Earlier this week I read an article on facebook about narcissistic parents and the damage they can do to their families. Wow. Aha moment. This led to internet searches, and I ended up here.
I have always known something was not right about family relationships on my mom's side of the family. Now I'm realizing my grandmother is narcissistic. I don't yet know where she falls on the scale, but I'm relieved to feel I'm on the right track after many years of feeling confused and angry. It's incredible to come across so many stories of others who've been through the same stuff. Hugs to everyone on this site!!!
I thought I'd post this topic to start a new thread, as my situation seems slightly unique from others. I'm the legal guardian and conservator for my 87 year old grandmother... rather than my parent...
In 2009, neighbors found Gramma early on a cold morning in their driveway hiding by their car. Police were called. She was taken to the hospital. Hospital called Mom and demanded she provide better care for Gramma. We realized Gramma was starting to have dementia. This is where the new chapter began. This whole story just seems so freakin' weird!!!
I didn't know until recently how bad Gramma has been to Mom her whole life. Mom later told me she wanted me to arrive at my own conclusions. I just knew Gramma could be prickly and judgmental towards Mom. Now Mom has been sharing more, and I've witnessed how venemous, sneaky, and manipulative Gramma can be. She has hidden it well. Most people only saw the charming side. But with dementia, she's not able to be as sneaky.
When I was growing up, Gramma seemed a little too nice to me (in a fake way), kind of strange, and I was always uncomfortable around her. Gramma and (step)Grampa always treated us much younger than we were. But, I really wasn't around her that much, which I now realize was a blessing, or a good choice on Mom's part.
Over the years, Gramma appeared like a very sweet lady in public. In private, she flipped back and forth from nice to horrible towards Mom. She's quite sneaky and manipulative. She does the smear campaign against Mom and makes herself out to be the victim. When Mom was growing up, Gramma would sometimes flip to being nice, get Mom to confide in her, then use those confidences against Mom. Gramma picked fights and went into crazy rants against Mom, always in private. Have to give the appearance to everyone else that all is perfect. Gramma is very vain, and is obsessed with eating healthy and maintaining her weight, even in memory care. Very concerned about what others think about her. Mom has truly never been able to do anything right in Gramma's eyes. Now that Gramma has dementia, the negative stuff has multiplied.
Gramma divorced when Mom was 3, and never let Mom see her dad after that. He died when my mom was 17, so she never knew him. Gramma says he was horrible, but we don't know if that's true. We recently found out Gramma had a child when Mom was 3, and put her up for adoption. She was the lucky one. We think my mom's dad never knew. Gramma promptly remarried and had what we always thought was her 2nd child. According to Mom, 2nd child was the golden spoiled child and Mom was the resented slave (probably true). Uncle's now a raging alcoholic and has no contact with any family, including his son. Gramma's 2nd husband sexually molested Mom until she was about 16. When Mom told Gramma about it, Gramma told her to stop being a brat. Mom never told anyone until she confided to me a few years ago. How awful for Mom! Gramma completely ran Mom's life, and was furious when she married Dad and escaped. (Are you lost yet? I am...)
So Mom and Dad have their own problems. They've probably suffered from depression, etc. They both have issues and are co-dependent. They have trouble making decisions.Their finances are a mess. Mom can be very negative (she tries not to). Dad is a dreamer. When Mom and Dad are overwhelmed and really need something done, they call me. Gramma is so mean to Mom, and Mom is not good at finances. I have a financial background and can deal with lawyers. We ended up making me Gramma's guardian and conservator. She's now in memory care (a relief to all).
After many years of confusion and a strained relationship with Mom, I'm finally understanding some things. I also had a rough time growing up, but never had sexual mistreatment. I think my mom has always loved me and truly wished the best for me. She did the best she could, but was reeling from her own experiences, overwhelmed, and somewhat unable to deal with life.
I was feeling guilty about not visiting Gramma very much, but I've had to set boundaries. I've decided it's ok to visit every 3-4 mos. My daughter is 2, and she's the most important thing in my life. I'm trying very hard to be a loving, supporting mom, and help her grow up happy and healthy! I want to stop this weird cycle!!