“My father was given a psychologist as early as the week following his entry into prison. And they have kept it for these over twenty years. I, on the other hand, was able to have a psychotherapist only three years ago and paid for it out of my own pocket: up until that moment no one had worried about my mental health ».
There is no anger in Giuseppe Delmonte’s voice as he tells what these over twenty-four years have been without his mother, but a lot of resignation, yes. And awareness that only one person could count to feel good: himself. Today Giuseppe works as an operating room instrumentalist in a Milanese hospital, has recently reconnected with his aunts, spends the holidays with his brother, has a niece to whom he dedicates what little free time he has. To observe her through the photos she posts on her Instagram account, Giuseppe’s life seems a life like many others. “But it wasn’t, not after that summer day in 1997,” he says.
On July 26 of that year his mother Olga Granà, 51 years old at the time, was killed with seven blows of an ax while on her way to the post office in Albizzate, in the Varese area. She wanted to collect a 500,000 lire money order that her ex-husband, Salvatore Delmonte – the father of Giuseppe and two of the couple’s other children – had paid her as an agreement for the separation: it was the first that Olga received.
“My parents hadn’t lived together for a while, my mother’s separation involved this monthly allowance. But, to make the absurdity clear, suffice it to say that while my father got our house, a rather large villa in which he lived alone, my mother was forced to move to a 40 square meter house that she shared with us three children ” .
Olga was killed by her ex-husband, Salvatore, after leaving him. After having endured, also, for years, any kind of abuse, oppression, violence and threats.
«My mother was born an orphan, then adopted by my grandparents, very wealthy, who had raised her for twenty-two years in a golden world. Then, very young, she met the “ogre”, that is my father, and she fell in love with him. And after six months she had wanted to marry him », says Giuseppe. But that beautiful life that Olga had dreamed of with her husband never existed. “He had isolated her, my mother was not free to work, she couldn’t see anyone, she lived in the house all day. Dad decided everything, he took care of any aspect, even the smallest, the expense for example. She couldn’t do anything. ‘ At home, however, there was not only psychological abuse. There were also the barrel, many barrel. “He used to beat her for anything. For example, if he made him find overcooked pasta. And she blamed herself for everything. “
Olga, however, had never lacked awareness: “She knew he would kill her, it was a death foretold.” Today we would call her assassination femicide, but at the dawn of the year 2000 it remained a murder like many others, steeped in violence but devoid of all that awareness and consequent debate that today exists around domestic violence, men who kill women with they are having an affair with. “The police at the time told us they couldn’t intervene until he did something sensational. Only then he did it, and it was too late. ‘
After the death of his mother Giuseppe begins a period of great solitude. “The institutional indifference towards us three children of the victim was crazy, no one asked us if we were able to support ourselves. I remember – he says – that I should have left a week after the murder for the military: they postponed my departure for three months but I was absolutely unable to sustain that experience. Nevertheless…”.
However, neither economic nor psychological support came from the state. If today Giuseppe is able to talk about his mother and his experience as an orphan, it is only because he independently managed to make a psychological journey that helped him get his life back in hand.
“Three years ago I managed to pay for a psychologist on my own while in prison, my father was offered it from the first week. I’m not saying that he didn’t need it, I’m just saying that my brothers and I would have needed one too. ” And it is thanks to the work done with his psychotherapist, Giuseppe was able to meet his father, who was sentenced to life imprisonment.
«I knew that I should have met him also because he was asking for forgiveness, so I felt I had to take this step. So last year I went to the prison where he is held and where I hope he will stay as long as he lives. I never wanted to see him dead because that would ease his pain. His psychologist told me that it took him twenty years to make him understand that he was wrong, that his gesture had caused pain to his children. But it was enough for me to look at him to understand that no, my father had not changed nor had he regretted what he had done. They are not people who repent, they are victims of a patriarchal culture that justifies violence against women ”.