So many adult children of narcissistic parents struggle when their parents become elderly or ill. They feel that because these people birthed & raised them, that they owe their parents everything at any personal cost, & the narcissistic parents feed that false belief.
The truth is, Dear Reader, you only owe your parents one thing- to honor them. Exodus 20:12 says, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” (KJV) Many people upon reading that verse think that means they have to blindly obey their parents, no matter their age, no matter how their parents treat them. That is simply not true however!!
You must understand what honor truly means. According to the Merriam Webster’s website, honor in this setting means, ” a showing of usually merited respect : recognition <pay honor to our founder>” Basically, you treat someone with courtesy & respect when you honor them. You don’t cuss them out when you get angry, you don’t manipulate them, you don’t abuse them in any way, you don’t lie to them.
There is also this little gem in Acts 5:29: “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” (KJV) In other words, obey God before you obey your parents. If you’re like most of my readers, this Scripture provokes a great deal of anxiety in you. You know when your parents want you to do something for them, they demand it be done in a prompt matter, no excuses! Not doing their bidding means you’ll have to pay & pay dearly. Disobeying them can be a daunting prospect to say the least. However, as a Christian, it is also good for you to follow it in spite of your fears. God never gives bad advice! Obeying Him will be more rewarding than disobeying them will hurt you. I’ve had to do this myself. Yes, it can be very scary, but clinging to the fact that God is good, loves me & wants the best for me helped me to obey him. Also, once you do it, it gets easier the next time, then the next time, & so on.
Keeping these two points in mind, along with prayer, can help you to decide what you owe your narcissistic, ailing parents. Do not allow anyone to tell you what to do. No one but you is living your life. You are the only one who can decide what you are & are not able to do regarding your narcissistic parents, preferably with the help of God.