Today’s daily prompt couldn’t have come on a better day. Because today I spent around several of the most toxic people in my life and spoke to my best friend about some of the toxic people in her life as well. Most holidays for me are spent with toxic people. I am not strong enough to cut them out of my life. Most people do. For me, mine are my adoptive parents. And today’s array at Easter dinner also included a cousin’s husband that she married who has also added to the toxicity each time he is around as well. Luckily, my adoptive parents don’t live in the same state and only visit every couple of months.
I have a very difficult time with boundaries. And when I do finally get up the nerve to lay them down, I am treated as if I am the crazy one who has lost her mind. For the longest time, I was gaslighted in to believing I was the crazy one, but I finally see through the smoke and mirrors. But it takes a lot longer to recover my voice from a point of being afraid of confrontation and believing that I am always in the wrong.
I am ramping up for a confrontation with my parents units in the next week or so over things that have happened in the past few months that have become increasingly oppressive. While I have no expectations of things ever changing, I am tired of not speaking up about it and them thinking they can get away with everything without being held accountable for their actions because they have become used to my acquiescive stance.
They performed such successful mind control on me when I was young that I have a difficult time finding the courage within me to bring up situations. If I am caught in a crossfire, I will react with fire in the heat of the moment as I can become very defensive when someone strikes certain nerves within me. Btw especially my Dad has learned quite stealthily how to gauge and avoid which buttons to push with me so as to avoid my wrath.
In this world, my Dad is probably most afraid of me and he has spent alot of time trying to learn all of my moves. He thought he could control me when I was younger, and he did for a while. Bit I am one of only a few people in this world who has had the courage to speak up to and stand up to him. Most people who do that he cuts out of his life. He is very afraid of everything I know and what true power I could wield if I truly wanted to. I think he uses the strategy with me of keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
My Dad is the truest Narcissistic Personality Disorder of the highest degree. He is as toxic as they come. His most recent cray-cray move is that he decided when we went to Disney World in December, they drove up to meet us from where they live and my best friend met us there as she lives close to Disney. My parents decided that they were going to return to the Disney area in January and asked my best friend to meet for dinner with her husband. She agreed (though telling me on the side she felt a little weird about it, as if she was cheating on me or something). My Dad “asked” me afterwards, “You don’t mind if we get together with your friend for dinner do you?” Essentially telling me I’d look stupid or curious in his eyes if I were to say that I minded. So I let that one go and I thought it was a little strange but didn’t really “mind”. So that dinner took place and my friend said that my Dad talked almost the entire time about his dead boyfriend (in front of my mom). But, that is no surprise to me either as he has always done this as well. But here’s what has really crossed the border line for me. A couple of weeks ago my friend told me that my Dad texted her saying that he’d be sending her a box soon (which he had told her about at the dinner-but she didn’t want to tell me about it until it happened for real, hoping it didn’t happen). So what does my Dad send her? His dead boyfriend’s clothing for her husband.
So, the reason this bothers me on so many levels besides being just BIZARRE…I am the one who exposed my Dad and his gayness and outed him to my Mom when I was 21. I’m pretty sure he has always been bitter about this and loves rubbing my face in the fact that he has continued to have and eat the proverbial cake at the same time despite my attempt to ruin him. So this is another way for him to “stick it to me” and spike the ball by involving MY best friend in his illicit affair. But the part that is most hurtful is that my friend thinks he couldn’t just give the dead boyfriend’s clothing to the Goodwill because of the sentiment behind it. Yet over the past few weeks it has played on my mind how none of the stuff from my infancy was saved. None of that stuff was important enough to not give away to Goodwill. The only things that were saved from my childhood were from when I was old enough to hoard things in my own room and then have a say in what got boxed up. And even still, certain things that I know I asked to be saved were not. They didnt save any of the things like my mother in law was just telling my sister in law about on Friday, of how she still has all the kids and grandkids original Christmas stockings, and we just used my husband’s childhood Easter basket today and my stepsons childhood Easter basket from 25 years ago (he’s 27 now). I have none of these things. My Dad is sentimental enough over his dead boyfriend’s clothing that he has to give it to MY best friend, but he wasn’t sentimental about his daughters stuff.
My Mom isn’t a true Narcissist, she fits more of the Dependant Personality Disorder, but she has mirrored alot of my Dads behvaiors as well because she doesn’t have a mind of her own half of the time. My Mother recently asked why I didn’t like the cousins husband who I had to deal with today. When I intimated to her as to why, she of course came to his defense. She continuously defends everyone to me and it seems like she would be for anyone that I was against. She has come to an incorrect conclusion about my political stance based upon something my daughter said a few years ago (assuming that I control all of my daughter’s decisions, the way she attempts to control mine). Since that conversation, she has tried to sway my decision continuously towards her political party. But the irony about the whole situation is two-fold. Firstly, every point she tries to make, she speaks so ignorantly and I can make her look foolish with a simple sentence rebuttal and I do so because I won’t be challenged with ignorance just because she wants to mind control me. Secondly, she doesn’t even realize that I’m actually registered to the same political party that she is, because she’s so busy forming her little judgments. I am actually very bi-partisan, but I registered with one party just so that I could vote in the primaries because if you are registered as an independent, you can’t vote in the Primaries. And I chose the same party affiliation as she has only because I liked our current Governor who happens to be of that party but is actually very bi-partisan and was actually in real-estate before beoming Governor. So he isn’t a true politician.
Many people don’t see my parents for the toxic people that they are. They have quite the facade that they put put to the world. Some of my friends in high school we’re even snowed by them and told me they didn’t want to listen to me complain about them because they only wished their parents would be more like mine and they didn’t believe me and the things I said occurred behind closed doors. It took my bridal shower for my in-laws to meet the real people behind the mask my parents put out to the world. And now they see their true colors and believe everything I say about them. And my husband has seen firsthand what they can be like, but even still those closest to me don’t see every single aspect that I see of them and have a hard time believing every single thing I think of them, of exactly how calculated I think every single thing is that they do.
My entire parental/child relationship with my adoptive parents has been based on deceit. True parental love has never existed here. They don’t even know how to love. I know this will never change. I am working through learning how to accept it now that I have recognized it. Healing has to include learning to use my anger in a productive manner so that I learn how to use my voice in life and am not inhibited by it out of some irrational fear bourne in my childhood dysfunctional family.
I have been talking with my friends lately as well about their toxic family members, for my best friend (the one who “inherited” the dead boyfriend’s clothing, it is her mom and brother in law who cause her problems and for another close friend of mine it is her sister in law that steams her up. I know that no one is without toxic people in their lives. I know I am not alone in this plight. Everyone has their dysfunction in life to deal with. For me, it is just the quantity of dysfunction that I was born in to and raised with and mind controlled in to believing that I was the crazy one, that now has me in such a state that is one of constant recovery, it makes me wonder if I can ever achieve full recovery or if I will always be recovering. My trauma began pre-verbal and while I was still in the womb, it is primal, and then was fortified by the continuous toxicity I have undergone and still deal with. I hope that some day I will find my mental escape hatch for good and that I will somehow not always feel jailed by those who have sought to control me and use me as a pawn in their own game of Life.