Daddy, you are hurting me
Many of us have issues. I for one, have many but for the purpose of this blog I think I won't go into it.
I wrote a story about narcissists in general, and thought I would dig a bit deeper as to how it actually affects the children of a narcissist. We cannot be perfect, but what we can do is try our best and identify areas that we need to improve on and make the relevant steps to do so.
With divorce once again on the rise, which is very disheartening, it's very important to think about your children and how you can ensure that the divorce isn't just about you getting a new lease in life, but about ensuring your children get the best out of both worlds.
I wish I had had children and hopefully one day I will be lucky enough to meet someone who has already been there and done that, and play a role. I love the fact that you can love someone unconditionally. I love my dog yet I didn't give birth to her. Some people say that that is not the same, but I tend to disagree.
When separating, children should come first. They are growing and need their parents more than ever to navigate change. They need routine and reliability and most importantly love and support.
The problem is when you have a narcissist father, there is more at stake for the children who have to deal with their narcissist father that is their role model of how they should be when growing up.
Psychology Today extract (source: Psychology Today):
Here are some signs that your dad had narcissistic tendencies or was an out-right narcissist.
- Dad was self-centered and pretty vain. He had an inflated sense of self-importance that led him to believe he was superior and entitled to only the best.
- Dad used people for his own good. He would take advantage of others, to the point of exploiting them when it suited him. Everybody seemed to cater to him, or at least he expected them to.
- Dad was charismatic. Everyone wanted to be around him and he relished admiration from others. He loved being in the spotlight and the positive reinforcement that came from being the center of attention.
- No one had an imagination like Dad. Grandiosity is alluring, and so were his fantasies of success, prestige, and brilliance. He would often exaggerate his achievements, and his ambitions and goals bordered on unrealistic.
- Dad didn’t take criticism well. Nothing stung him like criticism; he often cut those people out of his life, or tried to hurt them.
- Dad’s rage was truly scary. Some people get mad and yell a lot. Dad could hurt you with his anger. It cut to the bone.
- Dad could be aloof and unsympathetic. Narcissists often have a hard time experiencing empathy; they often disregard and invalidate how others feel. Of course, he was exquisitely sensitive to what he felt, but others were of no mind.
- Dad wasn’t around a lot. He got a lot of gratification outside the family. Other fathers hung out with their families a lot more. Plus, he craved excitement and seemed to be more concerned by what others thought of him, rather then how his own kids felt about him.
- Dad did what he wanted when dealing with you. Narcissists don’t step into someone else’s shoes very often. He did things with you that he enjoyed; maybe you did as well.
- Dad wanted you to look great to his friends and colleagues. You were most important to him when he could brag about you; sad but true.
- You couldn’t really get what you needed from him. Even if Dad provided on a material level, you felt deprived on a more subtle level. For example, you wanted his attention and affection, but would only get it sporadically, and only when it worked for him.
I think this particular article in Psychology Today is so relevant to so many people navigating divorce. Think about your children and what impact your actions have on them.
If you choose to have male, female or transsexual relationships - own it and explain it to your children hopefully with a psychologist who can help you with this important transition. Children are just looking for love and affection. They need you to be there at times you may not even realize. They are innocent until you stop being the parent you promised to be.