I was his public pride. My existence was proof of his fertility, my achievements were proof of his natural talents, and his public protestations of fatherly devotion were proof of his love for his offspring.
On the other hand, my very existence was a daily reminder for him of his secret shame, his infertility. I must have been like a slap in the face, just by being me, so different from him and his family of origin.
(I've just spent an hour going through his old photos - incidentally, I'm the one keeping them, he's not really interested in anything involving his narcissistic family of origin, all dead now - photos of him as a baby, toddler, young man, of his sister, father, mother, grandparents, great-uncles and others. I look nothing like any of them. As do my children, who noticeably take after myself, my mother's family, and my husband and his ancestors.)
He must have had a deep ambiguity towards me from the very start and I must have internalized it. On the one hand, he overdid the "devoted father" thing. He probably felt it was necessary to keep others from suspecting anything - but most people I know just found it weird and over the top. On the other hand, I've always felt a dark undercurrent of danger emanating from him, telling me not only "you should be as I want you to be" but also "you shouldn't be."
I can't begin to imagine what raising a donor-conceived child does to a narcissist. And to that child. There's a whole chapter on cloning as the most suitable reproduction of mini-mes that narcissistic parents so desire in Clone being: exploring the psychological and social dimensions by Stephen E. Levick. My father was the golden child because he looked more like his mother and was the more "handsome" of the two, according to her. My aunt was scapegoated for looking like her father and thus not being as beautiful as her mother.
Then, on the other hand, if it is indeed true (and I'm almost positive it is), then I sort of feel for him. And somehow feel that, given the situation, he did relatively well. He could have been much worse.
Why did they never tell me? My mother was once going to tell me something "when I turn 18" but then claimed she didn't remember what it was when I asked her about it on my 18th birthday.
Did he want to protect me from knowing I'm not his, poor me? Or protect himself from people knowing about his infertility? Or a mixture of all that?