Oh, family drama.
I realize that most families have their issues and typically keep them private, but mine has a very strange, ridiculous situation that I can’t help but blog about. Or, this can act as a cautionary tale for anyone who is thinking of entering the mystical…“online dating world.”
So I have this Uncle, Terry let’s call him, who is somewhat of a mystery. He was a military policeman for over 20 years, had a brief stint as a Casino security manager, and currently works as a Sheriff in Victoria, BC. He’s a nice enough man, and despite his impressive resume he’s made some poor decisions over the years.
He’s also recently put a lot of energy into his physical appearance; working out, eating well, getting veneers for the hell of it.
I always hoped he’d get into a normal relationship since many years had passed since his last divorce. Not his first divorce, where his first ex-wife had taken most of his military pension and life savings, but his last divorce to a 21-year-old Syrian girl he met while working in Damascus. (I think it’s fairly easy to guess what happened with that.)
Anyway, my Uncle, who must have been in the midst of a mid-life crisis, met his current wife “Satu” online. She is a rather mysterious Swedish woman that had a steady job at a Volvo branch in Ghent, Belgium and two teenage children when they began their relationship.
I’m not sure how long they chatted over the Internet for, but once they decided to meet face-to- face in Las Vegas (yeah, of all places), they also decided to get married… after only 3 days.
My whole extended family were in shock – my grandparents were probably the most upset. Terry brought Satu to meet them for the first time at their ocean side house in “Mill Bay”, and he introduced her as his ‘wife’. My grandparents are very loving people and tried their best to welcome her, but she was cold, distant and seemed to have zero interest in getting to know them. It was uncomfortable to say the least.
A few years into the marriage, I knew things weren’t looking good.
Terry would send Satu from Prince George to stay with my grandparents for weeks at a time, without him.
When Satu’s daughter came to visit for a summer, they spent the entire time at my grandparent’s house while Terry continued to work up north. Satu would not bother with any of our family and would replace all of my grandparent’s family pictures with pictures of her own children.
Then, the day we all knew was coming, the separation.
Satu went back to Sweden and Terry admitted they were not in love and that he had made a big mistake. Hooray, now maybe he would become somewhat normal again and focus on a fresh new start.
No such luck, things just got worse.
Satu returned and refused to leave Terry, he had no choice but to take her back as she had no way of earning a living in Canada since Terry had never signed her papers allowing her to proceed with Canadian immigration.
Terry refused to get them an apartment, claiming that she only wants his money and whatever assets he acquires during their marriage. So in hopes of scaring her off, he decided to move the two of them into my grandparent’s camping trailer.
Yes, their trailer.
So two people who were no longer in love, who possibly who even hated each other, were now confined in the smallest of living quarters.
(Filming inside that trailer would have been a good reality show..)
Anyway, months passed and Satu’s teenage daughter gave birth to a little girl back in Sweden. Satu refused to go back despite knowing her own daughter needed her back home.
She continued to live in the trailer with Terry and had no friends, no job, no means of transportation, no money. They just existed and being happy was no longer an option for him.
What mystifies me is, what does she want? Sweden is a great country, and my uncle has very little for her to take – it’s all very confusing.
My grandfather passed away a few months later and my inconsolable grandmother was in the deepest grief imaginable.
I hadn’t visited them for a while before that, and luckily was able to immediately fly over for the funeral. While there, I of course had the chance to meet Satu while I was there. She was different, but was I was fairly intrigued by her as she was someone who I could practice my broken Swedish with.
I think she liked me because I was blonde. The feeling wasn’t mutual.
Anyway, me and my parents came back to Winnipeg and my Uncle and Satu then moved in with grandma claiming that she needed their help, without asking her.
They stayed for approximately nine months, rent free. Terry decided to use my Grandmother’s car so that he wouldn’t put so many miles on his own, they would occasionally buy groceries but not all the time. Satu is still without a job, friends, money or mode of transportation so she is constantly in my grandmother’s house leaving the confines of her bedroom for the odd smoke.
My grandmother who only wants them gone has sought the advice of so many, including lawyers and councillors – but has received no help.
Terry lives in the trailer once again and claims to be working on a solution – but as we speak, she is still living there.
The situation sickens me, and I wish I knew how to help.
Is this elder abuse?
My grandma no longer speaks to Terry, in fact no one does – he is only defensive and rude.
The lawyers told my grandma that she is not responsible in any way for Satu and she has no legal right to be living in her house, yet she remains living with my grandma – never leaving her bedroom unless she wants to go tanning or for a smoke.
It is the most bizarre situation and a warning to all of those people that may want to marry their on-line, foreign fling.