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I am currently helping care for my mother who is 71. She has no major illnesses that I am are aware of. Although I'm pretty certain she has some cluster b personality disorders. Very selfish, victim mentality, pity party, sick when the attention quota isn't being met, chronic complainer type. Like I said no major health issues other than just getting older and mobility issues. Just the normal stuff that accompanies old age. Each day starts with a gigantic sigh followed by groaning about some body part that hurts. And thru the day it's just one sigh after another. Each louder than the last. I call it attention breathing because it's like "sighh".....(no response)...... "Sighhhhhh"........ (still no response)....... She clears throat, deep inhale and "Sssigggghhhhhhhhhhh"....... For God's sake mom what's wrong?..... "Huh? What?.... Oh nothing it's just my back/neck/foot/ect. Just ignore it."


Well that was the plan but it's kind of hard to ignore it when your exhaling so loud I can't hear the television. Aaaaahhhhhh!


She's always making some dig at me about something I didn't do that I was supposed to do. But of course when I do that thing it's replaced with the next thing I didn't do. And this goes on constantly. I thought with all the digging she does I should buy her a shovel for Christmas. I try and offer solutions to her "pains" and nope can't do it. Just wants to sit there and complain about them. I think the only thing she loves more than complaining is not doing anything about them. It's so exhausting to deal with. I've had multiple people tell me they thought something was wrong with her as far as her mental state because of how openly selfish she seems. But of course it's everyone else with the problem not her. It's like she has the ability turn the "show" on and off at will in order to make me look as if I am the one who is crazy for thinking she has issues. I honestly don't know how my Dad did it for all those years. I really don't. God rest his soul. There is no other family to help. I have an older brother but he's basically obese and can't contribute anything. I feel as though I'm leaving so much out and I could go on and on about it but the main question is what strategies do you use in order to deal with someone like this? I mean seriously. Ive tried everything from meditation to drinking. It's really starting to consume me. I can't think of anything except something she did or said. How do you guys do this without letting it really get to you? I mean she's my mother and I love her, but I don't like her. I need advice.

We deal with the ugly situation by getting out. Either more respite care for us to take breaks, or Adult Day Care, or have the elder live in a senior apartment or assisted living.
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Reply to Kimber166
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Your mom is very young for you to be her caregiver, could you be getting used?

My dad did the heavy sigh stunt when he stayed at my house, it was always when he had an accident and wanted to solicit sympathy before he got up and denied that he did what he did, he would actually say he was bleeding through his penis, ya, I'm to stupid to tell the difference between urine and blood.

I had to tell him that he needs to stop with the moaning and sighing, little boy that cried wolf was what I explained would happen.

If it is all about her, you will have to set boundaries and stick to them. I would honestly get her in a senior apartment, she needs to live while she's able and the if you don't use it you lose it. Is so true and it gets truer the older we get.

If she gets to live with you and have her way and a servant she will probably throw a fit that you are encouraging her to have a life. Narsisitic humans only care about what they can get from you and they will use any and all tactics to achieve their end goals, which is that everybody lives to do their bidding.

I think that it is okay to tell our parents when their behavior is unacceptable and inappropriate. It doesn't have to get ugly, usually does because they don't have a clue what we are talking about. Ugh! We are always going to be the problem in their heads, it's how they roll.

Anyway, I walk and walk and have conversation with myself as I'm burning off the energy that I would like to use to have a melt down with them. I don't because that's exactly what they want, I'm big on not giving them what they want.

If the frustration gets to be a physical stress, I have also had really good results with a nerf bat, I think it's a woofle ball bat, soft, and an old pillow that I have beat the crap out of while i'm airing my frustrations.

You could always start the moaning and groaning first and mess with her. Any thing that doesn't hurt them but helps relieve your stress is okay. I have asked, would you like some bread and cheese with that? What? With your whine, would you like some bread and cheese. It usually stops the nonsense, they never have a good response to it.

Have a better day tomorrow and enjoy messing with her.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Your Mum sounds narcissistic and that's a tough dynamic to cope with. There is
never enough you can do. My father is very narcissistic and will ask me to perform
three involved tasks, in a whining wheedling tone he uses with no one else. As I begin on the first task he asks me if I've finished the third!! Grrrrr.

He trash talks me, making me sound either like a pathetic loser who he's "helping out" or I'm after his money He needs constant attention and flattery and he gets it by insinuating that he's in the market for surrogate daughter and he's loaded.

In reality I took care of him and his poor decisions as a child and teen, and now
doing it again. I've finally realized that I was chasing after the golden carrot
of his nonexistent love. He has skillfully rationed out a few pats on the head, but
compared with the pitch perfect adorable loving grandfather act he gives any and
all, I had to face I was killing myself for a few crumbs.

I honestly think he wants me broken down to the point that I will be that perfect
combo of servant and daughter. Daughter for the photo ops, and requisite holiday visits and invisible servant and scapegoat for all the rest. This is a very toxic way to be treated and has robbed me of my health, community, finances (the stress has cost me a lot of $ medical/dental bills, well into the many 1000's by now) . My old friends wonder what happened to me and are totally over hearing about my situation and I don't blame them.

I hope my story is a cautionary tale. Some parents only exploit their children,
they have nothing to give back. Or what they give is burdened with so many
strings attached, it's less a gift than a trap. Tread carefully with your narcissistic
mom. She appears to want a servant and you're not doing either yourself or her any favors by complying.

Helping her into a comfortable and affordable situation is far more than many
do for their parents. Not to mention an abusive one. Take care of your own
health, finances, community first and then attend to her care. That age old
putting on your own oxygen mask before you put on anyone else's is 10x
more important when dealing with the life draining realities of dealing with a
narcissist. The demands of care taking are demanding enough as it is.
Please don't fall into the same trap as some of us have, and wait until complete
burnout until you start putting up psychologically healthy boundaries.
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Reply to bettina
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Isthisrealyreal Dec 12, 2018
Im so sorry that you got trapped into believing that you could ever be good enough to earn his love, narsasists are not capable of loving anyone but themselves but they are really good at destroying their children and training them when they are young to always reach to please them. That's how they get away with it, we were trained before our conscious memories. Stay strong and know that it's his lose, you are worth so much more then he could ever give you. Even his greatest gift pales in comparison to what you deserve.

Hugs!
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