A year ago, I watched my uncle fuming. My mom and I went to my grandmother’s house to get some of my belongings, and he lost it. Outside in the garage, he decided to call me a whore. I was a virgin, so I just thought that he was stupid and shrugged it off. My mother, on the other hand, felt like he should be asked if it was appropriate to say that to me. When I saw the look on her face, I knew the “momma bear” was coming out. I stayed in the garage.
“GET IN THE CAR, NOW!” she screamed with rage as tears dripped down her face. My purse was inside. My keys were in it. I couldn’t get in my car without those.
“Mom, what happened?” I inquired. She continued to yell at me to get in the car and tried to stop me from going inside.
“He hit me! He fucking hit me!” she finally shared. “I swore that no one would ever hit me again!”
They grew up with an alcoholic father who beat them. The only difference between my grandfather and my uncle, is that my grandfather put in the work to get better, became a minister, and is a lovely human being. My uncle’s vice happens to be drugs instead of alcohol. He’s made a habit of hitting women.
My grandmother promised he would go to counseling if my mom didn’t press charges. So my mom listened.
This summer, after an attempted move across the country, I had to come back home without a job or a place to live. I chose to live at my grandmother’s instead of my mom’s. My uncle, in his early 50’s, was still living there as well.
I might also add that in the last several months, I’ve slowly been sharing with certain people that I am a lesbian.
My uncle seemed like he was one of my bigger advocates. He told me about all of the gay friends he had in L.A. He told me that my grandmother and great-great aunt and uncle were from different generations and that was why they’d never agree with it, but that my grandmother needed to get with the program. He shared he had been trying to convince her that nothing was wrong with me, “that it isn’t like you are a drug addict, or anything.”
We watched the tornadoes together when they came through in April. I even had a few deep conversations with him about life and difficult situations. He even hugged me when I came in crying because of something someone said to me about being gay, and told me that he loved me like the daughter he never had.
When my girlfriend stayed over for the weekend, and she slept in my bed and I slept on the couch downstairs, he asked why we weren’t sleeping together. I told him that we had boundaries set up that we were following. His comment was, “Aww, that’s no fun!”
About a month and a half ago, I walked into the house and talked to my grandmother. She informed me that he was not okay with my girlfriend and I sitting close or holding hands or kissing in front of him, and was not okay with my sexuality at all.
I was really confused. It’s pretty obvious why.
My step-father also asked us not to display any PDA in front of him. But, we wanted to be respectful of everyone through this entire thing.
So I went to ask my uncle if what he had told me was true, or if what he told my grandmother was true, so that we could be respectful of whatever he said from that point on.
He said, “No, I’m not okay with it. It’s fucking disgusting. You’re disgusting!” He continued to tell me I looked like a man (I had just been out in the yard doing yard work before I talked to my grandmother), called me a “bull dyke,” yelled at me for “fagging out on the couch with pictures of [his] dead sister on the mantle,” told me that I couldn’t be gay and be a Christian, told me that I was doing disgusting things in my grandmother’s house and that it was God’s house, jumped off of the couch, got in my face, shoved me twice, and then hit me and knocked me into the floor.
I’ve never seen so much hate in someone’s eyes as he hovered over me.
I kicked him to get away and tried to call the police and get my grandmother. She was in the shower, and he took the phone away from me.
He threw it at me. I left immediately and drove close to 30 miles through flash flood weather to my mom’s.
The next day I pressed charges and got a police escort to the house so that I could get enough things get me through a week or so.
There has been no hearing yet, and the first subpeona telling me to be there mysteriously disappeared. We gave my new address to the Sheriff’s Office.
A month passed, and all of my belongings were still at my grandmother’s house.
I still have not received any mail with a new date since the original court date was pushed back.
Finally, when it was arranged for me to come and get my things after living out of a duffle bag for over a month, it rained. I asked if I could come the next day, and was basically told no until my mom talked to my grandmother. Once arriving, we were not even there for an hour to actually move me out, and he called 4 times asking how long we would be and if we were still there and yelling and complaining because he needed his textbook and blood pressure medicine. Not that he knew we might be there for a little more than an hour or anything.
It’s a shame he had to be so inconvenienced.