Editor’s Note: The Lovefraud reader One_Step_at_a_Time sent the following post.
Finally, after a long break, I have returned to reading The Betrayal Bond. I feel immediately open when I read the concepts presented in it, and I feel protected, like someone actually has my best interest at heart.
The spath did not. And yet she did things looked like she cared for me, or perhaps she was just protecting her supply. I don’t know yet, but as I remember and unravel my experience with her, I will start to write those things down, and ask here, “please decode this for me, ‘cause I just don’t know, it is too close and I cannot see the whole of its shape.”
Tonight, after an intense week that was a sprint for my tired spirit and body, I have a break. So, into the tub I went for a nice long soak and a read. Five pages further along in The Betrayal Bond, and I am triggered. But not in a bad way. More like, hmm? And then, aha!
My dad. I could see the arc of our relationship; it was so gradual, and so alienating I hadn’t seen it. A few weeks before Christmas this year I went NC with my dad. I felt it was the right thing to do – probably more clear to me emotionally at this time, than being NC with the spath is.
My dad – THAT guy. That guy who I loved and cherished as a kid – who, by default, was the more easygoing adult in the house; THAT guy who I emulated, who I was proud of as a kid; THAT guy who, as he ages, becomes increasingly more bizarre, cold, and narcissitic. THAT guy – whose “love,” I recognized tonight, in the arc of devalue and discard.
My old man is an N. My mom told me a story a couple of times of the second year of their marriage, in which my dad goes out and and spends the money they (“she”) needs for formula for my older sib, on gas for a boat so that he can go water skiing. Now, my old man is in his seventh decade, and is first generation – comes from a very patriarchal eastern European family – was a young hot shot, worked hard, played hard. His being selfish at a young age, well, it can be understood in the context of his life. His actions: reprehensible. Possible to contextualize: yes. How my mother must have felt. Her husband spent the money they needed to feed their child. It was the 50’s; you didn’t leave even if they were beating you.
I moved far away from home at 18; thousands of miles away. I was more intelligent than I knew. It was 15 years before I understood that I went to get away from them.
My mom has been my dad’s supply my whole life. And now she’s ill and he has lost his supply, and as a friend says, his head is so far up his ass, we haven’t seen his neck in a decade.
And she still tries. And she has ALWAYS tried to broker deals and cajole and shame me into taking care of him – be another source. My WHOLE life – even now, demented as hell, she does this. It has made it so much easier for her to dismiss his behaviour, because she cannot remember how he hurts her, day in, day out.
When I first came back to this area, I stayed with them, and I stayed much longer than I should have. I couldn’t leave her. It was amazing; I actually had to RUN AWAY FROM HOME in my 40’s.
I have been struggling mightily. The last four years have been a spiral of worsening conditions for me. For the first time in my life, I need the help of my family. Any given month right since the hardcore spath experience I have been one bad decision or circumstance away from the street.
And my dad will not help.
Now, I cannot talk to my mom – cannot see her, cannot not tell her what he has done and continues to do, cannot ask for help and cannot challenge her mixed up salad thinking that has her acting like they have no money and she has no conscience about helping her daughter. I cannot challenge her – this poor demented woman. Nor could I challenge the poor demented spath. The poor, helpless, abused spath.
Several years ago, my father as trustee of my inheritance from my grandfather, screwed me. It is a long and complex story. It took eight years of lies and unfulfilled promises to *get* that he has stolen this money from me, and truly, has NO intention of paying it back.
I am really lucky; I have friends who have called his behaviour, have looked at me in horror when I describe the things that he has done, and continues to do. A look of horror goes a long way with me; it speaks directly to my damaged sense of self service, saying, “look, someone else knows this is wrong, knows you have done nothing to deserve this treatment, KNOWS his actions are disordered.” Funny, I KNOW his actions are wrong, but I have tried again and again AND AGAIN – to MAKE IT RIGHT.
I have been profoundly shamed by my father’s treatment of me. In the last four years he has constantly devalued me. And now, I am discarded, because I NEED HIM to be giving, and loving and supportive.
The N arc has taken decades to show itself. But there it is. As I am writing about it I keep seeing a rainbow, “arco iris” in Spanish. If being spathed finally got me to see my father for what he is, then so be it.
I have a long way to go in this healing around him and the supply mentality of my mom and my upbringing. I am up for a little enlightened self interest at this point in my life. I pray that I can learn to be smart in this way. The possibility seems kinda exciting (and ya know, I like me some excitement but I am not sure if I will be able to do it.
My dad bought a new boat last year.