To put it simply, my Dad is narcissistic. It's a psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem. I grew up with many emotional needs not being met. I would try to find those needs met, but was attracted to the same insecure men.
Now I'm fifty and although recognizing that is what he has, I still struggle with him. It explains a lot, and it was healing to know why he is like this. I had to live with him recently for one and a half yrs, and nothing has changed other than no physical abuse, but the emotional abuse feels even worse. He's just cruel.