Dad.

So, I thought that I should write. Because I’m feeling crazy and sometimes things that seem crazy aren’t. At least that’s how I was brought up. It was wrong though. The crazy was crazy, I was just denied it being that and instead completely gaslighted into thinking that I was crazy. So when crazy things happen now I automatically assume that it’s either my fault or that I’ve read the situation wrong.

The other day after therapy – ugh, it was such a hard session, I was a rigid board throughout – I came out of the door and started to call Nick to let him know I’m coming over. Walking down the road, it’s dark and I nearly get to the end and see a man in the shadows, by a car, smoking. Under the streetlight I can see his silhouette: his build, his facial features, his glasses. And he looks, he looks exactly like my dad. I am convinced he is my dad. So I do the only thing I can do, stop dead in my tracks and turn on my heel and walk as fast as I can without attracting attention, until I feel like I’m far enough away and just run. And then, when I turn the corner I walk a bit further and almost throw up on the pavement. The sense of panic awash over me in that moment was full on FLIGHT MODE – i.e. GET OUT NOW. It ran through my entire body like an army of electricity telling me to get the hell away. I felt like I was going to die. Like something terrible was about to happen. Yes, therapy isn’t going too well at the moment. But up until right now I felt safe there and now my fucking DAD is outside? Bad timing.

It probably wasn’t him. But reassurance won’t really help because when you do have a crazy, narcissistic, self-centred, no-boundaried parent who reads your diaries (even when you make up your own code, which he then deciphers, casually dropping into conversation, at the dinner table, which symbols are which), who stalks you and your family (most notably by leaving me and my sister in the house as kids, in the middle of the night, to go and make sure my mum wasn’t having a life), who has no problem treating other people’s belongings as theirs, then I sort of feel, well, maybe it was him. Right? This is the man that turned up out of the blue when I said I didn’t want to talk. So because I don’t want to talk you turn up without any notice and try and guilt trip me into meeting you? Yeah, that’s fucking normal. And I’m the crazy one. I’M the crazy one?!

But he has pulled a blinder, he’s played it so well, because now I do feel crazy. Have I been stalked? Has he somehow hacked into my email and found my emails to my counsellor, googled her and found out where she works? Did I let enough information out before, innocent to me, “no, I have counselling on Monday night”, that would eventually work against me? He used to speak to my old counsellor, and she was taken in by him too. What if he’s wormed his way back into my life in the worst way possible? Seriously? Am I crazy or am I normal? I don’t know. I don’t fucking know. I never have done and I never will because I can never trust anyone and I sure as hell can’t trust myself.

He had no fucking boundaries. Always making me feel physically uncomfortable around him, making damn sure he was the only male in my life and basically groomed me to worship him, even though he was so horrible to me. And I did. I worshipped him and thought he was amazing and clever and good looking and that he had never done anything wrong, really, that anything he did do wrong wasnt even his fault, it was because other people were crap and didn’t know how to behave properly. How he did that even though he behaved like a complete shit is amazing. He would hold my hand and hug me all the time and call me Dada’s Princess and other vomitworthy things even when I was older and it made me feel very uncomfortable. And my friends would notice and take the piss and then that was yet another thing that would make me different that I would have to try and explain or laugh off. I can’t explain it, but it just felt kind of…wrong. When I tried to tell him, or ask him not to do it in front of my friends, he would get really, really mad, as if I was accusing him of being a pervert for wanting to be close to his daughter, and then I would end up apologising and comforting him, like I often did. And then he would do it even more in front of people and laugh at me when he could see me squirming. He would treat me like a princess in certain ways, like shower me with gifts occasionally, tell me that I was pretty and clever and better – more beautiful – than anyone else, or give me money (and give my friends money, somtimes), but then relay to me how broke he was, and act depressed and sad so that I would offer the money back and feel guilty that he was spending money on me. Which in turn would make him angry, and then it would go down the whole “it’s all your fault, you don’t respect me, you’re fat and stupid and ugly, you’re just like your mother” route which would lead to me apologising and comforting him, again. So clever, and SO wrong.

I can’t believe that the one place that I thought was safe might not be, and in an entirely different way than it was before. This has made me feel like a fucking off-the-charts lunatic.

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