In the last two weeks, I’ve thought a lot about what I believe – and what I disbelieve, to be true of Ed. As always, conclusions aren’t easy to arrive at, but I’m getting closer.
He is a man who does not understand the past is always, in many ways, relevant – made so by what he attempts to project today. He cannot be both the man who despaired at leaving his young daughter in institutional care while he was beating, neglecting and sexually abusing the two children remaining in his home. I am living proof of the latter illustration of Ed.
I questioned him about this several times, and he never gave me an answer – always skirted the issue. I think, perhaps, he knew and understood he couldn’t manipulate me into believing his self aggrandizing nonsense. Two plus two does not equal seven.
Excerpt from email Ed sent me on October 10, 2014
“I have been thinking that one of my favorite Plays , and recent movie, Les Mis, [sic] has much meaning to my life with Janet. I’m not good at character names, but I ‘m sure you and Rachael can follow along.. I’m thinking Janet and myself.as [sic] the characters the ex prisoner and the woman’s small child. If I hadn’t stepped up to take care of Janet she would have remained in the State Hospital system and would have died simply a lost sole and her beauty and love cloistered from the world.
Janet, Pesh, (short for Precious) has always been and always will be the greatest love in my life. Marie knows this and doesn’t even raise an eyebrow when i [sic] say this. I am truly sorry you didn’t get to know her. I felt lost without her when we took her to the hospital in Glen Ellen, I went there twice during her 15 day isolation period after her induction into the facility, even though I was told when we left her and again each time I came I could not see her, until after the 15 day period. Then for the next 4-6 years I was always anxious to go and see her, but could barely stay awake for the drive back home. It wasn’t until part of my first counseling sessions I found out my sleepiness was because I felt I was deserting her each time I left. I never got over that I just knew what was causing it.
Janet always recognized my voice and lite [sic] up like a beacon whenever she heard my voice. She did that for her entire life, we had a bond of love that for me has never been unequaled in its depth of pure love. It was from her I learned the meaning of acceptance – not only of her but myself by myself first- the meaning of unconditional love, something like the unconditional love you have for your children, the joy of life without any encumbrances, where one is dependent on others for almost everything She was dependent on me for her physical well being, I was dependent of her for my mental well being .”
His self-delusion is so evident in his words – his obsession with my sister so clear and disturbing …
If Janet had been well and whole, he’d have beaten her too; neglected her too. She would have been subjected to his cruelty and violence, his rage and his disregard for anything she needed, felt or thought. And in the end, she – like Elizabeth and I, would have deserted him, too.
There is no personal honor in refusing to see yourself as you are. Ed clings to his delusion that he was a good father to Janet, but good fathers give, they do not take. Janet was not put on this earth to save Ed, nor did she live so she could be used as his prop – nothing more than a tool for his manipulations. Ed wouldn’t recognize parental love if it slapped him in the face.
When I read lines such as:
“Janet, Pesh, (short for Precious) has always been and always will be the greatest love in my life. Marie knows this and doesn’t even raise an eyebrow when i [sic] say this.”
I feel disoriented … the first comment, about his current wife’s feelings in regard to his feelings for Janet, troubling to me in a nebulous way made clear by the second comment: these are his daughters we are talking about.
Today, I am definitive on the following:
Pat wanted me to hate Ed, but it doesn’t mean what she said about him isn’t true: given all I know about Ed, I believe he almost assuredly molested my sisters.
And beatings, given in the way Ed gave them, are a form of sexual abuse. Forcing me to pull down my pants so he could beat me, refusing to show mercy or yield to my fear and pleas that he not beat me, interjecting blatant cruelty when I’d ask how many times he was going to hit me by replying, “I’ll tell you when I’m done.” Beating me, even as a young child, savagely with belts and sticks and wire coat hangers because, as he’d tell me when I begged him not to use those implements, “I don’t want to hurt my hand.” All of this IS sexual abuse — at the hand of a sadist; I cannot forget he admitted being sexually gratified by the beatings he gave me, something he linked to his sexless marriage to my mother.
And he wants me – and everyone who knows him, to believe he was a good father to Janet.
I thought, long ago, his devotion to Janet was the best of Ed, but now I understand all too clearly he used her to make people see him as he wants to be seen.
But the past cannot be erased …
and a good father – a good and decent man, does not beat, neglect and sexually abuse his children.
And sadly, Ed did all of that.