The Narcissists Daughter


You’re not an alcoholic

you’re a narcissist.





self-hating man.


Am I calling you names?

Have these shots been fired?


I feel sad for you

when I see that you are self-hating.

Maybe it would have helped me

if I had seen that sooner,

because I hated you too.


You were controlling.

You were addicted to Power like it came in cans like Coca Cola.

Every day drinking,

all for you, none for us.

None for me.


Coca Cola gave you diabetes.

I guess you had too much.


Maybe with cans of Power it was the opposite.

You drank it,

but it was me who had too much.


I had too much.

It’s still too much.


Because you haven’t changed, much.

still trying to control me

any time I try

to come close.


When I stay away

there’s nothing to control

and you’re not in charge of my thoughts.


You used to occupy a place in my mind

I could hear your voice

when you weren’t there.

That was when

your judgment followed me


And I always knew

how you felt

about everything I was doing,

-even though you never cared how I felt about anything.


Well I told that voice to leave,

I told it where it should go,

and it went.

I got you out of my head, if it was you at all.



I’m not mad at you anymore,

because I’ve cleared my thoughts,

cleared my heart.

You verbally abused me,

but I no longer need your apology.

I’ve forgiven your unkindness,

and forgiven you for not being sorry.


It’s not about the past anymore,

dear narcissist dad…

I wish you’d stop fucking up the present –

not that I have expectations of you,

but it’s just bags of misery

every time I open the door

on our relationship.


I don’t feel obligated

to open the door at all,

(and a healthy person

could discern that it is a privilege

that I still do).



Now I concentrate

on the impact you made

on me.

I’m not thinking about the narcissist anymore.

I’m thinking about the daughter of the narcissist.


Even though

I didn’t let you walk me down the aisle


I don’t define myself through our relationship,

I did spend a lot of time looking up at you

and even longer

tip-toeing around you,

in well-worn pathways.


I’m a daughter of a narcissist,

and even after all my freedom chasing,

it is still second nature

to tip-toe.

I still deal with stress

the way you taught me to;

I become a robot.

It’s very efficient,

but I’m not sure

it is what I would’ve chosen

had the path not been so well-worn.


And I’m uncertain

what I would have chosen

in terms of vocation

if I had not spent

my entire childhood

being invisible,

and then deciding,

that no child should feel this way,



Surrounded by these questions

I start to feel doubts

about who I am.


I know who I am.

I know I’m not you.

I know I am not an appendage of you.

I know I’m not defined by you.

I don’t have to prove myself.

I don’t have to fight for your validation.


But how much of me exists

as a coping mechanism to deal with you?


And do I thank you for being a part of what shaped me…?

-or yell at you for fucking me up?


This is

the most mature me

I have ever been

and I still don’t know

how to deal with daddy issues.


I don’t want to be the daughter of a narcissist.



I want to be done

with the part of my life

where I’m yelling at you

for all the ways that you have hurt me.


I want to live the part of my life

where it’s me

living my life.


And I want the security of knowing

it’s a life I chose freely.


Can someone please let me out of this maze?

Each time I think I’m truly free

I open a new door to find

I’m still

the daughter of a narcissist.




Paper Doll


I am less than a stranger

to my parents.


We lived together

for 19 years

in the same way

that deep sea creatures

might co-exist with other creatures

that they never see.


In the darkness of the ocean

invisibility is not a superpower

it’s part of the culture.

We were not defined

by perpetual darkness (as the fish were),

but had the power of sight

to perceive others

as paper dolls

or mirrors.


I am less

than a stranger

to my parents.


The familiar paper doll

(the friend from the deep sea)

betrayed them.

Shattered their mirrors

(and those clone-like reflections)

in an act

of rage.

Doll no more,

she questioned the culture

she insulted tradition

and asked,

“isn’t it strange that I don’t know you?”


I am less


a stranger


my parents.


“We don’t want to be known!”

they cried,

terrified of revealing themselves,

even to each other.

They polished the mirrors.

They hummed mantras to themselves

in the darkness.

(This. is. all. there. is.)

(Don’t. question. what. is.)


The doll that was me

left the deep

for the surface.

I found something

beyond co-existence

and I drank fully

of the light.


I wanted to bring the light

down into the depths

so I brought a different me.

I brought me,

and no paper doll

to hide behind,

and they said









than a



to my





19 years

were quickly erased


I left the culture

of invisibility.

I became visible,

but unrecognizable


my parents.


Now I am me

and I’m trying to see

that every

paper doll

is someone real.

Not a doll,

not a clone,

not a reflection in a mirror.


My parents are too.

They are real people

who can see

what has been

made visible.

My parents can see

a stranger

who ruined

their paper doll


when they look at me.


They’ve asked me to stop –

my answer:

“certainly not”,

and now

they are angry at

this stranger.


So I am less than a stranger.

I am a stranger

who asked questions

that paper dolls

aren’t allowed to ask.

I am less than.

I am distrusted.

No longer allowed

to even co-exist

in the same space.


I am less

than a stranger

to my parents.