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My elderly parents have always been users, demanding, manipulative, sarcastic, and controlling. So, why would I think anything would change now that they are older? One can dream I suppose. However, now that they have limited computer knowledge, their bullying tactics are cyber related. My parents must sit all day and think up ways to push my buttons. They have now resorted to forwarding emails to me about my politics, weight, marriage status and whatever else they can dream up. And then, when face to face, they simply act like they never sent any of those things to me.

My nerves are rattled because of this and they know it. One of the emails said they question my intelligence because of my political views. I am the only daughter in our family of five. I live the closest to them, and I am the one who is called to take them places, fix things, cut grass, clean the house, organize, etc. Recently (within last few months), I have distanced myself from them. Not calling or going to see them as much. I am guessing this is why they are bullying me. I am single with grown children, and I work full-time.

They also call family members and gossip about me. My siblings know exactly how my parents are, so that doesn't bother me so much. But they also call my aunts, uncles, and cousins and their neighbors to discuss my business. I have been told by family members that these are the only parents I have and that I should help them more.....WTH! When I am around their friends or neighbors, I get the cold shoulder, so I know I am being talked about behind my back.

When does this stop? My parents are in their 80's and still sharp.....obviously. And when they have had health issues over the years....strokes, heart disease, eye problems, pneumonia, ER visits, hospitalizations, etc., guess who went to stay with them? Sometimes, around the clock....cooking, cleaning, shopping and you name it. I know it will never stop no matter what I do or how I react. I just needed to vent today. Thanks for listening.

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Beautifulsc - Please take care of yourself first. They will never realise their narcissistic selfishness and they will never say they are sorry. Don't waste your life. I did and it wasn't worth it!
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My parents are now 79 and 84 and they are even worse than when they were younger. My mother has always been a bully since I was in early childhood. It has taken until my 40's to fully realize what drives her--insecurity. She was a child in Europe during World War 2 and the trauma from that molded her. (She moved to North America when she was a young woman). She has always domineered my father who is a passive type and allows it. Because of these dynamics, my brothers and I have suffered and still do. Now she sends e-mails to me that are superficial but frequent just to get attention. She sugarcoats her life and does not tell me negative things that happen in her life (my brothers inform me). I still feel like I don't really know her. It is difficult to deal with because I really have no advocate helping me.
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As A CNA I am seeing more of this in the facilities. Sadly we are their new victims and worse..we are not being protected. Thank you for writing truth. We need to speak more about this growing problem.
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Very helpful advice. Thank you.
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+FedUpNow, for my whole life [now retirement age], abusive behaviors have been very hard to pin on anyone, unless they are blatant, visual, can't ignore.

1st Hurdle: Identifying what's really going on. Too many people in relationships like this, the abused person can't even see what it is, because they grew up with it as "normal", making excuses and reasons for it to exist, and believing desperately, when abusers tell them they'll never do it again.
2nd Hurdle: Talking about it openly--that's still a problem. And Reporting to officials--making a paper trail! Be persistent.
3rd Hurdle: Getting officials and agencies to listen and respond appropriately. Doctors need to properly evaluate and treat; Social workers need to properly evaluate, guide, plan and assist. Be persistent.
4th Hurdle: Learning to set firm, rational, reasonable limits on other's use of you, and your resources....and stick to them~!
And so-on.

Documenting injuries, documenting the daily verbals, has gotten a Little easier, but unless you take physical wounds to the E.R., or at least the Doctor, officials tend to not believe your reports.
If reports are not done within about 24 hrs of the event, tops, police tend to think you're faking it, and don't want to write it up--especially if you exist in an area with high rates of abusive behaviors per population-----they dislike writing reports anyway, and I've seen enough of those to understand there'a a significant error rate......which means, you must return to the station to file an "amended report" within I think, a 72-hr time frame.......if you think police dislike filing the 1st report, wait until you need to file an amended report!!!
Officials, Social Workers, etc., habitually fail to identify that abuse is happening to caregivers.......or do anything about it to constructively help. While I am sure there are some out there who do their tasks right, too many don't., especially in areas with slim resources.
Laws have been passed to protect elders and children from abuse, but Nothing to protect caregivers. There's so much lying, by abusers, to cover their behinds, be they parents or others, it's unreal...even judges cover-up, aid and abet.

BEST PRACTICE:
1. Get counseling that is supportive and helpful--not all are--keep looking if necessary. Tell the counselor you need more and better coping skill tools.
2. Learn to set rational, firm limits on other's use of you--and stick to them!! Setting limits, then changing them, lets the offender know they can keep doing it and get away with it.
3. Keep daily notes/diary/calendar of whatever your abusive person says or does; it's court-evidence, if you need it.
4. Talk about it. Take pictures of injuries for records. If one place refuses to be supportive and take reports, contact others. Online is a huge venue to talk, to ask advice, to find better ways to handle things.

Bullying and abuse can never go away, if so many people keep allowing it to go on. It happens every day, in large and small ways--mostly small ways, because few notice them....from the woman at the desk in City Hall telling a resident she was the only one complaining about the toxic VOC's in the renovation products [causing breathing problems], or a School Principal telling a parent trying to take their child out of a public school where he'd been bullied routinely, daily, for several years, "That's not going to solve the problem" while he reported it as child abuse at home....to police refusing to take reports of elder abusing caregiver, because the caregiver had to wait 3 days to call to make the report [no phone]; or telling parents not to worry--kids picking on kids teaches them to "toughen up".
Bullying is pervasive, insidious, and impossible to enumerate all the subtle, little ways of bullying our society tacitly approves of, often, because some are right on the edge of being OK and helpful behaviors.

But please understand: people tend to treat us the way we show them to treat us, too.
Each of us must Learn what we are doing that helps an abuser keep thinking they can do that......adult abusers usually teach children how to be that way as a small child......learn to identify that in its variety; what it looked like as a child, what it morphed into as one grew up, then, learn to be different, healthier in one's relationships.
It's really an eye-opener!
Keep holding to your Spiritual traditions, keep up with some friends, participate in your community--because that's part of "having a life"....and it can keep you alive and breathing, while you are trying to learn to do better.

Help yourself be the best person you can be, and leave the rest behind.
You can love and respect your parents--- from a safe distance!
Do what you must to achieve your bests self;
Find friends who are supportive and live on a higher level of happiness;
Choose better to be better.
We can be grateful even for the hard lessons, because those clear the way for better, if we allow it.
Love, with much Gratitude.
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My mother is quite a piece of work. Not enough room here...I was born when she was 20 and I look nothing like her. Two strikes against me when dealing with a self centered narcissist! She has said that she 'just never bonded when you were a baby' to me. Ha! It is so hurtful and outrageous beyond words. So. That had to be MY fault and she has punished me all my life (60 this year). A few years ago I organized an 80th birthday cruise for my dad. I have had historically a fairly good relationship with him except for the fact that I learned in counseling 30 years ago that he's as bad as she is - he just keeps his nose clean so he can look like the good guy to everybody and I began to open my eyes then and hold him accountable too. But, life is short, so I thought. We live in a vacation state (Fla) and they began making our home their month long destination when we got here. Each time my mother would go slamming out the door for some reason, mad at me or my dad, he'd take it and want me to as well. I told him he could but I wasn't having it anymore. This went on year after year. They never asked if they could come, just told me when. Outrageous. Repeatedly my dad and I would discuss it; I'd tell him I didn't think 'this year was going to work because Mom just cannot seem to behave and I don't want that in my home". He'd tell me I was 'too sensitive' or that he'd make sure everything went fine. Right. OK, so four years ago, 80th cruise for my dad with my four siblings. I knew my mother would be gearing for a fight. This was not all about her, she had to regain the balance of power. Details not important but she intentionally started a big problem between the two of us regarding my sister (wanted to gossip about her and I told her I wasn't listening to it and it wasn't Christian behavior, which he purports to be). Gunning for the inevitable show down, she hung up on me after screaming at me. Nobody tells her 'no'. Got a call from my dad telling me that 'we have a problem'. She was refusing to go on the trip if I did not abjectly apologize to her. I calmly told him I did nothing wrong, that I was going and they should too. We paid for it, would lose our money if we didn't go. Stuff like that. Two days later he called to find out how to get his luggage tags. They went but the entire week she was Sarah Bernhardt. Wouldn't eat at the table at night if I was there. Wouldn't talk to me. Stroked my one sister's arm in front of me while glaring at me. I had to laugh really, My husband and I paid for this trip and paid for part of their ticket. It was really miserable and I vowed never again. That B___H was willing to ruin 11 other persons' vacations to extract her pound of flesh. All about her. Since that trip I got monthly crazy, nasty letters from her. Some quoting the Bible, some telling me how she told her entire church what a horrible person I am! Finally my husband called both of them and told them to lose our number. Two years ago. Best thing he EVER did. There's more but what's the point? What I am saying is if someone is going to constantly beat on you, get away from it. I am a Christian and I honor my parents - by letting them live their lives and staying away. Nothing good was coming from any contact. It made me crazy and her crazier. No good came of it. If by some one in a million occurrence all my siblings were out of the picture and I had to 'look after' them I would manage their money well and make sure they were safe. That's it. I don't want revenge. I am just done being a punching bag.
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There are many of us out here experiencing very similar treatment. My abuse from Mom ended when my brother passed away 13 weeks ago. He lived with Mom and drained her finances for years leaving me with the mess. Mom is grateful for me finally but the memory issues are stressful. I'm being accused of stealing her misplaced hidden household items daily. I find them in her forbidden office. She stores everything in there and believes an intruder did this to her.
Paranoid & delusional. Atavan calms the manic episodes. Any advice from all of you? I'm selling her house and buying a home inside my lovely active senior community. Hiring fun intelligent caregivers under the guise of private housekeepers & cooks!
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I live by 'do the right thing even if no one else does'. That just means...doing the right thing, not taking crap. Block the emails. You don't have to 'be having that crap'. I don't go for the old forgive and forget. We have memories for a good reason. Separate yourself and be able to look your own self in the mirror each day. That's it.
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Block them. I did. It's great.
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Why would you consider this honesty "spam"? My in-laws lived to be 98 and one is 93 and I am still taking care of them and still being abused because no one else stepped in to do it. And I have been hit. See that picture of my split lip? That is from one of the times I leaned over to help one of them in bed and she clocked me. May all abusive parents rot in hell.
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Spam
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Hope they die soon.
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Don't wait for your big surprise time to come. The time is NOW. It's the only moment we have. I tried all these other solutions for the past 17 years of caregiving. It NEVER gets better. I started up freeing up time first and foremost by taking back my guilt and desire to please and ability to eat shit. NOTHING ELSE WORKS.
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But I do have a big surprise for him when the time comes.............
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RIGHT ON, FedUpNow!! That is exactly what I'm going to do......my sibling has "freeloaded" for four years, seeing my mother once a year, never ever calling either me nor her, not paying a penny toward her care, groceries etc.
That is exactly what to do!
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And you have my permission to copy my comment to your letter and send it along with yours. Don't wait.
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Take this letter you wrote to us and cc it to every friend and relative you have including your parents. Next, create a junk box and let all their critical emails go there unread. You don't need their sturm and drang in your life. Finally, notify all the slackers, the four males in your family that they can set up a schedule of when they will do their part to take care of your parents, or they can pitch in with money to PAY for a caregiver 80% of the time so you can get a break. You are not the family asswipe but that's what they will use you for as long as you allow it. Cut the cord now. You are worth it. This is your one and only life.
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Good article, says just what I have felt all along. Sometimes you must close the door to alot of things and move on.
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Wow.....what a powerful article. I hope everyone on this forum reads it. I was literally mesmerized by the content. Immediately, my mind raced back to my very difficult childhood. A sad place that I do not revisit much. Over the years, when dealing with my parents, I used to tell myself they didn't know any better. They both had miserable upbringings, so I tried to be the bigger person. Trying to stay positive and wanting to be "the good daughter." Obviously, that thinking got me no where. Will I have closure when they are six feet under? I sincerely doubt it. Will I have regrets for being a "bad daughter?" Why should I have regrets when all I ever did was reach out to them, only to be slapped back into reality? Perhaps closing the door, as the author suggested, may be my only option.
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Chimonger.....thank you so much for your valuable insight. Yes, I have probably needed counseling through-out my life because of the abuse. While, it wasn't all physical....it was mental and emotional and at times it did take away my spirit. My co-workers have asked me over the years how I managed to come away from it all a "normal" person. Honestly, I don't know what "normal" is suppose to look like.

The emails continue to come into my spam folder, but now the titles read "Wisdom" and "God" and "Forgive"......Please! My parents shudder when someone mentions a God to them. They only go to church to attend a funeral or a wedding. I think they know lightening would strike if they were to attend regular services!

I have not spoken to them since I posted on here. They are getting anxious now and I am sure they are wondering when I will "come around." However, it is spring now (sunshine and singing birds) and I am loving it. I wake up feeling refreshed. I had no idea how stressed I was when dealing with their never-ending drama. How I wish I could give this feeling of inner peace to those who are devoted caregivers. My parents just don't realize what they have given up (or maybe they do). They will both end up in nursing homes because they refuse to stop the controlling behavior.

Another big decision I have made is to put my house on the market and move from this area. It is crucial to my well-being and for my family. I will be moving closer to my sons homes. They genuinely love and care for me. How lucky I am. Thank you all for being here for me. I love this place.
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Cyberbullying is against the law even with emails. They send you any more bad emails reply back that you will go to the authorities. If you can prove they are slandering you, tell them you will sue them for defamation of character. Bullies are cowards. Stand up to them and they will back down. Distance yourself as much as possible. Bullies target victims. Bullies run from those who stand up to them.
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Excellent advice, Chimonger -- I think you covered everything!
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It's crazy-making stuff. My heart goes out to you, and I pray you find support persons and systems soon, that can best help!
I have learned:
===Never allow them under your roof, unless you have lots of OTHER staff to care for them, & they live in a wing of the house to themselves [as if that is do-able by most--really being sarcastic on that!]
---your home is a "safe place" for you, away from their behaviors.
IF you let them into your private space, after identifying those hurtful behaviors, it only allows them to do it more.

===Check your email preferences: you may be able to have the email program automatically shift emails from their email addresses to a file just for them
--that way, when you feel emotionally stronger [or with a supportive person by your side], you can take a quick look to make sure there is nothing important in them.

===An email program I found once, allowed not only automatically filing the emails from specific senders in their own files, but also bouncing a copy back at the sender---I had to do that with one relative, to put a buffer between their rages & my inbox.
With all the changes in just about every email provider, you might have to dig for that these days--otherwise, just create a folder to put their emails, unread, into, yourself.

===Get any/all communications in writing or by email
---while you might feel hurt from reading their garbage posts, it is a "paper trail" that they wrote & sent to you
---that means, it's documentation, which might be usable in court, if needed. OTHERWISE, any verbal communications, they can claim never happened.
...it's called gas-lighting, but it is also called "plausible deniability"
---which can be harmful to you.

The ONLY way I know of to catch them out AND save your own tush, is to get everything they say on paper or in an email---
---it does NOT mean you have to read it all
---only that you file it in case of need...."NEED" may be proving they have lost their wits/ability to take care of their own affairs;
OR, it might be proving [using their own words to do it] that they have been slandering you to your friends & family.

ALSO....
Brain injuries [infections, high fevers, strokes, head injuries, suffered abuses, etc.] can cause "frontal" behaviors, in their interactions with others
--sometimes they only target persons they specially pick, for reasons only they understand [[my Mom always needs at least one target person--always had someone to spew her nastiest verbiage at, and sometimes act out at]].
"Frontal" behaviors cause saying and/or doing all sorts of nasty behaviors & words, that, IF they were "normal", they'd never have said/done. It could start at any time during a person's lifetime, depending on what might have caused harm to the brain.

Brain injuries don't always mean they can't handle their own affairs; nor always mean they have some sort of dementia...
--it just means some bits of their brains got damaged, & they lost the ability to interact appropriately with others, to some degree--they no longer "govern themselves" properly. At some level, they usually know it, but cannot stop themselves.
Some might even get by in life appearing --fairly-- normal for some years, then fall back into their behaviors, and get worse over time.
Dementias only make it worse; it's hard for family especially, to figure out where the brain injury behaviors start being complicated by dementia.
WORSE, apparently, nothing can be done about it much....except to grow thicker skin, & take measures to protect yourself from it--like letting others take over the tasks of tending to their care needs, & putting distance/protections in place to prevent them doing more harm to you.

IF family members choose to believe your Mom's lies / vitriol &/or slander against you, it might be necessary to keep your distance. [[that includes telling others nothing is wrong]] Keeping their garbage in a file that can later be referred to if needed---
==but that you do NOT have to read unless you feel like you are in a stronger moment, helps you buffer the immediate fear reaction of seeing their emails in the inbox &, still lets you keep records of it that could be used to protect yourself
----those could even be used to help their Docs diagnose what their problems are, if circumstances are right for it.

In the meantime, you need to do things that heal your broken spirit, get clarity, knowledge about this stuff, to be on the strongest ground you can stand on.
IF that means asking your siblings & other family to take care of parents, DO it.
The price paid for constantly getting verbally &/or physically hurt by others, is far too dear.

Putting time between getting their letters/emails, & when/how you read them, allows looking at them in different light.
SOMEtimes any others could read those same words you interpret as hurtful, & not see that hurtful verbal dagger, because they don't know the historical context you read them through--which might help you to also see those words in different light---or not.
Once hurtful swords are spoken to an already "tenderized" person, it takes very little to rip open wounds all over again--other readers of same words are not aware of back-stories that cause a hurt person to see context others cannot.

Good counseling is really helpful---find one w/ good credentials/training/many hours of their own personal counseling to straighten out their own baggage...
...that you feel comfortable with [sometimes several counselors need be tried for a few visits, to find right one]
Many who say they are counselors have "their hearts in the right place" but lack real training for it. Nothing can take the place of proper training & process, to help others properly & not do further damage.

Butterflygirl, your story sounds real similar to mine--I too, had to leave home at 14--found a way to do that safely...just worn out ragged from being used as a bargaining chip, target for their moods & suspicions, etc.
It DOES make a hole in the heart--It's taken decades to learn enuf to let them break off relations and prevent being sucked back into their behaviors.
Children get taught by family to accept dysfunctional behaviors as "normal", which sets them up as adults to "not see the train coming" that is about to hit them again with same.
It takes plenty work to leave it behind, let it go, walk a different path without them.
Gotta stick with it, or risk more of same. It's constant process.

My best wishes /meditations /prayers, for good outcomes!
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Hi everyone, there is another thread on here - if you search "how do I deal with a narcissistic mother" you will find tons of info......most of these bullying parents are narcissists and that is the way that they have learned to get what they want, when they want, without regard to anyone else. It might not change your situation but at least you will be informed. Can't hurt!!
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Thanks for all of the above input. I definitely need that book. My mother is definitely NPD, and this forum is where I finally found a name for it. Before I was just scratching my head and couldn't figure it out. My Mom is in independent living because after a year in our house, she had to go at my insistence. Unfortunately she is still manipulating and controlling, but here's the good part......she doesn't live with me. I am trying to distance myself and be not available all the time like she thinks I should. She has been running me ragged for 2 years now. I try to take steps to disengage and she manipulates more. Yes, we do have to take control of our lives. It is so difficult. I didn't hear much about guilt trips here. My Mom is a pro at this and blaming everyone and everything but herself. She is also very sarcastic. My husband is bipolar and can't handle her. He gets upset when I talk about her and what she is doing or saying. This is a good forum to get info and other peoples take on NPD. I really appreciate all of the comments from my fellow travelers. Thanks and big hugs to all.........Marilyn
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I went to "settings" in my e-mail and found that I can delete mail w/o having to open it. I changed my settings to that. I see the title, though.
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Haaaa, butterflygrl that is funny. Part of the problem I have is my mother and brother are from a little hick southern town. Never been anywhere and they know everything. They can be as mean as anyone but they are "christains". That seems to be their pass for doing mean things to others who are "not like them". Funny, I really know where you are coming from.
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Wow- I thought I was the only one who got labeled and rejected by my family of origin. I was labeled from the outset and blamed for any problem they had. I left at the age of 14 and of course was then blamed for breaking my mother's heart. My siblings have joined in the fray all of my life and I am nothing like them anyway. They are materialists and I am not. I am cerebral and don't follow christianity either. What I did was live away from them and create my own family that accepts and loves me for who I am. When I go back to the area, they still treat me as if I am crazy and out there because they are from small hick places and I am not. It has been a deep painful crevice in my heart but I don't give it a thought nowadays. I am just thankful I finally let go of caring what they think. If they ever sent me emails such as the one they sent to you, I would reply in such a way that their computer would burst into flames and they would learn not to send me emails again. Some people should never have been parents at all in my opinion. :)
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I assume you are hanging in there for an inheritance. From my own personal experience, it won't be as much as you expect and it isn't worth it. When you have a narcissistic parent (not strict or mean, but truly selfish) leave and never look back.
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"they simply act like they never sent any of those things to me" ... it's called gaslighting ... a trick of some narcissists ... good luck - hang tight and get a good therapist if you can
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