Saturday, May 2, 2009

My Daughter's Father

The man I was married to for 3 decades never knew about my alters. In all fairness, neither did I. I knew I was different and I knew I felt Colors, and I knew I lost time, but I didn't know about alters. For all those years, I didn't have to work so, in essence, I had a very sheltered life. It was that sheltered life that made my alters feel safe; the safer they feel, the fewer times they emerge to take over - it's still that way.

There was a reason I entered therapy when I did. My husband had begun to treat me as if I were in his way - which I was, I just didn't know it yet. After I began to see my T for therapy, my husband began a plan that I just can't believe would ever happen to me.

After my T explained to me what DID is and how alters might come to be, a few weeks went by before we told my husband in a couples counseling session. (by then, my husband and I were 2 people living in separate bedrooms, eating separate meals, never talking). My husband was shocked at my disclosure and admitted he would have never guessed I had alters because we'd had such a good life together. He sat there and told my T that he loved me and he would do anything he could help me heal. I couldn't have loved him more and I relaxed a bit, feeling cushioned against the truth of what had happened to me as a child.

My T suggested we begin to interact again, like eat meals together and find something we could do together. A few days later, as I was fixing supper for both of us, I couldn't find a spoon I needed. I looked in all of the kitchen drawers until I found it. No big deal, but I wondered why he would put it in the wrong drawer. You see, I cleaned the kitchen after each meal: I loaded the dishwasher, did up all the extra dishes and pans, wiped down the kitchen and put everything away. My husband unloaded the dishwasher in the morning before he left for work. That was our agreed upon system, we'd cooperated with it for years.

The next time I fixed a meal for us, the same spoon was in yet a different drawer, so I asked him about it. He said he put the spoon in the drawer he always put it in. That upset me. I was still new to knowing about alters and I wondered if one of them could be toying with me - but there was no reason for it to happen. I voiced this to my husband who came to my side, held me in his arms and sooth-talked. He told me I probably moved the spoon and just couldn't remember doing it. He told me not to worry, it was no big deal; and it wasn't, really, so I let it go.

Two days later, it happened again, this time with several things but my favorite spoon was again in a different drawer. Thinking it really wasn't a big deal, I informed my husband that if one of my alters wanted that spoon stored in a different place, then that is where we would keep it. He agree to put it there from then on when he emptied the dishwasher. The very next night, the spoon was in its original place. I accused my husband of putting it there just to mess with me. He said he'd put it where I told him to put it. He was so consoling and compassionate as I cried my apologies for being so crazy. All the while, I was sure I hadn't been moving the kitchen utensils around.

During the time of the traveling kitchen utensils, other odd things were happening around my house. When I was working and now that I attended college full time, my husband and I had split up the household chores, another of mine was washing the bathroom towels. Suddenly, the ones I used in my bathroom, were coming out of the washer with bright white bleach spots on them. I never used bleach! Immediately, I accused my husband of leaving bleach in the washer after he used it for his whites - he denied it. He was very accommodating, tho when he offered to take over that load. Still, I didn't think I'd been doing those things.

Other mishaps like my car keys disappearing, items from my purse disappearing, and household items being placed all over the house were going on. He convinced me that my alters were doing it all. Until one day in therapy, I was wailing about how my husband threw my hair brush across the bathroom and yelled at me to keep my things on my "my side" of the sink that I realized his compassion could be fake.

In the middle of a sentence, I stopped and stated to my T, "If I didn't know any better, I'd say it was HIM doing all those things and blaming it on me just to make me crazy!" My T smiled that all knowing smile. He explained to me that he had believed that all along, but not being there in my house, he couldn't tell me that. Now that I believed it, my T believed my husband was trying to make me crazy. My husband had already suggested I check myself into a treatment center - oh, and not to worry, he would be more than willing to pay for it. Jerk. Hind sight had revealed many disturbing things about my ex-husband. He had been engaging in affairs long before we found out my alters and by telling him about them, my T and I and handing him the bullets for his plan to have me taken out of the way, hospitalized and considered crazy, all the while I then would have no claim to "our" money, our house, or our daughter.

My daughter is the only person in my life who has stood by me, but sometimes, I wonder if it is because she just feels sorry for me. Since the 5 years of my separation from her father, she has stubbornly, if not sometimes irrationally been my rock. Yet, thru all of it, she has also pined for her father's love. After leaving me, he married a woman 20 years his junior and wants that woman to be my daughter's "mother". My daughter, of course, has expressed her disgust at calling the town ho her stepmother. (her words, not mine)

Recently, with the outbreak of swine flu, I have wondered at those people's mental stability who travel to Mexico. My daughter informed me that her father and his wife were in Mexico (as I speak). I busted out laughing, of course he would go there. His attitude is that no "bug" will infect him. She didn't think it was funny. After everything he has done to her and as angry as she is with him for what he's done to me, she still reveres him as if he has Pope status. Why?

My daughter is getting married this year. She once told me that she had imagined her father and I both, walking her down the isle. Now, she won't even have a wedding because she doesn't want him walking her down the isle. She forgets too easily that she still has one parent who loves her. I brought it to her attention and she said she doesn't want to hurt HIS feelings. I don't understand.


Hurtin',

Ivory

12 comments:

Dina said...

Whew.
Sooooooo frustrating. Makes me want to strangle the bastard

Ivory said...

Dina,

...well, I have been known to make the comment, "I wish he'd vaporize..."

Oops, did I just say that?... I hope that someday, he gets his.

thesamesky said...

It makes me feel SO angry to read this. I echo Dina ... how CAN another human being act this way?

It must be really confusing when your daughter is still trying to protect his feelings (I guess it must be really confusing for her too though).

Sending safe hugs.

Kate said...

What he did is called Gaslighting. I think that there is a book out on the topic now, called the Gaslight Effect. I'm so sorry that you went through this, but glad that with your t you discovered the truth.

This guy is scum. It sounds like he was planning on leaving before you disclosed and instead of having any guts or any personal courage he chose the coward's way out. Selfish scum.

I can't imagine how much that would hurt and continue to hurt.

I'm sorry for the pain about your daughter. That sounds hard.

You are not alone. There are others who can care about you and be your friends and family, even if you can't see that now.

Good and healing thoughts to you.

Kate

Ivory said...

@Thesamesky,

My T has tried to explain that my daughter has been caught in the fall out of learning I had started therapy, then my husband moved out (a surprise to all of us), I had to tell her about my DID, then the divorce, my surgery, selling the house, my moves, and she convinced me to keep my plan to attend the University. I cratered a few times during those 3 months, but she was always by my side. And then 2 months later, my dad died (her special Grandpa). By then, my family had turned their backs on me and she was caught in the middle. I'd do anything to reverse something, anything to avoid what's happened to her - but I can't, I wouldn't even know where to start.

@Kate,

I didn't know there was a word for it! Thankyou for sharing that. It seems every time I can put a name to something, I know for sure the experience is not mine alone. Whew! That feels good!

Yes, hindsight (and faithful friends) have showed me that he had been having affairs for several years and by his behavior the previous 6 months he was indeed planning on leaving me. My T was taken by surprise as we had attended several couple sessions and we both believed my ex was being honest. He had us all fooled - especially my family. They blamed the failure of my marriage on me because I didn't stop him from fooling around. I know, tho, from my classes that I am not responsible for his actions/decisions. They refuse to see it that way. I haven't talked to any of them for about 4 years. I miss them terribly.

jumpinginpuddles said...

unfortuneately ive heard of this before, if they can make you look bad they get to look better, im really sorry

Ivory said...

JIP,

Interestingly, when I finally had the courage to tell my divorce lawyer everything - EVERYTHING - she told me that had my ex succeeded in having me committed, he would have had to provide for me for the rest of my life, not just until I turn 65. He nearly screwed himself.

thesamesky said...

@Ivory - sounds like you've both been through the mill in so many ways. I can't imagine there is anything you can do to make it easier for her just as she can't take away the pain of what he did to you, but I'm glad that you can be there for each other.

Funny that he might have shot himself in the foot with the process of getting you committed - if it wasn't so awful I almost wish he had! :)

Rachel

Ivory said...

Rachel,

I have daydreamed about that very thing, many times. It always comes back to what it would have done to me had he succeeded. However, it helps a GREAT deal to know that the first night he spent at HER house, her 14 year old son stole his pickup. :-D By the time the cops finished ramming it to get him to stop, all 4 wheels, all 4 tires, and most of the body/transmission had been destroyed. That pkup was his baby. :-D :-D :-D ;-)

thesamesky said...

hahahaha! Serves him right :)

beauty said...

Wow, so sorry Ivory. This post reminds me of a mystery I recently read where the hubby did stuff like that to set his wife up to look guilty of murder.

I don't know how anyone can be so lacking in a conscience that they could treat someone this way. He must not have ever loved you, to be able to do so.

Your daughter has so much to contend with. I think it takes a lot for daughters to turn their backs on their fathers. If the fathers haven't been abusive to them the bond is usually pretty strong. I doubt she even realizes that she may be more concerned for his feelings than she is for yours.

I'm just so sorry you're contending with all of this, and wish you the best.

Ivory said...

Beauty,
I've wondered if he ever loved me. In the beginning, I was the girl everyone wanted to date and he was too proud that I chose him, so he married me. Then I was a trophy wife in that everybody liked me and thot he was a butt. Towards the end, I had grown old (not as old as he is) but he saw only my age and needed a younger woman to puff his ego.

I never thot of it as a mystery! What's posted here is but a drop in a bucket to what he all did during the 18 months before our divorce was final. He is evil.

Ivory