The Oral Report

Standing up in front of the class was never so much fun!

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Location: River City, United States

The rantings and ravings of a mom of three wonderful girls as she finds new love while working like a dog and shaking her fist at the system. You know. Pretty much like everybody else.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Curt's Story (First in a Three Part Series)

I used to muse that if ever I had a topic in my life, about which I could write a book, it would be the lifetime adventures of my youngest ex-brother in law. Getting a publishing release would most assuredly only be possible post-mortum. Twenty years worth of stories about him is definitely one of those things that writes itself. I should probably start by stating that my ex never defended (most of) his youngest brother's behavior, but the family made excuses and allowed this insanity to go on, to the detriment of everyone else. So, take a look at the Story of Curt and tell me if I was unreasonable to insist that my divorce decree would include a no-contact order for my children with this man.

The very first time I ever met my ex-husband's youngest brother he was about 16 or 17. I was 20. My ex would have been 24 (he's the oldest of four kids). We were at his mother and father's house. Sitting at the kitchen table chatting. His brother was in the shower when we got there and I'd never met him before. All of us 'adults' were having a lovely conversation about a camping trip my ex and I had been on and they were asking after my family. That sort of thing. We'd only been dating a month or so and I was pretty new to them. Anyway, someone knocked on the front door and his mother leapt up and when she spotted the patrol car out the front window, she started shouting "CURT, it's the police!! They're at the front door!!"

Now I wasn't completely naive, but this was a shocker to me. I hadn't heard anything about the criminal element in this family. I suppose it's not the sort of thing one uses to try to lure a young woman into falling for you. But, when Curt came bursting forth from the bathroom, completely naked (with not even a towel), heading, with all due haste, for the back door, I saw more of my future brother-in-law than most women ever do, I'd imagine. The police, not to be outwitted by the likes of the maladroit Curt, had established themselves at the rear of the premises as well as the front. (Am I the only one who watches police drama on tv?) And so, young Curt, was apprehended before he was able across the backyard. He was marched back into the house where he was allowed to dress before he was hauled off to the pokey.

This should have been a sign. I should never have allowed myself to ignore it. While you can't blame your significant other for his family, you should be aware of how he (and THE REST OF HIS FAMILY, I can't stress that part enough) deals with this sort of thing. Vitally important. And there are some just should never, EVER know about your in-laws.

Over the next several years the family dealt with many issues of a legal nature with Curt, as he broke into (and burgled) a gas station to help support his drug habit. Given his age, he was offered the option of an in-patient drug treatment facility. This was not the first break he failed to take advantage of. Sadly, just one of many. After being admitted to the treatment center, he found that it was not to his liking and "escaped" days later, returning to his elderly (both in their early 60's) parents home by way of breaking into their basement in the middle of the night.

Several more scrapes with the law over primarily traffic issues, some of which bought him a night (or more) in jail, some of which simply resulted in skirmishes, all of which upset his mother and often got his oldest brother involved in bailing him out, etc., followed.

At some point around Christmas of 1985, Curt met the first of two women (possibly the only two women) who would marry him, Jaclyn. In fact, they had just started dating and he brought her to Christmas at his parents' house, where she was introduced to the fam. By this point, all of the brothers and sisters had significant others, but no one was married. Curt, now 20-21, just disappeared the following February. A few weeks later, he notified his mother that he'd run off to Florida with Jaclyn and gotten married as they were expecting a baby.

With Curt, the hits just keep coming. That's one universal truth I learned long before the rest of them. While the entire family was glad to get a break from the chaos that surrounded Curt, we worried about what would become of a child brought into that situation.

Alas, when Curt, and a very pregnant Jaclyn, showed up in a car packed full of belongings in early July, those concerns were replaced with a laundry list of others.

And when Jaclyn had a 10 lb. baby boy the end of July, the rest of the family had their calculators out scratching their heads. They'd only known each other 7 1/2...8 months, tops. Jaclyn had explained to Curt that the baby had come early.

Sure it did. And it weighed 10 pounds. Happens all the time.

Curt and Jaclyn and their baby boy lived in my ex-in-laws basement for several months and then, once Jaclyn got a regular job at a local grocery store, they moved into their own tiny place. Curt became a stay-at-home dad, except grandma did the babysitting and he played video games and smoked a lot of pot. When he wasn't sleeping, of course. But, apparently, the stress finally got to Curt and he began getting violent with Jaclyn. Beating her. Once, I personally witnessed him hit her in the head with a coke bottle (back in the day when they were still glass bottles, btw) while she was holding the baby.

When the baby was about 10 months old, Curt and Jaclyn got into such a bad fight that when she left to go to work, her employer would not allow her to clock in and insisted that she either go to the hospital or a shelter and that she could not come back to work until she'd done one or the other.

At this point, Jaclyn finally left Curt. (My ex mother-in-law spewing the nonsense that Curt beat Jaclyn because she instigated it. Because she was a bad mother to her son. And any other reason she could think of that wasn't that her son was an abusive prick and she'd failed him as a mother.) Jaclyn's leaving only further enraged him, because he had (in his mind) done nothing wrong. And, because of this, he came to realize that Jaclyn had gone insane and was not fit to raise his son. Encouraging his mother to back him on this, Curt spent thousands of dollars (of his parent's money) fighting to get primary custody of the baby. And you won't believe this, but Jaclyn told the court that the baby wasn't his. Shocker!

Curt fought the court-ordered blood test. Spending even more of his parent's money. And when he eventually did have to do it, and it was proven that the child wasn't his, he still tried to take him away from his mother. Can you say 'spite'?

$14,000 later, Jaclyn was free of him and returned, with her son, to Florida. They are the luckiest ones in this entire story.

Curt then fell into a bit of a depression. A road trip, perhaps, would cheer him up. Friends he'd met at a treatment center he'd voluntarily been in (in Michigan) shortly before I'd met him, had asked him to come for a visit. So, he got his dad to rent him a car (let's call this mistake #1) and took a few of his party friends (mistake #2) and headed north (mistake #3). Once they'd visited their friends at rehab, they were so close to the Canadian border that they thought, why not check out the great white north(that'd be mistake #4 if you're keeping track). So Curt drove (mistake #5) the rental car that was leased in his dad's name, to the border checkpoint while his buddy in the passenger seat rolled a few joints (big ginormous mistake #6).

What a shock! They were all arrested for trying to bring illegal drugs across the border and the rental car was impounded in Canada. Curt, of course, called his parents, who paid to get him released from jail and a bus ticket home. Then they paid the exhorbitant rate to have someone from the rental car agency fly to Canada and get the car and drive it back to River City. Though, I'm sure the cost was well worth the effort to try to alleviate Curt's depression. It's just too bad that it didn't work.

Tune in tomorrow for the next installment of Curt's story. Believe me, it's never a dull moment with Curt.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my god.

oh my god.

I was surprised at first to see the similarities between us at first...amused, you know?

But now I'm shocked. Because Wills has a younger brother. Been in jail alot. And rehab, too. Recently married after he got out. Beat her, cut her he's back in the pokey for other reasons...their mother is a nut, the stories I could tell you....

My god. We are twins, aren't we?

2/21/2006 10:49 PM  

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