Monday, 28 April 2008

Authoritarians and abusers

This man allegedly kept his daughter and three of the seven children he fathered on her imprisoned for 24 years, adopting the other three (the seventh died).

A psychologist has reported on this case at the link above, when asked the most obvious question: HOW could someone do this? That is, mentally speaking, how would someone be able to do this? How could you imprison, rape and abuse your own children?

I see this so often with Parental Alienation and indeed often ask the same question myself. How on earth could anyone actively wish to abuse anyone else?

The psychologist's answer was that a certain type of person believes it is their right to treat people as they want, especially their children. My male parent exhibits traits of this nature: he considered himself "owner" of his family, my mother and my sister and me, and said as much in public. He felt himself "in charge". "No one tells me what to do". "I know things other people don't". He felt he was cleverer than everyone else.

When no one listens to him, they are targets for verbal abuse -not just complaints or whinges, like "Oh, you're so annoying," but extreme and foul abuse. My mother and one of her sisters were called whores by him - he called my mother a whore in front of me! Amongst other things! As I've mentioned before, her cancer "was her own fault".

When I reached puberty, things changed a little. He suddenly noticed me in a different way. He leered at me, tried to stand too close and rub himself up against me (arms or legs), lay on top of me and kissed me all over my face, ran his hands up and down my back to see if I was wearing a bra ... I tried to keep myself out of the way. I stopped going near him whenever possible. I wouldn't give him hugs anymore, though he forced them. He was always looking at me with a dirty smile on his face. It's sickening to even remember it. He constantly made comments about me growing up, quite often dirty. I refused to play Scrabble anymore when he used the word "erection". I began to hate going to his house every third weekend and did everything I could to get out of it. At first, no one really listened to me, and he'd be "reasonable": "She doesn't have to come if she doesn't want to", and I was forced into it once or twice. From a logistical point of view, I think perhaps Mum felt guilty that he had driven four hours for me to refuse to go. My credibility wasn't brilliant because my PA behaviour (and Asperger's?) was wonderful for twisting incidents into crazy misrepresentations of the truth.

ANYWAY, back to the authoritarianism. Mum told him we didn't like his leering and talking and jokes and curiousness about our pubertal development. He was embarrassing us. Could he please stop? His answer made me begin to realise what a selfish man he is. He didn't apologise. He didn't even stop. In fact, he told us it was his right to do it because he was just proud. He said he wasn't going to stop because he wasn't doing anything wrong, and that he could do what he wanted. "You're my daughters, I can do what I like". I had a similar discussion with him on my sister's wedding day. She had come to me privately a few days before and said "I'm dreading him doing all that stuff on the day. Please talk to him." So I did - and had almost the same conversation.

"If you do that, it will embarrass her."
"I can do what I like".

And yay me - I stood up for us!!!! I nearly passed out with fear but I was defending my sister! And, in a roundabout way, myself.

"No, on this occasion, you can't."
"I can. I can do and say what I like".
"NO. YOU CAN'T. YOU WILL NOT DO THIS ON HER WEDDING DAY! I'll speak to C (his partner) about this if I need to, but you will not mention her growing up once. You will spoil her wedding day. She's afraid you're going to go on about her growing up. I'll tell C all about this if you don't promise not to say a word!"

And he didn't do it! The threat of being grassed up. That's interesting - I've just realised the connection (duh). He behaved himself because I threatened to tell tales on him. When I threatened to tell Mum about him going on about us growing up, he said what I said before: that he wasn't doing anything wrong. He didn't have to worry about Mum's opinion of him - for some reason. In his mind, he had already discredited her? But the current partner - he didn't want her to know. Interesting.

I think this brainwashing (that he could do whatever he likes because we are his children) is the reason I never told anyone about the inappropriate behaviour. I was un-credible anyway to some degree, so the chances of being believed were slim. Perhaps he knew that. In my mind, he could do anything he liked because he was in charge. He believed it was his right to do certain things to me, so because I was "on his side", I believed it too. I've often wondered why I let him do it. I *thought* it was wrong but because I believed everything he said, I believed I was wrong too, so I tolerated it. That's a realisation right there in front of you, folks, thanks to a Sky New psychologist and my own ramblings. I've just worked that out. I was brainwashed into thinking he could do no wrong so when he did wrong, I didn't know it. "You're just imagining it". He made all sorts excuses for his behaviours. He noticed when I wouldn't stand near him anymore and he pushed it. He deliberately pushed himself into my private space. "Nothing wrong with a cuddle", but then he'd be rubbing my breast. He did that in public once and almost laughed at me when I looked at him, moving away quickly. His grin was huge and his expression was one of conceit and utter disdain for me. "You idiot. Look what I can do - and you put up with it!". That he'd do it in public shocked me so much. I began complete withdrawal from him at that point. Although I had never left my daughter alone with him before then anyway, I was determined to keep her away from him. I left the area within a year of that.

2 comments:

GT said...

Rowan,
I am so sorry that you went through what you did with your father. It was so wrong! I had similar experiences with my father. I too find correlations in stories in the news lately. I am glad that you are speaking out to evil behavior that is NOT acceptable.

Louise Uccio said...

Rowen,

I too am so sorry for what you had to live as a child. I commend you on your open mind and ability to "see" the connections to Parent Alienation and entitlement.

I've been digging for years to find answers and like you I began to notice small similarities which sadly make up the big picture.

The answer is these people are sick, most of them fall somewhere between the "group B' personality disorders= Narcissists/psychopaths/borderlines and so on.. these are interesting subjects to read about, sadly their behavior is predictable and multi generational unless someone stops it.

In order to stop it one must first SEE it, and like yourself I've been able to SEE because of years of therapy and my own research into dysfunctional relationships.

Here is your pat on the back and giant hug for putting a stop to the dysfunction in your family tree ((((( hug))))) keep up the awesome work!

May I copy this post onto my blog? Of course I will link it back to you.