The first serious relationship I was in lasted about three years. I was in my early twenties. It was an awful breakup that left me utterly heartbroken and devastated. (And my NPD mother took joy in my pain as usual, sitting on the edge of my bed with her devious grin while I cried my heart out – but that’s another story.) My mother told me that when she told my father that we had broken up, the first thing he asked her was, “Did he hit her?”
‘Did he hit her?’ … hmmm … Let me tell you, I was shocked to hear this!! Why did he not say anything to me, or show any concern for me, his daughter, about being with someone that he saw as being potentially violent?! Who leaves their daughters to potential wolves like that?!?! Absent fathers do. Cowardly fathers do.
There was another instance with one of my sisters where my father struggled with confronting a certain someone who should have been confronted when it came to the welfare of my sister. He brought it up with me as he figured that maybe he didn’t have a right to say anything. (Again, me feeling like I’m the one whose the parent – again.) I told him that he had every right when it comes to his daughter. And yet he did nothing. I know this because he would have boasted about it to me if he had. My sister suffered because my father didn’t step up to protect her – to be her advocate. It made me so angry. I was also very hurt – this was evidence that he’d never be there for me or them when it really mattered. I knew this in my gut to be true. These experiences showed me that I would never be able to rely on my father to protect me or be my advocate when I needed it. When a father doesn’t protect, to me it translates to mean, ‘no love for you’ or ‘I don’t love you enough.’ A father should not only be their child’s protector, but advocate as well, because if a father (or mother) doesn’t and isn’t – who else does the child have?? The answer is, ‘no one.’ NO ONE!!
When a father does not fulfill his role as the protector – the rest of the family are open targets for victimization – by anyone. Peace at the expense of confrontation, is not peace – its turmoil! It’s insecurity, its being vulnerable to attack by the outside world. When a father/husband doesn’t protect his family or confront things that need to be confronted – it communicates to them that they just aren’t worth it.
I think that when a father doesn’t step up and take a stand to protect, no matter what it costs him, its cowardly. It is cowardice, plain and simple. There is always a cost to standing up for someone and for standing up for what is right. When someone chooses to not do this, it also comes with a cost and I think the price you pay in the end for not doing the right thing ends up costing you way more. It goes to show why he never stood up for me against my mother either. Oh, he confessed to me years ago that he knew what she was like – but I know now that it was all just talk. When it came right down to it, he didn’t want to ripple the water. Perhaps he didn’t want to incur her wrath. Maybe he liked the facade and didn’t want anyone really knowing what it was like behind the closed doors that we amiably called, ‘family.’ Who can know. I can’t know what they think and I no longer bother wondering. I refused to live the lie that was sucking me dry.
The price he paid for not taking a stand is that he lost me as a daughter and his grandchildren that I refuse to let be exposed to such insane toxicity when their mother (me) is being constantly smeared; but instead, he gained a toxic family with an NPD matriarch who is bent on controlling and manipulating family members with lies and other shenanigans to keep them at her ‘beck and call.’ I know that had I been in his position, I know I would not have made this choice. At the very least, there would have been confrontation – which still means taking a stand no matter what the consequences may be.
As a result of knowing what its like to be left to the wolves, I have become a parent who will protect her children at all costs – especially from a family of origin that is toxic and destructive – and how blessed I am that the Lord blessed me with a husband who is equally adamant about being the advocate and protector of our children – and even me. I cannot tell you how loved this makes me feel. The cost of standing up for myself against my family of origin (and extended family) is freedom from my mother’s abuse and the abuse I incurred by proxy by her enablers (other family members) – even when they seem completely oblivious to the fact that they are being played!! And there is no price value you can attach to that. This freedom is utterly priceless. After being stripped of all identity and dignity growing up, I finally know who I am now and I’m finally loving who I am. Priceless knowledge; pearls, really.
Our society needs more fathers who stand up for what it right – who stand up for their wives and children no matter what it costs them, because when he doesn’t – the price he pays will likely be alienation from those he was supposed to protect. The price he pays are his wife and children possibly being torn apart by ravenous wolves. And why would a father/husband allow this if he truly loves his own??
I will never forget the last day I saw my father. He came to my house to talk to me as a result of my letter exposing my mother’s abuse of me, which really was to talk at me. He asked me a few questions about my claim to my mother’s abuse (which I know he didn’t want to hear the answers to) and then he said these words, “We don’t want to hear about it and we don’t want to talk about it.” Cowardice. A few days later I would hear this same line, verbatim, from a sister which indicated to me that there was a family meeting about me and I didn’t even get to be there to defend myself. I knew right then that they believed that I was lying about my mother’s abuse – either that or they just didn’t want to confront it, which meant they wanted me to just ‘suck it up and put up with it’ which I could not do. They had no idea how much she utterly destroyed me.
When I watched him leave my house that day, I knew it was the last time I’d ever see the man – I knew this in my gut. This was when I remembered that the Lord knew that this would happen ten years prior to that day, when He told me and showed me in two separate visions, “Though your father and mother forsake you, I will not forsake you.” And He hasn’t. The Lord promised me in those visions that no one would love me like He would … and He has kept that promise. There is no greater love than His.
That memory of my father walking down my sidewalk never to be seen again, is forever burnt into my brain. It is still as vivid as if it happened yesterday. I will never forget it. It was the day he abandoned me.
That was five years ago.
~ Saoirse Quill