My dad is a narcissist. This is my first post here. I have
My dad is a narcissist. This is my first post here. I have been doing some reading and found out my dad is a narcissist. It is so helpful in many ways, like a piece of the jigsaw that was missing. I have really struggled with emotional stuff since...well since forever!
I read a checklist for children of narcissistic parents, and he fit so many of them. The expectations the criticisms, the arrogance, the inconsistency, the tantrums, the immaturity, the need for praise and approval, the one upmanship, the remoteness, the unavailability,....
And I realise how far I have come working out that while i don't want to cut him out completely (tried it and its too painful) I need to have a way of coping. The having a no nonsense approach is all well and good...being very assertive and boundaried, but its so high maintenance,,,,and he is so unmanageable,,,.so my coping strategies are looking like this:
1. Make a decision to minimise his capacity to hurt me. This means, not expecting to be remembered at Xmas or birthday, and making a conscious decision that if I choose to give that it's my choice. Focus my energy on those in my life who love and appreciate me.
2. Make plans to see him when it's convenient for me.
3. Avoid dropping my own plans to fit with his.
4. Have minimal expectations about contact.
5. Take his behaviour with a pinch of salt. So when he acts like an idiot, and is unreliable, flaky, self centred, impulsive, unreasonable, selfish, I remember that I don't have to live with him anymore, and I have broken free of the cycle of relationships with people like him in every other area of my life.
6. Continue working on parenting my inner child myself, and knowing that his behaviour is dysfunctional.
7. Remember what I do appreciate about him. His energy, love of life, and interest in my work. His consistency in wanting to have a relationship, and the fact that he tries in his own way.
8. Enjoy the fact that I get to go overseas to see him, like a holiday, and that I love his wife and my step brothers.
9. Not allow him to manipulate me with his use of money as power. Be self sufficient and independent from him.
But this is new for me, and I would like any other tips for dealing with this stuff, that help me to be kind to myself, while maintaining low level contact with him,
But I want to unlearn this stuff.
And I believe it is very deep seated.
Not just head stuff but deeply emotionally embedded.
i think one thing to learn is that you're awesome, and it should be people who are trying to prove themselves good enough for you and not the other way around. i was probably moving towards narcissism myself because when i was younger i sincerely had no compassion of anykind for anyone, though that might have been partially because i saw that the kids in school that treated others like shit got all the attention and friends, what a twisted world seriously. i guess by some twist of fate i ended up seeing that that kinda behavior was wrong and here i am now heh.
Ethos I am coming to know as time goes on, that i am worthy of love, and I am honouring myself more and more in my choices and decisions.
I know that my relationship with my father will never be a mutual one of respect and love, because I now know my fathers capacity to love is very very limited. And learning about narcissism has helped me so much as I am no longer trying to explain or change things...it's a journey of accepting.
And for me, and I know not for others, the more harmful thing for me would be to cut off completely at this point. I have done this in the past, and it helped, for the years that I did it, and I grew stronger in that time.
The hard thing for me, is behaving in a new way when it comes to making plans with him. Treating things in a business like way. But I am willing to do this because I do choose to maintain a civil relationship. And I am practicing emotional detachment, and watching the feelings that come up. They are usually old scripts of his that I can then challenge and put to rest.
I spoke to my mother about what I had learnt about narcissism and the conversation was very validating. She related to what I said, and this understanding helps me to know with more confidence that this stuff is not me. Not my over sensitivity, my issues.
That's what I have to keep recovering from. The old beliefs that can cripple me.