Since the last thread turned into such a trainwreck, let’s see what you think about this one before I hit SEND. I know it’s long and nasty and harsh, but that’s what I’m feeling like right now. I’ve felt this way about my dad many times before and I cannot see his behavior changing. Ever. After 27 years of dealing with him, I’m just about ready to cut him out of my life. Not necessarily because of one specific thing, but because of a lifetime of his crap.
I have to do this in an email because if I tried to talk to you on the phone, I’d lose it, and you wouldn’t listen. In fact, you’d probably hang up on me.
I’ve been wrestling with this in my head all morning, and especially for the last hour while I was trying to nap.
Your responses in our initial conversation this morning were really hurtful to me. Apparently, in your world, parenting is all sweetness and light and love and happiness. Well, in mine, there’s a few dashes of bitterness and dark and frustration and sadness too. I have enough of my own insecurities about my abilities as a mother without being told that my emotions are wrong and being made to feel guilty for them.
When I said something about putting Spencer out on the porch last night as a last resort, you were almost sympathetic. But when I said something about the little bastard pissing me off and driving me crazy you chastised me for saying that. You basically told me that I was wrong for feeling that way. I’m sure you never thought that your words would be construed in that manner, but you don’t think before you speak. Yes, rationally, I know it’s not something he does on purpose. But after 90 minutes of inconsolable screaming, crying, thrashing, and flailing, rationale goes out the window. Did that just not ever happen for you? Were you so disconnected from us as little kids that being unable to make things better for us didn’t affect you in some way? Or should I feel inadequate because I’ll never reach your zen-like ability to let things just wash over me? Because that’s how you come across, whether that’s your intention or not.
You’re not in the least bit sympathetic or empathetic when I’m having stressful times in my life. You never have been, and I’m beginning to think you never will be. You have absolutely zero ability to think about someone else’s feelings or reactions in any given situation. Your way is the only way and the right way. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m surprised it took Mom 20 years to divorce you if this is how you treated her when she was depressed.
Right now, I’m going through some really emotionally trying times. I can’t even remember if I’ve told you that I’m seeing a therapist because of the scorn you seem to have for those of us who are less than perfectly mentally healthy. Right now, I’m working on surrounding myself with emotionally positive people and experiences, and you are neither to me.
In fact, if I could play armchair psychologist, I’d say that you have a borderline antisocial personality disorder. Some symptoms include:
• Glibness and Superficial Charm
• Manipulative and Conning
They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.
• Grandiose Sense of Self
Feels entitled to certain things as “their right.”
• Pathological Lying
Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.
• Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.
• Shallow Emotions
When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.
• Incapacity for Love
• Need for Stimulation
Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.
• Callousness/Lack of Empathy
Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.
• Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.
• Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency
Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet “gets by” by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.
Not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.
• Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity
Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.
• Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.
• Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility
Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.
(As you can see, I’ve underlined what applies to you. But that’s just my unqualified opinion.)
So, clearly, as I take steps to move towards a more positive life, you don’t fit. At least not now, because I have yet to figure out the proper distance to keep from you. So take this for what it’s worth (which is the truth), and don’t expect to hear from me for a while.
And here’s the problem: he won’t get it.