My mother is critically ill with an undiagnosed neurological disease, which means she's completely bedridden but has her full mental capacity. I am in graduate school and caring for her, both full time.

She recently told me and her physcologist that the only reason she hasn't given up and the only thing she's living for is my excellent cooking. She has many allergies, so I make all her meals absolutely from scratch.

The problem is, I have no time to cook for her, but she demands and manipulates for about five full meals a day. She's obese. I recently failed a qualifying exam partially because she was demanding food during my study times.

She has a feeding tube and boxes full of liquid food from when her nausea got bad. She guilts me and gaslights me when I need to study for exams and beg that she does feeding tube for a day.

I'm struggling in school because of the care she demands (not needs.) My father, who lives with us, fully supports her demands for food, that only I can make.

Does anyone have suggestions for dealing with a narcissitic overeater that I have no power to confront?

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That is emotional blackmail. You might be able to access a counsellor at your school. Set limits that protect yourself. You do not have to give in to her demands. Your father is enabling her at your cost. Do you live with them? That makes the situation worse. I have food allergies too but I can cook and eat very simply.

Practically you could make extra and freeze meals for times you need to study. Your studies needs to be high on your priority list, Maybe your parents could hire someone to help with her care or she might qualify for home help. You are not a slave or servant.
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OP here.
Just the fact that someone toLd me that this is not okay helps me immensely. A falculty member told me a few months ago that I needed to talk to a school psychologist; someone who doesn't know me has certainly helped me schedule that appt.

As for freezing meals, she has refused all frozen prep I've done. But even three people telling me that this isn't okay will help me to stop hating myself and start fighting.

Thank you for validating my experience. Perhaps I will start believing I'm being abused and start handling it.

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silver - You are being abused, You are OK. She is not. Please schedule that appointment and learn how to set boundaries. My mother is narcissistic. Sounds like yours is too. They will take over your life if you don't stop them. They have no empathy for others and want to be the center of your universe. You can't allow that. You are entitled to a life of your own.They won't like it, but too bad. It would be far better for you to live somewhere other than with your parents. They won't like that either as they want to control you, but you can't allow that to continue.

A healthy parent would do everything they could to encourage you to succeed in grad school. My congrats to you for getting that far in school. I am proud of you for taking the steps you need to to succeed.

Let us know how you are doing so we can support you. (((((((hugs))))))
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"Does anyone have suggestions for dealing with a narcissitic overeater that I have no power to confront? "

It's impossible to control someone else's actions. You can only control your reactions. Just say no.
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Please come back here if you start to waver in your resolve. There are plenty more folks here who will tell you in no uncertain terms that you need to set limits, complete your education and live your life independent of your parents.

Your mother's food issue is one that should be dealt with by her Doctors and your father.

Why is caring for her falling on you at all?
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Silver, I too was finishing grad school when I started caring for my mom with Alzheimer's. I loved being in school and the classes I was taking. All that was left was my capstone. I had aced all of my classes, but the attention mom needed while trying to complete my project was impossible. Just was not able to devote my attention to my project because of mom's needs. I was lucky to pass the capstone, it may have even been a gift. No way possible to provide care and complete a master's degree!
Helpful Answer (6)

My suggestion is to book a study room at the campus or the library. When you need to spend time on your school work...leave the house and go there.
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Golden said it best!!
Helpful Answer (4)

You have to brace yourself for the onslaught of manipulation, guilt tripping etc. I've gone through so much of that with my father and his cheering leading section (people who don't help, but are hoping for very unlikely inheritance as my father likes dangle his money around, but needs to spend it on 24/7 nursing care)

Putting firm boundaries in place is essential for any relationship with a narcissist. Here's the best example of what I think deep down they all want. After spending an entire day helping my father with myriad health/insurance concerns, cleaning a carpet that had been soaked in urine and dealing with my own pressing work concerns that required immediate action, my father told me to take a nap on the urine/cleaner soaked floor!! And not to worry, he'd wake me up if he needed anything!!!! Wtf.

And that's when it hit me, he wants me there waiting at his feet, primed and ready to fulfill his next command. What's really galling is that he likes to pretend that
he's actually helping me "get on my feet" because I've spent the last few years care taking him and my special needs son, and as a result had also to care take for
myself as all the demands on my time and strength have destroyed my health.

So please learn from my mistakes. A demanding manipulative parent will deliberately sabotage you so you will be more dependent on them and thus more available to cater to their every demand. It will be a thankless task as they do not see you as a separate person, but more as a good mommy who will always be at their beck and call. The best part is that since narcissists usually like to maintain a grandiose self image, they will downplay or even disregard the sacrifices you make on their behalf and portray you as the needy one or even as abusive or greedy.

The icing on the cake is that if they have any financial means (or in my father's case pretend to have great financial resources) you will have to combat a thick swirl of
orbiters who will be quick to defend your parent in their grievances. I've had to send several of these types packing (and boy were they pissed!!) . They want the
bank account numbers in exchange for a few weeks or months of flattery and commiserating with your parent about how much they've been through putting up
with you!!

So head held up, disregard any gossip and be firm in your boundaries for your schooling work, health and outside relationships. And ask yourself, did your parent do the same over the top care when you were young, and if not, do you really think they would do the same if the roles were reversed?

Be sane with boundaries, or be broken without them. With a narcissist there is no other choice.
Helpful Answer (4)

I'd also start looking for a spring sublet. You need to get out of the constant demands, and you may need loans to pay for housing. It's worth it!
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