I got this title, kind of, from season 5, episode 1 of Buffy. This is the episode where Buffy goes up against Count Dracula and during the episode, she calls herself “repeato girl”.
Aside for Christopher: Sorry about the spoiler, but it’s totally not my fault that you’ve dropped the Buffy ball. Also, something rather jarring happens at the end of the first episode of season five, but not nearly as jarring as what happens on the last episode of season 5. Doesn’t that make you want to start watching again?
Anyway, Randy and I talked Wednesday about the narcissistic similarities between the orange psycho puff and my father.
So, Wednesday was also our wedding anniversary. This is the first one we’ve spent together in three years. Two years ago, he was in the hospital battling his appendix, which tried to kill him, and last year he was a few states away taking care of our granddaughter. But I digress.
Months before Randy and I moved in together, my dad had a heart episode which deprived him of oxygen long enough to cause brain damage.
He is not the same man from when I was a child and a young(ish) adult. He isn’t loud or threatening. He isn’t angry or paranoid.
All that remains of my scary, shitty father is a frail old man who repeats himself.
All my dad has left, when we are all together, is to interject comments into the conversation about himself.
It matters not a bit what we are talking about, he intermittently says a few sentences about hanging out with Pete Rose at the track (Honestly, I don’t know if that is true or not. My dad did lose many paychecks at the racetrack and it’s not shocking to imagine Pete Rose being there. I suspect my dad saw him once or twice and perhaps spoke to him and from that grew this ridiculous story about them being friends.) Or, he’ll tell an excruciatingly racist story about why he never got promoted at his job at the gas and electric company. He might brag about his golf skills or how everyone at work came to him with all their computer issues.
This is literally all that remains. These ragged, left over stories of his popularity and prowess.
So, what’s my point? A malignant narcissist won’t change. They can’t.
It’s tragic, really. I would love to be able to drum up compassion for badly broken narcissists, but I can’t. The damage they leave in their wake is too devastating.
In the case of my father, much of his noise was stripped away when his heart freaked out. He doesn’t have conversations like he used to. He’s mostly quiet. He gets confused easily. He forgets most things.
What he does have left? Just the need to point out how amazing he was. He won’t change. He can’t.
Soon, maybe not as soon as many of us would like, but soon, we will see the orange psycho puff reduced to this behavior.
Here’s what I mean.
He isn’t a manipulative genius. He will never come to his senses or admit fault. He will always assign blame. He must do these things. He must continue to insist he is without flaw. And he has to do this in front of the world. It’s not going to end well, but it will end.
Soon, after his noise settles down, we will see what remains. I predict he’ll repeat a few talking points over and over, until he’s done.
I just hope he doesn’t start WWIII via Twitter before that happens.
Also, I probably owe Buffy and apology.
Illustration courtesy of dric