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What Are the Signs of a Narcissistic Father?

Narcissists can appear gregarious to friends in public, even as they are being mean to a child in private.
A narcissistic father fighting with his daughter.
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  • Written By: Drue Tibbits
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  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2014
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A narcissist is a self-absorbed person who has an inflated sense of self-worth. Narcissistic parents often view their children as objects to feed their own egos. A narcissistic father is intolerant of mistakes, takes credit for his children’s successes, and can be vindictive toward his children if they cross him. These men are only interested in serving their own needs as they feel they are the only ones who matter. They think nothing of taking advantage of other people, they will lie to make themselves look better, and they have no empathy for the harm they cause others.

Children of these fathers often feel ignored, exploited, or without value. They learn from an early age that they exist only to give their father attention. A narcissistic father uses manipulation to control his children, and most narcissists are masters of using passive-aggressive behavior to get what they want. These types of fathers often try to force a child into a particular career path not because they feel that would of benefit but because it would give them bragging rights.

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A narcissistic father does not want his child to become autonomous. They do not value independence or individual thinking; a child exists only to fulfill their needs. These men are quick to distance themselves emotionally and reject their children if their children try to develop their own lives. Narcissists believe they are always right and do not tolerate disagreement or differing opinions. They disparage others, including their children, for having different views or separate beliefs.

One of the difficulties of living with a narcissistic father means seeing both sides of the man. In public, narcissists appear charming and gregarious and are generally well liked by casual friends. In private, they are selfish, calculating, and mean. They are dismissive of their children and their children’s needs. If the child is a golden child — one who excels in sports, academics, or other talents — a narcissistic father may be overly doting as this gifted child provides a constant source of envy and admiration from others.

There is no appropriate therapy for narcissists. The point of therapy is to help patients work through their issues, but as far as a narcissist is concerned, he has no issues. Narcissists are always right, their actions are always justified, and they are perfect just the way they are. A child of a narcissistic father, on the other hand, frequently needs therapy to gain a sense of his or her own self-worth.

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anon969258
Post 52

My father for all of my life has been controlling, manipulative, and cruel. He has alienated my brother and sister from me and each other. I can recognise that it became worse when I married, because my husband became the main man in my life, and he didn't like it.

We were constantly in fear of his inner rage, which came to life at the most unexpected times, especially when he was criticised, no matter how minor or even in humour. My mother was, as long as I can remember, venting to me her concerns, and I was, as long as I can remember, telling her to leave him.

To punish me, for whatever reason, and most times I couldn't tell you what I had done wrong, he would alienate/ignore not just me, but my husband and children, who, as I look back now with hindsight, were totally confused. His cruel comments and absurd demands for total submission became worse and worse, which ended up lessening time communicating with him (we moved to another state). He would purposely not phone his grandchildren on their birthdays, (I never expected them for mine, but for little ones who loved their grandmother, was mean and hurtful), ignored us when we made the effort to visit, and ignored our cards and gifts we sent. And to top it off, when my mother died, he did not let me know. I found out about her death from the internet. I was a mess. Why didn't I know?

He had told everyone that my husband and I were criminals and on the run. Unbelievable, but true. He had graduated into psycho land. Then when questioned, said that my mother had requested I not be at the funeral, which is absolutely untrue. Her death was unexpected even though she was ill, and I know now from different family members who have informed me once they became aware of the deception, that she was always wanting me. But the father ruled.

The lies and the malice directed towards me and my kind, patient husband from him have been devastating. I am a professional registered nurse with degrees and interests in dementia, and do not have an unkind bone in my body. My father is a narcissist.

I am 58 years old and still being affected. We have been advised that we could have him charged due to the defamation he has imposed on us, but I am trying so hard to let it go. It's harder when I still can't talk to my brother and sister and extended relatives. I have been the scapegoat at the mercy of his triangulation narcissism.

Apologies for length of comment, but there are so many more situations I could cite. I am heartbroken. My husband of 35 years and my adult children are my world, and constantly attempt to lift my self-esteem. My father and those who feed off him are monsters. I wish I had known and recognised the narcissistic criteria many years ago. Education about the same, in my opinion, is sorely lacking.

anon962649
Post 51

I'm so glad I found this page. I have a narcissistic father, and for years tried to understand, appease, work with and love him for what he is. I have since given up. I cut him off over a year ago and have had no contact with him at all. He recently had a health scare, and I felt a bit guilty about not being there for him. But, coming to this site (and others) has reminded me of why I walked away in the first place.

My story is that I was the golden child for many years. I was praised, and he bragged about me. But, in private the B-plus I got was a failure. I was too short, too fat, not feminine enough, not independent enough, not smart enough to do my own homework, not capable of any decisions of my own. But, I did accomplish a lot on my own merit, and he liked to brag about it. And own it. And take it.

If he started (yet another ill-planned) business and demanded my involvement and professional expertise, he would say, "I paid for that. You wouldn't know anything if I hadn't." Of course, that wasn't true. He didn't pay for my education, despite promising to do so, and then reneged. In his world, he followed through! During the recession of 2001, I fell on hard times, couldn't find work, and needed his help for the first time. Well, that was the end of my golden status. He berated me for being irresponsible, having no pride, being useless.

He told me I was "taking after my mother's side," a comment meant to equate me with several of my mother's relatives who have served time. I was his daughter who had perfect grades and two degrees, but the moment I needed him, I was a piece of crap -- a criminal, even.

I found this article because I wanted to learn more about a narcissist’s obsession with money since my narcissist father is ridiculous. He stole from me as a child (every gifted savings bond, every fund set aside), has forged my name onto credit cards and charged tens of thousands of dollars. As I mentioned, he made promises to cover my educational expenses and without informing me, just stopped paying, damaging my credit for years. He has gone behind my back many times to speak with people in my life to try to convince them to give him money owed to me.

He has my mother brainwashed; she's given everything she's ever earned to him, including emptying all her retirement accounts. When I was in college and struggling, he'd call me and ask me for money. The last straw, which ended it all, was that we entered into an agreement to buy some property together years ago, when I still wanted to try to believe in him. Well, he tried to sell it without telling me and pocket all the money -- while I was living in it! That was illegal of course, but that didn't stop him from calling the lawyers and trying to convince them to do it anyway.

After I caught him, he said he'd "let me have" a bit of my money and if I ever need "dad's help, just ask. Dad will always be there for you." How delusional!

Oh, and yes, he cheats on my mother repeatedly. She just looks the other way. He's always put her down, blocked her efforts to advance and accused her of cheating. She's so dependent him that she doesn't know how to see her way out of it. And I'm not sure she even wants to. He's a colossal nightmare of a person, disturbingly, eerily detached and cruel, dismissive yet obsessive and charming when it serves him.

I'm so glad he's out of my life. I maintain a relationship with my mother, which is hard. She's so under the spell. It's hard to accept that I won't ever have her protection, but I've decided to forgive her, and rely on the lessons I learned in 10 years of therapy.

Thanks for listening. Peace to everyone who has had to deal with this awful disorder.

anon940249
Post 50

I am so glad there are discussions about narcissistic fathers. As a daughter raised by one, I can testify that the damage was long-lasting and is still persistent to this day. I left home when I was 17 to get away from his emotional and physical abuse. He destroyed my relationship with my siblings to the point where neither of my brothers, today even as adults, feel comfortable talking to me and cannot initiate any contact on their own.

Pleasing our father is the most important aspect of their lives. I am glad I freed myself of his presence physically, but psychically, I allowed him to control me through phone calls and visits with him. I asked his advice, hoping to draw out empathy, but got nothing but shaming, reprimands or worse, exclamations that my problems were just too much bother for him.

It took me years to find myself and learn to respect myself. I raised three children alone in poverty, after leaving a relationship patterned after his behavior toward me. He lived a great life as a wealthy, successful professional while I lived in shelters. My children and I often went hungry and generally were in severe poverty.

He helped me file for divorce because if I didn't have the help, my ex would have taken my children out of state. I have never heard the end of it even though what he spent is about one tenth of one percent of what he has spent on getting his two sons through college, European trips, house buying, business ventures, etc.

I am certain I will be cut out of the will because I have refused to go back under his thumb of abuse. Even after being away from him for thirty years, he still tries to suck me in. I have found a good man finally and his efforts have ramped up. I'm certain he wishes to destroy this wonderful new thing I have.

Turning away is the hardest, and the empty place where the love of a father should be will never be filled by anyone else. I will just have to close that shop and soothe the wounds myself. It’s a hard process, but time makes it better.

I wouldn't trade all my struggles for independence for one dollar of that man's money -- his ransom for the souls of his children. No way.

anon939733
Post 49

My narcissistic parent tried to ruin my life.

anon936546
Post 48

After reading this article and the comments, I realized my dad is a narcissist dad, too.

Growing up, I never realized this. Instead, I always looked up to my dad. He was my hero, my inspiration, and no other dad was as cool as mine. And he always pushed me into things I didn't want to do. The big one is my career path.

He told me to major in this and that in university, which I did, even though I wasn't interested in those subjects. I did it because I thought I wanted my dad to be proud of me and as my dad would put it, "It's the best career choice for you, all for your own benefit.” He made me go all the way to a Canadian university to study something that I wasn't interested in and didn't even attend my graduation ceremony, all with an excuse that his health prevented him traveling. I've seen parents from the other side of the planet attending their child's graduation even if it cost them their health and finances. But mine, who was healthy, didn't even take the initiative to come to mine.

And that's not all. He cheats. Since I was young as young as four or five, he would bring me along with him on "dates" he had with these brainless young sluts. At the time I didn't quite understand it, but as I grew older I showed resentment to these women he made me meet. I would greet them with disgusted stare and throwing tantrums. This lasted until I was about seven or eight. After that, I would just not agree to go with him. At the time too, I didn't know if should tell my mom about me knowing my dad's extracurricular activities. But from the looks of things, I know my mom knew about it; she just looked the other way.

Years went by and I just accepted my dad and how our family dynamics worked. I did well in school, got a scholarship and majored in the course my dad wanted me to and graduated.

After a little of a health hiccup for my dad (he had a minor heart attack) my dad stopped working, so my mom became the sole provider for the family. She pays for everything: food, bills, etc. And my dad still treats her like she's his slave and acts like all of us owe him something. For anything not done right, even the smallest thing, he would go on a rampage and verbally abuse us all.

He is not just a narcissist dad but he is also a lousy husband. He is never appreciative of the things my mom has provided for him, even after cheating on her for years (and I'm starting to suspect this is happening again). This is the reason why I'm up at 1 a.m. reading about deadbeat and cheating dads, and now he’s living off her and making her his personal slave. He even tried to prevent my mom from coming to my graduation.

At some point after, I asked my mom why didn't she just leave that scumbag of a husband of hers, because she deserves better. She replied it was all for me. Maybe in a few years’ time when I have my own family I would understand my mom's choice.

But what bothers me now is my narcissist dad. Don't they ever feel guilty or something deep inside for what they have done or are still doing?

anon933375
Post 47

This describes my grandfather. As a result of it, his children including my mother had a very difficult time being parents. He "punished" them and his grand children right to the very end basically cutting everyone out of the will. To this day we have no idea where the money went.

anon359967
Post 46

It's been a year since I first started distancing myself from my narcissistic father, and though I do have feelings of guilt and sadness, I feel a hell of a lot better and I am fully aware that I cannot trust him to respect me and I better stay away from him for my own well being.

I'm still trying to find purpose in my life today, growing up, my purpose was always to keep him happy, avoid disappointing him and stand up for the little morsels of self-respect I had. Every time I come into contact with him, he uses his predatory instincts to find the wound and spear it.

anon358449
Post 45

This is my father, too. I am 31. He is the adult child of an alcoholic (his father). But his narcissism is too hard, his denial too deep and he cannot admit even a slight mistake. When I tell him things I don't like about him, he says, "It's not true."

He comes into my room and asks me why I don't speak to him anymore, and he says this "I don't know" sentence too many times. He is a master of making me crazy by twisting the reality.

The last time he came, I told him that I don't want to put myself in that situation again, that every time I try to talk to him I hit my head against the wall.

Finally, I asked myself why I am coming back for more? I know I need a healthy father because he is part of my psyche, but all these traits of an N father and family makes so much sense and that I am afraid of becoming one and taking my life into my own hands.

I need to move on ahead to my independence, and my parents see that as a threat. They obstruct me by telling lies to get their way, to accomplish their wishes. I was born to make their old days comfortable without my own independence. And if I succeed in my independence journey, I know that I will be a traitor to their goals. Again, I am so afraid of becoming one in this fight for my independence. Maybe it's just the way he has to do it.

anon356850
Post 44

@Post 28, (Anonymous) 332425: Your experience sounds so much like mine, but you realized what he was at a much younger age than I did, which is great. You have more time and insight to build a better life.

anon354724
Post 43

I have a father like this. He can’t handle criticism. He told me he was in debt and he bought an overpriced car. I told him he was a “sucker” for buying it at the cost he did (You know that old saying: Sticker price is the sucker price). And I knew he couldn’t afford it. I criticized him because he’s a compulsive buyer and is always complaining about being broke. He is not responsible with his money. I was worried about him. Why would you waste over $28,000 when you are still in debt? I told him he needed to be more responsible with his money and he flipped out. And to add insult to injury, he still thinks I’m a kid! I’m a 25 year old man. He doesn’t take me seriously and doesn’t listen to my advice.

And that new wife of his doesn’t seem to be a good person. She’s never there for him. She tells him she goes to Mexico to teach, but really I just think she’s using him and the only reason why she’s down in Mexico is to say away from him. Needless to say, after having our argument, he told me he never wanted to see me again. Since then, we haven’t spoken to each other, and I don’t think I want to. I can’t stand narcissists. Every time I visit him, he just reminds why I don’t like them.

anon351511
Post 42

The best thing I ever did for my children and me was divorce the narcissist husband and stop all contact with my narcissist parents a decade ago!

My children now have a chance and I am happy. Finally, I know that I wasn’t the only one who experienced this crazy stuff. While reading about it, I saw the pattern and stopped looking for narcissist boyfriends! It took a while to not feel guilty and not be concerned about the mean gossip in the dysfunctional, crazy family, but my children and I are happy without the drama and the soul sucking narcissists!

Be brave! Have a happy, loving and peaceful life! Don’t give another minute of yourself to those who don’t deserve it! I know you can all do it and change our world of narcissists to a world of compassion and love for each other!

anon351407
Post 41

My grandpa, whom I never really knew, recently passed on and I got some stuff of his unexpectedly and I was very pleased! I had more than enough high quality belts to last me every day of the week.

Now my dad is notorious for moving stuff around, hiding stuff and giving stuff away that's not his, if he feels he is justified in doing so.

So I drove home eight hours from L.A. and rested the next day, and the day after I was getting ready to celebrate my birthday.

So I get back from my celebration and I ask my dad where are my belts? He casually tried to play it off but wasn't able to and said, "I know where my belts are," hinting as if I was wrong in leaving them out so I must not want them or take pride in them, as he loves to say. So now I come to find I only have four from my deceased grandfather. Half of them were taken by my father who won't admit it.

Because I smoke a little weed, he likes to think I'm retarded and likes to play tricks on me so I will feel confused so he can "teach me a lesson". So naturally, when I couldn't find them anywhere, I started assuming just like other stuff that is out and goes missing, he must have given them away. Unbelievable, right Not for these kind of people.

So today, we were supposed to go out and celebrate my birthday with my brothers and with his mom. I told them until I find my belts I was not going. Sure enough, his enjoyment from his passive aggressiveness was stifled, because the final outcome was an unexpected result for him. And then my mom insulted my intelligence and tried to get me to believe that I don't know what I know, all for the sake of going somewhere, and like always, being in a terrible mood, but putting on big fake smiles.

It’s so true about how they are happy and gregarious in public. That's my mom and dad. I learned after a while about this fakeness that they have surrounding them and that what goes on behind closed doors is totally different.

I have honor for my parents, but how can you respect someone who doesn't respect you? My parents seem to get enjoyment out of negativity and I've tried to talk to them in an almost therapeutic way to try and make sense of it all. I have come to find out that they are both liars and hypocritical manipulators who really are only out for themselves.

Sometimes you just have to break contact and I think today is the day. They really don't deserve it, but I still live at home at age 24. Passive aggressive parenting is the absolute worst kind.

User360
Post 40

I also have a father that this article describes. He truly does think that he is never wrong. He verbally abuses us all at home and gets extremely mad for the littlest things. Example: we were driving around as a family while trying to go to a certain location and my gps got the directions wrong by a street or two, so he yelled at all of us, including my mom. It wasn't our fault that the gps got it wrong by a little bit, but he didn't care. It was our fault and he screamed and yelled as if we had literally done something to physically harm him.

He also yells and may even get to the point of hurting us if we do such things as maybe spill a glass of water, even if nothing is damaged and we clean up right away.

He told my mom that he wonders why guys would even chase me or want to be with me because he really doesn't think I'm valuable. This made me so sad because I often hear that dads think very highly of their daughters and think that no guy is good enough but not mine, he thinks the opposite. He's only happy with me whenever I do something that he can brag about because he can take credit for it and people will think he's a really great father.

He doesn't really provide for my family. It's mainly my mom who has brought our family along.

But know this everyone: there is a God who loves you, who thinks you are worth dying for! (John 3:16) He sees the true value in you because he created you. He loves you.

So though you may feel like you've never really had that father's love, know that you have the opportunity to have a spiritual father who loves you very much so. He is a God of love and always has His arms open for you.

Though your dad may reject you at times, God will never leave you nor forsake you. Call to Him. I say this from personal experience because I truly feel that if I didn't have a Heavenly Father I don't know where I'd be.

anon347512
Post 35

I am so taken aback reading this article, and the previous comments. For my whole life, I have suffered under the burden of living with a purely evil, self-centered, unloving, uncaring, abusive, horrible father. I never knew why he was this way, and I have always wondered why he couldn't show us love, or give us the emotional support we needed and so desperately carved from him.

For my whole life, I have craved love and attention from this man, and have done everything I could to obtain it. I did well in school and went on to become a lawyer, but he has never been satisfied with anything I have done. I have never received a single compliment from this man. He has always verbally abused my sister and me, and broken us down to pieces at every opportunity he got. He has criticized everything we have done. I cannot begin to explain how horrible it has been, how sad, how painful. I am writing and in tears.

I'm sorry for those who have lived through these experiences, and yet relieved to find others who can identify with what I've been through, and to actually put a name to what my father is. I am 35, married with two kids, and I still suffer from his abuse every day. He has broken down our self esteem so much. My mom has zero self confidence, and she is now just a shadow of the brave, confident woman she used to be. She acts like she has no courage to leave him, and suffers through his horrible verbal and emotional abuse, and terrible temper tantrums daily.

It was hell growing up with this man as my father. He is the most selfish and evil person I have ever known. My sister was by far the worst off. Her self esteem was so broken, she had no sense of who she was, but she was such a wonderful, beautiful person, and she committed suicide at age 27, because she was just so emotionally torn up. After she died, my mom was in shambles, and my father, of course, pretended to be. He was going around, pretending to be in so much pain, and pretending to miss her so much, when he had absolutely no relationship with her before. She hated him, and he now tells people that she was closest to him, and he used to talk to her every day, and he is so broken and depressed, and can't get over her death. He wants to be the center of attention, and wants everyone to be sympathetic towards him, when he is the one who caused her death as far as I am concerned.

From the time I was a child, I've wished he would die, because I always thought we would be so much happier without him, but he is still here. I ended up moving back home with my family to help my mother through her deep grief and depression following my sister’s death. It's four years on, and she has still not made any progress, because my father is making her depression worse.

Anyway, I had enough of his abuse, and I realized that I couldn't really help my mother anyway, as long as she chose to stay with him. My family was suffering from this man's constant abuse and outbursts, so we finally decided to move out a few weeks ago, and he has flown into outright rage. He quarreled with my husband, and insulted him, telling him how disappointed he was in him, etc., and now refuses to talk to me in a civilized manner. I have attempted to speak to him, but he has only responded in anger. He cannot see the point of us moving out, and believes that we should stay to keep them company. In his mind, we have abandoned them.

I am so frustrated and stressed out. It's good to be able to write out my thoughts, and find people who have gone through similar experiences.

anon342450
Post 34

I am saddened to hear the horrible treatment that so many of us have been subjected to. The feelings of worthlessness and failure (often in the face of amazing achievements) that many have expressed here are ones I struggle with at 43.

I am shocked and terrified to read that many of the things my dad has done has been committed by many of the fathers here. The forging of signatures, lying, belittling -- it all seems so clear from the outside and so toxic.

I do believe that based on these posts that we have no hope for reconciliation if we have managed to get away from the father. And if you have gotten away, stay away from this abusive person or take it in stride.

My father alienated every person I loved growing up and sees me as a loser. I take solace in choosing my life and living intentionally. I do know that I would never be considered worthy by him now, and I don't really want it, do I?

Thank you to everyone who posted here. I was feeling like a piece of crap earlier because I miss my dad and love him. His rejection is very painful. However, I need to survive this life. Truly, continuing a relationship with someone who would rather see you dead (to get the sympathy) than alive because you are a loser is a doomed feat.

I am so sorry for every person who has posted here. I do feel the depth of this rage, pain and longing. However, I have learned from your sharing here that I am not alone and I am valuable.

anon339285
Post 33

Thank you everyone who has and will continue to comment on this article. I am in my early 20s and unfortunately have a father whose narcissism is so deeply entrenched, pigs will fly before he ever recovers.

Reading similar accounts of others who have fathers who also dish out psychological abuse on a regular basis is, on the one hand, extremely horrible and upsetting. But I'm thanking you because you have all helped me so much in sharing your stories.

For me, the most painful part is how effectively my father wears his mask in front of the rest of our family and how successfully he manipulates them. He has told a tremendous amount of lies. In fact, I suspect what I know is just the tip of the iceberg. The thing is he is highly intelligent and extremely educated. These qualities make him extremely dangerous in terms of his ability to lie and manipulate. The worst part for me personally, is that he's got every one wrapped around his finger. In fact, he's got them thinking I am the problem, and he is an excellent father!

It actually makes me feel physically disgusted what he's done and I feel quite alone. It is nice to know I am not alone. In a way I wish I was, though and that no one else has experienced this crap -- if that makes any sense.

anon338930
Post 32

This definitely describes my father and stepfather. Long story short, my dad and mom split up when I was a kid, she met my stepfather a few years later, and they married a few years after that.

My stepfather practices passive-aggressive tactics to split up my sisters, my mother and me so that we are all never ever on the same page. I always wondered why is there always some sort of strife or conflict or disagreement or fight going on and I can see clearly that he was the root of most of it. A perfect example: It was not uncommon for me to get yelled at, I mean seconds away from punches being thrown, which happened from time to time, over food, small mistakes like slacking on chores, or things of the like. I ended up in the hospital for a couple of days from pneumonia. I didn't realize why he rushed the family to leave after ten minutes. Now it makes sense, seeing as he wouldn't be the center of attention.

While it is a relief to see that my situation is not unique, it pains me to see so many others going through ordeals like this. Unfortunately, as messed up as it is, I think the best option would be to permanently eject him out of my life.

anon337615
Post 31

It looks like I'm on the right track here. I'm 31, and have lived back at home with my folks for almost two years, after having moved far away and having difficulty making life work as an independent adult. I have a graduate degree in an arts-related field, but since graduation, have struggled to find a path to a stable career. So I've changed jobs to something unrelated.

My father was very supportive of my education, but we recently had a nasty fight (because I chose to stick up for myself when he started insulting me, saying I was doing nothing with myself, how I should be like other people in my field with fancy professor jobs, etc. and I'm an embarrassment to him). That fight gave me more insight into what's been going on in my family all along. It has always plagued me to see me and all of my siblings and struggle so much with becoming independent adults. My dad's solution for all of us has been to come back home so we can save enough money to buy our own houses (with his help, and all the strings attached, or course). But whenever any of the four of us have attempted this, all he does is discourage anything we do if it's not what he had in mind.

During our most recent fight, he expressed how much of a disappointment I am, and how much I've "broken his heart" by not following through with a fancy career, and how embarrassing it is to have to tell his friends what a loser I am, that I've "failed" once again.

So, I finally was able to find a stable job this year and save up plenty of money to move out with some roommates. I told my dad today that I'm moving out, and all he did was insult me, more or less saying he's expecting me to "fail" again and come crawling back with no money.

I was the "golden child", while my sister was the "scapegoat" when we were growing up. She went down a darker path and battled with drug addiction for several years as a young adult. I pushed myself to finish my degrees, probably out of fear that my dad would reject me if I didn't. But in my late twenties, I figured out that I can't make all of my life decisions to make him happy. This is my life, not his. And I'm now refusing to be manipulated by the guilt he attempts to make me feel.

I'm now experiencing the rejection I dreaded as a child, but I am able to keep moving forward, by believing in myself and trusting myself that I can be independent. I've had a few great friends who have helped me see that, and currently have a very supportive and loving boyfriend to face each day with.

I am thankful that my dad was never physically abusive to me or my family members, and I am sorry for those of you who had to go through that kind of pain. Here's to healing and peace.

anon334801
Post 30

@post 28: I totally understand where you're coming from. I never thought of my father as being narcissistic but seeing this description, I sadly realize he is. I was this perfect well-behaved kid, getting great grades, never screwing up anytime -- until I recently quit my well-paying job to continue my passion for making music.

He's in some financial trouble, although he has a lot of money to be received that would bail him out plus more, but he constantly belittles me for not making enough money and making me feel worthless.

I'm from an Asian family and this kind of crap seems to be more the norm than the exception, but I'm currently considering taking a job and leaving my family even though I hate the prospect.

I do suffer from depression when he goes on his hate-tirades but it usually wears out -- until the next time. Hope you stay strong and learn to love yourself. That's the most important thing I've discovered.

anon334477
Post 29

Thank you for this post. It really explained to me and my own situation with my father. I do not need to write all the things I have been going through over the years, but I can say that he has never hugged me or told me that he loves me, and I never heard him say that he loves my mother either.

The only time I remember that he was nice to me was when I won first price in a contest, which he forced me to enter in the first place. And that was because it made him feel good about himself. Also, as for my mother, he has belittled her throughout the years so no she is totally submissive and dears not do anything on her own. Well, my parents are old, retired people now, but it is nice to finally understand where he is coming from.

anon332425
Post 28

I'm in my mid 20's and this is my father. I had to cut off contact with him again a few months ago because he started getting abusive again, telling me that I am an embarrassment and a loser and I should just give up and get a job in retail somewhere (I make more money than he does). I worked so hard to be perfect for him my entire childhood, making straight A's, playing varsity sports. I was a very gifted writer and art student. He did not acknowledge any of it. But of course, when I'd slip up and get an A- or a B+, I'd never hear the end of it.

I wish he could just love me as a person and not for my accomplishments regardless, but I see that isn't possible. He destroyed my self esteem. I suffer from major depression and cut myself all the time. He even made fun of my flat chest growing up which caused me even more of a complex. There's so much more but I can't type it all in here, but I really can relate to a piece of almost every single one of your posts. I'm so alone. If anyone wants to talk, please post back.

anon331891
Post 27

I'm 56 and throughout my life, my father has verbally abused me. He is 86 and still abuses. He is worse when he has been drinking alcohol. He has mobility problems due to heart failure and I gave up work to take him to hospital appointments, etc. My mum has also been verbally and physically abused.

Last weekend, we went out for lunch and when he got home, he poured himself a large drink then started on me, saying my sons were wasters, that they are not going anywhere in life and I have no friends and no man would want me.

I let him rabbit on for about 20 minutes with his hateful abuse and then I called him an obscene name and he said don't ever come back. What really hurts is my mum takes his side and never calls me. I think it's because it's a relief because he is not abusing her.

When I left the house, I could hear him shouting and I felt sorry for her, but I'm also angry because she has done nothing. Often when she was abused, I supported her. This is just a small example of what he is like. I don't know if he is a narcissist because he wasn't successful in his job. Maybe that is why he abuses us. I'm fed up with it and it makes me feel so down. When he starts shouting I could wet myself. I'm 56 and want closure.

anon328092
Post 26

I had a narcissistic mother and didn't really understand until I married my second narcissistic husband. Now, at 44, I understand the total damage!

anon327934
Post 25

This has unexpectedly made me feel somewhat not alone. It is so well described. I have difficulty living on my own as an adult because I am now dealing with repressed issues that stem from my father's narcissism.

I knew that some of the guys that I'd dated were exhibiting similar traits, but I couldn't quite figure it out. I've most recently had a relationship with a guy who has his own child and I could see the exact same kind of behavior happening with his kid. It terrified me and I felt an overwhelming need to protect the child. The father could probably sense that he would not be able to live his life (quite selfishly) in the manner which he did if I were going to be around any longer, and he doesn't want to admit that he's doing anything wrong, even when blatantly in the wrong. I can only hope that his son will not get the inclination to act in the same manner.

I also hope that he, my father, and other men like this will be able to recognize the damage that they are doing to others, as well as themselves.

anon327859
Post 24

Sorry to hear these problems. It makes feel like crying. I was married to a narcissist for 25 years and the damage it has done is unspeakable. It has been years of trying to figure everything out that he has done to his family. It is a long journey. My children may never realize everything he has done to them. Years and years of therapy and he is off on his merry way. Sad.

anon327019
Post 23

I spent 35 years totally in love with my narcissist and we broke up for good a year ago after he devalued and discarded me with no warning. They don't let you go unless you enforce "no contact" and he could come back. What hurts so much right now is his son died a matter of weeks ago and he never told me. I found out by searching and nearly fainted when I read the article.

I'm trying to find an answer here - do narcissists mourn their own child when it dies? I'm intrigued if he is actually grieving and is he too upset to tell me just yet? That's what I figure the reason is, but he also will be doing his normal narcissistic thing by not telling me to be nasty.

This has upset me so much all over again, how do I move forward? I can't let him go, yet he's so cruel to me. I'm trapped in his web. The fact he didn't tell me is making me feel so worthless and deleted after 35 years of love letters, emails, calls, meetings, texts, lovemaking, you name it. Why? How? What the...? It was all a lie and fantasy on his part.

anon326159
Post 22

Reading this, and all of your comments made me cry. How I'd wish to put a stop to my dad's narcissism. But we can't. He doesn't recognize he is one. Please help.

He ruined my brother's graduation recently, acting all proud then burst out at home. He's ruthless. Out of control already, I'm fearing he might do the same to me.

anon325866
Post 21

I had children with a narcissistic man. I believed it was best for children to have two parents, so I stayed for a long time. His violent behavior toward the children were escalating, so I took them and fled one day while he was at work. He threatened my father in an attempt to find me, and eventually did.

He got visitation and is financially ruining me by repeatedly suing for custody (which he still hasn't gotten, but I am running out of money to fight him). He has done unspeakable things to our children on visitation, then told them 'don't tell anyone, or I will go to jail and it will be all your fault'. They are terrified to go, and more terrified not to go.

My ex will stop at nothing to try and destroy me and doesn't care if he destroys our children as well. Sometimes I think maybe I could have protected them better if I had stayed there and run interference like I did before we left.

To all the children of narcissists who are posting: be strong. Learn to love yourselves. You are worthy of healthy, supportive love.

anon325675
Post 20

I know of a 30 year old single female. She is very intelligent and went into the same profession as her father, but only lasted three years.

She acts like a 13 year old and is required to perform tasks for her father and brother. They made her change her car and it is very clear boyfriends are not on the agenda. When on business she will not allow a male colleague drop her off at her home. She insists she is dropped off well away from the domestic residence. She never mentions her mother and appears to keep well away from men in that if someone gets close, she hides behind a mask. She is a lovely woman but I am worried, very worried. Opinions please?

anon325246
Post 19

My father forged my mother's signature off the deeds of our house and our business and tried to get her to go to mediation to split everything 50-50. If my mother had done it, we would have had nothing.

He lied to the courts, saying that he owns our house which is false and he convinced the courts to put our house up for sale. Right now, I have an attorney trying to show the courts his manipulation, fraud and lies.

I'm 19 and I'm trying to protect my little brother and mother from him. He convinced my sister that my mom is trying to sell the house, yadda yadda. It goes on and on. He's done worse than this and is trying to get payback. Why does he want revenge on us when he cheated on my mom and caused all this?

He narcissistic and they can never accept losing and will manipulate, cheat, lie, and use anyone to gain whatever they please. Hear my story and listen to me. Separate yourself from him. Narcissists are dangerous and will destroy your life. Please pray for me in hope that I can save my home.

anon323615
Post 18

I'm 15 years old and my farther is forcing me to attend karate three times a week, which I don't want to do 100 percent. Sure, he lies to others and says that I love it when I truly hate it. He bribed me. He said he will buy me a car when I reach brown belt. Some of my friends at school bully me and call me names because I do it. I know I'm not really learning anything there. Please help.

anon323230
Post 17

This is my father. Once when I was in my early twenties, I went on holiday and left my car at his house as there was no parking at my place.

While I was away he decided to have my car fixed up and even re-sprayed.The whole works. It looked great. A few weeks later, he gave me the bill! When I got upset, he got angry with me. It took me a year to pay it off.

anon322050
Post 16

I don't really have anyone to talk to about my narcissistic father, so I'll leave my experiences here as an anon.

So yeah, everything the article states is exactly who my father is. What's worse is he does not provide for our family. My mother works and pays for all the expenses. So does my father, but he only keeps his earnings to himself. I am an only child.

I grew up looking up to my father like a hero, until one day I grew up to realize he's a control freak. Privately, he verbally abuses my mother. In public, he tries to act charming. I hate him for his vindictiveness. But that hate is being suppressed by the fact that he doesn't really have any real friends. I try my best to bond with him, and thought maybe things would change, but no. The more I try, the farther he goes. He always wants things done his way. I respect him as a father, but honestly I believe he has no rights to be one, whatsoever.

I noticed that he always finds ways to get mad over something. Even if things are all right, he would crawl through the cracks to find the smallest flaws there may be. Yes, I feel unworthy. For every failure or mistake I make, I get over punished. For every success, he takes the credit. When I do something nice or good, I am unappreciated.

There was a phase in my life where I questioned myself, "Why am I still trying to make him proud of me?" I just wish he was gone now. But even with his narcissistic behavior, my mother would be broken without him.

I am currently living in my mother's house. I stopped going to college for a while. I feel worthless, and I'm hitting rock bottom. No inspiration to do anything. A little off the subject, but I wish I had a sister.

anon321871
Post 15

I'm 17 and my 'dad' is as described above. At first, my mom just thought he was grieving the loss of his late mother, and taking out his anger out on my oldest brother, then (after about ten years), he was doing better until his father passed, too. I am presently his favorite 'punching bag' although he's a monster to the rest of my six siblings. My oldest brother forgave him and they're doing better, apparently. But I believe he just made peace to make claim to his adopted grandchildren, my niece and nephew.

I started going to therapy when I was 15 for breathing troubles (anxiety attacks), and am just now realizing just how bad it has been.

Because I have four younger siblings who don't understand his 'condition,' my mom is afraid to divorce him at the risk of losing to him in a custody battle. We can't let the narcissist have the younglings.

Reading through these posts makes me cry because I am reading bits and pieces of the man who pretends to be my father appear in every one of them. I weep at the thought that other children have to bear with the pain I grew up with and am still enduring. Until now I thought, almost joyously, that no one else had to deal with the horrid nightmare I live everyday.

My prayers go out to you and every child like us.

To those of you perhaps finding out that your father is like ours for the first time, I am so, so sorry. Have hope that eventually the jerk will die and you will finally be at peace.

I wish death upon no one, but we all die sometime and his time is coming. Let's hope it's soon while you still have life to live out of the shadow of a narcissist!

anon319799
Post 14

My father took it one step further and beat my mother who became a co-dependent alcoholic. Our lives were miserable.

He doted on my older brother, giving him cars, money, a house, while his other children are described as worthless, disappointing, embarrassing, not worthy, etc. His new wife is only there for his wealth which he lavishes on her. If she only knew how many times we cowered in fear as he beat our mother and browbeat us! I had an ulcer by the time I was 14!

He would say, "I give to you this, then take it away." He has done that all my life and then say I am worthless. He is mean, and evil and his new wife is also they are both reflections of each other! And neither believes in God.

anon319287
Post 13

I'm 15 and this is my dad. He is an evil character who thinks his life is so hard, signs me up to do various community services on my time, then uses it as pride. I had a c in my precalculus class, which I am taking as a freshman, and he complains. Of course I can do better, but not whilst being called worthless. I can't complete with most of you (he's letting me have my things, and be mostly autonomous), but he's so much of a my way or the highway kind of guy.

anon318944
Post 12

I didn't know what the problem was until I was 41 years old. I just read it under personality traits and disorders. The narcissistic personality fit my father perfectly. I was his least favorite child as I was very sensitive and shy and could not do the things he wanted. He asked me as a 13 year old if I was gay which I am not.

At 17, he told me "you will never amount to anything. I've tested you." The emotional scars are deep and I believe I will never live a life free from low self esteem but I am trying. I have not been able to establish a relationship with a woman, although I want to.

I feel so badly for others who have gone through this abuse. I wish I could try to help that poor sad-eyed child before the damage is done.

anon315677
Post 11

My father is like this. However, it goes a bit further. When I do accomplish things, he does do the classic thing in which the narcissistic parent somehow ascribes it as having to do with themselves, but he also attacks me while I'm doing things and has this need to manufacture an artificial reality whereupon I am so heavily impaired as to be unable to do anything without him. To this end, he both passively and actively tries to disrupt me from what I'm doing, occasionally resorting to direct and deliberate sabotage.

My favorite episodes of his nonsense were when he screamed at me that, "25 is too young to date!" explaining that even though he was in his 60s he thought he should be the one going out with college girls. Also, when he told me I "was not a researcher" when I was inducted as an undergraduate researcher and furthermore that "I should quit the sciences, drop out of school, go be a janitor and then please kill myself." Then there was his screaming at me how terrible it was when I took on a part time job one summer, how much he preferred it when I did not have my own money and simply asked him for it (the reason why I got a job was because he kept saying no most of the time).

He also bemoaned the fact that thought he should have been in that field and he would be good at it but that no I should not, as I am much too stupid and bad at everything. It takes a piece of my integrity not to haul off and knock his smug egomaniacal block off. I'm fairly certain that wouldn't teach him anything though.

anon314908
Post 10

This is my dad right down to a science. He always believes he is right and has been verbally abusive since childhood. He has tried to keep me from getting my license just because I don't act according to the way he wants me to. He tries to punish me for being independent of him he thinks he is right and everyone else is wrong and everything is his way or the highway, which has greatly affected my life to the point I have tried to kill myself several times to get away from him.

People shouldn't be allowed to be parents if they are narcissists and there should be shelters that are pet friendly for children and adults who fall victim to narcissistic parents. If you tell the cops your parents are abusive and you're an adult, you're all but laughed at.

My personal experience growing up and living with narcissistic parents is it's emotionally devastating and everything is always chaotic at times in my life. When I feel down, they have no problem kicking me (emotionally) to make me more sad to get a thrill for themselves. Sometimes I feel trapped with nowhere to go. It needs to be against the law for narcissists to raise kids, even biological kids.

anon311757
Post 9

This explains my father exactly. The biggest issue is that my mother seems to completely ignore my every attempt to save us. I've told her numerous times exactly what he is, and exactly why, but she just shrugs it off. It's very sad. From what I understand, she has been doing this long before I was born. I'm 23.

My oldest brother would have been in his 40's, and my sister is 37. They both tried to get her to separate from him when they were children, but to no avail. I've always found it strange that my Mother's side of the family shuns her. I can see it in their eyes whenever they speak to each other. I'm sure it has something to do with the man who is my father. He's completely broken her.

She once told me stories of how, when they first got married, he cheated on her weeks after the wedding, and how he was a completely drunk wreck when they met. Also about how he once stole my oldest brother's birthday gift, and sold it for drugs. She also told me he was abused as a child. See, I got her to open up once, but she doesn't seem strong enough to take healthy action.

When I was young, one of my earliest memories was of my mother setting a fire to all of my father's clothes. How strange, I thought for years. Now I know why. She attempted to meet his narcissistic rage with her own. Of course that has never worked.

My father is a very reckless driver. He's recently gotten into an accident with each of our family cars. My mother, being worried for his safety, and the safety of others tried to confront him to get help with the medication he's taking. We both tried to confront him in a healthy way, but to no avail. He kicked my mother out of the house, and I left with her. Of course, days later, he demanded we come back. We are all he has. He's dying from a life of unhealthy behavior.

My mother and I have no options I can see that can help in the meantime. I was born very mentally tough, maybe even narcissistic myself, but I refuse to be like him. That's about it.

knowno9
Post 8

My father is exactly like that: an evil person who only thinks about himself. At 14, it's kind of hard to believe it but I'm starting to accept it. On my birthday this year he took me to Niagara Falls and probably bragged about it to all his friends while he walked around the whole place and yelled at me half the time. When we finally got to the hotel I was feeling miserable, so I got my ipod out and he screamed at me and told me to put it away. Not the best birthday. When we went back the next day, I asked if I could just sit and watch the waterfalls while eating the ice cream. He refused and said let's just take the bus ride, that this wasn't just my fun trip, that he wanted to come here too. So he took us on a two hour tour on the green bus, which was something I had no interest in. He acted in the beginning that the trip was all for me, but in reality it was all for him because we did nothing that I was interested in doing and he never even asked what I wanted to do.

A month later, he forced me to go to NYC with him because his mother and sister live there. When I got into the car, he forced pizza on me (not that I'm complaining) and told me to wait for him we'll find a spot to park and eat. He wanted to park the car in a certain place before I could be allowed to eat. I had been to music practice and I was hungry and became angry. When I asked if I could eat anything he said no. I've seen him once since then. Now that I haven't seen him in three months, I'm feeling better without seeing him.

It's nice to read the other stories, to know that I am not alone. Thank you for posting them.

anon311517
Post 7

Are you kidding me? Narcissist fathers don't need therapy. They need something else...

I'm a child of a narcissist father and I go to therapy. I am 20 years old and I want a different career than the one my father is trying to force me to follow.

anon308181
Post 6

This is my dad. All of it. He works in community radio and as a lawyer. In public, he is charming and very well liked. At home, he’s the complete opposite, even referring jokingly to clients as “suckers”, a reference to the fact that he charges exorbitant fees for easy jobs.

He kept trying to push me towards law as a career path, even though my stomach churned at even the notion of studying this at university. And for many years, I pretty much accepted it.

Whenever he “blew up” or went into narcissistic rage, my brother and I would always have to apologize to him afterward, and he, refusing to recognize even the possibility that he had done something wrong, to this day, has never apologized to me in his life. Not once.

I required loads of therapy for low self-esteem in my teens because I had no self-worth. My father would explode at even the most minor inconveniences, and when I stayed at his house, I was on tenterhooks the entire time.

If ever I got angry at his abusive or aggressive behaviour in front of other people, he would say, “have you taken your medication today?” as a means of discrediting me. In actual fact, the medication I was on was roaccutane for skin problems. Even once I did start taking medication for depression (I wonder who caused that?), it was designed to give me “kick”, or in other words: the ability to get out of bed in the morning.

One day, after I failed a university course he had pretty much prescribed for me, he stormed into my room at my mother’s house, to which he still had a garage remote, at eight o’clock in the morning, and started screaming at me. I was in a state of shock from being woken up in such a way, and shouted back, telling him to leave me alone. His response was to spit in my face.

Since then, I have decided to have no contact with him and have never looked back. He now refers to that day as the day “my son had a mental episode”. His ability to twist facts and just patently lie is extraordinary.

anon304247
Post 5

Yeah, this is my dad.

anon281006
Post 4

I feel like this describes my father perfectly. For me, the sooner I came to accept the situation and the sooner I gave up on wishing for a father who was fully present in my life, the more quickly I have been able to move forward. It has been an extremely painful journey but I do feel like I am making progress.

KaBoom
Post 3

Even though a narcissistic father wouldn't benefit from therapy, I think it's essential for the children. Growing up with a narcissistic parent can cause lasting psychological damage.

Imagine being ignored by your parent because what you did wasn't "good enough" for them? Parental actions pretty much create the foundations for our future self worth. And someone with a narcissistic father definitely wouldn't get the reinforcement they need as a child to develop a healthy self image.

JessicaLynn
Post 2

@Monika - That's awful for your friend. I also think it's probably a good thing her dad doesn't speak to her too much. It seems like he can do less damage from afar, you know?

Anyway, I had a thought when I was reading through this article. It seems like a lot of the male members of patriarchal, fundamentalist Christian sects fit this profile. They crave total control over their families, especially the women in their families.

In fact, I was reading an article just the other day about "stay at home daughters." In some of these groups, adult daughters refrain from going to college or pursuing their own interests. Instead they stay at home and do what their fathers tell them. Until they get married. Then they stay at home and do what their husbands tell them to do.

These groups seem like they would be a dream come true for a narcissistic father or husband. And the other people can't back talk them, because God said not to!

Monika
Post 1

Wow. That's a bleak prognosis for narcissists! Well, as the article said, I guess it's mostly bleak for the people who have to spend time with them. Because narcissists see no problem with their behavior!

I actually have a friend who has a father like this. She has a lot of issues as an adult because of it. She didn't go into the career her father wanted for her, and chose to go her own way. Needless to say, her dad was not pleased. In fact, he barely speaks to her. I personally think she's better off without him in her life at all, but it's her dad, so I try to refrain from saying so.

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