In a bizarre twist of circumstances, my ex husband’s much saner and often overshadowed sister, H, is acquaintances and Facebook “friends” with Matt Hickey, the pathological Olympia poseur and apparent serial rapist who is featured in an “exposé” in this week’s The Stranger.
Upon reading the link I sent her to the article, she quickly retracted all of the suspiciously nice things she claimed when I asked her, “How in gay Hell do you, of all decent people, know Matt Hickey?”
At first she said she thought he was a real nice guy and so good for his girlfriend, her colleague at a sportswear design company in Seattle. But after reading the article, she said, “I only met him three times, and I always felt like he was a creep.”
Then without any segue, she mentioned her brother, M, will no longer speak with her because she does not endorse his sense of entitlement to their living grandparents’ fortune. She went off saying, “He’s 40 years old and has never done anything for himself. They just bought him a new car! He feels because our grandparents are wealthy, he does not need to make anything of himself.”
Not being sure if his sister knows of M’s schizophrenia, I gently reminded her, “Your brother has his issues. When we were together, I always called him on his shit. He knows precisely what he is dealing with, yet he is the only one who can take care of himself or not. It’s best for you to take care of yourself and focus on everything that makes you awesome. Your brother is not going to get better.”
I wanted to tell her a lot more as she herself is now nearly 40 as well, but as I listened to what she said, I kept in mind how her family regularly kept her in the dark and overlooked her while her brother was off being the charismatic schizophrenic he is.
There is an unfortunate and classic connection between the affect her brother’s mental illness has had on their family and her potential vulnerability as an adult to predatory creeps like Matt Hickey.