Covert Narcissist Dad
I grew up with everything, and nothing. Typical upper class white suburban household, intact family with sister and dog.
From the outside, we had everything: parents who appeared exceedingly nice and supportive, and who bought me a new car and paid my way through an Ivy League grad degree.
Underneath the fake veneer, however, was a father who has (refuses to get officially diagnosed but it’s very obvious) Schizoid Personality Disorder, covert narcissism, significant depression, and anxiety.
A mom who has dependent personality disorder, significant anxiety, and appears to be on the Autism spectrum, albeit towards the lower end.
The net result is that my sister and I grew up in a household where our feelings, our passions, our individuality and our dreams were completely irrelevant.
You did what dad said or you were stupid. When you did what dad said, you were still stupid because he had to go out of his way to deal with you. You got good grades because you were stupid if you didn’t - a failure, an embarrassment, someone who didn’t deserve to live.
If you were going through tough times, you absolutely kept that to yourself. Emotions are for the weak. Emotions mean dad has to deal with you, and mom can’t handle emotion - she goes crazy when pushed beyond small talk.
You absolutely, never ever, thought about confronting either of them. That would result in a very long explanation on why your opinion is stupid and you are confused, and shame on you for not appreciating everything they have done. Don’t you know how good you have it??? Kids in third world countries are starving, you idiot!!
Around the age of 19 I sunk into deep suicidal depression that lasted 7 years. I accidentally blurted out how sad I was one time to them - my dad sat there completely unfazed and my mom called me a “stupid little sh*t”. They did nothing for me, zero.
After five years of pain I finally found the strength to go to therapy and get on antidepressants. They lifted the shadow over me for about 15 years while I worked on bettering myself and I’ve since gotten off of them.
Likewise my sister sank into depression with severe anxiety to the point of visible nervous tics, and also resorted to alcohol abuse and putting herself into dangerous situations simply because she didn’t have the self-respect to do otherwise.
This finally resulted in her being drugged, raped, and dumped alongside a highway under water, almost dying in the process. I finally decided that, as a 38 year old, my parents are either going into therapy and working on themselves or I am done with them. They have refused - not making that phone call is more important to them than family.
So, I am finally free. I have an amazing wife and awesome 4 yr old daughter whose passion for life is unlike anything I have ever seen. My sister is in a new marriage and is off the alcohol and is likewise starting a new life for herself.
For those of you out there who aren’t sure whether or not you were abused, you almost certainly were. Good parents don’t leave kids asking that question.
Get help, whatever that means for you. It hurts like hell but is the only way out.
Denial and avoidance of reality is death, one that I came very close to experiencing and to this day I truly can’t explain what kept me alive, kept me fighting. Your feelings matter, your being matters, and if you have kids they deserve the best version of you they can get.
~ Anonymous ~