It was no revelation to me that my father regretted fighting for my love during the divorce. He made it very clear that he had wasted the time since then with me. He regularly complained and moaned about his decision, scorning himself for his terrible choice. To him, I was the “devil child”.
In my mid-twenties, my father’s hate towards me was immeasurable. There was nothing nice to say.
He began sponsoring a child in India through a charity. Initially, I was impressed. But ultimately, I knew he had ulterior motives. He was highly praised by friends for this decision and it only added to his narcissistic character. He wasn’t humble or modest, he wanted everyone to know about the “good deed” he was doing. I stayed out of it, allowing him to have his artificial moment in the spotlight. However, I couldn’t avoid him forever. He found ways of lurking and catching me off guard to boast about the kindest, most sincere love his new “daughter” had for him. He would flaunt letters and pictures in front of me. Letters that showed sweet affection to the man this little girl had named “Uncle”.
Even this was a show, it was something to shove in my face. Look! Someone else loves me more! How could I be jealous of a young, innocent girl who is looking to my father for comfort? She looks to him with gratitude and he just parades it like a performance.
Years of this continued and my father kept using her to make his point: That he could be loved.
Of course, this little girl only knew of what my father had informed her about. Did she know he had been abusing his own flesh and blood for her entire life? Probably not.
He bought her endless, expensive gifts, once remarking,
“She is my daughter now”.
I was just happy that I had lost that label. I did not want to be associated with the man.