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Author Topic: I'm going to have to accept my Dad for who he is, and it breaks my heart.  (Read 387 times)
NarcsEverywhere
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Relationship status: Living Together
Posts: 438


« on: January 13, 2023, 09:50:08 PM »

I live with my Dad, and I dunno about BPD, but he has a ton of baggage, anger issues, gaslighting, projecting, abandons me when things get rough sometimes. He's hard as hell to work with, but I love him.

I think you, know, since I live with him, my standards have to be lower, it doesn't mean I can't speak up or get upset, but I can't force him to be someone he's not. I'll have to look into other options whenever possible. I can see how things have been tough for him, because he's older and got so many mental health issues, that it makes everything too hard for him. And I've gotten upset at him so many times, and gotten controlling because it drove me crazy to be treated like that. I also see how I've been a drag on him with my own issues.

I never expected a perfect father, I never expected him to always respond perfectly. I've tried to be flexible, and understanding, assertive, I've tried about everything. I've tried to love his pain away, but you can't help a person a whole lot, if they give up on themselves, and don't deal with their pain and issues. You can't force a person to take responsibility for their actions and change.

And it breaks my my heart so much. It breaks my heart to know, no matter what I do, I'll never have the father I want. I don't expect a lot, I just expect the effort to try, the effort to learn, the effort to face the pain, but he won't do that. I've had a talk with him, and told him he's gotta help himself, and I can't do it for him, and suggested counseling. I don't think he'll do it, but he might. I told him it's always worth it to work on your baggage, because it makes you a happier person.

So much breaks my heart about it, because all my hopes for him, are kind of shattered, all my hopes for me, are kind of shattered. No, this is who he is. A person who cares about me, a person who wants love and tries, but falls so short, so often. So short that it's driven me insane.

I think the saddest part to me, isn't what I won't get. It's my father, it's all his pain, pain that piled up too fast to ever deal with, pain that felt too much to bare. A childhood that failed him, like it failed me. I wish I could give him the courage. But all I can really give him is a lot less of myself, and a more patient version of love. And my father might never be the man I want him to be. I don't have high hopes for him, because he's so bad at facing things. But I still have a glimmer of hope, that somehow, he'll find the courage to get better.
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Greg
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What is your sexual orientation: Confidential
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Posts: 110


« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2023, 06:22:21 AM »

You are clearly a very compassionate and empathic person.  You have taken a lot of steps to help him.  But this is a grown man were talking about.  "Getting old" is no excuse to give up on life, to go to therapy to heal traumas, and to be a compassionate and loving parent.

From this post its hard to tell what the effect is on you specifically, but the tell signs are there.  You are erasing your needs for this man, living in his shadow.  It's time to live for YOU!  You can have oh so many dreams outside of his sphere of influence.  So many things are possible when you go low or no contact.  Youre starting to see that boundaries and distance are necessary, which is great. Have you seen a therapist about it?

"Waking Up" to see behind the mask who our parents really are is a very, very painful process and realization.  But it does get better, and what you will learn along the way will likely be tools to help so, so many people in life.  It can be freeing in a way, but Im also writing you from the other side, after approx. 13 years no contact.

Keep setting boundaries and creating space.  And allow yourself to grieve this loss, too.  But it does get better.  A lot better Smiling (click to insert in post)
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NarcsEverywhere
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Relationship status: Living Together
Posts: 438


« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2023, 11:34:58 AM »

Hey Greg, thanks for saying that. I do think I can be compassionate. I feel remorseful that I've grown more and more irritated with him and it's stifled him more and more. I've tried to be patient, but I've lost most of that, because of the insanity I've had deal with, and because of how he's treated me and the pets. I've tried to protect my boundaries, but he's determined to not care about them, so I get pretty controlling about it sometimes, and then he ends up being quieter to be around me.

It's a dysfunctional situation all around. I think spending more time alone is the best for both of us. I actually have set boundaries a lot, and gotten pretty good at dealing with him, but when I got injured, it forced me to have no control over that, which was horrible. Also, all his manipulations, and lack of boundaries, wore me down. I think he takes all my critiques personally. I often say things in a non judgmental way, but I also have been judgmental too, because I take it personally sometimes when he treats me the way he does. It's hard not to take abuse and neglect personally, when you're in the throws of it.

Thanks for your response. I'll do what I can here, it's hard to balance my own mental health, physical health, while being triggered by my Dad and neighbor, the pets well being, my responsibilities. It's so hard to navigate. Life is hard right now.

Yes, I need to not be overly involved with him, if it drags me down, wears me out, and makes me vulnerable to abuse.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2023, 11:40:25 AM by NarcsEverywhere » Logged
Greg
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2023, 10:09:09 PM »

I've tried to protect my boundaries, but he's determined to not care about them,

This is it in a nutshell.  Someone who disrespects your boundaies is not someone to have in your life.  That doesnt mean being alone, in means getting away from *this* person.

Your dad sounds like a classic narcissist.  Super toxic and I see all the tell signs.  Wouldnt be surprised if he weaponizes your mental health diagnosis against you frequently.

A ton of my mental challenges improved when I got away from these dynamics.  Please, do what you can to move out, move in with friends, whatever it takes.  Dont blame yourself or feel like youre too hard on him.  This is a grown man acting like a toddler, the way cluster Bs always do, and hes mistreating you
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NarcsEverywhere
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Relationship status: Living Together
Posts: 438


« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2023, 09:55:01 AM »

After some research, and some analyzing of the past, it seems likely to me that my Dad is a Covert Narcissist. I've gotta be honest, the more I see all his behavior for what it is. It's really hard to care about him and love him like a father. I will give him dignity, and care that he suffers, but on a personal level, it's really hard to care, when he seems to not care about me. When he has done so many harmful things to me, and those I care about, just for power, status, positive or negative attention, or just to avoid accountability. I do pity him though.

It's hard to ground myself in life, when I feel the unpredictability of him. (although I'm starting to predict it more). But I have to, my sense of self deteriorates when I let the anxiety take over, and I lose a lot of strength from it too. To be strong, to work with and get out of this situation, I need to focus on my own power. The power to love, validate, encourage and celebrate myself and my accomplishments. The power to do what I want, and like.

Another thing is, he's very responsive to maintaining power. At first, I wanted to "beat" him, but then I'm just responding to him. So on days where I push myself and do more for the family, he will push himself and try to one up me or match me. It bothered me before, but I suppose that's fine. Another thing is it bothered me that he seemed to feel most comfortable when I felt weak. But I'm realizing I can use that to my advantage, and get the rest, recharging and emotional vulnerability, while he's lulled into a false sense of power.

I'm not really trying to manipulate or control him, it's more about doing what's right for me. But I do think I need to manage him, and recognize him and his behavior for what it is. It's all rather sad.

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