I was hit.
On Thanksgiving, in front of family, I was hit.
I haven’t been in any physical confrontation since I was in high school, and that wasn’t really a confrontation. I got dropped.
Once, when I was maybe 10 or 11 years old, there was a girl picking on my little sister. I pushed her down. Her twin brother decided we had to fight. I had never been in a fight before. I didn’t even want to fight. I ran inside. I remember the crowd gathering outside. I left the curtains closed. My Dad was home and said I should go fight. I said I didn’t want to and I was scared. I may have cried. I cried a lot as a kid. He told me I didn’t have to, but if I did, he’d never call me a coward again. (It was years later that I realized he never used that word.) I went out and fought. We hit each other for awhile and then both went home thinking we won the fight. I really didn’t feel like it was worth it.
I am not a tough kid. I was smart and used that to get out of all kind of problems. It didn’t work a few weeks ago.
I went outside to talk. I stayed neutral but determined. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I was hit. It shocked me, but I didn’t react. I didn’t hit back. I didn’t get sarcastic or mean.
MY sister came out and also got hit. IT was awfully Jerry Springer. I promptly took the wheels off my car and moved the washer and dryer outside.
I filed a report after 36 hours. I had no idea how to do that. He was pretty nice and took down all the information. Later he told me that since I was a guy, the DA probably wouldn’t file charges. I asked about the witnesses and the assault on my sister. “Well, things just get out of hand” was the answer. My kids blame me for the incidents. They are allowed to block me on the phones and email. They are refusing to see me or talk to me. The government officials wont protect my rights or even hold her accountable. What the heck?
Tag Archives: manipulation
I wrote a letter. I wish I didn’t. But in reality, I knew I had to. It was true, I made some mistakes. My life blew up and my daughters got hit by the shrapnel. It was a mortal wound and severe. I tried to remove the metal from their flesh. I tried to repair the wound and help it heal. I wanted to help. I did what I could do. It was rejected, my hands pushed aside.
The caring nurturing hands of the maternal were sought after. They squeezed the girls, held them tight. She tenderly rubbed salt in the wounds. She picked the scabs so that the bleeding would continue. She removed the sutures I had placed, stripped the bandages. She did it to hurt me, it hurt them. They echoed the screams of anger, yelled hurt, bellowed hate. I tried and I cried.
I was told my oldest child wanted nothing to do with me. I looked into her eyes and saw the hate, the pain from the salt. I was told she was enmeshed and entrenched. I could keep pushing and probably lose her forever, or I could give her more space and time. I could write a letter saying goodbye for now. I wrote the letter. I tried everything else. I cried. I wrote the letter. She will read it today. Her birthday is tomorrow.
Goodbye for now.
“I would rather be grounded near people I like then having fun with someone I don’t, namely you.”
As she said it, I flashed on my daughter as a 16 month old, unable to walk yet. I held her in the rocking chair as she slept and I cried and prayed for her to be happy. I flashed on her as a three-year old, leg braces reduced to AFO’s, coughing from croup. I held her, sitting on the porch wondering if she would need steroids before the night was through. I flashed on her determination to learn to ride a bike. I flashed on her taking karate. I flashed on kisses and declarations of love. I almost couldn’t absorb the words.
“I hate you and never want to see you again.” My other daughter read from a prepared letter. That was the least offensive statement in the 30 minute soliloquy. She cussed. She demeaned. She echoed the hurt and anger of her mother, my ex. I would try everything to continue a relationship with her. It would be 6 months before she was completely estranged. I would hear the experts on parental alienation tell me that she is too enmeshed and too far gone. They would tell me to let go. They would suggest that I have no chance with her and only a small chance with my other daughter.
I have talked with 6 different counselors. I have read books, watched videos. All suggest that the parental alienation is moderate or severe. Some refer to it as emotional abuse of my children. Many wag their heads in disgust and unbelief. Loved ones, friends, and family have told me that it can’t be true. They have said it doesn’t exist to the severity I see it. The counselors suggest it is worse than I know it to be. Regardless, all agree, there is nothing I can do. The parental alienation will continue. The drift of the girls will continue. There will be wagging of heads and clucking of tongues, all of which will not help.
The kids are tormented. They live in an environment that they need to hate to survive. They have to support, even echo their mother in order to feed her paper thin ego. They need to feel angry or the love will sneak in. So, I have decided to hear the love in between the lines. I imagine they are sending secret messages behind enemy lines. The glances across the auditorium or swimming pool. The fact that they have to generate so much hate can only mean they are having to overcome so much love. The small smiles or inability to stifle a laugh. The grin when the counselor says, “You have said you have fun when you are with your dad.” The need to ask me to not say, “I love you,” or sign Dad to letters and texts must mean they just can’t be reminded of that love because it echoes their heart. I Love You, secretly.
You can be a victim, a hero, or a persecutor. The Karpman Drama Triangle describes how some people live in this trichotomy. The victim sees themselves as blameless. They desire to be loved no matter what.
The hero likes to be the rescuer, to be good. The persecutor likes to be always right.
The theory says that people who live in the drama triangle choose one or two favored positions. We live in one role and sometimes switch around, but the chaos protects us from actually dealing with the problem. There is no solution, only problems because the drama is the goal. The responsibility remains out in space, unowned. The internal conflict gets to be ignored because life is all about creating conflict and stirring it up in others’. There is no empathy, only absorption in the roles of the triangle. It feeds emptiness, and provides identity because the two people can jump from one identity/role to another.
I just recently was re-introduced to this concept. There are those who think that living in this triangle, particularly if someone is trying to break the cycle, that leads to divorce. I read that 75% of all marriages end because the woman asks for divorce. The majority of men polled said they had no idea it was so bad and were totally unable to change in time. Most of the time there were years of resentment and anger built up. There was a complete lack of communication and honesty.
It got me to thinking about my marriage and divorce. My first impulse was to point fingers and avoid responsibility. I tried to think of myself as blameless. (oops) I wanted to be safe and to be pitied. I will also admit that the understanding of my manipulation by assuming the victim role upset me and I thought of becoming the persecutor. I figured if I was right then I wouldn’t be the victim anymore. Honestly, then I thought if I took the higher ground I could become the hero. (I have always wanted to be a hero.) As I read about the triangle, I became a little more confused. I could see my ex and I running around the drama triangle with glee. I understood our need to avoid problems and pretend to be perfect. I could see how some of my responsibility taking upset that triangle. I was actually told once to stop taking so much responsibility. (I wonder if I was actually taking responsibility or was playing the victim.) I was so entrenched in blaming my ex-wife for living in the drama triangle, I forgot that it takes 2 to play the manipulation game. The triangle doesn’t work in isolation of relationship.
After thinking of that, I actually started thinking of myself as a victim of the triangle. I felt stuck in it. I decided to look at the painful reality of my responsibility. I decided to risk being honest. I needed to be honest with myself as well as those I loved. I vowed to not be too full of myself, or too empty. It wasn’t easy to really explore my inadequacies in my marriage, my parenting, my living. I had been ill equipped to deal with internal conflict, so I created it outside of myself.
Then I decided to look at respect. Respect of others and for myself. More importantly, I needed to learn respect of the journey and not the destination. I needed to respect confronting problems rather than ignoring them. I needed to say “No” and “Yes” when appropriate.
Finally, I needed to learn to make agreements that last. I needed to compromise. I needed to learn that problems are only solved together.
Its a process.
My heart yells. My soul screams. My brain melts. I want laser vision so I can blow up some stuff nearby. To the outside world, I appear calm, except for my jutted jaw and clenched teeth. I know that soon I will explode. The tea kettle in my oblongata is whistling with the force of a train. I juggle the steaming, white hot, balls of fury quickly to try and not add, “my hands are scalding”, to the list.
Sometimes I can feel relatively calm. I can pretend that the scalding balls aloft before me don’t burn me as much as they do. I gently try and blow on them as they pass by my face. They heat my face, my chest. They singe my hair, my eyebrows. I smile, exteriorly confident, interiorly terrified.
I set the balls aflame. I made a mistake and the tumultuous balls, buzzing with kinetic energy, ignited. I tried to juggle faster, thinking it would quelch the fire. It seemed to help, temporarily. I couldn’t keep up the pace of the circus act and the fires raged even higher. I smiled even broader. I tried to distract myself from the pain and applied for more jobs, let myself dream, read books of parenting, read books on spiritual growth. I listened to professionals. I backed off, yet remained present. I addressed the hostility and alienation directly, indirectly, upwards, backwards, sidewards, and any other wards. I clamored. I pleaded. I gulped. I prayed. I rested. I persist. I am told of the long range benefits despite the absence of solace currently. I am told I just need to juggle some more.
I am tired. I am sad. I am hurt and lost and frustrated and appalled and angry and overwhelmed. I persist. I continue to juggle. I wonder how long the balls will want to remain aflame. I know I don’t want to let them go, but also that I can’t keep it going indefinitely. I persist. I am tired.