I saw this article and it reminded me that how any individual survivor decides to handle things, especially in regards to their ongoing relationship with family members, is really their decision. It may not be what I would choose, but it is up to each individual to choose what is the healthiest way forward for themselves. We shouldn’t allow outsiders to decide that for us, and we shouldn’t judge any decision unless it is causing harm to the survivor.
Today, despite the fact that they are not father and son and in spite of all of the years of abuse, Perry takes care of the aging man. When asked why, he explained, “number one, my mother asked me to because she loved him. And secondly, as terrible as he was, and as horrible as he was, he never once left us. We were never hungry. And every time he’d go to work all week, he’d bring the money home. In return, I’m giving him what he gave to me. I had shelter. I had food. He has shelter — pretty nice shelter — and any food that he wants to eat… What I missed from him — being in a relationship — is also what he’s missing from me now. So he doesn’t have everything. He has what’s easy.”