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How to handle narcissist father?(14 Posts)
I have recently realised that there is label for my dad's behaviour. What I want to know is, where do I go from here now I know he is incapable of empathy or compassion?
I had a stillbirth 6 months ago which has been the most difficult thing I've ever been through. Six weeks after losing My daughter there was an incident whereby DP had some car parts delivered to dad's house for a job he was having done on the car at a garage dad had recommended. There was some confusion which resulted in dad taking these parts straight to the garage when DP wanted to check them out and keep hold of the receipt. We understood dad had good intentions in taking them down there but it seemed such a simple thing to rectify and I offered to nip back down and pick them up. This deeply offended dad. He sent DP the most despicable message which I was utterly disgusted at - ranting at him and berating him for being so petty to want the parts. I was so upset and offended that my dad would speak to him like that.
I tried to rectify the situation but my dad only seemed intent on proving he was right and sent me some appalling emails. And all this we had to deal with in the midst of our grief. None of this really got sorted but in the end I chose to put things aside as I was struggling so much emotionally and felt I needed the support of my family, particularly My step mum who had been amazing.
I have recently found out I am pregnant again. I told my dad straight away and asked that he not tell my brothers as it was still early.
Three days ago my dad phoned and told me he had told my eldest brother and his wife I am pregnant. I was taken aback that he had broken my trust. I feel very vulnerable at the moment and if anything goes wrong in this pregnancy I didn't want the heartbreak of the whole world needing to know once again. My Dad didn't acknowledge my feelings at all, instead I got a horrible email in which he explains why it's his right to tell my brother and used it as yet another opportunity to say damning things about DP and I. I am being punished for daring to be upset it seems.
In his last email he has written 'bye (my name), don't expect to hear from me again'. How can my own dad play emotional games with me like that?
I don't consider myself an easy person to fall out with. I care. I empathise and I hold my hands up when I do wrong. My only crime though, seems to be daring to suggest my dad may've done wrong.
My Dad has told me I'll 'never hear from him again' and right now I hope he keeps that promise because I cannot take any more emotionally. He has pushed me over the edge twice now with his nasty emails and at times in my life when I have needed support more than ever.
I'm really concerned that he won't leave me alone. I tried to block his email but it didn't seem to work. I had one emotional breakdown over it all last night after the last hurtful message, and it isn't good for my health and I worry about this baby.
I'm utterly heartbroken by the way my dad has behaved towards me and my DP and don't know how to move on. Do I take steps to cut him out of my life? Has anyone had to do that with a family member? Where do I put all the anger and upset I have at him that he won't accept?
I'm sorry for your loss OP and a big congratulations to you on your pregnancy!
I don't have much to advise but I didn't want to read and run.
My mum is a little similar to your dad. She does not handle the slightest bit of criticism well at all. Very sensitive indeed and does very well at playing the victim. Something I used to fall for until I moved out and saw things from a different perspective.
She is still as sensitive and easily offended as ever but I just pull her up on it now. I am very honest with her.
What helps me is having DP and my best friend to rant to.
My mum hasn't done anything to me personally really and therefore no reason to cut her out.
I think perhaps wait for your dad to contact you. Don't block him. See if he wants to amend his errors. Definitely don't go chasing him. It could be wise to talk to him but from your post I think he needs to get over whatever pathetic bullshit it is that offended him and hopefully then he will see how he has upset you.
Don't wait for him. Enjoy your pregnancy and relax as you don't need this burden.
Put your little family first and let him do the chasing.
No matter what happens with my family I always have my own little family and that gets me through everything.
Congratulations OP on your baby, Don't waste another moment on him. Let him see that you have bigger fish to fry and he will either come back or he wont. But at least he will know that you wont come crawling.
Enjoy your pregnancy, OP, and don't worry about your dad.
Easier said than done, I know: I had one from exactly the same mould. I ended up letting the distance between us slowly increase, because dealing with him regularly just made me unhappy and anxious (the rages, the control-freakery, the outrageous demands). If he went off in a huff, I left him to it. If he rang me, I'd call back a week later and then leave it until he finally rang me however many weeks or months down the line. Now and then he'd give me flack for being a terrible daughter and not caring for my poor old dad, but I'd point out that it took two and the last phone call had been made by me. If he moaned that I hadn't been to see him, I'd observe that I'd visited three times since he'd last come to see me, and he was welcome to visit. And I'd not ring, or visit, until he'd taken his turn.
I hope you find a way of coping with your father. Parents like this are an absolute nightmare, but much more manageable once you decide that you're not a terrible person for not liking them, and work out a few strategies for dealing with them.
The way to deal with narcissistic people is never to give them any part of yourself. No hopes or dreams that you may have, no secrets, no opinions, no news either good or bad. Keep all interaction on a superficial level & never rely on them for anything.
It has taken me a lifetime to get to this stage & I have 2 in the family to deal with.
Thanks for all your responses. My father called my mum last night (they're divorced) to say how deeply worried he is about me since my daughter died and how I have so much misplaced anger which is all being directed at him! I can't stand how he's playing the victim and will have convinced my step mum that this is all my doing. My dad told my mum that he loves me so much and would do anything for me which are just empty words that don't match his appalling behaviour. My mum said she actually ended up feeling slightly sorry for him.
He is making out that I have a psychological issue in order to disown his part in making me unhappy. God it makes me so mad
My dad told my mum that he loves me so much and would do anything for me which are just empty words that don't match his appalling behaviour.
That rings bells. The disconnect between words and actions can be very hard to deal with. Just remind yourself that actions really do speak louder than words.
I had similar from in laws and so when I became pregnant I became even more sure that for the sake of me and the baby I wanted to go NC at least until I had given birth, it's right to protect yourself and the baby from shit like this. If he apologises and seems to genuinely try to fix this then you could reconsider after the birth perhaps but unfortunately it is unlikely he will change. I would go NC. I think this is truly awful behaviour towards a woman who has recently lost a baby and a pregnant woman. Hopefully given a bit of space from him you will start to feel better. Some people make every interaction you have with them a complete nightmare and cannot behave normally. I'm very sorry about your daughter. I have had family behaving like this when I had a miscarriage and whilst pregnant and as a new mum, it made me feel really bad about myself but it isn't a reflection on you, only have good people around you. This is an indication of how he would be as a grandfather - the silver lining is you can set your boundaries with him now and hopefully avoid him treating your child like this.
Oh yes... the old trick of "'Say what you know normal people would do and say and people will believe it, all the while do the complete opposite"
My mother did this for YEARS! Including telling all and sundry that she came to rescue me from the hellhole relationship/country I was living in. Her "rescue mission' was a YEAR before i left as always planned
I was so worried about Hissy. mmh hmm. SO worried that if I rang her with anything less than "Oh I'm totally grand thanks" she would literally ignore me for 2-3 WEEKS.
What I have learned is to stop expecting her to be anything other than what she is. Nasty, jealous and bitter. Add calculated and manipulative too.
Why, out of interest, did you tell your Dad about the pregnancy if it was too early for you to tell your brothers? You knew he can't be trusted.
Clearly he's a skilled manipulator, your mum even began to fall for it. Stop this and regroup, see him for what he is!
please distance yourself from him and focus on the people who ADD to your life.
I know this is hard, but my life is so much more peaceful and constructive without my parents in it. yes it hurts, but a lot less than their crappy little comments.
Thanks for the responses. Hissy, the main reason I told him was because I had to stop going round to his house which I'd been doing regularly til that point. He has a huge uncontrollable dog that jumps up and I frequently come away with bruises and scratches and it could easily jump at my stomach so I deemed it better to stay away during pregnancy.
Ah yes. You're starting from a fundamental disadvantage here by being reasonable. As a pp said you need to be low contact giving them no material to work with. So little personal stuff etc. Work on meaningless platitudes "It's a shame you feel that way" etc. Don't say I'm sorry though. They want reactions. Don't give them that.
for your daughter.
OP, if you feel the need to set the record straight with your mother, you could always show her the vile messages/mails he has sent you. Otherwise, do not get hoovered back into his sphere of influence. He is trying to use her as a flying monkey, by painting himself as the victim.
Enjoy your pregnancy as much as you can, keep him at arms length, or out of the picture completely. He is not someone you are going to want your child to spend time around anyway, so distance is your ally.
If he keeps his promise to stay away, so much the better, but it is likely to be just something he's using to try to manipulate you. Narcs are masters of manipulation.
How do your siblings feel about him?
Congratulations on your pregnanacy! Good luck!
What level of idiot allows their dog to do that? Just stay away for this and every reason you can find!
You're starting from a fundamental disadvantage here by being reasonable
Oh, indeed. Reasonable dealing with unreasonable almost always comes off worst, at least in the short term.
And remember: it's NOT YOUR FAULT that your dad has behaved like an arse. It's his fault. Not yours.
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