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Taryn remembers her father, Mike Rinder, as cold and uncaring—traits that went on full display when he harassed her brother and abused her mother.
As the daughter of Mike Rinder, I felt like I didn’t have a father. And when I did, I put so much effort into and, like, put out a lot towards him with no return, ever.
I didn’t matter to him. And we didn’t matter to him. And what was important to me didn’t matter. And—it was subtle but it was insidious and it was calculated to make you feel like you were nothing. And that is how I felt.
So my father had been in England. And one day my mom walked up to me—like, actually, I was totally surprised. And she goes, “I need to talk to you.” “Okay. What’s happening?” And she goes, “I just want to let you know that your father has abandoned us and has just walked out and we haven’t heard from him. And I wanted to make sure you knew.” And we actually didn’t hear from him for at least three weeks after that, not a word. And then when that did come in, it was an email to an associate or someone that my mom isn’t particularly friends with, he sent an email to that person to tell my mom he wasn’t coming back. And no mention of my brother or I.
And I think, once again, it shows his character as a father because there wasn’t a single peep about his children. It was all about him, all about he’s doing this and he’s doing that and that’s it. No, no care no matter in the world about what someone else thought, what his wife thought. He was married to my mom for thirty years and had two kids. “Bye.”
And some months later, again my mom, “T, I need to tell you something.” And she tells me that my brother has cancer. My baby brother has cancer. And he’s 24 and it’s malignant melanoma and that he was given several years to live. And that’s—that was the shock of the day. And of course the first thing I think of is I need to go see him. I need to find out all about it. I need to help him with whatever he needs. What can we do? Where can we go? What does he need? I mean, we were just full throttle from there for months.
The handlings medically that had to be done was intense radiation to the point where he’s throwing up and having no appetite and losing weight and obviously feeling, like, sick as a dog all the time. And numerous, numerous surgeries—and including on his face to have to remove the cancer. And then, reconstructive surgery after that to handle the cuts from having to take the surgery—the cancer out.
And through all of that and the medical attention and making sure he had the best doctor’s treatment handlings possible, bar none, that entire time, Mike Rinder has not shown up once. He has not said a peep. He has not originated helping him. He has not offered to help with the medical bills. He hasn’t even made sure he had a cup of tea—like, nothing.
Until, at the point when my brother has gone through all of this and he’s finally on the mend, the only thing that my father, Mike Rinder, ever did, ever, was to go to where my brother was, with four of his friends, with a video camera to force himself on my brother. That was it. And to try to make it look like he “cared” about my brother. Now, how can you say—how can you even think that someone’s gonna believe you or that you care about someone when he’s just almost died and you’ve done nothing and now you’re there with a video camera with four people that are goons, that are, you know, four people that are just there to also harass?
It really, really pissed me off. And it really made me mad. And, you know, I felt as a family we needed to do something about that. And we needed to get him to stop and also to see this was not okay with us. And so my mom and I decided we need to go down there, which is Clearwater, Florida.
And then we called my uncle, my Uncle Andrew which is Mike’s brother. And we, you know, we grabbed some of our friends and associates that had worked with Mike for thirty, forty years—some of them I’ve known since I was a kid—and that I would consider our close friends and some even family. And we went down to Florida to see Mike.
And upon approaching, well, first of all, was very evident that he didn’t want to be seeing us at all. Second of all, my mom approached him first and she was definitely, like, on to him about doing this to her son, and I understand. And—but very quickly, there—he was like in her face and had grabbed her arms.
And he was screaming at her, “Rrrrrr.” And she’s saying “Stop it, stop it.” And I’m riveted on his face, just in complete and utter shock. I’m their daughter and both my parents are standing there and my father’s hurting my mom, about to hurt her, wanting to hurt her, wishing she was dead.
Before you know it, he drops her arms and that’s it—and he walks off. And then I see my mom and she’s standing there in pain. And I go, “Holy crap, what just happened?” You know, like—we were both in shock. I was in shock and it registered right then, “She’s been hurt.” And she’s holding her arm, it’s bleeding. It’s on her pants. Blood is on her pants, it’s on the ground. She’s very obviously in pain and like, oh, you know, whoa. And I’m going “Mom, what happened?”
And Mike’s walked away. And my uncle Andrew who had just kind of come up and was realizing what happened as well and sees my mom and what—that she was in pain and had just been hurt by Mike Rinder. And he goes “Whoa. No way, you’re not leaving. What’s the deal Mike?” And Mike Rinder’s response was to grab his hands so badly that he almost broke his finger—and still refused to talk to him at the same time.
So my mom had been injured by Mike Rinder, abused by him. And she was bleeding, so an ambulance was called, triage was done and you know, we finished that up and we went home. And not until quite a few days later did I even realize the extent of the injury that was caused by Mike Rinder in that attack.
It was gouged and bleeding and pussy and infected and her shoulder was out of, you know, it was just obviously damaged. And we took her to various doctors, but the bottom line is she then had to get an operation because the damage was that severe that it required an operation. There wasn’t something we could do otherwise that would fix it. And so we did that—and all during this entire process I was helping her with everything at that point. Because as soon as her arm was crippled, she couldn’t do anything with it. So everything you would have to do with two hands, or a right hand, I did for her: tying her shoes, cutting her food, making her bed, carrying her purse, doing up her buttons. We got special shirts made so that—to facilitate her arm, setting up her lifestyle so that she could be a cripple in this arm and still do well.
So, my mom was damaged for life—for life. She’s in pain every single day of her life and that was done by Mike Rinder—hands down, okay. I was standing there. I was…I was there. I’ve seen her injuries. I lived through everything she’s had to live through. And all the pain she’s had to live through, all the victim shaming that he has done on her to try to make it look like he didn’t do it, or cover it up or whatever, it was done by Mike Rinder. No victim shaming can take that away. No words can take that away. It’s what happened.