• 💖 [Donate To Keep MyPTSD Online] 💖 Every contribution, no matter how small, fuels our mission and helps us continue to provide peer-to-peer services. Your generosity keeps us independent and available freely to the world. MyPTSD closes if we can't reach our annual goal.

Child of narcissistic parents

Monaleesa

New Here
I have a question about a reaction from my narc father.

I grew up in a highly dysfunctional family. I’ve always known my parents were crazy but it’s only recently that I became aware of NPD. I’m an adult with my own family and only now has the veil been lifted for me and my sister. We both recently had falling outs with our parents but me and her have never had a relationship bc our parents triangulated us and ensured we didn’t trust each other through out our lives.

We finally opened up and realized they had been pinning us against each other since childhood. It became obvious then that they are both extreme malignant narcissists.

My father and I recently had a huge fight triggered by me sharing feelings and him going into a rage.

Anyway, my question — he said unforgivable things about my children which caused me to emotionally undress him — I was brutally honest about his deficiencies as a father and general human being. He is a cold, emotionless man that just earlier showed no emotion when I was begging for his love and support regarding a previous crisis I was going through but recieved no support from him.

But after I told him he was despicable and all the reasons why, he began to genuinely cry. I’ve never seen this cold heartless man cry in 40 years. My narc mother will fake cry at the drop of a hat for sympathy but this wasn’t that. These were real tears.

I wish he hadn’t bc it would have made this much easier. But now even though I know the truth about him I can’t help but feel guilt and sadness bc this was the one time he’s shown real emotion that isn’t anger.

I’m curious what others think he was crying about. There’s no evidence to suggest it was over the loss of his relationship with his son. I’m just confused and I need to finally cut them out of my life but even after degrading my kids, his grand kids, and my parenting, I still find myself rattled with guilt.
 
@Monaleesa - so that members can offer helpful responses, can you confirm that you have ptsd? And if not, how PTSD is relevant to the relationship between you and your father?
My apologies. Yes, I am in counseling for CPTSD as a result of ongoing childhood trauma caused by both parents having extreme NPD. They have not gone to counseling but both my counselor and my sister’s counselor are confident in that diagnosis.

I asked the question bc I am finally at a place to begin moving forward and healing but I’m also still wrought with guilt and self blame. And seeing my cold, angry father cry because of me is difficult to understand.
 
And seeing my cold, angry father cry because of me is difficult to understand.
Yep. I haven’t bothered seeking any answers or closure or understanding from my parents. It’s very often a bit of a pipe dream - to think that the people who abused us all those years will suddenly respond to us rationally, fairly, help healing all the shit that they’re responsible for.

NPD comes from a place of deep insecurity. It doesn’t surprise me that poking that bear got a dramatic response.

Personally, healing for me needs to include very clear boundaries with my parents. They don’t get any vulnerability from me at all. That’s not safe for me and my mental health.
 
I’m curious what others think he was crying about. There’s no evidence to suggest it was over the loss of his relationship with his son. I’m just confused and I need to finally cut them out of my life but even after degrading my kids, his grand kids, and my parenting, I still find myself rattled with guilt.
People who are narcissistic, have a disorder with a narcissism component / narcissistic tendencies qualifier, as well as people full blown NPD have feelings, too.

Can you only cut him out of your life by dehumanizing him, rather than based on his actions and treatment of his children and grandchildren? If his actions rate it? They rate it. Regardless of how he feels about it. Or that he feels, full stop.
 
I relate to a lot of what you wrote. Similar situation: only realising later in life about my mum, and realising the division between me and my sisters that she cultivates and enjoys.

The crying and seeming genuine feeling. Yep, that is wholly confusing.
You can view it in several ways:
His genuine feelings about himself.
A game to draw you back in and make you feel how you are feeling.

Essentially, what were his tears about? Did he apologise? Did he take responsibility for his actions towards you? Did he show remorse for his behaviour? Did he ask questions about how his behaviour has impacted you to better understand? Did he ask what you needed from him now?
If it was just tears, however genuine they felt to yo, without any responsibility for anything, then sorry to say you got much of the same there. Nothing has changed.
In fact everything is the same. You feel guilty because he cried. It's back on you. You to fix because he had emotions.

So, how can you drop the guilt? You're not responsible for his emotions. You're not there to fix them.

It's a tough game this interaction with nariccistic parents. Relentless it seems. I'm told it gets easier with acceptance.
 
People who are narcissistic, have a disorder with a narcissism component / narcissistic tendencies qualifier, as well as people full blown NPD have feelings, too.

Can you only cut him out of your life by dehumanizing him, rather than based on his actions and treatment of his children and grandchildren? If his actions rate it? They rate it. Regardless of how he feels about it. Or that he feels, full stop.
Thats a great point and I completely agree. I'll be more clear -- I can cut him out based on his actions and history but since I'm not a narcissist I still feel sad when I see bad people cry. They're not mutually exclusive. I will not allow him to be a part of my life but I'm also just curious what finally got him to break down when nothing else in his life ever has.

Thanks for the advice.
 
I relate to a lot of what you wrote. Similar situation: only realising later in life about my mum, and realising the division between me and my sisters that she cultivates and enjoys.

The crying and seeming genuine feeling. Yep, that is wholly confusing.
You can view it in several ways:
His genuine feelings about himself.
A game to draw you back in and make you feel how you are feeling.

Essentially, what were his tears about? Did he apologise? Did he take responsibility for his actions towards you? Did he show remorse for his behaviour? Did he ask questions about how his behaviour has impacted you to better understand? Did he ask what you needed from him now?
If it was just tears, however genuine they felt to yo, without any responsibility for anything, then sorry to say you got much of the same there. Nothing has changed.
In fact everything is the same. You feel guilty because he cried. It's back on you. You to fix because he had emotions.

So, how can you drop the guilt? You're not responsible for his emotions. You're not there to fix them.

It's a tough game this interaction with nariccistic parents. Relentless it seems. I'm told it gets easier with acceptance.
Thank you. My mom is far more insidious than my dad. She will brainwash, lie, manipulate, cry -- whatever it takes to get sympathy. Growing up, my narc father was always traveling for work plus my mom played the role of victim of his abuse so I latched onto her and never my father. As a result, I've never had a relationship with my father so cutting him out isn't a huge loss. My mother will sob, cry victim, feign health scares, etc to reel me back in. I know its all for her personal satisfaction, but since I attached to her as a child -- albeit in a completely abusive way -- its much harder to stand up to.

My father on the other hand never showed any emotion but anger. Never showed genuine love or support and also was absent a lot. Even as a young child I remember being uncomfortable around my father.

My mother has never apologized to anyone for anything, never admitted she's lying even when we show her proof, and through the years the children have been responsible for making first contact after every fight to patch things over.

My father will apologize. But he'll say things like, "if that happened then i'm sorry". But I've never seen remorse, effort to change behavior, personal responsibility, etc. Before I understood all of this completely, my sister and parents had a huge falling out. I pleaded with my parents to call her and say "let's get together and try to work through this, I love you and want a relationship". Well they called to set up a time and place to talk and they showed up with pages and pages of ways she had wronged them.

For further context -- my father has never loved anything except his job. The crying incident between me and him occurred a few days after he retired. Him and my mom just redid their will to use as punishment/control of kids/grandkids. My sister and I are both successful adults and dont need or want a dollar from them. So now he's retired and him and my narc mother are stuck in the house together with nothing but their tv shows and a lifetime of destruction behind them.

Maybe I just answered my own question. Thank you for the response.
 
my religious narcisist father didnt cry when my mother died that i ever saw. He didnt miss work and i mowed the lawn the next day. he didnt cry when i left home way too young, and he didnt cry when i made it clear i wanted no contact and meant it, decades later. He cried when his dog died. Still a narcisist, and i didnt cry when i heard third or fourth hand that he had died.
the OP confronted the father, it’s not a case of the father coming and apologizing. Those tears might have mattered, if tears matter.
 
My apologies. Yes, I am in counseling for CPTSD as a result of ongoing childhood trauma caused by both parents having extreme NPD. They have not gone to counseling but both my counselor and my sister’s counselor are confident in that diagnosis.

I asked the question bc I am finally at a place to begin moving forward and healing but I’m also still wrought with guilt and self blame. And seeing my cold, angry father cry because of me is difficult to understand.
Why don't you ask him?
 
Back
Top