It’s hard to put into words the experience of growing up with a narcissistic father. There are so many emotions that go along with it: pain, confusion, betrayal, rage, and emptiness. Daughters of narcissistic fathers (DoNF) know how devastating narcissistic abuse can be, especially when the abuser is your father.
Narcissistic fathers tend to be controlling, manipulative, and emotionally abusive. They may also be physically abusive or neglectful.
This type of abuse can have a profound effect on their daughters. Many DoNF struggle with feelings of low self-worth, anxiety, and depression. They may also have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships.
How does a narcissistic father behave?
Growing up with a narcissistic father involves living in an atmosphere of FOG (fear, guilt and obligation). The narcissistic parent is an expert at emotional abuse and manipulation.
He will make his daughter feel like she’s never good enough. Nothing she does is ever right. He is also likely to belittle her and put her down in front of others.
A narcissistic father will often play favourites, making one child feel special and the other feeling like an outsider. This can cause rivalry and envy between siblings.
He will invariably be emotionally abusive, manipulating his daughter with guilt or threats. He may use her as a pawn in his own games or make her feel responsible for his happiness, and will withhold love and affection if she doesn’t meet his expectations. In addition, he will not hesitate to gaslight her if it suits his purposes.
Many narcissistic fathers are also physically abusive, whether it’s hitting, slapping or another form of violence. This is usually a way to assert power and control over their daughter.
What was your role in the family?
The golden child is the one who meets all of the narcissistic father’s needs and expectations. They are the perfect child who can do no wrong. The golden child is often treated like a mini-adult and is expected to take care of the narcissistic father’s emotional needs.
The scapegoat is the child who is blamed for everything that goes wrong in the family. They are the black sheep who can do no right. The scapegoat is often treated harshly and unfairly by the narcissistic father.
The forgotten child is the one who is invisible to the narcissistic father. They are neither the golden child nor the scapegoat. The forgotten child is often ignored or neglected, and they grow up believing that they are almost invisible.
Both scenarios have negative consequences, but the outcomes vary depending on which role you play. The golden child often becomes a narcissist themselves, while the scapegoat and the forgotten child may become depressed or develop anxiety disorders. They all end up feeling lost and alone.
What kind of impact did growing up with a narcissistic father have on you?
Many daughters of narcissistic fathers suffer from low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy. They struggle with their sense of self and often feel inadequate. They may also have difficulty setting boundaries and communicating their needs.
DoNF often find themselves attracted to narcissists or abusive partners. This is because they are used to being treated poorly and they don’t believe that they deserve any better. In fact they are at risk of becoming codependent, which is when you develop an unhealthy dependence on someone else.
Daughters of narcissistic fathers usually have a difficult time trusting people when they grow up. They may also struggle with anxiety and depression. As a result many DoNF find it hard to maintain healthy relationships due to the emotional damage they’ve experienced.
What are some things you can do to heal the wounds of your childhood?
If you’re struggling with the aftermath of growing up with a narcissistic father, there are some things you can do to help heal the wounds of your childhood
1. Seek therapy. This is a great way to process the emotions you’re feeling and to learn how to set boundaries.
2. Read self-help books. This can be a great way to gain insight and understanding into what you’re going through.
3. Join a support group. This can be a great way to connect with other women who have similar experiences.
4. Practice self-care. This includes things like exercise, relaxation, and healthy eating. Taking care of yourself will help you feel better and cope with the stress of your past.
5. Reach out to someone you trust. This could be a friend, family member, therapist, or anyone else who can provide support and understanding.
Your past need not dictate your future
Healing the wounds of your childhood is possible. With time, patience, and effort, you can begin to heal the pain of your past and create a bright future for yourself.
For Further Reading
You might also want to check out the following posts about narcissistic families and the impact of childhood trauma:
- SoNM (Sons of Narcissistic Mothers)
- SoNF (Sons of Narcissistic Fathers)
- DoNF (Daughters of Narcissistic Fathers)
- DoNM (Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers)
- ACoNs (Adult Children of Narcissists)
- Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers: What You Need to Know
- The Narcissistic Family Golden Child
- The Narcissistic Family Scapegoat
- The Narcissistic Parent and the Enabler
- Narcissistic Family Roles: The Complicated Dynamics of Narcissistic Families
- Breaking the Intergenerational Cycle of Family Abuse
- Emotional Abuse as a Child Linked to Adult Chronic Pain
- CAPDR – Child affected by parental relationship distress
- Adverse Childhood Experiences and PTSD: What’s the Connection?
- The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Puberty
- Learning how to Trust and Love after Adverse Childhood Experiences
- Parentification: The Role of the Parentified Child in Narcissistic Families
- What is Codependency and how to overcome it
- Resilience – the ability to bounce back after adversity
- Is the Golden Child destined to become a Narcissist?
- Secrets and Shame: The Corrosive Impact of Family Secrets
- How to Deal with a Narcissistic Sibling: Tips for Navigating Family Drama
- Going through the stages of grief for my lost childhood
And finally, this is my story. I was the scapegoat daughter of a narcissistic father.
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