My Narcissist’s father was the leading story in the local news on Monday.  He won the Nobel for Economics. Congratulations to him! I know this man well. He’s delighted me with many imaginative conversations and we celebrated holidays and birthdays together while I was in a relationship with his Narcissistic son.

Over the years, my partner’s father became like a surrogate father to me.  My Narcissist’s father is a great man who has, gratefully, been acknowledged for his life’s work before dying.  His inherent humility during the telephone interview I listened to and the video I watched was characteristic of the wonderful man I had come to know and love.  His is a gentle soul who has endured so much in his life.  He escaped Nazi persecution and came to our country from Poland with $25 and a will to survive who has forged a path to extraordinary recognition among his peers.

 

My Narcissist’s father is a great man to me because he apologized to me, with tears in his eyes, for his son’s betrayal on the day of my mother’s funeral.  It was a moment of genuine compassion one rarely is privileged to experience.  I admit the sense of urgency I felt from this old soul when he stopped me that day on my drive and forced me to look directly in his eyes before speaking was frightening at the time.  I had never known that man to be so intense. 

When I heard what he had to say, I was surprised.  I hadn’t told him about the incident.  I imagine his wife explained.  Although I wasn’t specific when she called the Monday after the funeral to inquire how things had gone with her son and I after they left us, I couldn’t control my tears and got off the phone quickly so I wouldn’t alarm her with my despair.

I admit I was trying to make things easier for my Narcissist then.  I knew how his mother affected him when she was upset.  I wound up getting punished by him anyway.  Apparently, I had alarmed  his mother, in spite of my efforts, and she called him to find out what happened.  My Narcissist let me know exactly how upsetting and inconvenient it was to have to handle his mother after that call.

The email he sent accused me of awful things I hadn’t done and described me as being manipulative and selfish.  In the midst of my desolation and grief about everything that was so viscerally painful to me, he persisted in bullying me from afar with emotional abuse that caused me to feel wrong about hurting because it created work for him.  It was always about him.

When I still believed it was possible to gain understanding with this Narcissist, I shared the experience I had had with his father as a reflection of love, appreciation and respect for this remarkable man.  My Narcissist responded with insinuations I had imagined everything I felt about his father’s intentions.  I understand this better now.  A Narcissist doesn’t have a nodding acquaintance with compassion and will not attempt to comprehend it if the feeling isn’t directed at them.  Narcissists are incapable feeling compassion for anyone but themselves.

My Narcissist’s parents and I tried to remain friends for a long while after he was gone.  Because Narcissists are pathetic cowards, he eventually instructed his parents to stop communicating with me. He also instructed me to stop communicating with them, citing some inane justification for this that was a construct of his unfounded fears about me.

This was very hard to accept at the time but I understood it.  My Narcissist, like all Narcissists, couldn’t empathize with my need to feel connected with the people who had been there for my mother at the end.  He was unwilling to appreciate the importance of not being left alone with my grief on the day of Mom’s funeral and the need to process my grief with others who loved her and were there with me while she died.  He wouldn’t let me have that level of support from him nor his parents.  I was forced to grieve alone.

It is possible that, after he was done with me and I had utterly failed to provide a mirror of his perceived image of perfection by holding him accountable for his cruelty, he didn’t want to be reminded about my existence by his parents.  It could even have been jealousy.  He once told me he thought his mother liked me more than him.  She initiated most of our contact after he left me for another. 

I know she liked me and wanted me to be his partner.  She made this clear to both her son and I one afternoon while we were visiting them.  Though it is now moot, I have often wondered whether or not his emotional abuse and abandonment of me had something to do with resentments he harbors for his mother.  Even though she supported him financially long after he was a grown man, he frequently expressed discontent to me about the ways he felt she tried to control him.

One thing is certain, however.  When his mother asked me to list her home rather than allowing him to bungle another home sale for her as a non-professional, he became increasingly vicious towards me.  I knew she admired and loved me and, because of his expressed fear, it became uncomfortable when she would embrace me before she embraced him during our visits.  I didn’t want her affection for me to be the cause of any more punishment from him.  I was becoming more unstable with each attack.

I have studied the characteristics of Narcissists in great depth.  At first, I did so as I endeavored to convince myself others were wrong about him.  After my mother’s funeral, I researched the topic with new eyes.  I recall stumbling upon some information stating Narcissists are incapable of giving or receiving love because they are empty inside.  The article explained how adept they are at conveying the feeling of love with those whom they fear most.  If that person fails to mirror the Narcissist’s self image adequately, they will seek another mirror so they can dwell in their fantasy of perfection.  Once they’ve found a new source of Narcissistic supply, they will destroy the person who failed to uphold their illusion. 

During the heat of one of our arguments, I recall telling my Narcissist that he needed to look at himself if he didn’t appreciate the reflection he found in my eyes.  These words were uttered before I realized he was a Narcissist.  Even though it was a painful course, I have no regrets about holding my ground, speaking my truth and insisting that he take responsibility for his acts and deeds.

I do regret the wedge he drove between me and his parents, however.  They are good people and I still feel love for them both.  It is too bad that such high quality genes of humilty, generosity and compassion were not passed along with to this man.  I will always wonder how such wonderful beings  as the two that begat him could have produced such a twisted facsimile of a man as their son.

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