Mod 7: My story – Dad

As I write this, I am a 14 months out from last contact with my narcissist father. Occasionally his nursing home reports to me some significant incident about his health. I remain his next of kin, and even though he has forbidden them to talk to me about him, by law they have to inform me of such situations. Otherwise I have no idea what’s going on with him. He is suffering from a condition that is always terminal, but the prognosis for exactly how and when he’ll die is very difficult to determine.

So I wait for that call.

Sometimes a voice in my head says, “That day will come and it will be too late! Try to reconcile while you still can!” Frankly, it’s very easy for me to resist that voice, because I know too well how narcissism works. I know if I made that effort I would either be rejected, or conditionally allowed the privilege of my father’s presence again, so long as I went back to toeing the line. There would be no remorse for his discarding his only child, no understanding for the pain that and the previous 57 years inflicted upon me. It would not be a real reconciliation at all…it would simply be me assenting to reassume my role as a narcissist’s victim.

I’ve played that role twice, and, as of this writing, for all but a single year of my life. There’s no way I’m ever doing it again.

So, one day I will get that call. Will I shed a few tears of regret? Well, of course. Like all children of narcissistic parents, from time to time I grieve that I will never know what it’s like to have a real human father. I’m sure I’ll be sad about that again. I’m sure I’ll also mourn, as I do every day, the tragedy that some people become these inhuman monsters, when they had the same abilities and options as everyone does to live fulfilled, constructive, meaningful lives.

But I will also rejoice that there’s one fewer of them on Planet Earth. And I’ll be reminded of how fortunate I was to wake up to my abuse when I did, not like my mom who never got the chance to get out from under her abuser’s thumb.

One last little story about that before I wrap. My mom went with me the day I went to court for the finalization of my divorce from Max. As you can imagine, it was never pleasant being in the same room with him, and it was a difficult afternoon for me. I really wanted to make the rest of the day a celebration of my freedom, a time to focus on the fact that now my life was about living for myself instead of for him. No more codependence for me!

After we were done in court, we went back to my mom’s car so she could take me home. I expected her to ask if I was okay, and offer support. But I discovered instead that she broke down in tears.

I was baffled, as well as hurt that once again this situation, even this situation, couldn’t be about me more than anyone else. Nevertheless, I was still pretty codependent, so I tried to comfort Mom. She said the whole thing just upset her, but she wouldn’t really elaborate on that.

It was only a few months ago that I reconsidered this scene and realized what must have been going on.

My mom was sad that she couldn’t have gone to court for herself. She was resigned to her fate of staying with my dad, of being miserable for the rest of her life with my dad. She was envious of me.

I can only speculate as to the kind of threats he made to keep her chained to him, but I know the sort of man he is and I know he made threats. There’s nothing I can do about it now but believe that Mom is happier now, free at last from this and all heartaches. I like to think she is somewhere rejoicing that even though she couldn’t, her daughter managed to get free of this terrible man.

The other thing I can do about it is the Lucy Rising Program. Please take all I have said to heart, and don’t end up like my mom. I want you to end up free, like me.

Well, I need a Kleenex and maybe you do too. Let’s collect ourselves and start looking at some happier ideas, in the Knowledge section…

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