My Mom is my stress!

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My 71 year old narscasistic mother relies on my oldest daughter and myself to be her happiness and to entertain her. She talks non stop, shops away every dime she gets and tries to control everything we do. She had a fit because she found out that we were discussing a vacatithat(with no intention of inviting her). My daughter said we just won't go or gram will be hurt! I know many people vacationing for spring break and none of them are taking their parents. Mom says we don't like her or want to be around her and honestly, it's true. She sucks the life out of us! The only time anyone gets to talk, when she is around, is when she is pouting and giving us the silent treatment. She attempts to manipulate everyone. She had my younger daughter, with no drivers license drive her one day because she got suddenly very ill. About 10 minutes from home they pulled over and mom drove. She told my daughter, see, I'm pulling into the driveway so we can say I drove home and it won't be a lie. She's done this type of stuff all my life and I hate it! She has a nice home, car, and income but she's been arrested for stealing several times. She's a fake living a lie. She tells people what she wants them to think or partial truths. It's rather scary! I feel obligated to be there for her, only because she is my mother but if she wasn't I'd have nothing to do with her and it causes me guilt!

9 Comments

Curious, why at the young age of 71 and with her able to drive and shop until she drops, you and your daughters are living with her?
Oh neither of us live with her. We have our own homes!
Two options...set boundaries, say no, maintain a healthy relationship with your daughter. Or keep doing what you all are doing so your mom is happy and her feelings aren't hurt. There are some really good posts on this forum about boundaries and FOG. I really suggest you read thru them and implement some of the thoughts, as in the next 10-15 years, you may well need to be a caregiver for Mom.
Mother cannot rely on your oldest daughter and you to be her happiness and to entertain her if you do not accept that role. And why on earth would you accept that role?
You and your daughter have your own life to tend to! Stop being her entertainment center. Happy is up to her for it comes from the inside.

My wife's mother is one of those narcissistic people who sucks the life out of people. She's never taken a vacation or taken her girls on a vacation although she is loaded with money, but she use to demand to go on our vacations and then complain about how stupid it is to invest in a time share like the fancy one we had traded in for to visit Orlando in. We stopped taking her on vacations and everyone was happier. MIL pouted, but she got over it. My wife found it awkward to cause her mother some discomfort at first, but she got over that too.

Go on, on your mother-daughter spring break trip without the extra baggage of mom in person or in your head.

Stop enabling your mother's dependency and live a little. Take no prisoners, but if necessary see a therapist!
Reading through the comments and appreciating each of them.

I'll definitely read more on setting boundaries! It's hard to say no, knowing it'll hurt her feelings, on the other hand it causes resentment that I can only blame myself for!

Why on earth would I accept that role? Jeanne, bless you for putting it out there for me to think about! It sort of evolved over time and I've reached my breaking point!

Looking forward to the insight this site is going to provide!
clynn2u,

I'm sure that as a parent, you did not find it hard to say no to your daughter when that was the needed word. And probably, your daughter was not always happy to hear the word no.

Adult children of parents with a personality disorder like narcissism unrealistically hope that by always saying yes that they will change and be the healthy, loving parent that they never were and never have been. This is such a driving force for some that it destroys marriages, careers, personal finances for one's own retirement, health, etc.

The said truth is that you mother is who she is. You didn't make her that way. You can't fix her. You can't control her. The only person you can control is yourself by putting yourself and your daughter on a healthier path that the one your mother walks.

By setting boundaries with your narcissistic mother, you will be teaching your daughter an important lesson by being of how a healthy adult relates with a sick adult or any adult for that matter by having healthy boundaries. Also, people with healthy boundaries tend to attract other people with healthy boundaries to them. So, this lesson could have some immediate as well as long term benefits.

The other reason we don't like saying no to a parent with a personality disorder is the fear of making them angry, feeling obligated to keep them happy and feeling guilty for wanting to be free from it.

The person with a personality disorder's greatest fear is that we might realize that we are no longer their little girl or their little boy and thus start relating to them as an adult emotionally. They fear that because then, their power over us is broken.

Remind yourself that you are not longer mommy's little girl. You are your mother's adult daughter with her own life and can relate with your mother as one adult to another adult although she want know what to do with that. You, your daughter and your mother (although she want admit it or appreciate it) needs for you to be your mom's adult daughter not mommy's little girl emotionally speaking.

It is by no means easy. There is a battle with fear involved. Even the baby steps at first feel awkward and you will stumble some at first, but just like with walking physically, you will get there.

This is an important lesson for you and your daughter to learn and for you to model for your daughter as her parent.

Here's one thread that I recommend that you and your daughter read through. Don't show anything like this to a narcissistic parent in hopes it might change them by seeing themselves for it want do anything but send them into a rage.

https://www.agingcare.com/Discussions/power-of-emotional-blackmailers-176430.htm

The important thing to remember about a boundary is that it's not a rule to change them, but a line to protect you which needs concrete consequences.

Take care of yourself and your daughter. Go enjoy spring break and try to not take mommy with you in your head. Easier said than done, but catch yourself when it does happen and chose to not listen.

Free yourself from burdensome words like ought to, should have, it only and talk about yourself and to yourself in terms of I will, I can, I am able, and I shall.

I wish you the very best in dealing with this emotional mess and finding your emotional freedom! Keep in touch!
I've been where you are, and still am to a degree. When you're with your daughters, you need to let them know by your actions and attitude that they are important to you. That you are choosing to spend time with them and that you are completely emotionally and mentally present with them. So, even if you're just running to the grocery store, NO talk whatsoever about Gma. You need to pull yourself out of the net and you have to help them do so as well. You can teach them that it is reasonable and normal for you and they to do things alone, without Gma. Explain that within families there are small relationships and this is normal and healthy. You have a precious chance to spend vacation time with just your daughter....grab it. Oh, one other thing.....there will be a tendency to hide things from your mom, like going to a movie or dinner so you don't hurt her feelings or make her upset. You try to get other people to go along with the charade. When that person looks at you funny, it's not because they don't understand the dynamic with your mom. It's because they're trying to tell you that you need to be authentic and honest about totally reasonable and normal things like having relationships with people other than your mom. You can do this.
Wow! Sounds somwwhat like my mom. She is 91, has beginnings of dementia and is vey narcissitic and paranoid. She has been that way her whole life. Its always about her and in order to get attention from everyone she throws me under the bus which makes others think I am mistreating her and they sometines tey to tell me wgat thet think based on what mom has said to them.
She used to live with my hubby n me but I had to move her n order to keep my marrige in tact because she was trying to sabotage it in order to get me to herself. She did the same thing with my broher 30 years agowhen he first got married.
I decided that i will not allow her to manipulate me like she used to when I was younger. I tell her no ( not in a mean way)
when I need to and quickly get off the phone when she starts trying to make me guilt trip. She is in a vey good assisted living facility so I can not call her for a few dys and Know she will b taken care of. She tried to force the facility to put her out in order to try n move back with me but that didnt work. ( she told a dear friend that is what wastrying to do)
The moral of my story is... Even with our senior parents we have to not volunteer for manipulation. No victims,just volunteers! They will be fine of you tellthem no/ not give in to their whining. Of course my case withmy mom is different because she ia still very alert at 90. I know the dementia will get worse and her manipulation tactics willget worse toobut for now she knows I will not tolerate her manipulation tactics.

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