Strange mind games

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DrunkenMoogle

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Strange mind games
« on: June 23, 2021, 10:21:43 PM »
Hi all! Long time lurker, first time poster.

I've recently come to expect that my Dad is a narcissist.. there was a blow up a few weeks ago where he disowned my sister during a mild argument about screen time, which led to repressed memories of him threatening to disown me often as a child. From then on, I've been flooded with repressed memories, and also memories of things that I thought were normal, but were actually abusive.

Today what's on my mind are these seemingly innocuous mind games he seems to play, that i always dismissed as "oh, he's just weird." For example, every year he texts me the day AFTER my birthday, or a few days after, to say happy birthday. I know for sure that he knows my correct birthday. I recently had my first wedding anniversary and he texted me a week later to say happy anniversary. No mention of it being late. And I know that he knows the date because his wife and kids all called me on the correct day. I used to think he didn't care about any special days, but now I'm thinking it might be more sinister than that.

For the last couple days he has been speaking to me THROUGH MY SISTER (who ended up not being disowned, because it was absolutely just a manipulative threat) asking me all kinds of questions about when my pool is going to open, if he can use it, etc. He's done this before, and I always dismissed it because I didn't think it was a big deal. Now I'm starting to thing its another one of his weird manipulations? I'm just confused here, and was interested in maybe getting some outside input. I know it seems like a very mild issue, but it's been weighing heavily on my mind. Has anybody else had experiences with PDparents playing weird, seemingly innocuous games, or am i just being paranoid?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: June 23, 2021, 10:32:27 PM by DrunkenMoogle »

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Strange mind games
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2021, 03:28:50 AM »
My NPDh does that. It is done with the intention to let others know how unimportant they are. If someone complains, he will let them know that they are petty, touchy, and narrow minded. And 'forget' the date again at the next occasion.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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athene1399

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Re: Strange mind games
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2021, 01:45:00 PM »
I have noticed that some disordered families donít communicate directly. I think it is somehow related to triangulation. My sis communicates to me through M, M communicates to me through sis. Sometimes my family will try to put me in the middle and ďask so and so for me next time you see themÖĒ I have recently decided I hate being in the middle and it makes me uncomfortable so have been trying to shut this down.

I hope some of this is helpful. I know the feeling of waking up one day and noticing what has been normal in your family, really isnít and in some cases can be a form of abuse. I am sorry you are going through this.

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BritBritBrit1

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Re: Strange mind games
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2021, 11:25:25 AM »
The birthday manipulation is/was one of my dad's favorites.  He would call me a few days late or even a week late and say, "I was busy on your birthday."  It has made me absolutely dread my birthday every year.  This year I'm NC with him (blocked him on every avenue or communication) and it will be a huge relief not to be upset all day about not hearing from him. 

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Hazy111

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Re: Strange mind games
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2021, 12:31:23 PM »
My narc father phoned me on my birthday to invite me to his birthday party he was organising the next month ( BIG NARC SUPPLY). No, he didnt wish me "Happy Birthday" , he had completely forgotten.

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theonetoblame

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Re: Strange mind games
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2021, 02:41:29 AM »
I've seen my share of this...
I have an uncle who won't announce he's driving across the country to see anyone until he's about to show up at your door. When defending the behavior, he says it's so he can "see people for who they really are, when they haven't had time to prepare for his arrival". Needless to say, my door has never opened for one of these surprise visits.

I think in part because I set boundaries with him, this uncle sort of baits me. He doesn't have any children of his own, and has said several times that he has some 'great love' for me, but will then ensure this sentiment is undermined by letting me know things like that when he's old he'll never need any help from me because a child he taught in elementary school, who is now an adult, will be there for him. He'll also make a point of letting me know that he plans to leave all of his material possessions to this person when he passes. This always happened right around the time we were starting to connect, to have a real conversation.  One day he disagreed with how I interpreted something my mother said, not long after his mother (my grandmother) died and he was probably hurting, and cut me off -- he never responded to me again.

My deceased grandmother, who I had a caring and good relationship with, was the point of the triangle. She was the family historian who knew everything about everybody, but none of the other siblings (uncles) communicated well and most relied on her to keep track of things. It was only after she passed that I realized how pervasive it was, with her gone I now know nothing about anyone... just a vacuum.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2021, 02:43:47 AM by theonetoblame »

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DrunkenMoogle

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Re: Strange mind games
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2021, 07:18:22 PM »
I have noticed that some disordered families donít communicate directly. I think it is somehow related to triangulation. My sis communicates to me through M, M communicates to me through sis. Sometimes my family will try to put me in the middle and ďask so and so for me next time you see themÖĒ I have recently decided I hate being in the middle and it makes me uncomfortable so have been trying to shut this down.

I hope some of this is helpful. I know the feeling of waking up one day and noticing what has been normal in your family, really isnít and in some cases can be a form of abuse. I am sorry you are going through this.
\

Yes!! My dad has been communicating through my sister about opening my pool for the last week and I've been trying to shut it down by calling him and texting him directly but he doesn't respond. He literally won't respond unless its through my sister. I don't understand... like it's getting so complicated. Things are getting lost in translation and it's a huge pain. I really want to just shut it down and say I'm not responding unless he's talking to me directly but I'm afraid of how he'll react. I wish I was stronger.  :'(

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DrunkenMoogle

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Re: Strange mind games
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2021, 07:22:57 PM »
My NPDh does that. It is done with the intention to let others know how unimportant they are. If someone complains, he will let them know that they are petty, touchy, and narrow minded. And 'forget' the date again at the next occasion.

I'm thinking this is spot on. My dad likes making people feel ashamed and badly about themselves, so I think he plays these weird birthday/anniversary games to make sure I feel bad. Which is just lovely, isn't it? Exactly what I need on my birthday LOL. It sucks because it really ruins my birthdays. I know I shouldn't let it, but it's hard. Why does he try to make everyone hate themselves? It's so confusing.

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SelfKindness

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Re: Strange mind games
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2021, 10:14:20 AM »
I have experienced weird stuff like this too. Itís hard for me to understand why.
Every year on my birthday my mother has texted me early in the morning to say happy birthday; the reason given was that I was born at that time of day.
In the past 3 years or so - since I started pulling away from my family- she just stopped doing it.
Now, instead, she will text me a few days before to ask if I want to do something with her on my birthday. I have said yes to going out to dinner.
It comes to my birthday and I hear nothing from her. I text to say are we still on for dinner and she is difficult to get hold of. When I finally do, she acts like nothing is wrong and we do dinner as normal. It all seemed ok last time except that when I made moves to leave she had a dig at me for not wanting to be with her.
It all seemed so strange and confusing.
If my mother is narcissistic then she would be the vulnerable/covert type. Iím still figuring stuff out. I would probably not be clued into there being any issue with my family but they give themselves away by doing really weird s***

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Boat Babe

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Re: Strange mind games
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2021, 06:56:05 PM »
My NPDh does that. It is done with the intention to let others know how unimportant they are. If someone complains, he will let them know that they are petty, touchy, and narrow minded. And 'forget' the date again at the next occasion.

I'm thinking this is spot on. My dad likes making people feel ashamed and badly about themselves, so I think he plays these weird birthday/anniversary games to make sure I feel bad. Which is just lovely, isn't it? Exactly what I need on my birthday LOL. It sucks because it really ruins my birthdays. I know I shouldn't let it, but it's hard. Why does he try to make everyone hate themselves? It's so confusing.

Hit the nail on the head there. Bottom line, he hates himself and projects this onto people that he can. Remember the O in FOG. You have no obligation to a parent who has mistreated you all your life. YOU DO have an obligation to yourself though, to live your best life. You are stronger than you think.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2021, 07:00:22 PM by Boat Babe »
It gets better. It has to.

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p123

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Re: Strange mind games
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2021, 06:18:25 AM »
I've seen my share of this...
I have an uncle who won't announce he's driving across the country to see anyone until he's about to show up at your door. When defending the behavior, he says it's so he can "see people for who they really are, when they haven't had time to prepare for his arrival". Needless to say, my door has never opened for one of these surprise visits.

I think in part because I set boundaries with him, this uncle sort of baits me. He doesn't have any children of his own, and has said several times that he has some 'great love' for me, but will then ensure this sentiment is undermined by letting me know things like that when he's old he'll never need any help from me because a child he taught in elementary school, who is now an adult, will be there for him. He'll also make a point of letting me know that he plans to leave all of his material possessions to this person when he passes. This always happened right around the time we were starting to connect, to have a real conversation.  One day he disagreed with how I interpreted something my mother said, not long after his mother (my grandmother) died and he was probably hurting, and cut me off -- he never responded to me again.

My deceased grandmother, who I had a caring and good relationship with, was the point of the triangle. She was the family historian who knew everything about everybody, but none of the other siblings (uncles) communicated well and most relied on her to keep track of things. It was only after she passed that I realized how pervasive it was, with her gone I now know nothing about anyone... just a vacuum.

Thats mad to just turn up.......

Deffo a test I think. To see if hes important enough for you to drop any plans you've got and put him first....

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theonetoblame

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Re: Strange mind games
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2021, 04:17:15 PM »
Thanks for acknowledging this. It was mad behavior, and something that had me jumping out of my skin with anxiety any time it happened. Seriously, I was looking out the window, locked my door, turned off my phone... the thing that rots my socks is how grandiose he was about it. Joking about how others in the family "didn't like it", that it created conflict between his siblings and their partners etc. I've thought a lot about this fellow and eventually concluded that he's on the narcissistic and schizoid spectrum. It's probably better he ghosted me, I was starting to let him know he was out of line. Had he kept it up we would have had 'the talk' and I would have shut him down for a while.