First I'll quote it in its entirety and then I'll shred it to pieces.
"Pronoia, how are you and what are you doing? How are the children? When are you going on holidays? I haven't been working too much. Only two or three days a week. The two of us are getting along quite well. It would be nice if you'd send us pictures from the birthday party. Greetings to all."
My comments are green:
"Pronoia, how are you and what are you doing? How are the children? When are you going on holidays?
This is my father's voice here. The "polite", impersonal string of random questions that mean little and that could have been directed at any acquaintance and that show no interest in the answer.
I haven't been working too much. Only two or three days a week. The two of us are getting along quite well.
Red alert. Among the small talk, I see what's going on here. Before they went away, she'd complained to me about the horrible abuse he'd been subjecting her to. I listened and validated her and told her, when he wasn't listening, that she could write to me any time for support if she had problems because I understood. She must have told him about this and he must have seen that we were getting too close for his taste. So, obviously, he turned his charm back on with her, and is once more the good, gentlemanly boyfriend to her, which makes it possible to enlist her as a flying monkey in his battle against me. I'm flattered. I must be a worthy opponent. He's being nice to her AND he wants me to know that.
Actually, I'm lying. All this is hurtful and painful for me. But I'm not a wimp, remember? I'm a warrior, etc. I'm hurt both by his behavior (expected) and hers (not so expected; but should have been; after all, she's with him despite knowing she's being abused: why would she think the role of a flying monkey would be beneath her if she lets him get away with far worse?)
It would be nice if you'd send us pictures from the birthday party.
And there we are. Right at the end. The only reason for this message (she never writes to me; there's no need to; I barely correspond with him; she communicates with me only in her Flying Monkey role). He wants the photos of the birthday party of the birthday girl whose birthday he never congratulated us on because he was sulking. It's beneath him to ask. He probably thinks they are his due, and is offended I hadn't sent them myself. It would be nice if I sent them - and it's not nice that I haven't sent them. This is not even a request. A request is: "Would/Could you please send us pictures?" What (s)he wrote here is a thinly veiled reproach: You haven't sent your father the pictures from your daughter's birthday and that's not nice!
These are his words, written in his style. I don't even want to necessarily accuse her of participating in this, before I ask her. It wouldn't surprise me if he was the one writing these messages. She might have just let him. Or not even that.
Greetings to all."
Again, I don't know what to do. As soon as he gets his hands on the pictures, he'll send them to all his "friends" to prove how he cares about his daughter and his granddaughter. I don't mind that too much, as he's not on FB or anything, these are just private emails, and the only unpleasant aspect of that is that it was difficult for two persons of mutual acquaintance to believe me at first when I "came out". They were sure my father loved me so much. But it didn't take long even for them to See.
I don't feel he deserves the pictures from the parents of the birthday girl to whom he didn't have the decency to congratulate the birthday in the first place. I was going to keep quiet about that, because I didn't want to acknowledge that I was hurt or even noticed this. But he knows what audacity it is to be asking for the pictures now. Which is why she's the one asking. My husband says "Just send the photos to her". Which might be just the appropriate response.
What do you think?