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My mom is coming home from the hospital today...yesterday i wasn't feeling well because i'm menopausal and she made it about her by saying, "happy homecoming"

Thankfully there are other caregivers who come into the home and i have my alone time away from her...

What are some ways you are surviving her personality and not reacting to triggers?

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Narcissistic people make EVERYTHING about themselves. Abandon hope of ever changing her.

To avoid getting sucked into the mind games takes a lot of practice and mental energy. It's a matter of achieving a state of benign detachment.

Or perhaps she's just one of those people who should be loved from afar.

Blessings for your own survival.
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I had to walk away from my family and elderly mother for this exact reason. Good Luck to you.
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Ferris, I think part of the problem here is a misunderstanding. You are assuming that this conversation is about an elderly woman with dementia. Most of us are talking about mothers with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. NPD is an incurable mental condition that is lifelong. Those of us with NPD mothers have endured emotional abuse our whole lives. I realize for those who have "normal" mothers it is hard to understand that those of us with NPD mothers have never experienced unconditional maternal love.
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I haven't figured out the balance between making sure Mom's real needs are met and getting sucked into being her source of happiness. When you've been under this kind of mind control your whole life it's really hard. I had thought I was out from under this insidious controlling behavior until 2008 when my mother could no longer live alone - or so she acted like - and she came to live between my sister and me. It's been a real set back in all I've overcome through the years and I find my life's in constant chaos. It's horrible. I had her all set up to go into AL but my sister thworted it. I moved out of state anyway, and Mom and my sister are locked in an unhealthy co-dependent existence with me feeling guilty far away. She's being cared for, she's paying my sister, so why do I feel guilty?? It's because of growing up with a severely narcissistic mother and having these patterns ingrained in my life. I'm working on it. I'm 65 and I need to get out from underneath this burden of guilt and come to a healthy way to deal with Mom and my sister.
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I hear you, Smitty.
Growing up, I didn't realize how awful my mother's behaviors were because it was my only reality. I think it finally struck home when I gave birth to a son with a chromosomal abnormality. We were staying at our mother's home to be closer to the specialists in Wash, D.C. I think you can imagine the stress my husband and I were going through on the morning we were to meet with the geneticist who would reveal the findings of his and our tests. Would our child ever learn? Would we be able to have other children that were unaffected? At 26, we felt like our entire future was about to be spelled out for us.
So, when we got back to mom's place did we get compassion from my mother? Nope. Instead, my mother took me aside and let me know how inconsiderate my husband was because he'd left a few hairs in the shower of the bathroom we were using. Of course, that should have been his first priority! I contrast her behavior with my dear in-laws who, knowing we would be tired and emotionally wrung out upon arriving at our own home, had come earlier and left an entire home-cooked meal for us in our refrigerator, complete with dessert and wine, too!
What I decided to learn from this was that I could never change my mother but I could the yin to her yang, the good to her evil, and always try to emulate the kind of compassion my in-laws demonstrated and that has gone a long way to dissipate my anger and heal my soul.
Smitty, I'm sorry your mother could not see that you were hurting, but I hope you can take some comfort from the many responses that show that others are here to help you.
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Common sense dictates that when you have your own mental/physical issues, you do not take on caring for someone else. Your own health should be paramount. If that means she needs Assisted Living, so be it.
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I apologize for Ferris 1's answer. I don't think menopause is her only issue.So, smitty, don't beat yourself up because that would make a narcissistic person's day.I have found that for the most part people on these forums are supportive,helpful and understanding. Don't let one bad apple, the above, chase you away. The majority of people on here usually have great advice, I have learned a lot from them. Dealing with a narcisstic person,my mother is one, especially one that is now dealing with health issues does not improve the problem. Just keep in mind, you will NEVER be right, you will ALWAYS be wrong,you will NEVER be as good as the sibling that does nothing for them.As soon as you can accept this it gets a little better, like learning a new dance routine, just takes practice. First rule, take GOOD care of yourself, mentally and physically, this isn't selfish. If something happens to you, there won't be anybody to take care of them. Also statistics also unfortunately show , I think it's somewhere between 30-60%, could be more or less, of caregivers die before the one they are taking care of.You can't survive tearing yourself in 2 to "please" someone that cannot be pleased.There is a reason that all of a sudden they have no one to take care of them except the one that usually took the most cr#p from them.Everybody else headed for the hills.You are not alone,took me 8 months of therapy to just begin to start dealing in a healthy way with my mom's behavior. Boundaries, you have to set up boundaries. Boundaries that the narcissistic person knows while be enforced,that are not going away no matter how much they escalate their behavior.This is not easy,they will try to wear you down and they are masters at it, they have had a lifetime to perfect their technique.Guilt is their big weapon, it's misplaced guilt but it can be very effective against their victim(caregiver).Now place dementia on top of this personality and you really have a nightmare.So far I don't have the dementia to deal with ,yet, I know my time will be coming, that's is why I try to learn from all the situations people on here are dealing with on a daily, minute by minute basis.Try to read as much as you can on this personality disorder,keep coming back to this site, it is a fountain of realtime info.
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Eextremely low contact.
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Ferris, well goody, goody for you. I just hate it when someone on here accuses the child of a narcissistic parent of being whiney and so forth. Where is your compassion and empathy? Geezzzzzz
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As others have posted: You won't change your mom's narcissistic behaviors. The only thing you can do is detach from her and not let yourself be manipulated by her. If she starts trying to gain pity from others at your expense, especially legal authorities or people whose positions require them to report you to legal authorities, there can be no benign detachment. You'll have to completely detach and not reattach unless you want legal consequences and the associated high legal costs. I've had to totally detach from my extreme narcissist dad because he portrayed me as a coercer, meddler, and elder abuser to legal authorities in his state with the result of my both being accused of these things and also being threatened with criminal prosecution by an assistant atty general in my dad's state. Unless you are your mom's POA and/or have legal guardianship over her, you have no legal obligation to even care for her. So, if her narcissism is negatively impacting you or has the potential to lead to legal hassles, totally detach from your mom and find other living arrangements for her outside of your home. Narcissists are hard to deal with and will cause you all sorts of problems and heartaches. The problem is that they're so manipulative that people don't even realize that they're being manipulated and, as a result, fall for their lies and their pathological behaviors hook, line, and sinker. From my experience with extremely narcissistic dad and his betrayal of me, I've learned that it's imperative to do whatever is necessary to protect yourself legally and mentally/emotionally from a narcissist, which is usually detaching with them with the idea of not reattaching because there usually can't be a healthy reattachment. Put on a suit of armor and inoculate yourself from your narcissistic mom for your own mental health. Dealing with her will lead you to nothing good.
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