Saturday, April 16, 2011

strangely empowered

He's been trying to manipulate us both, his girlfriend and me, to make us believe we could never be close. She's been made to think I resent her trying to replace my mother and whatnot, and I've been led to believe that she finds my family of choice a drag and is too busy to ever come over. Actually, he tried to isolate us both and keep us from ever talking to each other.

Also, I've been led to believe that he's doing all these things for her and he apparently loves only her now - for instance, once, years ago, when I had a baby, I asked him to drive me somewhere as a favor, once, because I really needed it, once, and he said it wasn't convenient because it didn't fit in with his girlfriend's schedule. At the same time, she's aware he doesn't really love her - what kind of love disappears because she's lost her phone card, instantly? - but she tells me that "at least your father really loves you - he'd do anything for you" "So he might say to you", I replied.

Discovering how low my father is capable of sinking if given half the chance has liberated me from the last shreds of consideration I had for him. He's a ruthless, unscrupulous, dark individual that needs to be put in his place, and not coddled.

Who knows when I'll be able to overcome the injunction to stand up for myself. I feel it in my bones that standing up for myself is evil, immoral, selfish, wrong. Knowing rationally that this isn't true doesn't help much.

But knowing what he's doing to her is, in a tragic, horrid way, empowering to me. I know this sounds sick. It is. But, see, I'm more than ready and willing to stand up for her. I feel an angry, but calm strength. I know I'm stronger than him, but am not always willing to use it. I would for her, if she wants me to. I'd gladly publicly validate all her perceptions and experiences and back them up with mine.

If I'm able to somehow contact her without the risk of having him find out (I'm sure he reads all her correspondence), and I'll try to arrange that, I'll tell her that she can always count on my support. That I'll be on her side, because I understand. I've been there.


  1. For what it's worth, a personal experience: my father and I recently figured out when it was that my mother's behavior toward him became more angry, critical and humiliating. It was when I left home to live in a college dormitory.

    I see now that she had lost me as her primary target/supply for verbal abuse and manipulation. He had not (for whatever reason) seen clearly all of the way she was treating me, so he did not understand that what he suddenly experienced was a shift in targeting, not a personality change. They didn't separate for another ten years, but that, he now thinks, is when the final phase began.

    With that in mind, I'd ask, does your father also need one primary target, and since it is not you, is it now his girlfriend? Not said to induce guilt -- you freed yourself to save yourself, and you had every right to do that -- but to suggest that she needs to get out too. Before he hurts her physically.

  2. Thank you, Anon. That's a valuable observation for all of us. When I look back, it was when he moved on from me as his "dearest person" to his girlfriend that he started acting horribly towards me. At the time, I thought it was my fault for not reaching out to him more, not comforting him enough, not connecting well enough with him, after my mom died.

    But I was in the way and the primary target for verbal abuse.

    It would be interesting to see if his treatment of his girlfriend changed after I got married and was out of reach.


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