Reflecting on Deflecting Fucktards

NOTE: I substituted fictional names to protect the identities of the various persons mentioned in this post. Oh, it’s a doozy…
So recently I witnessed a cousin of mine commit a crime. 
Now I’m certainly not one to condemn those that break the law, as I believe morality always trumps legality. A starving child, for example, that steals an apple… illegal, yes, but nobody is harmed by it. And being that the small instance of theft was out of a motive of self-preservation and not vindictive in nature I wouldn’t lose any respect for the kid. Same goes for people that look both ways and safely drive through a red light. That type of thing.
This was different. 
I was visiting my cousin who had still been living with his ex-girlfriend (they’d broken up a few months prior) and the deal between then when they’d gotten the apartment was that he’d be the one move out if they ever broke up down the road. I believed this to be true because the ex (who I’ll call “Wendy”) told me about the arrangement and, frankly, had demonstrated herself to be smarter and more practical than my cousin. Now my cousin (who I’ll call “Fucktard”) said he “didn’t recall” the arrangement but admitted he could have forgotten it. It made sense that she’d be the one to plan for the worst because she wasn’t head-over-heels for the guy, while he was still completely infatuated. Breaking up wasn’t something he’d have entertained as a real possibility.
Well, they’d been broken up for awhile and he’d given no indication that he planned to leave. She told me he had locked her in a room until she was “willing to talk” in his various ineffective attempts to renew the relationship. This had lasted 30-40 minutes until her friend, “Ariel”, nearly called the police. Disturbing, yes? And he did admit to doing this, though in his version he physically blocked her from leaving her room rather than locking the door. Different means, same ends. He’d throw tantrums, slam doors, flood his Facebook with posts devoted to her… it was incredibly self-defeating. It was obvious why she wanted him out ASAP. 
The night of the big incident they started to argue about this or that while I was content just watching Frozen for the first time and taking a few puffs of smooth Colorado ganja. I felt like a kid again, doing my best to tune out the latest screaming match between mommy and daddy. I kept out of it. Wendy declared she didn’t want to fight anymore and was going to bed. Fucktard leapt over the living room couch to land in front of the hallway that led to her room, refusing to let her pass. Once again, things had to be on his terms. Once again, he was controlling her movements. And it was clear that the stories were confirmed. But still, I stayed out of it.
She asked him to move twice and said she’d have to hit him if he didn’t. He smiled, refused, and taunted, “Do it.” So she gave him a little pop which hurt her hand and pretty much did nothing to him. She tried to dart past him and he body checked her against the wall. Some sort of scuffle continued deeper into the hallway, out of my line of sight, and then suddenly she came crashing down to the floor within view. In tears, she got up and fled the apartment. 
It was time for me to get off the cozy bean bag chair and get involved.
I was going to catch up to her and calm her down, but Fucktard blocked my path. Talk about a control freak, eh? I didn’t want a fight, so I just texted Wendy instead:

ME – 10/12 2:27am You can come back. I calmed him down, straightened things out. He will NOT block you from going to your own room. I held back because I thought it was going to diffuse on its own, but I underestimated his stubbornness.
Any hint of that kind of behavior and I’ll speak up. 

WENDY – 10/12, 2:30am I don’t want to come back. I’m scared and I’m in pain.

I told Fucktard that it was in everyone’s best interest that she returned. She’d had a little to drink, was hysterical, and running around outside somewhere at two in the morning. NOT a good combo and definitely something that could result in police involvement. And I make it a habit to avoid police at all costs, so I definitely wanted this peacefully resolved. I calmed Fucktard down, explained that he needed to be very tactful moving forward because technically she had legal grounds to press charges for assault and definitely harassment. I didn’t believe him to be a serious danger, but the situation had certainly escalated to the point that her fear was understandable. 
Once he was calm enough and seemed to understand what was at stake, I suggested he go for a walk so that she would feel safe to return. Then I’d calm her down, hear her out, he could come back and I’d mediate a peaceful discussion between the two of them. Once again, doing my best to avoid police involvement.
I watched him walk toward the street a few hundred yards away, making sure he was really leaving. I then texted Wendy to let her know that it was safe to come inside. 

WENDY – 10/12, 2:36am You promise he’s not there?

ME – 10/12, 2:36am Promise. He went for a walk somewhere. I’ll stand on the porch

I go back outside to the porch and what do I see? Fucktard making a beeline for the side of the building, holding a lacrosse stick in a “ready to strike” way. I yelled his name and he sped up. That reaction clearly indicated that he had some kind of intention that he knew I wouldn’t approve of and it didn’t take much of an imagination to figure out what it was. Can I prove that this was his plan? To intimidate and/or assault Wendy with a lacrosse stick? Of course not. That’s only in his idiot head. But based on his behavior, movements, and that he’d lied when he’d acted agreeable to go for a walk, it all added up to bad news.

I ran down the stairs, yelling his name more than once to distract him, maybe divert his attention from her, but was getting no response. I make it to the side of the building, not sure what I’ll find, and I see him holding that stick, eyes wide, and Wendy hiding behind a bush just a few feet away. I tell him to go for a fucking walk. What does he reply with?

“I was looking for the ball.”

Yeah, nice try.

“You don’t need a ball or a stick to take a fucking walk,” I replied. “Get the fuck out of here until I text you.”

He was resistant but ultimately did, finally, take off. Wendy emerged from behind the bush, shaking and in tears. We went inside and the bottom line was that she wanted him out of the apartment asap because she no longer felt safe with him as a roommate. I agreed and promised that I would not leave until he was gone or was at least agreeable to leaving. She went to bed and I texted Fucktard that he could come back.

    I broke down his options. I explained that he should honor his agreement to move out because if he didn’t he would likely be forcibly removed by the police. I’ve had my own encounters with the legal system in the past and I stressed to him that he was a good person who had just acted like an asshole and that he could still come out of this looking halfway decent if he’d just humble himself, admit wrongdoing, and concede to her wishes to vacate. Stunningly, Fucktard declared that he STILL wouldn’t move out and that he and Wendy STILL had a chance at being a couple again (!!!). This, folks, is the definition of insanity. 
    I was too exhausted to listen to this idiot any further, so I suggested we both go to bed, sleep this all off, and figure things out in the morning. He agreed.

    … for about five minutes.

    His ability to be reasonable vanished yet again. I woke up to him knocking on Wendy’s door. I tell him to just go to bed and stop harassing her. He keeps knocking, insisting they “need” to talk. Right now? It was four in the morning! 
    I go over to him and he’s sitting in front of her door, leaning against it. I told him he had two options: go to bed or come to the living room and talk to me some more. I was fucking exhausted after having driven through the entire previous night and going on over 45hrs of no sleep, but if talking to him kept him occupied then I could crack another energy drink or two if needed. But lying in wait at her door after what he’d already done was NOT an option.

    “Why are you being such a fucking child?” I asked him. “What IS all this?”

    He stood up and shouted at the top of his lungs, “THIS IS LOVE!!”

    Unstable? Check. Irrational? Check. Dangerous? Check. Dumb? Double check. I asked him what his big plan was here and he said that he was going to spend the night in front of her door until morning and then they’d talk. Uh… then why not go to bed? What was the point of scaring her further? It wasn’t practical. I certainly didn’t want to wake up to cries for help either. 

    So I texted Wendy: 

    ME – 10/12, 4:25am It might be worth getting this over with. One of you on the chair, one on the couch, you say your peace clearly and concisely, then he can respond. Then bed. I’ll be right there of course. If you agree, I’ll get him situated. Let me know. Otherwise, morning is good too. But he is stubbornly camping outside your door like an idiot

    WENDY – 10/12, 4:30am I hear him. And I don’t like it. I would like to get this done with tho. 

    ME – 10/12, 4:30am Okay, I’ll set this up. Hang on.

    WENDY – 10/12, 4:30am thanks
    I’m not going to be alone with him
    A lawyer might be nice.

    I told Fucktard that she was willing to come out and talk as long as I was there to intervene if things were to escalate again. And you know what he says? He says he’s “not ready” to talk to her after all because he hadn’t “sorted out all his feelings yet”. 
    Wait… what? 
    That made me furious. So he was stalking out her doorway, preventing her from getting any sleep, terrifying her… for nothing? He really had nothing to say? I laid it out plainly that this conversation was going to happen so he could at least hear directly from her what I’d already told him, but I laid out exactly what would happen. She’d declare that they would never have a relationship again of any kind, demand that he move out, or police would be involved. He didn’t like my certitude.
    He jumped up, shoved me three times as if ready for a fight, and told me to get the fuck out of his home. He said he didn’t believe a word I was saying, that he had to hear it from Wendy. The idiot really thought they still had a chance at dating again! I saw the look in his eye that I’d seen earlier so I thought I’d be pre-emptive and texted Wendy:

    ME – 10/12, 4:36am  Call the cops now. He’s flipping

    I got in his face and said, “What the fuck is wrong with you? Do you seriously want to have a fight? Because it will take days for them to fix your face when I’m through with it. I don’t start fights, Fucktard. I’m not dumb like you. Wendy and I aren’t going to throw the first punches. YOU are the idiot that will crack and swing and YOU will go straight to jail because I will report EXACTLY what happened here. You’re family, Fucktard. I don’t want you to go to jail or even court. I’ve been there and it’s hell. So just stop being a dumbass and get some sleep!!”
    “You think I’m dumb?” he asked. Wow. All that and the only thing he took away from it was that his older cousin thought he wasn’t being intelligent. It was all about him. Again. 
    “Right now? If you don’t agree to move out within whatever time period she’s generous enough to give you, then yes. Definitely a dumbass. She will call the cops, she has witnesses, and she will win.”
    He again raged that I should leave and that she should speak for herself rather than through me. I explained that Wendy was fucking terrified of him so that’s the only reason she wasn’t being direct to his face. He grabs my computer and suitcase and starts walking toward the door, presumably to toss my belongings out. I took both, set them in the living room, and made it clear that I was never going to leave until she was safe again. I told him I still thought he was a good person that was just being a momentary asshole, and he abruptly slammed the table and shouted “I AM A GOOD PERSON” and stormed out. Puzzling, to say the least.
    When he returned, I pointed out that her name was also on the lease and if she wanted me there I could remain there so he had no legal grounds to have me removed. He told me to leave again anyway. I knew I could take him, but then there would be cops involved and other potential consequences. The fallout was uncertain, but a conversation could be far better controlled. This needed to be settled now, especially since I was due to leave in the next day or two. He calmed down and agreed to talk to her… but only if I went for a walk this time. He really thought he could be trusted alone with her?? I told him that I would only leave if Wendy wanted me to. Then he said that I should at least step out onto the porch. Of course, he could easily lock me out that way. I couldn’t believe he thought I was that gullible. He asked why I didn’t trust him which further blew my mind. Plenty of loud arguing took place but he finally gave up and agreed to her terms and I was able to cancel the “call the cops” advice to Wendy. 
    Maybe we could still handle this ourselves…?
    She came out, very slowly, until she saw me and was relieved not to be alone with him. Fucktard sat on the couch and motioned for her to sit right next to him. She looked at him like, “Are you fucking serious?” I cleared off a chair a good six feet away from him and she sat down. She spoke her mind, surprisingly calm. I remained quiet no matter what I heard, only speaking up to keep the discussion focused and on track toward a resolution. “Hold on, let him speak for a minute.” “So what is the time frame for moving out?” “Do you understand what she is saying?” Stuff like that without taking sides. She was overly kind, telling him that he had to move out by the end of the year and that after 90 days of no contact she’d consider a friendship. That’s one hell of a deal, right? 
    But Fucktard being a fucktard, he couldn’t say yes to the very best deal he’d ever be offered. Instead, he replied that he was happy that they were communicating and that he saw it as a promising sign that they could continue to live together! She repeated her position over a dozen times and his response never wavered. We gave up and everyone went to bed. 
    Jesus…
    – – – 
    The next morning, Fucktard went to work at 11am, all smiles, and only then did Wendy emerge from her room. The coast was clear. She told me she needed a ride to the police station just to get a restraining order, not press charges. I agreed. On the way there we picked up her friend, a witness to Fucktard’s past behavior of locking her in rooms, and off we went. On the way there it became increasingly clear that the incident would likely amount to a he said/she said situation in court and that without a supporting witness to the biggest incident she’d potentially fail to secure a restraining order. I ended up going in the station too and we all filled out written reports about the incident(s). 
    When we met with an officer… after a 40-minute wait… we all stressed our intention was to have Fucktard out of the apartment and for him to seek mental help. The cop said a restraining order would go into immediate effect but only if charges were filed. I figured that since Fucktard had zero priors and there were no bruises to indicate physical assault, he’d likely get a small fine, court-mandated therapy, and community service. Based on my experience jail was extremely unlikely and the cop reaffirmed my assessment. The most important factor was that Wendy would be safe and I could continue on my travels without having to worry that she’d wind up battered or worse in my absence. 
    I hate cops. I hate the legal system in general. But this was one of those times where it was a necessary last resort. I tried everything else, I told myself. Fucktard could not be reasoned with. He was given every opportunity to prevent this outcome, an outcome that I specifically warned him about more than once. I signed the statement and expressed both in writing and to the cop that I only wanted my cousin to get the mental health treatment he needed. Jail wouldn’t help. He agreed. 
    I walked out of there feeling that I’d done the right thing, which isn’t always easy. But when a guy charges his ex-girlfriend with a lacrosse stick at 2am and somehow acts cheerful the next morning like nothing had ever happened, that’s a sickness that needs to be addressed. Who knows what could happen otherwise? All it would take is one hard swing of that stick to a person’s head and that would be a wrap. I rationalized that this was for Fucktard’s own good as much as hers. At least this way he’ll maybe learn his lesson and prevent a worse situation and worse consequences in the future.   
    That night, Fucktard was arrested and spent an overnight in jail. 
    His father, my Uncle… 
    Jim Sengenberger who works for Avaya in Aurora, CO 
    (whose name I won’t protect because he’s a fucking asshole
    …and his other son came by the next morning to gather Fucktard’s belongings. A police escort and the landlord supervised. When my Uncle first saw me sitting on the bean-bag chair, I said hello and he replied with, “Get off of that, that belongs to MY SON!!” Okay, chill out motherfucker. “Okay, sure,” I replied, perfectly agreeable. I even offered to help carry some stuff out but he snapped, “I don’t want your fucking help!” Okay, buddy. He was visibly shaking with rage and looked to the cop, “Could I have my nephew removed from the room? RIGHT NOW??” Wow. He lacked so much control that he was about to either pop a blood vessel or pop me in the face. I didn’t have to leave, of course, but I told the cop I was fine with going to another room and complied. 
    After they left I packed my last few things and hit the road. I called my most-trusted Aunt and told her the broad strokes of what happened because I suspected my Uncle Jim would contact the extended family and try to deflect the whole situation onto me in some twisted, fucked up fashion and I needed at least some of the family to know the truth before he launched his smear campaign.
    I was right.
    A few days later I find out that my Uncle Jim told the police that I was a “dangerous, convicted felon” and a “drug dealer”. Lovely. I do happen to have one felony on my record, but it was a non-violent, non-drug related crime that’s in the process of being appealed. Other than that, he had no basis for his assertions. 
    But he took it one step further. While on my travels in NY, I planned to have dinner with my Grandma, my only remaining grandparent. Since I was soon to settle in CA and unlikely to see her again before her (sadly) inevitable passing, I was especially looking forward to seeing her one more time. She replied with the accusation that I was a drug dealer, that she missed when I was “a sweet boy”, and said she’d pray for me. Sigh. I was stunned. Disappointed more than anything, but stunned. My idiot Uncle Jim had called his elderly, 86-year old mother and burdened her with bullshit rumors about me. Because of him, I may very well never get to see my Grandma, alive, ever again. So fuck him.
    For the record, I did have *some* marijuana in my possession (I’d just been in Colorado… what do you expect?) but he had no evidence whatsoever to support that I was a drug dealer nor dangerous. Hell, I’ve never even been in a real fight before! I’m more likely to let a fly out the window than kill it! It was an outrageous accusation. So now it appears my Uncle Jim was determined to fully deflect to keep the extended family focused on ME rather than his violent and psychotic son, Fucktard. Dangerous drug dealing felon vs. ex-girlfriend reporting harassment… yeah, I looked worse. Well played, Uncle. You vindictive, callous, complete and utter piece of shit. 
    Annnnnnnd that’s what I’ve been dealing with. It was a long story and I’ve grown sick of talking about it to people in person, so I thought I’d post this so I had something to refer people to. I originally planned on not blowing up Fucktard’s debacle as publicly as I just now have but it’s unfortunate that he’s the son of my asshole Uncle. If he thinks he can smear my name like this to protect his pride and that I won’t respond to it, he’s sorely mistaken. Like I said, I don’t start fights. I finish them. And that means speaking the truth in court if it comes down to it and the chips can fall where they may. The family may view this as retaliatory, but they’d be quite mistaken. TRUTH is what matters. And my cousin DID do what he did. If he’s smart, he’ll take a plea deal and get the mental help he needs. If he actually insists on a trial he will likely receive some jail time… but that’s his decision, not mine. That’s not the outcome I want. 
    If you ever read this, Fucktard, blame your father. I wouldn’t have written all this otherwise. And hey, I still protected your name even though you don’t really deserve it. Granted I used the word “Fucktard”, but… c’mon, man. You have to admit that’s somewhat amusing. And hey, maybe someday you’ll even become smart enough to see that I actually SAVED your ungrateful ass from a far worse fate, but I suspect your ability to see the bigger picture will allude you indefinitely… like father, like son.

    But I hope I’m wrong. I’m nothing like my abusive, deceitful father so you may yet turn out okay on the other side of this. When that day comes, I’ll be here for you.

    —-UPDATE 10/23 —-
    After further investigation it appears my Uncle steadfastly denies ever telling my Grandma that I was a “dangerous drug dealer”. By simple process of elimination, the only other means she had of receiving this information would be from my own (SPOILER ALERT) parents, who could only have been told by my Uncle Jim. Either way, he still did everything I’ve accused him of: deflecting his son’s behavior by raking my name through the mud and whether directly or indirectly preventing me from seeing my Grandma. And he still refuses to even have a civil conversation about the whole mess, which I pushed for via phone messages, texting, and email. This post was a last resort of communication and the frustration obviously showed! Tough shit, James.

    Anyway, some of my family (who shall remain nameless) would like me to take this post down and made a reasonable argument that it doesn’t add anything good to the equation. Whether it’s fair, moral, etc. is immaterial to their valid point. This is a difficult concession because those harmed by this post clearly do deserve some kind of consequence for their actions. However, I have reached what I think is a fair compromise. I’m switching this post to being private, readable only by those who have the direct link (and who really saved that?). This way nobody can read it unless I’m specifically sharing it with them.

    Still up, but not up. That’s the best I can do.  

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