I’m angry right now, seething in fact. Broken on behalf of my father, broken on behalf of my aunt, my cousin and crushed by the ripple effect it had on all those that had suffered at the hands of The Devil and his wife; those without a voice, those without a hope.
Sometimes painful things need to be remembered, they deserve to be remembered. Not so we can forgive, but so we can passionately vow never to forget again, even if only so that we can stop history from repeating itself.
A letter to you, The Devils Wife, as I have no gravestone to stand and scream at, maybe from your place in Hell you can see this, feel the burn of the pain you have caused so many people.
I hope so.
I’m writing to let you know how much I hate you.
This is difficult because We don’t usually hate anyone, but I have thought about this to death and I truly hate you. We have felt hate before, I know because I recall our mother saying “hate is a strong word” in an effort to minimise our angry outbursts as a very small child. But it’s been awhile.
Somewhere along the way we decided that to hate only brought shame upon us, it made us as bad as those we despised, so we forgot how to hate, we even forgot how to be angry. Anger became something directed towards us, never from us. We felt safe in the assumption that if a situation became heated it was our fault anyway and we shouldn’t feel anger towards others, just apologise and hope they could forgive. No matter what the situation. We forgot that sometimes people don’t need excuses made for them, sometimes fault could actually lie at the feet of others.
But not today, today I own my hate.
Even if I can still only truly feel hate on behalf of other people let me tell you that I hate you so much right now that my blood boils with white hot rage just thinking about it. You’ll never have to hear me say any of this out loud, death saved you from my simmering wrath and you should be grateful. When we found out who you really were behind that sweet old lady mask we were still too chicken shit, too weak, too young to act and so we stayed silent and hid behind masks of our own.
But silence bleeds a violent curse.
Unspoken knowledge of evil has a way of coming back, over and over, penetrating your soul and eating you up from the inside out.
So many years ago when you moved in with us, I had known deep down I had to get us away from you, I had just forgotten why, dissociated away the reasons that were too hard to hold.
For so long In adulthood we couldn’t remember what our problem was with you, why we moved out at 16. The more we questioned it the fuzzier it became. Perhaps it was just teenage angst? Ha! We actually believed that for years.
We may have forgotten our reasons for a long time, but let me tell you that they’re crystal clear right now. We all had a need to escape that house, but you were the biggest reason I needed to get the fuck away. I couldn’t talk to you like nothing had happened, I couldn’t know what I knew and still see you as human.
The rugs were awfully lumpy in our house, you had to be careful not to accidentally trip over an uncomfortable situation. The facade was always so much more important than reality, excuses for bad behaviour at every turn. It sickened me, it enveloped me, it was me. Fragments of my mind, born to hide reality, born to bury pain too deep to ever find, fragments who knew no better remained controlled, compartmentalised, hidden, picture perfect.
I didn’t know how to explain my rage to my parents and navigate all the questions that came after ‘why would they let you live in our house?’ Had my father buried his pain so deep that he let you stay in his life, or did he just not care? If the devil hadn’t have died, would he have let him know me too the way you both let him know my sister? Why did you let him know my sister? Why did he? Why didn’t he kick you both to the curb for the way you hurt my aunt, the way you hurt her baby? Why did he listen to your lies about my Aunt and then speak ill of her behind her back? Why had he said he didn’t know what had happened when he did? He knew the whole fucking time and he didn’t just do nothing, he called her crazy too. He denied her truth, why? To protect his? And then on his death bed it came out, in his tears, in his addled brain he unlocked that pain just for a moment, just long enough for us to know he knew. I don’t know if he lied or had blocked out the memories. I never will.
By the end I couldn’t stand to see your face, your pursed lips, even the fact that you threw the ball for my dog each day made me angry. How dare you make him happy? How dare you fool him into thinking you were worthy of love? An evil woman like you deserved nothing, especially not the unconditional love of a dog.
You moved not long after I left the house, back overseas to live with my Aunt Diamond, your adopted daughter. She still took care of you, still bought you groceries and took you out, the last person in the world who deserved that burden and yet she did it until you died years later at 93 years old, on my sons birthday. I don’t remember what year anymore.
Diamond had you cremated the day after your death, no funeral, no death notice. At the time we were upset by that, we’d still forgotten why we hated you so much and it seemed so disrespectful not to honour the dead even though we didn’t grieve for you, we couldn’t. I understand now.
You told us you intermittently how you didn’t speak to my aunt anymore because she was angry with you for nothing. You said she stole from you and she lied a lot. “She is crazy” you told us over and over, filling our heads with stories of how bad our aunt was. Ever the hero of the story you claimed you’d still let her into your life because you were her mother so you loved her.
But you were the liar. You didn’t know what love was.
You had ripped away what was left of your daughters tattered innocence as a toddler, a fucking toddler, when you chose not to protect her from the hands of The Devil. You knew what was happening to her and you could have stopped him, but you didn’t.
You chose to pretend not to see, and then when you saw you refused to act, not because you were frightened by him or some other excuse, but because you were jealous!
Then you became evil yourself by punishing your tiny daughter for “stealing” the affections of your husband. Jealousy of the most despicable, sinful kind. When Diamond gave birth to Angel at 13yrs old you just let it happen all over again, watched quietly as the Devil had his way.
He wasn’t sick, he was evil.
You were so fucking lovely to me when I was tiny, you flew from New Zealand to visit, offering sweets and silver coins from your purse when behind your white perm and floral dresses resided pure evil. I suppose he was dead by then, The Devil, so I wasn’t a threat to you like Diamond and Angel had been.
You were never supposed to be a mother were you? If God exists he knew you and The Devil sure as hell didn’t deserve children. Yet you had adopted not one but two, Aunt Diamond and our father. You chose to bring these children into your life, you fought to have children come into your life and then when you got them you hurt them, over and over and over again you abused them. Why? How was this ever okay?
Today I want you to know that I remember and I will never again let us forget what you did and why it is that we hate you so much. On behalf of Diamond, Angel and my father, I hope you burn for your sins. You’ve lost your right to be known or remembered as my Grandmother and from now on you will only be known as who you really were, The Devil’s Wife.