I think everybody feels like their upbringing and family are normal, at least to an extent. I always thought my family was average until recently. As explained in my previous blog, ive severed communication with my father late last year. It was the most relieving thing I’ve done for myself yet.
I began to question this decision during quarantine. I was sick very early on compared to most in my state and being so ill planted the seed of self doubt and questioning my own actions. Had I been too harsh? Am I being an asshole? Am I judging my father solely on political reasons? I couldn’t stop questioning myself and I needed answers, the closure he flat out denied me just before I stopped speaking to him. Where could I possibly turn when the one person I could (and should) directly ask explicitly said they don’t care and won’t have those conversations anymore? I knew my dad was active outside of Facebook, so I did a basic Google search on his name and his usual username and the results destroyed what I’d always thought to be normal or okay. It was the day I discovered my father as a covert narcissist- who he truly is.
There was multiple racist rants and declarations of his racism. Proudly. There was talks about my mother’s side of the family, other women’s looks and how gross they were if they’d gained weight, he’d described young girls in such sexual gross detail that it was uncomfortable for me to read. What hurt the most is seeing how he saw and what he thought of me, my brother, my husband, and mother. Like, he’d always make jabs about my weight and shield it with “it’s only out of concern” only to read how much I disgusted him physically. The worst part of that is he formed his opinion of me as a person based off of my physical appearance. Yeah. My father’s thoughts of me were solely based around my weight and none of them were positive. He said he got diagnosed with autism by accident, failing to mention I had previously opened up with him about being diagnosed in an attempt to connect with him. He was a self proclaimed “family man” (yeah, right) and made casual remarks about slapping his daughters around. His views on my brother are the most alarming and at this point if my brother moved across the world just to feel safe from him, I wouldn’t blame him. Pages upon pages and almost 10 years of content that showed me exactly what he thought and who he was.
Finding all of this information on that forum shattered my world and outlook on my upbringing, him, and our relationship. I began to question everything with him because the things he wrote in depth thoughts that shed light on the life long narrative he painted for us but we could never speak about. To my own surprise, I didn’t cry when I was reading all of it. For 2 days after finding this out, I wanted to cry but couldn’t. Im pretty sure I was in some sort of shock or something. I wasn’t able to cry until my mother reached out to me out of concern over my vague Facebook posts and she could tell something was wrong. It broke my heart to have to be the one to find this and show her. I’ve always felt guilty for thinking and believing such a bad kid and never able to do anything right or feeling like I always fall short and this was just one more check more in the “reasons you’re a fuck up” list. For so long I chased after my father’s approval and he lead me around like an idiot on a fishing line for over 30 years. I was the scapegoat in his world. I listened because of how much was on the line if I didn’t. I obeyed because I was convinced that I was such a fuck up that it’d be a miracle if I could just not be a disappointment in some aspect for once in my life. This is the mindset I was conditioned to since I was a child.
He convinced me when I had my son at 19 that I was going to be a horrible mom and “couldn’t do it”. He would stand over me and scream for not being able to produce enough milk to feed my own child and what a failure I was and “it was a waste to have big boobs if they can’t even do what nature intended”. He screamed at me when the doctor said my son had an umbilical hernia when he was a newborn. He told me I damaged my child by riding in the car with him and how could I and when was I “gonna listen to him and not fuck the baby up any worse”. After leaving an abusive relationship with the child’s father just 2 months prior (which I also was yelled at for. It was my fault the relationship didn’t work. I failed the child by giving up. Etc.) By the time my son was 4 months old and dealing with all of this, an incident happened where I was forced to leave his house. We’d just moved out of state and his family was directed not to let me stay with them so he left me with the option of going back 300+ miles to the state we moved from or good luck. Luckily, I had reconnected with my online boyfriend after losing touch just before moving the year before and he lived much closer and offered to let me stay since it was the closest option I had to my baby. I attempted to take my son but that’s when my father escalated to threats. Hed say “over my dead body will this baby leave here. You only have a 2 seat truck not safe for a baby and I’ll report your vehicle to the police if you put him if you take him. If that doesn’t work, I’ll call CPS and do welfare checks everyday. Your mental health isn’t well and I’ll tell them your doctor and how unfit you are.” It just continued to get worse and at such a young age, I knew I wasn’t strong enough at that point. I’d had 2 men abuse me in 6 months, a traumatic c section, and multiple sexual assault incidents just within the year before that. I knew I needed to seriously work on myself and I couldn’t do that with a baby so I talked to my mom and sobbing I told her I was going to focus on healing and she offered to care for my son for this process to happen so that I can grow not only for my son but for myself. It was a defeat I still have a difficult time accepting especially knowing what I know now but I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t. I wouldn’t be strong enough to face this if I hadn’t taken the time to heal. All of this also leads to a huge factor on what I could lose in this process and what is at stake. I will still have to take responsibility for my choices and I only hope my son can understand and maybe even forgive me someday. He seems to understand at the moment but I know as he gets older the conversations will get more in-depth and he may even be mad at me for some time but I will be there to do what I can to help him during his own healing process.
Since telling my mom, I’ve waited in anxiety. He is going to be mad. He is going to retaliate and there’s been too many times he’s been mad enough to have cold look in his eyes, almost like a statue, and threatened my life for me not to worry about that. He’d turn around after it’d scare me and I’d cry and say “oh my God, you’re so ridiculous. I was only joking”. I despise my father now. Everything he ever convinced me that was good about him or redeemable enough to overlook the horrible things weve lived through was thrown out the window. I began to see how long and intense this has gone on. I remember who my mother was. She certainly didn’t take any shit and now she’s so exhausted from catering to his emotional needs that I do not recognize who he’s emotionally molded her into and this adds to the fuel. He took an amazing soul, a fiery spirit, and broke her down and changed her just so he could “tolerate her”. I love her and hope she has the strength to heal but I do not expect this outcome as he is in control of so much that it’s hard to step away or stand up. I’ve been the bad child so I have no problem sacrificing myself if it means the rest of my family can have a chance to escape.
I don’t know what happens next, so I’m focusing on my own inner peace and healing from all of this. I cannot prepare for how he will respond and it could come 6 months from now so I can only be at peace knowing the truth. I regretted looking him up at first but now I’m glad I did because whether or not anybody else escapes his messed up reality, I was able to and now I can heal, with the truth, reality, and self confidence in tow. I feel like finding ways to defend myself against being manipulated will help me also. Please remember that you have worth. You are more than your blood or upbringing and you can be and do better. Do not cling to what could be or even any humanizing qualities with a narcissist because thats what they want and will use that to continue to make you question yourself so they can manipulate you. I read those posts my dad wrote that I found and said “THIS is my dad. These are his unfiltered thoughts to strangers online. This is what he really thinks” and I have to always remember that. Anything they say otherwise is bullshit either because it’s out of obligation, keeping you in their reality, or making you the issue to deflect their own. You deserve better and you have way more value then they’ve convinced you that you do.