Maybe the showdown helped.

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My mother, a life long narcissist, is 88 and in a NH with Parkinsons, dementia and stroke. Every visit is just one round of b*tching, complaining, accusations and wants - me, me, me, me - such that I dread going there. Of course she's better than the rest of the residents and stays in bed with the door closed as mingling and joining in activities is beneath her. She has no friends - refused to associate with people and ran off the few friends she had over the years. I'm an only child and her only visitor.

The latest obsession is getting her phone re-connected. It was disconnected some time ago with her approval as her speech is so slurred no-one can understand her. She also can't dial well so there was always a huge phone bill with long distance wrong numbers, though I never mentioned it to her.

I dropped by yesterday on my way shopping to see if she needed anything. The first words out of her mouth were "I want my credit note". Huh? She wanted her credit card so she could pay to have the phone connected. Um you don't pay the phone installer because you have to put a credit card in a machine. "What machine?". We went round and round on that one until she started the boo hoo you won't let me have anything stuff which didn't work.

Then came the endless complaints and miseries, lonely, bored, this place is a prison and so on and I lost it. To cut a long story short, I told her in no uncertain terms that no-one but her is responsible for her happiness and entertainment and she could either get off her butt and try to mingle and join in some activities or she could continue to lay in bed, be miserable and rot away, her choice.

When I returned with her errands she was freshly dressed and meandering along the hallways in her wheelchair with a smile on her face. I'm not sure how long it will last but the blast I gave her seems to have worked, for now anyway.

8 Comments

She knew truth when she heard it. I hope it keeps working. Fingers crossed.
Good Show!! She's probably having a lot of fun when you are not looking.
Actually Pam she's not. The staff and social worker have been trying to get her going the whole year and half she's been there with no luck. As far as I'm concerned she'll straighten up or the only place she'll find sympathy is in a dictionary.
Mother was the same way in rehab. Door had to stay closed; didn't want just anyone to see her. Ate in her room; you don't know who is in the cafeteria. No socializing; someone may want something. I can't imagine being that way. She never complained, this was the way she wanted her life.
i wouldnt socialize in such a setting either but i think you did great ash . my mom required reinforcement occasionally in the form of a loving azz chewing too . she was almost seeking out such a remedy . hard to explain but her fears and self pity would get so out of control that she needed some consistant facts administered rectally / size 12 boot ..
Good for you for standing up to her! Getting out of her room will do her good.

Who was she intending to call if she has no friends and you're an only child? I give her props for knowing how to use a cell phone. My MIL is 80, and she doesn't know how to use the very basic pre-paid phone that my brother-in-law got for her to use if she's ever out and about somewhere and runs into an emergency. I had to figure out what her number was, as she had no clue, but she had one of her hissy fits before I could show her how to use it, so I let the matter drop. You can teach an old dog new tricks, but not if the old dog is a controlling narcissist who doesn't want to listen.
The e-reader I bought her "went too fast" (her words) despite the fact that I assured her the nice lady at Barnes & Noble would be happy to show her how to master it so the virtual pages would turn slowly. She returned it and used the money to buy art supplies, because she's going to become a great artist like Grandma Moses, whose works will be frantically sought after by collectors. Not going to happen, but narcissists live in eternal hope that someday, the world will recognize their greatness.
It looks like the boot up the backside may have worked. When I got home at supper time yesterday from an errand trip into the city there was a voicemail from the NH director. On hearing his voice my blood ran cold but he was just letting me know that mother had requested to be moved to another room across the hall with a view of the garden and they were in process of moving her. So it seems that she has been out and about, noticed the room was empty, liked it and arranged for the move herself. Yesssss!

In future I must remember which boot I used! :)
Well let me know; I'm sure I'll need it! :)

Sharon

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