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Off Topic :
Parental narcissism


 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 3:07 PM on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

Ohhhh the DARVO was strong with this one! Disclaimer, this is a topic involving abortion but NOT ABOUT abortion. Whatever your opinions are, I promise you I will give you more respect than what I got from my own mother.

My mother is firmly in the pro-choice camp. Had 2 abortions. I am prolife for various reasons, main one being, I could just as easily been one of the kids aborted by her.

ANYWAY, there's some stir in the news about Roe v Wade. Whatever, it will be decided as it's decided. Nothing I can do about it but offer my opinion. Opinions are like assholes. Everyone's got one.

So, mother decides to send a loving group text to me and my sisters where she blames me for future women dying in back alleys because the "tax exempt organization" I belong to (Catholic) is pro-life and actively speaks out against abortion. look My sisters (also pro-choice) even chimed in on the group text telling mother that she's out of line blaming me for future deaths. Mother even outed me and shared content about the forgiveness letter I sent her about the abortion situation. Looking back, I should have wrote it but not sent it (I did under my therapists advice... therapists are human too rolleyes ).

I wrote a heartfelt response telling her how her behavior has affected me over the years and how I can't allow her to be an intimate part of my life. I told her how I felt sorry for her that her reactions got in the way of her having a relationship with her own daughter. I told her that I have spent many hours in therapy, prayer and mourning over the loss of our relationship.

She responded, "My hurtful behavior? That's rich coming from you."

So yeah, I proceeded to block her, ask her husband to only contact me regarding their health and told my sisters that I won't be seeing mom when she's in town and to only tell me if something of a health emergency comes up.

SOOOOOOO.... who's with me in the NARCISSIST parent club? My misery could use some company right now. mad

WW Dday July 2019

posts: 656   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8733292

tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 6:16 PM on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

Me, me, pick me!!!!
Yah my mom did quite a number on me, but I have since becoming an adult see it for what it is, and keep her at arms length. My sister still is the golden child, and has her head firmly up my mothers ass, calling her daily, stopping by to see her daily when they are here 6 months of the year.

The DARVO is amazing, and when I called them both (mom and dad) out on abusive behavior that happened in my teens including physical abuse, they both denied it and acted like I was a Martian with 3 heads, when they clearly sat me down at the dining room table to tell me what to say if a teacher/counselor asked about the bruise on my face. I was 12 or 13, not a small child. I clearly remember it. I remember what I said that set my father off, and how they bonded together to make sure I was the one in the wrong. AND I believed this until I was a parent.

So yah. Keep at arms length. It's easier that way.
Another funny thing... my mother has told me more than once that the reason I have RA is because I'm fat, and it didn't come from her side of the family. Well thank goodness it wasn't your genes that caused this debilitating disease. I am so glad that you have figured out that being overweight causes autoimmune issues. LOL. I would not have figured that out on my own, with my 4+ year of college education, and multiple special certifications, and additional training I have done. All I need to do is get skinny.

Whatever. It's sad because now both are showing signs of early dementia, my dad was surprised the other day to hear I have back issues (had them for over a decade, and even sent them to the same spine guy I see). LOL.

The damage is done, I just hope I didn't damage my kids as much as they did.

Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19250   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8733346

 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 7:24 PM on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

Yeah, I think that's the key lesson here- not passing on the same damage to our kids. Too late on that for me and the decisions I've made. I think the one way that I've improved is that I'm honest with them about making mistakes and apologize and make efforts to get better. I think they can see that, and while some disrespect can be shown, there's a lot more trust than I had with my mom and a lot more trust between the 2 of them than I had with my sisters. That and they're getting counseling and help they need.

Sigh. One sister is still very much a DARVO herself, but at least she sees the toxicity. Situational awareness is the first step. My mom doesn't even admit to the things she's said or done (in front of others no less!). My other sister is still in the go-along-to-get-along mode. She asked today what to get mom for mother's day that's not a muzzle. I told her I'm not getting her anything!

So sad, my kids ask after their grandma and why they're not close with her. My daughter wants to meet my cousins. Even if they weren't out of state, I don't have the energy to have a relationship with them. Besides, relationships work both ways. They could call me too.

And now I'm going for a nap. Too much mama drama for me today.

WW Dday July 2019

posts: 656   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8733361

tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 9:14 PM on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

My other sister is still in the go-along-to-get-along mode. She asked today what to get mom for mother's day that's not a muzzle. I told her I'm not getting her anything!

Oh my mother was the queen of I'm not buying presents anymore for you, you don't need anything and buy what you want. I would agree, and of course the next holiday would roll around and the expectation was to give a gift. When I said I am no longer buying gifts, because it's silly, and mom keeps saying she wants to stop. So I donate $$$ in their name to an animal shelter that we all love.

Of course when the decision was made to stop Christmas shenanigans for the adults, my mother said in front of all of us, "I never have said that I'm stopping". I called her on it front of everyone, and said yes you have, you have done it for at least 15 years. I am done doing this, at this point we are just exchanging gift cards. It is silly. If you want to get me a gift donate to our shelter, otherwise, save the $$$ for yourself and go have a nice dinner, or something. She again, stated I never said that. My kids and my nieces all said yes you did grandma you have always said that. She had the balls to be offended that MY KIDS, not golden childs, but just mine would LIE about her.

Walk out of the room, have a shot of bourbon, return to the room.

Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19250   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8733395

The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 10:20 PM on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

I Think we will try to do better than the previous generation when it comes to our kids.

I know my youngest is most likely beyond frustrated with us as parents. We expect him to pay his own credit card bills, his gas, his car insurance and his cell phone bill. He’s working full-time and that was the agreement we had with our kids.

His argument is that no 21-year-old should have to pay their own expenses.


He will fight us every step of the way. He’s not going to change our minds.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11864   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8733416

 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 10:21 PM on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

HAHAHAH! Oh, yeah, my mom does that too!

One of the most infuriating things she's done is:
-Sister has pretty autistic son who was 2 at the time (little C) and non-verbal and VERY averse to eating anything not on his "list"
-Sister has a friend's wedding to go to with her hubby for a weekend leaves big C (3 then) and little C (2yrs) with my mom for 2 nights.
-Mom invites sister's MIL (her MIL was good friends with my mom. WAS) to dinner the 2nd night so they could all visit with the kids.
-Sister left little C a HUGE pack of food- everything he normally eats for 3 days so mom wouldn't have to go out of her way to feed him.
-Mom proceeds to decide that SHE (and not his OT??@!?) is going to "break him of his food aversions."
-Mom proceeds to STARVE little C to "break him." Force him to eat "normal food" because, this is a quote from her, "if he's hungry enough, he'll eat."
-By the time the 2nd night rolls around and sister's MIL is over for dinner, little C is beside himself, wailing, crying, hungry, tired and traumatized by being STARVED by his GRANDMA.
-Mom has him corralled upstairs because, "He was misbehaving and being fussy." GEE, wonder WHY??
-Sister's MIL is begging my mom to just let him come down and sit on her lap, that she'll get him to eat.
-Mom refused, told sister's MIL of her plan to "cure him of his food aversions"
-Sister's MIL left not long after that- she couldn't tolerate the wails and misery she was hearing her grandson making.

Sister heard all about this from her MIL while she was at the wedding reception. Sister came home early from the wedding instead of sleeping in and having a breakfast with the other friends out in PA. She comes home, finds 90% of the food she left uneaten and takes my mom to task for this treatment. Mom defends herself saying, "well, it's not my fault! If he wanted to eat, he could have had what we were having. He has to learn to like other food."

Then, years later, sister tried to get mom to understand why we wouldn't let her see her grandkids unattended (gee, why mom? Why not? You're such a great grandma! mad ). Sister reminded mom of this incident and mom completely DARVO'd on it and played the victim, that we were awful ungrateful daughters who didn't appreciate her and SHE was the injured party.

I learned from the best, what can I say. Only I got sick enough of myself and what I was doing to my family to get off my ass and do something about it.

Fuck her and the narcissistic horse she rode in on. I'm getting on mine and getting the hell outta Dodge. Can't stand this type of bullshit now that my eyes are open to my own. That's really why I cut her off completely the first time. I saw what I learned from her and what she continued to try and suck me into. I can't be around that kind of person if I'm working hard not to BE that kind of person. Especially because it's my mom and I'm hardwired to want to love and trust and be liked by her.

Fucking shit sandwich. BH has to deal with essentially having no in-laws to rely on too. Sucks all around.

WW Dday July 2019

posts: 656   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8733418

zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 10:51 PM on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

"His argument is that no 21-year-old should have to pay their own expenses."


The1stwife is a meanie pants.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 2761   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8733424

The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 11:30 PM on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

We are trying to teach him financial responsibility.

He fights us every day on that.

So yes I’m certain he calls us controlling and out of touch etc. oh well…….

He believes we need to pay for his lifestyle and all his living expenses so he can spend his whole salary on himself, eating out, video games, etc.

I am such a meanie!!

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11864   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8733431

 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 11:49 PM on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

Haha t1w, thats one thing my parents did pretty well. If we wanted anything extra nice for ourselves (beyond the basics) ajd we were old enough to work... guess what? We had to work!

We are teaching our kids that too (even though theyre pretty spoiled...). DS just gave me 10$ for some specific lego pieces he wanted to order for one of his creations. I have the credit card, so ordered it online for him. He had the cash, so no problem. So easy.

Yeah, worlds smallest violin for your son who thinks he doesnt need to pay his own way laugh

You are NOT the meanie there, youre just giving him a preview of reality for when he moves out grin

WW Dday July 2019

posts: 656   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8733437

 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 12:12 AM on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

Wow tush, rereading your post...

WTF. Growing up in a family that bruised your face and taught you to lie and hide it? That blamed you for it??!? Holy shit.

I am so sorry you had to grow up like that.

The more I hear backstories like yours, the more I am convinced that a large chunk of people here on both sides of the WS/BS divide have come from abusive backgrounds.

Such a waste. Really working to clean up my mess. Doesnt help when mother decided to upend a bucket of her own word vomit on us today.

Yep. Phones have the block option for a reason...

WW Dday July 2019

posts: 656   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8733444

zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 12:29 AM on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

It helped me a little when my abusive poor excuse for a father died. I know that sounds horrible but I did not shed one tear for him.

I was frequently sick as a child. I used to hide in my closet when coughing so I wouldn't bother anyone or get in trouble. All while being subjected to his second hand smoke.

He was so awful to me even when I was an adult. I could not completely cut him out of my life because my lovely mother suffered a life altering debilitating medical event at an early age and he had "control" of her.

I am sorry for all who have suffered at the hands of these horrible people and have to live with the damage that lingers.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 2761   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8733447

secondtime ( member #58162) posted at 3:59 AM on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

My mom is likely borderline, so a related cousin.

Not only did she manage to make my cancer treatment all about her, but my mom's idea of supporting me during chemo was to tell me things like I was one of the worst things that ever happened to her and that I was going to die before her. My mom is 76. I'm 46..and I should reasonably expect to make it to 5 years after treatment.

Telling my mom how she affected me is just wasted energy. My mom just isn't capable of understanding that she has any responsibility. Can't be held responsible for your behavior if you are the victim 100% of the time.. And, of course since mom is always right, there's no way she can be wrong. So, she's conveniently absolved herself from everything.

FFS, my dad died 15 months ago. and this past week, she told me a story about how she was right and dad was wrong. I can't even imagine having such a strong need to be right that you have bring up a god-knows how old story about your dead spouse as a data point.

My mom also had some idea of how her behavior affected me. I was a self-injurer by the time I was 10. Mom made sure to rug-sweep that.

I'm the only person that checks up on her more than once every 1-2 months.

[This message edited by secondtime at 4:00 AM, Wednesday, May 4th]

posts: 1062   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2017
id 8733476

 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 1:57 PM on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

Hi Second Time,

Yeah, that's what makes me sad. That there's really no one that's going to visit her regularly at her care home (when we need to put her in it). She's missing out on a lot. We've pushed her out of our lives to a great extent. It's got to be difficult and painful to her, but she keeps doubling down on her behavior.

Like another poster said about their mom, has to be right all the time, at the expense even of her family ties. I feel like she knows she's wrong, that she's done some things she regrets, but she can't admit that to us or even herself since her whole sense of self esteem or whatever will come crashing down. She's got a lifetime of blaming others for her choices behind her. I had a hard enough time confronting 30+ years of my own poor choices. Nearly wrecked me. I can't imagine what her own self-reckoning will be like.

At this point, it's probably just easier for her (as she turns 69 this year) to keep going the way she has always gone. I mean, really, with her heavy smoking, she could either live to nearly 100 (like her chain smoking mom did) or die of pneumonia before she's 80.

I think too their generation got so much screwed up (by their fruits you'll know them...) that it's hard to admit that on certain things, they were wrong.

I don't know, makes me sad.

WW Dday July 2019

posts: 656   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8733526

whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 3:28 PM on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

Thanks for this post, because it's good to share these crazy stories about our crazy parents who make EVERYTHING about themselves. We are not alone! The worst is seeing them try the same crap on the grandkids that they did with us. One of the best parts about growing into an adult was just telling Mom nope, my kids, my rules, you want to see them, this is how my family works. She thinks I'm a controlling bitch, and can't see that I learned a lot from her, let alone see an opposing point of view. There is her way and the wrong way.

I could write a book about the futility of trying to advocate for yourself with a narcissist parent. It is a game that can't be won. Every attempt to counter the selfishness disguised as love is met with anger, pouting, crying, passive aggression or suicidal threats. To disagree with or contradict her is proof that you don't love her. Love comes with strings attached. Childhood was filled with landmines and guilt bombs and resentment all around. Adulthood still has some of that too, it ripples.

I am the only child to have children. Mom wants to know what she did wrong to my siblings to make them not want children. She may have contributed to the decision, but can't see any other reasons why people choose not to have kids, or to even acknowledge that she may not be a factor in their life choices. It has to be about her.

I am the only one of my siblings who is not a current or recovering alcoholic, for the most part. Mom doesn't know what she did wrong for them to be alcoholics, and claims it couldn't have come from her side of the family. She had only one sibling, a recovering drug addict and lifelong alcoholic. We grew up around alcoholics on all sides of the family. I quit drinking for 6 years after I near died from an overdose of prescription pain killers and binge drinking at 15. When I awoke, her first words were "How could you do this to me?" Me, me, me! We never addressed the drugs and alcohol or the secrets that drove me to that point, she never asked if I was OK in any way, or saw me for the troubled teen I was, just the embarrassment I caused.

When I escaped the drama and trauma to go to the state university on student loans, financial aid and part time jobs, she charged me rent when I was home for winter and summer breaks and complained to her friends what a strain it was financially with me in college. The only strain was co-signing my loans, which I paid back in full on my own. I honestly think she is more jealous than proud of me for graduating college as she dropped out and never finished. She's probably bewildered that her messed up daughter accomplished anything after being such a disappointment.

I believe that she never expected me or my siblings to actually be human beings with feelings or thoughts of our own. We were all just a reflection of herself and props in the movie of her life. We were supposed to make her shine and all we did was disappoint her. I have come to understand that her mental problems include narcissism, depression and dramatic suicidal ideations for most of her life. Our childhoods were full of episodes of trying not to upset her, or to get her to stop crying, or looking for her when she would just walk out of the house and disappear for hours, usually crying and waiting for someone to find her. I coped by shutting down around her and shutting her out of all my thoughts and giving her only the most superficial parts of myself. It has taken me decades to find a way to pity rather than resent her and to be kind to her without allowing myself to be further damaged by her damage. I thank my lucky stars for a kind and loving father, who's biggest flaw was loving a damaged woman too much. He could never make her happy either, but he tried, we all tried but it was never enough.

I moved very far away which helps, it's easy to be kind over the phone and I haven't visited since Covid began, which for me is a blessing. She is a compulsive shopper and hoarder and it has gone into overdrive since Dad died. She is an overgifter, never thoughtful or necessary, just stuff. I don't do stuff, neither do my siblings. We have repeatedly asked her to stop because we don't like it or need it and she can't afford it. We were told that gift giving is about the giver and we were being selfish not appreciating her gifts. Let that one sink in. It is too much. She is too much. She has never been and never will be happy, even in the supposedly happiest moments of her life. For years I likened her to a black hole, sucking the life out of me whenever I got too close. I have found a distant and stable orbit.

I parented the polar opposite of her, I never took my kids for granted, and I worked hard to make their lives not about me or my dreams for them but about their dreams for themselves. I think I did ok, and at least I know I did my best and selfishness never drove a single decision I made for them. I think we have two choices given difficult childhoods. We can carry on the disfunction, or we can recognize it and try to break the cycle. I know a lot of it is genetics and luck but I hope it helped that I never made them feel belittled or insignificant or unloved. I hope I broke the cycle.

BW: 62 WH: 62 Both 57 on Dday, M 35 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays, years of trickle truth.
I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

posts: 371   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8733541

 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 4:14 PM on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

WILA, are you my sister??

We were all just a reflection of herself and props in the movie of her life.

We were told that gift giving is about the giver and we were being selfish not appreciating her gifts.

This is my mom to a T! Mom started ratcheting up the hate and anger and "so disappointed in you" talk after I became Catholic and decided to marry the man I did after she basically told me I'm ruining my life marrying him as I was going out the door to get my hair done on my wedding day. That one still stings, especially knowing how I've fucked up my M. She still doesn't know about my A. Unless my sisters told her, but I don't think they have. They know she'd make it all about her and only add to the shit sandwich my husband and I are eating. I can hear her now, "see, I was right. You shouldn't have married him from the start! How could he possibly have made you happy?"

I think a big part of my baggage pre-A was that I had to see my worth reflected in BH's eyes. When he didn't affirm me and criticized instead, I lost hope in him loving me. Felt like he never would and I'd always be less than the other women he wanted me to be like. Kinda like my mom- I had to do certain things, act certain ways, show interests in HER interests or I wouldn't "earn" her love.

Congrats to you that you've worked to break the cycle. Congrats to you that you worked your way through college. I'm sorry that none of us had the parents we deserved. I'm working to change that and working to be a better parent worthy of my kids. Still hard, sometimes I find myself parenting them so I can "see my worth reflected in them" by their approval. Still, BH's helped me discipline them. Also, growing up being my mom's "best friend" and therapist at times, I make a point to thank my kids when they're showing compassion on my bad days, but clearly tell them it's NOT THEIR JOB to cheer me up. But that I'm proud of the compassionate people they are.

I don't know, I have great kids. I don't know how much credit I can take beyond making it absolutely clear they're not to grow up to be bullying assholes. Do anything else you want, but disrespect and intentional unkindness are unacceptable.

Just last night we were talking and I asked them as a check in, "am I a perfect parent?" They laughed and said "NOOOO" and we all laughed. Then I asked, "am I a horrible parent?" They laughed and said, "NOOOO" as we all laughed. laugh I want them to know I'm human too and that we will always figure this life out together.

I'm so blessed.

WW Dday July 2019

posts: 656   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8733548

OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 1:32 AM on Thursday, May 5th, 2022

She responded, "My hurtful behavior? That's rich coming from you."

Omg, if I had a cent for every time my mom has said something like this to me, I would be the owner of Twitter, not Elon Musk.

My mother's narcissism has colored my entire life. I fight the damage daily. I have her to thank for training me to believe that A. abuse was just another form of love, and B. and you just need to TRY HARDER to earn that love.

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 1:33 AM, Thursday, May 5th]

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5467   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8733624

whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 3:42 PM on Thursday, May 5th, 2022

MIGander, lol, who knows, maybe we are related! I think it's great you and your kids have the relationship you do and that you can have a good laugh together. I think laughter and a good sense of humor are the best coping tools and the best gift we can give our kids besides unconditional love.

Honestly the hardest part about parenting for me was my youngest, who used tears and emotional manipulation to try and get her way. Luckily I recognized that she was triggering me because that's how my Mom worked. It was bizarre trying to be a parent to a child who triggered me like my parent did. I struggled for a while handling that until she grew up a bit, and I'm happy to say she is a kind, loving and mostly stable person now. She has the genetic tendency toward depression too, but I think it helps to talk openly about these things, to look around at the family base and see the parallels and to try to work through the emotions with openness and honesty. It was the secrets that kept a cloud over our childhood home. Never talk about what is actually happening, just pretend it isn't. It also helped her that her college had a massive mental health program called it's Ok to not be OK, because it helped remove some of the stigma of being depressed and opened a door to discussing such things and getting help before things spiraled.

I remember reading something when the kids were little about the danger of secrets, because kids hear and see so much more than we think they do, and in the absence of facts they will make up their own. I tried to make sure my kids had the facts. My sister thought I burdened them with too much truth, and thought I was adding to their issues by sharing what was going on in the family like medical or financial issues, but I had to be sure they didn't fill in the blanks with the wrong stuff. It turns out my plan was OK because they turned out OK too and have thanked me for the honesty program. It has helped them to be better people I think, to have my dysfunctional family as an example of what not to do, or how easily things can get off kilter.

I wrote in another thread though, that it is one of my greatest stumbling blocks with the infidelity program that my protective parenting style was in conflict with my H's overbearing style, and he used that rift to justify straying from me. I got parenting right, but marriage wrong I guess. You can't win them all!

Good luck navigating the land mines and black holes of the narcissist in your life. Just being able to identify it for what it is helps tremendously I think, and helps stop their ability to trigger and manipulate and frustrate the rest of us.

BW: 62 WH: 62 Both 57 on Dday, M 35 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays, years of trickle truth.
I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

posts: 371   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8733682

humantrampoline ( member #61458) posted at 8:50 PM on Thursday, May 5th, 2022

I don't have any firsthand experience of this with my mother, so take my comments with that in mind. My father was horrid, but he wasn't around much. My mother was my primary family influence, and I would have suffered more if that weren't the case.

The stories here reminded me of a TV series called Better Things. The main character's mother is difficult and outright lies about things that the daughter claims happened or were said to her in her past. That would drive me crazy. Still, their relationship is complicated and the daughter keeps trying with her mother. I understand that part.

posts: 529   ·   registered: Nov. 17th, 2017
id 8733726

gmc94 ( Guide #62810) posted at 2:26 AM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

🙋‍♀️Me too. And adding cognitive decline to the situation REALLY exacerbates things. I detached about 15 yrs ago, only call on bday and Xmas, etc.

But last year, all the health and cognition issues came down with a thunderous crash. This year I got POA for my parent, arranging their finances, dealing with home care, about to start Medicaid paperwork, made three trips across the county in the last 9 months, etc the list goes on & on…. For someone who abandoned me and my then 12yo sibling when I was 16…. the one who NEVER sent a bday or Xmas gift or even a greeting card to any of their 6 grandkids but thinks they are a model grandparent 🤔

So, I’m trying my best to just do the shrug with their crap. It can be really hard, bc I do not like the idea of pathologizing someone, yet I am better able to cope when i do… sometimes hard to balance my own self care with that personal value, but I’m learning to prioritize self care…. So when they just spew bullshite and revisionist history, my mantra is "you can’t change a narcissist" and shrug 🤷‍♀️

There’s a great book, called Being Mortal, about ageing (given we all die someday, I recommend it) and trying to support and balance safety, our own abilities, etc with a loved one’s desire to control as much as they can in their twilight. Problem is that reading it while thinking of one’s narcissistic parent can bring up heartache (did for me). It gets a TON worse when they are living in fear and begin to lose control over basics, and are no longer mentally able to spin their charm.

ETA: one of the greatest “gifts” ( tho I still sometimes feel the bile in my throat using that word in this context) of the infidelity shitshow has been seeing ways in which I sucked at parenting, apologizing, learning to own and atone, and change. Today I love my kids, warts and all, more deeply than I could have imagined. We have managed to forge bigger & better bonds and emotional trust, we’ve had some painful and complex “come to Jesus” moments, and I am so egging grateful for their courage and love and patience. Really blows my mind. Basically, I think I’ve done with/for my kids, what I’ve wanted from my WH since dday (pity he can’t even learn from that example 🤷‍♀️)

[This message edited by gmc94 at 2:39 AM, Friday, May 6th]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3790   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8733781

whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 4:33 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

gmc, sympathies for what you are going through - you are a saint for caring as much as you do. The cognitive decline is awful, especially when combined with the narcissist personality. It seems with mine, the more help they need, the more they resent the help that is given, or use the efforts to help as evidence of control, or proof that we don't love them. It is a thankless, no win situation.

My mother went on a cruise and shopping spree after Dad died and maxed out three credit cards, on a just above poverty level social security income. That one took a few years to sort out, with lots of fighting with her and the CC companies. I managed to get most of the balance forgiven, because they were predatory and kept sending her enticing new offers when she was in default.

I learned that if you buy thousands of dollars worth of jewelry on a cruise, none of it is returnable, and none of it is worth half of what was paid for it. Infuriating and grossly irresponsible. She said she was acting out her grief. She is hateful as heck about the whole ordeal, very resentful and brings it up often - how disrespectfully we spoke to her about managing her finances and never so much as a thank you for helping save the house, or pay for every repair and necessity since then. It's infuriating.

It is only going to get worse and in our family the body outlasts the mind by far too long. I don't know how this will end up, but as the most functional but farthest away, I have a ton of guilt about what I can and cannot do. The closest sibling has a very strained relationship and they fight a lot. My sib is horribly triggered by the hoard and can't even go in the house any more. I keep hoping mom will get to the point where we can get a POA, but she is on her game in front of all the doctors and has them fooled pretty well. I keep waiting for the big decline but we are in a strange limbo right now.

I hope this gets easier and not harder for you. Thanks for the book reco, and I agree, both my FOO parental issues and my infidelity shit show have made me a much better person and parent. I still think I could have gotten here on my own though without all the baggage and heartache.

[This message edited by whatisloveanyway at 4:34 PM, Friday, May 6th]

BW: 62 WH: 62 Both 57 on Dday, M 35 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays, years of trickle truth.
I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

posts: 371   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8733965
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