You use those words a lot when talking about your father.
Which words do you mean?
Hate. Hatred. You use those words a lot.
That’s because no other words come close to describing his festering animosity. I’ve looked for synonyms, but nothing competes with ‘hatred’ for characterising his cold, brutal, inhumanity.
You don’t know what it feels like to be truly hated until you’ve been on the receiving end of dad’s senseless loathing.
How do you mean? What’s so unique about it?
When dad hates you, it’s absolute, continuous, unrelenting. It’s pure, undiluted hatred.
He seethes. He pulses … He vibrates with throbbing detestation. He wants you hurt, injured, maimed. He wants you dead. He wants you exterminated.
Are you sure…
He wants everything that you love to be destroyed. He wants everything you hold sacred to be annihilated. He wants everyone close to you – your partner, your children – to suffer. He contemplates your suffering with undisguised relish.
…you’re not exagg…
His hatred is solid, three-dimensional. It has length, breadth and depth. It has mass. It presses down on you, weighing you down, deadening your body and limbs.
And it’s liquid, flowing in your arteries, releasing its toxins into your body, infecting your mind. It distorts your mind. It distorts your view of the world, of humanity, of everything.
It pounds inside your head. You’re forced to ask yourself – What have I done to be hated with such intensity? Am I so hateable? Am I so hateworthy?
No I’m not exaggerating.
He can’t stand the sight of you, and he says as much: “I CAN’T STAND THE BLOODY SIGHT OF YOU”.
You make him sick, and he’ll tell you so: “YOU MAKE ME BLOODY SICK”.
He laughs at any misfortune which might visit you. He rejoices at the the prospect of it.
And guess what he does if a letter intended for you should erroneously be sent to his address?
I’ve no idea. What does he do?
He returns the letter to the Post Office with the inscription “NOT KNOWN AT THIS ADDRESS”.
But what if the letter was important?
Exactly! Are you now beginning to understand how spite and hatred work for him?
Did I ever tell you what he said to Marianne after his favourite dog, Mitzi, died?
No, I don’t believe you did.
He said: “I’D RATHER YOU AND YOUR BROTHER HAD BEEN KILLED IN A CAR CRASH”.
Well he was upset.
Oh come on! Would you say something like that to one of your children?
No, of course not.
Then how about attempting some psychological reverse engineering! Try to imagine yourself saying that to one of your children. What kind of mental state would you have to be occupying?
I can’t even imagine myself saying something like that.
No, of course you can’t. Neither can I.
So you have to ask – What kind of mind produces such a remark? Not only did he express the wish that Marianne and I had died instead of his dog, but he’d actually gone so far as to invent a particularly unpleasant death for us both. He actually went as far as visualising our broken bodies tangled inside the twisted metal of a smashed vehicle. Can you hear the relish within his nasty fantasy?
What’s more, he wanted Marianne to know that. He wanted her to absorb his sadistic invention. He wanted us to know that he held us in lower esteem than his dog.
His favourite dog, though!
Yes, alright. His favourite dog. Although that isn’t really the point.
But what about dialogue as a means of seeking conflict resolution? Why not talk to him to try and resolve your differences?
There IS no conflict. There ARE no resolvable differences. There is simply the concrete fact of his hatred.
What’s more, he doesn’t make himself available for dialogue. You are exiled, banished, excommunicated from his life.
There’s always an opportunity for talking, surely?
Not with dad there isn’t. If you try and talk to him you can feel your words evaporating as they leave your mouth. It’s as if you’re talking inside an anechoic chamber. He pays no attention to anything you say.
He hates you, you see. He hates you, and therefore he hates your words. You are worthless, and therefore your words are worthless.
You mean he interrupts you?
Heavens no! That would be too considerate.
He wants to reject the totality of what you have to say, so he waits for you to finish. He wants you to invest hope that you can reason with him, so he can delight in crushing that hope.
Dad hates. That’s what he does. It’s more like a physical force than an abstract emotion. He hates, and there’s nothing you can do about it.