My Father The Madman.

Do you really want your father dead?

Of course not, although I can’t help but think things would be so much easier this way. But I wish death on no one.

Why easier?

Well, because my dad is a madman. A very sick man. I don’t mean to hurl accusations but the guy is really messed up. I am 45 years old now and for 45 years he has been nothing but a problem for me to try and resolve. A continual difficulty and source of distress in my life.

Why is this?

Well when I was younger it was because he was a complete control freak and if I did anything that he did not like or agree with he would freak out and become emotionally and physically abusive. He needs to have everything the way he thinks it should be and if you disagree with him or do not support the way he thinks things should be he will immediately tell you that you are wrong. Or even worse- a terrible person who has ruined his day.

Really?! That does not sound pleasant.

No it is not. I try to keep a lot of space between he and I. I try not to speak with him or see him. he is just a continual problem. Always upset about something he thinks I am doing wrong. Just yesterday I texted with him just a bit and now it has blown up in my face.

Why?

I should have known better. He was texting to me about how in order to be happy and successful in life one needs to not settle and keep trying new things until you basically achieve what you want. I told him that I do not think that is the way to achieve happiness. That I think it is more about accepting what is, non-striving and learning how to stop needing recognition through achievement. That no matter how much a person achieves it will not feel like enough until that person has learned to stop striving for recognition and can just be present with and accepting of what is. I should of kept my mouth shut. He told me I was nuts. That I should re-think my position. This is what always happens though so I should not be surprised. Anytime (and I really mean anytime) I open up about my authentic thoughts and feelings I am told that I am wrong. We always disagree, which is fine. I accept this. But if I disagree with him and tell him I disagree he will get really angry. Tell me I have ruined his day.

Sounds like you are doomed if you do and doomed if you don’t with him.

Yes. That is the situation. In one sense he ha been a good father to me. He provided me with food, shelter and an education for much of my life. He still pays my health insurance. But in another sense he has been a tyrant. Just an awful man who is always deeply unhappy and impossible to get along with.

And he is trying to tell you about the path to happiness?

I know. I was going to tell him that he was the least qualified person that I know to talk about happiness but I kept my mouth shut. He would not get it. He would just get defensive and angry. But I suppose we always talk about and preach about the thing we know we need to learn most.

True. So how do you feel now?

Once again my interaction with him has left me feeling guilty, angry and undermined. It is impossible for me to interact with him in any kind of authentic way without me ending up feeling like this. There is no room for or acceptance of my feelings and thoughts if they differ with what he think should be. It is actually really quite amazing to realize there are people like this in the world. Like really? You are so insecure and weak on the inside that any perspective that you do not agree with or approve of threatens to unravel your entire being? I always seem to be the source of my father’s unraveling.

Yes.

The truth is that I do not like the man. I am upset with the man. At an emotional and psychological level I think he has been a terrible father. I don’t agree with most of what he says and thinks. He thinks he knows everything about everything but most of what he says makes very little sense. I think (know) he is a compulsive liar. I have very little respect for him even though I try and respect him. I also can empathize because it must suck to be the kind of person who has a son who feels this way about you. I do have compassion for him. He is a very wealthy man who lives in a modern mansion but he is so deeply unhappy and so much in denial about the cause of his misery (his behavior) that all I can do is stay out of his path and try to have compassion.

Yes.

This is how I kill my father in a sense. I stay out of his way. I keep communication with him very limited. I push him out of my life as much as is possible. I have tried everything else. I have tried to be the bigger person. I have tried to just accept and love him. I have tried to interact with him very superficially. Nothing works. It always ends up blowing up in my face. I can do no right. I am always the problem. I am always the one who is eventually harming and betraying him. He does nothing wrong. No apologies. There is no compassion or empathy for me coming from him. I am just the bad son in his eyes. When up against a person like this, a person who just continually feels like you are the one who is doing wrong and bad, you are the one who is betraying them and they are not at all willing to look at themselves and really see the part that they are playing in creating the issues all you can do is stay out of their way if you want to have some peace in your life.

Otherwise they will continue to torment you and harm you until you submit to their will.

Yes. And that is not going to happen with me and my father so I just need to stay away. The guy is a madman. Literally. Always talking about (and it is never solicited) how wonderful his life is and all his successful friends and how much he travels, meditates and has achieved. It is crazy because the truth is that he is just an unhappy man hiding behind all these fronts. All it takes is one little text conversation with him to cause his world to come crumbling down. “You have ruined my morning.” “Your text to me was very disappointing. A terrible way to start my day.” Meanwhile all I said was that I often agree to just disagree with him and this is fine with me. I am ok with the fact that we often disagree. It is just the way it is.

And he did not like this?

Not at all. I ruined his day. Disagreement is not ok with him unless he is the one doing the disagreeing.

Oh man. You poor guy. You could be nice with your dad. You could be loving with him. You could give him all the love and attention that he craves but you would have to put all of your real feelings aside. You would have to just let him behave and act and say whatever he wants and smile, say ok and agree. Never find fault with him. Never disagree. Just smile, focus on him, give him all your attention, let him tell you what he thinks and agree with him- and then maybe you can then be the god son. Then you will inherit wealth and all kinds of advantages. This is how you can win his love. When he lies (such as saying he meditates everyday, which you know is a straight up lie. The guy has never really meditated a day in his life.) just say, “great.” Just entertain his delusions. Just let him do and say whatever he wants. Have no opinion of your own unless it is an opinion that you know will reflect what he thinks, feels and believes.

Yup. That is it. Complete totalitarianism.

Well it is your fault for opening up even a little bit with him. You should know by now not to do that. Yu opened yourself up to this emotional abuse.

I did. But I am going to try to prevent myself from feeling guilty about this. Guilt means that you are upset with yourself for going against what you think is best for you. Not doing what you feel is in your best interest. I was just trying to make a connection with my dad. I was just looking for that relationship that I know will never be. I need to stop looking. He is a madman. A very disturbed man who is emotionally abusive to people if they do not behave in the way that he thinks they should (even though the vast majority of people think he is Mr. Wonderful). My intentions were good in texting with him but once again it blew up in my face and I have ended up for the two hundredth thousand time- the bad son.

Yup well all you can do is once again block him on your phone. Let your anger and hurt go. Try not to feel too guilty and get on with your day. It is a messed up situation that will have no resolution in this lifetime.

I know. And it is unfortunate. I am willing to look at what I do wrong. I am willing to look at the part I play in creating problems and try to change. But my father is not willing at all. He says he is but then will act out the same, negative behavior the next day. He is not capable of change and self-awareness because he does not want to. He really believes that he is the victim. He is not the problem. I am. Everyone else is. We are the ones who need to change.

It is a dead-end street called Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

I know.

Children of a Narcissist are some of the most tormented people in the world until they completely cut off their relationship with the Narcissist.

I know. It is unfortunate. I just wish he would go away. Stop calling. Stop texting. Stop manipulating me to keep coming back and engage with him. I just wish he would let me be.

He leaves you alone when he is angry with you. When he thinks you have betrayed him. That is how he feels now towards you (once again) so I presume you will be shut out and discarded for a while now by him. This is what he does to you when he is upset with you. When you are the bad son the punishment is to be cut out. Discarded. Ostracized.

Jerk.

With you, yes I would agree. He is hurt by your lack of obedience to him. Hurt people just hurt people. Hurt fathers, hurt their sons.

Messed up.

Yup.