The question that will plague my mind for a week or so now will be to wonder, “What’s in the box?” (Picture the tone of Brad Pitt to Kevin Spacey in “Seven”)
My family went to Disney in December for my 40th birthday. My adoptive parents still live in Florida so they drove up and met us there for the week. My best friend lives in Orlando now and met us a couple of times while we were there. During one of the dinners, my Dad tells us all that they are planning to return to Orlando in January to meet with friends for dinner that they weren’t going to get to see on that trip. He then proceeds to ask my best friend if she would like to meet up for dinner while they were there. She obliges. He asks me, in a typical Narcissistic Personality Disorderly fashion way later after she is gone, “You don’t mind us getting together with [your friend] do you?” As if I would have really said no at that point, and he knew framing the question in that way would force me to say no, because saying yes would look suspicious, as if I had something to hide, and would only give him more fuel to talk about behind my back.
January rolls around, they meet for dinner, I let it slide, I deal with it, I deal with the fact that it’s a little odd that he even wants to meet with my best friend and her husband without me present. I deal with the fact that my best friend reports back to me that he talked almost incessantly at the dinner about his dead boyfriend, in front of my mother.
And then I speak to my best friend yesterday, and she informs me that my father texted her the day before. Of course my response is, “For what?” She said he told me he’s sending me a box. She goes on to tell me that apparently at the dinner he told them that he was going to send them (her husband) some of his dead boyfriends clothing that he was having a hard time sorting through because apparently his dead boyfriend was a shopaholic and hoarder, and he inherited the estate and had to sort through everything.
My best friend says she thinks he is having a hard time parting with his things because he meant so much to him. And that he wants to send his clothing to someone instead of just throwing it away or giving it to St. Vincent DePaul like they do with their own clothing that they don’t want anymore. Funny, do they have any of my clothing from when I was a child in the same manner that I saved all of my daughter’s clothing to make a quilt out of? Of course not. They didn’t save anything of mine. That didn’t mean enough to them to save or give to someone. But it somehow is justified in his mind to give his dead boyfriend’s clothing to his own daughter’s best friend. When he knows that I am COMPLETELY against this entire sham of a marriage and the way he has lived in this adulterous relationship and stayed with my mother through all of it. That he has been allowed to have the best of both worlds and never had to live in the light of owning up to his true identity of being gay, that he could hide behind my mother and me, while we looked like the idiots that everyone talked about, wondering if we knew that he was so obviously, flamboyantly gay.
He didn’t disclose to my friend for sure in the text that the box would contain these contents. But this is what she assumes based on what he said at the dinner in January. So now I sit and wonder until she receives the box. And now I sit and try to figure out the best way to approach and handle this situation with my Narcissistic, manipulative and toxic father. I am betting that his tactic is that he knows he is getting to me, his reasoning for doing this, but being covert about it by sending this to my friend. This way, he knows she will tell me, but he would never tell me himself, because he knows I would say something in retort. But he is probably counting on the fact that I don’t like conflict and it’s a rare case that I do say something and bring it up first. So by doing this, he thinks he has won without any confrontation. And so, I have to strategize the best way to handle this. Most people will tell me not to say anything to him because then it shows him that I have been affected which then shows him that he has succeeded. But I think it is also about the consequences of him not having to own up to it. I think I should mention something calmly and not heated, but just so he knows he didn’t get away without consequences of feeling guilt for being caught in doing something wrong.
I always have to think 100 steps ahead of him in order to beat him at his own game and in order to predict what his reaction to anything I do or say would be. Since the veil was lifted from my eyes 3 years ago and I see right through every single intention of his, my only two choices have been to either cut him out completely or to figure out how to beat him at his own game. I chose the latter. I am much smarter than he is, both in knowledge and psychologically. It takes far more energy than I like to spend, but he is older, and this won’t last forever. I am not willing to cut him out because in the end, he is my father. But he is a highly dysfunctional human being who has played alot of mind terror with me throughout my life and has caused a lot of my malfunctioning thought processes.