A thought crossed my mind a little while ago. Over the last maybe 10-15 years, my father has become quite obsessed with rescuing me. If I’m in financial trouble, he wants to give me money. If I have car trouble, he wants to tell me what’s wrong with the car even though I know cars & my husband has worked in the automotive industry for 30 years. I even remember one day when I was knitting during his visit to my home, I dropped a skein of yarn & he practically leaped towards me as if he was going to pick up my yarn. He also tried to tell me how to knit differently. Mind you, he knows nothing of knitting.
Since this rescue thing began, it’s been a problem. It infuriates my mother & she in turn would take her rage out on me. Plus, I don’t need a “daddy”- I’m a capable adult. I needed a father as a child when my mother was actively abusing me & my father wanted me to console him about that fact rather than protect me. Him wanting to rescue me now & not then just ticks me off.
I’ve been wondering why he does this. I thought it was just about getting some narcissistic supply. Covert narcissists like him love to look good by helping people. They don’t help out of the kindness of their hearts or because they care- they help for supply only. However, it felt like there was something more to it than that.
Today, God showed me there is more to it.
My father’s behavior started as I began to set more boundaries with my father, to spend less time with him & to pull away emotionally as well as physically. Narcissists don’t handle their child growing up as normal parents do. Normal parents embrace each stage of life their child is in. Narcissists want their child to remain small children indefinitely. Small children are easy to manipulate & control as well as are eager to please their parents. Since children grow up, narcissistic parents are forced to find ways to keep their children from maturing too much. My father has opted to rescue me to accomplish this. If I see that I need him to help me often, it will keep me doubting myself & dependent on him. He’ll get the narcissistic supply he needs by looking like the good dad who helps his daughter, plus I’ll stay dependent on him, easier to manipulate & wanting to please him. I won’t cause “problems” by having boundaries or my own wants, needs, or feelings.
There are a great deal of covert narcissists in the world, so I’m sure that my father isn’t the only one who behaves this way. They all seem to use the same rule book so I’m sure some of you reading this have a covertly narcissistic parent who behaves in this manner. It can be so frustrating wondering what is happening when they behave this way! I hope this helps you, Dear Reader, by giving you a possible reason for this behavior.
If you’re wondering how to deal with it, the only thing I found to do is to refuse the gifts, advice or attempts at rescuing. I remind my father I’m an adult & can handle whatever the situation is I need to handle- I don’t need any help or advice. It’s going to anger your parent, but the good part of that is they can’t say so without looking foolish, so they won’t say anything. In fact, I’ve found my father pulled away from me more & more as I refused his rescuing.