I just need to get this out...

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I'm new here, I have been looking for a place to connect with other caregivers, but I haven't been sure where to find the right fit because of how my mother is. Though, having just been reading for a few days, it seems like there are others here dealing with similar mothers or people like my mother. My mother has NPD, and though most narcissists aren't diagnosed, I know this is what she has. I've spent my whole life dealing with it. At the end of August this year she went into the hospital and was treated for AML (Acute Myelogenous Leukemia) She had her induction Chemo, which caused other problems, and we learned that she has MDS (Myelodysplastic syndrome). She now has Interstitial Pneumonitis, Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is oxygen dependent and has developed a Pulmonary Embolism. These are all things she is under care for. In a couple of weeks we will be going to Stanford for a consultation to talk about if she is or would be able to have a bone marrow transplant, to cure the MDS. Needless to say, she has a host of crap going on right now medically. I live at home and have become her caregiver. My Dad isn't much help, for a few reasons. He's not very clean, so I don't trust him to do a lot because I fear him infecting all of us or making things worse. My Brother is also no help, nor are we on good terms or do I trust him or feel secure that he'd take care of things properly. He's always got an agenda, and it's difficult to trust someone who you fear will steal from you or put his own interests ahead of the needs of the moment. My folks can not afford an outside caregiver to assist me, nor would they ever allow it. Being that I live here I really have no say. That being the position I am in, it's a bit pointless to discuss options in those areas because there just are none, and I accept that part. Having learned about NPD in recent years, I've been on a path to get my emotional well being into a better place. It's been a difficult and slow process. I've learned to set boundaries, learned a lot of ways to avoid things since I can't go no-contact, and in the last year things had finally gotten to a mostly reasonable and tolerable place. Then this medical crap happened, and the whole shebang changed. I've been dealing with everything, and I do mean everything, from the family trust, to cooking to being involved in her medical care in every way, to cooking and cleaning, doling out her medicine, etc all of it. I have been having moments of utter hitting bottom. I could explain how toxic she is but anyone with a NPD person in their life will know. At this point, the hardest part is the rollercoaster. She's surviving on her medications, her white blood cells are extremely low, has had to get blood transfusions, and I just feel like her body is dying, but her spirit is so fierce. I really hate her some days, not because of the illness, but because of how she is to people, to me. Part of me wishes she would just die, and there is a load of guilt for feeling like that. Then other days I say to myself I really don't wish she was dead, I just wish she wasn't so mean cruel hurtful and toxic, I wish she would just change. Anybody who knows what dealing with an NPD person is like knows all too well that they will never change. I think right now what I fear most is the knowledge that she is going to die without the transplant. The transplant itself is a very risky thing but she's decided that if they will do it, she's going to do it. I don't know what I want, while I don't want her to die, her dying would also feel like freedom. Not just from the recent caregiving, but freedom from her as she has always been. The rollercoaster of emotions is harsh right now. While I don't wish her ill or dead, because that isn't who I am, the anger hurt and frustrations of everything for the past 40 some years, it does crop up those thoughts that I wish she would just die, and I hate it. The biggest fear though comes from all of this. I will lose my mom, and though she has never been the kind of mom I have always needed and wanted, loving, affectionate supportive, caring, the only chance or hope that I have left - that hope that some day maybe she will (though deep down I know really she never will) dies or will die with her. I can't contend with that right now. It comes and goes and it causes debilitating depression for me. I have to force myself to get out of bed, and care enough to take care of her. It's so hard because I have no one to talk to, and telling people about how horrible she can be but still caring because she is the only mother I will ever have, it does make me seem like the crazy one. I don't know where to go to talk about the overwhelming feelings. I can manage the caregiving fine, and it is out of obligation, and love because while she is horrible, I do still love her, but I hate her so much too and I have so much anger. It's just, so hard and I needed to get it out I guess. If you read this, Thank you. :)

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I grew up with my Mother and older sister having NPD, one younger sister with Schizoaffective Disorder and one who is Bi-Polar, OCD, and severe paranoia. No one understands mental illness until they are in the eye of the chaos and drama of it. My mother put me through hell my entire life and when I finally put my foot down with her, she stopped talking to me. I had stopped talking to my oldest sister and younger sister ten years ago and the sister I was closet to last year. While I felt terrible about, my life is so much better without the constant stress. and drama. I'm not sure if there are any around where you live, but have you thought of seeking out a NAMI group? I know they have support groups which may be very helpful to you in your situation. I completely understand where you're coming from and it's tough. Don't forget about you and your health, you need to focus on yourself too. Best of luck to you.
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Darkjewel - What really resonated with me was your holding onto the hope, even knowing it's a lost hope, that your mother will change and become a loving mother to you before she dies. And your fear of giving up that possibility, even though you know in your heart it will never happen that way. I saw that in my own family, with my mother and my siblings, and it was/is very sad. (It didn't affect me because Mom chose me as her mini-me, and her narcissistic source, and I was so desperate to get out from under the control and manipulation that I rejected her "mothering" from a very young age." Even now as her caregiver I'm unmoved by her "pretend" affection and gratitude, knowing how fake it is.)

What I would recommend for you, if you can possibly find the time for it, is some therapeutic counseling. It did a lot for me in trying to establish boundaries with my mother in the early stages of caregiving. If you can't find the time or energy right now, then at least keep coming back and talking to us and letting us talk to you. We're always here and ready to help another struggling caregiver.
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Do the best you can and forget the guilt! Guilt will Only pull you down. Do what you can do and remember to be good to yourself.
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Dark Jewel, you sound so sad. I haven't been where you are but your pain reaches right out through the computer. Please know that people here can relate to your story so keep reaching out. God Bless!
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Darkjewell,
Thank you for joining us during Christmas, and I hope you can find time to return.
Also, I hope that Stanford can give your Mother what she needs to feel better.

You express yourself very well, and your feelings are so understandable. Please feel welcome to come back. I am not dealing with what you are, but I read your post, and considered how hard it would be to reconcile all those thoughts and feelings at once.

Take care of yourself.
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Welcome Dark Jewel,
My mom is/was a narcissist also. It never seemed to bother her to say mean things-you're too fat, your hair is ugly, etc. She always had the best. She thought of herself as a queen. She was jealous of me because I would take the attention away from her.

I loved her as a very young child but it didn't take long to see the situation for what it was. I grew indifferent as a teen, then just ignored her as an adult. I, like you, always wanted the warm, loving mother that other girls seemed to have. That wasn't happening.

I noticed her dementia around 5 years ago. Since I'm an only child, I was the one to take control of the situation. She is going into stage 7 Alzheimer's now and the narcissism is pretty much over. She's so out of it that there's no way for her to focus on herself.

Please loose the guilt. I had to. We are the products of our mother's upbringing. If they wouldn't have been the way they were, then we wouldn't feel the things we do. It's OK that we aren't dripping with love for someone who could cut through our emotions with a carving knife. We are doing the "right" thing by caring for them but we realize (and are thankful) that we aren't LIKE them. Be glad that you turned out so well IN SPITE of being raised by a narcissist. Feel bad for her that she's incapable of all the love that we can give so freely. Thank God we're normal.

Of course you want an end to her suffering (both emotional and physical). Nothing wrong with that. And it's OK that you get mad at her indifference, nastiness and self-centered ways. Nothing wrong with that either. When she passes, you will grieve for the mother you never had, so will I. But the silver lining to this cloud is that WE are good people and we need to recognize it and nature it.

Let us know how everything works out.
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DarkJewel, the book that started me on the path to freedom was called Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud, and I just found a website they have too. Those resources might be useful while you are at the hospital killing time.

What I've learned and you know academically is that people with NPD are not capable of change. I had to let go my fantasy of having a mommy, or even a mother. She was always missing something important inside, which is why I spell it "mthr." Once I let that ideal go, I needed to respect her adult choices. If she wants to live in squalor, that's fine. But I do not visit anyone living in squalor, so I would not visit her at her house nor would I clean it.

The opposite of love is not hate; it is indifference. Respecting adult choices, even bad ones, shows reverence for our parents. Allowing them to live with the consequences of their choices is another way of allowing their choice to stand.

If your mthr wants your father to take care of her, fine, she picked him. If she tells you to leave, or to move out, fine, do. Take her at her word. If she says she will kill herself for any reason, believe her, and call 911. The best way to let our narcissists know that we respect them is to believe they mean what they say.

I know these are hard words to digest, but they saved my life and I found freedom. I have taken care of mthr 5.5 years now in a memory care close to me. I pity the old woman who ran off every person who might have had an interest in her life. She will never be my mommy.
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((((((hugs))))) You are a good person - a very good person. One of my "themes" about my narc mother and sis are that they really don't know me. They have created a "me" that serves their purposes. Their loss! Your mother's loss too, not to see what a wonderful daughter she has. We have to give up those dreams of our narc mother ever being loving in the way that we need it. They can't do it. My relationships with extended family and non blood "relatives" have helped me so much. Hope you have some peace today.
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You sound so bereft I just wanted to sent you a cyber hug this morning
(((HUGS)))
Sorry that it's not quite as good as the real thing.
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I wish you a new start in 2018, too; and better health for your mother.

Maybe a bit more work on those boundaries, hm?

Big hugs to you, and peace this Christmas day.
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