After a recent mild stroke, two years ago now, my narcissistic mother is using the experience to manipulate my brother and I. The stroke was so mild that it has not left her with any physical disabilities. She is not even weaker on one side. The only damage is to her speech. She immediately stopped the speech therapy because she said that it was not helping. The truth is, she didn't try because she doesn't want to get well. She needs a reason for her children to feel sorry for her and come do whatever she wants us to do. She has been enabling an alcoholic husband for the past 50 years and now wants us to take that over! She has cleaned up after him when he gets too drunk to control his urine and bowel urges and now wants someone else to do it. She just sits on the couch and is angry all of the time. My mother also has post-traumatic stress from the early childhood loss of her mother. She has played a major role in the dissolution of any relationships that I tried to form with anyone! My brother has never been married because he is afraid of intimacy because of our examples.
My brother and I are trying to cope and know that the next step is either home care or assisted living because my father won't take care of himself (because he has never had to) and the only way that my mother knows to get her way is to try to convince us that she can't do the things that she used to do. She has not made any effort to get back to a state of normalcy since the stroke. She is not physically disabled in any way.
I guess I just need to know that I am not alone and coping advice for the bouts with guilt and pity for them. We are trying to establish the right boundaries, while being sensitive to what they really "do" need.