So, I'm ruminating this morning, as I do when I'm alone and moody (I'm always alone - and most recently always moody). I'm thinking about my dad because I had to deal with him long-term yesterday. My dad's a raving narcissist; not the flamboyant type who's really out there and just plain, down-right mean, he's the subtle type of narcissist who consistantly demeans and undermines all of those around him. And when he is "caught" he turns it all around with maladaptive "abused" behaviours and agrandizing through self-pity. Its so insidious that I rarely catch it. This morning I belatedly caught it. Long story short: he's moody and pissy because he got busted at the doctor's for things he's been hiding from others due to his sense of pride. Kind of understand that, but for his own good I had him tell the truth, since he had just fallen and was sick and needed help. So he was on one of his "pity" trips on the way home. First he has to bring stuff up to me that he knows makes me go insane due to memories. Well, I pushed it aside and didn't respond. That worked. Not that it didn't get to me because obviously it did, but I'm not letting him know it. He did this to 'get back at me' for telling the doctor what was going on with him and making him use his walker and get an alarm to wear around his wrist so that if he falls again he doesn't spend hours on the floor alone - or whatever. But I guess he felt he had to 'get back at me' for telling the truth and getting him help. At any rate that was an obvious attack, and I was aware of it. The subtle attack was in the driveway, and I didn't even recognize it until now. On the way up the driveway he says to me, "You did good today", speaking of my driving. My response is, "Mhm", because well, I mean I'm 44 years old, I've been driving perfectly my entire life - I'm a good driver and I love driving. It's a freedom thing for me. But it hit me today. WTF? "You did good today." That's something you say to a teenager after you've just taken them out for a driving lesson and they haven't crashed the car or put it in a ditch! That's not something you say to someone who is your equal, who has just driven you to hell and back doctor appointment in the city, and then pushed your ass all around the hospital for all of your tests and whatnot. It's something you say when you pat your dog on the head for sitting and staying. I'm absolutely positive he does not say that to other people who drive him places, when he needs it. I'm positive he does not say to others, "You did good today." No, this is a me thing, because I am his daughter and his victim of choice (especially now that my mother is gone and I'm the only one left who "will put up with it"). And what kind of mind considers telling someone, "You did well today", as if they have to live up to another's expectations? As if that person is in any position to judge how well someone did, who just did something for them out of the kindness of their heart? What kind of ego is that? Because that is a very egotistical, judgemental comment. The comment, taken by itself seems innoctuous enough. But from the mouth of a narcissist any comment is filled with innumerous entendre. Meanings are hidden within meanings, and all of them are meant to tear you down, even in small, basic ways - such as putting you back into the position of being a child who has to live up to their expectations, instead of just accepting you as an adult and on an even level. (And for those who say, "Well, you're always their child", this is true, however that doesn't mean you're always "a" child!) And as a friend of mine pointed out, it's so bred within them that they probably don't even realize they're doing it themselves. He probably honestly meant it as a compliment.