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This account is reprinted by permission from the June, 1999 issue of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation Newsletter, p. 15.

My Friend Rudy

by Deborah David, California Retractor

My friend Rudy Laubscher died alone a few weeks ago. He wasn't one to complain and I never knew he'd been sick and in the hospital. I first met him in the fall of 1993 at a gathering of falsely accused parents here in Sacramento. I'd been asked to come and talk to the group. It was the first group I spoke to and I was nervous. During a break Rudy came and introduced himself to me, bringing me cookies and juice. He was a tall man, a truck driver by profession. Once he'd been married and had four children, three sons and a daughter. He informed me he hadn't seen any of them since he'd been accused four years previously (1989). All four of his children were professionals, one son a biologist, one a pilot, one an engineer and the accusing daughter a doctor. While Rudy was a truck driver he put those four children through college, supported them, advised them and loved them, but never pushed them. He had told me he taught them to think for themselves, or so he thought. Rudy was smart, intelligent, and educated in his own right. He read a lot and researched often at the law library and the medical library at Davis University. He had raised his children in Ohio and moved to California recently.

By early 1994 Rudy was part of my family. He was a support to us in the lawsuit against my ex-therapists, lending an ear to talk to, offering advice and most of all having us laugh in the face of the evil that had touched all our lives. I learned his daughter was a doctor and that during her residence program she became overly stressed, therefore seeking out the help of a therapist. There she came to belief her dad molested her and thus the reason she was having so much trouble with going through the residence program. Rudy tried everything he could to talk and to find some way to get through to his daughter, but she never spoke to him again. That would be ten years as of now.

The boys all supported their sister, saying that if she says it is true it must be and like her would not speak to him. Rudy related how the children were close in age and had always been close as children and he'd say that he understood how the boys would stand by their little sister. But I could see the faraway look of hurt in his eyes as he talked of them.

Rudy's wife left him, perhaps not so much because she believed the accusations, he'd say, but because if she stayed she would lose all contact with her children and her grandchildren. He says he understood a mother's connection to her children and again I'd see the hurt in his eyes. But the deep wounds didn't keep Rudy from loving, caring about and supporting others and most of all it didn't kill his sense of humor and his love of life.

A couple years ago he came down with kidney disease, and had a shunt put in so that he could do his own dialysis each night. He wanted it that way so he could have the freedom to ride his bike, and to continue working the new job with the California Department of Transportation, where he was working full time. Rudy died on April 27, 1999 from an infection that couldn't be controlled.

Rudy could always make me smile and laugh. His sense of humor was extraordinary, light and fun. How I am going to miss that smile of his, the way he'd brighten up a room with it. How I wonder what his children think now, do they have regrets? Do they recall the times as a family when they were growing up and things were fun? Does his daughter recall how dad sent her cooked turkey, having it trucked to her door while she was away at college? Do they recall all the times Rudy tried to get them to talk to him, by letter, by post cards, by mediation (just last year) and always how they turned him down, refusing to talk with him, refusing to listen to anyone else or meet with anyone else to discuss the issue? Do they lie awake at night and remember their dad, strong, supportive, funny, caring and loving, or have they so completely dismissed reality that all they hold is the hate, anger, and beliefs they have been taught from the therapists?

Now they no longer have to worry about what he wanted to say to them, and sadly, oh so sadly, they will never know either. Do they realize how much he loved them, even in the face of the hurt they were causing him? Don't they know how much he lost and that they lost to something that never happened in the first place?

He'd told me recently that he'd given up trying to get through to them, that they were all educated people but as such had given up thinking rationally and looking at all sides of an issue before making a judgment. He recognized that they been brainwashed. Even his ex-wife who because of the belief "that if the daughter is abused the mother was too" went into therapy and guess what, had her own visualizations of being sexually abused. Rudy told me he knew full well his wife had not been sexually abused. Yet she holds to it, as does their daughter.

A family was once here, and with it was an extended family. They worked together, they supported and loved each other, they had dreams and a future. Then it was all stolen away by an unproven theory and by therapists who think everyone who comes through their doors with a problem is a sexual abuse victim who hasn't remembered or even knows that she/he is one. Thus destroying another family unit.

I mourn the loss of my friend, my dear friend Rudy Laubscher. I can only hope that someday his family does too.

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