Caring For Elderly Narcissistic Parents

1 Timothy 5:3-8  “3 Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. 5 The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. 6 But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7 Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame. 8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”  (NIV) 

 

Elderly narcissistic parents are often even more entitled than their younger counterparts.  For their children, this can be an incredibly painful position to be in.

 

Many adult children of narcissistic parents feel they have no other option than to be their parents’ caregiver, even at the cost of their health & their own family.  After all, we can’t forget Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” (NIV).  Then there is 1 Timothy 5:8 which says, “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (KJV)  Doesn’t this all mean you have to be hands on with your elderly parents, no matter what?  NO!!

 

I do NOT believe that God wishes His children to take care of their narcissistic parents no matter the personal cost.  That doesn’t sound like the God I know!

 

First, to honor your parent simply means to give them the respect they deserve as the people who created you.  You acknowledge them as your parents.  You speak to them civilly, not rudely or disrespectfully.  Honoring them does NOT mean tolerating their abuse.  It also doesn’t mean that you neglect your family to take care of your parents.  If you opt to take care of your parents in a hands-on way, you can honor them by helping them as much as you feel able without wearing yourself out or neglecting your family.

 

Also, remember 1 Timothy 5:8 says that you must provide for them.  You can provide for your parents in various ways, not necessarily being “hands on”.  Arranging for help to come to your parents’ home is a great way to help them & provide for them.  Researching local resources for whatever help they need is providing for them.  Paying for things your parents need yet can’t afford but you can is providing for them.

 

As your parents become elderly & need more assistance than they once did, you need to prepare ahead of time as much as you can.  Even if your parents are still relatively young, start to look towards the future now.  You never know what can happen.  Things can change in an instant, so you need to be prepared.

 

Start praying & asking God for wisdom & insight on what boundaries you will need to set when the time comes as well as strength to enforce those boundaries.

 

Read up on the topic to see what others do with their elderly narcissistic parents, & honestly ask yourself what you can & can’t do.  There are plenty of informative caregiver websites out there.

 

Most libraries are a wealth of information.  The library near me has a ton of pamphlets & booklets near the entrance on various services in the area, including information from the local Department of Aging.  I found a booklet there for seniors’ resources.  It includes information on cleaning services, in home health care, assisted living facilities, contact information from the Department of Aging, & much more.   Your library may have a similar booklet- it’s worth checking into.

 

If you’re going to be involved in caring for your narcissistic parents, it’s best to learn as much as you can about what’s happening with their health.  Narcissists love to exaggerate their illnesses, & you need to be aware of what the truth is & what they are making up.  Read up about their conditions online or talk to their doctors without them around.

 

If something needs to be done to help you to help them, stress how this will help them.  Leave out how it will benefit you entirely, & make it sound like it will help them only.  In my own caregiving experiences, I’ve noticed that saying that something will help me falls on deaf ears.  Saying that same thing will benefit the narcissistic parent however, gets the narcissist’s attention.

 

In fact, don’t discuss anything about you as much as possible.  If an elderly narcissist knows you’re not feeling well or are tired, they will push you to do more & more as they can get away with it.  Wearing you down gives them some sick pleasure.

 

When you set boundaries, do so as cheerfully as possible & with no explanations.  As always, any information these people get can be turned into ammunition they will use to hurt you with.

 

It is possible to keep your sanity in tact while caring for a narcissist.  Keep in mind everything you know about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, set & enforce boundaries, don’t neglect yourself or your own family for your parents & most of all, keep God first in your life.  Depend on Him completely to help you do such things & show you what to do, when to do it & how to do it.

 

If you opt to keep your distance, then try not to feel guilty.  If you know in your heart that you can’t be a more hands-on caregiver, there is no shame in that.  God only asks people to do their best, nothing more.  Sadly, some people are so incredibly toxic, there is just no way to interact with them on a daily basis.  It happens, unfortunately.  If your parent is that way, you have done nothing to feel guilty about by protecting yourself.

 

68 Comments

Filed under Caregiving, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

68 responses to “Caring For Elderly Narcissistic Parents

  1. ibikenyc

    I rarely say this, as most people consider it monstrous, but one benefit to having been orphaned in my twenties was / is that I will never have to deal with this.

    Liked by 4 people

    • It’s not monstrous. Monstrous is having a N parent who abuses you no matter what you do for them.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Definitely not monstrous. I understand. I didn’t think of care-giving as a contributing factor as to why I wanted to go no contact with my parents, but I can tell you it’s a relief not to have to worry about doing it. I was my narcissistic grandmother’s primary caregiver & it was a nightmare. I also helped my parents plenty when my father had a stroke & again after he had a spinal fracture & that too was a nightmare. I actually enjoy helping & being a caregiver to a degree, but narcissists remove any joy in it & turn it into a hellish experience.

        Liked by 2 people

        • ibikenyc

          It also left me just all screwed up about what constitutes reasonable expectations of others when I need help myself.

          Liked by 1 person

        • ibikenyc

          My mother essentially turned herself into an invalid by the time she was in her fifties.

          Yes, she had some congenital limitations, but as I got older I began to realize that most people with similar ones lived perfectly-normal lives with very little accommodation.

          I see now that some of her tactics were in response to my father’s awful treatment of her, but I still got caught in and damaged by the crossfire.

          Liked by 1 person

          • My mother is much like your mother.. She says (although I’m not positive) that she has bulging discs, siatica pain, spinal stenosis & arthritis in her spine & that’s why she can’t lift anything ‘heavier than a loaf of bread’. Granted all of those are painful but most are also very treatable. She claims the treatments won’t work for her, although she’s never tried any of them.

            It’s not fair you were caught in that crossfire! Typical narcissistic parents though- don’t care who gets hurt so long as they get what they want.

            Liked by 2 people

            • ibikenyc

              My mother actually had polio as a child (she was of that generation), but a very mild case: The only obvious evidence was a slight limp (which was actually kinda cute) and that her one leg was a BIT thinner and less-shapely than the other.

              In her twenties, when she was a working girl, she went out dancing with her friends ALL THE TIME! She used to tell me about how it kept her thin.

              As she got older, and the danse macabre with my father intensified, she put on weight. In retrospect, she was NEVER what anyone would call “morbidly obese,” but she seemed to almost embrace the “fat woman” label.

              During my childhood and adolescence she, at various times, broke her elbow; both legs once and one leg twice; and her back (as in she was fitted for a corset-like back brace to assist in its healing), and by the time she died of cancer at fifty-eight, she had confined herself to a wheelchair.

              Like

              • Geez! That’s a lot of breaks! Were they all accidental? Reason I ask is I’ve wondered before about the connection between Munchausen’s Syndrome & narcissists. So many narcissists seem to embrace health problems & use them to their advantage. Like, my late mother in-law had diabetes & one Christmas when she wasn’t getting as many guests as usual, she claimed she didn’t have time to take her insulin & ended up hospitalized I think it was the day after Christmas. @@

                Liked by 2 people

                • ibikenyc

                  Well, they all LOOKED LIKE accidents. I mean, nobody pushed her, nor did she like throw herself down.

                  What I remember about one in particular was this HUGE screaming argument between her and my father. She came flying into the bedroom; tripped, hard, over the ironing-board foot; and lay there howling in pain.

                  The screaming argument stopped IMMEDIATELY. An ambulance was summoned. My father went into solicitous-caretaker mode. Extended family all rallied round with attention and kind words and little presents.

                  Like

                  • Wow! So the “accidents” could be intentional or not. :/

                    Liked by 2 people

                    • ibikenyc

                      Oh, for sure!

                      As I say about (and sometimes to) “my” N, “I don’t know if it’s conscious, but it’s DEFINITELY deliberate!”

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • You got that right, Ibikenyc! Conscious or not, that’s hard to say but deliberate? Absolutely!

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • ibikenyc

                      Of course I realize that sometimes stuff just happens.

                      About three or four years ago, I was out on a group ride, overcorrected, and went down, hard, on my left side. I figured I’d just be all bruised up, but when I tried to stand, I was in so much pain in my nether region that I was afraid to look: I thought I was gushing blood.

                      I wasn’t, but I had fractured my pelvis.

                      I was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

                      I spent three hours of each of the five days that I was there in OT and an additional half-hour in PT.

                      After the first day (on medical advice) I also made myself walk up and down the halls for at least fifteen minutes.

                      I was back out on my bike within probably a month.

                      Yes, accidents do happen, but we have control over what we do afterwards.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • My word.. that bike accident sounds horrible!! How are you today? Any trouble from that accident?

                      Of course- accidents do happen, but it’s also true that we choose what to do after.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • ibikenyc

                      Oh, no! I’m FINE! Thank you so much for your concern! 😀

                      It’s almost like a badge of honour in the biking community. Most people have taken a spill requiring some medical attention, and it’s not unusual to meet folks who’ve been hospitalized.

                      (If I’d a been thinkin’ about, say, getting pregnant, I mighta been a lot more concerned! They “can’t” / don’t set pelvic fractures.)

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • Glad you’re ok after that accident! It sounds so painful!

                      Years ago, I was getting my motorcycle license & had an accident. The cops came & said the same thing about it being a badge of honor. “Everyone lays a bike down at some point.. you just got yours over with early.” Yay me. LOL

                      I didn’t realize they didn’t set pelvic fractures. Ouch.. still sounds painful!

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • ibikenyc

                      You have a motorcycle license?!

                      You go, girl!

                      Of course you know now that cop was right. I can’t imagine losing a thing that heavy and powerful! That musta been scary and also quite painful!

                      I think they do set some pelvic fractures, but only the really-bad ones. Mine was apparently “just” a crack; it simply kinda grew back together on its own, like skin on a cut finger.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Well, I never got my motorcycle license. The accident happened while I had my permit. My ex was the only person I knew with a license who would help me get mine, & after the accident, he said I shouldn’t have a license. Mind you, the place I wrecked? Other vehicles slid on that same spot- it was slick but didn’t look it. And, it was in the rain (he didn’t check the weather before we went out). Anyone could’ve wrecked a bike in those conditions. Guessing it was one more way to control me though, not concern for my well being since he had very little.

                      Oh yes.. laying down a bike is terrifying! It was just a little 600 cc Yamaha, but even so, terrifying! It went one way, me another. That’s when I learned road rash is no joke!

                      That’s pretty cool your fracture grew back together! Whole thing still sounds very painful though.. ouch.. :/

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • ibikenyc

                      “Guessing it was one more way to control me though, not concern for my well being since he had very little.”

                      Ya think?! Passive-Aggressive much?

                      You couldn’t GUESS the road would be slippery there right then??? (Sarcasm.)

                      Yikes; road rash! I see those “rash guard” swimsuits nowadays for I guess surfers.

                      (Of course, you need a body like a Playboy centerfold to actually look good in one of them, and they are an excellent way to be sure you get as little sun as possible while on the beach, but I suppose they serve SOME purpose!)

                      My fracture WAS very painful, but the worst of it was when I’d first fallen and tried to stand up. I don’t wanna be too graphic, but I’m telling you I was literally unable to make myself look down at myself because I was SURE that I was gushing blood.

                      I have chronic lower-back pain and regularly take Schedule 3 drugs for it, so the pain from the fracture was somewhat mitigated when it happened.

                      Then they also of course kept me (sort of) dosed up while in hospital.

                      The ONE thing, honestly, that kept me moving in spite of the pain was the TERROR of ending up like her. It’s like a Prime Directive for me.

                      My roommate there was a much-older (eighties) lady who’d broken a hip and just could / would not cooperate with the PT folks. I felt really bad for her; she was obviously in a great deal of pain, but I was also so worried about her, because you know how broken hips can lead to a steep and rapid decline. She did have a big family visiting her constantly, though, and I felt certain they would either bully her into taking care of herself OR do it for her.

                      Like

                    • You know what’s funny, ibikenyc? My ex got into motorcycles to “punish” me when I broke up with him before we got married. Then I got into them, & wanted my own & of course my license. His punishment backfired! I think he was glad I had the accident since it gave him a reason to say I was incapable.

                      And ohhh yes. He was great at the passive/aggressive thing. I do NOT miss that!

                      LOL about the rash guard suits! So true! One excess ounce of fat on you & you end up looking like the Michelin tire man in them things..

                      What an experience with your fracture! Pain aside, it had to be terrifying partly because of your mother. I hear ya.. every time I feel yukky from the carbon monoxide poisoning, I hate to say anything because I’m afraid I sound like my mother, whining & making a huge deal of every single thing. It’s a scary prospect, thinking you may end up like a mom like ours! Having your roomie I’m sure didn’t make it any easier. I hope she was able to heal after her experience!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • ibikenyc

                      GOSH do I have a best friend for your ex.

                      (Actually, they would almost certainly hate one another on sight!)

                      He musta been ready to s*** when you got into bikes! LOLOLOLOL!

                      A couple years ago, Mr. Happy sneeringly told me I remind him of the Stones song “Out of Time.” I knew the song but not really the lyrics, so (out of his hearing, of course) I listened to it. Don’t know if you’re familiar, but essentially Mick’s telling this girl all about what a wanna-be loser she is (“You’re out of touch, my baby; my poor, old-fashioned baby. . . “)

                      It happens to be a really-catchy song with some great progressions, and it quickly grew on me. After a couple months I mentioned that. He was FUMING!

                      (This whole thing is also a Masterpiece of projection, because Mr. Happy still gets himself up the way he did back in the Punk Rock era.)

                      Like

                    • ibikenyc

                      PS: I, too, worry about sounding whiney. I am also by nature an introvert (think you and I discussed this once before, the INFJ Thing), so asking for help is nearly impossible anyway!

                      Did you ever see that t-shirt “I’m Fine”?

                      It won’t let me paste it, but here’s a link:

                      https://www.theapollobox.com/product/s0102/im-fine-tshirt

                      One of these days. . .

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • LOL Yea, guessing my ex was less than thrilled I got into bikes.. Looking back, I wonder if he thought from the beginning I’d have an accident or be a terrible driver so then he’d have something else to give me grief about. He could be better than me (according to him anyway) in one more area.

                      HAHAHAHAHA!!! I can almost see Mr Happy’s face when you started liking that song! Remember the old cartoons where steam would shoot out of a character’s ears when they were mad? That’s my vision..lol

                      I had to look up the song too. It is kinda catchy but what a nasty thing for Mr. Happy to say to you! Jerk! Definitely sounds like projection from all you’ve said about him.

                      Yep, we did talk about the INFJ thing. Asking for help is really hard when you’re an introvert!

                      I’ve seen that shirt! Sometimes it fits a bit too well doesn’t it?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • ibikenyc

                      I cannot BELIEVE you mentioned that steam-out-of-the-ears thing from the cartoons! That was the EXACT picture I had in my mind when I was writing to you before! LOL!

                      Yeah; I heard on and off for YEARS about a foreclosure through which I went before I met him.

                      (Yes, thank you; I DO feel horrible about losing [ADMITTEDLY entirely through my own bad choices] a house I loved. Yes, thank you; I KNOW I was an idiot. Ya got anything else?)

                      Mom LIVES!

                      Like

                  • KJ

                    Oh my goodness. My mother lay on the grass one day screaming and pounding her fists into the ground, until she passed out! Sounds familiar!

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • ibikenyc

                      In this case, my mother actually WAS in pain: Her leg was broken.

                      However, I have witnessed the type of histrionics you descrbe. You don’t know whether to smack them senseless or fall down laughing.

                      Liked by 3 people

                    • KJ

                      Reading through your story, I see so many parallels. You are a strong and brave person!!! All I can do is remind myself that she is sick too, sadly the nature of her illness means she doesn’t accept that.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • ibikenyc

                      Oh, my goodness! Thank you!

                      I don’t FEEL strong or brave, but it’s so nice to hear that 🙂

                      I guess the short version of my story is that circumstances have put me in a place where there is nothing left for me to do BUT deal with, work through, and — finally — GET PAST all this damage.

                      Even if she DID know or accept it, she would never admit it to you.

                      I STILL struggle mightily with EXPECTING some kind of Validation from Mr. Happy (my sarcastic nickname for “my” Borderline SO). I KNOW I do it; I KNOW I shouldn’t; I KNOW it’s futile; and I do it ANYWAY!

                      Even if he were to, sincerely, come to me and say, “My God; you were right; I’ve been a monster to you; I WAS WRONG,” it wouldn’t change a thing. Sometimes that helps me; I ask myself “Would ya STAY if he did?” and I’m snorting with bitter laughter, because HELL, NO!

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • KJ

                      ((((Hugs)))) that sounds like such a painful situation to be in. I’m so sorry for your pain and struggle!

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • ibikenyc

                      Thank you again for your kind words!

                      Ya know what? It’s almost over now, actually, even though parts of me are still afraid to really relax with that. I have specific plans in place to move out and far away within the next twelve months.

                      Most of all, I know, love, and respect myself now in ways and to extents that I could not have dreamed of before going through all this.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • KJ

                      That is the best thing to read. Self respect is hard to gain, but you are totally worth it!!!!

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • ibikenyc

                      You, too, must be strong and brave: You are here, after all, and telling your own story.

                      You have also survived all the invalidation, soul rape, and torture inherent to being thrown-up by a Narcissistic “mother.”

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • KJ

                      XO Thank you.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Thank you so much, KJ for your kind words! You too are strong & brave, though & don’t forget it! You’re also wise to accept that about your mother. It’s not an easy thing to realize let alone accept that they have no desire to improve themselves even knowing it hurts you.

                      Liked by 3 people

          • My father was a MN, classic spousal abuser, and alcoholic. He was very cruel to my mother but she refused to leave him. That was her choice and she was entitled to make it. However, she used his abuse to manipulate others, to play the victim, and to justify her own narcissism.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Your mother sounds like my father & mother in-law. Both refused to leave no matter what abuse was done to them or their kids, & thoroughly enjoyed that victim/long suffering spouse image.

              Liked by 1 person

            • ibikenyc

              When I got into my late teens and early twenties, I envied those of my friends whose parents had split up.

              I used to BEG my mother to divorce my father. She would look at me, genuinely puzzled, and ask my why I would say that, insisting that they loved one another.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Oh I hear ya! I did the same with my father. He’d say he was going to but never did & never offered a reason until he was probably around 70. Then he said he needed help keeping track of his meds & doctor’s appointments (this was prior to Alzheimer’s but his memory was awful thanks to a TBI at 15). So frustrating- I would’ve done that! Not a problem!

                Your mother was probably right- they did love one another. At least the supply they got from one another! UGH!

                Liked by 2 people

                • ibikenyc

                  Supply, indeed.

                  The older and more-informed I get about the whole Syndrome, the more dysfunction I see.

                  It’s a wonder I can put a sentence together.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  • True dat! It really is amazing isn’t it? Equally amazing to me is that some people accept all the dysfunction as normal. They make excuses or act like you’re the crazy one for not putting up with it.

                    Liked by 2 people

                    • ibikenyc

                      Well, to be fair to SOME of us, we just don’t know what Normal IS; what it looks or FEELS like.

                      HOWEVER: I can look back now at stuff some friends of mine did for and about their parents that, even at the time, had me scratching my head and/or furious. In my twenties I had a very close friend who, along with her siblings, would just drop EVERYTHING and run whenever “Daddy” called. They turned their and their children’s lives inside out and upside down to accommodate his every whim. They cleaned out their bank accounts AND went into debt to buy parts for his badly-ageing exotic car. (I could go on.)

                      It was NEVER enough for him. He never even pretended to be appreciative or grateful. Somebody ELSE always did or had better.

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                    • At some point though, doesn’t it seem like common sense should kick in & these people would realize something just ain’t right? That’s what I always think but in many cases, it doesn’t seem to happen.

                      Your friend & her family.. ugh, what a mess! That is awful! Some people think because they gave birth to you, that you owe them forever. Uh, no. Not true. Especially when nothing is ever good enough for them & they have unreasonable expectations. That is total crap right there!

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • ibikenyc

                      That same friend’s mother left her father ON MEDICAL ADVICE when my friend was, oh, ten or twelve years old.

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                    • On medical advice?! DANG!! Now that is bad! Wow…

                      Liked by 2 people

              • I’ve lost count of the times I tried to get my mother to leave my father, usually after she’d come crying to me about his latest cruelty (she has always used us to vent, gotten us upset, then done nothing about her situation). When we were still all living at home she’d say that she couldn’t divorce him because it meant that we’d have to move to a “bad neighborhood”. But her name was on the deed to the house and she was working. So was our father, and he would have had to pay child support. And that excuse that she stayed for us went away after my sister, her youngest, was on her own. They were married and together for 61 years and all of them were torture for their children. Once when my sister and I were talking about their latest blow-up and trying to understand why she stayed my sister said that our mother must still be in love. I don’t think that was it, nor do I believe that her religious beliefs were part of her choice to stay with him (they certainly didn’t enter into her other choices). Maybe trauma bonding was a factor. But even if it was she still shouldn’t have used her nightmare marriage to claim perpetual victimhood and manipulate, parentify, and triangulate her children.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Geez, Suzanne.. your mother sounds so much like my father & mother in-law. They were exactly the same! Played that “poor me! I’m a victim & can’t do anything about it!” card to the hilt.

                  I tend to think that gaining narcissistic supply is more a part of it than trauma bonding. At least I’m sure of it in my situations. I could see the glimmer in my father’s eye sometimes when he’d tell me about my mother’s latest & I’d get mad. My mother in-law also seemed to get a thrill when my father in-law was mean to her in front of others. Was it that way with your mother?

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • I can’t say that she seemed pleased when my father would abuse her publicly. But she did get a lot of N supply from complaining about him. She did many cruel things to us. But listening to her describe, in exquisite detail, the things our father said and did to her when she had no intention of doing anything to get away from him was one of the worst. She’d hang up and be fine, having gotten her N supply. But we’d be emotional wrecks, and she knew that but didn’t care. And it just occurred to me that it was how their marriage continued to torture us even after we weren’t living with them and observing it firsthand. That was horrible for us as small children, but we couldn’t even get away from it when we were on our own and living apart from them. She could have spared us that and should have, because the choice to stay with him was hers. But our welfare and happiness was never more important to her than getting what she needed. As I have often said, narcissists don’t change because what they do works for them and they don’t care who gets hurt in the process.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Ugh.. I’m sorry Suzanne. Your mother sounds exactly like my father! Both my parents complained horribly to me about each other ever since I can remember, but my father especially seemed to gain supply from complaining to me. (my mother seemed to simply not consider how it affected me rather than using it to deliberately hurt me) He used to tell me how much he loved coming to my house & “talking to me.” It wasn’t really talking as much as dumping on me & making me into his emotional garbage can. He’d leave happy as a clam & I was left feeling much like I took a beating. You are so right about narcissists- they do what works for them & don’t care one whit who gets hurt in the process. As long as they’re happy, nothing else matters.

                      Liked by 1 person

                • ibikenyc

                  Gosh. I’m so sorry you went through that.

                  She never vented to me; it wasn’t like that, but there was plenty of triangulation, sort of.

                  It was more like splitting up just didn’t exist.

                  The house I grew up in was owned by my maternal grandparents, although my parents’ names were on the deed as well. The point is that my dad would have had to leave, no question.

                  They BOTH came from profoundly-dysfunctional backgrounds: The little I know about the “emotional lives” of my grandparents on both sides still gives me AHA moments.

                  Liked by 1 person

      • ibikenyc

        Of course WE don’t think so, but those who haven’t been there have no idea.

        Thank you for your kind words.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. This is very thought-provoking. I’m NC with my NM and, because they immediately sided with her, all of my siblings as well. So I have no information about our mothers health or other needs. My siblings all live close and are well-off financially ( a great blessing for all entangled in this mess) so I assume that she is being cared for. But although I have no desire to be in her life again I do sometimes feel that it may have been unfair of me to leave my siblings to carry the entire burden of her care. When we were in contact I gave our mother money, sometimes paid for her medication or personal care, bought things she needed for her house or for home repairs, shoveled snow, arranged for repairs, did her shopping, handled paperwork for insurance, drove her to the doctors, etc., all at the expense of my own family. Of course none of these things motivated her to treat me with respect, but I did them anyway because I loved her and knew that caring for her was what God expected of me. I have no qualms about going NC; I know that I gave her many chances to alter her behavior over the years which she ignored. But I still feel an obligation to her, and I don’t know if this is just part of being conditioned to put her needs first or something else.

    Liked by 2 people

    • ibikenyc

      I can’t imagine what this is like for you.

      I do know that, when dealing with the various Cluster Bs in my own life, I started to feel like Charlie Brown when Lucy A-L-W-A-Y-S pulls that football away.

      Also, in the 12-Step rooms, there’s that story about the scorpion begging the frog (turtle?) for a ride across the pond and SWEARING he won’t sting him, but he does anyway, and says, “I’m a scorpion, and that’s what we do.”

      I continue to set myself up with my N SO, although to a hugely-lesser extent, and I keep beating myself up about it: “Which part don’t ya GET?”

      It’s extremely difficult to STOP all the caretaking behaviours, especially when doing so is really no big deal. I feel like an IDIOT when, for instance, I am going to the market anyway and have to consciously not ask him if he wants anything while I’m there.

      The only thing I’ve found so far that mitigates it at all — and this is absolutely VERY small comfort — is reminding myself that expecting reasonable behaviour from others is a sign of my own emotional good health.

      I try to be grateful for the fact that, in spite of everything, I am still not so damaged that I can’t / don’t feel NORMAL stuff.

      Liked by 3 people

    • I really think it’s conditioning. I feel it & fight it myself with my mother. But, think about the natural consequences in life. Everyone reaps what they sow. (In fact, God reminds me of that Scripture when I feel that obligation.) No one, parent or not, can abuse another person & expect to be treated with love & care indefinitely. You also have siblings who can care for your mother- siblings who refuse to face the truth. They are also reaping their harvest- they think she’s so good, they can take care of her. Besides, as you mentioned, they’re financially comfortable- even if they open their eyes, they can pay for her care.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. KJ

    I love this. You’ve inspired me to write on this subject too. It’s been so hard to find the middle ground.

    Like

  4. Ibikenyc, I can’t believe you had the steam coming out of the ears visual too! That is just too funny! Did you hear the whistle with it too? LOL

    Mom lives indeed.. my word. There is nothing these people won’t use if they think they can get something out of it. Sheesh.

    Like

  5. Life Coach Zoe

    I always expected to look out for my parents. I earned a Masters in Gerontology, I thought it would make them happy to know I am an expert. My father has two other daughters somewhere else and my mother has her golden child son. They are still able bodied and independent, but we shall see what happens when they start needing more assistance. Sometimes I wonder if they’ll look for me. I’ve gone no contact. It’s been 16 months.

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  6. Linda Grade

    I have to do something before I lose the last little bit of my sanity. I am struggling so hard to know what to do, where to start to break free of this madness that is called my life. Both of my parents were alcoholics and narcissist. My mother was the manipulative, your mine and I don’t share, mind games and playing us kids one against the other. Dad was abusive, very strict, my way or no way, and very distant emotionally. Mom ran my life until I was thirty, then I tried t o break away, but I was so broken that I just kept getting into one bad relationship after another still trying to stay close to my family. Finally after one wrong turn after another and three bad marriages I ended back living with my mom and dad at the age of fifty. I then took on the job of caring for mom the last 6 months of her life. Dad and I worked together pretty well and we grew closer. He changed a lot ten years earlier after his first heart attack, so it was awesome that he finally showed us adult kids some real love an affection. At that time dad had never tried to control my life or my friends like mom had, so I never put him in the same boat as my mom.
    My mom was dying and for most my life we had been inseparable and had done everything together. Then for twenty years we were super close still and I was always at my parents to clean and cook, or bring some entertainment in there lives and now she was dying. The last 6 months had been the toughest part of my life…she was not easy at all to take care of and had a lot of terrible illnesses, I got very little help from my sibblings. After mom died I felt a million different things, but I mostly felt free and guilty because of these feelings. But I also felt a terrible void, a separation that was enormous as if I lost a huge chunk of myself.
    At first deciding to stay living at home seemed a perfect solution. I had a drinking problem and a lot of emotional issues, a lot more then I even knew at the time. I had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic migraines. After 20 years of working out I now found myself on disibility. My dad had a lot of medical issues, so the other siblings were glad I decided to stay and take care of dad. At first it was great and I was happy for about the first 6 months, but dad and I started going out drinking together, worst thing ever. Dad started seeing me in ways that wasn’t his daughter and with it came jealousy and anger issues. The narcissistic side came out full blown. We fought and he said The worst things ever at me and even was physical a few times. Every time I was going to leave he would plead and beg and say how sorry he was and how much he loves me. I would secretly start planning my escape and he would get real sick and land in the hospital. This continued to go off and on like this and now it’s ten years later and I’m 60. I want so bad!!! To have my own life….nothing great just a little place that’s home, my freedom and do all the things I want to do, live my life my way, take care of only me for the first time ever. But he is 85 and we keep coming close to losing him and then he gets well enough to come home and live there, but he needs help. He is controlling and keeps breaking down every barrier I try and put up. I’m just learning about narcissist and codependent among all the other labels for the things going on. I hate my life…I really try hard to see the bright spots in it, but all I see and feel is hurt and rage. I have an invisible ball and chain on my soul, I want to run flee get out, but I cant… I can’t and I hate myself for it. But the way things stand now where would I even start….I figured he would have passed on by now, then I could have done things easily…I thought I could wait until he died, but since I hit 60 in March I can’t go on like this…but where to start….he is so unhealthy, the others depend on me to be here. I just don’t know what to do…please help me…please
    Linda “A Wounded Soul”…

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    • Wow.. what a situation! I am so sorry for what you’re going through! My heart goes out to you! ❤

      Have you spoken to your local dept. of aging? Churches? Catholic Charities? His doctors? Your doctors? Someone is bound to be able to help you get your father help or guide you to the proper place for getting him help so you can get your own life back. Keep asking around.

      I wish you the best!!

      Like

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