Thursday, April 11, 2013

Coffee with a spoonful of honesty

I've had my coffee with EF.

Sorry if I will be rambling incoherently.

I was asked about the locks. I said the truth: that they did not work. He did not want to dig into the subject any further.

We talked about NM and that I was not willing to see her more frequently. EF claimed that he did not understand the whys. I asked him whether he felt he could handle my honesty and stay open-minded, because we both know he has a history of walling up inside when being confronted or hearing something that did not fit his view of the world.

He said yes, and I have tried to be as honest to him as possible, while staying in an adult state, focused, calm, loving, warm, firm and persistent. I have managed to stay this way until he left.

He claimed that he believed me, and that I was honest with him, but he did not know anything about all of this. He acted as if I was talking about my repeated encounters with UFOs, but he also tried really hard to be open. What I sensed was that he, for the first time in my life, believed me, despite that he had a completely different reality from mine. I assured him that I loved him and loved talking to him, but I stated that I was intent on focusing on my life, my relationship and my healing, and that being in touch with NM constantly is not an option for me anymore.

His only question was a bit frightened, confused, and completely clueless 'what the hell can I do now with all this?' And he answered it with a 'It seems that there is nothing that I can do'. The 'this' referred to NM and her attitude, behavior and all the related results.

I told him that being a narc is like being an addict, only worse. The first step is admitting that there is a problem, realizing that said problem has overgrown her, and that she needs professional help. I also told him that unlike being an addict, being a narc is mostly incurable (he knows that), and that therapists specialized in treating narcs are really really rare in our region, if not completely nonexistent.

He was completely puzzled when I told him about my life and experiences with NM (well, it wasn't much, you can't really explain narcissism and a lifetime of gaslighting, emotional incest and suffering in a few hours), repeatedly stating that he knew absolutely nothing about all this, although he admitted that he perceived some of my memories as his own, claiming that 'I also disagreed with her actions at that time'.

I told him that he might not have known these on a conscious level - knowing his history of escaping inside his head when anything confrontational happened, but that I also knew that he was enabling NM's actions by not protecting me, or leaving me alone with her. I also told him that the reason why he rarely witnessed anything was that she has always been extremely careful to ensure that she was alone with me when she abused me. That this was the whole point.

He told me how strongly NM wanted not to become like NGM. That she did everything she could to avoid that. I told him that doing the exact opposite of a certain kind of abuse leaded to an equal amount of abuse of a different, but similarly unbearable (or worse) kind. That I considered this tragic, but that this does not change the fact that she should have sought professional help and spend years in therapy before even thinking about having a child.

He left with acting accepting and believing towards me. I also sensed he was sad.

Since I have managed to stay in my adult state, I have also experienced his own blackouts. They were vaguely visible for the naked eye, but I was consciously searching for clues when he would wall up or feel an irresistible desire to run away. I have counted at least three instances: gazing into the distance with dreamy, unfocused eyes for blackouts, and becoming wide-eyed and extremely twitchy when feeling the desire to run.

He claimed that he is now not getting all the abuse that I got (which I tend to believe), but I also think that he does not consciously realize that he is being abused.

I reassured him that there are several people who know what is going on, and that they care about him and me.

He told me one thing about the lock incident: that when NM barged in, neither me, nor DB said hello to her, and that this impoliteness and rudeness made her cry for a whole day. That she was devastated. He also added that he was standing too far from her to hear what was or was not going on (conveniently out of the blast range, I added in my head).

When he left, and I stayed there for a while to pay the bill and gather my thoughts, I had a few really bad moments that included the thoughts of:
  • I was killing my father. He would die in a heart attack because I was honest with him.
  • I am crazy. The whole thing I told him never was and is not real. I was misinterpreting reality that was that I had a good and loving mother. I was overreacting.
  • That now my lies, overreacting and crazyness were killing my father.
  • That on my way home, I will certainly meet NM and she will abuse the living soul out of me.
  • That I was stupid because I forgot to tell him the most important part: the engulfing, all-consuming, suffocating, you-must-not-have-your-own-identity, love-equals-no-boundaries part. And that because of my miscommunication he will not understand anything. That despite all my efforts, I have failed miserably.

I'm more or less over these now. I have talked to DB who has confirmed my memory that we both said hello to NM. He also reassured me that I was not the crazy one and that this is again one more proof to that. I love that he sees what I see. That he sees gaslighting for what it is.

I am proud of myself for staying in an adult state, for being open and honest, for realizing some more truths. Also for not having high hopes for EF to believe me completely, or for anything to change in my FOO. The change is in me.


  1. Scatha,
    I was going to say a lot of things to you, but you summed up what I was going to say to you here "I am proud of myself for staying in an adult state, for being open and honest, for realizing some more truths. Also for not having high hopes for EF to believe me completely, or for anything to change in my FOO. The change is in me."

    I am SO proud of you too. You did a wonderful job. It is clear you are changing, for the better.

    I had a very similar (unintended) encounter today, and I am comforted (but saddened for you) by how similar your account of this situation is with what I went through. The desire to "stay adult", the guilt, the fear I was actually crazy, that I was over reacting. I'm also comforted that, in the end, we both were able to move past those feelings.

    One other thing, I think you needn't worry that you are telling EF truths that he can't handle. He does know the truth, dear. He sees it. He just chooses to "be out of the range of the blast" as you put it. People don't move out of range if they don't know there is a bomb. You may have given him some "labels" or a working vocabulary of things, but he's known all along what is going on.

    Stay strong! You are doing a great job. Oh, and I also loved the part about the locks not working, and that being the truth. Smart!

  2. "The change is in me."
    Those words bought tears to my eyes. Thank you, Scatha.

  3. Well done, and you are definitely not the crazy one in this triangle!

  4. Well done! I also loved your response about the locks: They didn't work. No excuses. No explanations. So simple. And true. Good for you!

  5. I can hear the chains of the past cracking and dropping off--good for you! We are put on the sacrificial altar as children to appease the psycho-god MN. By stating and standing by the truth you are refusing to let parents continue to use you. Your father is an adult and he needs to face the truth. None of us should ever sacrifice ourselves to keep the truth hidden and enablers comfortable. It isn't the job of the child to protect the parent.


Comments are welcome!