Throwback Thursday – Being Very Small

Time for Throwback Thursday! Going through the vault of very old scans of very old family pictures, and looking at my parents when they were in their early twenties, still married, and I was very small.

My mother and father at the breakfast table, probably in late 1968 or early 1970? I was actually surprised to see my father wearing a blatant hoodie so long before the present fashion trend. Always ahead of his time, I guess. (It’s also truly alarming how much he resembles my most recent ex-boyfriend at this age, especially the glasses, the hair, the scruff and the hoodie. Danger, Will Robinson!)

 

Me with my young father in 1970. It saddens me to see myself with him at this age. I worshipped him like a god when I was tiny, with the pure and perfect love that only very little children can have for their beloved parent. I remember being struck by the same intensity and joyousness in my sister Abigail when she was a toddler–she had the same intense father-daughter relationship with him.

He would walk in the door and she would yell “DADDY!” and he would yell “ABBY!” and they both threw their arms open with joy…very beautiful and touching. So far as I know, my dynamic with him was the same.

As I grew older, unfortunately, my father became disenchanted with me, and by the time I was nineteen he had completed the classic Narcissistic Love Cycle. According to the literature, the love of any malignant narcissist always starts with “Idealization” and ends with a “D&D” maneuver –”Devalue and Discard”. Essentially they trash you and throw you away.

In my case, he disowned me permanently and we have never spoken again in person since; that was over 24 years ago now, more than half of my life. Sadly, he was so destructive and abusive to me as a pre-teen and a teenager that being disowned and discarded by him at nineteen was probably the kindest thing he could have done. Certainly it was one of the best and healthiest things that happened to me at that age, and the cessation of contact has led to steadily increasing sanity and well-being ever since.

 

Toddler-sized  Arinn with the parents. Yes, they were the Real Deal hippies–slightly bohemian, left-wing/liberal, intellectual and rebellious college students in the late 1960′s and early 1970′s. My Dad’s favorite musician was Bob Dylan, my mother raised me on James Taylor, The Beatles, and Peter, Paul and Mary.

Looking at her photos from the 1970′s, you can see that my Mom was really the ideal beauty of the period, with long straight flowing hair and a very slim build.

Also, look how much she loves little me! :D We still have a good relationship, and she is one of my biggest fans.

I was a pretty cute kid. Brave, adventurous, curious, delighted by the world. Staying in touch with this side of myself has sometimes been hard, but it’s one of my best qualities as a person. These photos serve as a reminder that I was born this way, and that the Big Bad World has never succeeded in changing me much.

Score one for me. :)

About Arinn

Author, Game Developer, Anthropologist, reformed Supervillainess.
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2 Responses to Throwback Thursday – Being Very Small

  1. Wilmer A. Rowe says:

    When one experiences cognitive dissonance, the rational knowledge about psychopathy doesn’t fully sink in on an emotional level. Consequently, the victim moves constantly back and forth between the idealized fantasy and the pathetic reality of the psychopath. This is a very confusing process and an emotionally draining one as well. Initially, when you’re the one being idealized by him, the fantasy is that a psychopath can love you and that he is committed to you and respects you. Then, once you’ve been devalued and/or discarded, the fantasy remains that he is capable of loving others, just not you. That you in particular weren’t right for him, but others can be. This is the fantasy that the psychopath tries to convince every victim once they enter the devalue phase. Psychopaths truly believe this because they never see anything wrong with themselves or their behavior, so if they’re no longer excited by a person, they conclude it must be her (or his) fault; that she (or he) is deficient.

  2. Arinn says:

    Fair enough. :) Sociopathic devaluation and discard behavior is common to a number of personality disorders.