…which is reason #267 that I left EX2.
EX2 was an extremely narcissistic and psychopathic man. He needed to establish his dominance and to do that he needed the other male figure in my life, my father, to be out of my life.
It was all quite primal and base once you extract the righteous, emotional outrage and look at it rationally . Being a psychopath, EX2 had a very alpha male personality. Alpha males tend to be loners, sharing is not a quality they behold so they quickly establish their territory, isolated their chattel, and protect what is theirs from any threat, real or imagined. High anxiety, paranoia, adherence to the rules of “in group/out group” and gestures of dominance highlight their personality.
I was nothing more than a possession to EX2. I was chattel. He needed to consume me; to be the center of my universe; to own me. And own me he did. And during the time that he owned me he exploited every resource I had available and left me as an empty shell. Until I met EX2, my father was the only strong male figure that I had a bond with. This bond was a threat to EX2’s dominance because my father had the ability to influence me. A difference of opinion was a threat to EX2, sometimes he even elevated it to an intent to humiliate him. Ex2 allowed me into his group but he desperately needed me to sever ties with my group because he saw them as outsiders and they were not allowed.
I loved my father, I was dedicated to my father, I was attached to my father. EX2 picked up on my devotion to my father very early in our relationship. I ran interference between my narcissistic mother and my dear father. If he needed something I was there, if he had a problem I was there, if he was sick, I was there. Honestly, my father can be a bit needy, my whole family can be awful needy in general. It can be draining at times and EX2 capitalized on my periods of exhaustion to drive me away from my father.
It started out slow, like most abuse does. He began to commiserate with me about the overwhelming needs of my family. I admit, it felt good to have someone understand. His commiseration began to escalate into moral outrage, always on my behalf, and again, it felt good. I always harbored a certain resentment toward my family for needing so much. Most of the time I enjoyed being needed my family and I really loved my father.
The commiseration turned ugly. It became this evil game where Ex2 would complain about my father being too needy. He would demand that I understand how mad my father had made him. He would remind me of all the times that I had been mad at my dad. Somehow he got me to commiserate with him. Next he began to shame me any time I helped my father. He became hostile any time I spoke of my father. Then he launched a campaign against my father. Finally, he convinced me that my life would be easier without expending my energy on my father.
“You shouldn’t be spending your energy on your crazy father, you need to save your energy for me” he exclaimed.
Yep, that’s right, he plainly said that and I didn’t even object. I was broken by that time. People wonder why I would stay with such a man but as the saying goes, “if you boil a frog slow enough…” Well he boiled me just slow enough that by the end of our marriage I was barely speaking to my father and hadn’t seen him for years.
I hated my father for many reasons, yet for the years that followed my separation from EX2 I laid on my couch drugged and incoherent, and my father raised my son. My son graduates high school this year and he is an amazing kid and it because my father raised him well. My father has never asked for an apology or a show of gratitude in return. Somehow I think he just knows that I had fallen under that control of a man whose sole goal was to isolate me, posses me, and destroy me.
I don’t hate my father anymore, in fact I often worry about the reality of him dying and all the time I missed with him but I am grateful that I have been allowed to reconcile with my father and love him again.