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Unread 12-27-2011, 11:19 AM   #1
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Default adult child of narcissistic father

My father (75 years old) has NPD. That became very obvious after my mother died a few years ago. Without her around as a buffer, his selfish manipulative behavior was much more obvious, and painful. Many things happened over the last few years, including my father's remarriage 8 months after my mom's death. My 2 siblings and I were very supportive of him after our mom's death, but we were grieving the loss of our mom which my father couldn't quite handle. He needed us all to be focused only on him, and be elated with the fact that he was remarrying. He managed to rally many friends and family members to his side, convincing them that my brother, sister and I (and our kids) were selfish, ungrateful children who didn't want him to be happy. Not true. Extrememly hurtful that people who should have known better believe him. My brother and I decided that it was best for us and our families to discontinue any contact with him. I've made sure to send him cards on his birthday and holidays, and have honored him as much as I can from a distance. My younger sister decided that it was worth whatever she and her family had to deal with in order to have a father in her life and grandfather for her two boys. (My father refused to attend her wedding back in 2001 because we are caucasion and she married a Nigerian.) I've tried to stay connected with her but, because she's living in his NPD world I've noticed a big change in her, and it's obvious that she has a hard time having a relationship with me and my family now. She occasionally tries to make me see how screwed up I am because I'm not diving back into my father's NPD world, but I know what's healthyest for me and my family, so I've ended up having to distance myself, to a point, with my sister too. I guess I'd better stop here. I could go on forever...I'm hoping to connect with other adult children of narcissistic fathers who understand.
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Unread 01-05-2012, 10:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: adult child of narcissistic father

we have a very similar situation here with my wifes sister.
the thing you have to remember is that your sister because she was raised by a narcissist may have never differentiated properly. She may have been forced to accept an alien false sense of self put forward by the narcissist as a projection of some aspect of himself. Since she finds it hard to live with the alien self she will project it back onto him and most likely try to controll him a bit so she can feel whole. She also has most likely thought about how in the world she can cope after he is gone and no one is there to take the projection and it scares her. I know it sounds SOOO crazy -- because IT IS CRAZY. But anyway when you criticize him she most likely feels you criticize her and if she has NPD she feels narcissistic injury. You didn't say what your mother was like as a caregiver but children often look to the father as some kind of an ideal to emulate. If you don't do allot of hard work as a child of a narcissist you end up with a really screwed up sense of right and wrong. often being "good" means putting up with the narcissists crap no matter what the costs.
being "bad" means being a strong happy independent individual who makes their own decisions.

also no doubt she is being played by the narcissist in some way most likely he is trying to emotionally blackmail you "i'm old and am going to die" "how could you do this to me after all i've done for you" etc etc you know the drill. he most likely sees her as a way to deliver the hurtfull message and since she still has the manipulation buttons -- bingo.

unfortunately so many children of narcissists end up narcissists themselves or even borderline. it's a sad state and you have my empathy that's for sure
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Unread 01-12-2012, 02:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: adult child of narcissistic father

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Originally Posted by gary185 View Post
we have a very similar situation here with my wifes sister.
the thing you have to remember is that your sister because she was raised by a narcissist may have never differentiated properly. She may have been forced to accept an alien false sense of self put forward by the narcissist as a projection of some aspect of himself. Since she finds it hard to live with the alien self she will project it back onto him and most likely try to controll him a bit so she can feel whole. She also has most likely thought about how in the world she can cope after he is gone and no one is there to take the projection and it scares her. I know it sounds SOOO crazy -- because IT IS CRAZY. But anyway when you criticize him she most likely feels you criticize her and if she has NPD she feels narcissistic injury. You didn't say what your mother was like as a caregiver but children often look to the father as some kind of an ideal to emulate. If you don't do allot of hard work as a child of a narcissist you end up with a really screwed up sense of right and wrong. often being "good" means putting up with the narcissists crap no matter what the costs.
being "bad" means being a strong happy independent individual who makes their own decisions.

also no doubt she is being played by the narcissist in some way most likely he is trying to emotionally blackmail you "i'm old and am going to die" "how could you do this to me after all i've done for you" etc etc you know the drill. he most likely sees her as a way to deliver the hurtfull message and since she still has the manipulation buttons -- bingo.

unfortunately so many children of narcissists end up narcissists themselves or even borderline. it's a sad state and you have my empathy that's for sure
Thank you for your comments Gary185. You're spot on with how my father manipulates my sister, and how/why she reacts the way she does. It's nice to hear from people who 'get' the whole narcissistic thing. Thankfully, I've had support breaking free of the control and manipulation of my father. However, as you said, because I'm "a strong happy independent individual who makes their own decisions" I'm considered a very ungrateful, selfish person.

My mother had pretty low self-esteem and complemented my father perfectly. She made sure we all treated my father like a king who was always right. She was extremely manipulative too, and knew how to get things that she wanted by the way she handled my father. Both parents made sure I knew that I'd only receive acceptance and love if I always agreed with them and did things that made them happy. I never felt unloved growing up, but as I got older I realized how extremely dysfunctional my family was. Both parents were very selfish and as I said, complemented each other perfectly. It's been hard work 'undoing' everything I was conditioned to believe about myself.

Thank you again for your comments. There's so much wisdom in what you shared.
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Unread 03-08-2012, 08:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: adult child of narcissistic father

Quote:
Originally Posted by stillhealing View Post
My father (75 years old) has NPD. That became very obvious after my mother died a few years ago. Without her around as a buffer, his selfish manipulative behavior was much more obvious, and painful. Many things happened over the last few years, including my father's remarriage 8 months after my mom's death. My 2 siblings and I were very supportive of him after our mom's death, but we were grieving the loss of our mom which my father couldn't quite handle. He needed us all to be focused only on him, and be elated with the fact that he was remarrying. He managed to rally many friends and family members to his side, convincing them that my brother, sister and I (and our kids) were selfish, ungrateful children who didn't want him to be happy. Not true. Extrememly hurtful that people who should have known better believe him. My brother and I decided that it was best for us and our families to discontinue any contact with him. I've made sure to send him cards on his birthday and holidays, and have honored him as much as I can from a distance. My younger sister decided that it was worth whatever she and her family had to deal with in order to have a father in her life and grandfather for her two boys. (My father refused to attend her wedding back in 2001 because we are caucasion and she married a Nigerian.) I've tried to stay connected with her but, because she's living in his NPD world I've noticed a big change in her, and it's obvious that she has a hard time having a relationship with me and my family now. She occasionally tries to make me see how screwed up I am because I'm not diving back into my father's NPD world, but I know what's healthyest for me and my family, so I've ended up having to distance myself, to a point, with my sister too. I guess I'd better stop here. I could go on forever...I'm hoping to connect with other adult children of narcissistic fathers who understand.
When I read your email it sounds so familiar as I reflect on my own family relationships. I'm paroting Gary's response a bit. My father has NPD which he carried forward from his dysfunctional parents; influencing his choices on how to react and respond to others. I can share with you that I often say to myself that patterns in families repeat. My older brother and younger sister both have NPD like my father. One thing I can tell you about NPD and their disordered character is that they all feel entitle because of their anger, a belief that they are always being victimized and cheated in life by everyone around them. They often attempt to make others around them feel guilty as a means of manipulation and getting what they want. They all lie too. I've stopped askin any questions because they have no integrity left anymore. More recently at 50 years old, they have become so toxic that I have chosen to distance myself much like you have; only sending a monthly email to my mother, b-day cards, mom/dad day cards. I will text my sister but usually can only communicate about senseless things in life. I do not arrange for face to face visits or phone conversations. Its unfortunate that NPD has destroyed my family unit.
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Unread 03-24-2012, 11:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: adult child of narcissistic father

NPD almost killed me.Now Im alone.My Mom is one and I beleive she has influenced my sisters too.Its sad.but anything is better than being under NPS Moms influence.I feel a great sense of freedom.She was NPD and abusive.............
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Unread 06-11-2012, 03:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: adult child of narcissistic father

I feel for you. Dealing with the same thing. Father constantly raged at us. Mom was shredded, no self esteem. I felt same for years. Brothers even treated me this way and I felt I deserved it. The pain is great. But getting so much better. NPD father is alive. He's pretty alienated now. I feel guilt about that and frustration. Learning to limit interaction with him. He managed to turn my brother (possible narcissist/borderline) and sister-in-in-law against me and my mom. There's definitely the air of "you women are crazy". That never happened. Although we all have spoken about it and he was sick enough to photograph my mom's bruised cheek and eye. I fear for my sister-in-law. She's not familiar with this kind of manipulative person. She's blind to it in my brother. The heartbreak is great. However, i am slowly moving on. And, thankfully, my mom LEFT!!! hurrah! She's slowly coming out the fog (44 yrs of marriage, yes.). 44 years she endured (let it continue), but she got out and life is hopeful for her. Many friends have turned away in denial. They reach out more to him, feeling pity for him. it's frustrating. It feels like we're out here in another galaxy at times. People lump my (daughter) in with her, blame me or just plain treat me the same way. Not sure why. There is so little understanding of what people go through. Anyway, this is a very long way of saying that i understand. I understand what you are going through and there are no easy answers, as far as I can see. I feel I have lost at least 1 brother and may lose another as they listen more and more to dad or just detach completely.
Now my father (76) will shortly marry a much younger woman (30) from a far-way village. She is simple and sweet. He is manipulative and it is not entirely clear that she knows what she has in store for her. He will bring her 3 yr old son to the US, I think. God I hope so. I would hate to think he would try to separate them. There must be laws?!!
I am horrified that this boy will endure the life I did. For fewer years, it would seem, but still...I can do nothing to control others. Any thoughts? The only thing I see is that if there are signs of abuse, I have to speak up for the boy. Knowing what I know, I couldn't turn a blind eye to it. At the same time, I've worked on getting my whole life going and am just sick of dealing with the selfish rages and awful criticism he dishes out. i have to keep a distance,yet feel that the poor kid will grow up miserable and continue the cycle or just dive into alcohol/other drugs, who knows. Just venting feels good. If anyone has any thoughts, I'd be interested to hear.
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Unread 08-16-2012, 11:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: adult child of narcissistic father

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I am horrified that this boy will endure the life I did. For fewer years, it would seem, but still...I can do nothing to control others. Any thoughts? The only thing I see is that if there are signs of abuse, I have to speak up for the boy. Knowing what I know, I couldn't turn a blind eye to it. ... i have to keep a distance,yet feel that the poor kid will grow up miserable and continue the cycle or just dive into alcohol/other drugs, who knows. Just venting feels good. If anyone has any thoughts, I'd be interested to hear.

I relate to your dilemma. I have a cousin whose father is an undiagnosed narcissist. He's nearly 30 years old now...abuses alcohol/drugs...been in trouble w/the law...has difficulty maintaining a employment. His so called "friends" are "tools" . His mother is an enabler and although she tries to set boundaries, whenever something "major" happens, she's right there to bail him out. Yet, I care for him ....but from a distance.

In your situation, this little one you're concerned about is only THREE years old. Perhaps you can interact w/him on some level and be a part of his life. I only wish I was around when my cousin was younger. Patterns are hard to break at 30.
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Unread 10-02-2012, 07:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: adult child of naracisstic mother back to you--I understand

I just joined this site and saw your message. Don't know if you will get this from me or not but I have much the exact same situation with my family. I had to move really far away from my mother who thinks the world revolves around her needs/wants and her manipulativeness/controlling ways--she thinks she can still run my life even though I've been all grown up now for quite a while. She's going to be 70 this year. My sister and her family don't see anything wrong and I've had to distance myself away from her as well. I've had to learn to set my own boundaries which has been very difficult. My sister is not responding to my communications of needing an honest/respectful relationship instead of the manipulative/controlling ways she has of expecting me to help her in her life all the time. I have had to orphan myself to free myself. It sounds like you have had to do this too? It's so difficult and I don't know if anyone at all, even you, has had to figure out how to start over? If you have advice, let me know. I hope you are doing better, but I do understand.





Quote:
Originally Posted by stillhealing View Post
My father (75 years old) has NPD. That became very obvious after my mother died a few years ago. Without her around as a buffer, his selfish manipulative behavior was much more obvious, and painful. Many things happened over the last few years, including my father's remarriage 8 months after my mom's death. My 2 siblings and I were very supportive of him after our mom's death, but we were grieving the loss of our mom which my father couldn't quite handle. He needed us all to be focused only on him, and be elated with the fact that he was remarrying. He managed to rally many friends and family members to his side, convincing them that my brother, sister and I (and our kids) were selfish, ungrateful children who didn't want him to be happy. Not true. Extrememly hurtful that people who should have known better believe him. My brother and I decided that it was best for us and our families to discontinue any contact with him. I've made sure to send him cards on his birthday and holidays, and have honored him as much as I can from a distance. My younger sister decided that it was worth whatever she and her family had to deal with in order to have a father in her life and grandfather for her two boys. (My father refused to attend her wedding back in 2001 because we are caucasion and she married a Nigerian.) I've tried to stay connected with her but, because she's living in his NPD world I've noticed a big change in her, and it's obvious that she has a hard time having a relationship with me and my family now. She occasionally tries to make me see how screwed up I am because I'm not diving back into my father's NPD world, but I know what's healthyest for me and my family, so I've ended up having to distance myself, to a point, with my sister too. I guess I'd better stop here. I could go on forever...I'm hoping to connect with other adult children of narcissistic fathers who understand.
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Unread 10-14-2012, 04:27 AM   #9
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Default Re: adult child of narcissistic father

Hi there. I get the whole narcisstic thing having been married to one for the last 20+ years. Highly manipulative and clever ++. The backlash onto other family members can be extreme and different individuals will react differently. My children are obviously children of a narcisstic father but they are too young (18 and 13) at this stage to be able to offer comment. I dread to think what they will be like in their 30's. Disontinuing contact is probably the only way to deal effectively with a narcissist. They are masters at what they do and even if it is just a simple comment it will have a resounding impact on the other end. They are never wrong, have no empathy, will erode your trust but at the same time portray that they are "perfect" to outsiders. They are never wrong, envious and contemptous of other people and think that they are more important and better than anyone else. That's why you can never win. All the best and keep your distance - it's the only thing that will help you - he won't care.
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Unread 11-08-2012, 01:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: adult child of narcissistic father

Quote:
Originally Posted by stillhealing View Post
My father (75 years old) has NPD. That became very obvious after my mother died a few years ago. Without her around as a buffer, his selfish manipulative behavior was much more obvious, and painful. Many things happened over the last few years, including my father's remarriage 8 months after my mom's death. My 2 siblings and I were very supportive of him after our mom's death, but we were grieving the loss of our mom which my father couldn't quite handle. He needed us all to be focused only on him, and be elated with the fact that he was remarrying. He managed to rally many friends and family members to his side, convincing them that my brother, sister and I (and our kids) were selfish, ungrateful children who didn't want him to be happy. Not true. Extrememly hurtful that people who should have known better believe him. My brother and I decided that it was best for us and our families to discontinue any contact with him. I've made sure to send him cards on his birthday and holidays, and have honored him as much as I can from a distance. My younger sister decided that it was worth whatever she and her family had to deal with in order to have a father in her life and grandfather for her two boys. (My father refused to attend her wedding back in 2001 because we are caucasion and she married a Nigerian.) I've tried to stay connected with her but, because she's living in his NPD world I've noticed a big change in her, and it's obvious that she has a hard time having a relationship with me and my family now. She occasionally tries to make me see how screwed up I am because I'm not diving back into my father's NPD world, but I know what's healthyest for me and my family, so I've ended up having to distance myself, to a point, with my sister too. I guess I'd better stop here. I could go on forever...I'm hoping to connect with other adult children of narcissistic fathers who understand.
i know you posted this almost a year ago--but i just had to respond. my mother-76-has that! when my nephew died 5 1/2 years ago, she was totally unsympathetic towards my sister and got very angry at everyone for trying to help my sister get through and not paying enuff attention to HER (my mom)! People WERE paying attention to my mom and trying to help her out, too, but she didnt want my sister getting any of the attention. It was awful.
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