Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Can't cope with parents(12 Posts)
I'm really struggling with how to deal with my parents who I believe have some very strong narcissistic traits.
When I was pregnant last year my dad went to hit my mum. DH and I jumped up to stop it and he then unleashed a torrent of verbal abuse at me and was very physically intimidating. He blames being at wit's end with my mother's behaviour which is difficult and I am apparently also to blame because is was not interested in getting involved. I was pregnant and having spent years dealing with their crap I wanted to avoid stress. My childhood was difficult, they were regularly having extreme fights and there is so much that could be said here it would need dozens of threads. My feeling was that they are adults, it's their relationship and they need to deal with it. As background, I feel he has always overstepped the parent/child relationship. As a child he would unload on me about his problems with mum, basically treating me as an adult to lean on. He also told me when he got his girlfriend pregnant. I was probably about 15. I now don't feel this was appropriate. In my opinion children should be kept out of their parents relationship problems.
Now my mother has left my father, she told him there wasn't another man but realistically it was obvious. They have never had a good relationship, it lurches from crisis to good moments and then back to crisis. They don't do anything together and spend very little time together.
I do feel sorry for him but he has gone he'll for leather painting himself as the poor victim when realistically it's both their faults. I initially let him go on about how unhappy he was and tried to input positive things got the future, like suggesting he does stuff with my younger siblings like go to the cinema but I've snapped now. He's said it's terrible how my mother has pulled us kids into her affair but he did the same. He's going complete overkill on playing the victim, sending text messages saying "can't text anymore, my hands are shaking to much" whilst taking no real responsibility for his own behaviour. I'm not doing it, I'm not getting sucked into a blame game and I feel like I'm being manipulated. He's made a point of asking me to call him as I don't tend to call him these days. He has nothing to say unless it's unkind words about others and I feel like I give him an inch and he takes mile. For example, he turned up announced last week which he's been asked not to do many times (something he really objects to). He stayed for hours despite me clearly hinting that I needed to put the baby down for a nap and that actually, I needed a bit of a lie down myself. He then rang the next day. I then decided to invite him over in the week as I did feel bad for him. He stayed for over four hours and then later came to get something he'd forgot, invited himself in and stayed for another hour. Then rang the next day. I can cope with that level of contact, I really can't. The level of anxiety it gives me is awful.
I do feel bad for him but not to the level he wants and I'm not going to play the blame game. He states he is depressed but he's been saying this for a longtime and o have recommended counselling, offering to help h find one on line but he has done nothing to help himself and I don't feel that I should take responsibility for sorting him out if he won't so himself and considering the past, I'm not prepared to have their marital issues causing me unhappiness when I've got my own family to look after.
I guess what I'm asking is am I being completely unreasonable? How do I try to manage this situation?
Things are even worse as I have a sibling of similar age in Australia who last year told me I was a complete bitch and a drama queen after I refused to speak to my father following the hitting/verbal abuse.
Oh dear. Poor you. You gave my sympathy.
Def narcissistic things described here.
You were not put on this earth to provide emotional support to your parents.
They both need to grow up and start sorting their own fecking lives out.
If all people you just cannot get involved in their relationship, it's not for you to fix.
You do need some boundaries and you should feel absolutely justified in imposing them.
Ignore your siblings unhelpful remarks.
Neither of them feel bad for you, particularly your manipulative dad. They both got what they wanted out of this relationship.
I would not try to manage it because such disordered people like your parents really cannot be managed. I would walk away from the pair of them; they are both really as bad as each other and they have behaved inappropriately, particularly your dad who made you his confidant and dragged you into their marital problems. It is also not possible to have any sort of a relationship with a narcissist.
Would also ignore flying monkey sibling who is certainly not acting in your best interests but only their own. That person is also the narcissist's enabler. "Listen" to Flying Monkeys. Don't react. Then ask if they feel strongly about this. When they agree, point out they reached this conclusion without asking about your needs, so you aren't interested in what they have to say. End conversation.
My feeling was that they are adults, it's their relationship and they need to deal with it.
Your feeling is spot on.
your father is trying to pull you in until your focus in life is him. That just doesn't work for any healthy adult.
Step back, and keep strong.
Thank you for your kind words. I don't feel I can go no contact but definitely want to keep it at low contact. That saud I'm being ignored by all and sundry so the flying monkeying is obviously at work. It's made more anxious but realistically all I want to do is concentrate on my husband and child so at least time isn't taken up with their crap.
I've paid hundreds of pounds out for counselling and I'm still an anxious, guilty mess. I find it so hard to stick to my guns when he's saying he's got no one to talk to (he does have a couple of friends to talk to) but I really do feel it's inappropriate to pull me in, particularly when he's painting an image of himself where it's never his fault. I'm also upset as I suspect he's gone and bad mouthed me to my siblings as I'm getting no response from them.
maybe talk to them directly if you can, to put the record straight. They may or may not listen but if you don't give them the chance to know both sides of the story then they're bound to take his. The more factually you can speak, with minimum of emotion, the better.
"Buddha was speaking in a village square one day, when one of the inhabitants started to abuse him. Buddha paused and said to the man, "If you offer me a piece of paper and I refuse to accept it, what happens to the paper?" "Why, it stays with me, of course," the villager replied. Buddha smiled gently, "And that is exactly what I am doing with your abuse," he said. "I am not accepting it, therefore it stays with you."
Nice story but a bit impractical most of the time. It's not that easy to let stuff like this go.
Join the discussion
Please login first.