Friday, April 15, 2011

THIS is MY FATHER. An abusive, malignant narcissist.

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.

Sweet denial.

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.


  1. ""She doesn't love me enough" means "She won't submit to my control completely, until she's utterly annihilated as a person.""

    Yes, this. This is what Narcs who are intimate partners do. I was married to one.... THIS is exactly how they think. I hope that your father's girlfriend has enough strength to get out. It was only after my ex-husband completely 'sucked' the life, will, and hope out of me, did he decide that I truly was not good enough to try and control anymore. When I was nothing but a shell, then I wasn't worth the effort.

    Don't feel guilty about being sane, strong, and honest any more. This is what is protecting you from him.

  2. Thank you. I do feel bad about her. And a bit guilty, too, actually. I never had anything against her, and I kind of liked her from the start, but I did mention to my aunt and my husband a few times that she acts a bit strange, stiff, unnatural. But that's not her. That's only her when my father's around. Without him, she's a normal, dear, warm human being.

  3. Pronoia Agape,
    You have just described my father and to some extent my mother, grandmother and at least two friends of the family who have the same characteristics. Your story resonated with me strongly. The things that my parents said and did still wear me out thinking about it now - decades later. I haven't seen my father for 30 years and he has made no effort to try to see me during that time. My father has alienated just about everyone in our family by incessantly arguing with everyone. He even argues with his customers! For all these years no one has been able to identify the problem or offer any solutions. Malignant narcissism is obviously not very well known. Thank you for sharing this story and I hope things do get better for you. It has been a big help for me.

  4. Having that kind of father is indeed a hard thing. Good thing your relationship has not escalated to issues of domestic violence, unlike that with his girlfriend. I commend you for the way you have handled the situation and the way you’re not letting him get into your lives. Communication is really the key to a good relationship.
    Kim Hunter

  5. It's amazing to me how much communication solves. The man I know like this is an in-law. I have watched him for years manipulate his adult children and keep them on "sides" Sometimes, one is the good one. Another time, it's the other child. Now, some of the children have realized his malignancy and talk to each other. He cannot get away with it any longer with them. The other ones are still locked in that battle trying to win their father's affections and destroying all their relationships in their lives. It's really hard to watch from the outside. Hard to understand why anyone thinks they're "winning" by destroying people.


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