This quote is powerful, and profound. That ‘placating voice’ Jung spoke of is a hallmark of my father’s style as a Manipulator.
When Rhonda and I were dating, we saw Ed occasionally; these were typically social outings – dinner, a movie, the odd museum or local event kind of thing.
Ed always kissed Rhonda on the mouth at greeting and parting, which made Rhonda uncomfortable is an extreme way. She let me know she didn’t like it, and I spoke to Ed – asking him to kindly refrain as she found it off-putting and completely inappropriate.
True to himself, Ed did exactly what he wanted to do, which was continue his habit of kissing Rhonda on the mouth. Rhonda found this distasteful and lacking in respect for her wishes, and me implicitly; he had an obligation to honor my request that this behavior cease and yet it continued.
When I called my father to my apartment to tell him I no longer wanted him in my life, I explained a few things:
- Rhonda’s parents and grandparents didn’t want her anywhere near him; our home town is small and everyone knew he had raped my sister’s friend.
- His continued kissing her on the mouth, combined with his sexually-criminal past, was not something she felt any measure of comfort in.
- He’d been asked to stop this behavior, and yet it continued; Rhonda was done with Ed.
- If Rhonda was done with Ed, so was I. I will admit now that I should have further explained my position – my need to extricate him from my life wasn’t based solely on Rhonda’s discomfort in his presence, but also, and primarily, on years of his abuse of me.
And that’s when I heard it – that soft, placating voice, trying to convince me that I had misunderstood his intentions – and his disrespectful, shameful behavior …
this had become his tactic, with me, once I was too old to simply beat into submission – but this was probably the first time I recognized it for the disgusting, manipulating thing it was in the moment in which it was occurring …
he then had the audacity to, in that same placating voice, implore me to allow him to speak to Rhonda – he felt certain if she heard his side of the story she’d be comfortable with him and understand.
No, she would not have been comfortable, nor would she have understood; she knew the truth, which was why she felt the way she did …
Next post, Lewd and Lascivious, told in Ed’s own words.