Escaping Domestic Abuse

Michelle Fairchild & Family Hardship Fund

We will always remember our father as the man who taught us to fish, play sports, and enjoy the
outdoors. Unfortunately, our father also struggled with accepting and managing his mental
illness, which resulted in tragedy. Toward the end, our father was physically abusing our
mother, she was no longer safe with him, and we had to hide her away. My mother left my
father 7/1/18 and the results were horrific. The smallest things would send him into an
aggressive rage. We removed the guns from our home after an incident where he threatened to
kill himself and several others. My father made violent threats toward us and mom. He wanted
to track down our mother, but we did everything we could to protect her. As a family, we decided
to have him committed to a psychiatric hospital in hopes the doctors could bring back the dad
we loved and remembered. A judge released him after only 11 days, deeming that he was no
longer a risk to himself or others. It quickly became apparent that this was not the case. He was
adamant about tracking down our mother, and the more we tried to protect her, the more
paranoid he became that no one loved him anymore. Just 3 1/2 weeks after his release from the
hospital tragedy struck. Due to the mental illness, our childhood home was burnt to the
ground and our father’s life was lost. Now we have found out that before our childhood
memories went up in flames, my dad reached out to his brother, our families’ life insurance
agent, and made him the beneficiary. My uncle is refusing to give us the life insurance money,
leaving my widowed mother, the strongest woman you will ever meet, with over $200k in debt.
Three of us kids are recent college grads and the youngest is still in college, we have no money
to help my mother. I ask that you keep our family in your prayers. We loved our father very
much, and we know it was not him who brought about the tragedy to our family but rather his
untreated mental illness. Deep down our father always loved us, even to the very end – we have
to believe that. Please, if anyone you know is living with mental illness, shower them in love,
make sure you take every chance you can to tell them what they mean to you, and get them the
help that they need.