He does not see me as a person. He objectified me. To him, I was a weapon to be wielded against my mother and even against her memory after she died. He wouldn't let her go even then. He kept checking in with me, kept reassuring himself that I was angry at her, that he had won. I can remember one day, back when I was still angry at her, that I actually said I was glad she was dead. Today I'm horrified that I ever felt that. I'm not even sure I did, but I certainly said the words. I also said I hated her. At the time, I did mean the latter - but that's what Parental Alienation wants to achieve, isn't it?
Then he smiled. He has two horrible smiles: one is a sick, smug smile, that I realised two years ago means he feels a victory over my mother; the other we might come to later, we might not.
Though I never said as much to him, I instantly regretted saying that I was she glad she was dead. I've never truly been glad of that and I still don't know why I said it. I was afraid of him, probably until recently, so maybe that's why I didn't retract those awful words. Because I was afraid of him, perhaps I wanted his approval too.
I don't see him anymore, not at all. He's a nasty piece of work, that man. He has no worries about behaving inappropriately towards his daughter, either. Ironically, just over two years ago, I was wondering how I was going to get him out of my life as my eldest daughter was about to hit puberty and there was no way on this Earth that I was going to let him perv over her the way he did me. I was scared though, and did not know how to go about it. He is so stubborn and obnoxious that he would never have listened to me simply telling him to go away and never come back. He would have laughed at me (because he thinks I'm stupid, thinks everyone in the world but him is stupid) and ignored me. When my youngest daughter was born, he forced a visit on my little family and me against the wishes of my then partner and myself: I wanted him to wait a couple of days but he ignored us and came anyway. My sister once disconnected the phone to stop him bugging her after she had her second baby, fortunate in the fact that she live seven hours away by car. Had I said I wanted nothing more to do with him, he would have laughed and argued and ignored me.
In the end, he disowned me! If you can believe that! His actions were one of two things, and I haven't worked out which. It may have been a power-play, and since Parental Alienation is all about the wielding of power, I usually favour this explanation. My religious beliefs are not the same as his. I chose my religious path in 1995 (before my mother was ill) and from the beginning he objected. My religion is basically Christian, nothing outrageous, no child sacrifice, no polygamy, we celebrate Christmas and don't suicide bomb. He couldn't bear it. He protested from the start, even to the point that his visits to my home increased vastly in order for him to argue and harangue and pester me about my religion. He said I was being brainwashed (he'd know all about brainwashing, wouldn't he?) and that the religion wasn't right for me. I plodded on, continuing to attend my church, all the while severely peed off that he had no respect for how I chose to live my life and raise my daughter, that he even honestly thought I was too stupid to make my own mind up about the God I believe in. This is a man who swears that he met Christ during an out of body experience. Whenever my sister and I asked why we weren't christened, he always said my mother and he wanted us to make up our own minds - so I did, and he didn't like it.
It was quite bizarre. It's like my church put him into a frenzy and he couldn't stop his mouth. He has never once pointedly explained what his problem with the church is. He just says, "think about what you're doing," "it's not right for you,", "you're being brainwashed".
After a few years, I stopped attending church and went "inactive". Can you guess what religion it was by my use of that word? :> He was ecstatic when he eventually found out and, just like with my mother, bugged me regularly in order to reaffirm his success. "So, you've given all that up, have you?", always shocked that I was never interested in his religion (reincarnation with no particular creed or faith).
In 2004, I started attending church again and still do today. I never stopped loving my church or my God, even during those years of non-attendance. I had my reasons for not going and in 2004, I realised they weren't enough any more.
Of course, I never told him. I knew he would harass me about it again. Eventually one of my kids said something. I'd never told them to keep it secret from him. And then the harassment began again. Snide comments and "think about what you're doing!", mocking of my life choices, and general disrespect gave way to emails containing links to hate sites (and what annoyed me about this, again, was that he thought I was too stupid not to have looked at those sites ten years previously! Of course I did! I made an informed decision about my religion!). He deliberately approached my daughter, then thirteen, about our religion behind my back. He thought I couldn't hear his criticism of our church and thereby ME, but I heard every word. As it was my daughter's birthday, I kept my mouth shout with the intention of speaking to him about it.
He quicky emailed me a hate site link once he had returned home. I asked him again, as I had done many times before, not to bring this subject up. "I don't want to talk to you about this" I repeated, but as usual he ignored me. When I say ignore, he literally pretends I haven't spoken and just carries on. He replied by mocking me. I said enough. I said, "If you don't respect how I live my life and raise my kids, we are going to fall out". I still don't think that this sentence was that inflammatory and neither does anyone else I've shown it to.
What came next was disgusting. He wrote the nastiest email I've ever received and it shocked me to the core. I was stunned. I had only ever witnessed that level of vitriol and hate from him towards my mother. Until then, all his dealings with me had been calm and even (for all the viciousness and vileness they contained). It was, to me, an outburst far unequal to what had preceded. It was weird. It's very easy to look back now and perhaps describe it as a defensive maneouvre because he knew he had been caught out in relation to my daughter. It may also have been a preemptive strike because he knew what was coming from me; I think he sensed that my patience with his bullying was wearing thin and that my fear of him was vanishing. I'm also certain that part of his reason for the outburst was his conviction that I was stupid and that by demanding I behave as he wanted me to, I'd back down and apologize and grovel. A postscript to this is another possible explanation, one that might be added to any of the previous: my sister had refused to speak to him for over a year, while he was in touch with me, and as such had denied him access to not only her but her four children as well. Did he deliberately engineer the situation with me so that he could have her back?
The man took my child aside and criticized my parenting behind my back. I wasn't about to back down - and he was handing me, on a plate, the perfect solution to getting him out of our lives. Outwardly, I said nothing to him. Not a word.
But inwardly, I was reeling. It was not until he "cut me off", as he put it, then, in March of 2005, that I had any idea of who he really was. That action from him opened up a can of worms that I'm still digesting - so to speak - today, two and a half years later. The email that he wrote to me - he couldn't dump his child on the phone or face to face - was so filled with hatred that it disgusted me. I don't know the person who wrote it, nor recognize the LIES it contained. That email showed me a hitherto unknown selfishness that shocked me completely - and he probably still doesn't realise this. It was filled with phrases like "I drove up and down that motorway all those years so I could still have my daughters", with afterthoughts like "and so that they could have their dad". It was all about him. He was disowning his eldest child and all he could think about was how badly I had treated him by not listening to his opinion of my religion. He mocked the death of my mother: "You've lost your mother? Well now you've lost your father too, I hope you can live with yourself".
And of course the irony is that I'm more than happy to have "lost" him. I don't want him or his perverted mind around my kids and me anymore.
The tragedy is that his behaviour in that email and subsequent lies to his brother (that I'd disowned him) made me begin to understand who this man really is. That if he can lie about me, then what else has he lied about? I was horrified and grieved to realise that the things he said about my mother may not have been true, and the more I thought and remembered and examined my memories, I came to understand that he DID lie about her to me and my sister and anyone that would listen. He lied and twisted and manipulated and corrupted and destroyed - and damaged me.
This realization is what causes me the most grief at the moment. I feel betrayed and used and abused. I feel like an orphan. I feel deprived of a father because no loving father would do what he did. This man did not and does not love me. It took 29 years but his victory is empty and he has lost because I finally see him for what he is. He deliberately destroyed my relationship with my mother and it's too late to rebuild it with her. And when I began to refuse to allow his bullying and manipulation to have any effect on me, he turned nasty on me too.