Friday, December 28, 2018


I started therapy again.

I find most of my emotions fit neatly into these categories: anxiety, depression, tenderness/gratitude/relief/love (blending into one).

My therapist suggested writing down situations and my emotional reactions to them, both in the present and in my childhood - and what I think my emotions could have or should have been, had I been free to express them and even feel them.

And immediately I said I think I started reacting in an appropriate way really early - which means "these people are my capos, it would be silly to feel emotionally hurt by what they say or do, I can only feel fear, anger, anxiety, depression, like I would in a concentration camp, not hurt feelings, like I would if someone I cared about said or did something hurtful".

So I tried with the situation I remember was a sort of trigger that got me to consciously detach from both my parents at age 8 - I have written about it but I'll go into more details now. Because what I realize is that the emotions keeping me from accessing all this stuff are not pain or anger predominantly, they're shame and guilt.

We were at a mountain cabin/hotel for winter holidays. My parents took the daughter of my father's coworker along. We went out to play in the snow one afternoon, all except my mother.

I don't remember exactly how it happened, but us two girls started playfully attacking my father and he started throwing us onto the ground. At one point, this got really violent and he really slammed us hard. The girl said she didn't want to play any more and we went back.

I felt I had the obligation to speak up - not for myself, of course. "Dad, I'm your daughter and you can do whatever you want to me (?! yes I said this), but not to someone else's kid. I think it's wrong to behave in this way to her".

He said something to the effect of making a violent threat.

Then I said "You are stronger than me now, but when I'm 30 you'll be 70 and I'll be the stronger one then".

Then he started slapping me in the face repeatedly, making denigrating remarks. I didn't cry or react, at this moment I was tough and had an armor on against him.

Afterwards, I told my mother I loved her more then. She rejected this advance. So I had no one. I felt shame for groveling, asking for her support and love.

So an hour or so later, he was shouting at some kids in the hotel to shut up. And I was around and I remember kissing him on the hand to suck up so he'll love me again (?!) and thinking at that moment "I'm kissing the hand that slapped me". And being disgusted at myself.

I feel shame about this. About the groveling. And guilt, about the violent threats I kind of made.

But at this moment I also feel some empathy for the 8yo who had no one to turn to, no one on her side.

I don't know what my actual feeling were at the time towards my parents in general, but I'm not sure any sort of personal hurt would have been entirely appropriate. Just sadness about the loneliness, which I can feel now.

Narcissistic father acknowledges some failings

He just called me on Skype to tell me he 'almost died'. He has acute pneumonia and chronic heart & blood pressure issues, not a good mix. He'll live.

But he went sort of sentimental and wanted me to thank my ILs for being there for me and my kids. Then he said "I know I haven't been there for you when it comes to this stuff. But you know you can come to me when you need money".

This is true. And he and I can now be honest about the scope and extent of his being a father to me. He knows what he is capable of, and I feel safe being thankful for those several times in my life when he offered me money for something needed and I accepted.

I feel freer. I cried. And like I can allow some more emotions now.