Being Your Parent’s Parent

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8 Comments

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

8 responses to “Being Your Parent’s Parent

  1. I don’t think that my mother ever grew up. Even after she became an adult she wanted someone else to take care of her and provide for her needs. But her children should never have been co-opted for that role because she is our parent; we are not hers. For years, even after her children were grown, my NM would complain in vivid detail about my fathers abuse (my father also complained about my mother, but very infrequently) and rejected any advice we’d give to make her life better. She’d tell me that she always felt better after these conversations, but they were emotionally exhausting for me. And when I’d tell her how much they upset me she’d say that she’d never do it again. But she did. Over the years, especially after my father died, she also began to rely increasingly on us for help with things she could have done for herself, like calling a repairman or arranging for snow removal. And she always needed money since neither she nor my father had done anything to prepare financially for their retirement. The concept of delaying gratification to ensure their future security was not something they embraced. One of the results of this behavior was that they didn’t provide a model for self-reliance to their children. I was never taught that I could provide for myself but learned the hard way that it’s always better to be self-sufficient, a lesson my mother never embraced.

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  2. Angela

    I couldn’t work out why I felt so responsible for my mother when others didn’t for theirs. I was obviously trained from a young age. I suspect they pick on the scapegoat for this too, rather than the golden child.

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    • That does make sense. The golden child simply needs to exist but the scapegoat has to work for her parents’ love (or what they call love anyway..). Being so desperate for that love, the scapegoat will do pretty much anything to get it, even parenting her parent.

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    • I was designated the scapegoat by my NM and she taught my siblings to treat me that way as well. My GCB frequently took advantage of that status by asking me to do things that he or our sisters and brother could have done. That included asking me to do something that would have gotten me in legal trouble. At the time I was just angry that he asked this of me but now that I’ve gone NC with them all I am even angrier that he chose to put me in jeopardy and not himself or anyone else in the family. Obviously I was considered to be expendable while they were not. It still infuriates me to this day.

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