my dad is a narcissist

I guess dad has always been a bit of narcissist, but Mom took the brunt of it, and she sheltered us from what she could. That is not to say that Mom was perfect, or didn’t make mistakes, but, even as she aged, and before she died, she cared about us, and our lives. In fact, before she started her two days of seizures from which she never later woke up from, some of the last words she said to my sister were not to cry – she didn’t want us to cry because she was dying. (Love you Mom!)

This whole thing is important for me to understand. I always wondered how I could marry a sociopath/malignant narcissist (thankfully, now my ex), and how cliché is it to find out now that it’s probably related to patterns from my father. I had no clue, but I’m thankful for this added perspective.

Information on the web is hard to find, so much of it is extreme, and we weren’t exposed to extreme – whatever dad’s personality issues where when we were young, they didn’t appear overtly destructive to me, but more related to apathy or a lack of empathy, I guess a more silent destructiveness. That is, until now, as dad is ageing. Google narcissism and demetia together, and all sorts of hits come up, mostly things written by adult children trying to care for these difficult elderly adults. There is at least one study possibly linking narcissism to frontal lobe dementia.

Looking at one list, they list that narcissists require loyalty, and they keep score. This hits home – dad is obsessed with whether a person is either “for or against” him. When we argued for care for mom, in his mind, he took that as being “against him”. And he does keep score – that part of his memory is intact. In 2013 when I was actively looking for ways to get mom into assisted living, that was the beginning of him turning against me in an angry and evil way, which has done nothing but elevate since that time.

He also remembers things wrong, but mostly in terms of interpreting interactions incorrectly – usually interpreting them the way he prefers. I’ve seen this consistently with all types of interactions, and is one reason he can’t evaluate medical decisions properly – everything he hears is about how it will work out the way he hopes it to.

Empathy, introspection, humility, evaluation have become nonexistent.

I don’t think of my childhood as being scarred by my parents. They made mistakes, but I found ways that provided me structure and support. I’m not sure my sisters can say the same things.

I understand the person my mom became when she had dementia. I do not understand the person that dad has become, and that tells me that I didn’t understand the person that he was. They say that frontal lobe problems cause behaviour changes, but this doesn’t feel like it’s all just dementia, this seems like more of something that was already in him. I think I have some reading to do: narcissists-suck.blogspot.in

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‘Round and ‘Round

If I knew English literature better, or maybe the humanities, I perhaps could find an appropriate analogy.  But I’m at a loss.

I’ve been thinking about Dad and his circular thinking.  How he won’t let anyone help him with just about anything of importance because he insists he is working on a plan, yet his thought process is just going around and around, only occasionally taking twist or a turn, but still he seems to manage to land in the same spot where he started.

Going ’round and ’round…. (image: http://imgur.com/gallery/3LEZzyP)

Some seniors tell stories over and over, or ask the same questions, so this must be my dad’s version.  Seems like it should be a metaphor for something….

I tried googling, but got sidetracked, reading about whether or not people really walk in circles when they are lost (one could say that Dad is kinda lost):

…people circle when their internal sense of “straight ahead” becomes corrupted by random errors in their sense of touch, balance or spatial awareness. Small errors lead to random walks, while larger errors cause circling. And that has a massive impact on their ability to get, well, anywhere.

Despite walking [blindfolded] for 50 minutes, most of these people never made it very far. Within a few minutes, their average distance from the starting point levelled off so that they were usually around 100 metres of it.

http://scienceblogs.com/notrocketscience/2009/08/20/do-lost-people-really-go-round-in-circles/

When I think about this too much, all I get are strange geometric figures like Penrose Triangles or Mobius Strips, and this song that starts going through my mind, having grown up in the seventies 🙂