Legal Quandary

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Ka-Ra-Zee With a Capital "K"

Over the past year or so, my cousin Renee has gotten progressively crazier. Most of her outbursts involve whoever the boyfriend is that month. One particular guy, "Archie", and Renee have dated on and off for years. They lived together until he kicked her out, but somehow he keeps showing up in these stories. I was sort of confused about this for the longest time because "Archie" is only a nickname, so about half the time he would be referred to by his real name, "Dieter." I naturally thought these were two different guys who just had a thing for screwed up relationships, but I was mistaken on this point.

My mom witnessed one of Renee's more memorable incidents when she was at my aunt's for coffee one day. In Germany it is next to impossible to have a cup of coffee with one female relative unless the entire clan is there, so Renee's grandmother and another aunt or two were present as well.

Renee went upstairs with Archie/Dieter and apparently she tried to entice him to have sex with her. He refused, so she started chasing him around the house with a pair of scissors, pausing only to plunge the scissors into a door or two. I guess the physical attack alone wasn't quite seductive enough, so she also tried screaming insults at him. When that didn't work, she chased him outside and got the whole neighborhood involved. They might not have taken as much notice of the whole situation were it not for the fact that she was also rip-roaring drunk and buck naked.

Renee took up with a musician shortly after that. Things seemed to go ok for awhile, but I guess Renee got bored, so she decided to visit the musician's ex-wife, who had since entered into a lesbian relationship. On her way to work. After she'd been drinking. Anyway, Renee flipped out on both the ex-wife and her partner, and the police were called. So she attacked them too. I haven't had a lot of personal dealings with the police, but apparently German police don't take to being kicked, hit, scratched, and called "baby-fuckers" any better than American cops do. Eventually, they subdued her, threw her in handcuffs and dragged her off to the hospital where she was locked up in the Psych ward overnight. It appears that a person can't be involuntarily confined in a mental institution without a hearing in Germany either, so a judge showed up the next day and said she had to be released, but that Renee would have to undergo treatment. We all assumed she'd end up in some sort of Detox program, and she *was* supposed to go to one back in May, but somehow weasled her way out of that and into a different "Relationship" therapy.

I don't know exactly what kind of therapy it is, but it seems more like summer camp than anything else. It's an inpatient program where the patients attend counseling sessions in the mornings and then head off to the gym, to arts and crafts classes, or go hiking in the afternoon. About a week after she got there, she hooked up with Rico. (Yes, really his name. Just think, my kids could have had an Uncle Rico, but...) Rico apparently has a history of drug use and gambling, so he's clearly quite a catch. This was further evidenced when he was kicked out of treatment about 2 weeks ago. The story is that he was caught smoking on the balcony - which I don't buy for a second, unless the "smoking" was of a substance considered less than legal, even in Germany.

Anyhoo, instead of heading to his own house, Rico turned up at my aunt's house - in tears because Renee told him she doesn't want to see him anymore. (Surprise! She was just using him too!!! Shocking, I know.) Turns out he had bought her a ring and proposed right after he got kicked out of treatment. My aunt (ever the sucker for a sad story) let him stay the night at the house. The next day, he went and drank himself into a stupor. When the staff at the bar tried to get him to leave at closing, he gave them my aunt's phone number, so she went to pick him up. (She's a slow learner.) This was on Monday or Tuesday. Every day my aunt wanted to take him to the train station, and every day, he found some reason to stay another day. (I always let drug addicted strangers stay in my house - don't you?) On Friday, Renee came home again (because in-patient therapy is so much more effective when the patients come home every Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, and for all holidays - religious and secular.) When Renee got home, she was upset because Rico had taken the dog for a walk and she was "concerned" about her dog. She went out looking for him, and when he hadn't returned within an hour, Renee demanded the car keys from my aunt, who in an uncharacteristic display of backbone, refused to hand them over.

"That's so unfair!" Renee shouted. "You'd give them to Steffi! (her sister) She's always been your favorite!"

"That's not true" said my aunt. "I don't give you the car keys because you go out drinking every time I do."

"I hate you! I wish you were dead! I wish I could kill you now!"

Then Renee grabbed the car keys, ran downstairs and tried to get into the car. My aunt followed and got the keys back. So Renee kicked her (I saw the bruises - up and down both legs!) When that didn't yield the desired results - RENEE BIT HER ON THE ARM. MULTIPLE TIMES. I saw my Aunt's arm later in the evening, and it looked like a dog had bitten her - except that the few bite marks that didn't break the skin were definitely human. My aunt still wouldn't give up the keys, so Renee grabbed a spade and came after her mother, but my aunt was smart enough just to lock her in the garage at this point.

When we talked to my aunt on the phone about an hour later, Renee was on the porch screaming and crying. Rico eventually calmed her down and she slept for the next 18 hours. My aunt had left something at our house a couple of days before, so we went over later that evening. I went along because I didn't want my mom to go alone, but we left the kids at the house because I don't want them exposed to my crazy cousin.

I swear, one of these days, I'm going to get a phone call from my mom telling me that Renee has killed her mom. Or someone else.

Now my family seems to normal to me...okay, maybe not. R2B
Seriously, they can't commit her for serious rehab?
Or won't?
Wow. That's scary, and sad. Extreme eccentricity is one thing, but violence is another altogether.
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