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(the first post in this series is here:  On Being A Social Outcast )
There is a link at the bottom of this post
that will take you to the next post in this series.

Trauma Bonding and Living with a Psychopath

My father was a psychopath. He’s dead now. As a child I lived with him. He never left the family, so I lived with him my whole growing up.

Psychopath’s are murderous people, and their rage knows no bounds. Very early on in my life, actually it was at the time of my birth, he decided that I was the cause for all his problems; and all the problems of the world for that matter.

Because I was the cause of everything bad, he zeroed in on me with a laser beam of pure hatred. I can’t remember how old I was when this began to happen, but I know it started as far back as I can remember. I was probably maybe one or two.

He’d beat me within an inch of my life on a regular basis, several times a week I think. While he was beating me he would scream things at me. I think these were things like how awful, nasty, horrible, disgusting, bad, ugly, evil, a person I was. He was so savage during these beating that I was afraid he’d kill me. I truly did fear for my life all the time I was growing up.

There was no room to react to this treatment either. If he caught me crying or giving off any negative reaction to him, he’d take me back to the living room and give me another savage, life-threatening beating.

Between the beating, berating, and blaming, he just plain didn’t want to know me. He made it clear that he wished I didn’t exist.

He also made sure I knew what a dumb-ass I was, and that there was no help for me in this area.

I had no one to help me with him. My mother didn’t care. My siblings were probably relieved that it wasn’t one of them. I had no friends (I still have no friends) nor any other adult to help me with him. I just had me. From the time I can remember, there was just… me.

When I grew up to be an ‘adult’ I found myself having a devil of a time leaving him. I’ve heard it called ‘trauma bonding’. It was only through the course of working myself out of alcoholism and into sobriety, that I found it to be imperative that I leave him, to protect my sanity and sobriety. Even so, I had to do it in stages. I didn’t orchestrate these stages, I scrambled through them as they came up throughout the pains of getting sober.

First I left him physically. It took many months of (secret) therapy to get out of his house at all. Even so, it was a scramble for my life to do it. I was terrified to think I might have to live without him. I was positive I didn’t have the necessary tools to make it in the world by myself. But the pain of sobriety drove me out of his house with a sledge hammer.

In 1986, when I was six years sober, I got to a place of such emotional pain from dealing with his toxicity, that I saw, if I was to stay sober and save my life, I needed to break the emotional bond with him and stop all contact. Even so, I had to do it by reading a letter to him about what it was like growing up in his house. When I read it to him, I was shaking in my boots from shear terror. But, by hook or by crook, I managed to do it. I told him that the only way I would continue our relationship was with a therapist present.

He told me to fuck off.

So with that, I ended all contact with him until the summer before his death in 2010.

Ending the connection with him almost killed me. But God (who I got when I was two years sober) got me another therapist to help me get through the intense reaction I found myself caught in the middle of when I cut the relationship off with him.

But ending the relationship with him physically and emotionally didn’t end my suffering there. Recently I discovered that he left a piece of himself inside me that I have been carrying with me for the past 28 years. I can now finally see that. All these last few previous posts I’ve written have been about the residue of his presence within me. I have been labeling these presence as my adolescent, which could very well be true, I’m not sure, but this presence has his signature written all over it.

This is the presence of his hatred of me. It has been the shadow of himself residing in me that has spat out all this vile self-hatred I’ve been experiencing my whole sobriety. And it’s his legacy of hatred of my person that has currently been bealing out of me as I continue to stay addiction and obsession-free.

I don’t know where I’m going to go next with this emancipation. As I said earlier, I’m just scrambling to save my sanity, my sobriety, my life.

The next post in this series is here:  The “Introject-Father”