Subtle Abuses

Discussion in 'Bullying and Violence' started by Brighid Moon, Jun 10, 2009.

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  1. Brighid Moon

    Brighid Moon Member & Antiquities Friend

    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.
  2. Brighid Moon

    Brighid Moon Member & Antiquities Friend

    Yeah, okay, I'm right because that comment also goes with all the comments he made to me about how my mother had hit the wall in the (same) small parking garage one time. He made a huge verbal ordeal of repeating the incident over and over again. Had I not had my "walls" up yesterday it would have made me a wreck.

    I wonder if he's simply not disappointed I didn't hit something just to prove he was better than I am at driving, or something? :rolleyes:


  3. Right U R Ken

    Right U R Ken Well-Known Member

    Stuff similiar to this is why I don't talk to either of my parents at all anymore. They were just always saying the wrong thing. I realized I was better off not speaking to them at all rather then putting up with that kind of thing. I was right. It's been better.

    You're a nicer person than me putting up with him like that. I don't think he deserves your patience.
  4. Brighid Moon

    Brighid Moon Member & Antiquities Friend

    Aww thanks *HUGS*

    I have to be nice to him, even if it's selfish reasoning - I couldn't live with myself after he died if I didn't try to show that I cared and tried to make things better, somehow. And I have to live with myself for the next forty years - not him.
  5. Mikeintx

    Mikeintx Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear your father is like that. Mine did a lot of similar things... I havnt spoken to him since I cut him outta my life two years ago and I have never been happier... something to think about :hug:
  6. raincloud

    raincloud Well-Known Member

    My dad is also a lot like that, and I haven't spoken to him in seven years. Every once in a while I would say something that was remotely intelligent and he would just act so surprised at how smart I was, but in a really condescending way. If there was a news report on TV, and I had an opinion, for example, he would give me a "good job" type response, basically for having an opinion. He would say things like "I'm so proud that you noticed that" when I noticed something that a child would notice. I never thought much of it at the time, but in retrospect it's annoying. BTW, that's not the reason I don't talk to him. Most of his condescending behavior is a lot less subtle.
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