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On any given day I am not good enough.

I will be reading right along ( for answers) because my mother may be your Mom's TWIN.
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Reply to Studia10
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In the mind of a psychologically manipulative person,
On any given day you will NEVER be good enough,
The personality you desrcibed has a lifetime of abusing you if not psychologically tormenting you, minimally with insults and silent-treatments.
A particular sigh is a common tactic, used to control you
That personality under-reacts to important things and
over-reacts to not-important things
The manipulations are countless. Usually pre-Boomers and Boomers
with that personality type
focus on their adult-children's weight and food choices and/or education level, and of course whatever else they nit-picked when you were growing-up.

Yet that abusive personality type will stop when shamed.
Whatever she criticizes, you could turn it back onto her, by asking:
"Is it a generational thing to criticize weight?"
"Is it a generational thing to constantly comment on food choices?"
Narcissistic abusive personalities know exactly what they are doing,
which is why they hide their manipulative abusive behaviors.
That personality in many cases is socio-pathic. Many (narcissistic) abusive mothers have killed pets and deliberately caused divorces.

"Why Does He Do That?" written by Lundy Bancroft, PhD. Is the book I recommend to clients. It provides insight into the abusive mind, if you want to understand neurologically how the abusive mind works, the easiest way to describe it is as follows:
Abusive minds are wired differently,
abusive minds experience euphoria when abusing.
The same euphoria a normal brain feels when experiencing love.
Abusive brains cannot be changed.
Their victims stay due to guilt ...
and they stay due to countless false hopes & promises (stated or implied) by the abusive asshat.

Unfortunately, you're still trapped inside the cycle of abuse orchestrated by the abusive person.
An abusive cycle roughly works like this:
there's an argument (blow-up)
that is followed by calm (peaceful)
During the calm you start to doubt maybe it's your fault?....
which is followed by another incident(blow-up) that you've been trained to think is your fault. which is followed by another
(calm) when their best behaviors appear, which gets you re-attached.
If you've noticed that she behaves perfectly in front of others, and seems kind and generous to everyone but you.

Please understand that she does everything deliberately, with zero remorse.
Dementia/ Alzheimers makes them worse, and gives them a perfect cover to keep abusing.
As mentioned that abusive personality type will stop (temporarily)when shamed.
Whatever she criticizes, you could turn it back onto her, by asking:
"Is it a generational thing to criticize weight?"
"Is it a generational thing to constantly comment on food choices?"

Never forget, Narcissistic abusive personalities know exactly what they're doing,
which is why they hide their manipulative abusive behaviors from others.
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Reply to Screennamed
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lealonnie1 Apr 8, 2020
Just spent 3 hours reading all about covert passive aggressive narcissistic personality disorder which fits my 93 yo mother to a TEE. Thanks to Lizzyvoos book recommendation below, I was clicking here and there and wound up sending myself 3 emails on the subject.

Phew. Mind boggling to finally read about my CHILDHOOD. To read about all the crazy shit for 63 years now. To know it's NOT me. It's HER. All of it. Every iota of nonsense I've been subjected to, and my poor father has been subjected to, has been because of a personality disorder that is now even WORSE because of dementia! Just when I thought the behavior couldn't POSSIBLY become more foul, it HAS!

You are 100% right, too, about how they hide their hideous behavior from others and know EXACTLY what they're doing, even when dementia is present.
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Hi Kaylynn,

I have a narcissistic father who is abusive, recovering from cancer, loosing his logics and drinking again ( I caught him today). All my life he has been a narcissist, I just didn't know it.
I suspect your Mother has been too.
I started reading a book that someone on this site recommended, called "Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist: How to End the Drama and Get On with Life" by Margalis Fjelstad.
It has changed my feelings. Rather than always being angry, frustrated and hurt, I've taken a step back.
I've stopped thinking "Why is he doing / saying these things to me?" to understanding that he can't help it ( I mean who would want to spend their life tormenting their family, being alone and miserable, drinking etc) if they were mentally sound?
No one.
I understand now, that my Dad has a mental condition.
This helps me stand back from his behaviours. None of it is about me.
His old hooks aren't working.
Although I have to try very hard not to react and he gives it his best, when he sees his ways aren't getting the reaction he wants, he walks away.
I have been calmer for days. I can not recommend this book enough.
It gave me breathing room.
I work with Autistic children, and now I compare. I don't get upset with them over their behaviours, because they have a cognitive/ communication disorder.
Well, so does my Dad. And getting mad or taking it personal is just not helpful.
Truly, what they say and do, is about them.

Take yourself away from her.
GIve yourself a break. If you can't get out of the house, listen to music with earphones, watch a favourite show or read a good book. Allow yourself breathing room.
Remember, it's a mental illness (that you may have not been trained to handle) and has nothing to do with you.

You are more than good enough, her perception is warped.

Take good care of yourself.
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Reply to Lizzyvoo
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Does your mom live in some type of nursing home or assisted living? Does she live at home? Does she live with you or you live with her? Does she live alone? Need more information.
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Reply to elaine1962
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Kaylyn, just remember that the boundaries are for you to set. They won't change her behavior and she will try to trample them ALL the time. Read the book; it WILL help.

Remind yourself that YOU are not responsible for her happiness. Just because she tells you that "it" is your fault, doesn't mean that it is.

You are actually not responsible for having anything to do with her. She is an adult and was responsible for planning her old age. Not you.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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The only thing worse than a narcissist is a narcissist with dementia!! The unreasonable behavior becomes ten times more unreasonable and the argumentativeness becomes twenty times worse, too. Once they stop remembering what they said 5 minutes ago, they keep repeating the aggravating things over and over again, making them even MORE obnoxious, which is hard to imagine.

Not sure if my mother is more NPD or just extreme Passive Aggressive, but I'd say she has a healthy dose of both, combined with moderate dementia. Thankfully, she lives in Memory Care assisted living so I can limit my exposure to her. Now that the visits have been eliminated, the phone calls have gotten harder and harder to deal with as her mood is deteriorating on a daily basis. And so is her dementia, it seems. Sometimes I ask DH to call her, b/c she is always a lot nicer to him than she is to me. Then I'll get on the phone at the end for a few minutes, and I'm able to nip her complaining in the bud that way. If not, it's time to hang up.

I don't have any magic answers for you, unfortunately. Just to wish you luck and to say that you ARE good enough. It's SHE that has too many issues to see it. Figure out how to remove yourself from her toxic presence as much as possible, because there is NO winning this game. Trust me, I know. I've been trying unsuccessfully for 63 years now.
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Need more info. Ages would help and if Mom has Dementia too.
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Kaylynn1959 Apr 7, 2020
Sorry for the omitted information. My mom is 84 and I am 60. My mother has dementia and possibly Parkinson’s
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From the way you phrased your question it sounds like you have an excellent idea who exactly your mother is, and already was even before the dementia. First, you can choose whether or not you want to be involved in her care or not, there is nothing that says you’re required to be. If it’s too painful for you, then step away. You’re an adult, you have the right not to be in an abusive situation. If you can be involved, you’ll need boundaries. The book titled Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud is excellent and has been a great help to me and many others. Do what you can for her, take no abuse, and take yourself out of the situation any time you need to. I wish you the best, it’s a hard road
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Kaylynn1959 Apr 7, 2020
Thank you for your thoughts and understanding. The boundaries are the hardest.
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