“Hello Meagan, I want you to know how much I appreciate your positive comments of support that you offer to the Group members. They are working so hard to make changes in their lives to rid themselves of controlling and manipulative people that it can be exhausting, and some just want to give up. You seem like a very caregiving and yet peacekeeping personality and it benefits the Group to have you there.”
“Coach, thank you ! I don’t know what to say, but I can sometimes feel their pain and want to help so much. You are such a good listener, so easy to talk to, and not judgmental. I can understand why the Group feels safe with you. Even when one of the members has not made progress, you don’t get angry or upset.”
“Meagan, I care about each one of them as I do you, I use to be one of them. May I ask you a question ? You have not mentioned your mother at all so I was curious.”
“Coach, my mother is “Jello”, at least that is what daddy calls her. He says she is weak and needs to get a life, whatever that means. She stays mostly in their bedroom when I am here. I don’t really understand it all and I don’t ask questions so I don’t make daddy angry.”
Meagan’s fear of her daddy seems very real, although she doesn’t realize it yet. I need to go slow with this !
“So Meagan, your mother does not interact with you ? If that is too personal don’t feel you have to answer.”
“ Coach, I feel sad about it but there is nothing I can say or do. Mother and I were very close until I was twelve. She and I dressed alike, went to social events together. It was like she was showing me off to the people who were her best friends. We went to the Operas, and went to listen to the Orchestra….and that was all very wonderful. But mother and daddy were arguing more and more, and I would hear them from my bedroom. I did not understand what they were saying except one time when I heard daddy and mother arguing and I heard him strapping her. I hated hearing them argue and yell at each other. I heard my daddy say that if my mother could not give him a son, he would take over raising me. That was two weeks after my twelfth birthday, and from that day to this, he takes care of everything about me. But it is all for my own good, as daddy says. Mother was all about beautiful gowns and concerts and going to all the best places. Daddy is about helping me become successful. “
“ Meagan, you mentioned your father straps your mother, can you tell me about this and does he strap you ?”
“ Coach, oh, ….how I wish I had not said that. As soon as I typed those words I knew you were going to ask me more. I do not like talking about it ! If he finds out I told you, he will get so angry and punish me more. What if he punishes me, like he punishes mother ? She gets it much more than I do !”
“ Meagan, I know that this is hard for you to talk about and face the truth, but would you tell me how does he punish you ?”
“ It is not so bad, not as bad as with mother. Daddy demands that I lay across my bed naked and he uses a belt across my butt until I get all red. He has punished me this way since, well, since I was twelve. I hate it, hate it, hate it. This so hard to say, but I do not deserve it. I just could never say stop ! But daddy says he is just trying to make me a stronger person. He does not want me to be ‘Jello’ like my mother. I don’t want to be jello, but it hurts. I promise him I won’t be like mother. He does not listen.”
“ Meagan, first, you said it was not that bad, but then expressed how much you hate it. Then you try to justify the punishment by saying your father is trying to make you stronger. What do YOU really think and feel? ”
“ I do hate it. But daddy loves me ! ”
Her daddy’s pattern of punishing her, and the fact that she is lying naked across her bed receiving his discipline at the age of nineteen is very inappropriate. I cannot help but sense there is a sexual component to all this, but this is definitely abuse. He has so much control over Meagan, a sick kind of control.