So this is the continuation post to the ruminations about how to categorise or not categorise my parents concerning personality disorders, which I did here:
(I feel a bit silly and very self involved for posting a link to a post I wrote only recently and which is all about myself but I am telling myself I’m doing this for your convenience. 😉 )
I forgot to mention dissect the idea of which dysfunctional family role was assigned to which of us kids. Because strangely while we were two siblings there was never to my memory a golden child. Some teachers golden childed me, because I was always followed leads obediently (read: willinglessly). Such a perfect kid, let’s just all ignore they do not want to live. Early into our lives I performed much better than my sibling in school and I did not get into fights. To the outside world I was on track to become elite while my sibling was a problem child.
Somehow while being deeply obsessed about “what other people think” that never was very important at home. Maybe because I was also more compassionate. A classic sign of a scapegoat. At home I was a mix between the scapegoat and the lost child while my sibling was perhaps a mixture between a scapegoat and a clown. I was too withdrawn and I don’t remember much, so a lot of guesswork here. My parents might well have been too caught up in the storm between other peoples opinions about their kids and their own unwillingness to deal with us and their internal drive to assign role the very reverse of what everyone else said. Anyhow the bottom line was always we both were annoyances to our parents. My father once called my sibling a [insert terrorist name from the news here] for grown ups. While my sibling and I were present of course. That was after my sibling was diagnosed ADHD.
My parents manoeuvred themselves into a rather weird position. It was impossible to punish my doing well so badly that I would stop doing well. My drive to school was one away from home. You can not remedy that by making home even more unbearable. Being bright meant from early on I knew if I wanted to rise above all this I’m gonna stay the hell away from drugs and do well in school. And my sibling while getting a lot of attention and support for their deficits didn’t prosper enough to even come remotely close to being the golden child. In my parents mind this was a competition where they placed their bets on the wrong contender. And it was of course our fault.
Concerning my mother I have been starting to wonder if she has two personality disorders which create a strange overlap. There seem to be solid signs of both narcissism and OCPD and both of course interfere with each other. Her anxiety to get things right surely has been inherited from her mother and this knowledge of never being able to please her own mother might have lead to the narcissistic god- complex not presenting in her. I still don’t feel I understand much about it but at the end of the day I don’t feel any of this matters much. I do not wish to persecute her, judge her, demonise her, … I only want to know if it is reasonable to attempt to work things out with her. So far what I get from her is that she is willing to work on our relationship but has turned down therapy because we have both already been royally screwed over by therapy. A manipulative, abusive relationship surprisingly does not improve with a third manipulative, abusive party butting in. She has not offered any alternatives.
From what I know from her and my own medical history we both have reason to strongly distrust the (mental) health system but I do not wish to succumb to my fear. Take time out to regroup and recover, yes, but never surrender to it. I’m sure there are good therapists out there and I’m set on finding one for me. I will not be ruled by an ever increasing amount of things that scare me. My mother of course might prefer surrendering. This is a tough fight for her overcoming her fear in hopes of keeping her child in her life or just give up because being ever pessimistic its not gonna work anyway.
The sperm donor I lived with for almost two decades in turn has already let me know a while ago he only has one child from then on. I assume this does not mean he disinherited my sibling. Its also fascinating to think what his issue was. He was in intensive care and probably dying. And I did not visit. Now when everything is nice and dandy it’s certainly not a nice move by a child to not offer a parent comfort in what might be their last moments. But here is the thing, I was informed days after he was rushed to the hospital and when I was informed by my mother he was not sick enough to write a letter or pick up the phone. The reason I was not informed also could not have been a state of distress which prevented them from informing family members. As it so happens I sat next to my grandauntie when she received the phone call on the day it happened. The reason I was contacted late I assume was that I had begun to set boundaries and mother did not know if I wanted to be informed or not.
He never once voiced any wish of his own. He just expected to be catered to the way he wanted without needing to stoop so low as to actually ask for anything. Given we were not in a state of nice and dandy it would not have been very unreasonable to ponder if he may not wish to see me. After all he was always very distanced and cold when I did things not to his liking. Its rather hard to guess what he wishes now in a situation not encountered before and without direct contact with him. Sure I could have contacted him and asked what he wanted just because 20 years of being his object to be molded to his wishes wasn’t enough.
I agonised for days over what I would do and in the end i decided that when I walked away the last time it was because I had enough. I was too scared showing up would mean to him that he won this sick competition. That it would mean handing him a way to manipulate me into his idea of obedience again. He has tried other means to win this truly horrifying competition before. He learned holding my own money over my head did not work, haughtily allowing me back in the family on the condition we do not talk about anything did not work, having other family members plead and demand his case (often with false information about what is going on) did not work so now he tried using his own deteriorating health as leverage. I never had much of a relationship with that person to begin with and I did not feel like I owed him anything for not being acknowledged as anything other than a lump of clay. He was not a father at all and being deserted by me is a consequence of that. There is only so much abuse I can take. He may or may not posses the ability to have actual relationships with the people surrounding him but regardless of his ability I need to protect myself. Just like he is the way he is, I am as sensitive as I am and I refuse to have him walk over me because he is apparently either unwilling or unable to consider his child an actual person with needs and opinions all on their own.
I do not remember precisely what I wrote in the email to my mother when I told her I wasn’t visiting. I know I was not as clear in thought and expression as I have been just now in this post but I made it clear that I’m too hurt and scared to go. I never insinuated being unwilling in general or this being a trivial matter to me. However this man then decided I do not care whether he lives or dies and that I brought too much tears in his household already. Bye bye I have another child which is a better lump of clay. There is that. By the way he never did anything about me having suicidal thoughts and he may have been only two rooms away the night I seriously contemplated killing myself but I knew I could never turn to him. He did not want to be bothered with things that had no reward for him. (My continued existence was taken for granted because lumps of clay have no right to disappear on their own.) He relied on his wife to clean up any and all messes. And of course my tears do not matter at all either. Its not like I have been so severely depressed for over a decade at this point that I did not even know how to cry anymore. The pain was beyond being able to be expressed by tears.
His last mail clearly showed that he thought himself above it all and unable to do any wrong while he maliciously twisted my words into things I neither said nor meant. I’m well aware I am welcome any day in my family as long as no one needs to own up to any hurt they dealt to me. I am the one who is supposed to apologise and crawl back to be allowed to be ignored, gaslit, scapegoated and abused. Somehow this course of action or this offer of a future relationship does not appeal to me. That is my biggest crime. My second biggest crime is that I am an adult now and do not rely on them anymore. How dare I be independent! That’s what you get for doing well in school and living in a state with welfare. (The last sentence is meant to be read as vindictive punishment.)
So all things considered I do not think the relationship with my father can be repaired. He does not show any willingness to. His own child is not enough a motivation for him to be marginally respectful of boundaries. And since I do get along well with other people and am ready to compromise and work out deals I do not think I’m asking unreasonable things. I just am tired of hearing how it’s all in my head and how I am just too sensitive. Yes I am sensitive. But I can not and do not want to switch it off. Especially not only because it annoys someone else. I think the number of items on the list my father does which annoy me are above zero as well and I can’t for the life of me think of just one where he is at least attempting to be annoying outside my sphere of perception for my sake.
He acts as if I should and could change anything he does not approve of at will. I rather sure he does actually try his best at switching off his own sensitivity and I know he pays a high prize for it. (He is for example far to young to be rushed to intensive care under life threatening conditions. Again I do not see a coincidence here.) But he does not want to see that. In his mind if he does not get me to adhere to his insanity I’m proving him wrong. I’m proving that not denying sensitivity is not a death sentence. In his mind one has to pay the prize and one has to hide ones personality and be as normal as possible. Everything else is ruthlessly attacked. He does not see that his own personality the prime threat and that his fight is largely with himself. He can’t be confronted with that, that his competition he MUST NOT loose. (How exactly one wins a fight against oneself remains to be explained by him but he is not in a habit of explaining things.) So he rather weeds out any threats. And if that entails getting rid of a child of his so be it. Personally I would not even require him to lay to rest a monster he has clearly be unwilling to wrestle for longer than I exist. I would only want him to allow me to deal with my monsters as I see fit and stop beating me up for it. But such shades of colour and light do not exist in his mind.
The only question remaining is whether or not to write him and for once confront him with all the pain he dealt to me, because I never did that. All I ever said was I need time to myself and that already was unacceptable. I am apparently not allowed to make any decision without my families consent. I’m obviously a very terrible and evil child. I guess the question is what would I write for. Do I owe it to him? Telling him my views and conditions harbours the hope he might want to put in some work and reconcile but that might be Pandora’s hope. I also feel it is somewhat unfair to him to not let him know but then again nothing ever was much about fairness and for all I know he does not want to hear it anyway.
While the ties between us however thin have been cut by him, he is still married to my mother and my mother will sit between us. It is very hard to let the person who was supposed to be my father go and accept he will not ever change. For my mother this will be a maddening situation. She has this thing about everything being harmonious. Its not about resolving things, but about appearance. She can not stand it if people do not get along and butts in to create her little version of harmony. And since my father won’t budge it is traditionally my role to accept things as they are. Harmony indeed. I’m not sure it will be possible for her to let things go when it comes to me and her husband.
Now that I have put it all on “paper” I realise maybe writing him would be about feeling I did all I could in my own mind. So far I do not feel I have given him a chance because I never spoke up. That way I’m still drinking my families kool-aid about my poor self sacrificing parents who can do no wrong and me the weirdo who channels the devil itself by daring to just up and run after all they have done for me. I need to distance myself from this point of view. It’s not like I have actively tried to undermine reconciliation and for a long time I have been too passive and would have required my father to actually take the lead and make things right between us. Now that I’m not willingless anymore I’ve been cast out before I fully came into myself. I do not think this is a coincidence. Maybe writing him would help me thinking I gave him reasonable opportunity to understand what is going on with me and how I would like to renegotiate our potential coexistence within occasional close proximity. Then again writing him could very likely also be twisted and turned into it all being my fault and thus just continuing the cycle. Because communication is never between two individuals in my family. My mother will butt in, my paternal grandmother will butt in, my maternal aunt will butt in and they all operate on hearsay rather than actual facts and no one can understand why I need some time away from it all. So is my father in name who does not even want the name anymore worth giving a chance he may not want and which likely will be used by all the family to just spin the tale of my guilt further? I feel both options are not good for me. Things to ponder some more.