On Halloween, I saw my NF for the first time again after over 6 months of Extremely Low Contact. How appropriate.
He goes away for 6 months out of each year with his girlfriend. During the time they're away, we might exchange a short, meaningless text message every couple of weeks or so. Thankfully, he very obviously doesn't care about (fully controlling) me or my family per se. It might be because he found a new victim, or because my husband frightens him, or because we're not really giving him what he wants.
When he's in town, however, he's all over the map. Sometimes, he'll call almost every day. Then he won't call for a long time. (I never call him.) He'll often call when I'm away and question DH about my work schedule - we're both deliberately vague about it, just because he seems so obsessed with knowing it (I now believe he has some OCPD traits along with serious NPD ones). When his girlfriend doesn't have her language lessons near our home, they barely ever visit, and have invited us to their place exactly twice. When she has her lessons is the only time our lives get disturbed, as he jealously has to drive her to and from these classes, just so she doesn't cheat on her way home. So he waits in our home. He just calls and informs us he'll come later "to see us," or he just drops by. It hasn't come to that yet this year. Last year, she only had these classes for a couple of months anyway, so we saw him perhaps a dozen times in those 6 months.
Every year, I react to his return and his potential droppings-in differently. Two years ago, after I'd just discovered NPD, I was still both scared of him and very argumentative around him. A year ago, when I thought he wasn't my biological father, I allowed myself to also feel physically revolted by him, and found it draining to even be in the same room with him.
This year, I find so much has changed. I feel merely amused around him. Like Jane Goodall around the chimps - or insert a less offensive analogy here depicting a person interested in others' behavior on a detached, scientific basis.
Earlier, I wouldn't accept anything from him. I didn't want to owe him anything. This year, he bought us all expensive shoes. I don't know why - possibly the rush of being able to tell the shop assistant "It's all on me. Don't worry about the price." I said "Thank you" and that was it. It's his choice, his idea, it has little to do with me and I don't owe him anything. I feel like I'm doing him a favor - I'm allowing him to express in the only way possible to him what he mistakenly believes is love.
Of course, I also believe I'm a cold, cruel bitch, who still can't find it in herself to feel anything for this man or his late wife, my mother. Maybe a twinge of sadness, a bit of irritation, a touch of nausea, at best. This is what I'll be seeking therapy for. There's got to be REAL sadness and anger there, right? REAL grief at love not received that I must have felt at least as a child? Love for one's parents that I hope I felt as a child - or I'm a psychopath/sociopath.
I've been thinking about No Contact again, and how, in my case, I can't even see how it could ever come to that. There's no honesty, no sharing, no openness, no confrontation, no drama, no ACTUAL contact between us. Cold civilities for the last decade or so. (He's not even capable of pretending there's more - he doesn't know the language required for this pretense.) Much, much less since I found out about NPD and stopped getting angry and defensive and argumentative around him.
I no longer feel guilty for not going NC. This ACON blogging thing is NOT about satisfying the criteria for an elite social club. It's about expressing my reality and knowing there might be BS in there, but still exposing it to everyone out there.