While dropping Annie at Tom’s today, Tom and I had a conversation about his ex girlfriend. He said he doesn’t know what he was ever doing with her, looks wise. I said that I was surprised he was saying that given how he’d been so quick to criticise my relationship with Phil based on the way he looks yet he’d been with a woman that he himself didn’t find attractive. Of course he said it was totally different, he tried to justify how it was different with “it just is” and wouldn’t elaborate yet eluded to the fact that it just is, fact.
Lying in bed just now, thinking about how I feel with Tom, I realised most of the time I feel totally unheard. He makes no attempt to ever see my point of view and would never for a minute accept that my opinions are valid. He’s always right and that’s it as far as he’s concerned. I almost could admire the conviction he has for his own words if it wasn’t so excluding of all others’ feelings or opinions.
As I drifted into a daydream I suddenly found myself feeling like a young girl and could hear my Dad forcibly telling me my opinions and views were wrong. “NO! NO!” then making clear what was right ~ his opinion.
I felt powerless because no matter what I said Dad wouldn’t even attempt to hear me, speaking over me to hammer his point home, regardless of anything else. I often felt small, weak and wrong. I felt as though my opinions, my ideas, my feelings and my emotions were wrong. I felt stupid and unintelligent. This is how I feel with Tom. This is how I feel with most people who I deem to be more powerful than me. I feel weak and ineffectual. This is how I still feel around Dad and this is how I feel when I try to have any opinion or discussion with Barney.
I feel as though I am wrong. I feel stupid that I had a relationship with Phil when Tom thinks it’s so wrong and when my Dad said he didn’t think Phil is my type. Dad and Tom, the two shallowest men I know. Men that won’t even contemplate dating a woman who even has an ounce of fat on her simply because they cannot see beyond the body shape and size. “A moment on the lips, a life time on the hips.” ~ Tom’s favourite saying. A criticism. A judgement.
Dad flew all the way to America years ago for a woman he met online, was getting on really well with her but he met up with her and found that she was a bit overweight. He flew straight home. It didn’t matter one bit to him that they got on, the woman was too big and so therefore he refused to even try and see beyond that.
She had a lucky escape.
As a child, even when my opinions were right for me, still he would argue me out, pushing, forcing his precious egotistical opinion onto me at the sake of my own trust in myself.
My words counted for nothing. My feelings counted for nothing.
Screaming in terror as he violently pushed me up and down on the see-saw so high then so low that my whole body would rise above the seat then slam back down, causing pain to rip through my hips, my bum, my genitals. All he ever did was laugh hysterically, sadistically. My pain caused him immense pleasure. He never did it to the other three, it was always me. I was always his play thing. Even when I begged him to stop, he’d carry on and Mum would stand there powerless knowing he wouldn’t stop for her either. I can see the woodchip that I sat on afterwards, hiding behind a wall. Hiding, holding myself with the pain. My genitals aching with the pain of being slammed down hard onto the see-saw for my Dad’s amusement, his pleasure.
Tickling me, except Dad didn’t tickle. He scratched and nothing I said would make him stop. Even getting angry he’d carry on.
Applying boiling hot compresses to my delicate skin.
Cutting into my flesh with scissors.
It never mattered how much I screamed out in pain, how much I cried, how many tears rolled down my cheeks, how much I begged him, “Dad, please stop, you’re hurting me” still he’d carry on. Violently pinning the part of my body down that he deemed needed treating with his barbaric ideas until he decided he was finished. My struggles only made his grip and his violent hold even tighter. My fight to get away only served to hurt me more.
It was rape. It may not have been sexual rape but it was rape none the less.
Not once, ever, did he ever stop. Not once did he show the slightest bit of concern that he may have been hurting me. Not once did my feelings come before his belief that he knew best, that he was right. In fact, hearing the words, “It doesn’t hurt” was a lot more likely. Shouting at me for not sitting still, for complaining, for being a baby. He never believed me, eventually I started doubting myself too. I never stopped once I started.
Ultimately, I don’t trust myself to make the right decision because when a child is told that what they’re feeling, emotionally or physically is wrong, they learn not to trust themselves.
My Dad physically abused me.
He denied it each and every time.
He taught me that no-one listens and no-one trusts me to get it right.
He taught me that no matter what I do, whether I cry, scream, laugh or beg, it won’t make any difference. He taught me about feeling powerless.
When I’m on my own, a single mum coping with everything on my own, no matter how hard it is, I feel strong. When I’m in a relationship I start to feel weak. I start to view myself as a weak pathetic little girl. It’s at this point that I often need to prove to myself this is not the case, that I am strong. I can only do this by being on my own.
Around men I feel powerless. Weak. Pathetic. Useless. Stupid. Worthless.
As a single, independent woman I feel strong. I admire me. Other people admire me. As part of a couple I get lost, my strength gets lost.
I don’t know how to keep hold of my strength and my power within a relationship without becoming controlling and a bully, like Dad. The bottom line is I don’t like who I am when I’m in a relationship but I love who I am when I’m single. People respect me more. At least I feel as if they do. I respect me more.