names have been omitted in this post,
some descriptions have been changed
It was a Saturday night and I sat curled up in the booth across from him wearing black shorts and an oversized top… September was finally bringing cooler temperatures and we were thankful… with that it was time to indulge in some comfort food. Couples sat in nearby booths enjoying their southern-style meals and our friendly waitress stopped by to refill our glasses of iced tea and water along with dropping off another basket of warm rolls and cornbread. A hot plate of classic meat loaf, mashed potatoes with gravy and macaroni and cheese sat before me. Seated across from me, he sliced into his chicken fried steak and listened while I spoke…
"It was in the weeks after I returned home to my parents from being gone, that he sat outside the house everyday in his Mercedes waiting… " I said, referring to my rapist, as I took a bite of meat loaf.
"Waiting for you to come outside and see him?" He confirmed.
"Yeah" I nodded as I chewed. "My dad said it was embarrassing for him, a Vietnamese guy to be sitting outside like that… for the whole neighborhood to see… the neighbors likely wondering what he was doing out there. He was more concerned with appearances than anything. More concerned with things that didn't matter like race than what truly did matter in life like people's actions." I told him with a resigned look. "He wanted me to get rid of him. I told him I could go talk to him… ride around the block and tell him to stop coming around, explain things to him." I paused and then continued…"I didn't want to be in either place... neither was a good choice... it's bad when you need a third option, when you don't have a good option for a place to live because both are oppressive, not protective. But my dad agreed to me doing that and I went outside, got in his car to talk to him, to tell him to stop coming around."
Across from me seated in the booth, his jaw set, he looked at me and his eyes flashed with anger… "What father allows his daughter to do that?" He demanded. "I would have gone outside with my gun, shot out every single one of his tires so he couldn't drive off and then dealt with him myself."
I looked down at my fork and dabbed at my mashed potatoes, swirling the cream gravy atop it. "Yeah… I went through my years of anger toward him… but prayer helped a lot… I don't feel any anger toward him anymore. On some level I blamed myself initially… I told myself I put myself in a bad situation… what could I really expect? But as time passed I realized that wasn't a valid point. Bao whom I stayed with first always looked out for me. Protected me. He never crossed a line. So people always have the power to be protective or predatory. They make that choice. And race has nothing to do with it. There are people who do terrible things and those who don't no matter what race."I reflected.
He nodded and agreed, listening intently.
"My anger was much more intense toward my father." I told him. "Rage, really. Now I don't feel anything. Just done." I told him, took a sip of ice water and then continued, back to the point. "Ultimately my talk with him didn't go as I thought it would." I said, referring to my rapist. "I really thought I could reason with him. I had returned home without any interference from him but as time had passed he didn't take it well. So I got in his car, I tried to talk to him, my intentions were good, I was so messed up from being with him… I guess what you would call Stockholm syndrome. But… he took off and got on the freeway with me in the car. He wouldn't stop, he wouldn't listen. I told him to let me out. But he wouldn't…" I trailed off.
It was like yesterday… images of I-35 going by in a streak of bright colors lit up in the night from businesses as I peered out the window wishing I wasn't behind the glass. I remember grasping the pale gray leather hand rest in a panic and pleading with him to let me go. Now my mind switched gears from 1994 to the present and I looked at my friend sitting across from me in the booth wearing a ball cap.
He shook his head and looked at me, his eyes pained and his deep voice conveying care… "You don't have to relive it… " He told me, his presence one of warmth, reaching across the table to grasp my hand in comfort. I gently squeezed it back and smiled with appreciation for him.
A daughter… whether she's a girl, a teenager or young woman looks to her father for two things… being provided for and being protected by him. Her father is by far the most important male influence in her life and her relationship with him will set the tone for how she lives her teenage years… her promiscuity or lack thereof, her choices in men and later on whom she marries. But unfortunately father's may make the mistake of pulling away… withdrawing from her life erroneously believing that his wife, her mother can fill every need that must be met. Fathers, if they have sons as well, may put their focus primarily on them hence leaving their daughters out in the cold… leaving her questioning his love, affection and care. Girls and women want affirmation from their fathers that they are worthy and valued. If they don't feel this from their dads they look elsewhere for it… unfortunately often unwittingly in the arms of another man… a man who is not a good choice for them.
A girl sees how her father treats her mother… she is watching and taking mental notes even if not cognizant of it at the time… she is learning by her father's actions toward her mother how a man treats a woman… a woman he supposedly loves. She will note when he is impatient and barks at her mother… she will note when he intimidates her mother with his fist in a wall… she will notice when he drives erratically because her mother voices an opinion he doesn't like… she will live these various scenarios of abusive behavior and will one day look for a man who is just like her father… or at least some similar variation of him.
It's then that the toxic cycle continues and another generation suffers needlessly… when love is not protective and is certainly anything but love… but instead predatory/oppressive.
a person or thing that protects someone or something
seeking to exploit or oppress others
So it begins with fathers… what they say to their daughters, the time they spend with them and how they treat their wives will define whether they are protectors or predatory/oppressive in nature. Words are important and actions are even moreso. It will determine the type of man your daughter will one day marry… lay the groundwork now for who that will be… hopefully a man who would die for her, who will protect her, who will do anything to keep her safe and knows her great value as Christ's daughter.
10 Things A Father Should Tell His Daughter:
1. God loves you.
2. I love you.
3. I love your mother.
4. I'm glad you're here.
5. You're beautiful.
6. You matter.
7. What you think, feel and believe matters.
8. God wants you to wait to have sex until after you marry.
9. Waiting to be sexually intimate until after you marry is what's best for you.
10. No matter what I will always be here for you and love you.
10 Questions A Father Should Ask His Daughter:
1. What do you want to be when you grow up?
2. What do you dream about doing?
3. What matters to you?
4. What makes you cry?
5. What makes you laugh?
6. What do you like about me?
7. What do you dislike about me?
8. What do you like about yourself?
9. What do you dislike about yourself?
10. What do you believe about Jesus Christ?
© gracepowerstrength.com ~ 2015
names have been changed
or omitted in this post
It was a Friday night… my daughter and I were in our kitchen making dinner. I took a knife and sliced into the hot rotisserie chicken I had picked up at the grocery store. Serving us each some chicken on our plates along with cheesy broccoli, I heard the microwave ding and went to open it.
"Mmmmm, cheesy goodness." I said as I pulled out the Stouffer's macaroni and cheese setting it on the countertop.
"Soooo… Daddy…" My daughter said, trailing off as she set her steaming plate on the kitchen table alongside her glass of milk. "He asked me something this week."
I stabbed at my chicken with my fork and cut off a piece taking a bite. "Oh really?" I asked and let silence hang between us. Nothing was said. I watched her expression as she carefully cut the florets off her broccoli stalks and separated them on her plate. I sighed.
"You know… it's all edible. Really." I told her giving her a look.
She ignored my comment and bypassing it spoke "Yeah… he wanted to know what you think of him being with Georgina."
Silence. I slipped a forkful of cheesy macaroni in my mouth and chewed with bliss.
I said nothing. She studied me as I went about merely eating my food and finally as I spoke I felt her hazel eyes assessing me.
"So... what did you say?" I finally asked.
"I told him I didn't know." She replied with a shrug. "Because I don't. You haven't said anything." She admitted.
The scent of dinner hung in the air and outside the window I could hear the chirping of crickets as the Texas sun set behind the large established oak trees. I thought of my new life… my wonderful new life I was thoroughly enjoying… a job with co-workers and bosses I liked, the pretty dishes in hues of turquoise I'd bought we were eating on… photos of my daughter and I at the beach on vacation gracing the shelves to my left… seeing my daughter doing well despite the lingering effects of the devastation we had all been through almost three years ago… I sat contently.
"Well… "I trailed off. "I hadn't said anything because there's nothing to say." I told her… "Quite frankly… I don't give a darn."
"Oh…" She replied with arched eyebrows.
"Sweetpea… I have a great life. I don't need to think about them." I told her with a smile.
The truth was… anyone who knew the truth about him and still dated him anyway was a psycho themselves… plotting for their green card or some other benefit of financial means. Either that or an innocently naive lamb on the way to eventual slaughter, I thought to myself.
The narcissistic sociopath will find and secure new supply to fulfill his fragile ego. He (or she) will tell everyone their new love is different… they are beyond perfect… they are the epitome of everything they've wanted… they understand him (or her) like you never did… they dress better, they look better, they woo and coo to everyone how blissfully happy they are to have finally found "the one"… that THIS one accepts him fully despite any bumps or warts (cough, cough) he may have… how wonderful to have finally found such an angel, right?
You hear snippets of how well he (or she) is doing and the picture he tries to paint that is passed to you via messenger is one that he hopes you covet… that he hopes you're emotionally distraught and heart stricken over… hoping that you feel an emptiness inside that it's no longer you… you having been replaced with this new brilliant gem he (or she) has found in a sea of dirty glass… at one time you were the gem… but no longer… now you… in his eyes are missing out on the privileged life he lives… one he has blown up so big in his fantastically delusional mind… and you just smirk to yourself perpetually like Mona Lisa.
We can remember that in the narcissistic sociopath's eyes the new supply serves your ex great purpose… not only do they provide flattering supply to the narc's ego but also serve as sweet revenge toward you… because you see… it's been proven now that your ex isn't the issue… after all, look at how quickly they were able to snag someone new. Here they are moving FORWARD as a COUPLE (a must in their world) madly in LOVE while you… what do you do again? Oh, yeah… while you putter around aimlessly as they imagine wondering when love will find you and likely wishing you had them back.
Ha! They are so incredibly amusing, are they not?
Because as anyone knows who has lived through this craziness we call the aftermath of divorcing a narcissistic sociopath… we know that their new life is one enormously huge sham. They are grasping, they are hurrying, they are all the time WORKING(!) dang it to secure this new person and what's more… KEEP them; like a dog they must be leashed at all times the narc must make sure it works… because God forbid it doesn't… and then they lose face… that they couldn't keep them, couldn't hold it together… that they failed.
So they hustle and they woo and seduce as they only know how to make their newfound supply coo and moan in ecstatic joy at how insanely wonderful they are… all the narc's over the top efforts, words and flattery finding their way… squirming into this new person's heart and mind like the twisted little snake they are… unbeknownst to them that in time… slowly in biding time they will lose their place… they, the new prized supply will topple and fall from the pedestal… one day being discarded...
Just. Like. You. Were.
Because one day… just like her (if she or he is not a psycho themselves) she will come to see him for what he truly is… him claiming to be God himself but behaving like Satan… desiring sexual acts that she will not be willing to relinquish, expecting complete compliance but now receiving resistance, wanting reverence but now getting disdain… it will all turn badly just as it did with you… the same damaging patterns emerging like they have before.
So when people point and act like something is wrong with you because you're unattached…
When people question why you haven't found someone special to spend the rest of your life with…
When so many raise their eyebrows and whisper that maybe you are the one with the issue…
When you get asked the question of "You aren't seeing anyone?"
Just smile and move on.
Because the truth is… you are complete. You are healed, you are new and have peace.
You don't need supply like your ex does.
You are willing to wait for a love that is real and not fabricated.
Because somewhere out there is an empathetic person thinking of someone like you…
Somewhere out there is a person who has been hurt countless times by someone who has confused love with control and domination…
Somewhere a person lies in bed at night wondering what it would be like to love someone like you… and to be loved by someone with a kind and loving heart…
Someday you will meet them…
Two hearts that will whisper "Pinch me" everyday... when they see you, think of you or kiss your forehead… because all the hell they've been through… all the destruction, all the pain… eventually brought you to them… however long it takes and they thank sweet, sweet Jesus everyday to have found you.
© gracepowerstrength.com ~ 2015
THIS POST CONTAINS LANGUAGE
names have been omitted in this post
"I work my ASS off! Do you even KNOW how hard I work? I'm doing all this for YOU!" He yelled at me standing beside his side of the bed, his face contorted in anger.
I stared at him incredulously from where I sat on the bed draped with a embroidered duvet wearing jeans and a faded t-shirt. "FOR ME?! For ME????!!!" I exclaimed. "No…" I shook my head. "You are so full of shit!" I retorted. "Yeah, you work your ass off, you work hard for YOU! I never told you to work that hard! I never told you to wear yourself out. I never told you to travel for work. In fact… " I paused with reflection and spoke… "Quite the opposite. I didn't want to buy this larger house. I was happy in our smaller one. YOU are the one who insisted you had to have this house. I told you over and over I didn't want it. I should have refused to sign the papers at closing but as usual I let you have your way. That was MY mistake. YOU were the one who insisted we live on the lake. YOU were the one who had to have a Jaguar when I told you I hated that car and it was ridiculous. We have a son with special needs who needs more help and all you care about is all this crap that doesn't matter. No… if you're tired, if you're worn out… if you don't feel appreciated… go look in the mirror. You chose this. Every day. I don't want to hear it."
"You don't appreciate what I do! You don't have ANY idea how hard it is to make that money! I make YOUR LIFE POSSIBLE!" He screamed at me like an unhinged lunatic.
I stared at him with shocked disgust and spoke "You make MY life possible??!" I echoed. "Ha! I didn't marry you for money. Maybe you need a refresher… "I pointed out… "When I married you, you were BROKE. In fact, you were thousands of dollars in the hole in debt. So now that you're Mr. Big Shot and raking in the money… don't now try to come back and act like I'm after it. I didn't have an agenda. It's more like I made it possible for you to get where YOU are. I've stayed home with the children when we could have shelled out a fortune in babysitting, daycare etc. I've supported YOUR career and been there for you every step of the way… thinking we were a TEAM in this. That's what you led me to believe you thought for years. So hey… bring your big head down a few notches… because with your growing wallet your ego has swelled in size and it's not a good look. You know what? All I'm hearing is spinning and a pity party of boo hoo and poor me, so suck it up and face the fact you chose this for YOU."
The Hidden Agenda…
No matter what sex; female or male, every narcissist or sociopath has an agenda when in search of a relationship. The narcissist or sociopath is seeking something they deem valuable from you that they want… something that will enhance his or her image to their acquaintances, family, boss, co-workers, etc. Whether it's your physical attractiveness, family wealth, hard earned money, connections, education, etc… there is always something the narcissist or sociopath has his or her eye on that they know will make them look better to the outside world.
So how can we try to guard against dating someone or even worse… marryingsomeone who has a hidden agenda aimed at us? We can familiarize ourselves with several things to keep in mind so we aren't subject to agendas… here are some to consider…
5 Points To Be Cognizant Of:
1. Are they always bringing up a specific topic again and again? Is your grandmother's trust or dad's highly sought after property always being brought up by him or her? Take notice of these things… they mean something and it's not good.
2. They will bide their time as needed for a longterm payoff… they don't mind waiting awhile, they are cunning and sly… they are the ones who will marry for a green card, who hope to cash in after you've come into a lot of money, who set their sights on swooping in to own your family's business one day, who insist you get a life insurance policy, etc.
3. They are manipulative by nature… they know what they are doing… they know that the heinous actions they are choosing are purposeful and premeditated… because they lack empathy… they don't care about other's feelings and how their poor behavior affects them.
4. They pretend to love you and lack depth… narcissistic people, sociopaths, they aren't capable of truly loving anyone (but perhaps themselves). They show a limited range of emotions… they can feel/show happiness, (when they get what they want) or anger but their emotions are short lived and shallow. They can fly into a rage over the simplest things… things that don't matter yet walk back in the same room five minutes later completely calm as if nothing happened. No, they don't have amnesia, they do remember how they behaved… they merely choose when to turn on and off their temper fits, their abuse, etc as it serves them and they see fit.
5. They will do nice things for you to gain your trust because they are looking for their efforts to have a pay-off down the road. Dating or married, they may buy you dinner but expect sex. They may always reach for the pricey check at extended family dinners out but expect favors in return… smiling to themselves that you "owe them." They may always insist everyone meet for work or family gatherings at their home but have an ulterior motive. They will initiate sex with you but only to satisfy themselves not you. Regardless of what they do for you… it always comes with a price.
© gracepowerstrength.com ~ 2015