Friday, April 8, 2011


So, a good friend, a former professor of mine, aware of my problem with my narcissistic father and his need to put me down about not working at the university he considers to be more prestigious because it is a government institution in a post-socialist country, spoke to him, as an authority figure (it was fun for him and he thought of doing it) about the relative merits of the private university I'm working at. He himself has taught at both, he's British, he graduated from Cambridge, and he's very aware of just how much the gov't uni sucks.

So, now, my narcissistic father has just staged a counter-offensive. He waited until the last second of his visit to pull this. He drew near me, patted me patronizingly on the back, and said "Here. You are worse than the gov't uni." And he handed me an article on a university listing which does put the gov't uni before my private uni. "You" are worse. In those words. Not even "your university." Or "the university you happen to work at." And then he left, without even giving me a chance to respond.

I don't care about either university. It's not about that. It's about my father relishing any chance to put me down.

I tore a piece of the newspaper off with my teeth. My husband just threw it away. He said "Ignore him. He's just trying to get his revenge because you're independent and successful."

And he's right. It's just hard to realize your father actively hates you and wants to hurt you and put you down.


  1. Thanks, WAB. I guess I'm only now realizing that for him it's a battle where I need to be crushed and put into my place. I never spoke well of or defended or even mentioned my job before, so I didn't get to see this lovely side of him.

  2. Yes, that sounds familiar to me. To an extent, knowing your opinions/job/achievements are spat on BECAUSE they are yours, and the narc needs to feel they are better than you, is liberating. It has nothing to do with your opinions being wrong, your job being not good enough, or your achievements being "so much less than what you should be able to do with a parent like yours".

  3. Yes, exactly! For so long, even when I considered myself completely independent from him and had almost no contact with him, I was still trying to "win" according to his rules, but it was impossible. Only now do I realize that this is because the rules always kept changing to make me lose and make him seem better. That's why they were impossible. They weren't part of a coherent system. He just made them on the spot to seem better than me at every given moment. And that's yet another post.

  4. Yes, the ever-changing rules. Reminds me of a silly conversation I had yesterday with someone who thinks they are an "authority" on child development. This person's initial statement was, "children under the age of three cannot use scissors". When I answered that my two yo does, in fact, use scissors, she said he probably held them the wrong way, after first insisting it is impossible and I must be wrong. I said that I had no idea there was a "correct" way of holding scissors, as long as one can cut with them, it's fine.

    Then, she said he was probably unable to cut out heart shapes. This is true, but that has no connection with her original point. This person's silliness was driven by their "need" to be right. Narcs' silliness and craziness are driven by their "need" to always be better than everyone else.


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