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Narc parent - is this playing games?(5 Posts)
I've been NC with my father for about 14 months or so. He lives in another country so it's not very difficult to do. I told him I wanted us to stop communicating and he has, largely, respected that. He still checks with my sister that I pass on the Christmas presents he sends my dc (I wish he'd stop but I can't make him. I do pass them one but set aside any sense of obligation to him that I might have. They are only things, after all).
He is still on speaking terms with my older DSsr, though I wouldn't class their relationship as warm. I think she feels she ought to stay in contact. He drives her mad too with his me me me attitude, and only ever wanting to talk about his ailments (yes yes, dad, your piles are just the reason I rang. Oh don't worry about my ongoing divorce or my big job promotion. No, your recurrent gout is far more pressing a topic). She did once tell him she was tired of hearing about all his ailments and maybe some proper conversation about other topics would be better.
Anyway, a few months ago I received an email from his partner to say he was in hospital for a suspected heart attack. Ostensibly the email was about apologising for not having sent any birthday presents to my dc (I didn't mind, and nor does my dc. He's only a year old). He was undergoing tests to investigate heart function and the result was he had only 40% heart function and may need surgery (stents or a bypass, not sure).
I sent a suitably polite 'sorry to hear that. Hope he gets better soon' email to her and assumed my DSis (who is on speaking terms with him) was also informed. Turns out not. He had ignored her two emails to him and she only found out about his heart attack a few weeks ago (about three months after I received the email).
She was furious that he (well, his partner) had let me know and not her. WTF is going on, that I'm told (the daughter who is NC) and she isn't?
So is this some elaborate game on his part? Was he hoping I'd feel such remorse for being NC now that he's on death's door (he isn't. He's a big baby about anything medical) that I'd come rushing to his bedside? Or was he testing to see whether DSis and I talk about about him (we don't. Except for the occasional eye roll together). Or maybe he was punishing DSis for her 'enough about your ailments' remark and wanted her to feel guilty?
One of the criticisms I have levelled against him (to his face) is that he treats his daughters as though we're one entity rather than separate human beings with whom he has separate relationships. He was forever trying to get DSis to fix things between him and me or between him and my young sis (who is practically, though not offically, NC with him too). And he just thought of us as a package rather than as individuals. Maybe he thought this would bring us together again.
I've talked this over with DH and he's as mystified as I am.
Don't try and understand it. It could be all of them, one, none of them or something so far left field that you haven't even conceived that could be the motive.
If you ask you will be in trouble and accused of anything that has jumped to mind.
They probably don't even remember what they were doing at the time as they are too busy working out what would hurt you the most now.
Working it out will waste time and energy on your part. Your sister needs to decide what to do next.
She finds she can be direct with him and he then behaves himself (stops the stropping and tantrums. I take the view that at 66 years old he ought to know not to do that in the first place).
His behaviour cost him a relationship with one daughter, you'd think he'd learn to behave with the other (and there is a third daughter and their relationship hangs by a thread - as in I know she wants to go nc too but hasn't yet reached the point of telling him that. He is even more vile to her than he is to me, even though she is his 'favourite'. She gets the really sarcastic comments about not being in touch and his overbearing attempts at affection (dont try to hug me. We're not close enough for that) even worse than I did.
Maybe i'll never understand him.
Seems like game playing to me. Maybe he thinks by causing conflict between his children, they'll go running to him. Don't get drawn in by it.
Could it be that he asked his partner to let his daughter know about his illness and they forgot which one he was in contact with, and messaged you instead of your sister?
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