Do.Not.Want.

My father is coming home for four days in early September.  My mom emailed me the info tonight, and I don’t know what to do with it.  To top it off, his favorite sister just passed, and they aren’t sure when they are having the funeral.  Which means that he will be raw from the grief when he returns.  Which means I should try to be sympathetic and all that.  Or something.

But, I don’t want to do that for him.  More to the point, I am not sure I can do that for him.

When my mom came home, it was difficult because of all the shit between us.  However, there is also love between us.  I can now say that I know she loves me and wants what’s best for me, even if what she envisions as best for me is so far off the mark.  I trust her to a certain extent (but not completely).

My father?  No.  I do not love him; he does not love me.  I don’t trust him one bit, and I don’t know or care whether he wants what’s best for me.

I thought I was over my anger at him, but I discovered that wasn’t true when my mother was home.  There are wells of fury hidden under my surface, but there are also layers of…other things.

He cannot physically harm me any longer, so I do not fear that.  He is old and in bad health, and god, I do not want to touch him at all.  I know I will have to hug him (have to as in feeling guilty if I don’t), and I am cringing already.  I think I have related how when I was in my twenties, he liked to walk with his arm around me.  When I informed him that I didn’t like it, that it made me feel more like his girlfriend than his daughter, he scoffed at me for being silly.  He did quit doing it, though, so there is that.

Kel offered to put me up if I fly out there while my father is here.  I have friends locally whom I know would be more than happy to shelter me.  I did it once before right after college when I first started having inklings about the abuse.  He was so hurt and so rejected.  I felt so fucking guilty, and no matter how much I tell myself that I shouldn’t feel guilty, I did.  I do.  I will.  At any rate, it’s nice to know I have that option if I need it.  If I can take it.

Goddamn it.  He’s trained me well.  Just thinking about him invokes all sorts of strong, powerful, conflicting emotions.  I was made to be his servant with no thought of my own.  My purpose was to cater to him and his mercurial moods.  I am suppose to put his needs and his wants and his feelings before my own and as much as I fight against the mentality, I find myself faltering in his presence.

I’m panicking and I’m freaking and I’m withdrawing, becoming numb.  It’s been two years plus since he’s returned, and I remember all-too-well just how much I spiraled in Taiwan.  Granted, that was on his turf, but this will be me in the house alone with him.   That skeeves me out, honestly.  Any time he’s here, I plummet.

This will be the first time I’ve seen him alone in two years, which means the first time I’ve seen him alone since I’ve started becoming more cognizant of my body.  As much as I hate my body right now (and that’s a lot), I cannot deny that it is very ripe-feeling at the moment–and not just because I have my period.  It’s been a cruel joke that when I am heavier, I feel more sensual and sexual.  I feel sexier when I’m thinner, but not really sexual (because I’m trying not to faint).  I am especially conscious of my boobs right now.  They are big in general, and when I am on the rag, they are especially full.  Ripe.  Juicy.  Dripping.  Yeah, that would just about describe me right now.

An aside:  Big gals want cute shoes, too.  All I wanted was a pair of black platform shoes in wide with heels that were less than four inches.  Is that too much to ask?  Apparently so as the only shoes I could find were stripper shoes (too much heel) and drag queen shoes (too big).

Anyway, as much as I love sex, I have always had mixed feelings about being so sexual.  If I lived in a country where it was OK for women to have very high sex-drives, I wouldn’t be so self-conscious about it, but I don’t live in that country (if it exists).  And, to be honest, when my father is around, I don’t want to be a sexual person.  At all.

He ruined that part of me.  He took my sexuality and made it a very ugly thing.  He twisted it and molded it for his own pleasure, and to this day, I struggle with the ramifications of his actions.  I have written about it before, how I was made into the perfect sex doll.  I have considered it a blessing that I like sex as much as I do given my history, but I also question if it is in part a result of my training.  Some of the things I’ve done in the past stemmed from the belief that what I wanted didn’t really matter.  If someone wanted to have sex with me, then I should have sex with that person regardless.   To be fair, this was in a large part as a response to what happened in Thailand as well, but that happened mostly because of my fucked-up-ness that stemmed from my childhood.

I was raised Christian, and I believed that sex was sinful and dirty until you got married and then it was beautiful and holy.  I was molested as a child and told that what I wanted didn’t matter; only my father mattered.  I was a fat, ugly, lonely teenager who didn’t really have many dates; I was stalked in Thailand by one guy and raped by another.  I had sex for the first time (by my choice) with a man I loved very much who was also a virgin; I had a year-long binge of experimenting just for the sake of experimenting and because I wanted to validate my desirability.  I allowed a man to almost kill me during sex (not on purpose), and I would have welcomed it.  I abstained from sex for years on end  (twice) in an attempt to figure this shit out.

My sexual journey from childhood until now has been a long, twisted, serpentine road, and it has been fraught with danger and lots of pain (physically, emotionally, and spiritually).  I look at the young woman I was, and I wonder how I ever survived my youth.  I have said this in other contexts, but I was so broken back then.  I am damn lucky that I didn’t run into a psychopath or a killer because I wasn’t being very smart or safe, no matter how much I thought I was.

I hate this.  I hate that thinking about my father reduces me to this.  I have fought hard to define who I am sexually, and yet, my sexuality still remains tainted by my father.

Putting aside the issue of sexuality, my father diminishes me in other ways, too.

Damn it, no.  I can’t put aside the issue of sexuality just yet.  I’m still simmering about it, and I want to rant a bit more.  It’s not fucking fair that I have to still deal with something he did to me so many fucking years ago. Even in the best-case scenario of emotional incest (and let’s face it, I’m past the point of thinking it was ‘just’ emotional), he mind-fucked me to the point where now I still can’t always separate what is my sexuality from what he imposed upon me.  Do I like pain because I like pain or do I like it because it’s what I had to get used to at a young age?

There are things I can confidently say, “This is mine.”  I like sex itself–that much is clear.  I like laughing while having sex–that, too, is mine.  However, the kinkier stuff is in question.  Why do I like being dominated?  Is it because I have to be in control in real life (for my own benefit), so it’s a relief to let go in bed?  That’s the benign answer, and it’s probably close to the truth.  However, other things such as my desire to be hurt and degraded.  I am not sure I really *like* that, per se; I think it’s more I feel I deserve it for one reason or another.  Again, I haven’t done this kind of thing in a quite some years, but I have a hunch that I could quickly fall back into the desire again–even if it makes me sick afterwards.

I am used to pain.  I am comfortable with pain.  I have an affinity for pain.  Is this because I couldn’t stop the pain when I was younger so I decided I might as well befriend it?  I don’t know.  The pain/pleasure link is weaker for me now than it has ever been, but I am not sure it’s completely gone.  Or rather, I fear it’s lying dormant just waiting for the right opportunity to spring to life again.

If I start thinking about the flashbacks, it’s like I’m seven again.  I go very still and very quiet, and my mind can’t let go of the pictures.  Him grabbing me by the throat and holding me against the wall.  Him on top of me, warning me not to cry.  Him penetrating me with his fingers as I try so very hard not to make a sound.  I can feel my body shutting down as the pictures flood my mind.  The worst part is that I don’t even know if each individual picture is real or not.

On some level, it doesn’t matter because I know something happened.  Something bad.  Something horrible.  On another level, it eats me up inside that I have to make a best-guess effort when I crave a definite answer.  Did my father actually…have sex with me or did he ‘just’ molest me?  Did he do it every night or ‘just’ once a week?  Did he physically abuse me, too, like he did my brother, or did he ‘just’ restrict it to sexual with me?

Damn him.  Damn him for twisting something so essential into something evil.

The pain is incredible.  Even when I hold very very still, I ache.  And, I feel guilty because I didn’t protect that little girl so many years ago.  I know it’s unreasonable to expect that of me at such a young age, but it’s there.  And, the more I think about my father, the more disgusted with myself I feel.  Broken.  Damaged.  Ruined.   These are three words I have often used to describe myself; they are some of the nicer things I have called myself.

I do not know how I am going to deal with my father.  For those of you who have been reading since before December, you know how quickly I spiraled while in Taiwan.  I am already starting to get the same feelings about him coming back here.  I can feel myself shutting down.  I don’t think that’s the best way to deal with the situation, but I don’t know what else to do.  While he can no longer hurt me physically, he can hurt me emotionally.  I am particularly vulnerable in this matter because he has an uncanny ability to hone in on my weaknesses with surgical precision.  He doesn’t take anything I say seriously, and he laughs at me sometimes when I am trying to say something that isn’t just superficial.

It’s partly my fault.  For all my talk of having zero expectations from my father, there is still obviously a small part of me who keeps trying to connect to him in some small way.  I have no fucking idea why except that I feel I ‘should’ have some connection with my father.  And, maybe there’s a little part of me that still wants his approval–which is fucked up because I will never get it.

I hate feeling vulnerable, and I feel nothing but around him.  One of the worst things is how quickly I fall into despair and hopelessness when I think about him.  As much as I don’t fear him physically, I obviously fear him mentally.  He is still a monolith in my mind, no matter how diminished he is in real life.

I hate him for what he did to me.  And, I feel guilty for hating him.  Then, I feel stupid for feeling guilty for hating him.

I hate him for ruining me.  I hate him for breaking me.  I hate him for damaging me beyond repair.  Yes, I believe there’s a part of me that will remain broken for the rest of my life thanks to him.  I have made adjustments to accommodate this broken part of me, but it will never heal properly.

I hate myself for not being over this yet.  I hate myself for not being stronger than this, for not being better than this.  I hate myself for being so fucking weak when it comes to him, and I hate that I am still giving him so much power.  I hate that I cannot put this behind me and just move on with my life.  It was thirty years ago, for god’s sake.  I hate that it’s still messing me up so much at this late date.  I hate that I am panicking and going numb at the thought of him returning, and I hate that I am going to think about it every day until he arrives.  I am spiraling down already, and he isn’t even here.  This doesn’t bode well for the actual visit.

7 Responses to Do.Not.Want.

  1. Pardon me for interjecting, but he needs to stay home. Do whatever you can to prevent this visit. You need to protect yourself, your emotional health, at all cost in a situation like this.

    Sincerely,
    Harlana

  2. wow, I didn’t even know I still had the Michelle avatar! Seriously, do NOT allow this visit. You are in control of your own life, you do not have to be subjected to this.

  3. “The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.” – William Faulkner

    It might help to not look at it as something where the goal is to “put this behind me and just move on.” It’s part of your story, part of your history. Sounds like your dad broke something, it didn’t get set properly and it healed crooked. Maybe finding a way to reconcile with that will give you more peace than forever expecting to move past it (or trying to break it and re-set it).

    Don’t know what to say about the impending visit. Sounds like odds favor a train wreck, but the small prospect of grace makes you hold out hope. A tough nut to crack.

  4. harlana, hey is this the harlana from BJ? Regardless, welcome to my blog and thank you for commenting. Normally, I would agree with you. However, this is my parents’ home, so I don’t really have a leg upon which to stand in the matter. I am contemplating staying with a friend while he’s here, but I have my cats to think about.

    Anyway, thanks again, and come back any time.

    Dan, yeah, true. I know my wish to get over it is more so I don’t have to think about it rather than anything beneficial. It is a part of me, and it has shaped me to a large extent. I do need to come to terms with that.

    Visit: It will be a train wreck of the inner kind. I just have to figure out a way to minimize the damage.

  5. If you stay in town, with local friends, you will NOT be able to avoid contact with him.

    Simple answer, my friend. Let me know the day and time, and I’ll be at the airport. If it happens to be the weekend we’re headed to Myrtle Beach, then you’ll come with us. There’s room in the suite for all of us. No stress.

    I’m absolutely serious. It is NOT worth your sanity to stay there. It’s a very simple email to send: “Hi Mom and Dad. I got your note about the details of Dad’s return trip. Unfortunately, I will be out of town that weekend. A friend of mine has been going through some pretty serious family hell lately, and I’m headed out to see her to help her out for a few days. Hope your trip goes well. Love, Minna.”

    Voila.

  6. Here here, Kel!

    I know you cannot stop him from visiting. And maybe you can’t leave town. But you can find some place safe to stay in town, and insist that he only visit with you in the presence of others. Still creepy, but it fulfills ‘obligations’ with a buffer intact.

    He wants you to take the blame for not pretending the abuse didn’t happen. For not being the dutiful daughter, and maintaining appearances. For not putting on the right ‘show’ of affection. But he’s been projecting blame on to you forever. That is why you feel guilty – a well-worn response you learned when you were far too young to stand up to his lies and abuse. I wonder if he ever told you he did those monstrous things to you because you enticed him. It would not surprise me, that is, if he didn’t believe the lie that he was the perfect father. He’s a sociopath, so he can deny his horrible behavior with a straight face. But increasingly, only delusion allows anyone else to believe it.

    Minna, it’s not your fault. And you don’t have to accept the blame ever again. In fact, if anyone deserves the full force of your anger, it is him.

  7. Kel, I appreciate your offer more than you know. I don’t think I can take you up on it at this time (for many reasons), but you are right. He is not worth my sanity. I woke up from my nap determined that I am not going out like that. I have a session tomorrow, so I will focus on figuring out what I need to do to go through the visit intact.

    Choolie, yeah, that was another thought I had. However, and I know this sounds weird, I cannot leave my boys with him. He doesn’t like animals and while he doesn’t hate my boys, I don’t want them to be alone with him. I don’t think he would do anything to them, but I am just not comfortable with that.

    In an odd way, I can find a backbone for my boys. And, I woke up from my nap thinking, “I am not going out like this.” It’s time to fight. Not physically, but emotionally. I cannot keep allowing him to affect me like this. I am tired of it. So, as noted to Kel above, I will focus on this in therapy tomorrow.