Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Decision to Go No Contact With My N Father

I've always known that my father had some personality traits and behaviors that were problematic, and that he was quite self-absorbed. But in "08", I realized that the way he viewed himself and others went way past self absorption and that he most likely has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). I made the decision to go no-contact with him in 2008, when he and I got into an argument over the phone and I realized that communication with him was just not worth the toll on my emotional well being.  Since then, I hadn't thought about my father much, until last week, when CS did an entry Something that Still Makes Me Angry, in which she talks about her father's utter lack of regard for how she and her sisters' may have felt to see his Playboy magazines out in the open in their home.  This entry really got me thinking about my own father's narcissism and the ways in which he has shown a clear lack of regard for me, my family, and other people, especially women.  For CS's entry, I left several comments and replies to other commenters, telling the story of my father's behavior.  I am including some of those comments in this entry because although I didn't make a conscious decision to present a time line of events that led up to my no contact decision, my comments ended up doing that to some extent and I wanted to share them here.  Here are my comments:

First comment
I don't think that this even registers with them when they have kids. Being a role model isn't exactly high up on their priority list. If it was, they would do/not do a lot of things. Your entry got me thinking back on some incidences with my father about treating women like objects and his disregard for their feelings and worth as human beings. This would be a very long story, but I'm just going to give the basics of one instance that completely turned me off and made me view him differently. Well, my father is a gambling addict. He's been involved in it for a very long time. It got to the point where he was basically living at the casinos. This is one of the reasons why my mother divorced him. He simply was not around for the most part, and when he was, he expected everybody else to go out of their way to accommodate him and glow in his presence. Anyway, getting to the point. Throughout the years, I barely saw my father but I did have sporadic communication with him via phone calls.

So anyway, back in "05", during spring break of college, I planned a one day trip with my half sister to go and see our father at one of the casinos at which he was staying. So we get there and see him in person. It was weird since i had not seen him in such a long time. The day ended up being a complete disappointment, and some things about his personality were validated to me as I observed his behavior. I recognized that aside from his addiction, he was just a very selfish person, and I couldn't believe it, but I actually found him repulsive on some level. One of the things that occurred during that day that did the damage was when I, my sister, my father, and a couple of his gambling buddies/enablers were in his motel room that he shared with his "girlfriend". While in the room, everyone was just chatting about nothing in particular, when all of a sudden, my father started talking about some of the women with whom he had been earlier in his life. Those women included my mother and my half sister's mother. Well, he talked about them in such a disrespectful manner. I really couldn't believe it. He talked about how had "deflowered" my mother (my mom was a teenager when she initially met my father, and she was very naive, and didn't have much familial support growing up) He then talked about how my half-sister's mother was very pretty and how he should have stayed with her longer than he had (My father did not have a relationship with her, they were basically just friends with benefits, which is how he treated most of the women that he had had a sexual relationship, aside from my mother, with whom he actually had a long term relationship). So anyway, all of us in the room sat around listening to his ramblings. After that, he noticed that I really wasn't thrilled to be there, so he started making comments about that, talking about how "obnoxious" I was, simply because I wasn't going out of my way to smile or look at him with adoration as he acted braggadocious. All that mattered was what he was saying and that he was revelling in his past exploits. My half-sister enabled him by joking around and not taking him seriously, but he could tell that I was highly annoyed by the whole situation so he tried to tell me off. The rest of the day was basically a long series of walking around the casino and watching his temper get out of control a couple of times. By the end of that night, I realized that I had made a bad choice by even deciding to visit him, and that he was pretty much a lost cause. He is devoid of behaviors and traits that could actually sustain long term relationships. I had always noticed little signs from when I was very young, but instances like the one I shared, just solidified things for which I had previously lacked clarity,


Second comment
 CS, I really have to wonder if he is sociopathic. You mentioning that as a possibility actually triggered an incident that happened while my half-sister and I were visiting him. At one point in the visit, I saw him push one of his gambling buddies/enablers because the guy was either saying something that he didn't like, or was walking to slowly for his liking. I can't remember. So he just pushed him out of the way. I was a bit taken back by this action, until I started observing more over the course of the evening and I realized that all of these people in his group were basically his minions. He was a "god" and they were following him around waiting to be noticed. It was really interesting to watch how he got each of them to do things to accommodate him. One guy in the group had a car, so he was the one who drove all of us around. The guy that he pushed was always giving him praise and appeasing him. The "girlfriend" that I mentioned above, was actually providing their income through her extracurricular activities. I didn't know it when I first arrived, but by the end of the day, I had realized that the "girlfriend" was offering services to guys so that they could get money for things and to go back and gamble. Of course my father had no problems with any of this, since his role was that of the parasite, just taking up everyone's resources. And thinking more about this whole dynamic, I realized that that's how my father has often acted over the years. He views other people with subtle disdain. Other people are only good to prop him up or else he doesn't want to deal with them. He doesn't know how to have real relationships, just opportunistic ones.

Third comment
Yep. On the day that I finally decided to end communication with my father back in "08", he and I had gotten into an argument, because he wanted my mother's phone number to contact her. The silliest part about this request is that my parents were about ten years divorced at that point, and he hadn't had any contact with my mother for a long time, because of his moving around from casino to casino and state to state. My mother didn't want any contact with him. So when he asked for her number, I told him that I didn't feel comfortable giving it to him because of their past history and the fact that my mother had gotten on with her life, had remarried, and did not want to communicate with him. Well, he immediately cursed me out and told me off. I told him that talking to him was like talking to a brick wall, that he was narcissistic and an addict, and that I didn't want to communicate with him anymore. Then I hung up the phone on him, and said good riddance. i mean, what else is there to do when someone can't understand anyone else's P-O-V.

I think another reason why they communicate the way they do with other people is because they see life and other people as being "static". On the site, Polly Want a Narcissist?" the author talks about this in one of her entries. They see others as always being the same, never gaining new insight, maturity, development, or moving on with their lives. So the way that they act should be of no consequence since you will always be willing to accept them and their ways and take them into consideration as you did in the past.

Fourth comment
Yep. They really don't care about anything, as long as they are getting obedient sources of supply. I came to this realization about my father, a couple of years before finally cutting contact with him. Before cutting contact in that "08" phone call, he and I had had a severe confrontation in mid "07" on a day when he came to visit me (one of the few visits he and I had had over the years). When I told him things about himself that he didn't want to hear, his immediate reaction was to try to tell me off and put me in my place. At one point, I thought that he might actually hit me. When I was a kid, he didn't have to hear me out because he could just do whatever he wanted and my voice didn't matter. But since he hadn't seen me often over the years, and I was now an adult and was speaking up more to him, that was a problem and he didn't know how to handle it. Ladynyo, you are right about seeing the "development of their narcissism, from lower to highest levels. When I was a child, even though I didn't have the words to describe it, I knew that there were things about my father that were off-putting such as his obsession with image, his annoyance at other peoples individuality, and his boastfulness. But over time and with his addiction, those behaviors and aspects of his personality became even more distorted. He's really a scary being at this point, because of those distorted aspects of himself. In a way, I'm lucky that he wasn't around all that often. His lack of responsibility to family and his mentality that he didn't have any obligations actually prevented him from being an overwhelming force in my life.

Reference List

Caliban's Sisters http://calibanssisters.blogspot.com/2014/02/something-that-still-makes-me-angry.html

3 comments:

  1. Hi BC, I am very glad to see you've reproduced these comments here, because you are right that taken collectively they provide you with a structured timeline, a set of specifics to start to buttress how you will organize your memory of him and your present understanding of your situation. Very cool. I think it'll help you organize how you want to proceed. xo CS

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  2. I also found, with my own blog, especially my first one (that the bullies made me want to shut down), getting episodes down, in detail, helped me then widen my lens to see the bigger principles at work behind the particular scenarios. That let me start to see the patterns behind what seemed at first like a bunch of mere "examples."

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    1. Yes, CS. I think that I am getting to that point now of recognizing the patterns.

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