In healthy families and relationship situations, people talk about the problems they have with other people with those people in order to solve those problems. In toxic and dysfunctional families and relationship situations, people talk behind the back of people, gossip, badmouth, scapegoat, silence and ostracize.

Something incredible has come to my attention this week that revealed the truly toxic nature of certain quarters of my family. I must thank that secret messenger who shared this information with me since it’s truly life-changing.

It incredibly demonstrates the nature of a toxic family cult and their covert abuse tactics.

So the new chief villain in the tragic story of the dysfunctional family of my origins that nearly cost me my life? My deranged father’s older sister, a retired special needs teacher, who according to her daughter spouts wisdom such as ‘better spoiled children than not loved enough children’.

So let’s have a look at this lovely wise woman (let’s call her Ivanka), who in fact was passive-aggressively bullying and badmouthing my mentally unwell mother since her ill-fated encounter with my similarly mentally deranged father. Where was your wisdom, empathy and compassion then you toxic piece of shit?

Anyway, so here is what happened: Two years ago, I finally challenged my father. No one ever challenges my father. That’s a total tab-boo. His uneducated Vodka-loving cousin (let’s call her Jana) was once trying to persuade me that I, as a 12-year-old, should have had understanding for my father telling me to die, calling me a loser and a piece of shit and hitting me so forcefully that I would have bruises on my face. (I am sorry, Jana, that because of your love of Vodka, you failed to educate yourself on what constitutes child abuse, and in fact, in a civilised society you would be culpable of enabling child abuse). I should not be surprised, Jana has always been the chief enabler and apologist of my mother’s alcoholism.

My father, due to his mental condition either has no recollection of his abusive behaviour or pretends to have no recollection of that. It doesn’t really matter, someone should have intervened to protect me from this freak. Apart from the mental, emotional and physical abuse that this man inflicted on me, he also intentionally decided not to provide for my and my sister’s future financial security despite having plentiful opportunities to do so (isn’t that a legally troubling thing too?). In fact, after my grandfather’s death, he even gave up his part of the inheritance in favour of his lovely sister Ivanka and Ivanka rejoiced that she could sink her grubby claws into yet another pie. The self-righteous special needs teacher clearly had no consideration for her two young nieces, who then had already been kicked out of a sizeable chunk of family property. Ivanka, Ivanka, what an angel you have always been. And yes, let’s remember that all my childhood, the enlightened Ivanka treated me like a spoiled brat (better spoiled than not loved enough, right?)

In fact, my father didn’t abuse only me. He also abused my mentally unwell mother (I do remember how he was pitting us against her when we were children, talking shit about her publicly, and yes, she is crazy and she later started talking shit about him too to get even, but my childhood recollection is that he was first. And I trust my childhood recollections).

So I finally challenged that man whom no one dares to challenge about his behaviour, hoping to get a genuine “I am sorry, I fucked up.” Well, the man never responded to that email.

It was quite shocking to learn that he, however, resent this email to his ‘better spoiled than not loved enough’ sister Ivanka, who than took it to the self-righteous jury of my father’s cousins including the Vodka-loving Jana, who then decided that there seriously must be a problem with me and that I must have a serious mental health issue.

OK, dear Jana, dear grubby Ivanka, it really is not my problem that in your little brains, which probably contain about two brain cells altogether, you cannot comprehend that your golden child brother/cousin is a child-abusing mentally ill freak. In fact, dear Ivanka, he is and was no better than your alcoholic ex-husband that we all have heard so much about and were obliged to feel so sorry for you and your poor little children (clearly a different meter used here, wonder why…). My father may be mentally ill and not remember his antics but let’s face it, there were other mentally ill people in that family so maybe it runs in your genes so you should have considered that before making judgements.

It was quite a fascinating but liberating experience. I have been shamed and blamed for holding my father accountable for not securing me and my sister financially when he was in the position to do so by people who, quite frankly have achieved nothing in life and only live off what they inherited. Off that very inheritance that I was kicked out off. Well dearies, guess you have no right to judge me because I seriously have no clue where you would have been if someone did the same to you as my father did to me (despite my abusive upbringing both me and my sister, as much as she’s only ever been a bitch to me, have a bit more than two brain cells.)

So yes, what does this story demonstrate – the invalidation of the messenger – me (she must be crazy, it’s not possible that [insert name of father] was abusive, she must have made it up, it doesn’t matter that throughout her childhood she displayed all the symptoms of an emotionally abused child, it was her being a brat, the family was OK). The ostracisation of the messenger – I am being talked about behind my back, being made some pretty serious judgements about by people who, quite frankly, are way below my level. I am not asked or even considered in this conversation. The abuse of me by my father is OK, the abuse of someone else (the better spoiled than not loved enough Ivanka’s own children by her alcoholic ex) is not OK.

Just plainly horrific. The chief enabler and abuse apologist is a former special needs teacher.

Well, as they say, the truth shall set you free. Certainly not sending Ivanka a Christmas card anytime soon.