How to cope with a controlling, narcissistic 90 mother whom I live with?

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At the request of my 2 sisters and brother, I moved from California back to Michigan after 30 years - I gave up everything - could not bring my beloved dogs or anything else - Everyone said don't bring anything, just come and take care of Mom. It was a guilt thing - 15 years of Catholic school and I was gone for so long - even tho I sent mom thousands of dollars over the years which paid for her house, car, several trips to San Francisco and supported her gambling habit - The instant I arrived she introduced me as homeless and she was helping me out - no support from siblings - treated me the same - some freak from California - Mom is only happy if I'm in my room. She hates if I go outside, does not let me drive the car unless its to get her coffee, take her to a casino or pick up perscriptions. I patronize as she has a degenerative kidney problem and the kidneys will eventually shut down - doc says it may be a few years. Guilt again.....could go on and on....have a son in San Fran who is a meth addict, a very wealthy ex husband who refuses to help him - he is in Marin County Jail at this time for the 10th time... better stop - probably should write a novel.

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Let's be careful aka knowing people that are catholic and not machocists (sp). Guilt is instill either directly or indirectly when raised catholic. We are taught to forgive even in the midst of abuse. Imagine being taught as an 8 or 11 years old that you must confess your sins to the priest...heaven help us. What terrible sins would a child of this age have? I was in the confessional every Saturday saying ihad lied to my parents. of course, I probably lied over something so small ....
so if lying to your parents was a terrible sin, imagine how ones feels when they do something worse, like cheat on a spouse or cuss or....the list is endless.
Alot of children who were raised Catholic always blame themselves and/or have alot of guilt despite being very good people. We need some understanding here folks
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Another great book is "Trapped in the Mirror". It's all about the dysfunctional behavior of the Narcissist and how living with one can affect one's own perceptions of reality including self-doubt and low self esteem. It is very well written and really helped me understand the twisted under-layers of my relationship with a narcissistic parent. It was not his fault that he was the way he was, it was the result of his circumstances. However it is helpful to remember that once we understand the narcissistic personality and how it works, it is easier to not feed the behavior and this helps us make healthier choices for ourselves by how we choose to interact with them. It takes work, diligence, creativity and patience to re-wire the dance with a narcissistic parent, but it can be done!

But like many of the writers above, I would encourage you to step away from this toxic situation and get back to your life. I would also recommend the services of a good therapist or even a Life coach who specializes in the kind of family dynamic to help you extricate yourself with piling on more guilt which seems to have a powerful effect on you. It is VERY hard to extract and recover ones self when you've given up so much to get where you are. You'll need an advocate and support person to help you because of all the emotional turbulence that is part of this dynamic. The good news is you CAN get clear of this nightmare but you are going to have to make some tough choices. It is nearly impossible to do this without some experienced help. Read this book and many others on the subject and get some professional help to get your life back. Do not let the isolation and guilt corrode your sense of self any further. You can re-claim yourself and still assist your mum but you need to create some new boundaries and rules of engagement with your entire family. They won't like it which is why you need an advocate and a good plan, but you CAN change this. Strength, clarity and courage to you!
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There is so much strength, support and good advice here.
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Hearing all these stories makes me sad and I feel all the pain and sorrow in the words I read.
But this also allows me to understand the story of my family life is not so unusual.
Being a good parent. as being a good child, does not come so naturally for some...
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You might find "Dance of intimacy" a helpful read.
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dianestory, I also agree with jeannegibbs. Don't allow your siblings or your mom to lay a guilt trip on you. Pack your suitcases and move back to your home and life. Do what you can monetarily and emotionally for your mom from California. You're not responsible for your mom's happiness. Be strong and good luck.
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I agree with the person above. Remember the old saying from AA "There are no victims, just volunteers". That sounds harsh; you have made many sacrifices to take care of your mother. I have a mother who has said the most terrible things to me and nothing is ever her fault. I grew up literally hating myself and had such low self esteem until I divorced a man who treated me as badly as she did when I was 30. I had counseling and 'saw the light'. My parents have been married for 60 years and my dad is as dysfunctional as she is. He is the enabler and has created the role of 'saint' for himself for which there is of course a payoff. They both think they have done everything right, due to their long marriage, success financially, etc. To me the whole thing is like a rotten shiny apple that once you bite in to, it is nothing like it appears. It also builds my mother's case that I am the only once she hates (she would never say that but no one who loved you could treat you this way) so she has conducted a campaign of smearing me forever. She HAS flat told me before things like "you were a cold baby" and "I don't think I ever really bonded with you". She has told me "that if your dad died I don't think I would miss him" and then the crocodile tears. He's said he wouldn't change a thing about his life and she laughs and says "well, I would!". She has gossiped to me about other family members, which is only for her benefit, to get it off her chest. I refuse to listen to it, since I know she actively knocks me as often as she can. If you try to put up parameters, like " please don't say things like that about my (fill in the blanks) father, dead grandmother, sister, etc. she flies into a rage and will slam down the phone. NO ONE will ever tell HER how it's going to be.
Three times for reasons few parents would even dream of, it has been passed around the family that I am going to be written out of the will. They do have money so this is definitely a veiled threat to everybody that if you don't play ball according to their rules you will dearly pay. I have really always incensed them, particularly her, because long ago I learned to be self sufficient and that I do not need her. She really can't touch me.
At present, I have cut my ties with her. Their 60th is coming up in two weeks. I am doing nothing to help 'celebrate' this event. To me it has been a reign of terror that has cost me particularly a lot.
I know it sounds harsh, but anyone with a mother like this knows why I have to go to the extreme. What good did all that change I supposedly made with all the pain that came with it to go back and play crazy with the rest of them? I have a close relationship with two of my three kids. One is very much like her grandma and her dad. I do believe it is somewhat inherited. There would be people who attribute NPD to being raised by one. In my daughter's case, she wasn't raised by her dad but she is JUST like him. Arrogant, fly off the handle at criticism, hair trigger moods and anger, thinks she is special as compared to others. I am sandwiched between two generations of people like this. It really mystifies me to see it all in action but you have to do what you have to do.
My advice would be to tell your siblings to step up and if they don't, then you have every right to put your mother someplace safe and warm and get on with it. Being old doesn't make her less evil.
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I agree with the person above. Remember the old saying from AA "There are no victims, just volunteers". That sounds harsh; you have made many sacrifices to take care of your mother. I have a mother who has said the most terrible things to me and nothing is ever her fault. I grew up literally hating myself and had such low self esteem until I divorced a man who treated me as badly as she did when I was 30. I had counseling and 'saw the light'. My parents have been married for 60 years and my dad is as dysfunctional as she is. He is the enabler and has created the role of 'saint' for himself for which there is of course a payoff. They both think they have done everything right, due to their long marriage, success financially, etc. To me the whole thing is like a rotten shiny apple that once you bite in to, it is nothing like it appears. It also builds my mother's case that I am the only once she hates (she would never say that but no one who loved you could treat you this way) so she has conducted a campaign of smearing me forever. She HAS flat told me before things like "you were a cold baby" and "I don't think I ever really bonded with you". She has told me "that if your dad died I don't think I would miss him" and then the crocodile tears. He's said he wouldn't change a thing about his life and she laughs and says "well, I would!". She has gossiped to me about other family members, which is only for her benefit, to get it off her chest. I refuse to listen to it, since I know she actively knocks me as often as she can. If you try to put up parameters, like " please don't say things like that about my (fill in the blanks) father, dead grandmother, sister, etc. she flies into a rage and will slam down the phone. NO ONE will ever tell HER how it's going to be.
Three times for reasons few parents would even dream of, it has been passed around the family that I am going to be written out of the will. They do have money so this is definitely a veiled threat to everybody that if you don't play ball according to their rules you will dearly pay. I have really always incensed them, particularly her, because long ago I learned to be self sufficient and that I do not need her. She really can't touch me.
At present, I have cut my ties with her. Their 60th is coming up in two weeks. I am doing nothing to help 'celebrate' this event. To me it has been a reign of terror that has cost me particularly a lot.
I know it sounds harsh, but anyone with a mother like this knows why I have to go to the extreme. What good did all that change I supposedly made with all the pain that came with it to go back and play crazy with the rest of them? I have a close relationship with two of my three kids. One is very much like her grandma and her dad. I do believe it is somewhat inherited. There would be people who attribute NPD to being raised by one. In my daughter's case, she wasn't raised by her dad but she is JUST like him. Arrogant, fly off the handle at criticism, hair trigger moods and anger, thinks she is special as compared to others. I am sandwiched between two generations of people like this. It really mystifies me to see it all in action but you have to do what you have to do.
My advice would be to tell your siblings to step up and if they don't, then you have every right to put your mother someplace safe and warm and get on with it. Being old doesn't make her less evil.
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Thank you
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Why? Why are you doing this to yourself? I kow plenty of people who went to Catholic school who are not masochists.

I think it is time for the homeless freak from California to go back to her home in California. Surely if you figured out how to leave everything behind, including your dogs, in California you will be able to figure out to leave everything behind again, and return to where you have live of your own.
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