One of the things that I hate the most is when I catch myself displaying a mannerism that comes from my StepFather. It bothers me that I picked up some of his ways. It is normal for a child to duplicate his/her parent’s behavior, speech patterns, taste is food and more. But where does that leave a person who hated the parental figure they are mimicking?
It’s the subtle little things that make me want to lash out and be angry with myself. As if anyone who has these same mannerisms must be as much of an asshole control freak as he was. The feelings of self-loathing and despising wash over me like I walked into the biggest spider web I have ever battled. I am instantly and completely focused on what a horrible human being I must be. I have the mindset to recognize, deflect and reassure myself now. But I can see where I did not in the past.
It was constant. All day every day. I avoided him as much as possible. I learned at a very young age that nothing I ever did would ever be right. He criticized and belittled me every day. He continued the behavior when I would visit in my 20’s. After I got married it was easy to avoid him. It stopped when I was succeeding at running a small business. I rarely spoke to him. When I did I was the calm confident self-made woman and I never ever let him see anything different. I never showed vulnerability or fear to him again.
I can see his insecurities now. I can see how he was threatened by my fierce independence from the get-go. He was Don Draper. Seriously……. fucking asshole.