During my childhood, our family life revolved around his narcissism. I didn't realize it then. The realization that he had narcissistic personality disorder gradually became apparent during my adult life.
I first learned about narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) in nursing school. The further I matured into adult life, the worse my father's behavior has gotten. My husband and I had an ugly blowout argument with him on New Years Day in front of our teenage children.
I've since decided to separate from him.
Since then, my husband and I have done extensive research into narcissistic personality disorder. I've gotten therapy and I do daily journaling. I pray, I soul search, and I know in my heart that this separation has been a good thing for me.
I've accepted what is.
I know with narcissists, you either have to separate or clearly establish boundaries. Unfortunately, establishing boundaries failed with my father.
My brother is also separated from my father. We've had recent communications with our father via email in which we are blamed for everything while nothing is his fault. With notes I made in journaling and therapy, I was able to formulate a clear and effective response to pinpoint the issues I have with his behavior. Together, we have him up against a wall. His behavior is exposed and he is playing the victim.
Recently, my parents have purchased a new car and are giving my mother's old car to my teenage son. We are accepting the car because we need it and my mother has a special place in her heart for my son.
I feel strong enough after our six months separation to attempt a relationship with him with clearly defined emotional boundaries. It's going to be a challenge because he's already playing the victim.
During my morning writing today, I had the realization that God gives certain challenges to people. Some deal with illness, tragedy, abuse, or poverty, to name a few. For whatever reason, I believe God has given me this challenge. I don't really like it. It's not fun to have a father that sucks the life out of you, but I believe this is what God gave me.
My father will feed his narcissism with my broken heart.
In seventh grade, I became a cutter. My parents had a horrible relationship they blamed on me. I was the scapegoat for their tumultuous relationship because something my youth pastor reported brought child protective services brought them to our door.
I was bullied at school. I had no one to talk to. Eventually I lost all my friends. I always focused on academics so I graduated top of my class. That belied the truth. I may have been a star academically, I had 40 bracelets that I refused to take off that hid my cuts. I cut until twelfth grade.
My fitness teacher caught me with fresh cuts on my leg. I told her I was getting help and being who I am I didn't want to lie, so I confided in an elementary school teacher I was close to. I was unstable and talking slowly to a counselor. I was dealing with a lot - my dad was now a drug addict. My mom was suicidal and depressed.
My family was struggling. So was I
At the end of tenth grade, I unintentionally went to my very first party. I told my boyfriend where I'd be. I walked over to my friend's house under the assumption we were having a Girl's Night. Her brother was becoming a bartender and wanted to practice making us drinks. I hadn't touched alcohol before.
I thought I was safe. We had parental supervision. I trusted the girls I was with, I was close to home, people knew where I was. I took all the proper safety precautions.
I started drinking right after I arrived. I had two or three glasses and was starting to feel pretty tipsy when I learned they were inviting boys over. I thought, Okay cool, more people to join the party. Because I trusted my friends, I trusted they knew who they were inviting over. A little while later they said that she had met the guys online.
That should have been a red flag, but I was already too drunk to care.
They boys arrived and we began playing drinking games. I ran out of alcohol so this nice boy offered me a beer. I took it grateful for the refill. I started feeling really fuzzy and out of it.
This is here my memory becomes spotty. He had drugged my beer. We went outside to have a campfire. I remember her mom coming outside. She told the boy who'd given me the beer to take me upstairs because I was going to pass out.
My memory goes black until I was suddenly in the bedroom. He was over top of me kissing me. I pushed him off and muttered that I had a boyfriend. He continued and I started to get angry. Feeling my consciousness slipping away, I started to get anxious.
My drunk and drugged self picked up my cell phone and dialed the last number I had texted, the number of my good guy friends. Suddenly the guy above me took my phone, said he would take care of me and hung up.
My lifeline was gone and I knew what was happening next.
I started to thrash, fighting to stay conscious. He was holding me down, telling me to shut up. My eyes were closing and I was panicking. I could feel him removing my clothing but I could no longer move. And everything went black. I was still fighting the drug and I woke up a few times in between.
I remember the pain. I remember screaming for him to stop when I'd become conscious for a few moments.
The next time I woke up, I was in a bathtub. It took a second to realize I was in the wrong place and that everyone else was sleeping. I was in a lot of pain where I shouldn't have been. I noticed I was only wearing my shirt and shorts. No undergarments. I was still pretty out of it and stumbled to back to bed where I fell asleep until morning. Waking up when the sun broke through the curtain, I sat up. I was still in pain.
Moments later, what happened hit me. I just sat up staring at the wall until the other girls came upstairs.
I muttered "I was... raped."
"No you weren't," they claimed. "You asked for it. You lead him on. His buddies were only trying to get him a kill. He only had two"
"Did he use a condom?" I asked, my heart breaking. I couldn't believe they were denying it. At least ONE of them had to have heard my screams. He didn't use a condom but he told them he had told them he pulled out before he came.
I didn't care.
Tears streamed down my face as they denied I had been raped.
Still crying, I called my boyfriend and asked him to come and get me. When I got in his van, he knew something was wrong - I was withdrawn and quiet.
When we got to his house, we sat on his bed and he wanted to cuddle. I kept moving away. I didn't want him to touch me. I felt disgusting. I began to cry again and I realized I couldn't hide it.
I told him everything. He got up and took what looked like aspirin. I asked him if we could go to my house so I could shower. He said that he was afraid that I wouldn't want to have sex with him.
On the way home, he pulled over to a parking lot and made me have sex with him - so that some guy wouldn't be the last one inside of me.
I thought he loved me, and here he was forcing me to have sex with him.
I had given him my virginity only weeks before.
We finally got to my house. He kept swerving all over the road, freaking me out. When we got home, I immediately showered. I felt horrible and dirty. Thanks to him, I couldn't even get medical help.
When I got out, he was asleep on my bed. I didn't think anything of it. Over lunch, I told my best friend - who lived with me - a little bit of what happened. She hugged me and told me she was there for me.
Suddenly I realized my boyfriend still hadn't gotten up which was extremely unusual. When I remembered all the pills he took, I ran to my room. Frantically, I tried to shake him awake but he wouldn't get up. When he finally awoke, he couldn't talk. He was slurring his words so badly. He couldn't walk.
And I couldn't hide it from my mom. I told her he may have take a lot of a pills. I called my neighbour, a paramedic, who I thought could help. He determined that my boyfriend had overdosed on anti-anxiety drugs. He told me to let him sleep it off, make sure he didn't drive, as well as monitor his pulse and breathing.
He woke up six hours later and had to pee. He could walk a bit better. I was watching TV when I realized he'd been gone for a while. I decided to check on him. He said he was fine and would be out in two minutes. I sensed something was wrong. I knocked again. He asked for a sweater. I gave him one of my dad's old ones. He pulled me into the bathroom.
Everything was covered in blood. He had slit his wrists and hands open multiple times. I grabbed a first aid kit. I was trained in this. I treated his injuries and told my mom he reopened some cuts from work. I told my best friend to watch him and tell me if he went into the bathroom while I called the paramedic back.
As I was talking to him, my best friend came and told me he was looking for me. He was angry as hell because he couldn't find his keys, which I had hidden. He came outside looking for me. I hid, afraid he would hurt me. He finally went back inside and my best friend came out again. She reported that he'd locked himself in the bathroom and she could hear water running. I told the paramedic I had to go and called 911. The operator stayed on the line as he ran around outside looking for me with a razor blade before he retreated to the bathroom.
Police officers and an ambulance showed up. They went inside and dragged him out, covered in blood. I went with him to the hospital in the back of a police car. He was examined and his injuries treated. The next morning, the day before school was to start, he told my mom that he did it because of his crappy relationship with his parents.
She offered to let him stay with us.
Three months later he broke up with me. and then got back together with me, and then used me as a fuck buddy because he knew I was in love with him.
He'd always wanted was anal sex but I refused. One day at lunch, he said he wanted to hook up so we went to my house. No one was home. He wanted to do it doggy-style - and I said okay.
He went towards the wrong place. I yelled no so he covered my mouth. He shoved himself inside me and it was one of the worst pains I've ever experienced. I screamed under his hand, knowing no one could hear me. I cried and screamed and begged him to stop, but he wouldn't. I was silent as I cleaned myself up and went back to school, and sat in my philosophy class.
I didn't even realize he had anally raped me until months later.
I couldn't believe it had happened a second time. Some of my friends knew about the rapes, including the girls at the party. They went around the high school, telling anyone who would listen that I wasn't raped. I'd lied because I didn't want to be accused of cheating.
This betrayal hurt more than anything. I knew what had happened and it wasn't consensual. I talked to a school counselor once, but I didn't feel like talking much about it - I'd been trying to forget about it. I'd been working with for two years trying to help a suicidal friend, who had incidentally, ended up in jail for shooting threats. She'd seen me at my worst. But I made her promise she wouldn't ask me about the rape or talk about it unless I wanted to.
I promised that elementary school teacher that I would never cut again. He saved my life. He'f meet with me before I school when something had happened and just let me vent. He kept me alive. I will never have more gratitude for anyone.
All it takes is one person.
I eventually told him about the rapes and all of the shit I'd been through. He supported me through all of it. Despite the shitstorm, I graduated second in my high school class.
Now, I'm a year and almost five months clean. I'm in second year university. But the rapes still haunt me. I wake up crying. I have intense flashbacks and nightmares.
I don't know what to do.
Now, I'm in a healthy, successful relationship. We live together. He knows about my struggles, but I feel like I shouldn't put him through dealing with my emotions. I'm stuck. Every time I go to get counseling, I cancel last minute.
I don't know what to do.
I feel like no one understands.
In my own life, forgiving others was not something that I was taught to do. I was always taught that I had a lot of sins that needed to be forgiven, but I never saw forgiveness for others practiced until I had to start doing it myself.
Our hurts, our pains, our lives to this point have all been dictated by our emotional selves. This is understandable. I totally get it. It is fine that, for a little while, we are so mad at anyone else that we would love nothing else than to see them have to walk down the busiest street in town, wearing the most ridiculous attire, singing "I'm a little tea pot," loudly as though they were singing along to their favorite Metallica tune. I get it. I have been there.
Forgiving others was hard for me because I always figured if someone hurt me, it was on purpose.
We choose what we want to recall of our own memories. We choose the uglies because that is what we have been taught through being shown only a victim mentality. I know this one very well. It is not hard to learn a lesson of being someone else's victim if that is what everyone in a child's life believes themselves to be.
I love my mother, and I hate to use her as the example, but the truth is that I now know, that while she did not teach me outright to be someone else's victim, she showed me that by her example. I believed for a very long time, that in order for me to forgive, I had to make sure that everyone in my life knew that someone else had wronged me.
We humans do NOT want to forgive others. We want them to pay the fullest, heaviest price for the sins that they commit against us. In reality, it is not an actual sin against us, but is an indicator to us that they have not actually studied themselves and explored their own feelings of hurt. Even in church, too many people don't understand what "turn the other cheek" means. Turning the other cheek means to hear the other person out, to allow them, through your listening, to be able to see the sin in their own energy.
The act of forgiving is not as simple as too many pastors in our lives have made it seem. It is hard for people to admit that they are sorry for the hurts they have caused.
When we hang onto wrongs for too long, it is all we can see. You can choose not to hang on to the anger and pain from the past. The best way that I know to begin the healing process is to learn by first starting with our very selves. We have to let go of the past, because it is no longer there. We need to stop believing that people will love us more if we tell them that we are in pain.
It is great to wallow, for a little while, but eventually that shit gets old, and eventually we find out that it got us nowhere. It is only in that act of forgiveness for others who have hurt us that we will also find the strength to forgive ourselves.
This was meant to be a letter to my Mum, but I started rambling. I'm not ready yet.
This is really very hard for me to type, but I have needed to say this for a long time. I tried once to tell you, but I hate seeing people look sad for me or to think that people worry about me, so I tried to make it seem less bad. Since then, I have had a lot of counseling and have given myself a lot of time to get my head around it.
I hate saying this, so I’m only going to mention it once. When I tried to explain what had happened when I was eighteen, I down-played it a lot. What really happened was not a blurring of lines.
I was raped.
I was on a night out and ended up with nowhere to stay. A man saw me alone and started speaking to me. I did not know him well, but I had definitely seen him around before. We have the same circle of friends. He offered me a place to stay, and made it clear that he was just being friendly. I believed him.
We went back to his small studio flat and sat on the sofa talking for a while. I was quite drunk at this point. He kissed me, and I kissed him back. While I wouldn’t have initiated anything, I didn't indicate that I didn’t want it to happen. Kissing him back was maybe my first mistake. He seemed to take consent for kissing to mean much more. He took me over to his bed, and I let it get too far then. He had removed my clothes before I told him and showed him I wasn’t comfortable with what was happening. He carried on kissing me, and I don’t know why, but I didn’t feel I could speak up again.
I was scared and uncomfortable and eighteen years old. As he went to initiate intercourse, I made it very clear I was not interested, but he continued regardless. I was scared that he might become violent, and I was so out of my depth that I let him continue. After initially struggling hard, I stayed completely still underneath him, letting him rape me because I didn’t know what to do. He DID know I wasn’t okay with it, but I still sometimes feel like it was my fault I didn’t fight him off.
He fell asleep shortly afterwards, and I lay awake in his apartment, in shock. I don’t know why I didn’t leave. I didn’t feel I could. I had nowhere else to go, and I was genuinely completely frozen by what had just happened. I also don’t think the full reality had set in. I was sick multiple times through the night.
The next morning, he acted as though we had just had a one night stand, as if we were both consensual partners, when he knew we weren’t. The worst thing was just before I left, he said, ‘You bled last night, it’s fine don’t be embarrassed,’ as though it was embarrassment I was feeling right then. And then he added, ‘..but do I need to get checked for anything?’ I have never felt more disgusted with myself than I did right then.
I then had to walk home in the previous night's clothes, make up, and shoes. I felt like I was being silently judged by everyone I walked past. They had no idea how much I wanted to die.
I still hate myself. I still fear sex. I desperately want a relationship. I want to feel loved, but I know the sexual side is expected. I just don’t know how I can do that again.
When I was a little kid, my father would hit me. My mum didn't care and didn't want to listen when I tried talking to her about it. I was growing up, and around the age of 11, it became worse. He started touching me inappropriately, and it was terrifying. I couldn't tell anyone because I was scared that they would judge me. A year or 2 later, my parents seperated. I never wanted to see my dad again, I hated him so much. After a while, I told myself that I would go and see him when I would turn 18.
June 2014, I was 17 years old, and I was in the middle of my exams when I got a call. It was someone telling me about my real dad, who had been really sick for over a year and he was in hospital. I told myself I HAD to go, but I was so scared. I asked someone close to me to come with me and I went to see him. I spent hours in the hospital every day, sitting by his side and talking to him. I have no idea if he was able to hear me, but I still tried. It was so painful. That week, on June 20th, he passed away.
I have been telling myself that I should have visited him before, when he was still in good health. The only memories I have from him now are when he was sick, in a hospital bed.
I still think about him a lot and somehow I have forgiven him for what he did to me. I try to think about the good times with him, when I was very small. He inspired me to start playing music, to start singing, and he taught me that people should be forgiven, people deserve a second chance before it's too late.