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I recently found this site & I'm hoping y'all might be able to give me some guidance. I'm in my early/mid-20s, adopted as a baby, and stuck trying to balance a full-time job+1hr commute and a school course with a nasty, narcissistic 65 yo mother. She is the textbook definition of someone with narcissistic personality disorder (perfectly nice to everyone except my sibling and I), and she has several chronic medical issues (gastrointestinal, diabetes, severe arthritis). While she is still able to do things herself, she plays the martyr and refuses, leaving me as a caregiver of sorts. Duties include cooking her meals & cleaning up (she barely eats when I don't cook for her), running all of her errands, helping her do her laundry, figuring out anything she can't figure out (technology, bills), grocery shopping, taking care of the family dog, and on the off occasion she runs an errand herself, I must go with her "for company" but also to be her pack mule. She is prone to falls & has a lot of trouble getting up, so I always have to be on alert. My mother has "looked into" non-medical caregivers (not sure exactly what those are called) - the kinds of people that you pay to come to your house for a few hours to help with light housekeeping, errands, companionship, etc. - but never does anything about it because it "won't help". I have been doing all of this since my father died nearly 3 years ago, and my only sibling is now in a steady relationship and only comes over to the house 1 day a week to do the things I can't do (e.g. set up bigger holiday decorations outside, balance her checkbook). Her attitude and mobility (despite physical therapy) have really gotten worse this year, and I'm at my breaking point. I am so immensely bitter for a few reasons: I have virtually no family left (deaths & moving to other states), I've been physically, verbally, and emotionally abused since I was 3 or 4yo, I feel like my sibling has jumped ship & left me stranded, and most of all, I feel like I am truly missing out on creating a life for myself. The abuse has been the worst of all, the most soul crushing. I bend over backwards to help my mother, dedicating what little free time I have to trying to make her life easier, and I get a swift kick in the rear for it. No thanks. No appreciation. A lot of her attitude comes from her narcissistic personality disorder, but some of it also comes from her high levels of pain. She refuses to do anything remotely helpful for herself (medical procedure that could alleviate a lot of the pain, for instance) and would rather everyone cater to her and listen to her whine. The verbal/emotional abuse is what has led me to posting here - my life is a constant stream of "I can't believe how stupid you are", "you don't do anything to help me", "you're such a moron", and those are some of the *nicer* ones. Look up emotional incest, if you don't know what that is - this is my daily life. Oh, and did I mention I live at home? I have virtually no privacy, and she needs to know where I am every second of the day because she is controlling and paranoid that something bad will happen to me. (At this point, I'm tempted to willingly let someone abduct me...) I am planning on moving at the start of the new year because I have had it with her. I plan to go limited contact, and probably just one visit a week or once every 2 weeks, schedule dependent. Please help me get through these last 2 months. My life is truly unbearable at the moment. It has become so bad this year that I have developed anxiety that derails my day out of nowhere, and mild depression that leaves me feeling sad, helpless, hopeless, and everything else that depression brings. I need advice on how to manage a nasty, aging mother until I am able to move in 2 months - the holidays make all of this 50 times worse! (Must wait 2 months to move due to finances & work schedule.) I know I am not a caregiver in the traditional sense, since she can take herself to doctors appointments and doesn't need help dressing, washing, etc., but I absolutely do so many other things for her that I feel more like her employee than her daughter.

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I am SO glad to hear that you are moving! That will be a huge part of the solution.

If you are living there, it is reasonable that you should contribute to the household in some way. Laundry, perhaps. Or weekly routine cleaning. Or cooking two meals a week. Or ... well any tasks you and Mother agree upon. It is not reasonable that you should be at her beck and call.

How about telling Mom that from now on you will cook one meal on the weekend and one on Wednesdays. Make crockpot meals or soups or similar dishes that will serve for several days and can be frozen for future weeks, to ensure variety. She doesn't eat much on the days you don't cook? Well that is too bad, isn't it? But certainly not your problem. There are restaurants, there is the crock pot food from yesterday, there are places that deliver meals, and there are a couple of home-made choices in the freezer. Tell her what you'll do, and stick to it.

Stop letting her be so intrusive into your affairs. Where are you going? "Out with friends. I'll probably be home by 11. If that changes I'll call you." But what friends? "I don't think you know them, Mom. Gotta run." It is courteous to let her know when you'll be home, but she isn't entitled to the details of your life.

Your brother has "jumped ship" -- and good for him! I suggest you do that as much as you can in the next two months. Spend minimal time in the house.

If you've always lived at home, establishing an adult-to-adult relationship is tough, especially given your mother's mental health issues. Do your best, don't expect miracles, and count the days until you will leave.
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Wishing You Every Happiness In Your New Home 🏠🌈

Your mother is far more likely to decide that outside help *will* help once you're not there. She'll be fine.
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I got my mom to finally accept home support by telling her they were for ME, not for her. I don't know if that will work in your situation, but it's worth a try.

Batch cooking - spend one day cooking a bunch of things so you can freeze meals for microwaving or oven heating. (Maybe you can get the laundry done at the same time - and tell her if it's not in the laundry basket the night before, it doesn't get washed - and stick to it, don't go picking up after her.) Also Meals on Wheels is $6 per meal here in BC, Canada. There is also a company that provides diabetic and/or low sodium meals for $7. I'm sure there are similar resources nearby.

If she is not interested in taking care of her health (i.e. not eating properly, not following up about surgery, etc.) then it's not really your problem.

Walk away when she is being mean. Don't react. Just walk away. The more she sees her behavior upsets you, the more she will try to push your buttons. Obviously she's getting some kind of cheap thrill out of trashing you, so don't let her have the satisfaction.

Put a lock on your door and lock it at all times. Buy earplugs or wear headphones if she bangs on your door.

Maybe give her a set time during the day that you will be available for helping her, and tell her the rest of your time is devoted to studying, or whateve. And stick to it. Just because she is your mother does not give her the right to monopolize your time or energy.

Practice your poker face in the mirror. Keep it steady. Use it with her at all times. Even if she is being totally mean and provoking. Never change your expression.

Also what jeannegibbs said above. You're going out. With friends. You'll be back at ____ time. Leave quickly and don't let her suck you in. You're an adult now and it's none of her business what you do outside the house.

I am really glad you are leaving. Keep that goal in focus at all times. It might help to create a vision board - if you don't know what that is, there is lots of information online. A visual representation of the life you want for yourself can be hugely helpful - sort of "keeping your eyes on the prize." (You may want to keep it hidden from your mother though.)

I read somewhere that NPD is the one mental disorder that is not treatable with medication or psychotherapy. She's not going to change, and as her health worsens, so will her behavior. If nothing else helps, at least feel free to come to this site to vent. I only discovered it a couple of weeks ago, but it's already made a difference to me, just being able to talk.

Edited to add:  make sure your money and financial information is SECURE and untouchable.  Because if she sees your are serious and dedicated to getting out of her house, she may try anything to sabotage it. 
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Dorianne, that's what I told my mother when she started acting up about my getting in a respite carer for a few hours a week - she said she didn't need anyone to sit with her and I said it wasn't for her benefit but mine, so I didn't have to worry for a few hours. It worked! She still gives me the stink-eye when the carer turns up, but as I'm on my way out of the door by then I pretend not to see it.
Blackdiamond, hugs and kudos to you for getting out - don't let anything get in your way. This kind of emotional bullying saps the spirit. And if she "has a fall" or "gets sick" in an attempt to emotionally blackmail you into staying, don't fall for it. Just call 911 and walk away.
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You’re already on the right path, making a plan toward changing things by moving out. Good for you! I hope you’ll put your focus on that for the next weeks, distance yourself emotionally and mentally from the abuse as much as possible, and make plans, if only mentally toward your new life. Your mom will be perfectly fine, she’s learned an unhealthy pattern of behavior that you no longer need to tolerate. I hope after you move, that when you come back to visit, if and when the abuse starts you’ll just leave. Teach her a new way to treat you, or deny her your presence. Blessings in the days ahead
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Go and read all the archives at captainawkward.com . It is all about setting boundaries, and you need all the help you can get. She gives really good advice and "scripts" to help you set the boundaries. And read through the comments also. You'll get a sense of camaraderie there.
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I'd keep a mantra going in my head, "60 more days...59 more days...58 more days - I can do this!" You ARE a caregiver and an abused child. I am SO happy to read you're moving out. Any chance you could couch surf for a few days or weeks when it gets bad? Get out and don't look back. I'd go no contact once you leave if I was you. Does your mom know you're leaving? Expect her to get super manipulative as the time nears.

Look on here (and elsewhere) for posts about the F.O.G. (fear, obligation & guilt) that narcissists use to keep their children in line. It sounds like you've got a very good handle on what's happening with your mom, which is terrific. Most adult children who were abused struggle with the idea of leaving or reducing contact. It sounds like you're in great shape with both of those ideas.

Come back here frequently when you need some support - we get it and we're in your corner! {{{Hugs}}}
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Regarding your dog - if there is ANY way to have him go with you, or even place him in a friend's care, I would do that! Speaking from experience, I left my dog with my parents because my landlord didn't allow dogs, and when they got tired of him, they put him to sleep. :( Not trying to scare you, just be aware and vigilant. Your mom may get VERY angry when you leave!!!
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I'm so sorry for what you're going through, blackdiamond! I understand, because I went through the same thing myself.  I'm glad that you have a plan for moving out, and I agree with the others that you should be very careful about how you do this, because she will try to sabotage you, even if it means doing things like faking a "health event" near the time of your move out.

Also, remember that you are the only person who can say "no" to her demands, and you CAN say no.  It's perfectly acceptable to say no, although it does take practice.  This has helped us: Ask yourself, "What's the worst that can happen if I say no to this request?" The answer for a daughter of a narcissistic mother is usually, "She'll get mad!"...but so what? You can't control her emotions, actions, or anger, but you CAN control yourself. Take your life back. I did it, and (years later) finally feel normal again!

I also highly recommend therapy, it really does help. Yes, it's expensive, but the alternatives of not being productive, not having a happy life, and not being able to set boundaries, are much worse. If nothing else, read forums and get suggestions about how other people deal with their narcissistic parents.

I also firmly believe that NO ONE should have to take care of an abusive family member. If someone wants to and is at peace with it, then fine. But if they are guilted and forced into it, that's not ok. If someone had an abusive ex-husband, no one would expect his ex-wife to care for him in his old age, especially if he continued to be abusive! But somehow, society (not those on this forum, but society in general) thinks that we're obligated "because it's your MOTHER!" Baloney. Right now, I'm taking care of my father-in-law, and doing it willingly. He also never abused me! But (God willing) it will be a cold day in h3ll before I take care of my own narcissistic mother!!!
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You most certainly are a caregiver! This is way too much on your plate. You will have a much better life once you move away from your mother. You have a job, you're going to school - all things that are very, very important. Don't let anxiety and depression from the abuse (and yes, that is what it is) your mother is heaping upon you to derail your plans.

Is that a one-hour commute each way? Or one hour total?
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