.  He is also a criminal - [having gone] in and out of jail over the years.  My sister brought this man into my life when I was 12 years old, so since then, my family has been battling him and his drunken fits and fights with my sister.  I grew up opinionated; I have convictions and they are strong, so naturally, we butted heads.  But for a long time, I would just get along with this monster for the sake of peace (as my mother taught me).

When I turned 18 and moved out, I saw that I could choose who was in my life.  And after an incident at my other sister’s home where I was given the “Heil Hitler” salute, I was done.  Done making peace.  I found that making peace with this man was to be okay with all the evil he brought into my family.  My mom suggested I just be careful of him as if he were a pit bull.  I thought “no,” and then was sad that my family would not take the stand I would.

So, any holiday or family get-together, I made it clear that I would not attend if he did.  And I missed out on a lot.  People were just too scared of what they might look like, or scared that my sister would say no one could see the children, or another excuse I find just as evil as him.  He didn’t do anything to me personally, so I can’t shun him.  I was very sad that my family had chosen to make peace with the devil rather than stand up to him.

My saving grace was my boyfriend’s family, whose home constantly was a place I could go, and they told me they thought I was doing what was right.

This year, I have been able to see my family on holidays – it took one last fight where my brother-in-law assaulted my dad and destroyed their property.  It is sad that that is what it took for my parents and oldest sister to decide that peace was not the way.  My sister is still married to him, but is now she who misses out on family events, because her husband is no longer welcome. 

I hope she sees his dangerous and destructive pattern and gets herself and her children out of there, but, sadly, I’m not holding my breath.

Thank you for all you do, and for making me realize that other people’s actions need not define my character.