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  • mens controlling mothers + my narcissistic father = recipe for disaster

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    Old 11-14-2009, 08:14 PM   #1
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    mens controlling mothers + my narcissistic father = recipe for disaster

    My father grew up in a gas-lighting, manipulative-mother household with an emotionally distant father. Never could say NO to the mother and this created much self loathing and hatred towards women. This resulted in a narcissistic personality in my dad, who was idealistic, a complete snob, sexually repressed and isolated, emotionally and verbally abusive to my mother. Mom was a martyr. Always soliciting sympathy from me, living vicariously through my and all her friends' anger towards my father since she could never express it. she was a little girl and a total narcissistic supply for him. Overvaluation of brother occured who also served as a narcissistic supply, where I (the older daughter) became invisible. I can only remember one time for a period of a few months where I was not invisible, where he spoke to me on the phone almost every day (I was going through a really rough depression) and analyzed my life and told me what to do. He lived vicariously through me. had to cut him off when I realized he was not thinking for my good, only for his own indulgence. Most directions involved telling me how to cut all the people in my life off because I was “better than them”. He was/is also extremely selfish, always spending all his money on himself, building addition after addition onto his house and my mom had to paint (shes an artist) in a little corner in the basement for 30 years. sports cars, boats, horses, you name it, he bought it, but refused to help me pay for college and yet he pays for my brother. So, have i talked to him about this? no. He is a very angry man, and he blows up if you say anything that he doesnt like, that even remotely smells of criticism. The most I ever got out was "This house is depressing" (because everyone is depressed!) and he kicked me out of the house and took my car. one time he yelled at me 'If you were a boy, I would hit you!' All this made me feel completely invisible as a person, but more importantly as a woman.

    Because of this extreme self indulgence on his part (in the spending, the emotional abuse, the lack of self control of his anger) I see my father as a little boy, i never could see the “man” in him. Im sure if I really did see it in someone it would completely terrify me.

    anyhow. this has affected my relationships tremendously. I recently broke up with my boyfriend of 2.5 years. Over that period of time, I became so overwhelmed by my image of him in my mind as a little boy, that I couldnt bear to be with him anymore. (In my mind) I was so critical of him because i felt he couldnt self-actualize in anyway; quitting smoking, getting work done, controlling his sexuality (his drive was just overwhelming.. five times a week was not enough for him, though it was normally more like 3 times a week), and i was "repressed". the list goes on. though we loved each other, i lost all my deep respect for him and would pretty much just tune out everything he talked about because i didnt take him seriously, which meant his goals, his dreams, etc. He is in his thirties and still only making 15,000 a year and dreaming of revolutions that he will never be a part of, only talk to you about at the bar over a beer.

    Additionally, I have had a 7 year on-and-off relationship, a 2 year relationship, and a few (2) others that all share the same family dynamic: they were all with men who had controlling mothers and emotionally or literally absent and inadequate fathers.

    am i trying to save my father? i am drawn to men like this (i think) because i can play a more male, dominant, fatherly role to them (hard-nosed), like i played to my mother when she was being a martyr and i was expected to be her sounding board as she cried on my shoulder when i was as young as i can even remember. my father was always painted as a monster. i am more comfortable in this role, but i dont respect the men i am with. also, i end up FEELING like the mother, because they end up treating me like i am supposed to take the mother's role.. and let me tell you, that makes intimacy really.. awkward. it just felt like they were either little boys wanting to be held or like they wanted some kind of revenge on their domineering mother. thoughts on THAT are definitely appreciated.... i feel pretty alone in that experience.

    anyway, i am certainly not ok with being their mother so i end up breaking up with them. who knows, maybe i am a lesbian, i have no idea. but less on that, and more on the pattern with men, how to solve it, why it is happening, etc, although comments on everything and anything are welcome.

    thanks for reading.

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    Old 11-14-2009, 09:46 PM   #2
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    Re: mens controlling mothers + my narcissistic father = recipe for disaster

    Well, I think recognizing the problem is more than half the battle. Congratulations on that. Now you just have to get to work on rising about your raising. I think you can if you work hard at it.

    Perhaps a good therapist could help? I know some people are really opposed to it, but it can help get some good, objective third party input. You have to find a way to forgive your parents for not being who you wnated them to be.

    I think that's a natural pattern. We tend to be attracted to people who remind us of people in our past that we subconsciously want to fix something with. So if you forgive your father and let all that go, you will no longer feel compelled to try to "fix" that relationship, and you will no longer be drawn to men that remind you of him. And forgiving your monther will free you from feeling compelled to play the role you wish she had played, but that you don't really enjoy playing.

    Old 11-15-2009, 08:45 AM   #3
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    Re: mens controlling mothers + my narcissistic father = recipe for disaster

    Thank you very much for replying.. I do agree that therapy would probably help. Now that I am grad school I have access to their health center. I recently watched the movie The Squid and the Whale, and it through me into such a depressive state (what an accurate portrayal of a miserable narcissist the guy was and what a toll it took on his family) that it motivated me to finally email the health center and asked for an appointment. Starting school, breaking up with my boyfriend, and being so close in proximity to my family (which keeps these issues in the forefront of my mind) has brought me to a point where talking to an objective third party is definitely a good idea. So we will see..
    Thanks again for your response..

    Old 11-15-2009, 11:24 AM   #4
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    Re: mens controlling mothers + my narcissistic father = recipe for disaster

    similar upbringing. before you can have a relationship, you need to have a relationship with yourself. I went to coda (co dependents anonymous) which helped me to not be afraid to be on my own. I now prefer my own company, and have friends with good boundaries only. If they do not, then I let them go. I do not ask for anything from parents/siblings. I am the happiest I have been. I wish you luck on your journey of self realisation.

    Old 11-15-2009, 12:23 PM   #5
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    Re: mens controlling mothers + my narcissistic father = recipe for disaster

    I would never deny the importance of parents in our lives, but at the same time I don't think it is all about parents. We are certainly born with potentials, and education and upbringing can only enhance or diminish them. Parents are not responsible for the whole of our life. And it is even unfair to hold them as such.

    If your father treated your bother better than he did treat you, maybe he had a reason to do so. I am just saying "maybe." I agree that it looks unfair, but maybe he thought your brother was less competent and even weaker than you, so he needed more help. Ok, you may not agree with this, but it is a possibility. As a father myself, I love my both kids, but in different ways (not intensity) and I do different things to each of them.

    You can enter therapy if you think it will help you, but therapy is usually a long road and there are many traps along the way. I would suggest that you read the books of this author: David K. Reynolds. They may help you decide whether you really need therapy and they may help you gain a new perspective on your parents.

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