Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Destroyer (or Transformer)

My therapist and I have been struggling to communicate lately, and I think we finally figured out why. I told her a couple weeks ago that I felt like her and my other therapist (for EMDR) keep wanting me to be angry at my mom. It seemed they were always changing the subject back to my mom, especially when I was talking about my dad. Saying things like- how does it make you feel that your mom stood by and witnessed you being beaten, and did nothing? Meanwhile, I'm thinking that the bigger issue is the terror I'm feeling towards my dad. I get the idea that mommy issues are much more compelling, not just for my therapists. What can you say about a man who beats his own daughter? Not much. He is a monster. He is hard to even think about understanding. Plus, it's disturbing and shocking and the kind of thing most people don't like thinking about. Mothers, on the other hand, we just love to dissect under a microscope. Was it her mental illness, her upbringing, her ambivalence over having kids, her denial, her fear of my dad, her confusion, her love for my dad, her jealousy? We could psychoanalyse her all day. Plus, most people has mommy issue to some extent, whether its that they were too critical, distant, overbearing, guilt-trippy, excessively open, needy, etc. It's a lot easier to relate to difficulty with your relationship with your mom than with a father who beats you, whether you are a therapist or a friend. Lots of people have tried to give me helpful advice about my mom, everything from being understanding because she's mentally ill and she wasn't the abuser (not exactly true since neglect is abuse) to cut her out of my life. Most people don't have much to say about my dad.

That might not matter much except that I'm still waking up in the middle of the night terrified of my dad. I go to bed afraid of him. I'm still keeping my room/apartment cluttered to alert me if he tries to sneak into my bed. I'm suppressing rage towards him. I still get a sick feeling when I think of him. I blame him for corrupting my brother and taking him away from me. I resent him. I hate him. I fantasize about the day I can spit on his grave. I'm afraid of being like him. I'm terrified of what he did to me that my mind hid deep in my subconscious. I wonder if I'll ever know. All roads lead back to him. I wonder if I'll ever be free of his influence. I wonder what life would be like for me if I no longer cared. I carry his threats and mistreatment around in my heart like a cancer. His demeaning of me still motivates me to try to prove my worth. He is the monster under my bed. He is my nemesis.

So I want to talk about him. I want to talk about all the fears that twist me up inside. I want to talk about how I don't feel good enough because he didn't love me. I want to talk about all the ugliness inside me, and how I'm afraid his hatred will infect me. He scares me so much.

It took me the whole hour, but I finally expressed that to my therapist. I'm sick of talking about my mom. I want to talk about my dad. Even with all the issues I have with my mom, my dad was the one who made me fear for my own life. Most of the odd things I do and illogical ways of thinking I have come from coping strategies I used to survive him that are holding me back in the present. The chaos in my life comes from him. He is the biggest monster in my life, the biggest mountain to climb and reach the other side. I don't even have a clue who I'll be if I can do that, free myself from him programming. I will be different. Maybe more confident, less suspicious. Maybe happier.


Mechi Badb said...

In my opinion (having gone through something similar in my own childhood) your mother and father are equally accountable, thinking of the old proverb.."Evil flourishes when good people do nothing to stop it". She could have taken you and your brother and fled, sent you to a relative to live, etc. She only took action (divorcing him) after you and your brother were no longer around and your father's rage was now directly focused on her. You and your brother were her personal scapegoats. Everything your father did, she could blame upon you,after you both were gone she realized the problem was never with you two but with your father and promptly left him. A classic case of denial, detachment and misdirection. My own mother was severely abused and when my father took it out on me (I was an infant) she left him, but through the years she came to resent me, because her 2nd husband didn't want children and often spoke of how much better things could be without me in the picture. So she now became the abuser because my presence limited her life I guess. She even tried to give me away to her sister at one time.
Even to this day she makes no apologies for her actions and behaves as though none of it happened.

As to your father. I wouldn't wait until he'd dead to spit on his grave, I would do it now. I would take my boyfriend along with me, pay a surprise visit to him and take back my power that I unwittingly gave to him and tell him (in front of his whole family) exactly what I think of him including all the gory details of what he did/allowed to happen at the hands of his brother and announce that as of this moment he is "dead to me". Then leave and never look back.
It's easy to spit on his grave when he's dead because what can he do in return? Not much. So confront him as the adult you are and relate how wonderful your life has turned out without him in it.
That is what I would do. Confront your abuser. As I said, take your boyfriend along with you (for physical protection), because once an abuser, always an abuser.

Tealrat said...

I don't want to excuse my mom at all. She did throw me to the wolves, and that was inexcusable. She repeatedly abandoned her responsibilities as a parent, and made my brother and I feel unwanted. She was neglectful, and that is abuse as well. However, only my dad is truly responsible for the violence, physical, verbal & possibly sexual abuse he committed. In my mind, he is the bigger monster. My brother was living with him, after my mom left, when he committed suicide. I hold my mom responsible for a lot of things, but if anyone is to blame for Jeff's suicide, it's my dad. My mom asked my dad to bring Jeff to a psychiatrist when he started making suicide threats, and my dad refused just to fuck with her. He played games with my brother's LIFE, and when Jeff died, he used him to continue guilt-tripping our mom. He outright lied about what had happened in our family, telling his new family that my mom was the abusive one and he stayed to protect my brother and I! It is outrageous what my dad has gotten away with. My mom is not nearly that sick, twisted, remorseless, or evil. She actually means well on occasion, and while I am still angry at her, she is not evil. My dad- I still fear him. He could have killed me. That man took pleasure in my suffering. I could see it in his eyes. He laughed at my pain.

On that note, I don't want to confront him because he loves conflict. He would love the opportunity to fuck with me even more than he already has. I don't want to give him that opportunity. That's why I want to spit on his grave. The message is- you won't see me again until you're DEAD. As much as I can cut him out of my existence, the better. He doesn't deserve any more of my suffering. I don't want him to even know what I look like now, how I sound, what I would say. I will never see my brother again (in this life) and he will never see me. Karma is a bitch, and I believe he will get his in the end. I have faith in that.