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Re: One more thing..Karen Kay(long,long)

Posted by antigua on February 18, 2004, at 22:51:48

In reply to One more thing.. antigua, posted by Karen_kay on February 18, 2004, at 16:18:47

You certainly are asking the right questions. Am I confused about my father? Well, I don't know. How do you like that for confusing???? Everytime I think I've taken a step to figure him out, I take a huge step backwards.

So here's part of my story.

I was totally devoted to my father when I was a little girl. I would have been with him 24 hrs a day if he had allowed it. I was most definitely Daddy's little girl, and I got stuck in that stage of development and have never really gotten over it. He was everything to me. Now, this is true for most little girls--little girls love their father and want to grow up and marry them. Usually the mother steps in and straightens her out (you know, Daddy belongs to Mommy and you'll find someone of your own when you grow up, etc.) Well, my mother didn't. We had a large family and my younger sibling was very sick all the time, in and out of the hospital, so she couldn't care for us all properly. There's a lot more to her, I'm just simplifying this, but the gist of it is that she was very unavailable to me and my father was more available. I never got over the daddy stage because my father took advantage of me--sexually and emotionally. But I didn't know any better, I just knew I loved him. And I was afraid that if I spoke up, he would leave or my mother would be so angry at what I'd done that she would leave. So the abuse happened and I became a really warped little girl. How could I love this man who did these horrible things to me? I know now that I disassociated and remained physically paralyzed, and wouldn't move as I believed that signaled willingness or collaboration. I was just so dirty.

My father did end up leaving us and my mother became even more emotionally unavailable. I was shifted around between my parents and had a pretty unhappy adolescence. I don't know when the abuse stopped.

Most of my life I defended my father against the rest of our family, but the fact of the matter is that he was not a very nice man. He was selfish, cruel and abusive to everyone, had no regard for anyone else's feelings or needs, etc. My T says he was narcisstic but I haven't had a chance to begin to explore this. He was abused and abandoned as a kid himself. He wanted what he wanted when he wanted it. He drank a lot and I can still smell the liquor on his breath. He had an explosive temper and a biting sarcasm that could cut anyone to the quick. I was blind to all that. I just loved him.

I didn't consciously know about the abuse until right before he died, when some little exchange between the two of us sent up a warning flag. I was very close to him in his later years, took care of him, nursed him, etc. I still loved him. I believe in my heart that he had to be dead before I would ever face this. All the signs were always there, I just didn't acknowledge them.

He was two people to me: the good father and the evil father. There were good parts to him, but I also defined him as good because I couldn't dare admit how bad he really was to me. Kids always take on the responsibility and I believed if I was just good enough, did exactly what he wanted, etc. he wouldn't leave me. But he did anyway.

I now concentrate on trying to integrate these images of him. I haven't realized the full "evil" father yet as I have been unable to face the terror and the anger. Being angry at him would make him responsible and not me.

That's about where I am now. I'm not defensive anymore about what a bad guy he was in our family, and I love him and hate him. My T says I'm too willing to forgive because I don't, can't or won't deal w/my anger. She's probably right.

Sorry this is so long. I'm still confused but I do see a light at the end of the tunnel. Getting over the shame and humiliation is very difficult and they keep rearing their ugly heads just when I thought I'd convinced myself that this wasn't my fault. Rationally I know it was not my fault, but the little girl still doesn't understand.

Ask anything you want, as long as it's o.k. for you--that goes to all of you. I worry that I say too much sometimes and trigger other people because I'm pretty outspoken.




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