Family Twist Episode 9: Narcissism, Racism … and a Cult Part 2
This is part 2 of Narcissism, Racism … and a Cult. Michelle shares the how her father was essentially the leader of his own cult, and then Michelle’s sister married into another family cult. Michelle has been in therapy for dealing with the past narcissist relationships. Part of her journey was survival. Her relationship with her father became transactional – that comes with a price. Finally, Michelle comes to the realization that her “Dad” isn’t her parent. Dealing with narcissists is a long road, Michelle says, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
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00:04 Welcome to Family Twist, a podcast about relatively unusual stories of long lost families, adoption, and lots of drama. I'm Corey. And I'm Kendall, and we've been partners for over 16 years. In this episode, you might notice a shift in sound quality because we initially recorded with Michelle over Zoom, but today she's here with us in person to tell more stories. If you didn't listen to the first part of Michelle's story, I encourage you to do that first.
00:31 This is part two of two because we realized when we first recorded that there were many more stories that we wanted to share. And these twists go into racism, narcissism, and even occult. So sit back and get ready. Our guest today is Michelle. Michelle, would you like to say hello? Yeah, especially after that introduction. Welcome. Thank you. Thanks for having me.
00:56 This is maybe jumping ahead some, but I feel like there's a parallel between your father being almost like the head of a cult of his cults and the fact that your sister sort of ended up in a cult like situation with her new family. Yeah. Growing up with this kind of inflation. I mean, I've given examples of how this works with strangers or coworkers, but you don't really realize you're being manipulated.
01:25 So it becomes pretty natural adjusting to whatever mood my dad was in at any given time. I mean, we all did it. Like my mom, my sisters. That was just how life worked. If somebody got in trouble with mom, it was always like, well, wait until your father comes home. And then that's when, you know, you're really fucked. It's just everything revolved around my dad, where we ate, what we ate, time we ate, that everything. Whether or not we were late for school, I've been told constantly I was just told this by a coworker that I apologize too much.
01:56 And I know that comes directly from my childhood for apologizing for upsetting people or being in the way or doing existing sometimes. And so anyway, like my sisters and I and even my mom, like, after years and years, this just becomes natural. And so my theory about my sister marrying into a super controlling family with a narcissistic patriarchy, he's like Southern Baptist preacher.
02:31 To me, that's foundation enough, but we can establish more of that later. A lot of that felt probably normal for her because she hasn't gone through a ton of therapy with this. I think she knows my dad's really selfish, but hasn't learned how to deal with a narcissist, which is like a really long, difficult skill set that. I mean, I've been in therapy for this specifically for ten years. I'm still working on it.
03:00 Anyway, I think she walked right in because there's just certain behaviors that she hasn't learned that are not okay, not normal. Right. And this actually happened to me. This is when I realized shit. Like, I really need help because I was in a relationship with a really abusive for a couple of years, and I didn't realize it at the time. I just took the obsessiveness about what I was doing, where I was going, who I was with, who I was texting, whatever, as like, flattery.
03:28 He lived in a different city that was like an hour and a half away from where I was living, and I would always have to commute there on the weekends. And there was like a lot of sexual manipulation too. And eventually I sunk into this horrible, deep depression and finally went to a therapist who, after she learned about my family and what I'd grown up with, helped me realize. One, this is not normal. Two, this is why you're here.
03:57 And three, this is how you need to leave, which is really hard to do. I thought I loved this guy. So it wasn't like this easy, clean break. But yeah, Unfortunately, I think she knows that she's in a situation that she doesn't know how to get out of, but she does not have the tools to get out of it. We don't speak. Unfortunately, we've had a falling out because of that relationship that she's in. I've pointed her to resources that could help.
04:24 But yeah, it's pretty sad because narcissism, it's not like a one off. It can be very generational cyclical, even depending on, like, the family or the relationship type. I joke with my closest friends and stuff that I have special narcissist sensor now because you do fall into friendships or relationships with these people because it does come off as normal.
04:51 You live and learn, but unfortunately, you have to realize what is not normal and not okay before you can learn that having this, like, Spidey sense about narcissists sometimes it's also like patterns and behaviors and what a narcissist chooses to surround his or herself with.
05:13 It came time for me to start applying to colleges, and my dad went to Ivy League, and he'll tell you that within the first five minutes of meeting him, the expectation was, My kid is going to go to an Ivy League, obviously. And I applied and the stock market crashed in 2008, and so a lot of the money that had been set aside for my College had dropped.
05:41 And I was given this number of how much would go to help pay for my College, but then expected to go to an Ivy League, which I had good grades, but I'm no genius. And then I was just expected to have walk into this lifestyle. I remember, like, I applied to some mid tier schools and then some Ivy League schools, and I'll never forget this.
06:12 I got my acceptance letters and we were sitting in a Panera bread for my dad and my mom, and I was trying to decide where I was going to go to College. Two were Jesuit schools and one was in Ivy League, and my dad refused to help me pay for College because he wanted that money to be taken from my mom because he had started those College accounts when we were little and thought that she owed that.
06:41 So they're fighting over who owes what for my College education. And I'm trying to pick where to go to school, which, you know, when you're 17. That's a stressful decision. And what it came down to is that my dad was trying so hard to ring my mom out for money that she couldn't afford, that I ended up choosing College based on where I got the highest scholarship because I didn't want my mom to go into poverty, which caused this maelstrom reaction because I didn't go to an Ivy League school.
07:19 So therefore, I am not worthy anymore. And the school I went to was still a good school. But it's not good enough. Ironically, it's the school where they met, like my parents met. So still didn't make any sense. But anyway, yes, I had to make my College decision based on trying to protect my mother. Well, and knowing that you had two younger sisters still that needed to go through the same. Exactly. And Interestingly, I don't want to speak for them.
07:50 But Interestingly, they both went to the College where they didn't have to pay anything and eventually pay that back with military service to avoid that same situation. So he end up withholding all of the College money. No, there was still, like, what was left in the account after the stock market crashed. So that's my scholarship. But that rang out while I was in College. So then I ended up taking out loans and paid for grad school myself and stuff.
08:19 But yeah. Wow. Yeah, that was interesting. So anyway, yeah, there were instance that would happen when I was a senior. This is when I met the first woman that he was dating. So I met the first woman he was dating when I was a senior in College. And it was one of those trips I was saying, like, my dad would take us on just screw my mom, like, over because she couldn't afford something like that.
08:49 So we went to the Cayman Islands and the woman he was dating brought one of her daughters along. It was supposed to be like this meeting of families despite no one ever meeting the other before. So you can imagine that was really well planned out. The vacation was a disaster because we didn't like this woman and she didn't like us.
09:18 And you can't leave when you're, like, in another country and underage. So we just had to sit it out. And yeah, my dad's, like, disappearing in the evenings to go be with this woman and we're supposed to figure out how to entertain ourselves and yeah, just uncomfortable situations. One interesting fact about this first woman was my dad actually dated her daughter and that's how he met her. Oh, the daughter that came on the trip?
09:48 No, a different daughter. This woman has been married, like, four or five times. And so this was an older daughter from a previous marriage that my dad cheated on my mom with and dated and then eventually met this woman's mother and then started dating her. Wow. That would have been a little bit weird if they would have gotten married. Yeah. So it's been eight or nine years since she finished College. What has the relationship been like post College?
10:18 The first part was like survival. And then the second part, as I was in College, I started to realize how the relationship between he and I actually worked in that whatever I accomplished was his accomplishment. Whatever I good or interesting that I did was taken as his win. I started using that to my advantage.
10:48 I finagled a way into getting a credit card from him, and then I just spent it recklessly just because I was like, you didn't help me pay for College, so I'm just going to pay for all my food and sometimes get sushi or whatever on this credit card. I was interested in being a lawyer at that time, and so I made him take me shopping to go get some really nice suits, even though I was like an undergrad doing mock trial, like, things like that.
11:19 Because on the flip side, he got to brag that I was doing really well in school. I was going to do this. I was interning here, all these things for late College, grad school, and a little bit after that was our relationship was just this very transactional. Give me what I want, I'll give you what you want, which is obviously not healthy. Right. So later I started to realize, yeah, that was fun and all if I get what I want.
11:52 But that's also not sustainable because it still comes at a price. I gave him what he wanted, but I still didn't have a parent in that entire relationship. There was just no parent part. He was my dad in name, but it wasn't like taking care of me if I was sick or helping me out with that kind of stuff. I remember, like, I got robbed in Madrid. I stayed abroad in Madrid.
12:20 And his first reaction was like, Why did you let yourself get robbed? He and my mom both helped me, wired me a little bit of money so that I could figure that out and get all my bank accounts redone and all that. But it was just. It was not how a parent cares for their child. For anyone who's been to Europe, it's very easy to get pickpocketed. They're professionals. So that's what happened.
12:48 And it just added insult to injury because I was kind of, like, stuck for a few weeks. Like, I had to borrow money from my host family and until my parents could wire me some money and stuff. However, like a month later, my dad had decided that he was going to take advantage of the fact that I was studying abroad. And so he didn't want to actually come to Spain, like, to Madrid, where I was studying. He just wanted to go where he wanted to vacation, which was in Italy.
13:19 So I met him in Rome, and that's when I learned that Dwight had hooked him up. Like, Dwight from Chicago had hooked him up with a homestead trade. So I don't know which home my dad and Dwight traded. I don't know if it was like my dad's beach house or some weird venture that Dwight had. Whatever. This woman we were staying at her hotel, like, it was a little boutique hotel, and that was the trade.
13:48 And this was basically someone that Dwight had a relationship with. So the trip already started off a mess. And I think that there were some other expectations that were supposed to be met, but I don't think this woman was told that my dad's College daughter was meeting him. They got in fights a lot, so I'm not sure all that went down, but basically, like, this was a Dwight setup, shady thing.
14:14 And eventually we just left Rome and went to the Amalfi Coast, and that's when things got even more shady, because this woman handed us off to another woman who had her own bed and breakfast thing, and we stayed with her, and that was another Dwight setup. So it was just like this weird series of Italian women that we stayed with. And I wasn't sure if my dad knew them or not, but apparently Dwight did, and Dwight may have dated them.
14:46 It sounds like really privileged and stuff to be able to go to Italy because I know a lot of people want to go there. But I guess the point of this is, like, there's just no such thing as a normal interaction with my dad. And it also didn't make sense. As I was living in downtown Madrid, wouldn't you want to see where I was studying what I was doing? Anything about Spain? Dubai didn't have a Spain hookup, right? Exactly. Yeah. As far as we know, he probably has by now, but, yeah, honestly, I don't want to know.
15:17 I'm sure they are because, like, only the good day young. But, yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if they still have relationships with my dad. They live near enough to each other that I think it's possible. Another story about the Chicago condo is when I was in College, this Chicago condo still existed, and I was told that the use had pretty much stopped and that they were going to sell it.
15:47 I was like, okay, cool. Hey, can I use it one weekend? Can I just take my boyfriend at the time, not the narcissistic one up to Chicago? And can we just stay there? And I was like, oh, yeah, cool. And gave us the keys. So we drove up there and I will never forget how embarrassed I was when we got there, because maybe it was naive of me, but the condo was still definitely a pimp pad. Like, the bed was leopard print sheets.
16:16 There's, like naked women's statues. And it's just weird shit. And then we went out and got dinner or something and came back and went to bed. My boyfriend was just amused by the whole thing. So we're just kind of, like looking around like, what the hell is going on here? And he opened up the bedside table and there are a lot of accessories there that I just really did not want to know existed.
16:46 What do you do other than laugh? Because I didn't really want to think about how they were being used and who was using them, but I'll just say that they weren't your normal household sex toys, next level stuff. Yeah. It's some weird shit and lots of leather. And then we also found drugs, so that was cute. And I called my dad, actually, when we found the drugs. And I was like, what is this?
17:10 And that was the last time I ever took his word for anything being, quote, normal and okay to visit or anything, because what if something had happened and those aren't my drugs? I don't want to be held responsible for any of that. Yeah, that was a weird, embarrassing trip. But sums up the Chicago apartment. Wow. So I guess I'm a little surprised just hearing these stories, especially the Chicago stories, that your dad ended up getting remarried.
17:42 I guess it doesn't seem like he wouldn't necessarily need to get remarried because he was living the pimp life, as you say. Yeah. Word. That's funny you say that. I don't think he planned on necessarily getting remarried right away. However, my mom got remarried before he did. That was starting to make sense. Yeah. So quickly after that, he was engaged and then had a wedding in my dad's full fashion.
18:11 So I was the maid of honor at both weddings, my mom's and my dad's. And yes, my dad's wedding. I guess to sum it up, the cops were called. Three people passed out. There were 100% drugs there because two of the people that passed out, like 98% sure it was not because of alcohol or fatigue. And yeah, I think it was everything he wanted it to be. This is the best way to put it. I have a sense that the vibe was a little bit different at both of these weddings.
18:41 Yeah. I mean, my mom's was pretty much family only and close friends. And it was in a small Chapel in the town where she and my stepdad live. And the only people in the wedding were my stepdad's best man. And then my sisters and I, and then they rented out a restaurant in this cool historic district. And yeah, it was just a pleasant evening. Very small to, like mid sized wedding.
19:12 So nice. Was your dad's second wife? Was this her first marriage? Yeah, that's an interesting one. I think so. Several things going on here. One, I hope she's not listening to this, but my dad was definitely dating his long term girlfriend while my stepmom and my dad were engaged. And as far as I know, he currently still owns a beach house right next to his alleged ex girlfriend. Like the same one.
19:42 Okay. Honestly, I have expected it. I'm really surprised that she didn't just show up. She definitely had the means and the ego, too. Yeah. My stepmom, from what I know, never got married, but she had two children who are also biracial and just raised them herself. The father, I think, was a football player at the University that she went to, and I never asked, I guess out of politeness, like, what the story was there.
20:14 I just assumed it would be told to me eventually. But yeah, I don't think she has any idea what she's married. I mean, maybe she does now. So they're still together? Yeah, as far as I know. I don't think she feels that she could leave if she wanted to, if I were to make a hypothesis about that. But I haven't spoken to them in a few years, so I don't know. No relationship with your stepsiblings? No, not anymore.
20:42 They actually seem to be pretty nice people to me. We had some stuff in common, and they're both like my age, but I had a huge falling out with my dad and my step mom together and separately, which is their mother. So I think naturally, we just stopped talking. Right. Why were the cops called, too? I guess the reception, not the wedding itself, right? Yeah. The wedding was in the same place as the reception, but the cops were called because of noise violations.
21:15 Actually, I should just tell you about the whole wedding because it makes more sense why the cops were called. My dad wanted his groomsmen to be and this is in order, a celebrity football player who recently passed away. He was the runner up to the Heisman to OJ Simpson. And whoever wants to figure that out can figure it out next. His divorce attorney, I think, also was at the cocoa or party, right?
21:46 Yeah. Okay. Party just doesn't stop. And then third doctor who was a partner in their practice who also cheated on his wife in the same manner, also narcissist also a crazy partier and covered for my dad basically for a while. So probably his biggest cover man. So disgustingly. My sisters and I had to link arms with these people as we're walking down the aisle.
22:19 I had the football player, which actually he was probably my favorite because, I don't know, he was the most human out of the group. We'll just put it that way. My dad and my stepmom decided to have walkouts, which was just like extremely embarrassing. My stepmom's was an Eric Benet song, and my dad's was a Don Henley song, and that was hard to keep a straight face was a dirty laundry. No, but that would have been really appropriate.
22:47 And I feel like dirty laundry probably came on later, like, at the reception. But no, forget the name of it. It's a slow song. We got to be ceremonially appropriate, right. So anyway, the wedding was, like, five minutes, and then the reception. So my parents threw these huge house parties in the 90s, like, when we were kids, they were, like, full out house parties, and they had this DJ that they used and won't use his name, but he was the DJ to have.
23:15 My dad decided to call him for his last DJ thing and had him pack up all his stuff and drive to where my dad was living and do one last big block party. So that's why the cops were called, because it was like a full out block party. Like, it was that outdoors? Yes, outdoors on a deck facing outward into, like, a Valley.
23:43 So the sound just echoed and reverberated, and I'm pretty sure everyone within a ten mile radius was, like, pissed. Wow. Yeah. Did you bring a date to the wedding? No, actually, I was dating my current partner, and it was pretty early in our relationship. I was like, no, I guarantee you don't want to see what's going to happen here. And my sisters were dating people, too, and none of us brought dates because we already knew this was going to be a shit show.
24:14 My plan was to stay sober enough to give the maid of honor toast and then just act like this was not happening for the rest of the night. Because the other part of this was, like, my dad invited everyone he had ever known, like, old patients, old friends from Indiana that had turned on my mom. All these weird people came out of the woodwork for this event.
24:42 And so then they all started, like, cornering my sisters and I and, like, trying to get information on my mom and not, like, out of a friendly I hope she's doing well space. It was, like, just unnecessary prying into our lives. And these were people like, I can't speak for my sisters on this, but I had actively cut out of my life. So, yeah, I just felt like I was in, like, a pit of snakes all night.
25:11 So I just got unreasonably drunk and tried to just hang out with my cousins and stuff as much as possible. So your dad's family was there as well? Yeah, his family is kind of interesting. They only show up for big events, especially if they're going to be entertained, and they all show up as a unit. So, yeah, they were all there, but they tend to look the other way. As far as the shit show, yeah, it was definitely the wedding of the year for?
25:40 I think a lot of people I know that your dad had paid off cops or something like that. So how did that go down with the cops showed up? Yeah, I don't know. I would assume he did the same. I didn't meet the cops. One of my sisters did. She answered because the wedding was at his house. And so she answered the door, and she handled that whole thing. So I don't know if they came because they got enough complaints where they're just like, all right, we got to go over and just say something or if he hadn't bought them out this time.
26:10 I have no idea. Did the party calm down after they were there? In my dad's world, the party stops when he decides it does. These are the things that one reason or another that you found out about. Who knows what you don't know, right? Yeah. At one point just decided to draw a line for myself. I think it was around the time I found out about the cocaine, because. How far do you want to go?
26:41 I already knew that there were a lot of things wrong, and I didn't want to Snoop and find out what other craziness my dad was involved in at that point. I just didn't want to know. Were you ever surprised when you found out about the cocaine use? Were you ever surprised that he did that because he was so locally popular?
27:08 Or you just assumed that this was a secret little group that was never going to share that kind of information in the community? Sounds like they just all thought they were untouchable. Yeah, that's what I was going to say. He's above the law. This is a side story, but the point of this story is to show that they bought out cops. I was nannying in the summers to make extra money. I was nannying these children and driving them somewhere. And I got pulled over for the first time.
27:37 First speeding. And the cop comes up to the car, and I'm, like, crying. I'm like, I'm so sorry. I wasn't, like, intentionally recklessly driving, but the speed changed, and I just wasn't ready for it or whatever. And I hand the cop my license. He looks at me and he's like, Macintosh. Yes. And he goes, I know your dad. He worked on my shoulder or some body part. I'm like, Cool, just. Are you going to give me a ticket? Please don't.
28:07 I don't want to tell my parents. And he goes, all right, you can go. I know your dad. And I felt at the time like I really dodged a bullet, but it was just a speeding ticket. Later, I'm like, oh, my God, I should have gotten a speeding ticket. When you're driving in the country and, like, you can go, like, 60 on a country road, and then you get into a small town and suddenly drops, like, 20 because you're going through the town. That's where I got the ticket. So I was going a lot over because I didn't break fast enough.
28:37 And so it was just, like, looking back on that. I'm like, oh, my God. Because that cop, I'm sure was, like, part of all this. Wow. And this manifested with, like, my sisters later down the road. Fast forward to three years ago. My sister got engaged to this man that I really had a problem with. I still have a problem with, and I didn't think he was a good match for her.
29:06 I thought he was manipulative. I thought he was just not a good person. And he came from a family that I thought was creepy and also manipulative. And the last thing I would want for my sisters is to restart the cycle again. I told my mom, and she tried to fight it. I told my dad, not in the same way I told my mom, but I said, I really don't like this guy. I don't think he treats her well. And he makes her cry.
29:37 He harasses her when she broke up with him a couple of times that he was really mean to her, all these things. And my dad didn't really care. And I was just, this is your daughter. They're engaged. Are you not going to do something about this? And I realized, no, he wanted to be a father of the bride. A wedding is the perfect opportunity to be the center of attention. And why not? Like, it was nothing to him.
30:08 They got married. Well, Interestingly, since she married into what I would call a narcissistic family. My dad and her husband's dad competed for attention the entire wedding. So that was interesting. But, yeah, that was. No, we're done. You don't really actually care about the welfare of your children. My sister was engaged. It was past the point.
30:35 We had been fighting every day. I was trying to get her to break this engagement or extend it and give it more time, more thought, and it just wasn't happening. Finally, she had asked my other sister and I to be her maids of honor. So, like, with that, you're supposed to throw the bridal shower and the Bachelorette. So I hosted a bridal shower. The weekend before the bridal shower, I got robbed at gunpoint.
31:03 And that was the scariest thing in my life. I lived in downtown St. Louis. There's a man that broke into our apartment. He threatened to kill me, threatening to shoot me. I told my mom I wasn't speaking to my dad, but I told my sisters and my sisters told my dad, and my mom told my dad. And I got nothing. No reaction from him, nothing like, no acknowledgement that it even happened.
31:32 You know, PTSD. I was going, like, therapy and a chiropractor and all this stuff and nothing. And it's because I had stopped talking to him over my sister's engagement. And so he was punishing me by not bonding. And that combined with my sister getting engaged to this man I hate. Like, I was just like, no, you actually don't. You're not a parent anymore.
32:01 You and your partner held the bridal shower for your sister. I had invited, like, my stepmom and the women on my dad's side of the family. My dad insisted on driving this car full of women to my apartment and then expected to come into the bridal shower.
32:26 I was in a loft, and so he sat in the parking lot below and ran the car, and he was blaring music. Everyone knew he was there. It was a hot day, so all my windows were open. Calls one of my sisters on her cellphone, like, interrupting the shower and says he wants to be let up because I have a keypad into the apartment building. No, this is a bridal shower, and you were not invited. And on top of that, you did not seem to care at all that I just got robbed.
32:55 But he sat out there and he threw a fit in his car in the parking lot below. Like, I was on the fifth floor, but you could still hear the music. So he tried to disrupt this bridal shower as it's going on. My family had already started to really break apart at this point over my sister's engagement. So my stepmother was like, a giant bitch and was just extremely rude to my mom.
33:22 And there's all this fighting going on within the shower Caddy stuff between women. And, yeah, he's, like, throwing this tantrum in the parking lot, and I walk the guests down and stuff as the shower is ending, and he's still out there, like, fuming in his car. And then everyone he had driven to the shower gets in his car, and then he peels out and drives away. But it was just interesting because this was a bridal shower for your daughter.
33:53 I invited, like, 40 women or something to my apartment, and it was a women's party. Like, you do not need to be there. He lost his shit over that. So, yeah, I mean, things just went from bad to worse after that. And the next time I saw him was at the wedding, where, Interestingly enough, he was competing with the groom's father, who was also a narcissist. So the groom's father insisted on marrying my sister and her husband, which was already weird.
34:25 Like, the wedding had to be held in his Church and he had to officiate. And, yeah, then my dad tried to be the life of the party at the reception, and it was just this big back and forth circus, which I imagine would be tough to do at a Southern Baptist reception, right? Yeah. So that was the thing about this reception, right? There was no alcohol allowed. My sister had already Dove headfirst into this weird world, and so she had stopped drinking and the rest of us were just like, oh hell no, it was 100 degrees that day.
35:00 If we're going to get through this day, like, with all the drama surrounding it alone, let alone the temperature, let alone this Church was like a cute little farm Church situation. And so they were like Longhorn. Like a pasture of Longhorns, like nearby, so it smells like cow shit. Just the whole thing was just a disaster. Luckily, some of my cousins are like normal people and we all just telepathically decided everyone would have alcohol in the back of their cars.
35:34 So we all just would take turns going out to the parking lot and like shot gunning a beer or something just to get through it. Even my dad was seen in the parking lot, like sneaking liquor and it's your own reception. What the hell? But yeah, I mean, it was just that as far as just showing how far he would go just to appeal to the room. Did you have any communication with them at the wedding? We walked by each other.
36:02 I think he acknowledged my presence once, but at that time the wedding was awful. Things just were ugly. Everyone was fighting the whole time. Honestly, my dad was the least of my problems at that wedding. I think he mostly ignored me. I was ignoring him. The wedding was about him. I don't think it really mattered to him. Was there a dance off between the two dads? Fortunately, no, because my sister married into a super conservative Southern Baptist family.
36:33 There was a DJ and there was some awkward hand raising moving around on the dance floor, but I would not call it dancing. I also just had to leave the reception early. Like, I just couldn't take it anymore, which is like horrible. But I had to. I had to get out. So I didn't see if more dancing progressed. But at least at the beginning of when the dance floor opened, there wasn't a whole lot of activity. So we haven't spoken for about two and a half years now.
37:04 The story about him throwing the tantrum about the bridal shower, it makes me think. Do you think you might be the only person who's ever really pushed back at his behavior? I have definitely pushed back the most and the most consistently my sisters have. So tantrums. I really didn't establish this throughout my story, but tantrums were very common with my dad. You choose your battles with him, and that one was an easier battle because he physically could not get in the building unless he like, tailed someone.
37:38 So there was actually a barrier that could be upheld. And if I had lived at like a house or something, he would have just let himself in and there would have been no stopping it. My sisters and I have all fought with him over different things. He has different reactions depending on who it is. I am not his favorite and neither is my youngest sister. And so the reactions are usually more not physically violent, but violent, like yelling, put downs and arguing and all that stuff versus like with my middle sister.
38:09 That is his favorite. And so it's a little bit more tame. But she definitely still has issues with him. Is he retired now? I think he should be nearing retirement. He's definitely old enough. But that's the thing. This is his lifeblood as being a doctor. I'm not sure he would want to cut that off. This is how he builds his fan base is through his patients. That's like the number one way that in his charm.
38:39 He loves being a big fish in a small pond. So to cut that off would just be pretty damning. So I'm not sure if he'll retire fully. This is a morbid thought then maybe you've had it like when your father dies, do you think that's when more stuff is going to come out about him and is he planning his funeral? I guess an artist would maybe want to. Yeah. That's interesting that you say that. I don't know. I think it's a Democrat sword with that because he's immortal. So don't acknowledge that he could possibly die.
39:10 But at the same time, I'm sure he wants a very elaborate, exquisite, over the top funeral. I don't know. I'm no longer part of that world. And if he does have plans, I'm not aware of them. Should he die? I am worried that I will have to be in some legal battle with some half sibling somewhere that I don't know about or some woman that comes out of the woodwork.
39:41 I am a little bit worried about that. But yeah, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Has your distance from your dad caused any problems between you and your sisters? Yeah, I've gone through therapy on and off since I was like 13 or 14, and I'm 31. So I've put in a lot of work and a lot of thought and really a lot of sweat into understanding this personality disorder, understanding its impact on my family, on me.
40:13 And I'm in full recovery mode still from that. It was my whole childhood and over half of my life. There's a lot of undoing about that that I'm still working on. My sisters are not in that stage. They went to therapy when we had to, like when we were kids, when they first got divorced. But they, as far as I know, are not really interested in going to a therapist.
40:46 I remember I was telling you about those different stages. I was in my relationship with my dad. They're in those stages, I would say, like they're in that transactional stage. You give me what I want and I'll give you what you want type thing that really works for them. Because one of my sisters has accomplished a lot. She's actually a Top Gun pilot. Obviously, that really bolsters my dad's resume. That works out. And my other sister and her husband are the Marines.
41:14 The Marines are, quote, the few in the proud and very tough. And first one's in, last one's out all that. You can also see how that would bolster my dad's ever expanding list of accomplishments. Yeah. Additionally, my sister and her husband just had their first baby, so that elevates my dad's status, too. Grandfather. Wow. So one last question.
41:41 Just from your understanding about Narcissists and your dad, would he be compelled to listen to this episode if he found out about it? Yeah, I've thought about that. I think he may listen to it out of curiosity and then just dismiss it as all lies or just dismiss me as insane, which is like the current narrative. Since I don't talk to him.
42:04 I'm honestly not sure he would even come across this podcast unless someone pointed him directly to it, because it's about families and his family is even before everything I just talked about with my experience with it, his family is not. They're very dysfunctional. Yes. I don't think he'd want to explore that. I was just thinking that, yeah. If somebody did point out this particular episode, since it is all about him, would he have to listen?
42:37 Because you got to know what's being said. I mean, the other side of that is that if this blows up and our names start appearing in media everywhere, and especially since I've said my last name. Yeah. If it gets famous enough, then he'll just own it and probably try and figure out some sort of narrative to take that as an accomplishment and probably try and reach out to me.
43:01 Well, like I said, I'm no psychologist, but it's a fascinating personality disorder and it takes years and years to figure out how to deal with it. So I hope anyone struggling with that. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but it put in the time and effort because it is a long road. Yeah. Wow. Michelle, these are some wild stories.
43:31 I think I had some legit. Oh, my God reactions to some of these details. So thank you for digging deep into the past and sharing these stories with us. Yeah. Thank you for having me and for listening. And yeah, I just want to reiterate, I know that there are aspects of my life that may resonate with people and some that may not. But I definitely wanted to share my story so that anyone who is dealing specifically with a Narcissistic parent or family member knows that you're not alone.
44:05 And I really support you in your journey to overcome that and grow from it because it's difficult. This is the Family Twist podcast hosted by Kendall and Cory stalls with original music by Cosmic Afterthoughts and produced by Outpost Productions and presented by Savoir Fair Marketing Communications.
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