This week, Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for first-degree criminal sexual acts and third-degree rape. He’s 67 which means this man’s never going to walk free again. This landmark case affects me as a woman but when I read the breaking news on CNN the ghost of something else hit me way harder.
Weinstein gave a statement in court before the sentencing including that he didn’t understand that these relationships he had with women weren’t consensual. He also seemed to be devastated by the fact that these allegations had impacted his personal life, stating he hadn’t seen his three older children since the news broke in 2017.
NEWS FLASH: he’s not devastated. He doesn’t give a fuck about anyone but himself and how it affects him.
I know this because I was raised by a similar man. Not one who raped women, but one who ascended to power and abused it, with nary a care for anyone but himself. As my father climbed the corporate ladder, he felt like he deserved things. When he became CEO of the company he was working for, he had disdain for the “little people”, disgust for his children who were better seen and not heard and should represent our family accordingly (even though two out of three of us are more educated than him) and everything was a tool to show the world how much money he had.
The power dynamic eventually led to a reveal that my father had been regularly using prostitutes for years, to elicit sexual power. I confronted him head on, the only time I felt strong enough to do so in three decades on this planet and the blank look that he gave me showed that he had no idea that what he had been doing was wrong. His reaction was also horrific, stating that I couldn’t make this public because he had signed a moral clause in his contract, which would make him lose his job and my mother wouldn’t get any sort of payment. He knew I wouldn’t leave my mother destitute and so I shut up.
Make no mistake – if Ronan Farrow hadn’t broken this story, Weinstein would have continued this despicable behavior, laying down the hammer in an industry that let him have all of this power. The far-reaching ties this man had are on full display in Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast where he interviews Farrow (click here to listen). Weinstein’s goons were tracking him and trying to shut him up way before this story came out. It’s an absolutely fascinating interview, coming from a man who’s dealt with his own abusive father who again, has seemingly been allowed to do whatever the fuck he wanted for decades.
My personal experience was with a father who used anger, temper tantrums and controlling behavior on his family to shut us up, to make us think we didn’t have a way out. It’s damaged who I am as a person today, making me shrink or cringe when someone raises their voice, even if it’s my own husband who would never raise a finger to hurt me or our children. It gave me a decade of horrible dating stories, going after guys who I knew would hurt me because it was all I knew how to deal with when it came to the opposite sex. I was hit by an ex-boyfriend in my mid-twenties and I STILL stayed with him because I thought it was normal behavior.
This is fucked up, right? That we’ve allowed these type of men who say, “I’ve changed”, “I didn’t mean to do that and will never do it again,” “I’m teaching you an important lesson in life”, “If I don’t yell, you won’t listen”, “Maybe me hitting you will stop you from doing it again” to dominate our daily lives. I’ve done enough reading to know that my father has undiagnosed Narcissistic Personality Disorder and that my mother isn’t that far behind with a Closet Narcissistic Personality Disorder that aided and abetted my father’s behavior, simultaneously making sure that we knew the power structure in our family. We have since been split apart, another tool that is used to control how people who go against the structure (in this case, me) are demeaned and gaslighted, meant to think that we’re going crazy or that we’re remembering things wrong.
What you remember is accurate. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
I look back on my childhood and want to hug that little redhead who wrote in her 1990 diary, “I hate my daddy”. I saw and experienced darkness, and the fact that I came out the other end with an amazing husband and a chance to have a family that loves each other is an absolute fucking miracle. I tell my children and husband EVERY FUCKING DAY that I love them. I tell them I appreciate them. I take a beat and look around at the environment I live in and am grateful. I choose who to have in my inner circle. I created a life light years away from the one I had, hiding in a closet crying silent tears so that I wouldn’t be found and hit.
If there’s one thing that sums up the recent years before I went no contact with my parents in 2017, it is this particular moment from July 2015:
Ruby was three weeks old. We had had barely any sleep during that time and were crippingly tired as any new parents are, so we’d decided to go over to my parents house for a change of scenery. As my father is holding his first grandchild, he started talking about me when I was younger:
“She started reading at the age of three. We thought we had a genius on our hands but I guess we were very wrong on that one.”
Mother, brother, sister, nobody bat an eyelid, except for my husband who immediately looked over at me and then removed me from the situation to go sit outside. Without him I would have continued to think that type of rhetoric was normal. Without him I would have felt that I didn’t deserve the type of life I have now.
I stand tall with all females who have suffered abuse or known someone who has suffered. Let’s continue to stop this behavior. Let’s continue to take down these motherfuckers who think that they deserve to treat others like trash because they have a bigger job title than them. Let’s continue to stand up for our rights. Let’s be good to one another. #MeToo – FemaleGG
A blog/website where these happily married, 30-something parents of 2 little minions rant, rave, and speak in tongues. Raw, honest, and riddled with profanity. Get on board and let’s make The Ghost Generation awesome together! http://theghostgeneration.com Twitter.com/Gh0stGeneration