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I’m a sixty year-old daughter of a narcissistic mother who believes it is her children’s job to take care of her in the manner to which she was accustomed. She is still angry with us for selling her house because she thought we should be caring for her there. She has been led to think she is more important than anyone else in the family and my father buckled under her every whim.
She complains constantly despite living in a lovely $5,000/month ASL. Nothing has ever been enough for her; she is attention-seeking and will go to any length to get it.


I was just diagnosed with my second cancer and will start chemo next week. I also have an adult son with severe mental health problems and wonderful grandchildren who I choose to help with. My mother’s complaints include earaches and a sore knee.
I can guarantee that I will not be a burden to my children when/if (god willing) I reach my mother’s age of 86. I will not assume that my children will be responsible for my happiness or that they should be managing my life while I sit and complain about not being able to get my hair colored.
Is this a generational thing? Or is it simply that my mother has never been a very nice person and I resent giving her any amount of energy that I don’t even have for myself?

After caring for my Husband I decided that I was not going to "expect" any family member to care for me.
I grew up in a care-giving household. My Mom died of cancer and she was taken care of at home when possible, my grandma had cancer and my Dad took care of her while battling his own cancer. So caregiving was what was done. But I do not expect my stepdaughter or step son to help care for me, I do not expect my sister to care for me. I have also informed them of my health care wishes. I have a Will and POA selected for Health and Financial. (I should make some changes to the Will though...)
While caring for my Husband I made the decision to buy Long Term Care Insurance. Yes the payment once a year hurts! But not as much as the hurt, anger, resentment of family would.
The house I am in I bought when I knew my Husband would need a place that was accessible so I plan on "aging in place" in a house built for it.
And I have actually gone through closets, the basement and tossed stuff out or donated. I want no one to have to weed thorough my "treasures" so I am trying to cull out stuff that I really am not attached to.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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My mom is the nicest person you would ever know, but I would not wish her or my life on anyone.  I will stock up on Oxy whatevers and plan my own final exit
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cherokeegrrl54 Sep 13, 2020
Agree 100% with you on this!!
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My dad had a firm rule of his own making that he wouldn’t allow any of us to live with him, nor him to live with any of us. He said he’d seen it ruin too many relationships. I remain grateful for his wisdom. So, no, I don’t think a particular generation expects more, I think it’s individual. And I doubt future generations will be doing a lot of hands on caregiving, they’re too busy staring at their phones (apologies for stereotyping 😜) Please place first priority on your care, you’re no good to anyone of not to yourself. Wishing you the best
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NeedHelpWithMom Sep 14, 2020
You have a very smart dad! Love the comment about the phones. It always amazes me when I see a family with mom, dad and kids eating dinner together and texting each other!
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Having watched two generations having a miserable existence I think a lot of us will decide to leave this earth when we feel we have had enough.
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Invisible Sep 13, 2020
And then there is hope - a human condition - for a better tomorrow.
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Egads, I think your mother and my mother are twins that were separated at birth! Today I find out that she's been giving my son an earful about how she 'should be' living with ME at my house, and not in the AL where I 'put' her! Meanwhile, she's been living there since 2015 but now she's in the Memory Care annex since her dementia has progressed to a moderate level. That and she's in a wheelchair. To hear HER tell it, there is NOTHING wrong with her at ALL, she has NO memory issues whatsoever, needs NO help with ANY activities of daily life, and would be fine taking care of herself alone in my home all day long! My God, a total joke since she can't even get dressed by herself and her wheelchair would not fit thru ONE of my bathroom doors, not to mention the showers all have tubs which she wouldn't be able to even step into! She wouldn't even be able to feed herself, never mind get out of bed in the morning and to/from the toilet!

These types of women live to complain and to blame US for all their misery. My mother is soon to be 94 and hasn't had ONE day in all those years where her life has been 'enough'. My father was never 'enough', either, and she was glad when he died! Her chronic, endless complaining and misery consists of her legs hurting and here I am, going for surgery tomorrow which I haven't even bothered telling her about. What for? If it doesn't involve HER, it doesn't matter. Ain't that the truth?

My DH and I have 7 children between us; we will NOT be a burden to ANY of our children if we live long enough to get to old age, and will have enough opiates on hand to do away with ourselves if/when the time comes. Plus, Colorado is an assisted suicide state, so we're all set.

Wishing you good luck and Godspeed with your chemo treatments, my friend. I pray that you have a full recovery with no more cancer diagnoses ever again.
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dogparkmomma Sep 16, 2020
My very wonderful brother in law died a little over 3 years ago from cancer. In the end, he was in pain and had moved to hospice. He did avail himself of assisted living laws in California to end it. It had involved interviews with doctors and was not an easy thing to do as it required taking a large amount of pills.

maybe 6 months later my FIL asked me how to get the same type of pills that my brother in law had taken. I must say I was shocked but I did explain that it is not legal in our state and he had been dying of cancer when those pills were taken. I told him that he could not get those pills just because he was old. He dropped it. He died 2 years later, this past May.

Several of you have mentioned stockpiling opiates so that you could end things. Might not be that easy and I am a little worried that by the time I felt ready to do it, I would not be able to initiate the action. My in-laws both died in the past year. They lived in their own home until October 2018. They probably should have moved a couple of years earlier. They lived great lives and she was 93 and he was 95. Luckily they saved their money and had enough to pay for memory care rooms for both of them. We did supervise them and visit them after moving them to our town. I would hope for something similar with less dementia. We are getting ready to move closer to our daughter. Not super close but closer than 2000. I plan to monitor our situation and take action to move if we cannot manage on our own. Not making them stress the way we did. I am a nurse and I feel like that helped me guide their process. My son is engaged to a lovely girl. Pills could be in my future as well I guess but we will see.
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First of all, I am so sorry about your situation. You know that you made the right decision regarding the care of your mom and may I say congratulations on not taking her bait.

I had unusual circumstances that caused me to allow my mom to move into our family home. She had just lost everything she owned in Hurricane Katrina. She had no flood insurance because it wasn’t required in her neighborhood. The only reason why her home had nine feet of water was because the levee broke.

Mom was emotionally devastated. So was I. I felt so badly for her that I wasn’t thinking clearly at the time. It was my childhood home where I grew up.

Mom had little funds, certainly not enough for an assisted living facility like your mom lives. I didn’t consider a nursing home as an option either. I just wanted to comfort her. I had compassion because I am a charitable person at heart.

My emotions got in the way of thinking clearly. I had promised my father that I would always care for her after his death. She needed me more. She no longer drove due to her Parkinson’s. Well, you get the picture.

The dynamic of the relationship changed after she moved in with us. It didn’t start out badly but it surely ended up being a challenging and difficult experience.

All I can say is that I felt as if I lived with her instead of her living in my home with us. She had a strong desire to still be ‘mom.’ She didn’t seem to respect me as her adult daughter instead of her daughter as a child.

Anyway, periodically I would hear my daughters say to me, “Mom, we will take care of you like you are taking care of grandma.” My children adore her and she adores them. I have never interfered in their relationship.

I did not wish to take my children’s grandmother from them, nor take her grandchildren from her and they get along well.

I did tell my children though that while I appreciated their sentiments I did not want them to care for me. At first they responded with, “But we want to do it, Mom.” I said to them, “That will change if I am no longer capable of caring for myself and I never want you to feel obligated to care for me.”

So, I am breaking the cycle of family caregivers and I am totally at peace with my decision.

I am also at peace with my mom being cared for with hospice and that she is no longer in my home. I speak to her but she is nearly deaf now. Communication is difficult.

I have a hunch that the younger generation will not be as quick to decide to be caregivers as past generations. Just look at the number of assisted living facilities that have been built. It’s a huge business!
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Takincare Sep 15, 2020
Completely agree about breaking the cycle. DH and I do not want to burden our children or grandchildren in our later years either which is why we have a life insurance policy that will pay for in home care or a very large percentage of AL. If there are funds left in policy it will revert back to the estate upon our death. It is expensive but well worth the cost in the long run to break the chain. They will be able to remain our children and advocates without the need to do the physical day to day caregiving. After caring for MIL in my home it lit a fire under our rears to clear out, pitch, declutter, donate, and organize our home. You would be surprised how much "stuff" has accumulated over the years that is completely unnecessary and just taking up space. This was also a great time to have them go thru all their "treasures" still here and get them out of the house too, just told them do it now or you'll have to deal with it later.
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YES.   It takes 3 kids (but mostly me) to care for my mom.   I have one DC, my siblings have none and my former inlaws have only my DC also.  So one kid for a lot of adults.

I read about final exit and will stock pile pills.  I cannot count on DD to pull the plug
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Reply to FloridaDD
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I'm thinking we'll be more educated about our options, more likely to buy necessary insurances like LTC, sell large family homes and downsize, etc. Big question is how much SS and pensions will be available in 25+ years.

We'll also be more aware of the realities of IL/AL options, and not falsely think they're the same things and asylums were in the 30's.

Hopefully more people will be read up on the realities of aging, and less will count on their children as retirement options. Independent and Assisted Living doesn't scare me, as long as I have my own room and space I can be happy.
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disgustedtoo Sep 15, 2020
For intelligent and educated people, what you have said will likely be true, but there are still many people who don't understand this, have their head in the sand, etc that just don't get it. Many think SS is their "golden" time, but in reality most SS isn't enough to live on, even if it is a higher amount. "The average Social Security benefit was $1,503 per month in January 2020." How far is that going to go when one retires? I had to laugh when I reported how mom's SS funds were used (I am rep payee, so yearly reports required.) I got a letter back questioning it, stating I listed food and housing only, but people have other needs and wants. Sure they do, but seriously? About $1100/m? Where do you think that goes? I told them I allocated her pension and SS to the facility (together it covers less than half of her MC fee) and funds from her saved money (trust) covers the remainder and any necessities. I doubt that $1100 would even cover rent anywhere, never mind food, utils, wants, needs, vacations. I also went on to say she is 96 (at the time, now 97), lives in MC, she's in a wheelchair, with no real hearing, losing eyesight and has dementia - where is she going on vaca, Australia???

On top of that, those who are low wage earners aren't always able to save for the future (and some just don't realize they need to!) Given the current situation (rampant unemployment), many are in jeopardy of losing whatever they did manage to set aside, using it to cover basic needs such as food and housing. Whoever is caught up in this disaster is going to be in big trouble in the future! Given "...in 2018, an analysis of Federal Reserve data put the median savings account balance among Americans at $5,200. The average, however, was $33,766.49.", even the best of those isn't going to go far!

Pensions have gone the way of the dodo bird too. When I started my last job, we still had pensions. About 5 years later, that was transitioned for new hires to having more contributed to their 401K, but how many in the lower paying jobs even take advantage of that? Additionally, many who were to retire around the time of the housing crisis saw their nice nest egg vanish!

Unless they find a fix for SS, even that isn't going to provide a less-than-basic living for anyone.
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I'm sorry to hear about what is happening to you, and have a mother very similar to yours who is beyond difficult, demanding, and never happy. I help her as much as I can AND want to, and set strict boundaries that I firmly keep. She has many options but would rather complain instead and lay the guilt at my feet. However, I have learned to compartmentalize and prioritize so she doesn't overwhelm me because that's actually on me if I let her get to me. Narcissists don't change because they think the problem is you and everyone else; they don't see you as a person, rather someone who can do their bidding. I have learned to focus on what she needs to be healthy and safe, and tune out miscellaneous complaints, etc. You might gain a great deal from researching narcissism and applying some of what you learn about how to deal with such a person. Narcissists groom and manipulate certain people to react to their every need. It takes time and practice, but is worth it to be released from her hold.
Save your energy to focus on the positives in your life - your family and and whatever else gives you strength to stay as healthy as you can and to enjoy life.
I have helped with my aunts who have passed and now my mother, and my husband and I are both retired and are very active and enjoy helping with our grandchildren. When the need arises for us to get help (we're in our mid 60s), we both want to stay in our home as long as possible, get help in, and if needed, move to senior living or a smaller home.
Take care of yourself and I wish you and everyone here the best!
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I apologize I have not read all the replies yet..

I just wanted to wish you well for your upcoming treatment. I hope you can surround yourself with supportive people, enjoy better times with your son & enjoy those grandchildren too! Also that you are cocooned from those that cannot offer support.

Regarding your Mother, when I meet older folk sad about leaving their houses, I truly empathize. But if I get a whiff of that entitlement you spoke of, I change tack to 'well, if you wished to keep your house & employ servants round the clock, you should have'.
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Davenport Sep 16, 2020
THANK YOU Beatty!
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