It’s not it

It’s not it. My father lives. *Sigh*

Despite my pleas, and Kate’s good thoughts – It’s. Still. Not. Over. *Sigh*

In my last post, the lovely David said:

“Would it seem incredibly insensitive to say I wish he’d just get it the hell over with, so you can start your process, for your sake, because you deserve to be able to grieve and rage and find some closure? It’s like he can’t do *anything* without making it into some form of torture for you.”

I want this the hell over with as well. And I want my father to stop torturing me.

My therapist said that even people who have a warm, loving relationship feel this way when someone in their life is doing the on-again-off-again dance with life that my father is doing.

I saw my father yesterday in the hospital – he’s actually looking healthier. *Sigh* They’ve given him some blood and some IV iron and apart from being old and tired, he’s looking better. *Sigh* So, for now I guess, he lives.

He even asked me how I am (third time this year), and asked about my new playmate and how my packing is going in preparation for moving to my new home. It always messes with my head when he shows a bit of interest in my life.

It’s almost as if the little kid inside (or whoever it is) gets excited and thinks he does love me after all. Then he’ll follow up with a caustic remark, or a vicious look and I’ll realise it’s not true: he doesn’t love me, doesn’t care, never has, never will. It’s so confusing for my small brain.

I started having flashbacks in the hospital yesterday. Just being physically close to my father brought them on. Thankfully they weren’t too bad and I was able to stay present.

A couple of nurses came by yesterday and started telling me what a lovely man my father is, and how funny he is. I know he’s been chatting to the guy in the next bed, who’s also commented on what a hard life my father’s had, and how nice he is. He has had a hard life, but he isn’t nice. Not to me, anyway.

It makes me sick to listen to this stuff. My therapist said it’s not uncommon for child abusers to be the “pillar of the community” publicly, but “save” their nastiness for you in private. It makes me sick.

At the end of my visit yesterday my father wanted me to kiss him good bye. I couldn’t. I felt sick to my stomach. I feel sick like this whenever I have to touch him, or his clothes or anything. Sick just looking at him sometimes. And then I feel guilty because I didn’t kiss him and he was clearly disappointed.

God, this is such a head f***. I’m trying to remember that my therapist said he won’t live forever, even if it feels like it. As David said, could he just get it the hell over with, please?

11 thoughts on “It’s not it

  1. Hi Kerro,

    I’m sorry it’s not over. It seems like survivors are the one who bear the guilt and shame that belong to our abusers. It is not our shame. It is not our guilt. It is okay to not want to touch or kiss someone who abused you when you were little and their child. It is okay. It is not wrong or bad of you. I understand. I felt like that as well.

    When my mother abuser was dying of cancer she didn’t in any way act like she cared or that I matters. So that was good. At least she was consistent. But she always believed that saying something made it so, pretending to be or do something made it so, so she never had to express any regrets, confess, beg for forgiveness, love.

    I went through this pre-death with both my parents. So let me say this, and it may not help, but I really hope that it will. The pre-death period is a good time for grief as well, even if you can’t get any resolution from the parent. I think it must be muuch harder for those whose parents die without any preparation time. I know that I did a lot of good healing work during both of those time periods.

    And he should just f***ing die.


  2. Kate, thank you so much for sharing this with me. It means a lot. I can only imagine how difficult this was for you, both at the time of your parents’ deaths and now. If it’s any consolation, knowing that I’m not alone and not some crazy f***ed up looney is helpful. Thank you.

  3. I’m sorry you’re going through all this. I hate that confusion too, I go through the same thing with my dad. It’s so strange too how everyone on the outside of the family things my folks are so great. I remember once I accidentally started to laugh a little when someone said that. She came from a messed up family too though and just kind of said “Oh…why is it always like that? That everyone thinks they are so great?! How do our parents do that?!” We just “laughed” about it for awhile, how no one believes they could be so awful. It took my ex a long, long time to finally catch my dad being totally sh*tty to me, he didn’t believe me till then. I think he was pretty shocked. Anyway, a long way of saying I believe you and I’m sorry you’ve got that too.
    I think one of my worst fears is what Kate mentioned…my folks just dropping dead. As they get older I think a lot about them dying and it scared the crap out of me. I know if I said that to anyone else they’d probably just say “Oh, yeah I’m scared of my folks dyin’ too.” They wouldn’t get that there’s all this other crud that gets thrown on for those who survived abusive families. I want that time, I don’t want them just to drop (for numerous reasons, some not very nice!).
    So I hope you can get through this time and hopefully “something” will change so it’s a lot shorter *ahem*! 😉

  4. The positive feedback about him from people who don’t really know him is, I think, just about the worst part. Maddening, sickening, a total mindf*ck.

    He has no right to ask you to kiss him goodbye. He has no right to ask you for anything. The fact of his present suffering doesn’t erase his past, and your past with him.

  5. I’m sorry you’re having to struggle with this now. I had similar feelings when my father was dieing – altho he wasn’t abusive to me we did have a complicated relationship. I felt like I was in an emotional limbo. I’m glad you have some support and based on what I read hear you seem like a strong person – so I know you’ll get through. My thoughts are with you.

  6. I’m sorry, but this is going to sound militant… Your father didn’t respect your boundaries while you were growing up, by asking for a kiss goodbye he is not respecting those boundaries now. You have the right to decide what parting is appropriate and safe for you. This sort of manipulation is just further proof of why the people who are meeting your father superficially, are only seeing the front that he puts on for the world. It’s interesting that he must tell everyone about his hard life, I’ve met many people who have had a hard life and it’s not something that many of them talk about.

    Remember that in hospital the attention is solely on the patient – my mother once described my grandfather as “holding court” from his hospital bed, he could put on the front required to get all the attention and sympthy he needed to feed his narcissism.

    I agree with the idea of starting that grieving process. But be as gentle on yourself as you can… Take time to do activities that soothe and nurture…

    Sending positive thoughts 🙂

  7. @ Me, Myself & Who – I had never thought about the possibility that either of my parents could just drop. Certainly not my father. I think I’ve known all my life that he will punish me long and hard while each and every individual cell in his body departs this earth. Thinking about it now, in some respects I do wish he’d just drop, although it wouldn’t be all that sudden. More thinking required here, I think. Thanks for your comments.

    @ David – yes, this is a total mindf*ck. Of course my father has no right to ask me for anything, but when has that stopped him before? And when did he even think he had to ask, for god’s sake?

    @ My Blue Funk – thank you, it’s comforting in some ways to know this isn’t just the realm of survivors. Emotional limbo is a great way to put it. I’m trying to keep my life moving and not put everything on hold. Hard as that is.

    @ Castorgirl – you don’t sound militant at all, girlfriend! I agree that he has no right, but… see my response to David. Funny you should mention “holding court” – my father loves, I mean really LOVES, all the attention that’s showered on him in the hospital. Ugh.

    The grieving has begun. It began long ago. It moves slowly – just gets a workout everytime something else happens with my father. *Sigh*

  8. The first comment I feel compelled to make is to agree that you aren’t “some crazy f***ed up looney”, Kerro. People who hurt children and then expect them to pretend it’s all fine and kiss them goodbye are crazy f***ed up loonies, IMO.

    I d0n’t understand how anyone can pronounce a virtual stranger a “nice person” and believe it to be so. My mom does it all the time. She’ll talk with someone for fifteen minutes or a half hour and then smile and say, “He’s such a nice man.” I have told her, “You can’t know if that person is nice. You can only know if they were friendly or polite or personable or funny while you spoke with them, but you can’t know if they are nice.” She still does it, though. A lot of people do. I’ve caught myself doing it sometimes, too (using the word “nice” when what I mean is “pleasant to me”), although I try to be aware of the tendency.

    I’m sorry that this is being dragged out for you.


  9. I’m sorry, Kerro, you are going through this. I haven’t been so good about following the blogs, yours included because I’ve been tied up lately. From what I can tell, you are quite in a bind. There are many difficult issues here and many choices you are forced to make. I hope that this torture soon ends. Paul.

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