I was Beauty. I was never expected to do much but marry well. I think that is what my label meant anyhow. I spent a lot of time doing things my father liked, and trying to please him, but never felt that I really did. Not in his eyes anyhow. I strived to be perfect…always… but perfect for whom?
My middle sister was the Brain. She was the only one my father thought was smart enough to follow in his footsteps and have a career in the medical field. She was the only one he talked intelligently to. My other sister and I were smart also, but Middle was the one he gave his attention to. Looking back, she played up her interest in medicine to get attention from him, but I don’t blame her. That was her survival mechanism in dealing with her narcissist father. To this day she has never been married or in a serious relationship, which is perfectly fine, but I wonder how much of her insecurities with men or relationships in general today stem from our childhood and our father. My father treated Middle almost like a wife more than he did our own mother. Looking back his behaviors with Middle were more than borderline questionable, with the secrecy, one-on-one time spent together and trips away. My youngest sister and I were excluded most of the time so we became numb to our father and his tactics with Middle, which looking back, was our way of coping.
Body. Sick. Not her, him. Using that word to reference his youngest daughter? Sick. She was the dancer in the family and in his mind, that is what she would be. She wasn’t the best student in school and by the time she was old enough to understand a little about what was going on, my father had completely checked out as a parent. She partied, paid attention to boys and got in the most trouble. When Youngest was 16, literally on her birthday, my father pulled up in a moving van in front of our home and announced he was moving to anther state. He has justified this for years saying he “asked” the Youngest if it was ok that he left. She was sixteen. Her birthday. She has no idea what was going on with our parents or how bad the situation was. I was away at college. At that time Middle was closest with our father and helped him move out. Talk about a thorn and family divided. I was not there but I cannot imagine the emotion. My mom found out a few days prior that my father was moving, but had no idea when because he wouldn’t talk to her. She found out accidentally from someone who he worked with. It was a mess. It still is, but we all know how to deal with it better now.
My father moved a state away to eventually move in with the woman he had an affair with his entire marriage to my mom. A few years after finding that out, he called one evening when I was at college and told me he had “some news.” He said he and the woman “got married this past weekend.” It was very nonchalant. No big deal and not once did he ask how I felt about it. I was close to my mom and had never met the other woman, nor did I want to. I did though, a few years after I married my Narcissist.
I have no relationship with my father today. Through my work in counseling and self healing, I have come to peace with that. It makes no sense but this was my father’s choice and those were the cards I was dealt. My ExN and my father are practically best friends. Middle was replaced with new wife and it about destroyed her. She has no relationship with our father today either. Youngest has a relationship but she doesn’t talk about it. I understand.
We all have stories and a past. I am more determined than ever before to break this cycle, this Narcissistic cycle, for my own children. I look at the damage done to our family by my father, back then and still today. I look at my ExN, with my father as his mentor, heading in the same direction. He doesn’t know it, but he is, and when our kids are grown they are going to understand this situation more and more. It is my job now to stay strong, break this cycle and be a warrior for my kids. As I start down the PRE road now, for the second time, I know I’m going to lose a few battles. But in the end, I am going to win this war.
~LLS~ Lucy K.
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