Friday, May 11, 2012

My narcissistic father IS my real biological father

I finally did a DNA test - my father is my father. I have no other fathers but him.

The family story my aunt told me must have taken a wrong turn somewhere - I'm sure they did use ART to conceive me and that the "donor" bit got attached to the rumor somehow. Perhaps they used IUI or IVF and then I was born, looking nothing like my father or his family. Could people have thought I wasn't his? Could it have occurred to him too? Some things are still just too bizarre to be explained in any other way.

I spent a year on an emotional rollercoaster for no good reason. I made an absolute idiot of myself.

But there was something good about it: the idea of a possibly sane father out there who might be like me and who might like me enabled me to feel. I gave myself permission to love this non-existent man and grieve for him. I had never grieved the father I couldn't have. I hadn't felt any real emotions towards my father (or mother) for decades. I had blocked all emotions.

Now they came back - for a person who doesn't exist. It proved how vulnerable and, really, pathetic I am. I longed for one man in particular to be my real father - because he was nice and enjoyed my company and liked me and shared my interests and gave me books of poetry and short stories. Which was much more than I ever had with my father.

It was so easy to let myself believe this. To have a tangible reason why he couldn't love me. Why he resented me. Why I had to be sooo grateful just for being allowed to exist (I'm sure they had to use IUI or IVF and I did cost them something - at least, the shame he had to endure in front of the doctors) and why "You look like your mother" was so often thrown at me (I guess that was my entire sin - I didn't have to be another man's offspring to be resented, only not be his carbon copy - I really look nothing at all like him or his family).

I made myself believe I could expect nothing from him or his family - they owed me nothing. This made me remember how cold they were towards me.

But they owed me love and support, no matter who I looked like. My father should have loved me. He owed me that.

I might take some time off to process all this. I'd spent a lot of time obsessing over something that wasn't even true. There are other, real things to focus on, and although right now I feel drained and exhausted and deflated, it can only get better from here if I focus on my daily life from now on. I hope.


  1. Lots of love to you. You are NOT pathetic! Vulnerable, yes. You were trained from infancy to be vulnerable to him. Do not fault yourself for falling into what you were trained to do.

    I hope each day is a little bit better, a little bit stronger, a little more full of light.

  2. I am so glad you know now!

  3. My heart hurts for you. It's hard to realize that "this" is as good as it gets. Wishing you lots of healing.
    And I echo, you are NOT just wanted what every one wants, parents who love them unconditionally, a soft place to call home, a place to belong. And it's hard to be someone who has none of these.

  4. Thank you! Isn't it? This is as good as it gets? How awful, yet true. But I'm only now facing it.

  5. Please don't say "for no good reason." You shared so many wise discoveries about yourself and your family this past year. Those discoveries are still yours.

    You pursued (though mistakenly) a thought-experiment in which you imagined that the man who hurt you was not your father. You imagined a loving, kind, emotionally generous father for yourself instead. You accepted the differences between the wished-for good parent and the actual self-centered man, no more than a man, who is your father. Those thoughts are still yours.

    The character you imagined of a "good father" is still a character you've created, in the same sense that an author of fiction creates living characters who develop personalities of their own, who interact with each other and their imagined world in ways that surprise the author as the manuscript progresses. Your "good father" doesn't have to disappear from your mind now just because of a test result.

    Maybe my own experience isn't comparable because it hasn't been as bad as yours, but for me the actual situation all got easier when I managed to develop and internalize a counterfactual idea of a kinder mother who forgave me for being my self.

    Anyway, your family don't have to be your relatives, OK?

    Very best,


  6. Don't beat yourself up. You made a logical conclusion--you were not the child of the man who showed nothing but disdain of you. I'm sorry the truth isn't happy. Please be kind to yourself.

  7. You pursued a hope for a father you deserve. I am impressed by your courage of finally putting an end to the limbo of "is he or isn't he." That takes real courage. I agree with the others that what you learned this year will not be unlearned. Just learning how to feel is amazing. That feeling can now be shared with your family of choice. I think your are fantastic to stay with this and work out answers that few people ever have to consider. Hugs, rest, recuperate, and celebrate your determination, your seeking truth now matter how tough, and learning to feel. Your journey is yours and sharing it takes courage. Hugs, Ruth

  8. No way, don't beat yourself up. Remember, this goes back to the question of what "family" really is. He is not. Your instincts, your feelings- don't ever abandon them, they told you the truth, DNA be damned.

    You have shared the dark truth about this man, and in essence, you were NOT wrong.

    Remember, the ACoN community is full of kindred spirits who know that "blood" does not a family make.

    Pronoia, your blog has carried me during times when I could scarcely function; Your honesty has freed me more times than I can count. Take all the time you need- I am sending my LOVE to you- I'm sorry I saw this post so late.


  9. I spent my life fantasizing about an entire other family, my "real birth family" who were kind and decent people. No such luck for me either. I look just like my mother and father and there was no switched at birth story, after all. Boo.

    It's good to grieve the loss of your fantasy dad, it's really grieving the dad you DID have and all he did/does not give you.

    I enjoyed your poem on Dancing With Myself and look forward to reading more.

  10. Just found your blog, and wanted to say...I so get this. I have no hope that my dad is not my real dad...and yet, my fantasies live on...


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