UPDATE: Recently I was accused of being a narcissist and of “abandoning my children”. I want to respond to those attacks.

First, I searched for the definition of a narcissist and this one appeared to be the best –

12 signs of a narcissist

1. Grandiose sense of self

  • Feels superior to others and believes they deserve special treatment – Quite the opposite, in fact, thanks to the rejection of my kids I have most often felt totally worthless. In Mexico after my fiancée dumped me by text message I seriously considered swimming out in the lake far enough that I couldn’t make it back. I felt totally useless and that nobody cared. 
  • Often accompanied by fantasies of unlimited success, brilliance, power, beauty, or love – I have done several career tests in my life, one of which was an IQ test and I scored in the top ten percent of people, so I doubt this is a “fantasy” of brilliance. Just a fact. 

2. Excessive need for admiration

  • Must be the center of attention – Although I do consider myself an extrovert I am never the centre of attention. I remember back when I was going through the initiation and was the only niner on the bus dressed like an idiot I was terrified. Yes, I did like the attention we got in the bands but I was never the only one. 
  • Feels slighted, mistreated, depleted, and enraged when ignored – I don’t think anyone likes to be ignored, including me.
  • Often monopolizes conversations – No disagreement that I am talkative, but I don’t monopolize conversations, in fact, I love to hear other points of view.

3. Superficial and exploitative relationships

  • Bases relationships on surface attributes and not unique qualities of others – looks deceive so although I like to be attracted to someone in a romantic relationship I am definitely more interested in their qualities.
  • Values people only to the extent they are beneficial to themselves – very much the opposite. I have hated being used all my life and I have reached out to help people thousands of times, almost never getting any return benefit for me

4. Need for control

  • Perfectionistic – yes with my website designs because I want them to be the best and not have any common errors. Making things right does not mean perfection. 
  • Becomes upset when things don’t go their way – although I will push to do things the right way I couldn’t care less if this is not my way.

5. Lack of empathy

  • Severely limited or totally lacking the ability to care about the emotional needs or experiences of others, even loved ones – absolutely not true. No one cares more than me. 

6. Identity disturbance

  • Sense of self is highly superficial, extremely rigid, often fragile, and easily threatened – no. it takes a lot to get me upset or angry. I’ve often said threaten my daughter and you will see anger, but most things I take in stride and deal with.
  • Self-stability depends on maintaining the view that one is exceptional – I’m exceptional? Hardly
  • Retreats from or denies realities that challenge this view of self – simple answer. No

7. Difficulty with attachment and dependency

  • Relies on feedback from the environment – no idea what that means
  • Relationships exist only to shore up a positive self-image – friends and romances certainly make me feel better about myself
  • Tends to avoid intimacy; interpersonal interactions are superficial – again, the opposite is true

8. Chronic feelings of emptiness and boredom

  • Feels empty, bored, depressed, or restless when attention and praise are not available – although I have the normal feelings of being bored and, yes, get depressed about being lonely at times, it is not a lack of attention or praise. 

9. Vulnerability to life transitions

  • Difficulty maintaining reality-based personal and professional goals over time – although I am officially “retired”, I have never stopped working for a day. If being a hopeless romantic always open to finding that special someone is not reality based then guilty as charged. As for professional goals I have worked every single day in every country and back in Canada designing my websites trying to make extra money. 
  • Feels overwhelmed by compromises required by school, jobs, and relationships – no, always more than willing to compromise. 
  • May have “failure to launch” syndrome when young – not sure what this even means but I never suffered from failures. I saw them as opportunities to learn

10. Lack of responsibility

  • Blames others for their faults – I have never said I am perfect in any way and know that I have faults, but they are my own. 
  • Deflects responsibility onto others, often with those close to them – no one else is responsible for me. 

11. Lack of boundaries

  • Beliefs others think the same as they do – I could write a book on this one as I have yet to ever find anyone who thinks like I do about pretty well anything. 
  • Feels shocked and insulted when told no – I’ve had more than my fair share of no’s but they don’t shock or insult me because that would be arrogant. 

12. Fear of rejection

  • Afraid of being wrong or seen as bad or inadequate – many people have proved me wrong about something in my life but I’m never afraid of that. I am strong in my own beliefs and don’t feel “bad” or somehow “inadequate”.
  • Does not develop trust in the love of others – again as a “hopeless romantic” I have never given up on love despite being hurt many times. When I have found someone to love I never hold back because I’ve been hurt before. 

So, all in all I do not feel that I am a narcissist, at least not by this definition. A true narcissist is Trump and I would hate to think I am anything like that asshole,

Abandoning my children?

The criticism on this one is hardly worth commenting on because it comes from someone who hasn’t got a clue about my history with my kids, but just in case anyone else believes this I will respond.

First, as to my relationship with my kids, my son, Chris came into my life March 27th, 1970. He was pure joy from the start and after he started playing hockey at the tender age of six consumed our lives for the next ten years playing for three different hockey teams and eventually signing with the Streetsville Derbys Junior B team. At a tournament in Thornhill he was also scouted by an agent who said he would offer a scholarship to MIT, worth about forty grand at the time. When he signed with the Derbys they had an agreement with York University where he had to maintain a seventy-five percent average to remain on the team. Unfortunately after two weeks with the Derbys he quit hockey, something he would regret many years later and tried to blame me for letting him quit. I told him that I wasn’t the one lacing up the skates and two thousand other kids wanted his spot.

Without writing a book on my relationship with him we certainly had our struggles. After he also quit school and had laid in his room for three weeks, not going to school and not looking for a job, I picked him out and threw him out. My ex had a real problem with that. At some point I had cosigned a loan for him to get a car so he could get a job he told me about. Three months later I got a notice from the finance company that he hadn’t made a payment in three months. I tracked him down where he was staying and told him he had two minutes to get his stuff out of the car and give me the keys. I ended up sitting in downtown Toronto for days trying to get someone to take over the lease and finally got someone.

Fast forward to 2009. He sent me a message that he was going to be working in London, Ontario where I was living at the time and he wanted to meet. I was thrilled. He said he would call after work on Thursday, but I sat waiting all night for the call that never came. Same thing happened Friday night. Then he called me Saturday morning and asked me to meet him for lunch so I raced over to where he was working. We had a whole forty-five minutes at Tim’s to catch up and the last thing he suggested was meeting his three daughters. Again I was thrilled at that, but after months not hearing from him I called the number he had given me. A girl answered and said he had sold the phone to her and she had no idea how to contact him. He had also blocked me on Messenger after I sent a message asking him what was going on. Since then the only thing I’ve ever heard about him was that he was living in his car. I’ve never stopped trying to find him.

Heather was the light of my life. She was born with a cleft lip, according to the doctor because my ex had used aspirin for her fibromyalgia. She went through two operations at Sick Kids. Throughout her formative years we had an excellent father daughter relationship. I was so proud of her in every way. We had a lot of wonderful memories like bike riding around Professor’s Lake and going to see Phantom of the Opera at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto. She played soccer so we went to a lot of her games. When my life took a turn after the company I worked for went down I had jumped in the car just to get away but had no idea where I was going. As it turned out I drove to see my parents in BC. Chris and Heather then came out for the most wonderful vacation we had ever had. When it was time for them to fly back Heather broke my heart by telling me to stay. She said she knew my marriage was long over and that she had never seen me happier. She said they would come out on vacation again to see me and because they loved my family out west. I cried for hours but I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving her so I drove back to Brampton only to waste a few more years.

Then I got the disaster call of my life. My mother had fifth stage melanoma and was given only a five percent chance of living six months. My parents had moved out west in 1970 and I had hardly seen them over the years since so I knew I had to go and spend whatever time my mother had left with her. I talked to Heather and she agreed I had no other choice. After a short time out west I made the fateful decision to listen to Heather and to be with my mother so we drove down to Brampton and sold whatever my ex didn’t take. I remember the tearful day I said goodbye to Heather as though it was yesterday, but I never thought for a moment that it would be the last time I ever saw her.

The following year she called my Dad to tell him she wanted me to come down to her convocation. Later she called to say that it had been delayed until January but she still wanted me to come. I had a very brief chat with her and we agreed I would drive down. It was now the dead of winter so I knew the drive would be perilous and it was. When I got to Brampton she was not at their apartment as agreed. I went through hell trying to find her but then Chris told me that my ex and her new husband hid Heather away and wouldn’t let me see her. I hung around for three weeks at Chris’ place hoping to get to see Heather but nothing changed and I drove back to BC in tears.

When I got back to BC I wrote Heather a three page letter asking what happened but never got a response. Later I sent her a cheque for Christmas because I didn’t know what she wanted, but it was never cashed. Over the years since many friends, mostly girlfriends, have tried in vain to contact Heather but failed. Quite often people assumed that something bad had happened between Heather and I, but I swear nothing ever did. At one point my Dad called her from Yuma and told her now stepbrother to have her call him collect. She never called. When they returned from Yuma and he told me about the call it really upset me because he could have been calling to tell her that I died. It broke my heart that she didn’t care enough to call.

One of Chris’s daughters, Mackenzie, contacted me on Messenger when I was in Mexico. She was fourteen at the time and really upset that her parents had  not let her make her own decision about me. We had a number of chats and then she told me she was coming to Mexico for a friend’s wedding. She said she would let me know where and when. She stopped responding to my messages and then she posted a photo of herself at the wedding in Puerto Villarta. I was so disappointed that she didn’t want to meet, but after I asked her in a message she blocked me. Yet another mystery.

Yes, I have another son, Andrew, although I spent most of my life denying I was his father. Yet another book I could write but in more recent years I have tried to establish some kind of relationship with him. Many years ago we did exchange some emails and more recently I asked him on Messenger if it was okay to add his photos to my family page on this site and he agreed. His mother and I did spend some time together briefly, but today she just wants to attack me.

So the idea that I somehow abandoned my kids or grandkids could not be further from the truth. Even now when I am facing this potentially serious medical issue I have felt that my kids and grandkids have a right to know, but nobody will help me to contact them. Andrew’s mother went so far as to tell me not to contact him. Sad.