I'll have to read that book- my dad dying early in my life made it very clear to me at a young age that we're going to die and have no control over when that is. It seems unfair, doesn't it? That the narc parent gets to have all this care from us when they're old (because that's what humans do for each other), but we didn't receive that from them in any consistent, affirming manner.
As I told my Girl Scout troop kids (we had a lot of entitled whiners ), "Life's not fair, it's GOOD." Finding the good in a shit situation with a parent like this is a full time job. The good I've found right now is that I'm learning from my mistakes, her mistakes and taking better care of myself and my family than I did before I questioned all of this.
The distance is hard sometimes- not because I miss her so much, but because I feel guilty. Growing up wasn't all bad. I was the golden child and there were quite a few happy memories. But as Dr. Ramani says, that's the worst part of someone who's not full blown psychopathic narc- there are good days that make you question the huge amount of bad ones.
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!
YUP YUP YUP! Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! Sheesh, you nearly died and she made it about her. Yeah, with a mom like that in your teen years... maybe it was because of her! WTF. Suicide is about YOU killing YOURSELF. Not getting back out of revenge (although that happens). My experience with it was always to do with ending the pain I was feeling or ending the pain I was causing. UGH.
Never talk about what is actually happening, just pretend it isn't.
this was my BH's family to a T. Their problems were to a smaller extent, but still... I have my days where I wonder if my MIL is a low grade covert vulnerable narc. Trying not to see everything as a nail (since I'm becoming a bit of a hammer...), but the signs and occasional behaviors are there. Plus DIL is VERY depressed and controlled by her. BH was brainwashed to over look all the bad stuff since there was a large majority of good. Just because there's difficulties doesn't mean A. you have to focus only on them or B. that the good cancels out the bad (invalidates the fact that you have a difficulty in the family). Classic self gaslighting- "well, XYZ bullshit isn't so bad because ABC was so good. It's ungrateful of me to complain about XYZ because ABC was so good."
HT, I'm interested in watching that show, but I'm afraid I'll get triggered. I tried watching Netflix's "My Unorthodox Life," but the mom was so clearly abused, brainwashed and a narc that it was too triggering. The lack of boundaries and general shit show in the first 2 episodes was overwhelming. The way they felt entitled to tell their married daughter how to run her marriage and how her respecting her H's wishes was being controlled???!? WTF. Her taking a moderate, gradual approach to introducing pants into her wardrobe was actually very respectful and the kind thing to do considering she knew she wanted to start wearing pants, but knew her H would struggle with it. Healthiest couple in the show getting berated by the brainwashed. UGH.
Thanks everyone for the posts, they've been really helpful.