This scenario will show you just how manipulation works with an abuser and how deeply rooted it stays with the person. As I had stated in my very first journal, my grandfather was one of my main abusers during my childhood. He used many forms of manipulation. Caroline was one of them. She was an “angel” that came to visit him at night.
His story was that at one point in his life, he had attempted to commit suicide. He drove his car head on into a tree and according to him, right before he hit the tree, he looked over in the passenger seat God was sitting there. He had been knocked out from the accident. He wiped his forehead, as it was bleeding, and said “Jesus Christ”, and it supposedly stopped bleeding. I have no clue if this accident ever really happened. From what he says, from that night on, he was visited by an angel. It wasn’t often at first, but it became more frequent. My grandfather knew I was always into spirits, ghosts and such growing up because my grandmother used to help people out spiritually for a living. She said when I was a child to my father that I was like her and to watch me. I had always found that interesting. I am assuming that this is where this may have sprung from. When he said this, I was enamored with the very concept that he was able to do this. I asked him if he could ask her questions for me and he, of course, said yes. He would give me the answers the next day or so. I asked what she looked like and he said light brown wavy, medium length hair. When she came, the walls would have images of animals and hearts or what have you floating around on them. I wasn’t allowed to know her real name, so I named her Caroline. I asked things about my future, my mom, boys..normal stuff I suppose. His answer on my future job was vague. He wouldn’t say outright, just “you’ve already said that you want to do it”. I felt so empowered that I was able to ask an angel stuff. I wasn’t allowed to tell anybody about her, however.
Now as an adult, I clearly know it was a form of manipulation that he had used. The very weird thing that irks me is every once in a while, I get a nagging feeling that what if she was real and I’m now dismissing her? At 35, I am still worried about this, when the logical side of my mind tells me “C’mon, don’t be ridiculous”, there is a small piece of me that is scared of hurting some imaginary angels feelings that I created some weird bond with if I dismiss her. This is how deep manipulation from abusers can go.
Another game he would like to play was to say that his real name wasn’t what he said it was. His age isn’t what everyone thought it was, and the reason he had so much money was he had a “side job” that he couldn’t speak of due to too much of in fear of putting me in danger. We would go into restaurants and he would point out a gentleman and tell me not to look at him and would nod. I would have butterflies and be nervous the whole time. Now I look back and it’s so laughable. He was probably nodding to some stranger passing by, who was being polite and nodding back. In this manner though, I felt “protected” and that he was important in some manner. He often did have a lot of money, which is why my mother kept him around and tossed me over to him so often, but I also do believe what he did made good money.
Looking back and breaking things down, he was absolutely delusional. A very, very sick man in so many ways. I think in some ways he believed the things he said. I should have been smarter and stronger..but in all honesty. In a world of two evils, my mother or my grandfather, and I had to choose one..I chose him. At least in his own sick way he showed me he loved me is what I would tell myself. That’s how I made sense of it all to get through it..