My Father the Narcissist: A Narcissistic Father is a Tyrant and a Bully

Narcissistic fathers often emotionally damage their children. They disregard boundaries, manipulate their children by withholding affection (until the children “perform”), and neglect to meet the needs of their children because they are interested only in meeting their own needs.

Their image and perfection is essential to narcissists; they often demand perfection from their children.

The children thus feel intense pressure to be perfect and try to ramp up their talents, looks, intellect or personality to please their father.

It has a high personal cost to them if they succeed in fulfilling their father’s wishes – and it can cost them just as much if they fail. It’s a no-win situation.

There is profound unhappiness among the members of a family ruled by a tyrannical narcissistic father.

In many of these families, the mother simply echoes the father as she feels uncertain of herself (due to his emotional abuse) and is afraid to take her husband on.

Often this destructive pattern is the result of the mother’s own childhood.

Not aware of the dynamics of narcissism, she went from a cruel, tyrannical father to a brutal, domineering husband. Repetition of psychological patterns, such as is seen with abuse and narcissism, is common.

The mother chooses a spouse similar to her abusive parent and raises a family in an abusive environment like the one she was raised in.

How a narcissistic father affects his children

Daughters of narcissistic fathers

They frequently report that they can never feel satiated when it comes to getting what they need from their fathers.

They never got enough time with their father and would have to compete with siblings for that rare time.

As a young child, a father might comment on how beautiful his daughter was.

But as she grew older, he would rarely miss an opportunity to comment on her weight and attitude.

The daughters often carry these concerns into adulthood, even if they were otherwise successful. With a father like this, nothing is ever good enough.

Their relationship with men in the future is clouded by feelings of vulnerability and worries that they’ll be dumped for someone else.

Anxiously avoiding commitment or taking on the narcissistic role are both natural ways for the daughters to keep relationships “safe”. 

It’s self protective but doesn’t lead to healthy relationships.

Sons of narcissistic fathers

They describe feeling that they can never measure up. Their fathers were so competitive they even compete with their sons. They either compete or pay no attention to their sons.

The sons often simply accept defeat – how can they possibly win against a grown man?

Sometimes they take another tact and work hard to beat their father at his own game- just to get his attention and some semblance of fatherly pride.

Yet they never feel good enough even when they do succeed; they still feel empty and second rate.

Both girls and boys need to be loved by their fathers in order to feel validated as individuals.

Narcissists are incapable of loving anyone other than themselves. Some of their children become narcissists themselves.

That way they get their father’s attention (imitation is the highest form of flattery) and they learn from an expert how to manipulate and use people.

How Does The Narcissistic Father Treat His Children?

Having a tyrannical father is a nightmare for every member of the family except the “chosen child” (or children) whom he picks to reflect his perfect image. The chosen child is groomed to become his little clone.

They have been chosen for their looks, intellect, special talents, or some other characteristic that the narcissistic father regards as valuable to him.

Other children in the family are bypassed because they have not measured up to his expectations.

They can be very bright, kind, considerate, or sensitive–none of this matters to the narcissistic father.

He doesn’t care about the quality of his other children’s character or personality.

These children suffer; they spend their whole childhoods doing their best, trying to get their father’s love and attention yet they always come up empty-handed.

There is also usually the “scapegoat” child. Narcissistic fathers are often mean and cruel to these children and let them know- on a regular basis- that they are deficient, unmotivated, always wrong and too soft.

They are worthless to him and are blamed for everything that goes wrong.

34 Signs of a Narcissistic Father

(From Children of the Self Absorbed: A Grownup’s Guide to Getting over Narcissistic Parents by Nina Brown)

  • Turns every conversation to himself
  • Expects you to meet his emotional needs
  • Ignores the impact of his negative comments on you
  • Constantly criticizes or berates you and knows what is best for you
  • Focus on blaming rather than taking responsibility for his own behavior
  • Expects you to jump at his every need
  • Is overly involved with his own hobbies, interests or addictions ignoring your needs
  • Has high need for attention
  • Brags, sulks, complains, inappropriately teases, is flamboyant, loud and boisterous
  • Is closed minded about own mistakes. Can’t handle criticism and gets angry to shut it off
  • Becomes angry when his needs are not met and tantrums or intimidates
  • Has an attitude of “Anything you can do, I can do better”
  • Engages in one-upmanship to seem important
  • Acts in a seductive manner or is overly charming
  • Is vain and fishes for compliments. Expects you to admire him
  • Isn’t satisfied unless he has the “biggest” or “best”
  • Seeks status. Spends money only to impress others
  • Forgets what you have done for him in the past but keeps reminding you that you owe him today
  • Neglects the family to impress others. Does it all: Is a super person to gain admiratio
  • Threatens to abandon you if you don’t go along with what he wants
  • Does not obey the law-sees himself above the law
  • Does not expect to be penalized for failure to follow directions or conform to guidelines
  • Ignores your feelings and calls you overly sensitive or touchy if you express feelings
  • Tells you how you should feel or not feel
  • Cannot listen to you and cannot allow your opinions
  • Is more interested in his own concerns and interests than yours
  • Is unable to see things from any point of view other than his own
  • Wants to control what you do and say-tries to micromanage you
  • Attempts to make you feel stupid, helpless and inept when you do things on your own
  • Has poor insight and cannot see the impact his selfish behavior has on you
  • Has shallow emotions and interests
  • Exploits others with lies and manipulations.
  • Uses emotional blackmail to get what he wants
  • May engage in physical or sexual abuse of children

The tyrannical narcissistic father is a cruel, lying, arrogant bully.

He is a tyrant that is totally entrenched in his grandiose world and insistent that everyone follow his commands.

He is emotionally abusive and can cause significant emotional damage to all family members.

Unfortunately, his behaviors cause the relationships within a family to be toxic and can cause lifelong wounds.

166 thoughts on “My Father the Narcissist: A Narcissistic Father is a Tyrant and a Bully”

  1. All of what you present here was true for me except substitute “mother” for “father”. However, since mothers are considered the nurturers, it makes things just that much more difficult. Society is quicker to believe in a narcissistic, tyrannical father than mother.

    • same here my mom was a narc it took me until my early 20’s to figure it out i also married a passive narc and we have 2 little girls the only difference is that i am not passive at all if he makes a comment regarding anything about the girls that i don’t like i tell him about it and i make sure to talk it over with the girls

      • My father is the embodiment of all the traits of a tyrannical narcissistic bully. Our childhood was difficult to say the very least. I was his “creature”, and sister his afterthoughts and disappointments, my mother, his disciple too scared to.disagree with him or have her own opinion. Now he’s 86 and still an objectionable bigot and pig.

        • Totally have the same, my mother (according to my sister) would cry watching my Father whip me regularly with a belt in the garden as a under 10 year old child, if he believed I was bad. Mum never helped guard against this tyrant (she was afraid of him and in those days I guess felt financially vulnerable if they split up). A bully, opinionated, unloving revolting non empathetic evil man. He just died 94 years old…..the saying is the good die young. Evil and I hope he is now in torment.

    • Amen to that!! It’s the damn truth and even family court judges, law guardians etc believe them and change custody to them! Even without proof to their lies!!

  2. Beautiful 🙂 this is my dad.
    I have bought Nina Browns book but haven’t started reading yet.
    Currently, I am financially dependent on my parents, they have evangelical upbringing (I don’t mind any religion) but some basic life principles they got pretty wrong. Me and my sister, we don’t deserve our independence; we owe our parents everything they gave to us, and they get jealous if we think about getting a relationships. They are seductive; my mother towards me, and my father towards my sister. Even it was in early ages Oedipus and Electra complex, now they are using it as an emotional manipulation and blackmail. My sister is 35, I am 31, we are both single, and our parents wont wish the best for us; we represent a competition for them. Even is we one day manage to escape this house, I am sure they wouldn’t want to hear that we are successful; they need us to be in trouble so they can be a heroes.
    I still don’t have a good coping skills for them, my father is a narc, mother is just very passive one, I am using just “no contact” skill and avoiding getting into discussion with my father, but great thanks for this article. Sounds like breakthrough, a great feeling of truth without gas-lighting. Yeah, gas-lighting is one very good thing to be aware of, cause doubt in my perceptions was very high before this “no contact” skill. My self-esteem went higher without my father lies.
    Thanks a lot

    • Vladimir,
      I admire you so very very much. Keep seeking God’s good truth: that we are ALL made to be loved to the deepest level, not in the way a narcissistic person “loves” but in the way we really need…attunedly. I am so very very impressed with your strength. You and your sister seem similar to a man and his sister (both in their 50’s) that I know. She has never maintained a healthy romantic relationship despite being absolutely beautiful, smart, loving and adventurous. He has never been able to stand up to his father despite his father ruining his marriage with a very wonderful and loving wife. There is a younger sister who had to be the sick one in the family as that was the only role left for her (the son is the perfect, helpful, good boy; the first daughter is the total screw up (who “needs” her father’s advice and “help” ALWAYS laced with contempt); the youngest had to choose illness as her escape from his impossible expectations. Their mother was never thin, smart, sexy, deep enough…so she just developed clinical depression. After 3 years in therapy (with a very similarly narcissistic therapist) the son has been able to do nothing but intellectualize all his feelings. After 35 years of bulimia (her father, though overweight, was obsessed with thinness in women), the daughter (middle child) can do nothing but continue to idealize her father and criticize her mother. The youngest daughter has a chronic illness and depression, but God’s love has done much to heal her. She has a family and the ability to see her parents more clearly. Though he died 2 years ago, the family continues to minimize his narcissism and its impact on them. Please continue on your path of healing. I have great great hope for you and your sister to become the beloved royal children of a loving God that you were made to be. You can have love and happiness and wholeness if you don’t accept anything less!! God be with you!!

    • The narc father and narc mother combo doesn’t get much attention. For most in modern society, the father is absent.

      Most of the attention goes to narc mothers abusing daughters, and scapegoating an absent father or exploiting a passive one.

      A narc mother and narc father combo is easily camouflaged. They are still together which creates the illusion of a functional family. Any problems must therefore be the fault of the kids.

      With both parents corroborating eachothers accusations and dismissals, the kids can’t win. People outside of the situation will assume the kids need to shape up. At best they will decide that the loudest of the two narcs is the problem and that the other narc is on your side. They remain ignorant to the fact that neither parent is on the kids’ side.

      The obsession is ego and power, resulting in a desire of narc parents to prevent thier offspring from excercising any real independence. God forbid they should get to have a life of thier own and be able to exert any influence over the course it takes or the shape it assumes.

      They say it’s about grades, but its always the same complaints and punishments no matter how good or bad the grades are. The grades were only an excuse.

      They say they want you to get a good job and have a better life. But the last thing they want is for you to do any better than they did. They are always sabotaging opportunities and diminishing accomplishments to the point of erasing them and preventing you from using them to advance your own life.

      No matter how much work you put in, an no matter how successful you are, they will always steal or set fire to the paycheck. They will always do as they see fit to put you back in your place. A place they will always insist upon defining. Regardless of fit.

      • This sounds exactly like my parents, Jimmy. I left home at 19 and went no contact 20 years ago. I’m now 46 and my dad has stalked, harrassed and tried to break me ever since. He’s pure evil. All I ask is to be left alone but he wants to control me – especially now the police are involved. It will only stop when one of us is dead.

      • “They are always sabotaging opportunities and diminishing accomplishments to the point of erasing them and preventing you from using them to advance your own life.”

        I really take this to heart as recently I wanted to play airsoft with a couple of my friends and it was about a 45 min drive there 30 minimum. And it was on no plans so it was really just a “I hope you get there soon enough to play with us” type of thing. So he purposely took the longest route to get there (I know this because when my mom takes me it is always the fastest route and i know the route) so I wouldnt get to play with them and right as we pulled in they were leaving. Airsoft is not just fun for me, its kind of a coping mechanism for depression.

        Id also like to put out a few things, I am under 16, and I do have divorced parents so life is already really hard for me, and he doesnt let me bring my phone to my moms so he invades my privacy while im gone and my ps4 is at my dads too so he uses it as a lever against me. I also told him why I wanted to get there early, so another factor of why I know he took the longest route on purpose. And who in Gods green earth would take a longer route?!?!

        Anyways, I really hope to one day break free from his control and power plays and BS.

        God bless everyone else who has to deal with a narcissistic mom/dad.

    • Went through a very similar situation, and went on for a number of years too.It marks us but it doesn’t defeat us.
      Hope by now you and your sister are doing better off.

    • Keep doing what you are doing. The “no contact” is absolutely essential if you wish to ever heal from their abuse and become independent from them. When you do leave, do not announce it. Just take whatever is important to you and disappear. I’m now 38 now. I did this 2 years ago and can honestly say I’ve never been happier in my life. I only wish I discovered information like this sooner in life. But at the same time I am truly grateful to at least have the knowledge about it that I have now.

      I’ve done so much studying about Narcissism over the past 3 years and it has been a great protection for me because we are inherently a magnet for narcissist so don’t expect to be completely free once you leave. Just obsorb articles like the one we read and use it to identify narcs and let it shield you from allowing another one to get close to you.

      I find that the ones around our age group who were conditioned from their parent(s) to be narcs, these ones are far more dangerous then their predecessors. You don’t want to find yourself in love with one of these monsters or even associate with them for that matter. They closer you let them get to you, the more damage you can expect them to cause when you attempt to break away.

      Just always be true to yourself and be aware that the naricistic population is rapid growing and they are almost unavoidable these days. They are all around us.

      Just use knowledge as protection and don’t hesitate to call it out to them when you meet one. They hate this and will hate you for it and they will start to really show their narcissistic traits afterwards. They won’t be able to help themselves. They don’t want to lose you as supply so they will try to convince you how normal they are. These are the confident ones. There are some that are very emotionally unstable and they will verbally attack you or emotionally respond and act confused as to why you would say such mean things to them. But narcs lack common sense and self-awareness and eventually slip up and expose themselves. They really aren’t very smart but they will certainly try and convince they are intelligent. It’s all a facade. It’s part of their fake image.

      Ultimately, your life is a game to them. They have no empathy, no remorse. They will hurt you.

      Anytime they start to feel something inside themselves they simply “factory reset” their brains before bedtime and the next day is a new day and their actions yesterday have been forgotten. Very sick individuals.

      If you believe in God then these people are likened to Satan’s fleshly demons. If you don’t believe in God, then Narcs are simply just terrible human beings that get away with every bad deed they do and are not happy unless they have made someone else unhappy. Someone has to pay the price for the childhood trama they experienced. All that we can do as their offspring is be the better person and break that cycle or become just like them.

      Stay strong. separate yourself from these people and you will live a happy life and regain confidence. Allow time for healing. Change never happens overnight but it has to start somewhere. Keep reading and gaining insight. Keep leaving comments like you just did and make your voice known. We are all here supporting each other even though we have never met each other or may never meet each other in this lifetime. But this is what love is and we all need it as we never received enough of it from the people that should have loved us while we were developing as humans.

      I love you all, I wish the best to each and every one of you reading this. Take care.

  3. My father has been hurting my mom ever since I was born. when they devorced several years ago, he decided to start these acts on me. I’m trapped here. I’m planning to move to a different part of the country or just to a different country. Because my dad always blames others, he thought it was me that had problems. I’ve been going to therapy for a good portion of my life. My mom sent me this article and it has helped me do much. I’m going to hope the therapist would understand. thank you.

  4. I was raised in a family with an NPD father, being the scapegoat son. Apart from the lying (at least as far as I can tell), basically all the traits described here apply and it has taken me 38 years to find out that I could emancipate myself from my upbringing and the poisonous relationship with my father. Starting treatment with a very good psychologist, and with an understanding brother (and mother), but most of all, a fantastic partner with a HUGE heart who understands these issues and can deal with them in our relationship, together. I consider myself very lucky with him, but still find it hart to create a shield of protection to keep my father ‘out’. There is so much inbred ‘have to be son to your father’ in yourself at times, and standing up for yourself, feeling good about yourself and free, takes quite a lot of strength. Getting there, though!! Bit by bit…and little successes are like huge victories then! Wow, that feels great! I am sending all my best wished to anyone experiencing the same, if you need help, go and see someone, a professional… Love

    • Stay strong Belahu – at least we now know what it is – Writing without editing is the best therapy – releasing all the toxic build up and anxiety – carrying all their shit ..the shit that dosnt even belong to us –
      On and Up from here – Bless you.

    • I grew up with a NPD father. I was the scapegoat and my brother was the golden child. He committed suicide and my father got even worse. I think I will always have low self esteem and a feeling of being scared all the time. My heart goes out to all that experienced the hell of childhood with a NPD parent. I have anger toward my father but I am trying to let it go and find peace.

      • I’m the scapegoat and middle child number 3 out of 6. I find myself behavin like my NPD/antisocial father to feel good about myself. It’s been 4 years since I’ve been trying to find self love and heal. I am depressed and developed anxiety worrying if I’m goof enough. My mom is anxious too and easily annoyed thanks to my dad messing her up over the siblings don’t get along and they have walls built up to keep feeling emotions out. I’m like that too in a sense. But Im trying to feel my emotions but when I embrace my feelings I start feeling suicidal. I was becoming a NPD mom to my little girl born with a mood disorder I wanted her to be the best dressed to avoid being teased because o was teased due to my clothes in grade school. She isn’t me and she has her own life. I thought I was protecting her ans helping but I wasn’t . I also behave Borderline PD with my boyfriends and friends. I used sex to numb emotions in the past. I would date only abusers hoping to be killed. I woukd cook recklessly and burn myself with hot oil accidentally. I’m better now in my mid twenties . I sent my baby to theraputic boarding school so she can get the help she needs with her moods. And also so I can fix this pain and my own BPD/NPD/antisocial traits. I must say my child warmed my heart and saved me from being an emotionless cynical, abusive, conciousless person. But I still feel inferior and then The NPD comes out to validate my wavering sense of worth. My dad is terrible but I look at myself and see those traits in me as well. Although he’s worst and I’m young I’m still unhappy with the damage I caused my child and my boyfriends.

        • J.B. from what you wrote it sounds like you are aware of your faults, feel empathy and want to grow as a person and protect your child. That seems to me like you do not have n.p.d, b.p.d or antisocial p.d – from what I know about it. I’m no expert, but have been looking into the subject a lot over the past few months, because of having to deal with some people with personality disorders including family members, and also realising that I have acted in self-destructive ways for YEARS. I believe these have been the result of having adverse circumstances in my childhood and then tolerating abusive people in my life without really being able to see how harmful they were to me.
          One of the game changing things I discovered was about complex post traumatic stress disorder/response. This manifests in ways that can be misdiagnosed as bpd, and I really believe that a lot of people who are given that diagnosis are actually reacting to traumas in their life, in such ways as developing addictions, self-harming, suicidal thoughts. But rather than these things just happening because “there’s something wrong with you” it’s maybe because of how you were treated and what you were taught to believe about yourself as a child.
          It makes me so angry to know that victims of abuse are made to feel like there’s something wrong with them, when the truth is they are responding to some really toxic behaviour doled out by the “normal” ones in the family.
          I’ve lost 2 friends who I loved very much in the last year, within 6 months of each other. They were amazing, beautiful men, one of them was my best friend when we were teenagers, the other was my first true love, we met at university, lived together, went through so much together. They both died as a result, I believe, of being abused by their families, and developing illnesses which ended up taking their lives, both in their mid forties.
          I spoke to my ex, who had always remained a very special friend and one of the most cherished people in my life, a couple of months before he died. I told him that I believed I was abused as a child, and throughout my life, in a scapegoat role. When I asked him how things were in his family [I suspected he was in the same position] he said “Oh my mum fucking hates me!” 2 months later he was dead and I’m heartbroken that I couldn’t have figured things out sooner and protected him. This is my advice which you can take or leave – get away from abusive people in your life asap and for good, unless you absolutely need to stay in contact, but keep it minimal, and do some research on cptsd, all the best and I wish you and your daughter much love, kia kaha

      • Chris, you have described my life nearly exactly. Except two of my brothers killed themselves. He was adamant that it was because of their wives being the reason for taking their lives. But I was in contact with both the day before and we constantly talked of the terrible life we had because of him. My father died last night and I really don’t know how i feel. I’m sorry about your brother. It hurts I know.

        • Robert,

          I know the pain you feel all too well and there are no words that can take away the life long pain of losing two siblings due to the abuse inflicted by a NPD father. I always knew from about the age of ten that something wasn’t right about my father. I was 41 years old when I read the traits of narcissism and they fit my father perfectly. That’s when I realized I wasn’t the problem; it was him. He treated my mom like dirt and even threatened to kill her before she finally decided to leave. He used to say “you’ll never divorce me.” and hired a high profile attorney to make my mom look like she was the worst mother in the world once she filed for a divorce. My father was extremely manipulative and always tried to turn the blame of things on anyone but himself . There was not a day in my life when I felt comfortable around my father. When he passed away, I didn’t feel anything for him. No sadness just relief. I suffer from depression, anxiety, low self esteem, and that’s a big reason why I’ll probably never experience the love of a woman and children in my life. I still feel anger toward my father but at least I was able to find out what the problem was. Everyone deals with pain differently. I don’t think honestly I’ll ever be able to forgive my father even knowing that NPD is a serious mental disorder. You can rest assured that your feelings toward your father are ok. You went through hell as a child and a child is not emotionally able to handle adult situations. Please know that there are people out there that understand and support you and I wish you well. God Bless, Chris

          • I can feel your pain. That is exactly how I feel right now: If he drops dead, it’ll be the best thing.

          • My son is 8 and has now stated now that the abuse has gone from emotional to physical and wants nothing to do with his narcissistic father, even young children know how they should be treated i just with the courts would take more notice and have more knowlege when it comes to these personality disorders

    • As a matter of fact, my mom was the understanding one. She died in 2013 on September 21st leaving me with the narcissist, my dad. I prayed that night in the shower that she wouldn’t leave me with him. I am surprised that I didn’t become an atheist then. But three years later, 2016, I questioned religion and here I am. I’m 16. My dad doesn’t appreciate that I’m not a straight Christian. I’m a gay atheist. My mom gave me a choice to abandon the church right before she died. But I can tell that he’s trying to take that away too but I won’t let him.

  5. Thank you so much for the article. I am 24 and currently beginning to realize that the blame and problem does not lie with me. This article describes my father perfectly. I currently live with him after returning home after 5 years. I hoovered thinking that he had changed, and I walked into an even worse situation than my younger years had been. He has now alienated me, telling me I can’t talk to my friends and the guy iI’m dating can’t even come to pick me up. He also will not let me drive, so I am completely isolated in the house. I’m trying to move back out. This is very damaging, but through research and articles like these, I know exactly what I’m dealing with. Everyone please keep me in your thoughts and prayers. I’m very stressed out.

    • Hi Daniele, my name is also Danielle and I read your comment. I lived with my father too when I was your age and he was controlling like your dad is. I finally decided to stand up to him one day, he didn’t like it. Even kicked me out, but I was able to stand up to him. I told him that I had friends and since I’m over 18, I decide if I want to spend time with them. Since I was paying the bill on my car and paying for the gas, I decide where I’m going to go at any given time. I used my job and my own earnings as my courage tool to stand up to him. He couldn’t defeat me because after all, I was paying my own bills even though I was living under his roof. In time, he backed off. I also started doing things without telling him. If I wanted to date or see a friend, I wouldn’t give him a ton of information. I would just say I’m headed out for a little bit and I’ll be back later and I left without giving an explanation of my whereabouts. Usually I’d wait until he left the house first, then I would go on about my plans. Once he learned that he couldn’t control this, he backed off. Continue looking for your own place. Don’t let him get you down. You are an adult and he cannot control your decisions anymore. If things get too negative for you, ask another relative or a friend if you could stay with them for a while. I’m sure they’ll understand. Don’t feel you’ll burden them, other relatives may open their doors to you until you find your own place. Remember God is watching this too and He will help you. You’ll be fine. I’m much older than you, trust me, you’ll be fine. The more you respectfully rebel against your dad, the more he’ll have no other choice but to let go. That’s what mine did.

    • Hey Daniele– it’s ironic, you’re name is Daniele, and my name is also Daniele (spelled with one “l”), and someone was replying to you named Danielle… I’m starting to think this name we share isn’t so uncommon as I thought! I’m especially glad someone else has the same spelling I do.
      But what’s even more amazing is that we both had a narcissistic father. My Dad was here in my life for the first 11 years, but now he is in jail. We do get calls from time to time. I sometimes wondered when I was younger if my Dad was going to change, but as of right now, he seems to still be doing the same things he did years ago.
      For so many years, I had to witness my Dad always yelling, screaming, and accusing us of every thing he identified as wrong… even if that thing wasn’t wrong. I could get a glass of milk and suddenly this is why I’m fat, unhealthy and etc..
      It was really, REALLY hard, because he showed me from the moment I had a conscious thought, that I had to EARN his love, and that it was conditional. I had to be perfect. If I was wrong in his eyes in ANY way, I had a high chance of getting yelled at, sent to my room, or getting spanked.
      Not only that, but my Dad was schizophrenic too. He constantly thought someone was on his back all the time. So many times we were accused of being in some sort of thing that we never even did before.
      And while my Mom and my brother love me, I never really had to earn their love, for some reason, it never made as much as a heartbreaking difference as what my Dad did to me. I’m angry at my Dad– not unforgiving, but incredibly angry.
      But I want to provide encouragement for you, and let you know that Papa God’s got you in His arms and is going to be there for you. I know what you went through and I just want to let you know that there is ultimate hope through Papa God because He loves you!
      When my Dad wasn’t ever there for me, God filled that gap that nothing else could ever fill. Papa God is my absolute best friend ever because He was there for me and loved me unconditionally. He saved me from living a life of no hope, and into one filled with joy, love, faith and more hope than I could imagine! Not only that, but He gives a perfect love that can’t be given by my own father, and I’m so glad that God has extended it to me– and to you, too!
      I want to remind you that God hears your prayers and He is with you all the time. Praise Papa that He died so we can be free!

  6. Stay strong beautiful people – at least we now know what it is – its like a virus and what it is is that we have been overloaded by our own parents darkness and abuse – they convinced us we were nothing – its taken me 40 years but i finally realised it not me its my father – what changed my life was writing without editing – releasing all the toxic build up – i really like myself now ..well i always did – my father just didnt like me ( or more likely dosnt like himself) – just need to heal the wounds now and move on On and Up. – we did all we could for them – only they can help themselves – we are valuable and owe it to ourselves now to give to Ourselves.

    • I can’t stop reading ….. I’m 56, this is the first time in my whole life that I feel truly validated. I have always assumed that there is something inheritly wrong with ME and the way I interact! I thought love was something you could “win”. I wish someone had told me 30 years ago. Wow! I actually have a chance now ….. It’s too late for me too make a family, but I have the rest of my life left to love ME! Thank you all so much

      • Hi Tami. I’m 50 yrs old & just realizing that my father is an abusive narcissist & mother the co-dependent! Just now!….after yrs of not understanding why I always felt like an outsider, not good enough, and never truly loved. I missed out, too,on having a family due to lots of issues. I’ve never married, not had children & been scared to live or own my life! I’m having a hard time in this recovery process as it feels there is no reason, with NO family of my own, to enjoy life, and little hope of ever finding a loving relationship with a man. . My faith in God has been a long journey & I’m in the middle of what will apparently be a long journey to recovery.

        I just wanted you to know you aren’t alone in feeling “cheated” by the lies!! Thank God you have found Truth & some helpful information! May you recover well & completely!

  7. Teri. Finally realized it wasn’t me that was wanting in aboutmy 50th yr. However, when mum died and father’s health deteriorated he became like a child. Now dependent on others, his personality has changed. He no longer criticises and bullies but asks nicely! I can’t forget how he used to be, though, and still resent him for that.

    • defiant elf-I’m dealing with a very similar situation! My mother recently passed away and now my father (although in good health to my knowledge) is all smiles and sunshine, ready to be “Johnny on the Spot” for any troubles and involved with us-almost like a leach. I can’t seem to get beyond the resentment enough to see him even only once a week, as I and my siblings had to watch his hideous treatment toward my mom and us while growing up and as she was dying. The impact they have is devastating.

    • My personal story is similar but with physical abuse. He doesn’t even remember it. Now, I have a very close and loving relationship with him and rarely miss a day without speaking on the phone.

      Not sure of your specific but resentment only hurts you. I had to decide at one point to hold onto my resentment or to drop it completely and start a new.

      If he changed ONLY because of dependence then I see your point. But there is the possibility that he has changed with age. If this is the case, you can think of it as him being a completely person – not him at all. You might want to give it go. I have no regrets and now the last 16 years with great relationship has almost knocked all of the bad out altogether.

  8. I have been abused emotionally for a very long time. I grew up with a dad who has bipolar and a narc. my mom stayed married to him because she thought she could not leave with us kids. I am a scapegoat and have been for a very long time. My mom is now ill and she can not just get up and go. The dilemma is my dad thinks I owe him and should take care of my mom all the time. I go to school and work and he would like me to give up my job and school to take care of my mom and he would pay me. I go over every night or every other day and help with my mom. Whatever I do it is not good enough. He yells and swears and tells me basically that I do not do enough. I have autoimmune problems and lately I have been a nervous wreck. What should I do?

    • Please get to this FB page:

      It sounds like you need to start working up to going no contact with your parents. Remember, THEY chose to have a child. THEY owed that child an upbringing, love, nurture. You do not owe your parents your life just because they birthed you, they did not nurture you, they did not give you what you needed to become the best version of yourself, and you do NOT owe them care – no loving parent would want to hold their child back by turning them into a carer. I’m a daughter of a narc mother, and I’m still not sure what my father is. My life has been crippled by them, and I’m now 42 and about to go completely N/C and see if I can make a proper life for myself without them. I also worked in the care field, and saw parents manipulate their adult children. Every colleague I ever had agreed that full time care should never be put on the shoulders of the patients child. No loving parent would ever want that for their child.

      He is manipulating and bullying you. If he was able to care about you he would want to see you get on with your life. Go to that FB group and request to join. The people on the page have had similar experiences with narcissists and sociopaths, and will understand your feelings and difficulties in this situation. Get some support. Parents like these do cause you ill health – don’t let them do any more damage to you, get the support you need.

      Much luck.

    • He may think you owe him but he’s not the healthy one here! What do YOU think? That’s the person I want to hear from!!

  9. My father is a bully, a narcissist and is bipolar. Life in his home was like living in prison. He was militant, cold, verbally, mentally and emotionally abusive to everyone and anyone to came into his path. He destroyed my mother and enjoyed every moment of it. I have two sibling but I was the only one who was physically abused by my father. My mother became an “absent mother”, unavailable emotionally because she had too much of her own junk. She couldn’t help her children because she couldn’t help herself. She was extremely abusively physically to my brother and I but my older sister was spared the rod because she became my mother’s confident. My sister and I both left home as quickly as we could. I entered in a relationship with a man who was exactly like my father and it took me many years to realize that I had done that because that was my comfort zone. When my husband treated me badly it felt very familiar and I accepted it. Sadly, it has taken me 58 years to figure out that there is a scared little girl still living inside me and I am slowly trying to heal that little girl. I have decided that my father will no longer be in my life. He has found a new way to hurt me by unleashing his madness on my son and treating him in the same fashion as he has treated me. My son is my life and is the most amazing gift I have ever received. My father has made his last fatal error in thinking I will tolerate his abuse toward my son. It ends here. There will be no guilt on my part. I have allowed my father to be in my life for far too long. I choose to be happy and if that means removing my father from my life – then so be it. I decide what I want in my life. The abuse stops when I say so.

    • I’ve watched videos about narcissism that teach you that codependent people end up with narcissistic people. Because that is what they know and that their comfort zone.

    • I’m 16 and I live with a narcissistic father. My mom died in 2013 leaving me with him. He resents my homosexuality and my atheism. He hates that I’m homosexual because he wants grandchildren. But my children will never be around him.

  10. I wish American society knew about more about pathological narcissism. I, too, had a narcissistic father. I was only allowed to a reflection of his false self, not myself at all. With his capability to twist and abuse language, however, he took himself out of the sentence and made it sound objective advice. I was denied going to the bathroom and sleep even – because he kept alliterating “a man” as “self-sufficient” and “above a child”, especially in needing self-care. He was physically, emotionally, and psychologically abusive all at once.

    Underneath his claims of omnipotence and being above everyone else are actually insecurities of people ratting him out, shaming him, and being flawed like everyone else. He created every battle I forced to defend myself in from him. He wants you to fail so he can be propped up. He gaslights your problems and claims he defines you. My dad should read Numbers 23:19 –

    “God is not human, that he should lie,
    not a human being, that he should change his mind.
    Does he speak and then not act?
    Does he promise and not fulfill?”

    Dad is definitely human, in fact he is subhuman. He lives on lies. Dad will change his mind on a whim, based on the availability of or threat to narcissistic supply. My Dad promised me the moon, but never followed through either due to the fact he was talking at me to abandon me or just manipulating me to get me to act instrumentally on his every whim and need. Therefore, he never fulfills his end of the bargain. Dad just wants to be God because he learned shame for being human.

    I am a Christian, an artist, and a musician. I am defined and enabled by God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, not my Dad. I may have some physical traits like his, but I am 95 percent not like him at all. I love people and learning genuinely, I am loyal and willing help, understanding, intelligent, creative, honest, and compassionate. My Dad is none of those.

    • Yes, they can promise you the moon to lead you along, making sure they have received everything that they hoped to receive, and once they have got it in the bag, they figure they achieved it out of guile and because they are wise, but even the thought of fulfilling their end of the bargain can fill them with anger and contempt towards you, because they are incredibly greedy and selfish people. They do not perceive taking advantage of you, as they regard that leading you along was a legitimate part of their work effort, and that is all.

  11. well, untill up here i have read many from many people and actually figured out how exactly my father is like to me.i have a sibling and she is being treated like an angel and it is just me who get all the sarcastic, curses from my father. right now i’m being financially dependent on him and he took every chance to highlight the point that i’m still dependent on him. he never ever felt me to be his daughter instead he would treat me like an orphan that is given shelter. he always tries to put me down and can never tolerate if i get good grades and good name in my class. instead he will always point out over my weaknesses and stress on it the more. i will be a comedy one to have jokes upon when at family gatherings. he will not miss any chance to make me a fool and a do-for-nothing person infact me being intelligent and a good human being.feeling very sad because it’s the early stages i’m experiencing this type. i used to love my father a lot but now all this behavior is disappointing me a lot

  12. I grew up the scapegoated daughter of a narcissistic father. I’m in my mid 40s now, and I just want to encourage others with a similar background to become financially independent as soon as you can. Once I moved out and didn’t need anything from him, it was better. He still wasn’t pleasant, but he did not control any aspect of my life. If he acted up, I told him I wouldn’t put up with it and left and he would act better for a while. This worked well enough for more than 20 years. Unfortunately, now that he is in his late 70s he is getting to be really awful–verbally abusive to me and my husband. It helps that we live on the other side of the country. But I am considering cutting off contact if he keeps it up. So while it never ends, you can create a situation that makes it tolerable for you. Also, coming to terms with my father’s NPD in my early 20s made me determined not to marry someone like him. It is possible (just don’t rush into marriage–try to really get to know the person first). I have a wonderful husband and two great kids. Being a mom makes me realize how pathetic my dad was and how much love he missed out on. So sad.

  13. My father is a narcissitc-psychopath and tried to destroy me my entire life.
    Why he had me, I do not know. The only reason I can figure is that he wanted a clone of himself. I stood up to him, starting at an early age. His venomous hate came out in several ways, that only as an adult have I been able to understand.
    He destroyed my friendships with relations because of his jealousy of not being a child. He spent money he did not have in order to look good and be a kid.Treated my Mom horribly for giving me any attention……..
    meanwhile berating me and putting me down in public. Never good enough and constantly undermining my friendships that would never last once they met him in person.

    My girlfriends were nothing but playtoys for him. That is how he would see things. He had the charm and was a public figure, but once the front door closed he turned into a controlling monster from hell.
    He would kick me out of the house only to start calling me up later acting as if nothing happened. Narcissitic people are nothing but venomous vampires that want to suck the lifeblood out of unwitting victims.
    The need someone to pick-on in order to survive…..I happened to be the
    one that was born to be prey for a sick NPD infected father
    Run from all NPD infected people as far as you can go!!!!!

  14. my husband the step-father of my five children and father of our son….has always been like this but as he got older he got worse….he bullied us all for years until we all came together and stood up to him… was sad to hear all the lies he had told my children behind my back and to all of them behind each others backs….I ended up sectioned twice because of him and all his mindgames…..I tried to kill myself because I thought I was “nuts” when really he knew full well I wasn’t and it was all down to his gaslighting every family member……..stand together with your children and get rid of him if you don’t want your grandchildren harmed…..growing up to think its them who is no good are lying and are worth nothing!!!!all children are worth everything!!

  15. This describes my father very well. How many Dad’s can walk out on a family whose done them no harm, along with abandoning his grand children and great grandchildren. It’s sad that people have to be that way but all I can say is pray for that person because someday they will be facing the Lord and they will have to answer for all of the mean things they have done to their family and others.

  16. Wow. This describes my father exactly. He has every trait you name except the last–he has never physically or sexually abused me. I have been in therapy for many years (I am 54), and have only recently realized that the problems in my relationship with my father are not my fault. Thank you for posting this.

  17. There is a book for daughters of narcissistic mothers…Will I ever be good enough…it’s great and is very insightful and can help you heal!

  18. I’m not a victim of a narcissistic parent… I never knew my parents as a married couple, they separated when I was a baby. But they never spoke bad about each other & remained good friends (at least in front of me) until my dad died from a car accident when I was 13. I am however married to a Narcissist and we have a son together. We’ve been together for 21 years & 19 of those years as a married couple. Since he came from a well-to-do family & I came from a poor & broken home, that my idea of partnership is flawed (according to him). I have been wanting to leave him for many years but knew deep down he would use our son as leverage. As I kept learning about narcissistic traits & how to handle them I would educate my son… every time my husband would berate our son I would immediately go to him & “undo” the damage as best as possible, I had to be secretive about it because my husband was extremely jealous of his own son. Now that my son is 18 I have proceeded with a divorce… I am very proud of my son, he remains calm & collected, and knows his dad cannot love him like a normal parent. He loves his father anyways but taking precautions on not being his victim. I am so thankful for these blogs & websites! I have learned that I am not crazy & it has educated me & given me strength to move forward in my life & to give my son the proper care, attention & healing he needs to not be “damaged goods”. Do we still have more healing to go through, yes we do but now we understand what is within our own control & how to be happy regardless!

    • So it is possible for a dad to be jealous of his son? I just wondered because all my life I knew my brother was treated differently. I was the ‘loved’ child that could do no wrong, (unless of course I talked back to him) my elder sister was a clone of my dad and thus a huge trouble maker that he was always trying to control but refused to be controlled – like him she preferred to control. My brother was always either ignored or forced to do what dad did or liked, my brother was instinctively gentle, but that was weakness, if he tried to get fit and masculine, he was a bully or could get gay – all those fitness magazines with semi naked men in them… My brother tried to reach out to him, only to get slapped down again and again until one day he snapped when my dad made my younger sister cry – then the shit hit the fan. they had a yelling match that nearly made my brother vomit, he then left the house never to return, because he knew if he did it would only make trouble for our mother.
      Mum never could stand up to dad, all of us girls adore my brother – he’s a great mix he’s a tough man but he’s so gentle, he helps mum in the garden without being asked, fixes shelves when hes asked and does it the way we want – unlike dad who knows best about everything and does nothing the way we want it. But now we are not allowed to mention my brothers name, if we want to see him we have to go shopping without dad and secretly meet him.
      I always knew he treated him differently but my Mum had started to wonder if he was jealous. Not that it matters now, hes made a complete wreck out of all of his children and his wife – and he insists that any problems we have are our fault. He’s also religious, which is a poisonous combination because any time anyone tried to argue or reason with him they were ‘rebelling against God, or undermining his authority as husband or father” he would storm off and sulk and later come back and claim that the devil had tried to interfere in the family – i.e. any argument against him from us was just the devil using us to try to destroy the ‘family’. I don’t care if God exists or not, I hope he doesen’t because the god of my father is horrible and the God my mum believes in is not strong enough to do anything about this situation – she submits to all this because she believes she has too!!!
      I asked and pleaded with God for years to do something about this or at least just tell me to hang on, he was going to handle it – please don’t gloat but he did nothing – not a word or even a whisper…

      What makes me so afraid is that I know I have picked up some of his habits – the damage hes done to me I am very likely to do to someone else. I am totally hard now, I scarcely even feel love anymore – love is a weakness, if you can feel people will hurt you – I act love but I don’t feel it, I am unsure, full of doubt and totally insecure with low self esteem. I was brought up to know that my opinion was always wrong, whatever I wanted to do was wrong, to like or enjoy anything more that being forced to sit still for hours while my dad read (and put his own interpretation on) the bible was sinful…
      And yes I too was terrified that if I found a guy he might turn out like my dad…both my brother and I are seriously damaged goods – he has his own life and a girlfriend now, he will make damn sure he treats her like he treats our mother (she’s a lucky girlfriend) but deep down he is so hurt – we are both alike and we can only treat our pain by hardening it.
      My mum won’t leave him, I don’t know why, and no one outside the family would believe us – he has the reputation of being such a kind, understanding, helpful, good man – how is it that they can put on such a show for outsiders that disappears when the door is shut?

      • Hi Sara,

        to answer your question, yes it is. A narcissistic father is in constant competition with his sons, and everyone else for that matter. Especially in your situation. 3 women, 2 males? The narc has to publicly demonstrate he is the alpha. All the time. Always.

        Kind of like a high school jock with low self esteem. Or kind of like a sad little preacher man who thinks he represents something divine – while really, his behavior is more like that of a primate. An angry monkey. A buffoon. Someone should throw a banana at him when he says something about ‘rebelling against God’ again. (I don’t actually mean this, but hope it will give you a laugh.)

        • Yes, narc fathers can be jealous of a son. A narc father can favor one son and be totally set against the other, owing to jealousy. It is like everything that is positive is associated towards one son and everything that is negative is cast onto the other son, it is called psychological splitting. Narc fathers who are jealous will really try to shatter the self image and confidence of a son whom they are jealous of, and they are often thinking, waiting and choosing their moments carefully, at every stage of the son’s development in order to attack the developing psyche of the child. I think the old term for this was “soul murder”. Old films which deal with “soul murder” in relationships are, “Of Human Bondage”, and “The Browning Incident”. And then there is the film, “Dancer in the Dark”, which I believe deals with a codependent young woman with low self esteem, who is exploited by others who seek to pursue their own agenda, while throwing her mercilessly under the bus.

      • Sara, your story touched me because my situtation was similar. Let me reasure you the God your father serves is the antichrist and not the true God of the bible.
        Please know that the true God is kind to our hearts and is for us, and not against us like your father displays. I have found biblical truth, courage, and strength to leave my abusive husband.
        And yes, it is biblical to do so . Please consider the encouragement you and your mom will both recieve from a blog called Crying out for Justice. You can google it and recieve Gods blessing as you take aim to remove yourself from this evil.

  19. Wow I am soo glad for this site.I have fallen in love with a guy who was showing all these horrible traits mentioned…he told me his dad was just like you all described..having a chosen child..him not being the one! I am at my wits end with him I want to help but the behavior he had exhibited constant phoning then if the conversion isn’t going his way he will slam the phone down only to phone back minutes later saying sorry..oh you all get the daughter doesn’t want him in my life saying he’s no good for me and I can see how she’s decided this..I want soo much to fix this guy but I’m beginning to think the damage his father did is too deeply ingrained.maybe I should buy him the book A grown ups guide to getting over narcissistic parents..then he might recognize its his parents faults that he himself is now copying and maybe he would want to fix these things if only to get back at his dad Whom he hates! Fingers crossed

    • You cannot fix a narc. They are like a broken mirror…you can scrape the shards of glass together but it will never be a mirror again, and the narc will never see their true reflection quite right.

      If you spend time thinking you can “fix” people, then you become a perfect target for a narc. Be careful you do not maintain this desire to “fix” others, or you will attract narcs. Ask yourself why you want to fix someone instead of just finding a healthy complement for your life.
      I encourage you to listen to your daughter – she loves you and wants what is best for you….and since she is not as close to him as you are, she is able to see the truth of the circumstances. i encourage you to not waste another moment on this guy. Go “no cintact” and let him find another target. (right now, YOU are his target for getting his narc supply met. It only gets worse from here if you do not set better boundaries and eliminate contact with him.) Good luck.

    • If you SEE that the apple has worm, WHY would you eat it? I sure hope that 2 years later you dropped his A$$ right then and there! You have a child, soooo much more important. You DON’T fix people…. they need to fix themselves. Go get one that ISN’T broken.

  20. i could never figure out what is really wrong with my father. His Jekyll and Hyde personality, constant putting down and manipulation has left me broken growing up and affected my ability to have happy relationships. This article describes him to a T ! Thank you for it, anyone knows of a good forum to go to for advice and how to deal with anxiety, panic attacks and low self esteem due to having such a parent?

    • Read the book “Will I Ever be Good Enough?” it was written for daughters or narc mothers, but it still applies to groeing up with narc fathers. And it is like education and therapy rolled into one book…first helps you identify the narc and alleviates you of thinking it was somehow your fault. Then walks you through a process of re-defining your belief system and values and helps you identify why your are WORTHY (and you ARE worthy), and helps you refind who YOU are – what YOU like and think and feel and believe. You start liking yourself and respect yourself for having the courage to learn about NPD and seek steps to be free from it (no contact anfmd grey rock answers are best so the narc supply has no emotion from you to feed off of.) And you get healthier and you can break the NPD generational abuse – because that is what it is…generationally passed from his parents to him and from him to his (unknowing and innocent) children… And you can stop it. You are Royal Child of God. You were intended for the wonderful things you desire in your heart…not the anxiety that evil has created in your life because you were born into a narc household.
      Determine why your boundaries are easy the push around. Set firm boundaries. Respect yourself enough to stay consistent with your boundaries. Do not give the narc any emotions because they feed off yours to be able to feel for themselves since they actually have no feelings themselves. The goal of showing no emotion (or by going no contact) is to starve the supply line that the narcs fuels and relies on. Starve the emotional supply and the narc moves on to target someone else. Someone else who has no boundaries and is easy to control by feeding lines to them that they will fall for because the narcs preys on their target companion’s empathy or compassion or desire to have love in their life.
      Be kind, but had enough self-worth, self-respect, and self-love to stand firm in your boundaries and not fall for the narc’s lies.
      When words and actions are inconsistent, the words are lies and the actions (or inactions) are where reality is evident.
      Good luck

    • My dad is a NPD and has bipolar disorder. He constantly blames and puts me down. Tortures my mother emotionally and physically. I always knew something was wrong with my Dad but after reading this article, it’s confirmed that he always had NPD. I could totally relate to this article and have gone through hell with him right from childhood. I was a very smart child right from childhood, but now I feel worthless and feel like a lose because of him. I always had a desire to run away from my toxic and poisonous parents once I realized that my mom always started mimicking him. I totally cut them off for years. There is definitely a sense of emptiness and void that can never be filled out because of lack of empathy and love from such parents. I’m fighting it out myself with the demons around me and trying to heal so that I can be a better mother to my two boys.

      This article definitely helped me understand why parents behaved the way they always did. It truly opened my eyes. I can heal better knowing that it was not me who is wrong but the root problem is my dad. Then you so much for this eye opening article. May God bless you and heal you.

  21. My dad is a narc and I’m 15 my dad used to emotionally abuse my mum and when she stopped making contact with him he started to emotionally abused me and still is I stood up to him one day And told him I thought he struggled to understand other feelings and he got very angry! Best way to cope with narcs is to smile and nod or have a non contact

  22. I am in the middle of a custody battle with my son’s father who was previously diagnosed with NPD. I want to protect my son but I don’t know if the court will see through all the “father of the universe” fluff. funds are very limited and I fear my son will be court ordered to grow up in an abusive environment.

    • Liberty,

      Speaking from experience, as my mother was in the same situation when divorcing my narcissist father, I say you must do EVERYTHING you can to protect your child. The court system does not always make the best decision for your child’s future. It has taken me 35 years to just now begin to see the harmful effects that it caused, the healing is just beginning. Meanwhile I feel many of the challenges I have faced in my life as a result could’ve potentially been avoided if my mother had advocated a little more for her children instead of feeling powerless to the ‘system’ and to the narcissistic father. There are child advocates out their for this reason that help with this process. I send you strength and love for what may seem like a never ending process, but one I can assure you will be worth every effort!

  23. I am in the same situation. I have resolved that the courts cannot or will not acknowledge this Jekyll and Hyde of a man; my only choice is to empower my son to think and feel for himself. It’s an awfully anxious and terrifying feeling every time I let my son go for contact. But my son loves his father and despite how much he hurts him emotionally my son would never go against his father. All you can do is make sure that you are the one who nurtures his emotional well being and promote his freethinking. He will one day realise that love doesn’t mean allowing someone to hurt you in any way. I’m teaching my son that love is nothing but nurturing and accepting and safe… No exceptions. No matter whom the person may be- no one has the right to make him feel unworthy or to hurt him intentionally. NPD’s are such covert abusers that their charm is enough to throw anyone off and make them disbelieve any claim that they are controlling bullies in private.

  24. So thankful for all of your stories and for this blog.

    My dad was a super narcissist, and probably had some borderline traits. He was a militant alcoholic.Gave everyone of the kids, and my mom, some kind of complex, or another.

    Out of 6 kids, the oldest, a brother died in Vietnam, just after his 23rd birthday, on the second day, after he got there. (Daddy thought war would make a man of my oldest brother, insisting he enlist.) It was a devastating blow, in an already very dysfunctional family.

    My dad had always liberally abused all of us, to varying degrees, in different ways. He was physically harder on the boys, (not that I was spared physical abuse, I got plenty,) but divvied up lots of emotional abuse, as well, to all, of us. I was scapegoated, as the one that should have known better, whenever my younger sister and I got in trouble. My dad took an emotional nose dive, when my brother was killed, and went back to the bottle, big-time.

    My younger sister somehow translated the scapegoating of me, into claiming I was the sibling who gave her the most problems, when the truth is, our middle brother, 8 years my senior, 10+ years my younger sister’s senior, started molesting me when I was 9 and started on my younger sister, when she was just 7 years-old. The molestation went on for years, for both of us.

    The disharmony with my younger sister and me was normal kid and sister stuff, the difference being, we were both being abused, long-term, and were overseen by a bunch of narcs. Anyway, the scapegoat label stuck, in her mind. Later, jealousy of me, and psycho-narc older sister’s abundant lies, lead the other siblings to scapegoat me to protect them all, from accepting the responsibility for who they are.

    My relationship, with my mom saved me from being personality disordered. I was the healing baby, born after a severely disabled and lost child, so I got a pretty good reception, upon birth. My mom was a passive accomplice, of my dad’s. She let him behave the way he did, mostly. But, I was a mommy’s girl, and she favored me, as her sweeter daughter, who followed her around, loyally, whenever I could. I asked her, when I was 5, if I should start calling her “Mom,” like my older siblings, but she said she wasn’t ready for me to start calling her “Mom,” and that she preferred Momma or Mommy. I referred to her by those names, for the rest of her life. A small thing, but since everyone else called her “Mom,” I think it was a little special, to her.

    When My dad died, when I was 11, it probably helped protect my psyche, from the abuse some of the oldest siblings suffered. It probably was bad timing, for my younger sister, since she was a daddy’s girl, and she was young, to lose that relationship. I always felt, intuitively, that the timing for losing my dad, if he was going to die while I was a kid, was probably fortuitous, for me, relative to my other siblings.

    My older sister always claimed that she practically raised my younger sister, and me, being 10.5 years older than me. She was too parentified, probably part of what screwed her up. She is a screaming psycho-narc, but so good at impression management, that most people would not suspect how evil she really is. She has all of the other siblings wrapped around her finger, since my mom died, I have been scapegoated and cast out of the family. Part of it is my own NO CONTACT choice.

    The siblings all conspired to not follow my mom’s wishes, for distribution of the estate, and I got ripped off, by my siblings. My older sister perjured herself, and the whole thing was a fiasco. My mom did fail to adequately protect me, though she had decided to, at the end, by wanting to update her Trust wishes. But it was too late, when the older sister got mom declared incompetent. She was still making all of her own decisions, but older sis was cementing her power, over the estate. There was not enough of an estate to really fight over, in court, as costs would have been high and so I had to just eventually walk away. I have walked away permanently.

    I refused to hold the family secrets, refused to follow the very hierarchical structure, in the family, which thankfully allowed my mom to live a year longer than she would have, had I not gone against my older sister, and gotten medical intervention, for my mom, at a critical moment. I was/am a cause for jealousy, among the siblings, for a few reasons.

    My mom helped me, financially, but she helped all of my siblings, especially the oldest sister. They all went back home, to live, through their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, but I moved out, at 23, and never moved back. Older sis moved out, when she was 60, after living at home, for the preceding 22 years. I think my mom just felt she was helping me to have what she helped the siblings to have, but they didn’t see it that way, since she actually helped me to buy my house. I was married, and gave her the one grandchild she really got to know, and who really knew her, the most of all her grandkids. I was a loving daughter, while my older sister basically took the place of my dad, when she moved back home, to be right there, to control as much as she could. My mom would complain to me about abusive and insulting things that my older sister said to her, but she had become very dependent on that very controlling and abusive sister.

    The ostracism was extremely painful, to process, but I know that I am better for NO CONTACT, with the whole bunch.

    I have had a ton of good therapy, know that I am okay, in spite of lifelong anxiety and depression, at least I know myself, and don’t have a personality disorder, like most of the siblings. out of the 4, one may not have a full blown personality disorder, like the other 3, but he is in their camp, and has so many fleas, that I can’t even talk to him. He is protective of both psycho-narcs, which I cannot respect. I thought at least he might hold a voice of reason and compassion, for me, but he succumbed to that “groupthink” thing, so here I am, the cast-out.

    Thankfully, I have wonderful friends, many whom I have grown up with, and who know my family and my history. Others I met, as an adult, but who also know me, and are very supportive. They help me to know that I am not alone, in this world, as do all of you, for sharing your stories.

    Healing is an ongoing process, but at least I am free of them all, now, and can build my life anew. Sad, for the cousins. Hopefully they will find a way to relate, when they are grown. My son knows my truths, since he is old enough, now, and asked me questions, which prompted me to share my history. It was my main objective, in doing all of the therapy that I have done, to give my kid a good childhood, and help him to be emotionally healthy. This is one of my happiest accomplishments, thus far, in life. He assures me that I have done a good job, and he is appreciative, knowing how difficult my own childhood was. His dad and I are divorced, because, unfortunately, I married a man with many “familiar” traits, and I knew staying in the marriage would have harmed me and our son.

    Our son has come to terms with how his dad behaves. I have always supported the relationship, between them. Ex-hubby badmouthed me to our son, for years, but eventually stopped, when our kid asked him why he talked bad about me all the time, and told him that I didn’t talk bad about his dad. Now the co-parenting is pretty good and good for our son.

    If you have not checked out the research on “ACES” Adverse Childhood Experiences, I recommend you look for it. I scored 9 out of 10, but high on the resiliency factors, which help mitigate the damage of an adverse childhood. When I looked at that score, it gave me an objective measurement, for the trauma that I have experienced, and helped me to know that I am holding myself together, pretty well, given all of the very difficult people I have endured, in my family and marriage.

    At 54, I feel that I am finally “grown-up,” and free of abusive people. The next part of life is exciting, and scary (anxiety disorder,) but I am hopeful that I can make it good! Thanks for letting me share my story!

  25. My father is the same except the last one, he never sexually abused me. Just emotionally and physically. I’m almost 20 now and he would never want me to decide for myself. It’s so toxic whenever he’s around the house. I’m still in college and I’m still financially dependent to them, and when I try to decide for myself he will get mad and he’ll tell me I’m not following his orders and I have no right to decide for myself as long as I’m under his roof. He has always treated me and my brother like an orphans that were given homes. He never listens to my opinions and what I have to say. He only listens to himself. If ever I’d be a parent, I will never be like my dad. I will never be a religious bigot, a narcissist, intolerant asshole to my kids. Never.

  26. Sounds like my father! My father is in mission to destroy my well being as far as i can remember, he started with beating me up until my college years when i started fighting back and he must’ve figured i can defend myself now so he resorted to emotional abuse, he forcefully directed bad people in my life, blackmailed me and still tries to control every single thing i do. I tried to run away from all the chaos but he always find a way to get through and destroy what i built for myself. A narcissistic military officer father with money can do a lot of things when power is within reach i guess. I’m a 25 year old woman, after college i tried to build a life for myself, got married, and was excited to leave this life behind me, but hey i guess he found a way to destroy my marriage also, hiring private investigators, women, scammers to manipulate my husband. Eventually my husband did not want to do anything with my messy family and me, My father is like a predator, he preys on you when he knows you have nothing left but your family and im an only child so there’s only three of us, he keeps me and my mom battered down so we cant move on with our lives, threats, blackmail. I tried moving away again, but my mother called me telling me she’s sick, not really knowing it was that serious until she told me she’s been sick for two weeks now and my father was instructing her to get steriods shots, she did like all scared abused women do, I quickly hopped into the next flight home and took her to the hospital, The doctor said the steriods almost destroyed her liver, her lungs was full of smoke due to the heavy smoking of my father, my father has a habit of enclosing my mother in a place with no open windows and go on a smoking spree eventually the doctor did everything they could to help her, she got well and after a year again, same pattern with my father. I feel like my mother is committing suicide already, she’s not fighting the abuse, just letting it happen each and everyday, i tried to take her away from him but she doesnt want to, its hard to help somebody that doesnt want to be helped, Now, im thinking of killing myself from all the darkness he brought to my life, its like a never ending suffering that i have to live with for the rest of my life and its not an exciting future i guess. I wish there’s justice to this, but theres none.

    • Fight back. Your life belongs to you, NOT HIM! Take your mother away from him. I know exactly how you feel. I was in the same situation. A narcissistic tyrant father is a monster. He deserves to rot in jail at the mercy of hyenas, for what he has done to you. Please listen. He isn’t invulnerable. He is only an over delusional, spoiled, unsatisfiable, impossible, insensitive, over reactive, pitiful, vindictive, abusive, cocksucking asshole. Get help. Find people who can help you. He wants you to feel alone and never approach anyone for help. That’s he’s greatest fear: that you will come into contact with people and that you will find someone who is more powerful than him. I have been abused by such a monster. The pain I had to tolerate from him is incalculable, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to answer for all that he has done or that you have to keep letting yourself suffer because of him. Think about it.

  27. The damage this character inflicts on his children is criminal. More attention should be paid for teachers to spot them.

  28. They also file away as many of their childrens’ shortcomings, failures and embarrassments for use in the future and try to diminish or destroy any achievement or accomplishment of their children, they are overly concerned with how a passing acquaintance will perceive them but totally disregard how their long-term relationships think about them. I don’t know how well they handle estrangement from their children but it’s been said to be hard for them.

  29. My dad is exactly as described and earlier this year I began investigating narcissism and NPD. I never knew his personality was so well studied, it actually shocked me and I read countless articles and read stories from other people whose lives are just like mine. He and I have been estranged for 6 or 7 years now and he handles the estrangement by telling himself, and others including a court of law, that I’m a terrible child manipulated by my mother to hate him and that I am also a criminal.

    It hurts me sometimes to think about it, because I know that any normal father would be so proud of me. But it’s not about me, it’s his sickness. Our estrangement has allowed me to find happiness and actually connect with my mom who was sort of always in zombie mode, tuning everything out. It’s like a dark cloud lifted over us all, and I was finally allowed to become my own person and not live in fear of his manipulation, lies, and explosive tantrum like temper.

    My own struggle is to weed out my own narcissistic traits, because having a father like this has certainly rubbed off on me and I am hyper aware now of my behaviours. I think about myself a lot, and rarely take an interest in other people’s lives. I also find that I lack empathy sometimes and I can’t explain why. It’s hard to be a child of a narcissist, because you not only take on some of those traits by learning from your parent’s example, but you also develop traits to defend yourself from them. I have a lot of guilt, anxiety, and lack assertiveness because I had to deal with a tyrant father’s antics. It’s his way, and if you dare challenge him then he will break you down until you are made to feel minuscule.

    My advice is to think about the people who are important in your life, because the narc isn’t one of them and not worth a second thought. If you stay in touch, he will continue the abuse and try to draw you back in.

  30. Thanks so much for your sincere write up.I do really appreciate you,am actually
    facing such right now and am planning to leave the house so as to gain my rightful freedom and live my life without pressure since most of what I do is chanel towards satisfying his (my father’s) selfish goal rather than mine.But on a second thought, I felt will it be a Godly act to just leave without letting him know because I wouldn’t want to tell him and he tells me not to go as this will cause more pains and depression than before.Pls I really need to know how best to put an end to this emotional breakdown he has caused and to live my life independently…Another problem is that am currently in the University and I don’t
    really have a source of income to complete my school and for my up keep.I can’t continue to stay with him as much as he still continues in his cruel acts as it is killing me gradually. Pls what do I do?

  31. Reading through the comments is a horrifying experience. It’s hardly human how cruel NPD can turn out in family life.

    My father beat and kicked my mother out of the house late in 2003. She already had her own apartment at the time. Me and my 2 brothers were not aware of the beating(s) at first. The narcissist then called us to the table to have a talk. He suggested we should go on a skiing vacation for the holidays with the four of us, since mom said she would not come and cook for us for Christmas – for reasons unbeknownst to him.

    My mother committed suicide early next year. The mourning process was all about him, always. I remember holding him while he sobbed. He told me that in his mind it was always like mom was responsible for giving us love, and he was responsible for giving us money – and how incredibly unfair the world is that now he would have to do both. Whenever he badmouthed her and I defended her honor, he would tell me it is as if his wife is continuing to live on inside of me just to make his life miserable.

    These are just two examples. There is no end to them. Like the time my older brother decided to quit university and our father told him mom is crying in a dark corner in heaven, because her son is such a failure, a loser.

    And there are so many other people here with similar experiences, all very disturbing. It is so utterly disturbing that even if you confront the narcissist with the most extreme cases of their own disgusting behavior, they will find a way to turn it on you.

    What helped me understand narcissism is that everything about the narcissist is always about their ego in relation to someone else. Whatever you discuss, be it politics, mathematics or music, the conversation is never about the thing at hand. It is always about the narcissist manipulating and controlling the situation in a way that places him above you, or above someone else.

    And that is toxic while growing up. Truly toxic for the development of a child.

    How to get over it? Humor helps. Relive some of the situations you remember but be emotionally detached. Observe the narcissist. Mock the narcissist. How petty, actually. How ridiculous. How infantile. The emotional intelligence of a bucket of sand. The strength of character of a crack addict. The integrity of a populist politician. The moral fortitude of an arms dealer. All he knows is to put other people down to validate his own fragile ego.

    Humor helps to get over the pain. Growing up with a narc parent, of course they will have great influence on you. But they shouldn’t. You should laugh at them. Laugh out loud. Maybe it seems “not cool” to laugh at people with a serious psychological, emotional and social disability. But that’s not the point. The point is empowerment. Realize that they are a joke.

    • Hilarious . Well written
      I might try it. You are spot on :empowerment. Don’t take it personal. Which is hard, if you really are looking for a role model and supporter of a voice of reason.

      My dad is perhaps narcissistic or a variation of it. It appears I am the scapegoat and my brother the golden child. Well he loves my brother more than himself. I am a female who should turn to getting a husband and be a user like my brother’s wife. He doesn’t think he should help me. But that I should help everyone at the same time focusing on fending for my self. My brother is abusive and self entitled. What a Surprise. Lol. My mother passed away regretting she never left him.. I always said to leave my Dad as he is not normal.
      Regardless. .he has some issues stemming from childhood . Add the chauvinism and old fashioned thinking. .and voila a difficult persona, As my mum would say. I think my dad is repeating what he learnt from his parents. The bottom line is he never grew up and changed a bit, no matter what any one says especially a woman. Hmmm.

  32. I’m so happy I came across this article. I had the same father as this and always felt there was something not quite right. His emotional needs were always put before the children. He took control of everything and left us vulnerable to this control. At the same time we were made to feel guilty for him having to be the main breadwinner. My mother became really detached emotionally so that really none of our needs were being met. Being the youngest child I guess I absorbed a lot of these negative feelings. I later realised I had been living with undiagnosed depression for a number of years. At 22 I had a mental breakdown and psychotic episode diagnosed with psychotic depression. I spent 4 months in hospital after suicide attempts and had electric shock therapy. It was a very long and slow recovery. Today I still struggle with relationships and attract abusive men. The scars of a father like this are lifelong and I don’t even know how I’m still alive. It’s strange having to re learn what should have always been given to you and being so far behind your friends. I was also a great student but after my breakdown my brain and memory does not function the same. the biggest thing I have learnt is that I am not what happened to me you are more than a situation. That and spirituality as I was drawn to it after my near death experience with psychosis.

  33. Thank you for this article! Every so often I look for information on how to deal with my narcissist/histrionic dad and it’s hard to find anything on male parents. This list of traits hits the nail on the head! I’m 48 and wish I had known 30 yrs ago that it’s not me…it’s him. It never changes. Anyone dealing with a parent who is impossible to please know that you are absolutely perfect as you are.

  34. Am in my mid 40s and have recently stumbled onto the realization that my father is a Narcissist. Have always known that something just wasn’t right with my father, our relationship and our family unit, but wasn’t quite sure what. I didn’t realize that my “normal” wasn’t normal. My father drove me to my absolute breaking point earlier this year which thrust me into my search for answers, I came across this site and others like it. As it is now, my brother is long gone leading his own life, away from us and my father, he had to leave to find his own peace, my sister and her husband are struggling with my father’s ways and my wife and I have recently thrown up a wall with limited contact between ourselves and my father to protect ourselves and our children, my father was starting his narcissistic crap with them which was the final line for me. My father has gambled and squandered away his entire life savings, they were quite wealthy and well to do when they retired. Then out of the blue, he started demanding money from us which pushed me completely over the edge….

    The flood gates have burst open and I now find myself sorting through the information, trying to make sense of everything.

    • Thanks Rob,for bringing you journey out in this space.I personally had a aggressive narcissistic Father(i took physical assault till the age on 22).The physical assaults stopped but the verbal and emotional assaults continue till now(I am 30 now).I take it quietly,for my mother will face the burnt.This has greatly affected the whole family.My elder brother had unknowingly taken up his ways.I feel so much for every soul,but I know its beyond my control.The only solace I give myself is’i won’t give up’,I’ll not turn like him-never.What he has failed,I will succeed.I will be the strength I wanted to see.I will be the light in darkness.I will win this battle.May the creator help you see the light too.

  35. Hi there, just want to say first of all how helpful this article is and secondly I am an adult daughter (34) of I believe a narcissistic father but Its hard to believe it and I wondered if you could let me know your opinion of whether this is the case. My story is rather like those here.

    My parents went through a horrendous divorce which began when I was 8 and ended when I was about 13. This resulted in my father having a restraining order made against him (which he continually ignored) My father believed my mum was having an affair (there was no evidence of this) and he was very cruel to her both pysically and emmotionally. He would also involve us children in the situation and would choose which child he loved according to whether they were on his side. When I tried to protect my mum he said to me and and my brother ‘I hate you (to me), I hate you (to my brother) but I love D (my older sister who was away from the home at that time).

    My father tried to kill my mother one night. Thankfully he was not able to break the door down to get her but he had broken her nose in the process. The police were involved and we gave evidence as we had heard my mum’s screams and his voice. My sister had to testify in court and he called her a liar. They eventually divorced but he would still try and make contact with us without my mum’s knowledge. He did not pay a penny towards child support but when he saw us would throw money and sweets at us. He brought my sister some clothes but would only let her wear them when he visited her at his home. There are hundreds of examples I could give you where he has tried to manipulate us or use us for his own gain. We had concact with him on two occassions but would only be interested in asking questions about my mum, what she was up to, where she went etc. We later learned that he had hired a private detective to video us on holiday- as an adult I have watched this video which he has weirdly kept. His rational? explanation about this was that he needed to prove my mum was living with someone. (After his restraining order a year later my mum had met another man).

    Years went by with no contact however he wrote to us out of the blue (I was aged 14) claiming my nan had cancer. (we later realised this was a lie). I had written back to him as I had hopes that he may have changed. I wrote sincerely and from the heart about what he had put us through. He claimed my mum had brain washed me and I had not written this letter. I could have told him untill I was blue in the face but he twisted information to fit in with his own reality. Just as he had tried to justify trying to kill my mum and his attempts to starve us out of the house, putting sand in the car so it broke down and my mum couldnt get to work (she needed to work to continue to keep the house going- she received no other income).

    How I have coped with him from this point untill now has been to just go along with things, give limited information, revert the conversation back to him etc. I have come away after meeting him upset and angry as he has belittled me or things that I have been excited about doing. However this year I have run out of emergy and empathy for him and I am trying to cut off all contact. This has resulted in him getting family members involved and making them feel sorry for him. I have not explained why as he will only twist things or turn nasty. He has already been sending me messages making out I have a problem.

    Would really appreciate your thoughts.

    Many thanks


  36. Hi,
    I read your story and all your input on narcissistic fathers and came to realize my father is the narcissist in our family. I always thought it was my mom, however she has a lot of the same traits and also very co-dependent.

    I cannot tell you all of my story but need someone to know I am a 42 year old divorced mom of a 19 old daughter whom I brought up all by myself because her father woud not help me to raise our child either financially or emotionally support. i married a psycopath who I had to leave after 14 years of marriage… afterwhich I had 2 relationships with men who abused me both mentally and physically….I had to leave a job of 6 years because I was feeling the physical effects of working in a all male environment and I was doing the work of about 4 people and I was forced to move back to my parents home and rent a room with my daughter in their apartment…..I financially supported my father since I started my first job when I was 17 years old and I still through all my hardship had to provide for them….it was just expected of me….my brother also stays there and is 35 and I must feed him as well however he and my dad mocks me and I am not really permitted to worship God and my mom has no respect for my boundaries and she walks into my room whenever she pleases and always moans about her ailments and dont care about my worries and stress…it is all about her and has always been….the last relationship I was in the guy was a alcoholic and hurt me and I still have wounds from the trauma and they ignore any of my hurts and emotional pain….both my parents drank when I was a child and I was sexually molested by a male friend of theirs who slept over at our house and so many bad things that I was not permitted to talk about but today they are the PERFECT family and I am the scapegoat….they pull my daughter in to their clique and make it seem as if I am a overly sensitive and angry person.

    I have no self esteem left and feel like nothing and a nobody. I have no friends left and hang on to God’s promise that he will never leave me. It feels like I was used up and I do not deserved to be cared for or loved!

    I needed to talk as the feelings of rejection and the pain is killing me.
    I am reading other stories on here as well and it just breaks my heart how cruel parents can be. I could not stop crying when I read how the writer started coughing because her cries was ignored…biigg hugs x

  37. This is the best article on the web describing my father. I am 40, male, and for too many years, I thought my father would change for better as he got old. I worked with him in business, i got him a lot of good deals with several million dollars on the table. My name or signature never been in these deals, so he never compensated me. The best he did when I confronted him was saying ” hey banks charge a commission of 3% on these deals, do you want 3% of the profit?”
    Not to mention all the abuses since I was a child, offenses like ” you’re nothing, you are tall so you’re dumb, if you pay close attention most intelligent people in the world are short” I am 1.90m he is 1.60m but during all his adulthood used high heels for men and high sole shoes, he wanted to be tall but he isnt. He told me stuff like ” you shouldnt have been born”
    He was always better for the outsiders than for his family. The sons of others were better than me in everything.
    He abandoned me for three times without talking over 1-3 years. When he came back he told me he was giving me a chance. I stood around because I was a good kid and all because a word “hope”. Hope that things could change one day. Last month we had an argument and I thought that it was tine to really let go. I was also searching for mental pathologies related to this personality and I found the narcissist type. Today everything makes sense. My father is a narcissist tyrant bully, whom i helped a lot in business in excess of millions and telling always ” one day we do the math of sharing profits”. And never happened. He is a guy today with well over 15 million. Money issues, offenses, false hopes, lies over lies, oppression, i been in all of them. Now I know what type of things he has done to me, i am looking for revenge. Not physical, but to take away is power and money. Humiliating him, exposing him to the public, writing a well written book, etc
    He did things to me much worst than the average cases and he is my father. To his friends, in front of me he always said ” all i did in my life and all I care is my son and i do everything for him” can you believe this? Everyone thinks he is an example of a father.
    Another example, he wanted me to go to engineering I wanted to go to economics. One day I told him I was going to change my degree, he told me, or you go to engineering or you can go f*** yourself.
    At my 40’s and only at my 40’s I am aware now I was a victim of a psycopath. I cant sue him on business because my name was not there despite the fact being me the head of getting good deals on real estate and stockmarket. He is a crook heartless person, he will not change and I am revolted. First time he cheated me in business I was 23, on a $200k share deal to me. That also gave great problems in life, if I cant trust my father whom I gonna trust outside? I also suffered from a naive guilt. For sometime I thought I was guilt of something, this is a syndrome with a designation I cant remember. Thats why my hope persisted to wait until he would change for better. I asked to god so many times to have a normal life and family like all my friends. This example was not the norm in my circle since I was a kid. I felt different from all of them. Today I am a guy empty on the inside, my soul amd health are completely ruined and scrambled. I can be a good person to those around me, but i have my moments and go out to my solitude. I will not rest until this guy loses all the thing he loves most, money and power, amd to cover him with shame and humiliation.
    I now am ready for this war, now I know what victim I was during 30 yrs.
    Once again, great article here. Thank you.

    • Hi dude, im 32 and i share a lot of feelings with your but i couldn’t say nothing about your intentions. It gaves me chills….i mean, we both feel hate, anger, the need of revenge, it feels like if every freaking wrong stuff in our lives is connecetd to the fact the our parents were narcisists and this may sound for us as we were deliberately abused by them, which now i can see it’s not the case at all. We indeed suffer the abuse but it’s because they are unaware of it in the first place. Not that they are innocents, but revenge would sound to them just like unfair you know? they wouldn’t understand why so much hate you would give to him. ANd this is tottaly unhelpful for any of us.

      Revenge won’t make you feel better, on the contrary, it will turn things worst. You can get a feeling of satisfaction from , lets say, finally beating and crushing him after long years of abuse, but soon after, sorrow , pitty, guilt and other bad feelings would arise in you.
      Just leaving a person alone, in their own super ego stuff, would be better for both of you.
      Let him know whenever you can, and in front of friends, and other strange people, that you have indeed achieved a better, succesfull life, better than him, with something he wouldn’t never experience truly: LOVE.
      This will make him so mad he will try to crush you in some other ways but you can always be different than him. You can’t fall to their emotional traps.
      Theres this thing they do, it’s a psychologicl trap called “Double bind”, i believe many of you guys are experiencing this kind of mental abuse where the narcisist or a daughter or son of a narcisist becomes pro in manipulating other peoples emotions by creating no-win situations just to make the other person feel that whatever he/she does, he/she will always be wrong, or would never be capable of satisfying both of the possibilities because they have created them in a way such that it’s impossible for you to do so like: If You stay you’re going to be humilliated in some way; you leave and will still be humilliated because you leave”. And they know how to do this in a way that you are not capable of dealing because they know exactly what are your vulnerable spots, your emotional flaws, where your guilt resides etc.
      SO its just another kind of mental abuse.
      Be aware that you sir are a good person and if you came up to here, its because your not satisfied and needed answers and i can tell you one of them: Revenge is going to be worse. You can be better than that.

      THink of winning without a fight at all, just like the “Art of War” kind of philosofy, if you ever read that book, its a really good one.

      I have been finnalcially dependant of my father , partially now because i had a good job as an engineer but just as all of my friends, jobs or any other relationships, it was all crushed because of his behaviors. My family, everybody hates one another because of it, and they are all unaware of what’s happening, they keep blaming, atttacking, provokinf, and defending themselves everytime, so that there’s no space for any good feelings, let alone Love.
      Whenever i try to help, its not good enough. Every other son of his relates are better, are intelligent, are good in something. He always uses this subtle ways of telling me i’m a piece of shit and whatever i do it will be no good.
      Me and my sister both have serious social problems, internal issues related to the fact of he being a narcisist. I have been trying to show her what is really happening but she adopted the “religious mommy way of life”, entered in the zombie mode as someone from here stated. She is almost divorcing after being in a 5 year marriage and a 3 years old daughter who is also suffering from the abuse of my father, but she actually have some kind of protective way over her so that she often realizes that his behaviors under his granddaughter are no good, so she usually get her away from them but its not so simple….as always.
      Well, everything in the life of a narcisist is good when they are talking to “people outside the fog” like his friends or other people who he/she abuses with subtle ways. Like my father never spent money to get any good food in our house, i usually need to make my own food and ask for help when i have no money because he is always selfish doing his stuff, going to see people who he actually have something to suck: fake emotions, fake stories, false interests,…. He always show himself to other like if he was beloved, and passionate, a good father who cares and all that bullshit but inside the family its all the opposite.
      And now, after so many year i can finally understand why the hell he didn’t have any friends who would come into our house, why mo mother suffered so much while being his wife (they got separated when i was only 5 but they never divorced actually, and that’s because he would never want to pay 30% of net income for her, “its an inconvenience” in his point of view), why everithyng in my life went wrong, why i suffered bullying in childhood, why we can’t feel love at all. ….. its all wrong guys. We NEED to be aware of how their minds work to really emancipate ourselves from this mentally enslaved condition, from this feeling of being bad in everything, or incapable, low self-esteem etc etc….
      But before opening our “psichological barriers” that protects us from being hurt, that also incapacitate us of getting along with a good and really happy relationship with whoever be, we need to stay away from the narcisist. You need to gain independence first. Both finnancially and emotionally.
      Like, if you are an adolescent, go live with another relate, or try your way into living in another city or whatever so that you stay away from him. You must know that if you stay under his area of effect, he will ALWAYS do his shit. THERE’s NO cure for it. he/she won’t change. Unless of course, he/she understands that he/she have a psichological condition (narcisism) and that it is causeing and have cause so much trouble in your family’s life that he/she would accept help in order to change for the good. And that’s POSSIBLE. It need a CHANGE OF HABITS. which is actually simple, but its SOOO hard. It needs cooperatin of everybody, including professional help in most cases.

      Don’t let yourselves be filled with anger and revenge. Use this situation so that you can transform people’s life . You can actually be so better than anyone in your family, because all of them probably don’t know whats happening and how to counteract this. If you change yourself to be a really good persong, then not jsut yourself, not just your family, but everybody who is connected to you will gain from that. And this is WAY BETTER than revenge.

      Thats it. Sorry for the wall of text but i really felt i needed to say all those things.
      Wish luck and hapiness to you all!

    • Andrew, This adventure you had with your father, is not really about him.
      It’s about YOU.
      It’s about who YOU ARE facing this situation.

      Your father is playing the role of a defective human being. He is a robot in human form. An empty shell. All pretend.
      Treats strangers like family and family like strangers, at best. Uses, abuses.
      It’s all an act, right?

      I really understand how you want to bring your father down in revenge for his abuse on you.
      Why create more bad karma for yourself.
      It will only taint your soul Andrew.

      I understand first hand how maddening it can be! It takes a while to figure out that it is YOU that is the screw up
      it’s HIM! That’s the insanity of dealing with a narcissistic personality.
      And now, you KNOW his game. You want revenge. It’s understandably human.
      Thing is, why waste time and energy on a pile of crappola when you could be putting your energy on creating your own little heaven on earth?

      Break free and clear, Andrew.

      I know firshand how it’s can be hard to do because of the unconditional love a child has for his parents, no matter what they do to you.
      But Love him from a distance.
      Your dealing with a defective wack job that will never change.

      I’ve been where your at, but I didn’t go through with the revenge plan ,because
      It’s not Who I Wish to be, not Who I am.

      Still, even though I know that with all my heart, mind and soul, in all honesty,
      I did come to a point when I fantasized fabulous scenarios that would put Dexter to shame! lol
      I guess that is part of the mourning of knowing the father I thought I knew was nothing but a mirage and wishful thinking.
      What could have been. I’m older and wiser now.

      So, Anddrew Man person, This is your chance to get to know who you truly are.
      Prove to yourself, that your better than that great pretender of nothing.
      Become the pheonix Andrew.
      Raise from the ashes of the fire your father stuck you in, for his own selfish gains and entertainment.
      Your father doesn’t know better. It’s his nature to be an A**hole.

      I love the parable of the fox and the scorpion.
      Ever heard of it Andrew? In case you haven’t, here it is.

      There’s a pond of water that the scorpion he needs to cross but can’t.
      A fox comes by and the scorpion asks the fox if he can ride on the fox’s back, to cross the pond.
      The Fox says, “Are you nuts? Your just going to sting me and your poison will kill me! ”
      The scorpion promises the fox he will not do that, to trust him.
      The fox goes against it’s intellect and instincts and agrees against it’s better judgement, and out of the kindness of its heart,
      to let the scorpion ride on his back.
      Just before they reached the end of the pond, the scorpion stings the fox.
      As the fox is shocked, insulted and dying from the poison he asks the scorpion
      “Why? why did you break your promise and sting me when you promised you wouldn’t do that? I was being so kind to you! Why?
      The Scorpion shrugged its shoulders and quickly crawled over the fox’s nose to the grass on the other side of the pond and said,
      “IT’S MY NATURE!”. The END.

      SO what is YOUR true nature Andrew? What kind of man are you really?
      I think that is what you should be putting your energy on. Not getting revenge on a pathetic loser like your dad.
      He’s an Empty Shell. An Illusion. A player who played you because he could.
      A player who has messed with your mind, your heart, your soul about what is truly valuable in Life.

      Question is, What do YOU VALUE Andrew?
      Great health? Real relationships, friends who love you for you, not what you have.
      A job that you love to do. To be a loving and kind and compassionate person?

      Screw your father.
      Forget Scrooge!
      He is not worthy of ONE SECOND of your thought. NOT ONE.
      CUT of his supply. You will feel FREE and light! Joyfull.
      Be strong and know that you cannot make your father change into something he is not programmed to be.
      A Scorpion is a Scorpion is a scorpion.

      Forgive yourself for falling for his poker face lies. Forgive yourself or letting him control you
      and take advantage of your need for his approval, for your need
      of his Love and Respect, that he is incapable of giving you or anyone else for real.

      No matter how pathetic your father has been to you, the “war” is with yourself now Andrew.

      Your Anger is the first step to your healing.
      Be patient, kind and and compassionate with yourself.
      It takes time to heal from such a poisonous one way relationship.

      Take time to heal your heart, your mind, your soul.
      Don’t throw your pearls of goodness and wisdom to Swine, for the sake of revenge.
      It will only make you go down to his level.
      There is not evolution there in that action.

      Best of Luck to you Big Guy.
      May the best of what this world has to offer your heart, mind and soul be bestowed upon you.

  38. Unbelievable exact description of my father, every single line is is a match to the demon that I called my father, he is dead now 3 years and still is haunting me.

  39. This makes so much sense to me

    My biggest problem is that to most people my dad seems really nice. And he is completely unaware his behaviour towards me is in anyway wrong or bad. A few times in my life I’ve had a breakdown and he’s asked me what’s wrong ..trying to be totally charming and appearing sympathetic. .if I say it’s about him and that he has done things to upset me he completely changes and gets angry at me for criticising him .

    It’s so hard. He’s ruined my life. I’m unable to hold a steady relationship and I’ve never really been happy in my life . My happiest times have been on drugs (mainly coke and mdma)

    Thanks for this article thought. I’m 34 now and it’s taken me this long to even accept my dad isn’t really a good person. I had blamed myself for being weak for so long

    I’m going to get therapy. I need to. It will never go away

    Maybe I should join some forums or support groups

  40. I hate hate HATE my father. I was the scapegoat for my father from an early age. He always called me weak, too sensitive, etc. now I see him for his cowardice. He was weak, he was too sensitive. He was so terrified of his young children, that he bullied them. What a pussy.

  41. Let me start by saying my father is NOT a narcissist. My soon-to-be ex-husband, however, is the very definition. So why am I here? Because I have a 9 year old boy and I see the damage he’s doing to him and the way that he’s treating him. Pointing it out does me no good, and saying negative things to my son about his dad isn’t the answer either….but what do I do?? You’re adults looking to heal from having a narcissistic mother or father. How can I help my son NOW? I’m looking into therapy, but any insight would help. I don’t want my son to be treated like this…..I too had an emotionally abusive parent, my mother, so no surprise how I ended up with my husband. How can I stop the cycle? God, it scares the hell out of me that I’M the “normal” parent!

    • Tim, I’ve had episodes of depression as far back as I can remember. It would bedridden me for several days. Due to a toxic father and older brother.My dads answer was for me to get over it. I’m 62 and still trying to learn about and put in perspective a narcissistic parents actions. I have tried to research and understand the disorder and have gained a lot of insight as to how to put to rest as best as possible, the burdens put upon us throughout our lives. I have also learned to overcome much of the feeling of it being my fault. You are the one that can overcome
      your burdens. Learn what put them in place, close the book on that chapter and you have taken the first step towards recognition of yourself as a positive being. The blame is not on you. believe this.. It is a personality disorder that we were victims of. Recognise it and you can distance itself from your life.

    • I’m in the same boat, my daughter is ten. I’ve taken legal action to get her away. I’ve realized that in hanging onto a dream that maybe even though we are divorced, that he might want to actually build a father daughter relationship with his daughter, that it won’t happen.
      I have my daughter in therapy, it helps. But also be open, let your child see that it’s okay to talk about their feelings. Let them work through it.
      I do that and it helps so much! Plus getting them away from the narc parent ASAP. As a woman who survivedo ten years of it, it DOES get better. Heal together as much as possible.

      Keep in mind my back story is rife with a cheating husband and another woman’s kids in my daughter’s life. They refuse to make room for my child. Do what’s best for your son, no matter what. Don’t hang onto a dream that they will be a model parent. Because YOU are, make a list of what you want in a partner, and it will surprise you, promise.

      Keep moving forward.

    • Karen,

      I know it has been a while since you posted your comment, so I hope you get this. After much reflection, I believe my mom was one of the major reasons my father was unable to do as much psychological damage as he could have. Not to say there was not a lot, but I was able to endure and then end my relationship with him 6 years ago. I am 33. She somehow instilled a questioning of authority. Not to be disrepectful, but skeptical. I learned from an early age that adults are not always right, just because they are adults. She actively tried to undo the damage he was trying to cause to my psyche. She made sure I always had a voice with her. I guess my advice to you, is that you can listen and acknowledge your sons feelings resulting from the damaging words and acts coming from your ex, without actively putting down his father. You can talk to your son about how he should not let anyone treat or talk to him the way (state examples of the past), and he has as much of a right to set boundaries with his father as he does with anyone else in his life. I hope this helps. Good luck to you and your son!

  42. BOTH of my parents were this way. They hit me and screamed at me and treated me as if I was as intelligent as a potato and never missed an opportunity to laugh at me and put me down. Almost 49 years later, I still cannot believe how they made it their mission in Life to terrorize and brutalize me and humiliate me while making sure I saw their preferential treatment of my brother. (I am female).

    • Torrance,
      I was also the scapegoat. I am 48, and am in therapy for the mental anguish I was put through. My brother is and was the Golden Child. My mom is a zombie who echoes anything my dad says. He manipulated her into being the disciplinarian, so that he didn’t have to do the dirty work. I was so manipulated, I believed that my parents gave me a good childhood, and that it was my fault I was a screw up.

      I thank God I was the scapegoat. It put me outside the ring of deceit, and gave me the ability to go “no contact” with my family. They put me in a mental institution for drugs and alcohol when I was a teenager, even though I barely experimented with anything. He made me doubt my own sanity, while he came out looking like a hero. I became a perfectionist of myself, with no boundaries. No matter how successful I became, my family never acknowledged it, except to take credit for my success with their peers.

      Today, my brother and my mom, who my father mentally tortures, are both too dependent on him to get out. I gave up trying to get any love or approval from these pathetic creatures. I married a man who is very different from my father. He is patient, accepting, and encourages my recovery from my NPD father. He sees the dysfunction in my family, and understands why I finally said “enough!” My therapist says we were two sparrows in a hurricane. I am glad I was spared from the cycle of parental to spousal abuse.

      I also decided long ago that I did not want children. We can only pass on what we have, and I would never wish my childhood on another person. It might not have gone that way, but at the time, I knew nothing about NPD, or what was wrong with me. I only knew I would not know how to give a child a healthy upbringing.

      I have been estranged from my family for about 2 years now. I started therapy about 6 months ago, because I saw the narcissistic traits coming up in my relationships. It led me to research and find out about NPD. I know many people from alcoholic upbringings that have a lot of the same characteristics, but they can put their finger on what was wrong in their family. Mine was hidden. No one believed my dad could be the horrible infantile tyrant that he was. Now that I know he was a narcissist, it explains so much. I hope others find this information. Hopefully younger than I was when I found it. I own the anger I feel for being neglected and deprived of a happy childhood. I am still angry that I was brought up to be inadequate and taught no life skills. I had to learn how to take care of myself on my own, and I didn’t always make good choices because my decisions were based on bad information from my family.

      I don’t have that many regrets anymore. My life is good. I am successful. I have people who love me. I feel sorry for my family, even my father. They will never experience fulfilling love and happiness. I am healing, and the toxic relationships have been banned from my life. I am glad I found this page and others that share their experience with NPD. It is good to know what is wrong, and that we are not alone.

      • Absolutely, I’ve had the exact same experiences and reactions including anger at feeling robbed of life skills and having to learn how to be in the world. I didn’t have children either for the same reason as you. Thank you for sharing the validation I feel is priceless.

  43. This describes my upbringing. I am currently dependant on the income my father brings in. I grew up thinking the beatings were what every boy experienced, the hitting if i didnt get a 100 on a test, the not being allowed more than 30 minutes of television a day, the restriction Iif television to only what he chose for me to watch. Now having aged about a decade and having made relationships outdide of the house (was forbidden when i was young), i have learned that most parents are not this way. I try to not submit to the constant emotional torture (no longer physical, he tried that once pretty recently after using a baseball bat and wound up on the floor bleeding), but contantly being blamed for my mistakes, contemplating suicide, being told to do it outside so he doesn’t have to repaint the wall, having my electricity turned off, having my food taken, and being kicked out of the house monthly (not the legal age to be just yet) takes too much of a toll. It seems that no matter i try to resist, he never gets the point that i want to be treated as a human. The only reason i have not put a hollow point into my brain just yet is that my girlfriend keeps reassuring me that i won’t be treated this way as an adult. Each day is getting harder and harder not to resort to drugs, suicide, or suicide by drugs if i can get the money xD.

  44. Thanks for the article. My mom has Parkinsons and always echoed my dad, who was narcisstic. Through spiritual development and extensive reading it gave me tremendous self confidence to deal with him.Life gets better when you stand up and fight for your beliefs.

  45. My father just ignored me. I remember being about six and my mother asked him to teach me golf (his passion) and I felt embarrassed because I already knew he wanted nothing to do with me and considered me a burden to be avoided. Later in life an old friend of mine said, of our fates, “It’s not hard to figure out. I didn’t have a father and your father was an asshole.” He did leave us a bunch of money, though, and for that I’m grateful.

  46. Every bullet point is my father + a lazy, ungrateful person. Unregretable even after my brother’s suicide. Now I am stuck having to take csre of him because he is too good to have a job!

  47. I hope there’s hope for me. Everyday I strive and fight the attempt to give way to loosing my concious, I feel bad for my siblings buy my behaviors and words mirror theirs at times. I just want to shut up and not talk to avoid sounding like an insensitive person. I’ve hurt my child’s feelings with my judgement and critiques of her behaviors and choices in what toys , clothes or hobbies. I wanted her to be girly and not a tomboy I was a tomboy as a child and I was awkward. I wanted her to be the popular pretty girl. She is the popular pretty girl but a rough girl that loves video games, trucks and my little pony she is like me in that aspect but I wasnt popular. I was considered ugly for being dark skinned my child is lighter than me. I started lightening my skin and I felt uglier lighter. I’m never pleased with myself. And recently I just threw my hands in the sky and was like f***k dressing perfect and being on point or a badb***h like on the hip hop videos (think beyonce/nicki minaj) I just want to be me. Spink and fun, natural makeup, yoga pants and sneakers but heels when I’m heading out. I don’t want to be perfect or have my child be perfect. She’s but on some weight from her new diet and medication but I’m like who cares she’s happy. And she can always worry about the pounds later on in life I just want a normal life with my child and one day have a spouse. I’m over being a NPD/BPD life my dad and the men I date. I’m so homely and I love it. I just want to be free. Earning more money to afford a new home and saving would be great too. I just want to be happy. My dad is still numbing his emotions by bragging and buying things I don’t want to do that anymore. I’m so busy in life supporting my child while she’s away from home and making sure I have the tools I need to raise her. My pride is gone kind of and I’m trying to think with my heart/brow/crown chakra instead of using a lower level of thought(lower chakras). I’m also using spiritual healing tools , herbs and oils, glutathione, SAMe, MSM and thinking about trying colloidial gold to help with mental healing. It’s a hard journey to recorvering from trauma and troubles. I’m glad I read your article.

  48. I hear you man. I have put up with exactly the same thing for years that I am exhausted and depressed now to the point of no repair. I’ve given up on life now as there is no way I can escape from his grip and manipulation on others… No matter where I go or what I do; he always finds a way to get his claws in and fuck me over. I’m 31 and now refuse to work or go out… I hope to die alone soon.

  49. I came to the understanding that my father is a narcissist about 4 years ago. I moved back home (something I said I would never do) because my mom was dying of cancer. My father started treating me like he had while growing up – mind games, guilt trips, yelling, etc…I am the scapegoat. Because I was now an adult, I set limits. He employed more subtle tactics – especially gas lighting. As it so happens, I started having memories of sexual abuse from my grandfather (paternal) and my father. I didn’t say anything at the time because my mother was near death. Interestingly enough – she did ask. I couldn’t bring myself to tell her. I stayed until my mother died and then left as it was clear by then that I needed to leave the family. Because my sister and brother were favored by my father, they were less inclined to see him for who he was at the time. Staying would have meant agreeing to be treated worse than the family dog (which he tried to kill). And I needed to start healing from the trauma of being raised by him. This time, I had the truth – and as painful as that truth was, it made a huge difference. It set me free. So I moved away again.

    My sister and I reconciled 2 years ago – which I am very grateful. She was his second choice for a scapegoat. Because I was no longer there, she became his target and she was able to see his true colors, or remember them anyway. We both shared the scapegoat role growing up – though I was always his first choice. She also remembered sexual abuse by my father – separate from me. Some of our memories matched up. She was also sexually abused by my grandfather – something that had been revealed years ago and something that my father treated as irrelevant. I suppose that should have been telling.

    Three months ago, my sister died unexpectedly. We live about 4 hours from each other. She continued to live in the same town as our dad – only I moved away. She had a back injury. And my father started to take care of her – taking her to doctor’s appointments, etc… I didn’t know this. I think she didn’t tell me because she didn’t want me to worry. The last I heard from her, she was doing better. Then she was dead. My father stayed over the night she died – to take care of her. Because she died at home, there was an investigation and an autopsy. They found nothing. So they chalked it up to natural causes. She had a heart condition. Though there was no proof that that is what happened, they used it as the default. I can’t reconcile that fact that he was there when she died. Did something happen? Did he need a new grief story since people were no longer inquiring about how he was doing since my mother died? His narcissistic story centers around martyrdom and being a hero. He likes to show how he can save the day and enjoys sympathy from others quite a bit. I miss her terribly and I’m haunted by what I don’t know.

    I don’t know why I’m writing here. Perhaps just to share. This is one of my heavier days – where the grief is a bit much. I’m in therapy – thankfully. I’m trying not to wear my friends out by talking about this all the time. I know I need to work on letting go. It’s hell being the scapegoat. But we’re the lucky ones. We have the incentive to leave – because it hurts too much to stay. We are the first to see who the narcissist is, who they really are. My sister was a scapegoat too, but she and I both agreed – she didn’t have it as bad. She was planning to sever ties, but she never did. I think she felt guilty. I understand that – I did too. How fucked up is that? We were trained well.

    If you are in a relationship with a narcissist – father, mother, lover, whatever…you owe it to yourself (and my God – especially if you have kids) to leave. It’s going to hurt to leave, you might even lose more than the narcissist (family members and friends), and you might feel crazy for awhile, but it is so much worse if you stay. Love yourself enough to leave.

    Thank you for reading.

  50. Oh my God. My father ticks everything on the list. This describes him so well, and that both scares and saddens me. Especially neglecting his own family and focusing on impressing others. My father doesn’t consider us (wife and children) his family, and rather wants to help his “original” family (parents, siblings, cousins), even when they estrange themselves from us. He is seen as the “goodwill ambassador” in our community because he donates a lot and helps other people with their problems, but is never concerned about us. My sister is his Chosen Child, and I am the Scapegoat Child.

    • Sounds like mi e too. My dad is a NPD and has bipolar disorder. He constantly blames and puts me down. Tortures my mother emotionally and physically. I always knew something was wrong with my Dad but after reading this article, it’s confirmed that he always had NPD. I could totally relate to this article and have gone through hell with him right from childhood. I was a very smart child right from childhood, but now I feel worthless and feel like a lose because of him. I always had a desire to run away from my toxic and poisonous parents once I realized that my mom always started mimicking him. I totally cut them off for years. There is definitely a sense of emptiness and void that can never be filled out because of lack of empathy and love from such parents. I’m fighting it out myself with the demons around me and trying to heal so that I can be a better mother to my two boys.

      This article definitely helped me understand why parents behaved the way they always did. It truly opened my eyes. I can heal better knowing that it was not me who is wrong but the root problem is my dad. Thank you so much for this eye opening article. May God bless you and heal you.

  51. I was married to one he expected me and the children to bow down to him he became so toxic with all the domestic violence I got scared for my life as well as my children’s lives .I gained the courage to throw him out though he has limited contact with the children he still trust to control me and kids I divorced him 4yrs ago and still won’t admit that he is a toxic person and let me have a life of my own.

  52. You have just described my husband and what has been happening to our sons, all of us. I have never seen my life so perfectly described. Now I hope this glaring description will help me to finally leave before I’ve allowed him to ruin our lives completely. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  53. Have always known there was something wrong in the relationship with my father, which got so much worse once I started to stand up to him and reject his hold on me. My father used emotional blackmail and abused my younger brother and I emotionally for almost as long as I can remember. He has always made me feel that I owed him for his affection and attention, expecting us to prop him up and openly adore him with each kick in our guts, and he has the gaul to say that he’s the only one who has been hurt! Over the years, I have begged, cried and tried to suppress my own thoughts, feelings and emotions to save Dad’s but not anymore. I know I am scarred and hurt because of this but I think that so many people have so much worse childhoods than I had. Thank God for my mother. She has recently been diagnosed with an anxiety depressive disorder (I suspect that’s partly due to my father having suspected NPD) but my brother and I were never short on love, compassion and affection when it came to our mum. I have realised just how strong my mum is to have lived with my father’s abuse for 42 years, and is still with my dad but in a much better mental space in spite of his prescence. My mum is the one who deserves all the credit for how well my brother and I did turn out, dispite our childhood experience with our father. My kids adore my dad, so I tolerate him in very small doses because of my kids. But, I know, that it is only a matter of time before I will have to step in and protect my children from what I endured as a kid.. and I’m prepared to do it. I will not hesitate to snap off contact at the earliest alarm bell. I’m pleased that I found this article and others about NPD, so that I may see the signs and act before it’s too late.

  54. Mine is not a comment; it’s a question. How do I help my 17 year old son combat against his narcissistic, controlling father? (My ex-husband). I thought I got my son out of the situation when I left 15 years ago but the manipulation was SO strong, all these years, that he convinced our son (at age 14) that his life would be perfect if he came and lived with him. (One of the worst days of my life!) The first year was ok. He was the golden child but then his step-mother ran away in the middle of the night with her children and never came back. Once she left and the escape-goats were gone, my son’s life changed. He’s expected to still be the perfect, all-American boy but doesn’t have a moment in his life that his father doesn’t control! Luckily, no matter how hard his father tried to ruin my son’s perception of me, my son and I are very close! My son came to my house tonight and said “I’m not going back!” Of course, once his Dad knew something was up, he called our son and HE spoke for over an hour while my son just listened and cried. His father is pulling out all the tricks! I am SO worried that all the “guilt” and manipulation my son is dealing with is going to make him cave and go back!( He’s hopeful that his Dad will change). I want to protect him at all costs! Please! Someone who has gone through it; help me to give proper advice to my son and gently help him come to grips with the fact that his father IS a narcissist and he won’t change! I bookmarked a bunch of articles that I wanted to show him but I don’t want to come across pushy or like I have it “in” for his dad or make him feel overwhelmed! This young man is one of the most wonderful human beings on earth and I want to help him finish out high school happy and healthy and out from under his father’s thumb once and for all!!!!!

  55. My father is the ultimate narcissist. So much to the fact I’ve actually thought about writing a autobiography focusing on the relationship between my father and I. Ironically I was going to title it exactly like your book. Have to admit it does sound catchy and we’ll describing. I’m 40 and to this day I absolutely loathe my father. No one has ever purposely sabotaged me in so many ways than my father has. My mother was not much help in the matter as well. She pretty much just took care of herself and didn’t attempt to balance the horrible behaviors of my father. I am the oldest of two children. It has been a complete hell living in silence with that man while he projected this false happy family life. All the while taking credit for everything he had nothing to do with. Friends and acquaintances adored him. He think he’s such a great guy, but maybe some of that is true for how he treats others outside of his own family. Like I said before. It was pure hell knowing the truth and constantly being belittled by the man I wanted to look up to and love. Nothing seemed worthwhile because of him. I was a smart child. My IQ level was in the top 3 percentile, but my father the barely C average student himself. Talked poorly of my grades and performances. Athletics was another thing I wished he never attended of mine. How can a father trash talk about his son’s homerun hit, winning first place at track and field events, or scoring the most points in a basketball game? My father did all those things and much worse. Till this day he still tells people he put me through college when in fact he never spent a single dime for me to attend. The fact he moved us three times in four years did not help me while I was in highschool. I could go on and on about this and give out thousands of more examples of why I’ve come to hate my father more than any other person. So I just want to say, sorry to all that have been mistreated severely by their parent or parents because the problem was in fact their parents. Hopefully you have overcome and are living great lives as you deserve.

  56. Oh my gosh, this is my father spot on! Im 59. I believe my mother is probably a covert narcissist as well! I havent see any of my family for the past year except my youngest brother a couple of times. Im in the long process of gaining myself! The guilt, shame and made to feel there is something wrong with me, which I have wrongly carried my whole life! The final straw was having cancer twice in the last 4 years and how my family behaved towards me. Im tired of their toxic behaviour. Im a christian and I believe in forgiving everyone who has wronged you. I make the choice to do that. I pray for all my family.

  57. I found out last night my narcissistic father is dying. I havent seen him in 9 years. He is a retired pastor and the rest of the world admires him greatly and my relatives on his side disowned me for being a bad daughter. He was so cruel, and I spent decades doing everything I could think of to make him love me. I always thought our problems was my fault. He made me feel crazy anytime I tried addressing the distance in our relationship. Thanks to therapy and meds I function ok. I have PTSD and life is so hard. When I see triggers that remind me of him I feel great anxiety. He takes no interest in my kids. I spent the night crying and I feel guilty if I dont try again to repair us. Im really confused. I am a strong Christian and I want to do the right thing.Maybe I should tell him I forgive him. I feel guilty although I lived w his guilt trips for 40 years. I dont want to live w guilt and regret after hes gone. I also feel lots of anger because of the cruel things he fid to me and my mother.

    • Hi laurie, That sounds horrible and I feel deeply for you. It is hard to give advice about this as you are the only one who knows what will make you feel good. Did you talked to your mother about this or relatives who feel the same like you? Maybe sharing your story with the people close to you may give you new insights in this matter. I don’t believe you will be a bad person if you don’t go see him, it has to make YOU feel better and not him. That being said, you can still go there and say goodbye without ‘forgiving’ him. Don’t go pass your own limits. Good luck.

  58. My Father is a narcissist and it has taken me many painful years to finally realise and accept this.
    He was disinterested in me as a child, disappointed that I was the second girl. He began an affair with my mother’s best friend when I was 9 years old and my brother had just been born. When his mistress became pregnant, he lied and told everyone, including his mistress’ husband that the child wasn’t his (my dad’s) and let him believe he was the father and watch the child be born. Then he dropped the bombshell it was actually his, causing the man to have a breakdown (he’d previously believed he couldn’t have children biologically).

    He left my mother and his three children (my brother was 18 months old) and lived with his mistress and child and then refused to give my mother a penny. We became extremely poor and lived on benefits. It Thought this time he constantly harassed and attacked my mother. We never saw him, it was as though we did not exist. It was a terrible, hard, struggle of a time but we pulled together. Eventually my mother met someone else. Unfortunately, he was emotionally and physically abusive towards her. Still, she married him. I think, looking back, she was so traumatised by the deceit of my father and her best friend that she made bad choices. My father (they were now divorced) used this opportunity to claim his share of the family home (although my mum remarried, he had by now left due to his violence and abuse). He took my mother to court and won and made us all homeless.

    Somehow, through I’m sure an act of God, my mother, who worked three jobs with three children under the age of 11 (one who was just 2 years old) managed to convince someone she knew at the building society to help her re-mortgage. The friend did it a a favour. We managed to keep the house but were so poor at one point we actually shared a pair of shoes between us, my mum, sister and I. My dad gloated and sent his new daughter to private school and went on expensive holidays and drove around in a big car that he bought with the proceeds of the house.

    I recall seeing my dad in court the day he evicted us; I was 16 years old and had;t seen him for a few years. As he left court flanked by his barristers I asked him, ‘dad, where am I supposed to live now?’ to which he waved me away dismissively and said, ‘blame your mother.’

    I didn’t see him next until I was 23. My then fiance, knowing about my painful childhood, suggested I contact him after the years had passed to see if I could find peace about it, and to forgive, which I wanted to do. Despite everything, I still wanted his love, still wanted a relationship with him. It’s perhaps strange to others to understand this but to me, back, then he was still my dad and I often cried for him, missed him, or missed the dad I always hoped for and wanted. I figured he couldn;t be all bad and that he must regret, or think of his children, and maybe even want to re-build. I was prepared to put the past behind me. Start again.

    I had, at this point, done well for myself, inspire of everything. I qualified as a journalist and worked my way up to become one of the UK’s youngest editors on a national magazine. When he discovered this, he decided I was worth knowing again, although at the time I believed it was because he love me and wanted to.

    We re-established a relationship and my father told me a lot of ‘stories’ which basically exonerated him from any wrong-doing, bad behaviour, or lack of morality, even blaming my mother for his affair, painting a very black and white story and re-writing history on a breath-taking level. None of it happened, basically. He was never at fault. He slandered my mother who had essentially brought us up single-handed on next to nothing and who suffered greatly emotionally, physically and financially as a result.

    My father infiltrated my life and I was initially happy for him to do so. We spent the remainder of my 20s and thirties on relatively good terms. As long as I was doing well, admiring him, listening to his stories of white-washing himself and supporting him then it was all ok. At any opportunity he would attack my mother verbally, criticising her, putting her down and telling stories about her (she was the adulterer etc…) Largely I didn’t listen to them, but he was highly manipulative and especially enjoyed involving himself in any altercations or issues I ever had with her (see, I told you what she’s like).

    I became an author, and got a book deal which was humbling and amazing. My dad was so proud and loved telling people. My sister had a very different relationship with him and din;t want much to do with him. He told me she was jealous of me and always had been. When my sister and I fell out once, my dad was there for me and very supportive. I believe he was secretly pleased that our one close relationship had broken down and set about making sure it stayed that way as this suited him. She and my mum were the enemy, and I was his confidant and clever, published author daughter.

    When I had my first child his 25 year marriage to my mum’s ex best friend grew tedious for him and he embarked upon affairs with much younger, often vulnerable women which he confided in me about. I listened. I still loved him. I accepted him for who he was. I tried to help him. I knew he’d also suffered a difficult childhood and was abandoned by his mother and accused of raping his sister, though this was never ever proven and I never believed it. Today, sadly, i am not so sure.

    Eventually he began an affair and abandoned his wife, left her in her 50s and forced her to sell her home to give him half his money (history repeat anyone?). His daughter, my half sister, stood by him largely I believe because he threw money at her constantly, buying her cars, privately educating her, helping her buy a home. He never even bought me or my sister a birthday present, and of he did he would expect huge gratitude and a big fanfare. During the time he was cheating on his wife he confided in me and once again I supported him. He would turn up at my house with bottles of wine and sleep on my couch talking incessantly about himself and his feelings and how awful his wife was and how he was justified in leaving/cheating, while I sat up listening to him , sleep deprived with a two month old baby. He couldn;t have been less interested.

    I moved house. He left his wife. He had no where to live so asked to come and live with me and my then husband and our baby. I took him in, counselled him, loved him, cooked for him, told him I loved him and would be there for him. I tried to understand. I didn;t agree with him always, in fact, I knew exactly what he was, but I loved him unconditionally. I was his daughter; he was my father. He needed me. I was there.

    Despite his imposition I let him stay. We were closer than ever while i was forever on side and agreeing with him. I even met his new mistress and accepted her as his choice. My older sister and I resumed our close relationship, though this displeased him I think. I was much easier to manipulate alone and estranged from her. We grew very close again as we were always supposed to be.

    I had another child four years later but sadly my own marriage had begin to break down by then. I stayed too long in the marriage and tried hard but was desperately unhappy. I confided in my father, of all people I believed he would understand. Eventually I told my husband (he’s another story , but suffice to say I married someone similar to my father) that I did not want to remain married to him. I met someone else. I decided to leave. We separated.

    By now my father had reinvented himself as a family man. He married his mistress , his third marriage, and pretended he’d never ever put a foot wrong in his life, never made a bad decision, or affected anyone else with them. He paraded his new wife around with alacrity and boldness. They were both incredibly greedy people and despite leaving his former wife (and mistress) once gain in near poverty, spent money on holidaying five times a year and bought expensive cars and clothes. He also bought his daughter from his second marriage a home , car and paid for her to travel round the world as compensation. He was a hero.

    Without warning, my father decided he didn’t want me to get divorced and that I was now a bad person, immoral and wrong, also decided to side with my estranged husband (who he’s never much liked and vice versa) and began a campaign of hate towards me. Suddenly I was a cheat and adulterer, a bad mother. He interfered on a huge scale and my husband, realising he had an aly in my father, ran to him every cross word we had. Despite being honest and now separated from my husband My father contacted my new boyfriend and told him to stay away from me. He made veiled threats. He tried to give me ‘advice’. His advice was this: ‘Stay in your marriage until your kids are grown up and just have affairs if you’re happy’. I told him I would never live like this, and couldn’t and wouldn’t. He was not happy. I believe my leaving my emotionally abusive husband shattered his perfect view of himself and his ‘family’ especially in the eyes of his new wife, who I believe didn’t doesn’t know even a third of the real truth of any of his past or history. I believe he was petrified this would all come out in the aftermath of my marriage breakdown and would reflect badly on him.

    He set about destroying me. He decided to tell people I was on drugs which was appalling, dangerous and so vehemently untrue. I don’t and never have taken drugs. He told people I was an alcoholic. That I was anorexic and mentally unstable. It was shocking and blindsided me so completely. He encouraged my husband to try to get me to of the house we owned and when my husband attacked me and was arrested for it, he sided with him and claimed it was ‘self defence’. My mother and sister were appalled, though sadly, not surprised by his behaviour towards me. They had warned me not to trust and believe in him and said they had always known this would come. They were kind enough not to say ‘we told you so’ and supported me.

    I met with my dad a few times; on one occasion I was crying, and amidst my tears he stopped me and asked to take my photograph, randomly, saying he didn’t have enough photographs of me. I was stunned and confused. The same night, when we said goodbye, he attempted to kiss me on the mouth, the way a lover would. It was truly one of the worst moment’s of my life.

    That Christmas I made a remark to him that he did not treat all his children the same. He took this criticism very badly and so began the wage of hate against me. He blocked me and cut me off after sending me a slew of vile, angry and hateful text messages projecting all his own behaviour onto me.

    I cut him off then. This enraged him further. He began interfering in my divorce, going round to see my ex husband, taking his wife and daughter to my old house, which I was forced to leave as my husband refused and I didn;lt have the funds to fight him in court. They went out for dinners together and drip fed poison into my 12 and 8 year old son’s heads. My sons live with me, though they also live with their father too. We share custody.

    When my eldest son expressed the desire to live with me full-time, my father tried to talk him out of it, saying my boyfriend hated him (which is not true) and that he should live with his father instead while my ex husband looked on and agreed. They have both consistently slagged me off to my children with who I have a wonderful relationship with, placing them in terrible compromise and emotional strain.

    I message my father after a long period of silence and non reaction as this was the final straw. I asked him to stay away from me and my children and to not interfere in their lives. My father has never even met my boyfriend. Not once. Yet he is the devil, a bad person, not to be trusted. My father responded telling me I was a bad mother, lazy (i work and take them to school every day like many mothers) morally bankrupt (for, presumably not wanting to stay in an unhappy marriage, um, just like him, twice!) and to never contact him again and that I was a hypocrite.

    For once I stood up to him and told him he was a bully, a strange, disloyal, vile old man who I want to stay away from my children. I think he is genuinely out to destroy me. And the hardest part in all of this is that I really do not know, or understand WHY? He abandoned me again, during an exceptionally painful difficult time in my life, but worse, he sided with my ex, who is also hellbent on vengeance for me daring to leave him and has admitted he is bitter and out to destroy my life and relationship. He, they , have almost succeeded too on a few occasions.

    I think about all the unconditional love, care, attention, forgiveness and adoration I have given to my father and I struggle so much with understanding how and why he could be so disloyal, cold, and cruel to his daughter who has, genuinely only ever supported him, more so than any of his other children. It makes no sense to me, or my family at all. It’s very painful. It feels so unnatural, as a mother myself, I have nothing but unconditional love for my children, whether I believe them to be right or wrong. I’ve had to cut all contact with my father. He enjoys the drama and thrives on reaction. He has damaged my life so much, and, my subsequent relationships.

    I spent most of my 20s and 30s in unsuccessful relationships with men very much like him. I see the pattern now and am able to break it. But he broke my heart and trust. I forgave him many times. I cannot afford to again. Narcissists don’t change. Only you can change the way you feel about them and deal and react to them. My father has four children, three of which want little or nothing to do with him and one who uses him as an ATM. He even stole our inheritance from our grandfather (his own father) who upon his death was to leave his estate to three of his children. A month before he died my father somehow acquired power of attorney and the will was subsequently changed for him to be the sole benefactor. It was a terrible, immoral thing to do. None of us cared about the money; I have my own, but to do this to your own dying father and your children…it almost gave my mother a breakdown.

    So, my father. I love him because he is my father and I grieve for the relationship I will never have with him. But I cannot know him or have him as any part of my life. Narcs destroy. It’s how they’re wired. I wanted to save him. I couldn’t, can’t and it was arrogant of me to this I could.

    I move forward with no hate or bitterness , but definitely sadness.

    To anyone here who has a narcissistic parent I give you my love and best wishes for a happy, healthy narc-free life. God bless xx

    • My dad launched a hate campaign against me when I made the choice to leave home for my corporate job. Sometime later, he seemed mellow and happy that I am still employed. After reading this, I now realize that it is a facade and I have to diaown him for good ASAP

  59. I had narcissistic parents. We were adopted, and they reminded everyone of this every chance they got, to show off what good Christians they were. We were never introduced as their daughters. it was, “These are our two little adopted girls.”

    I was the chosen child of the narcissistic mother – but nobody understood that she only praised me to other people. Nothing I did would ever be good enough for this woman. She belittled and berated every little thing, and controlled the most minute aspects of my life. She even picked out my clothes and jewelry every day, right down to underwear. It didn’t help that this woman’s fashion sense could be summed up in one word: DOWDY. She once forced me to wear a paisley chiffon dress decorated with little white ribbons to school…..when I was fourteen.

    The “father” was an abusive alcoholic who sneered at our accomplishments. He “joked” that educating girls was a waste of time, since we’d just get pregnant and drop out eventually. He told us stories about monsters, and would go outside our window and growl or scratch on the windows to scare us when we were very young. We were all afraid of the dark and for once our mom intervened and blasted him for his cruelty. It was too late by then, although she bought us a nightlight. He enjoyed sneaking into our room, turning it off and making growling noises or hiding under our beds.

    They would pick something about our appearance, such as a pimple or freckle, and tease relentlessly about it. They wouldn’t stop until we were in tears – and then sneered and called us “little tittie babies.” Sometimes we were spanked for “being little tittie babies.”

    They bragged to everyone who would listen that we were well-behaved because they “use the belt on them.” A spanking to them was a whipping with a belt, dog leash, extension cord….whatever was handy. They believed a child was old enough for the belt when it’s old enough to walk. I remember being whipped when I couldn’t have been more than four.

    I cut them off when I reached adulthood and left town. Of course I, not them, am the bad person… those good Christians did so much for me, taking in those poor, unloved orphans (please, for the love of God, do not say this to adopted kids) and giving them a home…….

  60. Almost everything here describes my father perfectly. The only thing that doesn’t apply is the sexual abuse bit. All of this is probably the reason why I’m cold and emotionless and only find joy in choosing to not care about anything :/ Well, other than being a good friend to others so that they can have what I missed out on, I just don’t give a damn. Nothing else seems worth it because my heart is dry and it needs a more superior understanding than the mere brief high of an insecure polarity to quench it 😐

  61. This is so true it’s scary. I am in a bad situation with my father where he can’t take a joke. I did an April fools prank and now he is saying “your objective is to piss me off” and he kept on repeating it over and over again. My whole childhood was based on him drinking and drugs and he would always make my mom out to be an awful person. I know it’s not true, but when I was younger I would always believe it. He would never say “I love you” or “I’m sorry” I can’t stress it enough. My whole life was based on him calling me “negative” and I want to live with a loving family, not a mean ass father. My mother is a good person, she would always make sweets and do fun things with my siblings and my friends and myself, but my dad of course ruined it for me he would always complain about everyone’s flaws. I even wrote a letter to him and all he said was “interesting” in a very sarcastic voice. I am just done for now, NOW FOR ANOTHER 3 YEARS OF ISOLATING THANKS DAD!

  62. Nearly all these points describe my father. My earliest memory of him angrily yelling at me was from when I was almost two years old. I had spilt my milk bottle all over the sofa that I was sitting on, and he went mental. I was crying because I was still hungry, and he was yelling because I had “ruined the sofa”. He didn’t care about me at all! My mother isn’t narcissistic, she’s normal, thank the Lord, and in that particular incident, she came running inside, where my father told her to wash the sofa.

    5 years after that, my brother was born. He became the ‘Chosen’ one, and I became the ‘Scrapegoat’.

    I’m worried that I’m going to end up dating and getting married to a narc in the future 🙁

    Could you add ‘materialistic’ to that list? I don’t know if it’s just my father, but he definitely has value for other things and people instead of my family, as well as the other traits.

  63. This sounds very similar to my husband but….. I grew up in a loving, stable home. My husband had an abusive mom, dad was never around, and the family was dsyfunctional. Do you have any articles that I could read based on this?

  64. Sounds very similar to my husband to whom I was married to for a very long time. My family was loving, nurturing, and stable. His family was dysfunctional…mother was abusive, the dad was never around. I only found this information out after our marriage. One day I decided, I deserved better. Left and he committed suicide.

  65. Is there any way I could get permission to use the checklist in a book I am writing? This is my father to a T. I am currently writing a book on how to go no contact. I also have a Facebook page called Children of Narcissistic Parents in which I support other children. Any help would be appreciated.

  66. This Is the first article that exactly matches my family symptoms too. It’s so complicated that makes you want to pull out your hair. Being the scapegoat I decided to leave it all behind and that is my advice to anyone that suffers the same. Make a family of your own that is caring and helps you heal. Let the past go. Be empathetic to yourself and kind.

  67. This is so my dad. I am 49 as an only child my dad was mentally and physically abusive to me and mom. I forgave for the past and have tried to get along with him mainly for my mom. We fight then get along up and down. Right now we’re fighting because I went on a vacation with my husband and I didn’t jump to answer the phone when my dad called just to talk. Now he doesn’t want me to call or contact him or my mom until August. I don’t know what to do anymore do I just cut ties and go on they are my parents not sure what to do. .

  68. For many years I felt broken, misunderstood and not “good enough”. I couldn’t make logical sense of any of it, so I hid my depression and anxiety. My parents always bragged about how picture-perfect our family was. They obsessed over making it look like we had money and sent me to private schools. Money was the “anthem of success”. They told me I should be greatful for having “so much”, they shamed me when my “depression” became difficult to hide. They told me that ‘feeling depressed’ and having a “negative attitude” was a personal choice made by inherently bad people. They didn’t listen to me, laughed at me and insinuated that I had “possibly mental problems” when I cried. They became angry when I expressed opinions that were contrary to their own. They had a very specific idea of the mold they wanted me to fit in, and I tried my best to fit into that mode- even when it meant that I had to be an “actress” all the time.

    I tried for the academy award

    I felt like I could never step off the stage. I stopped confiding in my parents, at an early age, because they dismissed my feelings and made me feel like a bad/flawed person for having them. I ran myself in circles second-guessing my beliefs, my interests, and everything that made me (me).

    My dad was physically abusive, he had anger management issues, and I think he liked to yell at me and make me cry. Every 2-3 weeks he’d would fly off the handle and hit me (usually in the head). Sometimes it would leave a mark, and my mom would tell me to lie and say “I fell”, if anyone asked where I got it. I didn’t love my dad, to me he was a “pig”, and “a bull in the china shop” destroying everything. His rage was so bad , and he was so big and powerful, he would swing me around like a rag doll and slam me against walls. Finally, when I was 19 yrs old, I threatened to leave and never come back. -He laughed at that too, and mocked me with “where are you going to go?”. My mom was afraid of loosing me forever, so she convinced him that the physical violence had to stop.

    Sometimes we would be on a fun family outing and my dad would fly-off-the-handle and ruin the day for both me and my mother- just because he wanted to hurt us- just because it made him feel powerful.

    My mother never did anything to stop it, because she was too worried about herself.

    He was emotionally abusive to my mother too, and used manipulation to upset her. She, in turn, was very emotionally possessive of me, because I was all she had. She read my diary without my permission, and something about “my writing” really ticked her off, even though I never wrote anything bad. She was very jealous of my school friends, and would either run them off or demonize them in my eyes. I realized later that there was never anything wrong with my friends- it was my mother. Later, I told her about how much the “emotionally possessive” behavior hurt me, and she DENIED IT EVER HAPPENED.

    I developed serious self doubt, confidence, depression, and anxiety. When I finally went off to college, I sought psychiatric help through my university, but I think my counseler may have been something of a “narc” too. My parents always instilled this idea in me that I should never “CONFIDE IN INTERLOPERS” outside of the family, because they would manipulate me- and bad bad things would happen.

    I did exactly what they told me not to. I confided in one of the faculty members of my university. (a 30-something year old man). According to my parents, I wasn’t even supposed to talk to men- especially older ones. This guy inspired me and turned my life around. He gave me responsibilities that forced me to build confidence, people skills, and a spirit of independance. He also encouraged me to express my opinion, stop guessing myself, and to develop a spirit of independance. – He made me into a competant and self-sufficient person.

    For all of you who struggle with getting past this, remember, all broken things can be fixed. We meet people along the road for a reason. The hardest and most important step is the first one you take -out the door of your parents’ house.

  69. Ashamed of myself for seeing so many aspects of my dad that i repeat. I dont wanna be morally/ethically bankrupt. My father has exploited multiple women throughout my childhood for a place to stay and food to eat as well as other stuff im sure. I guess my excuse for doing the same thing to friends for shelter, is that im a drug addict now. My fault, i dont blame anyone but myself over all. I just wish i had, had the guts to tell the therapists and lawyers the horriible things he would do and tell me he did while i was growing up. I’d say 99.6% of those characteristics were/and are so dead on. Ive often told myself i probably will only feel relief after he dies. I run errands for him cook clean for him as well as drive him around and am currently living under his roof since hes doing 13/16hrs kidney dialysis..i feel awful that i have no sympathy for his deteriorating health. Hes still a needy.condescending child who refuses to see anything. Other his own way. To the point hes literally blocked out cable channels just because he thinks the idea of them are stupid. For example when he tried to lock me into a political debate about trump and my response was i dont wanna talk about this, i dont care. He had to attack and say i was “brainwashed” by mainstream media. In the back of my head im like what are to talking about you jackass? Fox news is a fucking cable channel. Doesnt get more “mainstream” then that. Sorry. Im sleep deprived and no one probably cares…this whole bit ive written looks bipolar/schizophrenic/narcissistic? Idk but..i really cant phathom it. Is it the fact that although i think i dont give a shit about him, theres still that part of me that seeks approval and thats why i take care of him now? I left a good spot in another state to do does it outweigh the physical/psychological abuse? The lying and manipulation? The self loathing racism? He had convinced me when i was a child, that mexicans were just lazy job stealers. i hated myself for being brown for so long i just wanted to be white and normal…my emotions are all over the place i swear im not drunk. Now hes after me with his religious agenda and ive expressed i clearly have no interest but he wont quit…i had a pain in my chest that gave me a heart scare yesterday and he seemed concerned said he wanted to “pray” for me. Like an idiot i sat down and let him and all he said after praying for my wellness was to let me see my lifestyle is wrong and literally everything i do is not right and to “turn to father god and repent for the error of my ways” he just couldnt be civil and just stuck to my heart thing…instead he chose to use words tht he knew theres no way he couldnt have known i wouldnt have gotten upset…is that a blatant disregard for my wellbeing?

  70. Help!!!
    I am 47 yo make and was extremely close to suicide when I happened to see a video about narcissistic fathers. I couldn’t believe it. I thought they were talking about me. I’ve been homeless for 2 weeks living out of my car. After years of humiliation, name calling, total emotional and financialt control, forced isolation, blaming etc. etc. I’d become extremely depressed and wouldn’t go anywhere with anyone and I made the mistake of asking my narc for help and tried to tell him how those things affected my life and was thrown out on the street… of course I was living with him. I’m so down on myself and don’t know where to turn for help. How much more suffering can I endure???

  71. I am a 47 year old survivor of a control freak father and an emotionally unstable mother. I believe my father is highly narcissistic, but the right-wing authoritarian (the book by Prof. Altmeyer is freely available online) patterns are at least as prominent. I believe my mother is a borderline/narcissist, the perpetual victim, always specifying what I think or don’t think for me, and capable of switching from lollipops and teddy bears to screaming hitting violent rage in about 5 seconds when, as a child or teenager, I dared to disagree. The bickering between them was a welcome relief during which I would be left alone for a while. I always knew I was deeply different to them: I’m highly independent (a characteristic they literally tried to beat out of me), creative and anarchistic, naturally anti-authoritarian, empathetic and socially progressive.

    A big turning point for me came when I was about 24, just finishing my PhD: I had to delay submission for 2 months, making it 2 years and 2 months for a 4 year doctorate with about 7 times the required publications, because of availability of funding for my post-doc. My father went off with a fuming tantrum demanding to know why I would do this to him and raging about what they would have to tell people (who?). I did not go to my graduation ceremony which resulted in a intergalactic hissyfit that lasts to this day (I’m now 47). He likes very much to lecture me about how it isn’t my PhD but his, and how my life is not my own but his so I have to do what he wants. My mother was hurling abuse at me during the same period of my early- to mid-20s, mainly about how nobody will be able to stand me for very long so I’d better get used to being lonely. The trigger seems to be my full independence as an adult. After I met the woman who would become my wife during my post-doc, and we moved in together, my mother would ring me to spit venom: she would tell me that my wife would soon leave me and take everything because I’m such a worthless excuse for a human being. She still likes to cast my wife in the role of my victim so she can leap in to intervene to save her from me; no amount of objection from my wife about this even seems to make a dent. I had gone no contact for several years but later made the dubious dicision to allow them marginally back into my life. I don’t see them often – living in a different state helps.

    To this day my mother relentlessly interrogates me for information about my and my wife’s private matters and flips into self-pitying victimhood claiming I bully her when I refuse to submit to the interrogation. When I was young this would even include demanding to know details about my sexual activities. My father still picks and snipes at me about how I cut my hair, the clothes I wear, what beer I like, what books I have on my shelf, what music I listen to, basically anything, and tries to dictate things like who I must allow into my home (such as his equally abusive sister who I refuse to have into our home at all). He criticises my career sometimes; I’m a very prominent scientist in my field holding the highest scientific status my large research organisation has to offer, yet he blatantly lectures me telling me that if I cannot dress the way he wants then he will control it to make me do it right. Of course, the fact that he cannot even set food through the gate because it is a high security environment doesn’t stop him from knowing more about my environment than I do. I’m also an artist, and he has criticised this but uses it as a kind of status thing for him when it suits him.

    The content may vary but the pattern of his behaviour is amazing for its rigidity: critical judgement of whatever catches his eye, in the form of a loaded question to invite an answer to which he never intends to listen (storming off while stamping his feet like a toddler is not uncommon), and my offering of any answer amounts to “confirmation” of the judgement, and most importantly of his entitlement to make it.

    The thing I wish I realised much sooner was to stop giving explanations, that I don’t owe these people any explanations. Ever. Don’t fall for the trap of offering explanations in the hope that people like this will understand and accept your decisions. They won’t, not ever. Explanations are only seen as confirmation of whatever they have decided anyway, and more importantly of their right to dictate and interfere in general. So I absolutely refuse to ever give any explanation for anything. This has induced fits of rage and self-pity, but I truly don’t give a shit whether they like it or not, so it’s easy for me to implement. I just wish I understood this when I was 24.

    These people cannot and will not ever play any meaningful role in my life. Irrespective of what may have happened to them to make them what they are, they still chose and continue to choose the behaviour, and so they also chose the consequences. I’m at peace with my hard line of never giving even an inch when it comes to setting boundaries with them, especially when it comes to my son. I’m also deeply happy, madly happily in love with my wife, fulfilled in my work and a proud father of my wonderful son, despite them and my miserable childhood.

  72. My father’s behaviour ticks everything on your list.
    I have spent most of my life blaming my mother for the problems yet, in truth, she tolerated my father too long because she didn’t have a father present in her early childhood. She feared rejection but was also jealous of me.
    They have both tried to sabotage both my marriages. (The current one is 28 years long – blessed by a child – and I still struggle to deserve it.)
    It has taken a lot of work to get here but I shall try. I realise now, in order to be a good parent, I can’t hide this.
    Thank you for your valuable studies because it has opened my eyes to still hope for happiness.

  73. Finally an article on NPD Father’s! I am almost 23, my sisters and I all got cheated out of our childhoods. I am the oldest, my middle sister is 20 and my youngest sister is 13. I have become the “surrogate parent” for my sisters, being there for them, so I cannot leave this house. My father is an extreme covert narcissist and on top of that an alcoholic. Emotional abuse, physical abuse are “normal” for us, but we know now it is abnormal. The different masks they put out on public is insane, so insane that if I told a family friend about it they would say I am crazy. So yeah, I have been alone all my life, I just thought that competitiveness between father/son thing is 110%, but I don’t care about it anymore. Despite living in the same household, it is so dysfunctional beyond rational thinking. My thoughts are all over as I am typing this, just too much, but somehow I am coping. I hope one day we all truly find happiness!

    • I am 26 years old and yes , my father is so selfish , so narcisric , so patologic and tyranic person then sometimes I think he is the only one .then I see that many people have such parents and I am not alone . He is like a god , who knows everything. My mom is very passive , she just doing everythin what my father demands , she is like a slave of him and she brought me up like a slave too , that I am a girl and I must obey him and also he is crazy person so we have to do everything what he will say . Our nervous system is destroyed but my father cant notice it , he is saying that he is the best husband and best father ever and if you dare to refuse , he will got crazy :)))) I am 26 and still he controls what I wear , where I work , what time I have to come back at home . He is tyranic . But because I have two little brothers , I cant leave my house , I cant leave my borthers to him , I have feeling that I have to be with them and show that they mustnt copy my father and I am trying to show them how to be real humans . Its horrible also that he was taking my in the church by force , and If I didnt pray morning or night he could punish me and not let me go at university . He made everything me to hate christianity and praying 🙁 I dont know how to go against him … I am afraid so much that I am just doing everything he wants and not saying anything … maybe someone can advice me how to say aloud everything i want and not to afraid …

  74. I’ve known my father was a tyrant since before I could remember anything else. My parents are from India and it was an arranged marriage and I always felt bad for my mom cuz my father was just a total monster, emotionally and physically. By the time I was around 10-13 years old regular punishments didn’t do the trick so he had to get creative with it and so bruises don’t show at school. I pretty much thought my house was the prison and my father was like warden. He only came home at night and I usually would get my ass kicked even if I was already sleeping/in bed. I’m 25 now and after analyzing everything I realized my father is a narcissist a few years ago. He is the ultimate one. I grew up in a very rich community and everyone acted like he was some God. Always had people saying how amazing my father is and that I should be better to him. Pretty much growing up I was miserable, not even knowing what true happiness feels like. Luckily my dog and best friend Ocho probably saved me. He is a grand manipulator and liar like you wouldn’t believe. He also was a political figure in India so add that to the equation and it is all bad. He used to berate my friends at school for their looks, weight, anything whenever he did drop me off, which thank God was not often. He acts like he saves people but really he only does anything for his own pride and ego. I didn’t understand why his brother’s and sister all left him and basically our whole family until a few years ago. I have two siblings 11 and 13 years older and they never really helped me in this aspect. They told me at 14/15 how they couldn’t visit at home anymore because Dad was too much for them. I even signed up for the Marines to leave home as soon as possible, but had a very severe injury during training and was discharged. Today I’m here thinking about how my father has fucked me up, to the point where I just don’t think I can be fixed anymore. Honestly there where times we got into fights but I held back because he is still my father but really I wanted to punch his face in for ruining my mom and my life. My siblings made it out but they never talk about that stuff really. Being an Indian household it is far different regarding culture, how we talk just about everything. Most my American friends could never understand. My father was also a micro micromanager. If you didn’t drive the route he wanted he would throw a tantrum and step out the car, don’t have food ready when he is home the way he wants there is a big fight, if I didn’t finish my food bad things happen, and so on. He didn’t even my my bday until I was 8 and forgot again until I was 15/16. He came to one of my sports (b-ball) games once when I was 14 even though I was really really good and played in college he used to tell my that it was a waste of time. In fact basketball and martial arts where where I was able to release so much hate rage and pain. Idk where I’d be without b-ball. Anyway I have grown to understand my father’s actions but I still have this hate and rage for him. He used to even talk shit to other people about me (and I was a good kid so I would end up having other people defending me against my own father). Talk about conflicting feelings. I also know my mom didn’t want another kid (me) but my father did and so I was born since my mom couldn’t have an abortion. I know I’m very loved by her and friends but often I wish I’d never been born. Not that I’m suicidal or ever end my own life I just think why? I guess there are feelings of worthlessness deep down even though at the same time I realize my self worth. It is hard to describe. It really shakes you to the core. Well as for positives I know what not to be/do thanks to my tyrant of a father. I also went to a therapist for a couple years and they really helped just by listening to me talk. That much alone helped me understand all the damage my father caused me, which I didn’t even realize because it happened at a small age so I developed all these defense mechanisms and stuff that helped me trudge through life thinking I’m alright when really I’m depressingly miserable. When I realized that it was like being hit by a title wave. Now I’m trying to untangle all my own bad habits/scars left by my pops as hopeless as it seems just know there are others who have suffered alongside you if you’re reading this and wondering why did this have to happen to me, to my family. It is more common than we like to think and for indian household it is far far more common.

    • I’m now 42 and just realized my father is a narcissist. I’m sorry to read all you endured. I am very well aware of your situation coming from a very similar household and Indian culture. I am just glad to read you are 25 and very aware of your situation. I was not as enlightened as you at your age. With this self awareness you have control of your life not your father.

  75. My father died recently; I knew he has N tendencies. I am still working it all out. I am 61. He was powerful in his field and in the home. He was never wrong – and only blamed ‘fools.’ I have never felt loved by my father except occasionally.
    In spite of all these feelings I love him.
    In the end he was an angry, fearful man. I wish him peace.

  76. Everything makes sense to me after 51 years of emotional pain, mostly from my dad…He fit just about every characteristic except a few… I never measured up and was blamed for everything… the rejection and lack of the love I craved hurt so much.. I’m sorry everyone else has also hurt…he passed away last November but I found out after he cut me and my children out of his will.. I don’t care about the material things,but a final blow to years of hurt and blame… knowing I never mattered.. I am trying to heal and grief is bittersweet

  77. My father was the terrifying, drunken tyrant who felt everything about himself was super important, every opinion, every whim. but he didn’t demand anything. I knew from a very young age he didn’t want to spend any time with me and just wasn’t interested. his only interest was when he’d come in drunk and need a target to vent at. then he could be quite crazy.
    Once he came in drunk, got furious at me because I was reading a comic book (which i’d done hundreds of times) threw a huge tantrum and CALLED THE PRINCIPAL OF MY SCHOOL and got him to call me into his office the next day and give me a stern talking to.
    all because I suppose he had a bad day and came home drunk.
    years later my ninny mother would say, “Oh, but he was drinking when he did those things.” like that was AN EXCUSE.
    they ruined my life. I had an older brother who took his cue from the old man and hatefully ridiculed me and tried to get my friends to mock me. they did, of course, because he was older so they looked up to him.
    even the house we lived in was picked out (in my opinion) because it was one house away from a guy my father wanted to drink with, another party boy. so, I hung out with that guy’s kid who was even more screwed up than me cause his parents were literally never there. every night they’d give him some money to walk over and eat at the bowling alley and they would go out and drink.
    then, one day, I did some small thing that displeased that kid and he got one of the school bullies to beat the shit out of me. gee, what a friend.
    that’s the kind of childhood I had.
    and believe me, it ruins your life. you’ll never be “normal.”
    best of luck.

  78. My dad follows these characteristics matching them almost flawlessly. Am I better getting rid of my dad or should I salvage what I barely can hold onto? I am stuck

  79. Wow thank you for allowing me to share my own situation????
    I am 55 years old and also just realizing that I was under the power of my father all my life and I could never be myself around him. I have been suffering mental health through a family saga and my father is only concerned about being “right” all the time. I feel like I have left a cult and that I am now free!! He has disinherited me and told me that if I divorce my loving husband of 30 years then maybe that will change his decision on the will.
    I have always felt like I wasn’t good enough around him and I used to stutter and feel inadequate around him. Since this family saga eventuates my 2 sisters who used to criticise my father with me behind his back have now said that they regret ever saying anything negative about him, and that I am the nasty one in the family now for not obeying my dad anymore.
    He makes me feel like I am going crazy and that everything that’s been said and done is all my fault and that I don’t understand.
    I have in the past kept going back to my parents with lots of love but they continue to critique me and my family and I feel like its “battered wife syndrome “
    Reading all these different stories and people’s awful situations really makes me feel now like it’s not me, it’s my father and I feel now that I am out of jail so to speak and I can slowly live again.
    What gives people the right to act like this?

  80. I have both a narcissistic father and mother, wasted years seeking their approval all the while being treated like crap every step of the way, in the end it was all pointless effort, my advice to people is cut ties and don’t look back, just move on with your life, when you cut off the dead weight you can start living like a human instead of a dog.

  81. Both of my parents were on the spectrum. Growing up was like trying to manage life in the middle of a three-ring circus. For me, the most glaring symptom was the contrived manipulation – the use of lies and innuendo, gossip behind each others’ backs, to man-handle some sort of behavior out of the other.

    I remember a perfect example when I was 9. A woman who lived on our block, not next door but several doors down so not a close neighbor, stopping me on my way home from school one afternoon to tell me that my father had told her that my mother was frigid. At 9 years old, I had no idea what ‘frigid’ meant. All I could picture at that moment was a sweater for my mom to wear. Years later when I was 17, the two divorced.

    After my mother moved out, my father flat out told me that if my mother didn’t changer her attitude and move back in, it was all my fault. I was noncommittal. So, he started leaving ‘notes’ around the house which all said things to the effect that I was the one responsible for the impending divorce and that I could change the course of things if I went to my mother and gave the dramatic performance of life, crying, threatening suicide, anything that would coerce her into coming back.

    I am now in my late 60s. Although both parents have passed away, it was still several decades before each death since I’d had any contact with them. For me, there came a point when I was about 40 when I had to decide that I was either going to find some way to live with this situation or walk away.

    Because I’d been trying to live with that situation for some 40 years already and nothing that I did made any difference in providing me with any comfort or security, I felt that my only choice was to walk away.

  82. This article hit home a lot. When I was younger before teenage years, I don’t know if I would’ve classified my father as narcissist. Not sure if that was because he wasn’t around as much. He was physically abusive, but even that doesn’t seem to bother me to what he has become now. I feel like money revealed who he really was. After selling quite a few commercial buildings, I recall hearing him brag for the first time, he was drinking and he told a the story of how the banker called him a ‘millionaire’. I felt like the mental abuse really started after that. Everything ended in punishment if he didn’t like something or if it wasn’t ‘his way’. He would try to micromanage work he didn’t know how to do himself and would force us to do it his way, and when the problems would arise that we said would before being forced to do it his way, it was just us doing things wrong; not that because he told us to do what was obviously wrong. No matter the topic, instead of having a conversation and a civil back and forth to get to an answer, he would just blurt out I’m the millionaire and in his mind that was the end of the discussion. Over the past decade we’ve seen his business crumble because no one knows anything and he knows everything. However, he blames losing millions is due to us, even though we have zero control over the business and he wasn’t spending the money on us. My older brother left when he was 18, he started out as the golden child but when he started to gain confidence, my father turned on him. I followed a few years later losing all communication with him. My little brother then became his aim, he ended up committing suicide.. Final straw for him was being blamed for a car being stolen, even though it was my father who left the key in the car. After this I felt forced to come back, seeing now that its only my little sister left. He had her quit her job and said he support her to help out; This was more of a ploy to have her dependent on him cause he would threaten to kick her out, not pay for things he said he would if she didn’t drop whatever she was doing at a moments notice, even miniscule things(say going to a grocery store). Shortly after this my mother had multiple stroke symptoms and I told him he needed to get her to the hospital. He told me I’m not a doctor and that its covid. After a week, we called for ambulance against his wishes cause it was obviously not covid. Shortly after it was revealed she had a stroke and had pancreatic cancer and with this information all he had to say to us is, that we’re ‘still not doctors’ and not educated enough to give opinions. She died shortly after. Everything is someone else’s fault and can’t take any criticism or responsibility. It’s truly maddening and sad that he had the potential to be a great father and could’ve of started a family line of growth but just wanted to be a tyrant and worshipped. I don’t believe this thought pattern can be broken from a person who has shed themselves from anyone who would give opposing thoughts(would just curse people out and not speak to them ever again). All you can do is distance yourself and those you care about because a person like this does not want to see eye to eye, but is just trying to find a way to look down on you to feel better about themselves. Speaking from experience i was a lot happier that 5 year stretch without him in my life; Getting back to that now.

  83. I don’t know what’s going on but today my dad was acting very funny I sent him donut emojis and all the sudden he said don’t send them to me and he never said that before so I don’t know what’s going on but whoever that was I don’t believe it was my real dad I was talking to on messaging I think somebody decided to impersonate him today. I asked him to apologize to me and he said whatever.

  84. I am the son of a narc father (with a passive but loving mom who passed away a couple of years ago). Everything described fits him to a T. He is a well to do successful man, and I worked for him in the family business for 10 years. I could never measure up, it was impossible. I knew it was time to spread my wings and fly for myself, and told him I am leaving. He flew in to a rage and said “you cant quit, you’re fired”. It was awful, and I didn’t talk to him for 2 years. That was 30 years ago. We somewhat reconciled and talked occasionally. In the meantime I started my own business and sold it 15 years later. During that time he never came to see what I built. One day two years ago after a major health scare for me, I too the initiative and went to see him and said “dad, what happened in the past is in the past, we can’t change it. But from this day forward know that I love you, appreciate all you have done for me, and I will not go to my grave mad at you, and hope you can see it the same way”. He said yes. Since that time we chat occasionally, see each other at birthdays and T-Day, and all seemed OK. Till this week. He called me said you only come around because you want my money when I die! OMG! Where did this come from? He is in his 90’s BTW, but seems all there. He said my sister (who has always worked for him) will get the lions share, and although I am “included” in his estate, I will not get anything substantial because I left his business and I wasn’t able to see my mom when she died (it was covid and he told me to stay away). I other words he is throwing me a bone. So now it all comes out again, and he resumes his abusive ways. Soooo frustrating. So I reminded him of our talk of years ago, and that I frankly don’t care what he does or doesn’t give me. I am grateful for what I got. He wants to talk to me again, but I will reiterate my love for family, that I tried to be there for mom, and tell him it was best for me to leave the business. I just can not let him try and chip away at my self esteem like he likes to do. Maybe this resonates with some of you, but I think I am seeing this clearly and am on the right path on the high road. So hard to stay strong and see it for it is. Anyone else experience something like this? How did you handle it?

  85. My narc father has an extremely manipulative narc mother and a verbally abusive father and he is now like them. All the members of the family on that side are like this and they enjoy bullying and corrupting children, they purposely tease and torture them. they sabotage and hijack others people’s enjoyment and pleasure out of life and attack them out of envy. My father did not have a golden child or scapegoat, everyone except for 2 people had nasty nicknames including me and his mother used to gossip and slander other people behind their backs thus isolating them and creating a false reputation. His mother however did have a select favorite child who was given special treatment and was treated like a queen amongst the family. The rest of us were just there. MY father bullies me and uses scare tactics to get his way. He also used to scream at me in front of my friends which further humiliated me. I did get treatment and learned about buddhism which helped me separate from them and to learn healthy coping tricks. I worked with a therapist who taught me how to quietly emancipate myself in order to get married and have my own life. My husband is not a narcissist but now suffers from anxiety after being bullied by my family and having our life interfered with. They now control our life and make it insanely difficult to be rid of them and have our own life.


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