I'm still nauseated by the revelation that my father is abusing his girlfriend. That the man who raised me and whose genes I carry is an evil, disgusting, perverted, foul-mouthed, aggressive bully.
Even after finding out my father suffers from NPD, I still idealized him in a way. I thought of him as a comparatively benign narcissist, as a poor, deluded soul, as just insecure and afraid of intimacy, as trying his personal best under the circumstances, as just wishing to be adored and admired and thanked because he has no other way of knowing he's alive.
He doesn't chauffeur his girlfriend to and from her classes because he wants her gratitude and admiration. He does it because he's insanely jealous and needs to control her every movement and STILL doesn't trust her even then. He waits for her in front of the school, and then gets horribly angry and hurls abuses at her if she shows up at the place where they AGREED to meet. Because he was waiting in front of the school, and she didn't come out. I came out the back door, as everyone else always does, she says. You didn't even go, you liar, you were screwing someone, I checked the back door, it's locked, he shouts. She takes him to the back door, shows him it's locked, asks the porter to confirm that she'd just passed there. And the scene repeats itself in many variations.
When she's working as a tour guide, and she's away for a whole day (but this is only 3-4 days a week, and he keeps complaining how he's alone all the time during the summer season), he waits for her and drives her home and then proceeds to question her about her day. She says, the tourists were nice, I spoke well, or I couldn't answer a question they asked, and he interrupts her. You know that's not what I'm interested in, he says. I want to know who touched you under the table. I want to know who came on to you. I want to know who you screwed so you're too tired to have sex with me now.
She didn't even want to repeat any of the horrible vocabulary he uses on her. I don't want to imagine.
Once, she lost her cell phone card and couldn't call him all day. So when she got back, at night, to a lonely spot 30 kilometers away from home, he wasn't there to drive her home. She wasn't worthy of his "love" any more.
She says, when she can prove that he's imagining things, it doesn't help. It makes it worse.
When he abuses her verbally and criticizes her for stupid things she's not doing his way, and she apologizes, that also just makes it worse.
"My woman is my property." He actually said it. That's the real him. He keeps complaining about her not loving him enough, and I used to think that this is how he perceives it, in his own deluded way, when she doesn't adore him or thank him or worship him enough. No, he knows how he feels and what he's doing. He knows "She doesn't love me enough" means "She won't submit to my control completely, until she's utterly annihilated as a person."
He's a dark, disgusting, evil man, capable of horrid things.
The upside? He hasn't dared do anything like that to me for a really long time. I set boundary after boundary and he actually honors them, although I can see he's very resentful about it. He no longer mentions the way I raise my kids. He no longer nags daily about how we need another phone in our apartment. He no longer questions me daily about an old blanket I may have thrown out, or, as he suspects, his previous tenants "stole" (a stinky 50-year-old blanket? Unlikely). He no longer questions me daily about whether I'd taken my kids out for a long walk in the park. I had to train him to stop doing each and every one of these things, and it worked. Now I'm training him to realize that if he doesn't call and ask if it's OK to drop by, I may not be there. Or I may have other plans, or I may be entertaining guests he feels uncomfortable around. I've actually arranged other things unconsciously several times, and it felt great to see him so shocked and surprised that, instead of us coming to life and becoming animated puppets the moment he enters our lives again, we actually have lives outside of him. And we're living them when he's not there. It feels great not letting him get away with a single little lie in front of others.
And I stopped feeling like an ice cold bitch for acting this way. I still did, a bit, even after I found out about his NPD, when I thought, well, he's a benign narcissist, so why don't I throw him a bone, listen to his BS a little, pretend I respect him? What's the harm? Well, the harm is, he then thinks of me as weak. And potential prey again. No more. What I thought was an ice cold bitch since she made her appearance in my early teens is just a sane person with integrity. He complains how I'm harsh and argumentative and always have to be right. I thought I was. No. That's just his projection. And he pins these things on me just for defending my choices. I don't think I've ever started an argument with him. I just defend whatever he criticizes about me. And I'll even stop doing that. No need even to defend myself from his "opinions". They aren't that. They're attacks and attempts to make me care about what he thinks again. No way. It's even better to just ignore them and dismiss them.
He projected his narcissistic mother on me. She was the one who crushed him. On the one hand, it makes me sick, as this was an evil, evil woman. I don't want to be thought of as being like her in any way, even by him. On the other hand, this makes him a bit afraid of me. Because I won't submit to his control. And he knows it. And he's afraid of me. He's afraid of me. He's afraid of me.
I don't lie. I stop his lies in their inception. I talk. I talk to my husband. He talks to me. Once, he tried to manipulate us and turn us against each other. It failed miserably and ridiculously. Because we talk. And that time I really let him have it, so he withdrew and didn't communicate for a week. He can't touch us. And that's why he's always so uncomfortable around us. He's afraid of us. We're sane, strong, and honest. That's all it takes.
I refuse to feel guilty about that being sane, strong, and honest any more.