I’ll never forget the first time a therapist suggested to me that I wasn’t realistic about my “dad’s part” in my childhood abuse. I was furiously defensive. My daddy had never abused me!! Dr. Patty caught me off guard though when she said, Don’t you feel some anger at him for not protecting you from your mother, though?
Um, NO! My dad loved me and that’s all I ever wanted from a parent. It’s not that my dad never punished me, he did when I deserved punished. It’s not that he “didn’t protect me”, it never once occurred to me that anyone would be brave enough to take on Darlene! Meanwhile, I realize now the game she played with our fear of her. She just filled my head full of awful things he’d done to hurt her (none of which ever rang true to me even at just 4 years old) and then she’d tell my dad horrible things about me. This part never occurred to me though because as a child I couldn’t imagine my own mother would tell lies about me to anyone, much less my dad.
But she did. And I never corrected them because I had no clue my dad didn’t know the truth of whatever latest ordeal she’d put me through. And I assumed he knew the truth and that he would spend our brief, precious moments together showing me love and laughing together so I could get the strength to return to mother and better try not to upset her.
He didn’t know what was really happening though. He only knew her lies and in my childhood trusting innocence, I never told my version of events; never even fathomed that mother would just change the story so I’d look worse than I was and she’d look far better than she was.
It’s like when I was molested at school, it never occurred to me to complain to an adult. After all, an adult did it so he couldn’t be wrong, I had to be wrong. I had to have deserved it. I had no right to dispute any adults choices! Darlene effectively enforced that so thoroughly that I was too spineless to ever feel I had any rights to protest other people’s actions against me.
Because of this, I never blamed my dad for not protecting me. And it’s obvious that my entire life, I was an easy victim to the world because I had no sense of having and right to even be here, much less rights as a human being for respect or dignity. Probably why I was an easy target for rape and abusive men. Spineless creatures with zero sense of self worth are the easiest to prey upon and mold to accept the abuse.
My daddy loved her more. I’ve been aware of that for many years, but he loved her more only because he never knew the truths of her and he knew all my truths, good and bad.
Only once did I think he started to get a clue of her truth. His pastor preached on abusive parents. And after the sermon, daddy bought me a book called Toxic Parents and brought it to my house, as though something had happened and he saw a glimmer of truth in my life struggles stemming from the abuse. He didn’t say he understood or believed and I didn’t ask any questions because my dad’s loyalty was fierce and I never wanted him torn in the middle. I knew he had blinders she’d carefully sewn on his eyes and he was most comfortable with those blinders. I never had the urge to rip those off completely. I loved him too much and as hurtful as his devotion to her in spite of it all was to the little girl in me, I understood it better than most and I adored him for that quality of unconditional love. I had no real interest in changing that or hurting him by destroying his carefully plotted necessary false idea of her.
As my daddy was getting older toward the end, he’d become not quite senile, he was still cognizant and clear mostly, but his fears for and about me became irrational and confused. In hindsight I see that he knew his time was coming and he wasn’t scared about anything at all… except for me and my children.
I didn’t realize it at the time of course, I thought he was just being irrational and controlling. I wish so much I could have understood why before he passed away, but I did not. And one of our final talks was him apologizing to me for his irrationality and saying to me, I’m sorry baby, but I promise you I’ll do it differently. You tell the girls that “they’re gonna see a BIG change in papa. I won’t do this to y’all again.”
And of course I had been very angry with his recent irrational actions but I could never stay mad at my daddy who always owned his mistakes and apologized immediately for them. So I knew he recognized his mistakes and I was relieved and grateful for his apology.
I could never stay mad at my daddy. He was too genuine and good down to his soul to ever hold any mistakes he made against him.
Darlene attempted to take that apology after he died and make that her story with my dad. And amidst a huge amount of bizarre and random discrepancies surrounding my dad’s death related directly to my mother and my sister, I know she’s lying with dramatic poetic license. She makes stories up all the time because she needs to be seen as the victim she made me into. She must be seen as the sparkling angelic “victim” of her actual victims.
There will never be recompense or exposed truth of her lies. She’s told them so long to do many people now that I know even she believes they’re truths now.