I want to begin by saying thank you to you all for your posts and encouragement on these forums. They have been very helpful to me. I don’t post (until now), but I do read what others have posted in situations similar to my own.

We had another rough Christmas this year with my narcissistic parents and I need to vent a bit and get some feedback if possible. In a nutshell, I am 55, the oldest (daughter), with a 51-year-old brother who is a drug addict, felon, and homeless. He is the golden child and I am the scapegoat. My parents, both 75, moved 6 hours away from our hometown where we all resided about 12 years ago. They both take lots of medications, including antidepressants, etc., which is beginning to affect them cognitively. The distance has been a good thing for us, though.

I have cut off all contact with my brother due to his addictions, choices, and behaviors. I do not discuss my brother with my parents, especially my mother. Last year, in about September, I received a phone call from my father stating that they were driving down here to pick up my brother and take him back to their home in Tennessee. At Christmas, my husband and I had to drive up there and remove him from their home as he was taking advantage of them, not working, and doing drugs. I knew this was going to happen, but had to wait until there was a crisis. My mother keeps trying to “save” him, and gets my father to go along with her plans.

This Christmas they wanted to drive down here to celebrate with me and my family, and Mom asked if my brother could come celebrate with us. Of course I said no, and she got mad at me. They came, they acted perturbed, and stayed in the bedroom much of the time when they were here. They would come out in the evening to watch tv with us, and one night out of the blue my father told me in front of my husband, “I’m going to kick your butt!” Twice. I just said, “Ok. Pop.” When I told Mom about it later, she giggled and said, “That’s your Father!” Then, on Christmas eve, we had a big family gathering with our 5 kids and their families. My mother decides to show out in front of everyone (she loves an audience), and screams my name at the top of her lungs from the bedroom, upset about my father not wanting to wear an ugly Christmas sweater. Then she comes out yelling at me, and I corner her in the dining room away from everyone to let her “vent” and not cause too big of a scene. And, yes, I was very embarrassed, but I handled it ok. On Christmas day they met my brother at a truck stop for a meal, came home, went to bed, packed up and left early on the 26th. I purposefully did not communicate with them for 3 days since that time, and have had limited contact since then as I am done with this situation. My mother knows something is up, as she has been texting me more frequently telling me what a “wonderful” visit they had. I told her I was on vacation from my cell phone, and spending time with my husband who was off for the holidays.

My parents are very secretive about things, and will not tell me anything about anything regarding their life plans, etc. I have finally let it all go, and will intervene when something happens. I will continue to be the responsible daughter I should be, but from a great distance. My husband and I have a wonderful marriage, 5 awesome and well-adjusted adult children, and 1 sweet granddaughter. This is what I will be focusing on from here on out.

FYI…(I went through several years and thousands of dollars of therapy about 15 years ago, to deal with the dysfunction I grew up in, and to get to this place in my life. I am very protective of who I am now, my family, and where I am in my life). Thanks for reading.

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You had a great theapist! Talk about money well spent! Good for you to step back from all the drama. Such a great example for your children to see you do, so very, very important in breaking the chain of Narssisitic behavior patterns. As well as dealing (or not) with addicts. I've got some of the same family dynamics and am so glad to have gained a lot of distance from them-physical and emotional-again with a lot of therapy and one great therapist in particular (thank you Maureen).
The holidays are far from the "Hap-Hap-Happiest time of year" for so many of us and your experience this year mirrors so many of our own, and yet, you did hold your head high, and managed to rise above their self serving drama. Good for you. We're rooting for ya, we're all in this together!

Thank you for sharing. You are not alone having to sort out your place & contact level in your family of origin. Hard, but so necessary.

Your tale shows your strength, resilience & especially your boundaries shining through, despite others' dysfunction relationships.

Keep shinning & a very happy new year to you.

Thank you all so much for your kind responses. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my situation, and that I have a place I can go to talk to others. My husband is very supportive and understanding, but I am careful not to bring this up too often in conversation. I try very hard to embrace and focus on the positives in my life. I’ve had enough negativity and toxicity to last a couple of lifetimes.

my father is a very proud and independent person, and I think what sparked him to want to “kick my butt” was the fact that I offered for my husband (who is an aircraft mechanic), to look at the bumper of his car that mom damaged a couple of weeks ago. But some of his issue is dementia as well as guilt and anger regarding my derelict brother.

It just saddens me that their lives could be so much sweeter and richer with family and happiness if they would allow and accept it. But they don’t.

I accept what is happening with them, but it doesn’t mean I have to be a part of it.

Imagine going to your daughter's home for Christmas and telling her twice, "I'm going to kick your butt." !! Ridiculous! What on earth possessed him to say such a thing to you, I wonder? I laughed out loud when I read that, but I have to admit it's not funny at all. And then your mother acting out about dad not wanting to wear an ugly Christmas sweater? How do you spell D Y S F U N C T I O N?

You're doing the best thing you can by waiting for a crisis to happen with the folks, keeping your distance and living far away from them, and focusing on your own family & sweet granddaughter (aren't they the BEST? :))

You handled things beautifully and have your priorities exactly where they belong, thank God. It's refreshing to read a post like this where YOUR head is on straight in spite of all the histrionics your family brought to you over the holidays.

Bravo to you and all the best in the new year!

Good for you! Just because your mom, dad and brother seem to enjoy this type of dysfunctional relationship doesn't mean you have to participate in these sort of reindeer games! You're already so far ahead of the curve, in that 1) you recognize it to be dysfunctional 2) you refuse to participate or engage and 3) you are doing your job in keeping your children and grandchild far, far away from it!

Kudos for getting therapy and getting and USING the skills you learned there to set healthy, necessary boundaries! So many people get mired up in the drama and can never seem to disengage, to the detriment of their happiness and the happiness of their spouses and children!

I hope you look at yourself proudly in the mirror every day and recognize what an awesome person you are!

PROUD OF YOU! I am dealing with an addict father myself. It has been really hard, as I am the only son and mom passed about 4 years ago. actually... 4 years ago in... 4 days :( . Stay strong. They will suck the life out of you if you let them. Be there when you can, but also take time for yourself. Believe me.. I am still learning how to do the above myself. My health has taken a beating due to the constant worry I have had for dad's and others well being over the past 4 years. Trying to give it to god and only worry about what I HAVE to. God speed and happy new year! Hope all gets better with time. HUGS from TEXAS.

I’m sorry for you hurt in this toxic stew. You’ve done a great job in learning to draw boundaries on your life and protect your own health and well being. I know it doesn’t take away the sadness that it can’t be different or better. Enjoy the time with your own family, sounds like you’ve got a good thing there. I wish you a blessed and happy new year

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