so I have a very complicated relationship with my father. I guess I’m just looking for others’ perspectives on him because it’s always been difficult. (content warning for abuse, alcoholism, suicidal ideation, etc.) >>he’s always been very critical/judgmental and preoccupied with success, other people’s perceptions, etc. growing up, it was like everything had to be a teaching moment and he talked down other people to make examples out of them. he cared about appearances and had expectations for me, it’s a lot to get into. overall, he tries to act self-aware like he “knows he’s an asshole” but he was very hypocritical. he’s an emotionally abusive person and yelled a lot more when I was younger. innately, I felt responsible for his happiness. my father wanted me to be a lot of things because he wanted a lot for me. idk how much of that is genuine or how much is that I’m a reflection of him. like it’s hard not to feel like I was just another achievement to him. honestly, I don’t know why he had a kid. because of several other factors (more trauma), I couldn’t take it anymore by the time I was fifteen and stopped visiting on weekends. he was furious and felt abandoned, I felt immense guilt. I could barely function and it was hell, that was my lowest point. I didn’t know how I could come back from all of it.it’s too much to get into, basically I couldn’t trust him but I wasn’t ready to let him go at fifteen. I never stayed over again but we got together on occasions. everything crashed and burned a few years later by the time I was eighteen/nineteen. basically my father got a new job in another state when I graduated, he was alone in his apartment and drank a lot. idk if this had been going on longer, my stepmom’s family honestly drinks to excess. but it seemed normal when I was a kid, it was the weekend and sometimes a bit of a party. so that’s “just what people do”. but yeah, it was also right when the pandemic started. he always placed a lot of pressure around college, so there was a point where I just cracked under the pressure and lost it. plus because addiction, he’d been in denial and relapsing a lot. but he was still on me about my life…in the height of a pandemic…and we had a whole screaming phone call. I said a lot of things I needed to say, though. after this, I finally started addressing some of my trauma. it was pretty close to no-contact until he hit rock bottom.he called me out-of-the-blue as he was headed back from our state to his apartment because divorce with my stepmom was up in the air at the time. but we talked about nothing, literally just random things. it was strange but I was panicked that he’d contacted me. I know now that he wanted to have one last conversation that was actually normal for once. he wasn’t coming into work and drinking all day when he’d always been a functioning alcoholic before. he was suicidal and would’ve killed himself if he wasn’t too intoxicated to, it was bad. there was a whole wellness check, so he finally got help. of course, he just wanted to act like none of that happened and I wasn’t ready to talk. coming up on a year after he got help, I managed to see him in person and talk with him. before this, I didn’t know if I would ever see him in person again. I’ve only seen him one other time since. the only logical reason I’m still in contact with him is because he is able to respect my boundaries now. it’s a lot because I will never have a “normal” relationship with him.he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and does actually take medication. of course he wasn’t diagnosed because stigma, but every professional I’ve spoken to has said that he seems narcissistic and likely has NPD. I don’t think he’s some monster and I don’t want comments condemning people with NPD. there’s nuance and not everyone with NPD is abusive. I just feel ridiculous sometimes because I wish I could give him a chance. he’s currently sober, on medication, and it’s likely he’s still in therapy. with his family, it’s just been a cycle of abuse. my grandfather was emotionally (+ possibly physically) abusive. and my grandfather didn’t remember chunks of his childhood, there was stuff with his father, etc. my grandmother’s side is complicated, too. so my dad just never actually dealt with that and made different mistakes with me, which is how that typically goes. it doesn’t excuse how he treated me, I know that. it’s just hard to let go of what could’ve been. so idk if it’s possible to trust him or if he will truly change. because I see changes from the trauma that came up for him, but I also see behaviors that are just more concealed now. I know what to do to keep myself safe. it would be easier if we could continue to talk about things without it feeling like an attack. I just don’t know how to let go of the hurt I tried not to feel. I’m planning on trying EMDR at some point this year, I’ve just felt all of this for a long time.
Child emotional/psychological abuse
Complex post traumatic stress disorder
Hi, thank you for telling your story. It takes a lot of courage to do that. I proud of you. ☺️
I really relate to that a lot. My father just gamble a lot when I was a young child. I thought it was just a fun worthless game but it was Russian roulette. He lost money and started to sell mine and my brothers things in secret. I don’t have a relationship with my farther now. He’s been in jail for sexually abusing me and attempted rape. I have a restraining order against him. He does know anything about me. He said I was lying about it in court due to the fact he sold my kindle fire. The jury decided that I was telling the truth which is so good. I have developed PTSD. I have had countless therapists and therapy sessions. I’m 20 now and it still effects me. You’re not alone. My farther tricked me in to drinking a mug full of vodka because he told me it was water. I’m here if you ever need to talk about anything. You are heard and you’re not the only one. ☺️💗
thank you. and I’m so sorry that happened to you. it must have taken a lot to be in court through that and I’m glad he’s at least serving time for everything he put you through.
Thank you for sharing your story with us. I have a similar relationship with my father as well. I still see him occasionally for holidays but that's about it and it's mostly due to familial pressure.
The guilt you're feeling is so unbelievably valid. You are so strong for going through this.
Cutting off/limiting parental contact is extremely difficult. Especially with the way our society is set up. But with a lot of it, it's time to think about yourself. Your father is unable to give you the care/relationship you need. Whether that means you continue no contact or limit contact, you need to do what's best for you moving forward.
People with NPD are definitely not inherently abusive. The stigma around NPD is gross and I wish it wasn't there.
Im so sorry you have to deal with all of this. Like I said I have an extremely similar story with my father. If you ever need anyone to talk to please feel free to reach out
thank you so much 💛
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