Ed has not changed. Ed – has – not – changed. Ed. Has. Not. Changed.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve pondered our email conversations spanning more than eight months, and I’ve considered our face to face conversations as well …
and it always, without fail, comes back to Ed.
He knows what he did – and there isn’t a shred of denial, but it is always about what he feels, and how he has suffered. It’s really strange; he lacks the ability to connect on an emotional level with me at all. He can discuss his feelings, even until eternity, but when it comes to my feelings, “there’s nothing I can do about that now,” is his response.
One of the things I did with my therapist several years ago was create a psychological profile of each of my parents based on their behavior when I was growing up. These profiles aren’t meant to be diagnostic of abusive parents, but intended to help abuse survivors understand they weren’t bad children; they had bad and/or ill parents.
A lack of ability to connect emotionally with one’s own child is indicative of some serious deficits and character flaws. Combine that with cruelty, physical abuse and neglect, and you have the profile of an abuser.
Ed has a grandiose and false view of himself which is mind-boggling and deeply troubling. He sees himself as a literary hero, caring for his sick child against all odds. It isn’t about the truth – how he failed his children, it’s about his attachment – unhealthy attachment, for my poor sick sister who couldn’t tell Ed to go to hell as Elizabeth and I did.
He hides in today, pathetically shielded by people he has managed to manipulate, and fool. People who do not understand that anything positive they get from Ed is only pretend; he is incapable of anything real or meaningful.
And so I am done. I am wiser than I was when I walked away thirty plus years ago, and wisdom is its own reward, but I’m not content with the final understanding that I was right: people do not change.
Many of my questions were answered, the rest will likely go unaddressed forever …
every therapist and psychiatrist I have seen tells me that in addition to the physical and emotional abuse I suffered as a child, I was very likely sexually abused, too; I have no recollection of this, but I don’t doubt it either, not growing up in the house I grew up in. My sister has said she remembers being sexually abused by our father, but she will not delve into it with me, or anyone …
so when my therapist again cautioned me to trust my instincts about Ed, and followed it up with the question: “If your children were little, would you leave them alone with Ed today?” …
I concluded that I don’t want him in my life, or the lives of my wife and children.
Final words to Ed:
I walked away from you thirty years ago in order to survive – I had NO choice, stop believing I did. This is part of accepting responsibility for what you did.
You are a coward for not reaching out to Elizabeth; she has the right to spit in your face for what you’ve done to her. I never told you not to contact Elizabeth – that was not my choice to make; I told you to be prepared for her wrath if you do. You are so afraid of rejection – rightful rejection on her part, that you won’t own what you did to her – and that is despicable.
You made your abusive parents my business the moment you used having been an abused child yourself as your excuse for beating and abusing me.
And, you are absolutely correct when you state that what I say about you is true.
Time to close the chapter, Reconciliation; it has come to an end.