Monday, November 5, 2012

It Comes In Threes

11/1/2012
My father showed up just minutes after I left for my therapy session.  My wife was home.  He said he was there to drop off a present for my daughter’s birthday.  My wife asked him to leave.  He asked why.  My wife asked him to leave a second time.  He asked for me.  My wife said she’d be calling the police.  Fine, he said, here’s your present.  He scampered off.

It wasn’t until a day or so later that we found that he’d called my work phone that day to announce he was coming over.  He also spouted some lies about not being able to contact me or else he would have in other medias (other phone/emails).  He left a second message several hours after he visited my house saying he was treated very poorly and he doesn’t know why since he’s done nothing wrong.  I guess I’m living in some sort of alternate reality where he wasn’t spying on us for The Parasite, where he wasn’t trying to tell me to divorce my wife and leave my kids because I had to step up and “be a man”, where he didn’t tell me that I wasn’t a priority of his, where he doesn’t use guilt as his primary weapon, where he completely disregarded all of my requests for establishing a healthy relationship with him.  All of those, of course, DID happen, and it’s he that refuses to accept the facts, not I.

Another thing: I had to actively fight the immense surge of guilt I felt when my wife first told me about his visit and what happened.  I immediately pictured him sulking and crying on his way home, as was trained for me to do.  I recognized that I couldn’t feel like this, that this was how I was taught to respond.  I had to tell myself that I was not in the wrong here, and my father was.  That his choices reflected how he felt and my wife and reacted to them accordingly.

11/4/2012
My mother’s second husband (now divorced) showed up at my door, banging to be let in.  I felt most of color drain from my face and my stomach sink to my feet the first time I looked through the peep hole in the door.  I told him he needed to leave.  He said that this wasn’t about him or me, it was about my sister who’d apparently just attempted suicide.  She was in the hospital.  I explained that he needed to leave or I’d be calling the police.  He threw a tantrum and said that I should go ahead and call them, he’d make a huge scene in front of everyone, and my neighbors.  He emphasized “huge scene” and “everyone”.  We called the police, and when they showed up,  no “big scene”, from J the Bully.   As he stomped away to his truck, I could see that he was in a rage, just from his gait.  I’ve lived with him long enough to recognized his “pissed walk”. 

He obviously was there for other reasons other than to inform me that my sister was hospitalized.  I mean, he’d told me that news right away but still remained on my porch banging and asserting himself.  I find that I’m more shaken up about the confrontation with my mother’s second ex-husband than the actual news he came to deliver – I had already expected my sister to cry for help like that.  I still felt bad during this exchange, but again, this man had been a non-entity for the better part of two years – he wasn’t really “there” when married to my mother, and we had no connections after the divorce.  I’m not even sure how much he truly cares about his daughter (my sister).  He doesn’t show the capacity for that type of caring.

***

My sister called me late the same night.  She called to tell me that “something happened” and she was in the hospital.  She explained that our mother didn’t know she was calling and she wouldn’t tell her.  My sister thought “I’d want to know”.  When I first heard the message (on my work phone) my eyes went wide, as I had not expected this girl to call me…at all, for any reason.  After the initial shock, I felt bad, like I had to do something, like I should be doing something for her.  I would like to get the Parasite out of her life too, but that’s not my job and I quite obviously have to continually impound that thought into my head. 

I’ve written at least 4 or 5 drafts of a letter I want to send to her over the last few years and my wife pointed out that it seemed like that letter was one of the most difficult things I’d ever tried to do.  I mean, it’s taken years and I still haven’t got anything to send her, just a jumble of words and ideas.  Her phone call could be bait, and most likely is – she called my work number and not the house phone which is far easier to locate, I think.  This is the only “personal” number that she has (or more likely was given to her) for me at present.  If she had my cell phone number, she’d of called that.  My mother has proven over and over again, that her children are expendable, replaceable, less than human.

I felt a rising tide of anger just under my solar plexus as my wife and I were discussing what had happened.  I pictured a tumultuous ball of fire, not unlike the sun, pulsating there.  My kids were around and I was acutely aware of their presence, which is why I did not flare up entirely.  I'm not sure if that was the right thing to do or not, in retrospect.

13 comments:

  1. LSV, I'm sorry you've had to deal with all this lately. It does seem to come in a tidal wave of assaults, doesn't it?

    I can totally relate to you feeling a surge to protect your sister. I've spent years feeling that way. I don't know if there is really anything you can do. My sister has tried to commit suicide more times than I can count (starting at 16). And now, at 32, she's the same girl she was then. It is so completely and utterly difficult to watch, but I don't know if there is anything you can do for her. Maybe just a simple letter to her that says "I love you. I care for you and you mean something to me." would mean something to her.

    Just be careful to not fall into the rescuer trap with her. And be careful of watching for bait. Your sister might not be laying it out there, but I don't think it's beyond reason that your mother is laying your sister out as bait for you. My mother does that all the time.

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    1. My sister's first phone call seemed too planned my wife pointed out. Meanwhile all I could hear was my inner voice bellowing at me to save this poor child. I've already taken on that "rescuer" role long ago I think, right about the time when I became my mother's emotional spouce, my sister's emotional father. I'm now trying to fight my way out of that role and it's so so difficult.

      I'd love to send her something that says "I love you and I'm concerned for your wellbeing, but GET THE FUCK OUT OF OUR MOTHER'S CLUTCHES". Somehow, I'm not sure that would go over too well now.

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  2. LSV,
    I'm so sorry that they have thrown you into the middle of their shitstorm, yet again. For what it's worth, I think that you are doing all of the right things to keep yourself and your family safe, expecially in involving the police.

    I'm out here rooting for you as you deal with the hits coming from all directions, and can see that you are working very hard to respond (rather than knee-jerk react to the guilt responses that you were trained with.) I can tell you that in my experience, this ability to pause is both the most useful 'in the moment' tool that I've found AND the thing that will trigger the Narcs to get Narcy-er faster.

    They become INCENSED when we prove that we meant what we said when we told them that we weren't going to play their games anymore. Following through to protect yourself and your FOC is always the right thing to do, IMO.

    Love,
    Vanci

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    1. Thanks Vanci.

      It's terrible what they're doing, isn't it? What the've done. All I'm doing now is fighting my own knee-jerk reactions to feeling oceans of guilt and running and screaming at them, why why are you doing these things, don't you love me? Don't you want me to be happy? I suppose the answer to that is a resounding "No" though, isn't it. It's coming to me clearer now, that my mother has always had it in for her kids, especially now that both of them are trying to get away, me by physically and emotionally separating and my sister by death. She's moved on anyway, assimilating her new family.

      But somehow in all of this, I'm the bad guy and it's all my fault.

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    2. LSV,
      "She's moved on anyway, assimilating her new family."
      And left you hanging out to dry in the lose-lose scenario of having made you a rescuer of your sis, then f'd up your sis to the point of suicide attempts, while making it clear that you are to rescue your sis (thereby jumping back into the role) or be responsible for her potential death (!) It's a Narc two-fer.

      One thing that helped me when it came to my siblings (who never did get out BTW,) was to imagine the same scenario played out with me as the parent and my children as the players. How would you as a parent handle that? What would you expect of your children? Maybe that's the type of reaction that you should consider as appropriate, rather than the ingrained reaction that you're fighting as you were trained to have?

      Once I turned that around in my head, the guilt didn't have much power over me anymore. Just a tool, fwiw.

      Again, you are doing all the right things, LSV. I know it might not feel like it sometimes, but you are doing the right things.

      Love,
      Vanci

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  3. Sometimes, there's nothing right about a situation and no easy way through, only through.

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    1. I'm fighting too the idea that, if I don't pick up the phone when my sister calls, then she'll give up entirely, and my mother wins for the 2343rd time. I don't want that, and it's infuriatingly sad.

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  4. Hard to know the answer to that one. I am thankful that my sister reached out to me even though nothing that I did indicated a change in thinking that FOO was wonderful. She had counseling before I did and I took a lot longer to disengage. Not telling you what to do by any means because there is always a possibility of another hook. Sad when you have to think twice before responding to someone in need. Even sadder that you would be safer responding to a complete stranger. Deepest sympathy. I am glad your sister ended up in the hospital perhaps someone will get her to get help.

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    1. While the visit to the hospital was a cry for help, I'm not sure what type of help she's going to get. She may be going on a vacation now, but that could also be for show. I really don't know what is really going with her, only that she's in dire need of serious help.

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    2. Also, what was it like when she first reached out to you - were you resistant? Hostile?

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  5. IMHO, you're doing well under the circumstances. I don't know if your wife shared the voicemails my dad left me, but if you did listen, I think you'll hear the same weird tone that I heard when I heard those left by your father. I'm waiting for shoes to drop too, I'm guessing a health scare about my mother ( who has, I kid you not) an enlarged heart (the irony kills me ).

    I'm sorry to hear about your sister. That must really hurt now, even if you expected it.

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    1. I haven't yet listened to them, but I'm very interested to do so. I can see this raging battle in my head regarding my sister and how I should feel about her. It's like The Battle of the Buldge or Gettysburg or something. I have my knee-jerk reaction to want to save, but I know I can't do that, that's not my job. Oy its tough

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  6. Whoa, I just heard the VM from your NP/"Father."
    Mon Dieu.
    Please, stay AWAY from this mess, PLEASE. These "People" are dangerous. They do NOT wish their AC's well by any stretch. You can't fix this, no one can. Your sister will get out or she won't. You can't effect IMO a positive outcome here: It's just not humanly possible, FWIW.
    Please take care if you and your family.
    Gawd, I'm so sorry, so very sorry.
    TW

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