Being raised under the abuse of a narcissistic father was absolutely terrifying. I used to love it when the father had to work overtime and wouldn’t be home. There was always a sense of relief when he was gone, even coming from the mother. He worked a lot of overtime.
There was always dread when we knew he was coming home. Everyone would be terribly tense wondering what kind of mood he was going to be in when he walked in the door.
Even if he was in a good mood, that could suddenly change on a dime and we didn’t know why. What we did believe is that it was our faults.
Something, I think all children believe they need to do is protect the weak parent. When I think back (and this is painful) I was constantly trying to do what I could to protect the mother and sister from his rages. Really the mother should have protected us.
I did this long into my adulthood. It was hard to constantly be around the father verbally, mentally and emotionally abusing the mother, and us. The mother just took it.
One of the things I did to buffer things when I knew the father was on the way home from work, is walk down to a street corner a few blocks away, with our family dog to meet the father.
This way I could gauge what kind of mood he was going to be in before he got home. If his mood was bad, sometimes, me meeting him with the dog would soften it. Hence protecting the mother and sister…the dog too.
The father always saw this as a fond memory, I saw it as survival. One day when he was recounting the fondness of this memory, I burst his bubble and told him why I really did it. I was mad and I didn’t want him to enjoy this, I wanted to take it away from him and in a sense I did. It felt good at the time.
You know though, with narcissists, they won’t get it. I’ll bet if that memory was brought up today, he would still carry the fondness of it. He would either deny or completely forget the truth I gave him. These people or monsters, cannot see beyond themselves.
They know when they hurt, and expect to be waited on hand and foot, pitied, and loved. If one of us were ill, we were seen as an annoyance, and inconvenience, a hindrance to his plans.
The mother fought for her life with kidney failure and the father threatened to drown her (in the form of a joke) to make it all go away, so it wouldn’t hinder his travel plans any longer and wreck his retirement. We heard the latter two comments constantly.
I didn’t find his “joke” funny. I confronted him. He displayed no emotion and said nothing but a very cold “thank you.” Funny how no one else that heard his threat even thought twice about it…
These kind of abusers are very dangerous. Their kind of abuse can kill as much as any other kind. Don’t think for a single moment, that they will change or you can change them. It won’t happen. They’re good liars. They’re sly and subtle and know how to charm.
If this sounds familiar to you, you are being abused. Find a way to safely get out. Don’t let them reel you back in with the honeymoon period. They only pretend to have emotions. They really don’t give a damn about you. They only want to control and manipulate you.
Today I’m grateful that I found the strength to cut off all contact with my abusers.
There is hope!