How many of us are caring for elders with personality disorders like narcissism?

Follow
Share
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
39

Answers

Show:
1 2 3 4
I'm glad to read your good news!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Last night, hours into my search for understanding, I found your post. You might have saved me from making the biggest mistake in my life, moving in with the 91 year old three year old that I've been parenting for decades. What? Sorry if that was confusing:)She's 91, I'm 66. And, yes, she's emotionally 3 and I'm feeling like 100. Thank you for shining a whole lot of light on my self-sacrificing (codependent) life. I got a grip! LOL If I've had such a hard time setting and keeping boundaries when we live miles apart, how was I thinking I'd do it from her guest bedroom?? When I wake up tomorrow, I'm turning her over to God (again) and focusing on myself and my recovery. Bless you all.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Yes, Mom should have been reported, but who would do that? We were isolated from family, and silenced into subjection. I didn't have a clue, but was scapegoat. Then one day, woke up. I'm just now seeing the bigger picture, and it's not a pretty one. I'm thinking avoidance is the best thing in this situation...

Mom loves to play the victim blames others for what she won't take personal responsibility for. She told a Geriatric Assessment team member recently, "I acted like I did because my children made me do it..." Wow! Is that telling or what? They congratulated me for my strength of character in the face of her extreme hostility. Somehow, God just helped me survive, and is helping me still.

Now, my goal is to protect my Dad from her further abuse, and my son from damaging contact with her. We've never left him alone with her, understandably. Thank God for his protection, and for the wisdom and insight he's given. Still on the learning curve, though.

We cared for mother out of love and duty, and by God's grace with compassion. She'll never understand that, but God does. We gave, even when she retaliated. It was the toughtest job I ever faced, caring for an ungrateful, belligerant soul. My biggest regret is the time it took from loving on my wonderful son. My distraction with her affairs meant his loss and mine, and much at our expense. We chose to give because dad could no longer take care of her, and had always looked after things for them. Someone had to take over, and I was the logical choice, as sis had/has her own issues. We couldn't just leave mom to her own devices, knowing she would mess things up. But since she's so argumentative, combative, and despising, let the PG care for her now and take the heat. I'll just be watching her, now. This is not a happy ending, but when one has done all they can, it's best to walk away and let someone else take over. So, we walk, with no regrets. Wonder if they'll experience what we have? Thanks for your kind understanding words and support.

Sounds like things had a happier ending in your situation. At least your mom came through for you at the last. That has to bring you comfort and reassurance. Wishing you a good 2010!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You have been nicer to your mother than most people would be and if you weren't related to her, you probably would have never had anymore to do with her which would be understandible too. I'm glad to hear that you have such a strong, rock the boat, pesonality. For some reason it seems that the youngest child almost always gets the brunt of things when it comes to mental illness in the home. Your mother should have been reported to protective services years ago, but now it seems that she's passed her social/psychological disease on to your younger sister. Just not the kind of star wars story that one would wish for and I've seen this same thing in my wife's family.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Funny you should direct your comments to the Wizard of Oz character. My thoughts have been there lately, too. Mom has earned a reputation for herself, and deserves it. Seems some are fooled by her still, though, which is baffling to me. How blind.

No one would accuse me of hiding behind my husband, in fact, we call me the "hit man" because I often head up the charge in matters. He's quiet and steady. I am the designated boat rocker, and have been since childhood. This never sits well with NPD/BPD, does it?

The anger I was talking about letting go of was against dad. With his Alzheimer's decline, it kind of just melted away. Strange phenomenon. What good does it do to hold on to? He is to be pitied, as his Alzheimer's is getting the better of him. Seems mom did, too, though I'm sure I'll never fully understand it.

As for mother, I am seriously considering how to combat her "Distortion Campaign," which I recognized, but didn't fully see until I read the book, "Stop Walking on Eggshells." Since mom wrote an 8 page letter full of lies to two Probate Court judges, accusing me of things not done, I'm feeling the need to practice the steps outliined in the chapter to counter mom's lies, distortions, rumors and smear campaign against me. Unfortunately, she has many people believing her, and her attorney has used this to their advantage. Even mom's PG said I need an attorney to protect me. But the one she referred me to said I did not. I asked mom's attorney if I needed one, and he said, "No one is accusing you of any wrong doing, then he turned around at mom's court hearing and used a conversation with my sister as "evidence" against me. My sister knew nothing of being a "witness" against me, so says she. But I find that hard to believe, as she turns on me often, too. What an ugly mess, and all created and kept going by my mother's personality disorders. What havoc she renders in the lives of those around her.

You're right about my sister taking the brunt. She was the youngest of two daughters, and got the worst of everything. She was more vulnerable, because I was away at school two years before her, with her left alone with mom's abuse. Mom once stripped her naked, put her outside, and said, "If you don't like it here, leave, taking nothing with you." Sis also said mom tried to kill her, pushing her down a flight of stairs. I find that incomprehensible, but knowing my mother, horrifyingly believable. Think of that millstone... The day we moved mom out of her home, mom hit her in the face, knocking off her glasses. Understandably, my sister is a bitter, troubled, vindictive soul, but unfortunately, can't be trusted, either. She is nice one moment, nasty the next, much like the woman who raised her.

My sister's only concern is acquiring all the antiques in mother's house, with mom's help, both saying I don't "deserve" anything. Boy are they a piece of work! We're talking valuable things, and covetous, greedy people, who care little for others. It's all about control, and they don't mind lying to do it. Nice family I grew up in, isn't it?

My battle is against their evil. Just not sure what I want to do with it. Seems they're bent on destroying me, no matter what the cost. Personal integrity means little to them, and they justify everything they do with lies about me. Seems outsiders would rather believe a lie than discover the truth, and water seeks its own level. How can one defend what is not observable?

Just glad I don't have to cater to mom's whims, unrealistic expectations and unreasonable demands any more. We are enjoying our freedom from her petty requests and constant criticism. We marvel how wicked a human being can be against her own spouse and offspring, and how few recognise it. Seems this battle is fierce and the dark side is winning. The more we did for her, the meaner she became. We did what we thought was right, just and fair, only to be punished for it. Strange dealing with Personality Disorders. In the end, we'll have no regrets for our Caregiving and serving my parent's needs. We did what we thought God would have us do.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Yes, I would definitlely not be alone with your mother and yoiur husband is really the best choice of people to have with you. A college friend of mine whose mother I thought was ok back then has told me of her mother's severe personality problems which did cause some damage to her, her marriage and to her children. Thus, she has cut off all face to face contact with her mother and severely limited any other contact.

Sorry, I got overly civil at the moment. The depth of your pain, your son's, and your husband sounds verly like way to deep to even consider civility at this point. Probably wouldn't hurt if you can afford it to get everyone in sort of a detox time of therapy to help recover from your mom. This is really the only personal way to survive being in a relationship with someone like your mother. It would also help in digging into those very good questions that you are asking.

My FIL was much like your dad also in that he did not protect his girls either. He told them once that he knew what was going on but was helpless to do anything. Actually, what your dad kept that your mom wrote supports my view of the abuser and the abusee. Very often it not always, the abuser is actually dependent upon the abussee, but the do not want that person to ever realize that. If and when the abusee wakes up to what is really going on and can stop walking on eggshells, then very often the abuser will melt like the wicked witch from the west in the wizard of oz. They will at first lash out with an unreal amount of furry, but if the abusee stands their ground the abuser's use of F.O.G. (fear, obligation and guilt) fails to suck them back into their abused and dominated place. For myself, I have learned enough about my FIL's early life to understand why is was the way he was. Instead of helping him gain strength and freedom from his family of origin bondage, his wife actually capitolized on it for her own ends which at the same time mouthing we live in a day of equal rights which he never had because he got in trouble even on father's day for ordering tea on his own.

I attribute my own survival to several things. 1. A Christian substitute family. 2. A doctor who told my mother to stay home and let me go play high school football. 3. Going to school out of state. 4. More recently, my doctoral dissertation helped me to wake up to what was going on around me. 5. Seven years of therapy. This is the condensed version and some things I'd rather not share in this venue.

Frankly, the more you focus upon your mother, the longer the anger will eat at you. As simple as this sounds but as tough as it is to do, it will be most helpful to focus your thoughts, time and energy on taking care of you and getting yourself as well as your family on a healthy path from here on for you didn't cause your mom's problems, you can't control them, nor can you fix them. And said to say but you can't fix your dad either. It sounds like form my memory that your sister, I think, got the brunt of your mother's impact upon her maybe more than you did.

Right now, I hear a lot of anger and hurt that is crying out to vent in a safe place which venting I'd suppose go further than what words can express here. If I were in your husband's shoes, I would not want to see your mother either. I'm glad he is supportive. However, please don't hide behind your husband's pants for this really is your battle with your mom. I've seen wives hide behind their husband's pants like a little kid and expect them to fight their battle for them. He can support you which is good and needed, but he can't do what only you can do and you can do it as you gain strength, convidence and some new tools over time.

BTW, in my MIL's opinion I was a bad influence upon my FIL. He started getting a bit independent toward the last part of his life and I was the one blamed for it. I've been blamed also for my wife taking more and more steps toward her own independence all of which I take as a compliment.

Truth be told, abusers are actually weak people and very often are hurt people who also hurt people out of their own stuff which they don't want to face but delight in dumping it on everyone else. My, my I fell like I'm preaching to the choir and have written more like a therapist than I intended to. Anyhow, I hope some thing in this long epistle helps you and others dealing with the same mess.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I appreciate your advice and perspective. No contact sounds good for all of us, except that I can't be alone with her...so hubby (and son) must be there. Just doesn't have to happen often.

Birthday? Holiday? Why spend time with an abusive cantankerous person? We won't if necessary. She burned up her dance card. All she does is complain, argue, and whine. No reason for any of us to be around her. My husband sure wouldn't if it wasn't necessary. I just saw it as my responsibility as guardian. Now I'm not. So...no birthdays, etc. If she wants to know why, I'll be happy to tell her that she can't see him because of the way she treats me. My husband will back me in that. What the purpose? We have "adoptive" and loving people who can fill the need for my son.

Thanks for your compassion towards my dad. I'm not sure what to think, though. Everything was so hidden. And he didn't defend or protect us girls. So...what am I to think? I recently found a letter from mom to him threatening divorce if the didn't meet her needs, claiming she knows she'd lose us in a divorce b/c he thinks she's an unfit mother. Boy, that is putting things in perspective. Found it in the back of his desk. Why'd he save that? And why did God allow me to find it, along with her diagnosis? Interesting! Some long-sought answers for me. A little vindication, as well. Helps to let go of some of the anger.

How about you? To what do you attribute your survival?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Your son is far too young to have the tools to deal with someone like your mom. For the sake of his sanity and yours, I would advise a no contact rule to help him regain some peace in his life. Then, after some time, I think I'd at least be civil and let her see him supervised for very short visits like birthday and holidays or whenever you choose. Remember though that the boundary thing is not to change the other person but to protect yourself and anyone under your care like your son. Whenever a boundary is broken it must be followed up with a concrete consequence that is stated as such without getting into an aurgument.

The pg sounds like a real looser and the lawyer or judge who set them up needs to know soon what is going on so that they can be replaced. The will probably be invited to a meeting, but just might not show up out of embarrassment. No they can't shut that house down, stop paying taxes, etc. In fact, they are now responsible for making sure your mother's taxes are filed each year on time and paid.

I'm glad you are enjoying your vacation and it is well deserved.

On good thing to keep in mind is once your mother dies, the PG's authority is gone and if you are the executor of your mother's estate, which I hope you are, then you will be in charge.

Yes, people who have not needed or had a substitute family just don't understand at all. For example, how can someone continue to be like a sister you never had ever since high school and is still that today? Well, some people just don't understand and never will. Others who needed such a family are the ones who lost out on a lot of possible help, but that was often due to how remote an area that they lived in and how ultra closed their family system was. Pardon me for saying so but I find some extreem Christian denominations and independents to often have such closed system with almost cultic type traits as well as hidden abuse right below the surface.

I feel very sorry for your dad and what he had to go through. His life sounds very much like my FIL who is dead, but was the most dominated, enslaved, etc. (I don't have any more words to define this), man that I've ever known. I'm glad you survived. It sounds like you were the survivor of your family more than anyone else.

Given what both of us have been through is why the Norman Rockwell view of Christmas just does not set well with me. It's only true of very few and even then I'm not entirely sure because no one's family is entirely perfect anymore than any one church is entirely perfect because of the condition of the human race since Adam and Eve.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My boy is nine, and his grandma has little opportunity or influence. Since we homeschool, and she was accusing me of abuse, my husband and son were always with me when caring for her needs, but now none of us has to be anywhere around her, except a short time on Christmas Day when she visited dad (her husband), but he was sleeping and didn't visit with her. I like to monitor her visits with him, because she's quite abusive to her husband as well. She rarely visits, except once a month or so, and the distance will be a welcome change from our weekly, or thrice-weekly caregiving visits. It's refreshing to know we don't have to do it anymore. Perhaps others wouldn't understand that. I figure I'll be hearing from her PG, as she needs lots of input/paperwork from me to take over mom's affairs. Right now, it's my Christmas vacation :) and well-deserved after four years of intensive labour.

I never paid a penny of their debt with my own funds, but only as fiduciary with their assets; about $98,000.00 worth in the last two years. Nice of me to do all that work, then get shot out of the saddle by an ungrateful mother, don't you think? The PG will get paid plenty to do the bare minimum, and it makes me mad, since I did 18 hours of work cleaning things up for the past two years. I'll be checking her financial records with a fine tooth comb. The PG said she'd stop paying taxes on the house, turn off the electricity and water (mom has an apartment now) and I screamed at my attorney about it. He said, "She can't do that, as they have considerable equity in the house." I'm expecting the PG will mess things us royally, leaving me to clean up somewhere down the road. I already know how she handles things, and it's entirely different than my philosophy: decently and in order. Mom will help her mess things up, I'm sure, because that's her nature. Dad had a terrible time all their married life. I've got stories about all that, as well. Very few are good ones, but we survived.

Again, sorry to hear about your dad. Sounds like God showed his lovingkindness to give you substitute parents, Psalm 27:10. He did me as well, and I'm closer to my "adoptive" ones than my own. Funny how that works, isn't it? Guess our trust and hope needs to be in God, not our earthly family. Just a thought, thought not all children grew up with abusinve parents. The ones who weren't can barely understand the ones who were, though. Do you find this also?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

What is your son's age. It sounds reasonable to me to set a boundary there with consequences, like you don't get to see my son for say two weeks or so if you are verbally abusive of him.

I do not believe that technically or legally your mother can change her will now that she has a guardian because having one means that she has been declared mentally incompetent to conduct her own affairs in a businesslike manner. Check with a lawyer, but I beleive her days of doing legal and otherwise business are over.

No, her debt is not yours. The pg should be addressing her debt problem with her assests and getting a reputable debt reduction service to work with them in resolving that debt. If anything, your mother's debt upon her death will become your dad's if it is not removed before she dies. Please don't pay off anymore of her debt for that is not nor was it ever your responsibility.

My dad is a perfectionist and verbally abusive, but that is not the entire story of my journey which really does not belong on this thread, but could be shared by e-mail. God has been good to me in providing substitute parents as well as substitute siblings along my journey for me to be where I am today. My substitute family is still intact and I contact them from time to time.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

1 2 3 4
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions