Hey, Papa Bear,
I wanted to write this letter to inform that certain things have improved recently. As you can probably tell from the latter part of the letter, I do have issues to tell but things otherwise have improved in some meaningful capacity. I now have a volunteer job working in retail (food bank) and I’m really happy with the position and made new friends. Also, as of last year, I became an uncle. My sister’s baby boy is so precious to me. He’s turned 1 fairly recently and I cannot be prouder of him. I realised as I reread your response letter to me from 2020 that I’m simply not ready to be a dad. It’ll come unexpectedly but I only want to be the best I can be, learning from my own parents and of course, my nephew. But right now, being there for him is my priority.
Also, that horrible person who abused my mum was arrested after breaking AVO [Apprehended Violence Order, which is used to protect people against domestic violence] the following morning. I’m glad he’s out of my family’s (and my) life, but I’m left trying to cope with the last three years he’s been so abusive to my mum (and indirectly, my family). I was only indirectly affected (the night before he was arrested, I actually confronted the horrible man to get out and he did but I was terrified of him, I still felt the need to stand up to him and with a furious glare I told him to get out while my mum screamed at me to leave the room out of terror for my safety, but I claimed I wasn’t afraid of him, which was a lie), but the last three years left a mental scar on me which has left me trying to heal by talking with friends and being honest with my mum (also helping her with shopping), who finally cut ties with him for good. I hope he never returns as nobody in my family wants him around.
However, this is my question: was I stupid/reckless to confront him while trying to be brave while also trying to protect my mother and brother (he was also confronting him) knowing how cowardly and terrified I actually am, or should I have just not bothered out of a desire to live and to not be killed by that monster (he had no weapons but he was still dangerous having a terrifying abusive mental state)?
I understand this is a heavy question but I needed to know if I did the right thing. I have a disability (autism), but he has one, too, but that shouldn’t excuse his disgusting actions given how long this was occurring. Still, I don’t need potential PTSD in my life. A lot of horrible domestic abuse cases often end in either severe injuries or mostly death (I saw a lot of news reports of this and I hate how common it is), and I don’t wanna lose my mum due to my cowardice, so I had to be brave. Nobody got hurt physically, but I still feel stupid knowing he could’ve beaten me to death if he wanted to. The past three years have been rather traumatic. I just wanna know if I did the right thing or not. My nephew is one of my few bright spots in my life that remind me what is truly important: family.
I've really appreciated your helpful and kindhearted letters to me over the years, Papa Bear. I would appreciate it if you answered my letter soon.
Sam the Dog
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I'm glad you have finally extricated the problem from your family situation. It is a tough question you ask about whether you did the "right thing." If I were to give the standard police answer, then no, you should not have put yourself at risk like that and you should have tried to avoid violence at all cost, call the police, and let the police do the touch work for you.
In this bear's humble opinion, though, you did the right thing. You faced up to a bully, and he backed down. It worked. And you were brave to do it. And if you were scared, that just means you were even braver yet because, you see, the bravest man is the one who faces his fears and does what needs to be done. If you have no fear, then no bravery is needed.
Sometimes we have to dare to be brave because help is not on the way. The police are often busy or just don't show up. Sometimes, as you might have heard, they show up at the wrong place and kill or arrest the wrong person. Work within the law, but don't trust anyone, including the police. and know your rights. Hell, one time, the police wanted to arrest my mother on suspicion of killing my grandfather when he merely died in bed of natural causes. And they treated me like a criminal when I was trying to report a car accident (one in which I wasn't even involved). Another time, my house was robbed. The cops even admitted they thought they knew who did it, but they did nothing, and when I went to report missing items at the station, the cop was more interested in talking to his buddies about his planned summer vacation than taking my list of items stolen. I don't have a great history with police, and that's coming from someone who has never even committed a crime except for getting one speeding ticket. Sheesh.
Did you do the right thing? Is the jerk gone? Yes. Is your mother now safe? Yes. Are you okay? Yes. Given the evidence, I would say, yes, you did the right thing. You can't argue with good results. You have a right to defend yourself and your family, and you especially have that right when you are inside your own home. The law is on your side in this case, most definitely.
This is not to say you should always behave forcefully. Sometimes the situation calls for it, sometimes not. For example, just a few days ago, I was at the library and one of the patrons was being forcefully removed by a security officer. He was kicking the officer and yelling at her, but I stood to one side. Obviously, people were already there to handle the situation, and if I had tried to help I likely would have just been in the way or gotten myself injured.
I'm not clear as to what the guy did, specifically, that caused you to toss him out, unless you had just had enough, but then you got the police involved and they arrested him, so all's well.
Again, take things on a case-by-case basis. You knew this jerk for three years, so you likely understood that he was really just a bully, and all bullies are cowards. You assessed the situation, faced up to the bully, got rid of him, and then reported him to the authorities.
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