Let’s fast forward to the beginning of the end.
My sister and brother-in-law moved a lot. It created a lot of stress. Things weren’t good. Unfortunately, they moved around some GCMers. What do GCMers know of my brother-in-law? Not much. They were around him for maybe a year or year and a half and during a very difficult part of his life too. He lost his job, they were low on money, he was getting more and more depressed. My sister was already stressed from the move, stressed over the job loss, stressed over the money, stressed at his depression.
During this time, I started noticing changes in my sister. She was withdrawing from my mom because, well, why was she? She told me. I just remember not understanding what the fuss was about. It was such a minor thing and more like a misunderstanding. During this time she got a piercing and she seemed to be glad it would cause “controversy” with the family when she came home that summer. I remember seeing it on Skype. But with the lack of clarity, I thought it was a booger or speck of dirt. Me being who I was at the time probably said something along the lines of, “That’s stupid. Don’t you know it will leave a permanent mark?” So there were these little things that often left me scratching my head. [I later learned that several GCMers encourage separation from family for minor issues, minor misunderstandings and minor disagreements. This is also what cults do.]
Around this time, my sister would tell me what a jerk my BIL was being. This is normal. I must confess I would often not speak highly of my spouse either. God has taught and continues to teach me to think about what I say about people, all people. It is a life changer! But what wasn’t normal was that she wasn’t doing anything about it. She was never one to back down. I asked her why she didn’t tell him. I was left scratching my head as to why she never said anything about the things he would say. It wasn’t like her. Could it be she was told she was abused by GCMers and she couldn’t ever say anything anymore (i.e. she couldn’t be herself?)? Was she truly scared? Were they both so depressed, neither were acting like their typical selves? I don’t know. Also at the time I didn’t really give GCM any thought. I only wondered what kind of influence GCM was during this time well after she said good-bye to us. (Please note: There was never anything physical. It was words that were tearing her down.)
May got bad. She tried to get him help for his depression. He was admitted into a hospital. My sister would call with updates. I know it was a hard time. I tried to be an encourager as best I could. Times were not easy. She would call me at any hour. I didn’t care. I was there for her no matter what time of day or night.
My brother-in-law was put on medication and then released.
It just got worse though. He had a reaction because two medicines should not have been mixed. I never doubted the situation was scary (he threw a computer against the wall). She tried to tell him to stop taking the one medication because it was causing him to be worse. He went ahead and took another one (I think he would agree with me here. He was not in his right state of mind. He was depressed. He was on a medicine that was causing him to be worse. He was clearly not thinking straight.).
I told her to leave earlier than she planned to come for her annual trip home. She would stay with my parents about two months every year because she usually lived far away. I knew my parents would not have a problem with this.
I am sorry to say, at the time I didn’t have much compassion for my BIL. I was only thinking of my sister. I know he had problems and had nobody else but my sister, but at the time I just wanted her and the kids to leave instead of being around him. Today, I would still have recommended the same thing, but I would have been a bit more concerned for my brother-in-law. To do it all over again, maybe I would call him, see how he was doing and try to encourage him?
I do believe she left a few days early.
Oh, wait, what did my sister tell all her friends though? Because I got this comment the other day from one of her friends, “Bottom line, if your sister/daughter tells you that she’s being abused you believe her. Period. You *never* tell her to love her enemy in that case. If she turns out to be wrong, you deal with that then. But your sister, your daughter? You believe her. There’s simply no other sane response, unless she has a diagnosed personality disorder and has given you reason in the past to disbelieve her. And EVEN THEN, you get her and her children the heck out of there first, THEN deal with her mental instability. Nowhere in your sister posts have you ever hinted at previous mental instability, so I’m going to assume there was none. So your family had NO excuse to disbelieve her. None. What you did to her was shameful.”
Maybe GCMers should stop thinking they are experts on everything and realize there is always more to the story than someone online is going to tell you? Maybe they shouldn’t assume everybody’s (GCMers that is) family is abusive, toxic and unsafe?