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A narcissistic parent can ruin a child’s life for years and years.

This is his story:

Where do I begin?

My mother didn’t just run the first 26 years of my life – she ruined them.

When I was five, I had a dog who mysteriously disappeared. The dog chased a would-be vandal over a fence. While the dog never touched the kid, the kid fell and hurt his shoulder. His parents threatened to sue. While my brothers and I were at school, while Dad was at work, Mom “settled out of court.”

She had a perfectly healthy dog, MY DOG, euthanized.

I was told he ran away while my brothers were told he was given to a chicken farmer. Dad was told the truth. I was told something different because I’d have asked to go to the chicken farm to see my dog.

Twenty years later, I was told the chicken farm story, twenty-five years later, I was FINALLY told the truth. Dad confessed because he was tired of lying for Mom.

What Dad didn’t know is that I paced the streets looking for my dog. I sat on my porch, just waiting for him to come home. I was just like that movie Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. A letter carrier came upon me on the porch, crying and was at a loss for words.

Life went on for Mom. She chatted on the phone, watched her soaps, did laundry, and ignored my pleas for my dog to “come home.” That dog was my friend.

The Golden Child, The Golden Boy, my abusive, bullying older brother would not allow anyone to be more successful at anything he’d failed at first. The Golden Boy was allowed to try out for Little League, but he didn’t like it. Therefore I was never allowed to try out for Little League. She wouldn’t let me try out for anything – even when Dad pushed for me to join the swim team.

As a teen, I was very shy, awkward around girls. There were a couple reasons: Mom insisted I buy her ugly car, Mom insisted I remain in Boy Scouts – and so it was. Lastly, The Golden Boy would go through my yearbook, find the girls I had crushes on, and ask them out first.

When I was fifteen, I took a date to my homecoming dance. She was my mother’s boss’s daughter who really wanted to go to that dance… just not with me. Her only way in was with a date. I got her in, she flirted with every guy there, and tells me, “Maybe I’ll look you up in a year or two.”

It was completely embarrassing.

Mom thought it was hysterical.

Four years later, I’m home for the summer from college. The Golden Boy commits road rage, and I save his sorry butt from a guy twice our combined sizes. How does he thank me? He starts dating the girl I’d brought to homecoming and bragging about it.

Mom finds it outrageously hilarious funny.

Once again, I was terribly hurt.

Mom informed The Golden Boy that my brother’s girlfriend wasn’t allowed in the house. She also tells me that people can change for the better. She told me about my uncle, her brother, who’d come home from the Navy only learn that his fiancee had married someone else. My uncle was devastated, married his first wife, had two kids, and ended up divorced. As his first fiancee did.

Mom told me they reconnected after he bailed her out of jail for prostitution. For 29 years, I believed this story. And I had failed romance after failed romance.

In college, The Golden One wanted me as a his roommate. Mom thought this was a great idea until I reminded her that I wouldn’t live under the same roof with him. Then he decided we needed to be in the same classes. I sat away from him, listening to comments about his abrasiveness from other students.

The only rebellious thing I ever did was to date my first wife. I knew the relationship wouldn’t work, but my self-esteem was shot, and I chose someone who was not his type – even though it meant I had to sacrifice my own happiness. My first wife and I were married and divorced in less than eight months.

At 26, I met my wife. When she and I got engaged, The Golden Boy had barely known his then-girlfriend, but decided that not only would he marry this woman, but that he should beat me to the alter. When it came to introduce our families, my fiancee and I settled on one weekend and made our plans. The Golden Boy then usurps my weekend so that his future in-laws are met first.

I told my wife we’d be on the back-burner. And we were.

Every time my wife and I would visit, the Golden Boy was there. See, he was was usually unemployed and wanted to use us to get a job. My mother played along until I put my foot down.

I have made up for my lost childhood. I will always have the kind of dog I want. I coached Little League and later high school baseball. When the high school team I coached won a game on a play I called, I remembered looking at my high school ring and saying, “Now I can wear this with pride.”

I went back to college, got my masters degree. I’ve had the same wonderful job for as many years as The Golden Boy has been fired from. It’s likely he’s been fired by more.

My mother died a few years ago, just after my daughter graduated. Dad was proudly telling me all about what my daughter accomplished when I interjected. I pointed out that I was denied those opportunities.  I mentioned why and told Dad all about my uncle and aunt’s relationship.

Dad cut me off, “that isn’t true. Your mother made that up.” For 29 years I bought that story. I told my wife, “If she lied to me about this, what else did she lie about?”

My wife said it best, “You’re probably going to find out there were more lies.” I have – most were done to cater to The Golden Boy.

When I was visiting for Father’s Day, The Golden Boy tried to start something. I was on my parents phone – no one had cell phones back then – and he wanted to use the phone too. I told him I’d be off in five minutes, but he got nasty – he said he’d use the phone whenever he wanted to. My mother was on his side. I hit the roof. Mom started crying, and talking about taking everyone on a cruise for their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

They renewed their vows the day after their actual anniversary – my anniversary – to cater to The Golden Child. At dinner, my wife and I presented my parents with a special gift, a three-night stay at a bed and breakfast. Afterward, Mom called me to tell me that they’d had a blast. Years later, I find out that she’d given away the reservation to a family friend. No one, of course, is allowed to be better than The Golden Boy. And since he was broke and didn’t buy them a gift? She wanted nothing from me.

Later, I asked Dad about it – Dad knew nothing of it, which makes sense: Dad knew what Mom wanted him to know.

When Mom died, a spiteful Golden Boy showed his true colors. He and Dad never got along. He tried to have Dad institutionalized. It didn’t work. The Golden Boy was removed from the hospital by security.

The Golden Boy fought with Dad after Dad informed the hospital staff to not release his protected health information to my brother. What does this Golden Child do for revenge?

He makes a false report to DCF, claiming Dad is broke, beat his wife, has dementia, and is living off cat food.

DCF investigated while Dad was home grieving. A follow-up investigation took place the day Mom died. I was less-than-friendly to DCF. I told them if they had any questions about Dad’d mental capacity, to bring them to me. She couldn’t tell me who’d ordered the investigation, to which I replied, “I can take three guesses, and the first two don’t count.”

I made Dad change the locks on the house, and I became his power of attorney. I made sure Dad didn’t disinherit The Golden Child because there are grandchildren involved. He’s not getting a key to the house, though.

Now The Golden Boy has a job, which I always fill the words “for now,” since he always gets fired. Dad is trying to tell me how much better his personality is since getting this job. A person’s employment status does not change someone’s personality. Becoming a parent, yes.

Speaking of children, my mother GAVE BACK many pictures I gave her and Dad of my daughter under the guise of “There isn’t enough room.” There are ROOMS OF PICTURES of just his child, one of SEVEN GRANDCHILDREN! Dad won’t do anything there because he wants to keep the house as Mom left it.

The golden boy learned how to lie from my mother. He told a lie about my uncle that caused me to never be allowed to see that uncle the last 8 years of his life. This was another of Mom’s brothers, and he used to take us to a rifle range. The golden boy convinced Mom I was irresponsible and couldn’t be trusted at a range. Mom never let me see that uncle the last 8 years of his life before he was tragically killed.

This uncle left a rifle to the golden boy and my parents. When I asked why it was such a big deal with taking me to a range, my mother said, “Why do you take stock in what your brother says?” I responded, “I didn’t. You did.” Mom then said they were afraid I was holding a grudge against someone and was planning something rash.

I have poured a lot out here regarding the lies I was told. Now the golden boy is trying to charm his way back into Dad’s good graces. I’ve told Dad this has nothing to do with past grudges, or should I say all of his bullying. It has to do with the fact the golden boy broke any and all trust with me when my mother died. There is nothing he can do to ever earn my trust because he will never have my trust again.

The sad part is my father forgets his own sister was the golden child with my grandmother, and she and her husband stole from my grandmother, which set Dad off. I told Dad, “I trust my brother the same way you trusted your sister.” That woke Dad up. I even asked Dad what he plans to do when this golden boy asks for a key to his house. Dad has assured me that won’t happen, but to be on the safe side if I have to deal with my father’s estate, the first thing I will do is get the locks on that house changed again.

I feel better for sharing this, and I welcome your responses.