I wasn't loved because I existed. I wasn't loved for who I was.
Heck, I wasn't even loved for what I did.
I was loved for what I had. I had potential. I had intelligence. I had talents. All inherited, of course.
But I never quite knew how to show them off enough to bring enough pride to my narcissistic father.
When I was four or five and participated in a drama club with kids of all ages, we were once given a text to base an improvisation on. When I talked about it at home, my father asked me: "So, were you the one who read the text out loud to the rest of your group?" I said no, a much older boy did. My father got angry. "But you read so well! Why didn't you ask to read?"
I was scared. I thought I'd done something terrible, so I lied: "The boy didn't let me."
"You should have insisted."
"But he threatened me."
Then my father went to the drama club to discuss this with the teachers. He learned, of course, that I'd lied, so he came home fuming with rage. Not because I lied. Not because I accused an innocent boy. What he said was: "Don't you dare ever put me in such an embarrassing situation again!"