Continued Adventures In Caregiving

Good afternoon, Dear Readers!

Sunday was only my second day helping my parents, but it was a really rough one both mentally & physically. So rough in fact, I realized that I can’t keep doing this. I can offer some help, sure, but on a very limited basis. Mentally I’m not very strong anymore. Then physically, I have bad knees so a lot of things are just too painful for me to do. I’ve been doing my parents’ laundry, as my father is now unstable on his feet after his stroke, & my mother claims her back pain is too bad to go up & down those steps. She has been wanting to have the washer & dryer moved upstairs from the basement, but has been dragging her feet on the issue. The next time I see my parents on this coming Sunday, I am going to tell her it needs to be done soon, & if not, then I will arrange to have help come into their home that they can pay for.

In order to discuss this topic with my narcissistic mother, I was given some very valuable advice. Something I hadn’t thought of. Make it all about her. If I told my mother I wasn’t able to do certain things because of my knee pain, she wouldn’t care. But, if I tell her that my knees make me unable to do things, which could cause her problems, she’ll be more interested. And, this winter is supposed to be a bad one with a lot of snow here in MD. I live on a major highway, which means I get plowed in. The highway may be clear, but there is a wall of solidly packed snow created by snowplows at the end of my driveway that means I can’t get out quickly or easily. This would affect her! I’ll just leave out the part that it’s frustrating when I get plowed in. This seems like a very good way to handle discussing things of this nature with any narcissist, I think. Every child of a narcissistic parent knows their parent doesn’t care about them unless what happens affects them somehow.

I have begun researching getting some help to be prepared. I looked into their insurance to see if they have long term care coverage, which they don’t. Long term care coverage is a wonderful thing- it pays for health care workers or nurse to come into their home & help them out in various ways.

Since that didn’t work out, I then found this link which directed me to my local caregiver support network in my county.

http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/AoA_Programs/OAA/How_To_Find/Agencies/Find_Agencies.aspx?sc=–&cc=–

This has been a very helpful place for me to start. They told me an evaluation would need to be done (free) by a social worker before help can be hired, & provided me that phone number. They also gave me references to local home health care workers (they’re the people who do chores, laundry, & such), a directory of various services available in this state for seniors, info on a caregiver support group & much more. I learned that certain injuries or illnesses may be entitled to specific benefits. For example, my father has a traumatic brain injury, & there are special services available for him.

Here is another link with some good information as well:

http://www.ncoa.org/get-involved/i-am-older-adult-caregiver.html

My father also gave me a paper with some information on it that he got from his last hospital stay, too. Apparently many medical records can be available online & this paper had all the information I needed to access it. This is very handy as I can read exactly what the doctors have said & how they are treating him.

As for myself, I’m realizing that I need to take a day off each week to recover physically & mentally. Tuesdays work well for this for me, so I now plan to goof off each Tuesday. It gives me something to look forward to.

I hope this information helps any other caregivers who may be reading this. <3

Leave a comment

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

The Elderly Psychopathic/Narcissistic Parent: The Motive For Caregiving and/or Continued Involvement

cynthiabaileyrug:

Very good & informative article about caring for a narcissistic parent

Originally posted on The Ability To Love- Recovery From Psychopathic Abuse:

     It’s hard to be honest with ourselves sometimes when it comes to the pathological parent.

This relationship, above all others,  is a life long emotionally draining, life sucking, self esteem altering, original trauma bond and all of the dynamics that go with it, that continue into the psychopath/narcissists later years. If we are still in contact, the dynamics are still in play and if all the players are involved, the roles will continue, but often they worsen when there are pathological siblings involved in the care, or the pathological parent has habituated a triangulation amongst siblings throughout childhood into adulthood.

This can be hell when the pathological parent falls ill. Especially if the illness is a terminal one. Not only are empathic children dealing with the possibilities as to how to care for the parent, but they are also dealing with the anger, shame, guilt, trauma bond intensified through…

View original 3,076 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Caregiving And Narcissistic Parents

Good evening, Dear Readers!

My father recently had a mild stroke, which in addition to other health problems, has made him much more frail than he was.  My mother has some health problems as well, so they need some help.  This is where I come into the picture.

Being my parents’ only child, I think it’s only right for me to help them.  Plus, I’m good at caregiving.  I think most children of narcissistic parents are- we learned early in life how to read people & detect their needs.  I’ve promised them part of the day each Sunday for this. This already makes me nervous, since both are narcissistic.  I was a caregiver for my mother’s narcissistic mother for about a year, & it was miserable!  I’m hoping & praying my parents aren’t as bad as my grandmother was.

So far, it’s been more difficult, but in different ways.

My folks are lonely, & want company as much as they want help.  They’re frustrated with losing some independence.  And, the new issues haven’t fixed the dysfunction in their marriage- they still fuss at each other & play head games.

I feel sorry for them.

In the time I spent caring for my narcissistic grandmother, this never happened.  I didn’t think it would happen with my parents.  Imagine my surprise.

This has made me have to work hard on keeping my focus on God’s will for this situation & my boundaries.

These may be my parents, but they also are dangerous to my mental health.  The C-PTSD flares up in their presence, especially the anxiety.  I also realized how quickly I slip into old, dysfunctional, unhealthy mindsets around them.  This taught me how I need to keep focused on God & what is true.  I will frequently ask God to remind me of what He says about me & what is true.

My plan to help them & keep my mental health is to pray even more than usual.  I’ll be praying prior to visiting them.  And, asking God to help me have discernment when needed, & to remember His truth about me, so any criticisms don’t hurt me.

I also realize I’ll need to get better at having a self care routine, & remembering to take things one day at a time.  Maybe one hour at a time on bad days…another thing to ask God to help me with.

I’ll be sharing some about my new “adventure” in this blog.  I pray it’ll help you if you too are the child of a narcissistic parent.  <3

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

My Newest Book Soon To Be On amazon, etc!

Good afternoon, Dear Readers!

I just wanted to let you know I received my proof copy of my book today.  It looks great but I’ll inspect it closer tonight.  Barring any unforseen issues, I’ll approve it tomorrow, & it’ll be available not only on my website as it is now, but also on amazon, B&N, & other online book sellers within about a month. 

Also, thank you everyone for the prayers.  My father is now home from the hospital.

Leave a comment

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism, Writing

Update For September 18, 2014

Good day, Dear Readers!

I just wanted to let you know that I may be awol for a while. My father is in the hospital as of yesterday. It doesn’t sound terribly serious so far, at least, but any prayers for him are appreciated anyway! :)

I’d also like some prayers for myself, as I am extremely stressed. My husband & I have plenty of crises going on right now in addition to this, & I am overwhelmed to say the least. I need to focus on self-care, which is terribly hard for me. I feel selfish when I take care of myself, plus it seems like things need my attention almost 24/7 right now.  It’s extremely stressful, especially with C-PTSD. The stress has my moods flying all over the place, I’m exhausted, my whole body hurts but especially my back & arthritis, anxiety is off the charts high & the hyper-vigilance is especially bad. ARGH!!!!

Plus, many people have the false belief that I am the one who needs to take care of my father, even though my mother is still well able to do so. I don’t have the patience for this- I’ve always been my father’s emotional caregiver, & am worn out with caring for him! I understand the mechanics of this false belief- my father has had serious health problems his whole life & nearly died..in fact, he died on the operating table during brain surgery after a car wreck as a teen, & they brought him back. My grandparents spoiled him a bit out of love. Somehow this morphed into family thinking he always should be coddled & spoiled. Then it became my place do be the primary coddler-spoiler once I became an adult. Understanding this doesn’t mean it is right though!

And, any time my father has been in the hospital, at least 1 relative has chewed me out for something petty, such as using facebook to give updates rather than call. Well, I do that because there are a lot of Baileys! It’s too many to call- facebook offers an easy platform to contact many people at once who can share the news with others. Plus, after dealing with a lot each day when he’s ill (doctors, my mother, the hospital..) I just am not up to dealing with more people. They also fail to realize they are lucky they know anything about him, as my mother refuses to call any of them to give updates- I am doing them a favor.

Yes, I’m angry about that right now. I feel like when I post an update, I have just thrown a grenade & am waiting for the explosion. It’s not fair I have to feel this way.

Let’s also not forget, my parents are both narcissistic. Always makes dealing with them interesting to say the very least…

Angry & overwhelmed.. tons of fun for my already busy C-PTSD brain. ARGH!!

I’m sorry to be so negative today, but you readers know I’m all about being real-good, bad & ugly. I just wanted to let you know what is happening & why I may not be around much for a few days or so. I’ll try to write something more encouraging soon. Thank you for your patience with me & your understanding! I love you & am praying for you! <3

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

Two Good Lessons From One Recent Dream

Good morning, Dear Readers!

I had a very interesting dream the other night & wanted to share what God showed me the meaning of it was with you. It’s a very good lesson!!

I dreamed I was in this huge, empty parking lot. My car was about 50′ or so away from me, maybe farther. Suddenly, this little dark nondescript sedan (I think about the size of a Ford Taurus) came out of nowhere & bashed into the front of my car! I was ready to hurt someone- I love my big old car! Before I could get there, the driver backed up & hit my car again & again. I suddenly realized that my car didn’t even budge when she was hit. There was a tiny wrinkle on a front fender from the impact, but that was all. The other car kept ramming into the front of my car, & that other car was getting smaller & smaller as the front end was being crushed more & more with each impact. I was absolutely amazed & rather amused- whoever this person was that was so determined to hurt me was destroying their own car in an attempt to do so. My car was barely phased, their sedan however was totaled. The hood was crushed to probably 1/4 of its normal size, engine fluids were leaking all over the place- the car was a total loss. It made me laugh at the stupidity of the driver, & then I woke up.

I asked God what this dream meant & He showed me it had a two-fold meaning.

First, there are people who think I need to be a better daughter to my parents, & will not hesitate to use guilt trips or manipulation in an attempt to make this happen. My parents’ flying monkeys, as the term goes. God showed me that they are much like that little sedan- so determined to make their point heard, they will hurt themselves if need be. So long as I stand strong (like my car did) with God & in what I know is the truth, however, they cannot hurt me. This goes for you too, Dear Reader! All of us children of narcissists have had the “pleasure” of a flying monkey or two. Remember the message of this dream-stand strong with God & the truth, & they cannot hurt you.

Second, this dream was also related to my recent post “Who To Talk To?” In it, I mentioned how some people close to you will not care to hear anything about how your parents abused you, or about the problems you still have from being abused. God showed me that if I continue trying to seek validation from these people, I will be like the little sedan- beaten & wounded, while those other people will be like my car- still standing strong & barely even noticing me. The lesson is there is no point in discussing those issues with certain people. It’s overstepping boundaries- what they think, believe & feel is their business, not mine- plus they have made up their mind not to hear me anyway. Why should I frustrate & hurt myself in an attempt to gain the validation they are determined not to give? Some people you just can’t discuss certain subjects with, & I have to accept that. You need to accept it as well, Dear Reader. While it’s certainly normal & understandable to want validation, especially by those closest to you, some people just won’t give it. If you wish to remain in relationship with them, accept that fact, & no longer discuss certain topics with them.

I hope these little lessons help you! <3

Leave a comment

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

My New Book About Maternal Narcissism Is FINISHED!!

I am VERY happy to announce that my latest book, “It’s All About ME! The Facts About Maternal Narcissism” is finished!!!!!

Print version is available here..(available for sale on this site only since I haven’t gotten the proof to approve yet. Once that’s approved within the next week or so, it’ll be on Amazon, B&N, etc)

http://www.lulu.com/shop/cynthia-bailey-rug/its-all-about-me-the-facts-about-maternal-narcissism/paperback/product-21801975.html

Here’s the ebook version…(currently only on publisher’s site only, but once approved within a week or so, it will be in the ibook store, B&N, etc.)

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/475489

And now, I’m taking a well earned break.

This was a very challenging book to write. God had His hand in it the whole time, which is the only reason I was able to write it. He kept showing me things that I needed to include. Some things I admit, I thought “You’re kidding right?” Then something would happen & I realized that yes, this needs to be in the book too. It was a fascinating experience for sure, but emotionally difficult, hence the break.

I plan to focus for a while on this blog as well as building up my forum. If you haven’t seen it yet, come by & check it out at:

http://cynthiasforum.boards.net/

At the forum, I have several different categories where you can post. Not only about narcissistic mothers & the damage they cause, but more positive categories too, such as pets, hobbies & the Christian life. After all, no one can focus on the abuse they endured or even their emotional healing 24/7. Everyone needs a break sometimes. I hope to see you there.

Also, I still would like to create a free ebook compiled of stories from those who have been through abuse, & have survived with God’s help. I only have a couple of stories so far. Would you considering writing yours? You can do so anonymously if you like- just use fake names. Your story can encourage others, no matter what you have been through, or where you are in your healing process. For more details, please check out the link below. I hope to hear from you soon! <3

http://www.cynthiabaileyrug.com/Make_A_Difference.htm

Leave a comment

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism, Writing

Who To Talk To?

Mark 6:4 ” But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor (deference, reverence) except in his [own] country and among [his] relatives and in his [own] house.” (AMP)

This Scripture came to mind recently as it reminded me of something..

It seems like so many people have a serious physical or mental health problem, yet their families don’t believe they are as sick as they say, are faking their illness for attention or only to get those ‘good drugs.’ Personally I have been told to get over my past, learn to fix things with my parents, think more positive & just get a pill- that will fix it. I’ve also heard that I am wrong-that my parents aren’t so bad, I need to cut them some slack since they aren’t getting any younger yanno…

I have tried in vain to make other people close to me see the truth of my situation to no avail, & I have seen other people do the same with people close to them. Witnessing this made me realize exactly how fruitless it really can, & that some people, often those closest to you, just do not care. Unfortunately, people are so hungry for validation, that we sometimes keep beating that dead horse.

While it is certainly understandable to want that validation, especially from those closest to us, sometimes it is time to realize it won’t happen. When discussing your symptoms or your condition, sometimes you can tell when the other person is not interested in the subject at hand. They may look bored or try to change the subject repeatedly. They also may say invalidating things such as, “it can’t be that bad,” “It must be nice for you, not having to get up & go to work in the morning,” or defend the person who abused you “Well, I’m sure she didn’t mean it that way,” or “she did the best she could by you.”

If your conversation takes a turn like this, it’s time to make a decision- is it worth continuing to try to convince this person that you have an actual problem or should you just stop?

I have decided to stop wasting my time. It just isn’t worth the frustration on my part or making the other person angry. It hurts, but I have accepted that some people just aren’t capable of the empathy or compassion it takes to be supportive of me.

People who genuinely know & care won’t be invalidating. They will be supportive & not judgmental. They know you well enough to know you aren’t making anything up or exaggerating. People like that are a wonderful blessing!

I am also very blessed with wonderful, wonderful fans who email me often not only to say thank you for something I wrote that helped them, but also sometimes to offer me encouragement. :) It seems strange to me that people I’ve never met care more than some who are closer to me, but apparently it happens. Obviously Jesus understood it well & experienced it firsthand.

Leave a comment

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

Narcissists Are Amazing..

and I don’t mean that in a good way!

I was telling a dear friend of mine earlier about my mother’s horrible phone call last night. She said so many evil, hurtful things to me. The worst part of all was that I could tell she was smiling as she said those things. You know how someone sounds a little different when they smile as they speak? That is what I heard in her voice. The crueler her words, the bigger the smile was, too. It absolutely blew my mind. Although I don’t have children (well, human ones anyway- furkids only), I can’t imagine hurting my child like this, & thoroughly enjoying myself while doing it! I wouldn’t hurt anyone deliberately, let alone find the things that are the most important to them, & use those things to cause the maximum amount of pain possible. I can’t understand how anyone can do that. I know a lot about narcissism, but that doesn’t mean I understand everything about it. I don’t think I ever will.

And the worst part? I really messed up. I got so angry that I cussed at my mother. I am not proud of this at all, & prayed later, asking God to forgive me. I didn’t ask my mother to, because she acted as if I speak to her this way every day. She knew she was pushing my buttons hard, & she got the bad reaction out of me she wanted. Now she can tell people how terribly I speak to her, & she knows what to do to hurt me more than usual. Fantastic… this is going to bite me & bite me hard in the future, I’m sure. It always does when I get angry with my mother, although normally cussing isn’t part of my response.

In case you’re wondering what horrible sin I committed to deserve this treatment, here you go: my mother is mad because my father is coming by to visit me tomorrow. She is mad that I invited him & not her. The irony of this? I didn’t invite him, either. He decided he wants to come by. There was no invitation, & there never is an invitation from me to either him or my mother to come into my home. So there you have it-the reason I deserved to be treated like crap to the point of tears of hurt & frustration.

Amazing, isn’t it?

Dear Readers, please pray for me. I am beyond frustrated on how to deal with my parents. I’m praying for you as well, because I know that many of you understand this awful feeling completely. <3

Leave a comment

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Narcissism

Feline Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Did you know that animals can develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? 

I’ve been a cat mom since 1990, & was oblivious to this fact until today.  My littlest guy who is around 7 months old, Punkin, suddenly attacked my dog, Dixie this morning after she accidentally startled him.  Thankfully, she is fine- his claws weren’t out.  He’s never done this before, & the whole incident upset him even more than her.  He was immediately sorry, which showed me the attack wasn’t meant to be vicious.  It all was very strange, & I wondered if it was possible he had a flashback.  A little searching online showed me there is such a thing as feline PTSD. 

I met Punkin at around 3 months old last April 23.  He showed up in a local lady’s yard, meowing loudly, looking for help.  I have no clue what happened in his life before he showed up in her yard, but I do know something unpleasant & involving a dog happened.  He’s been leery of Dixie from day one, in spite of her giving him her favorite toy upon meeting him.  Until today, I had no idea just how bad it was though.  I saw some odd behavior but for some reason didn’t think about PTSD.

Cats with FPTSD share many symptoms with their human counterparts such as an exaggerated startled response, hyper-vigilance, nightmares, a fear of being abandoned & depression.  Factors that can cause FPTSD are accidents, abuse (either witnessing abuse or being abused), being in a life threatening situation, abandonment or living in a shelter.  If your pet shows these symptoms, he or she may have PTSD.  It is usually diagnosed in dogs in the military or who work with the police, but it happens in other animals as well who haven’t seen military or police duty.

Also like their human counterparts, their symptoms can be managed, but not cured.  Keeping a peaceful atmosphere in your home, avoiding loud noises & creating a safe place with toys & something that smells like you are said to help.

As for my little man?  As soon as I finished reading, I picked him up & told him I understood, I love him, & that he’s safe here.  I also told him Dixie is no danger- she’s a wonderful dog.  I put him on my bed about 3′ from her.  He looked sheepishly at her, & laid down about 1′ from her, which is his norm.  I also told Dixie to please, try not to startle him, or he could attack again.  Hopefully all will be fine now…we shall see! 

It’s interesting though- things make sense now.  Punkin hates closed doors, or being left alone (even if only for 20 minutes to take a shower).  He’s very clingy with me.  We clicked right away- we just get each other so very well.  And, Zippy adopted him immediately & became an awesome daddy/protector/best friend. 

Here’s Punkin, snuggled up to his big buddy, Zippy.  :-)

image

Leave a comment

Filed under Animals, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health