But then that movie shootout in Colorado happened.
And ever since, something has been on my mind. Well rather, SOMEONE has been on my mind. And that's my uncle.
Why? Because he is losing his mind. And I think he might hurt somebody.
Ever since he had a stroke maybe ten years ago, he hasn't been quite right. I live 900 miles away now and I don't check in as much, but when I do the news is rarely good. His 35 year marriage ended after he accused my aunt over and over of trying to steal from him and kill him. He would attack her and constantly accuse her of conspiring against him. I think he even pulled a gun on her, and she finally just gave up on being around him. Even while they were married, he had a girlfriend for maybe like 15 years or so. Yeah my aunt probably knew, but she just rode it out I guess? He was the bread winner, and she worked in the business that he built himself.
Funny thing though, this girlfriend is the same age as his daughter (my cousin)! He's probably 30 years older than her. And how my cousin found out about her was really whack too. I remember back in like the early 90s my cousin was telling about how she went to a club one night and this girl kept staring her down. Mean mugging her and everythang. Eventually the girl walked over to her and was like,
"Are you Such and Such?"
And my cousin was like, "Yeah. I'm Such and Such. Why?"
Smirking the chick replies, "Well I'm your father's girlfriend and I just had his baby. How you like that?"
"Well what you telling me for?"
"I'm just letting you know that's all. We got a baby together."
Not knowing what to say, my cousin replies, "Ok. What you want me to say."
"Um, it ain't nothing nobody can say or do now. I got his baby."
And she walked away and disappeared into the crowd.
Although my cousin didn't say much else to the girl, I think it did affect her forever. It triggered the beginning of her not trusting men in relationships. She carried that mistrust into her marriage and even with all that control she tried to put in place, hubby still cheated on her anyway. Now I think she is awful...borderline ridiculous even. For the past 20 years she had evolved into a background checking fool when it comes to a dude. She will check court records, real estate records, employment records, find out where you live, how you live, marriage records....anything she can get her hands on or find out over the internet. She will even call the dude's job to make sure he really works there. And alla this even before a second date! For real! I wish I was lying but I'm not. Lemme tell you, when my cousin asks a man something and he might think it is just casual converstaion, with her it probably isn't.
Ok so back to her dad. So he was still messing with the girlfriend for all those years while he was married, and when his marriage broke up, the girlfriend moved in. They rocked it out for a few years, but his mental instability started to kick in and he eventually ran her out the house too. It was the same thing pretty much. Hallucinating and paranoid about being watched, and he took his accustations to the next level and said that now the girlfriend and the ex wife were conspiring together to kill him and take all his money.
So that's two people he ran out of the house. Why in the world my cousin thinks she would be different up in there I dunno. She moved in last year with her two kids. I told her it was a dumb move for a number of reasons but she wouldn't listen. I mean I know people move back in with their parents or whatever for financial reasons or to help care for them, but it wasn't about that with her really. She got money. She ain't hurting for nothing. She owns properties and has some nice investments. I think she just don't wanna pay rent because that would be the case if she got her own place. In fact, she has never paid rent ANYWHERE. EVER!!!! The house that her and hubby lived in, her father bought. She moved out of it because she didn't like the area anymore, so she rents it out and puts that money in her pocket. She's a little pampered princess who never really cut the umbilical cord. I think that was one of the things ex-hubby hated about their relationship. Too much influence from her parents and my cuz didn't want to do really do her own thing. It's always like, "What would my dad think?" or "What would my mom say?" Hell it even annoys me so I can't imagine what is was like for the ex-hubby. Anyways, she is up in the house with her dad who she has witnessed first hand go thru his mental moments.
So again, there is my uncle and I'm starting to hear some off the chain reports on his deteriorating mental state. I was speaking to my cousin a while back and she told me how locked himself in the garage because he thought somebody was trying to kill him. He stayed in there six hours. Inside that garage he had a gun with him too. I don't know how they got him to come out but they did.
Two weeks ago I saw his son at a picnic. When I asked about my uncle, I could see the strain in his face. He was worried. He says to me, "Oh he's doing okay. I just wish I could get that gun from him."
Huh? How is he okay and in the same sentence you talking about him carrying a gun? And how you wish to get it away from him? But yet he is okay? Um, HE IS NOT OKAY....OKAY????
I was annoyed. I didn't want to hear anymore. I just walked away and made me plate of food. Although I was annoyed I just let it pass and put it out of my mind.
For months and maybe even years now they have been trying to convince my uncle to volunteer to go to hospital. I don't know where they got this idea, but I guess they can get him into a private place if he volunteers. If you force him, things get complicated because it becomes legal matter to get him out. But of course he won't go. Duh!!!! He thinks he is just fine. I asked my cousin why won't they just have him taken there unwillingly. She says that they don't want to do that because he will go to a county hospital with "just anybody off the streets in there and he will have a different doctor and nurse everyday. The private hospital is better." Then I asked her,
"Well if he volunteers, can't he sign himself out also? If he can then what's the point?"
Her reply: 'I don't know about that. Good question."
I wanted to scream! This man is walking around with a pistol and clearly delusional, and you want him to VOLUNTEER FOR TREATMENT??? And he might even be able to walk out if he refuses to sign papers and shyt? Really girl....you think you gonna convice a mentally ill person that he needs help? You can't REASON with people like that most times. Especially a 70 year old man who is set in his ways that you probably can't tell anything to anyway even if he was sane. And for the past year you have been trying to REASON and TALK with him to go on his own? All because you don't want him to go to the county hospital? You would rather him be on the streets with all kinds of mental triggers because you rather he go to the country club hospital instead?
I just held in my frustrations and let it go.
Then the thing happened at the movies in Colorado. I listened to the news reports.
That guy was delusional. My uncle is delusional.
That guy had access to weapons. My uncle has access to a weapon. At least the one that we know about.
All weekend I kept thinking about my uncle. The more I heard about the movie shooting, the more I thought about him. I knew he wasn't better. He couldn't be. He wasn't getting any treatment. I hadn't heard anything new, but at the same time I told myself don't ask about anything new.
"You don't wanna know. Let them handle that. You got too much shyt going on."
The self talk only worked for about a day though. I went against what I told myself and dove into the pool anyway. So yesterday I checked in with my cuz with the intention of getting an update (on the sly) on how my uncle was doing. But I didn't need to do much prying. The second sentence out of her mouth was about that my uncle is getting worse. She said she hadn't slept and that he was really, really bad. She said that now he thinks that terrorists have placed electronic devices in the backyard, and that his ex-wife and ex-girlfriend have put voodoo on him. Then it got even more bizarre and scary. This past Saturday, he went on the roof of his house and was looking down the chimney to see if these so-called 'terrorists' had put something in it. Electronic bombs or monitoring devices apparently. He thought they were trying to get in his house thru the chimney. He went up there with his gun...
I almost fell out of my chair. My heart was pounding in my chest. I was scared.
I dunno but somehow they got him down and shoved him into the house before he could fire it again. They tried but he wouldn't let go of the gun. I guess no one else heard it or bothered to call the cops, and neither did my cousins. Instead, they continued to try to convince him to check himself into the hospital. And of course he said no.
So all day yesterday I am communicating with her about my uncle. Trying to get them to get over this fear of the county hospital and get the man some help. Then my cousin says, "Well he has a doctor's appointment next week."
Are you serious!!! Y'all seriously gonna wait until next fuggin' week when this man fired his pistol on top of his roof 48 hours ago?
I can't believe what I'm hearing. As I'm communicating with her, I'm telling myself more and more,
"F*ck this. I'm gonna call the cops myself. From 900 miles away. I'm gonna call the cops. He might kill somebody or kill himself. I can't just let them pussyfoot around this because over dumb shyt like the hospital ain't cute enough."
But then I sit back and think, "If I do that, the family will hate me. They will say it was none of my business and that his children were handling it. It wasn't my business."
As I go back and forth trying to decide on what I was gonna do, I try to plead with her. I tell her that if he does something to someone they will regret it for the rest of their lives because they KNEW he had a problem and they KNEW he walked around with a loaded gun. I tell her that going to jail will be worse if he shoots it and someone reports it. I tell her that when the cops see a Black man on the end of a pistol, they shoot first and ask questions later. He will probably be killed.
I ask her again why they are waiting to take him to the hospital. She tells me that she is waiting on her brother to decide what to do but he is in denial. I tell her don't do that. Don't put it all on him. Her brother is not a professional or a doctor. She is tryin' to pass the buck. YOU DO SOMETHING SISTA GIRL. YOU!!!!
I ask, "Why don't you step up cuz and call? I don't get it."
"I can't. I live with him and he will never trust me again."
But you'd rather spend your days worrying what he might do with that damn gun? What if he sees some random Pakistani man in the street and thinks he is the one trying to mess with his chimney? Because you live with him? Dumb bullshyt azz reason.
I can't reply. I'm trying not to piss her off or make her feel bad. I seek permission instead.
"I'll call. My uncle can hate me. I'm fine with that."
But she doesn't take my offer or acknowledge it.
"I'll make some calls. We want him in a private hospital though. We don't wanna call the cops."
(taps fingers on desk)
This is bullshyt! Pure bullshyt. Is the boogey man at the damn county hospital or something? WTF!!!! And now I know too much. Too much that if something happened I would ALSO REGRET NOT OPENING MY MOUTH. I would be just as lame as they are for seeing this train coming and not trying to stop it.
I don't wanna live with that. I just don't.
Just like the mom of that shooter in Colorado has to do. I just don't wanna live with knowing I could have stopped something serious from happening to him or to someone else.
But don't get me wrong --- I get it. My cousins are too emotionally connected and are stalling. It's their Dad. But it’s too much talking right now among everybody and not enough doing.
Should I call the cops myself and have everybody hate me? Or should I let them handle it?
Today I made a proclamation. I said that if my uncle is not in that county hospital in 24 hours, whether my cousin takes him or the cops take him, I will call myself.
All the way from NY. I will call my damn self.
But is it up to me really? Is it my business to handle?
What should I do? What should I do?
(insert sad face)
Sigh. Going to the gym…..