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keep thinking i should get back in contact with my dad(53 Posts)
I havent spoken to my dad for a couple of years. He is almost certainly a narcissist and anxious whilst we always got on fine from a distance (we live hundreds of miles apart) He cannot handle visits, especially if I take one of the children. I took all 3 once and it was awful. Ive only taken one at a time since then but he still cant handle it. Every time ive been up there to visit, ive tried to tell myself to not rise to his bait, but I cant help it. He goads until I lose it. Last time I saw him he started on my teenager within 24 hours of us being there, when he hadnt seen me for a year, and hadnt seen ds1 for 3 years. hes just a really difficult person, but hes also really creative and interesting. I cant even list the bad points. He was violent to my mum and my brother, but never to me (golden child) but I can see how he could be because you can see him getting angry, more and more passive aggressive and shitty. He can be fucking horrible.
Anyway. hes already disowned my brother years ago. He alienates everyone at some point tbh because he knows it all and is never ever wrong. Everyone else is. All the fucking time. Ive gone NC with him several times, but I always end up calling back and we pretend nothings happened. he doesnt ever get back in touch with me. I finally went NC this last time because of him acting with my son the way he acts with me.
The reason I keep thinking i should get in touch, is he has heart disease. Hes nearly died from it a few times, and had various heart surgery. I reckon hes probably on his last few years tbh. I dont want it to be awkward when he dies. The only other person he gets on with is his lovely long term partner who only copes with him IMO because they dont live together, even after 20 years or so.. Im worried hes going to die and its all going to be awful and im going to be left with all his art and music and theres going to be a massive void, and ... i dont even know
I do think of my dad often. Im worried about him dying. I really wish he wasnt such a difficult bastard. he has such good parts to him, but ive had loads of therapy and hes caused me so many self esteem issues over the years. I didnt realise how much of the problem he actually was. He left my mum a shell. He was cruel. He was awful to my brother, but I do have lovely childhood memories too, especially from before I was a teenager and got opinions etc.
Sorry this is long. Can any good come of getting back in contact with a narcissist?
I would have to be so careful. I mean I think I could manage it but I could never stay with him etc, and im aware that he hasnt contacted me, although im sure he would reply If I made the first move.
Perhaps if you feel the need for contact you stick to telephone contact only.
Thats what id probably have to do, but in some ways I wonder if I should just let it lie. He always seems to hold some sort of undercover anger to me, but he is the same with everyone, but of course not everyone is as emotionally invested as me in whether hes nice or not.
I should probably book another course of therapy. Been thinking about this for ages and am no clearer
No good can come of any resumption of contact with your father.
It is not possible to have any sort of a relationship with a narcissist. The golden child role is itself a role not without price.
I would remain no contact for your own sake. I also think another course of therapy and with a person highly experienced in the workings of narcissistic family structures would help you.
Book more therapy and talk it through.
I am not NC but am low contact with both my parents but it is mainly my father that is the reason why.
I fully expect their health to start deteriorating soon and they are close by. Some difficult decisions coming up from me in the next few years I think.
For you it would have to be telephone contact because of the distance ? I am assuming you are not planning to be a practical support if his health deteriorates further.
So why take up contact again ? To assuage any guilt if he drops dead ? Well, the guilt should be placed firmly with him. He chose to "immediately goad you", he chose to start in on your kids. You know he would do it again given half the chance, heart disease or no heart disease. Physical illness does not make someone a better person. The deal breakers in place before do not change.
You will still have regrets when he dies. Regret that he wasn't a different man. I doubt very much he will have gained the insight to do that, either now or in the near future.
Im not planning to be a practical support. Its probably mainly about guilt.
I just wish he could have just stayed how cool and nice he was when I was young, although sometimes I wonder if I imagined that too.
Don't take on the guilt. It was always his responsibility to be the best father he could be. The fact he wasn't able to is not your issue.
im tempted by the idea of very low contact. I really want to know how hes doing and how his health is, but this is how it starts isnt it. I dont want to end up hurt again. Its not like hes the source of every problem ive had, and I didnt even live with him most of my childhood, just spent every summer with him, but so many things just messed with my head.
It was a massive thing to me when he started being horrid to my son, shouting that he was playing me with his behaviour (my son has asd and had had a bit of a meltdown in a shop) and that I was making up labels etc, and it was things like this that were why he had heart problems. We had been there less than 24hrs
Luckily I have a friend who lived only an hour away who drove and rescued us till we could go home again
"things like this were why he had heart problems" ? Fucking hell.
You do realise that if you take up contact again, he will continue to attempt to diminish you. Absolutely unforgiveable to drag your son into it.
I just don't see what positivity he can bring to your life. He will bring only negativity.
My advice is to find a way to make peace with yourself about your withdrawal from him that requires no further input from him. You are still looking to him to make you feel better about it, and that is the wrong approach.
Can you just have email contact with him? Then you'll know what's going on, if he's okay etc but you won't have to give much of yourself. You'll be in control and can step away when you want to.
Yeah I was absolutely gobsmacked that he said that. Hes been pretty critical of my parenting and my childrens behaviour right from the start. My mum and her side of the family are so different to him, I just almost cant believe he doesnt feel the same about me and my children as my mums side of the family do - ie love and accept us. He gave me a massive eating disorder for years by criticising everything i ate as a teenager, blowing his cheeks out to insinuate I was fat every time I ate any sweets or chocolate. I was actually really slim in hindsight but hes always gone on about my appearance and weight and how he doesnt like fat people. Apparently he does the same blowing out the cheeks thing to his partner - she told me when i mentioned my old eating disorder to her. He really goes on about how tiny and thin she is and how wonderful that is. Shes got bloody crohns and cant eat much. thats why shes thin. I feel sorry for her, but at least she doesnt live with him, and I dont think hes violent to her, hopefully hes past that.
I think im answering my own question really arent I. I do still love him and wish him well, but hes not a family man. Hes too damaged. I know some of the reasons hes so damaged too, but that doesnt mean I can just put up with it all
The price for trying to isolate and relive the past good memories of your Dad is the overwhelming shitty toxic negativity that are the dominant characteristics of his personality. The more you subject yourself to him the harder it will be to hang on to those fleeting good memories.
Indeed. The problem with damaged people is, unless they acknowledge it and take steps to change their behaviour, that it gets passed down the generations.
Keep your kids away from his toxic influence.
He would never accept that hes ever wrong. Hes scarily blind to it.
Ive just got so many conflicting feelings. Tempted to message his partner. I have his dp on facebook but not him. We dont chat, but we like each others posts etc. I sometimes wonder why they stay together, but tbh, hes incredibly charismatic and charming and interesting, which I guess keeps people hooked in the good times, then they put up with any old shit.
Probably half the problem is tht because he lives so far away, if I visit I have to stay which is pretty intense, but even so, youd expect him to be able to manage my company for a few days. Im not that awful, but if it starts getting strained or uncomfortable in any way, he just assumes its everyone elses fault that theyre doing things on purpose to upset him. Like making noise AT HIM. Choosing the wrong option at dinner that he didnt want, AT HIM to defy him, etc etc, and then he will just start digging at everything you say or do after that. Its exhausting. I am so grateful to my therapist to help me unravel why I felt that I was constantly making mistakes even when I wasnt, or that people werent always trying to catch me out, or that they werent laughing at me because of my accent etc etc
Sometimes you just need to walk away and accept that you may never get what you want
I have barely spoken to my Father since I was 16, nearly 30 years, I've finally come to accept that he was never and is never going to be the Father I deserve . I have also made sure he is not in my ds life as I don't want him affected by his warped thinking
This hasnt stopped me wanting to contact him, but it is reminding me why I did stop in the first place.
Don't ever forget that. He will not have changed.
What is it you want to achieve by contacting him?
Well hes not entirely a cunt, I mean there are really good things about him. I just wish it didnt come at such a high price. I also realise that all of us are flawed and think maybe I should cut him some slack and just do what I can to make the relationship work at a lower level, and then maybe id get the good bits, but realistically ive actually tried LOADS of times and i always end up getting hurt. Sometimes I hear songs, and it reminds me of him singing to me, or things like that, and I just remember being a kid and it was all lovely for a while.
I dont think hes really liked me very much since then
If your relationship is anything like mine with my father, he stopped "liking" me when I got a mind of my own and no longer hero-worshipped him unconditionally. Men like this don't like it when you start to question their God-like Status.
Okay, so what do you want from this?
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