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.