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I've known for many years that my mother is a narcissist. She was and IS a horrible mother who damaged all three of her children. I'm the oldest and somehow I got the brunt of her guilt manipulation and all growing up she tried to make me responsible for her happiness. My dad died 25 years ago and my mom never dated or remarried. I saved my sanity in younger years by living far away from her when I became an adult. When I would visit I would just indulge her the best I could and count the seconds until I could leave.


Starting about four years ago her health started to decline after she had a stroke. Right after the stroke she had mild aphasia but cognitive function wasn't bad. She seemed to recover okay and continued to live independently with some help from her best friend. Fast forward to now- her friend kept telling me she "needed to live by me" because she was becoming too forgetful and basically the early signs of dementia were all there. Her friend was getting sick of taking care of things and I don't blame her one bit.


So I moved her next door to me in my condo building. My husband and I are now invested financially in her unit. It was the only way it could be possible as she couldn't afford it on her own.


That was last Oct. Now that I see her pretty much daily I see that her cognitive decline was much worse that I realized. I finally got to go through some medical records for myself and I now know she has significant vascular disease, and this dementia has to be vascular dementia, although there is no official diagnosis, yet. She developed epilepsy after her stroke so she takes meds for that, and because of it she thankfully has an appointment scheduled with a neurologist for sometime in March.


I am so overwhelmed and depressed. Putting up with her moods daily, her subtle constant criticism and guilt trips. Nothing is EVER good enough. My two siblings were relieved that she moved here, but are now nowhere to be found. I'm getting NO support from them outside of the occasional phone call where they tell me I'm doing the right/nice thing putting up with our horrible mother. I'm so resentful. My husband and I worked hard to early retire and now we have THIS.


I would say her dementia is at a mid stage. The notes from her old neurologist said she has "Stable atrophy with chronic microangiopathic disease and chronic left middle cerebral artery territory infarct."


Needles to say I will have many questions for the new neurologist.


But my main vent right now is every day I am waking up with crushing depression. I know this is only going to get worse and I feel so overwhelmed and alone. My husband is supportive, but keeps his emotional distance. This truly feels like it is solely my problem.


Sorry for the wall of text. I'm a mess and don't know where to turn.

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I am the daughter of a NPD mother who has moderate to moderately severe dementia. I have been going to a counselor to learn how to set boundaries as I have both a mother and brother with NPD. I would recommend this type of counseling. It will free you in your mind. You will never change a person with NPD. You can ruin the years you have left with your husband if you don't decide to stop catering to her nonsense. You can help your mother with things that are true boulders in her life - taking her to doctors' visits, etc. but you are NOT responsible to be her social life. You can learn to set up emotional boundaries so you are not tormented by the mental abuse of the NPD mother. My mother also has assets and desires to remain in her home. My NPD brother fires anyone who has been hired to help - cleaning lady, gardener, etc. and will not allow a caregiver to help. Dealing with him is even worse than her. I am learning to identify NPD talk and ignore it or laugh at it but realize that I will NEVER be validated by my mother in my lifetime. So it's time to stop looking for her approval.
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Reply to DofNPDmother
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Thank you to everyone who responded. I'm new to this site and still a bit confused about the forum format, so I hope I'm replying properly.

On the medicaid- my mom has both income and assets, so I don't think she would qualify.

When we purchased her condo it was about a 50/50 split and it is deeded in her name and also my name and my husbands. We set it up as rights of survivor-ship, so eventually the condo will be owned by just me and my husband (if I survive this!). I now regret this, but at the time it seemed like the best solution. She is literally next door to me. She really likes the condo, it has a nice view, and she brought all her nice furniture and has it fixed up to her liking. I was thinking I would be looking after her for the long haul, so I thought the proximity, plus the privacy of her having a separate place was the best thing. Way better than her living WITH me. That was my thought process at the time and my husband was agreeable. My mom was thrilled.

Because she can still do most things independently, like feed herself, take her meds, bathe herself, and is reasonably mobile I thought it would be okay for awhile. At that time I was still in denial about the dementia.

Four months in and here I am, the mess I described in my first post. I had no idea the dementia would be so hard, or how progressed it was as she can hide it in certain situations. She just doesn't say much or will blame her old stroke. Maybe she herself is in denial? I don't know, but it's clear to me the dementia is there. Based on my research it will also progress. In fact it HAS progressed. I now clearly see why her friend wanted her to move here so badly. She saw it then.

Prior to her moving I thought she was okay enough that she would be able to socialize on her own, make new friends, find things to do. She does NONE of that and I have no clue how to help her make friends.

Today I emailed our local senior center and asked about activities. I also set up a "wine and snacks" early eve get together with an older friend of mine who lives close that I've known for a few years. Hoping maybe she can become friends with my mom too. Beyond that I have no clue. Also it's hard for me to picture my mom going to a senior center and doing activities, so I don't have high hopes on that one.

What I do know is I can't be it ALL. I don't want to be around her negative BS and narcissistic ways so this entire thing is a challenge. Being around narcissistic people is such a drain, and it's always been that way with her. Everything is about HER ONLY. All conversations are one sided. I don't think she really knows or appreciates any of her kids. Only what they can do FOR HER. Then there is the abuse if she isn't getting enough attention. The little digs. Like Sunday night she was at my place because I asked her if she wanted to come over and have dinner and then watch football with me and my husband. She came over, but then got annoyed I was watching the game and not giving her my undivided attention. So she started complaining about one of my dogs (who was doing absolutely NOTHING but laying in her bed) that she didn't like "that one" because she was "too needy" and then tells me I made the dog that way. It's MY FAULT the dog is needy according to her. She goes on about this for about 20 mins, I looked at my husband and he just rolled his eyes. Absolutely nothing warranted her stupid rant, but it was MY FAULT.
I could give hundreds of examples.

As for assessments, I plan to address this when she has her neurology appointment in March. I appreciate the tip about sending the doctor a letter beforehand so she doesn't flip out if she doesn't like my questions. Since this will be her first visit to this doctor, to establish, I wonder if I can still send a letter ahead of time? I'll have to call them and see. Hopefully I can. I really need to fully understand her vascular disease and how fast this is going to progress.

Thanks for listening.
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Isthisrealyreal Jan 22, 2019
So she does self pay. Which is even better. She has more choices.

There is no hard and fast rules about progression of dementia, only that it gets worse.

You will be the one setting and enforcing boundaries, she is a lifelong narcissist and she will never set self boundaries, it isn't part of the personality.

Sunday was a perfect example, mom, you were invited over to watch football, if you are not interested, here let me walk you home. Then walk her home. Have a good night, talk to you later. No arguing, no justifying, this is how it is. She may learn to treat you better, but she may not, but if you don't tell her when she is behaving badly she will never change. It is hard but if you are to survive, you do need boundaries and you need enforce them.


You have choices and she has choices, her choices need not dictate yours.

You and hubby decide together how to move forward and move. She won't be happy about anything you do, so don't try to please her. Protect yourself. A narsasist will devour you and not care one iota, as long as they get what they want.

Stay strong, it gets bumpy.
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Oh hell no!

Get her assessment done, get her placed and go enjoy your life.

You have zero obligations to be her hands on caregiver.

Making sure she is in a facility that provides her with her needs is the only requirement that you are obligated to. It utterly floors me that narsisitic parents think they can steal their adult offsprings life.

Choices have consequences and hers is that her daughter goes back to being a daughter and leaves the caregiving to the pros.

You and your husband worked hard and it wasn't so she could continue to keep you feeling like crap so she has it nice.

Sorry if I sound harsh but I have walked in your shoes and I have no tolerance for this or people that make it seem like you get some reward for giving up everything for your parents. A truly loving parent would never ask or expect their children to sacrifice everything for them.

Hugs, it is okay to place her in a facility on Medicaid and if your siblings give you any flack, tell them to come get her, period.
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MountainMoose Jan 22, 2019
Preach it, Isthisrealyreal!
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I’m so sorry you have to go this alone with your husband. Excellent suggestions here. I, too, went through the same thing with a mom who was the only child that developed dementia and BAM, I was the only sibling to care for her.
I made appointments for as many doctors for her care. I would send a letter to the office regarding my specific concerns of her issues prior to the appointments so that they knew before she was seen. Any discussion from me in front of mom would send her to the roof!
Also, check into Area on Aging! There are facilities in some states that offer Medicare beds in well rated Board and Care homes and Assisted Living Facilites although very limited in most counties.
Maybe consider a service such as Comfort Keepers or someone to come in 2 or 3 times a week to hang out or care for your mom to give you a break. Use a good well rated company so that if the caregiver is sick they will replace her with someone that is personality matched with your mom.
Long Term Care Insurance if you mom does not have any, unfortunately might be hard to get at this point in her diagnoses.
Now about you! You need a break! I went 10 years doing this and I was a stress case the entire time. Depressed, a ball of nerves, and guilt tripped the entire time! Take a vacation even if it’s for the weekend. Have someone come take care of your mom and you and your husband leave! You have siblings that can fly in to be emergency contacts if need be. Do NOT feel guilty! You deserve it and need to take a break for your own mental health and physical health. I waited 8 years before I did and I’ll tell you, I fell like a new person and it helped me deal with my mom’s situation and her in a whole new way.
You have a slew of friends and help here and we’ve gotcha! We will be your siblings in your venting and suggestions! We will never go away so comeback to us anytime. Your good works and love toward your mom will be greatly rewarded when you get to look back on it someday! Already you are a hero in my eyes!

Here’s the link for your state. It is the 1915(c) waiver regarding the state services for elderly and waivers for assistance. Each state’s Area on Aging should provide this info. Also call your local Ombudsman Office. They actually are amazing with community resources and assistance as well.
http://ahca.myflorida.com/Medicaid/Policy_and_Quality/Policy/federal_authorities/federal_waivers/index.shtml
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Reply to ScrimbleB
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Dysfunction in early years can cause depression later especially when we have to deal with the parent involved. I know the feeling. I am on antidepressants. If her care is costing you money which is no doubt more difficult due to her proximity perhaps you can transfer her to a facility which she certainly sounds as though she needs with her ailments. This may not solely solve everything but you could remove yourself from seeing her daily which is only worsening your feelings. Then maybe you can find small ways to help yourself further.
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Reply to Riverdale
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Get her placed in a home, sell her condo, and live the retirement you wanted to live. Visit your mom but do not be her hands on caregiver.
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Reply to Kimber166
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I agree with Sunnygirl. Check into Medicaid. Medicaid is what pays for a bed in a nursing home. It will be a process to get your mom approved but if she can move to a nursing home it will take much of the day to day burden off of you.

If you tour some places and decide on one you think is the most appropriate for your mom the social worker will help you with the Medicaid process and paperwork.
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Reply to Eyerishlass
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Your mom needs care. Not necessarily yours.

Have you gotten a "needs assessment" from the local Area Agency on Aging? They will come and assess mom and tell you what her care needs are. They can assess her assets and income and tell you if she qualifies for aid.

Get yourself to a therapist or counselor to discuss why you feel that you need to do this yourself. Your mother's life is HER responsibility.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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I'm sorry to hear of your situation. It is sad news, but, there are options. I'd try to look at it that way. While your mother may have been very challenging to deal with previously, I'd consider that her progression with dementia may likely change some things. My LO was also a very demanding person. She was quite selfish and spoiled and quick to be demanding. However, as her dementia progressed, she became quite different, because her brain changed. The focus then becomes how to manage her care, like feeding, changing, bathing, etc. The speech is lost and so there is no real dialogue anymore.

I might get appointments with all the experts you'll need, like an attorney to explore your rights and responsibilities. You say you are part owners of her condo? Also, explore Medicaid eligibility her assets, long term care insurance, and prepare yourself for what is to be expected for someone with her condition. Most people who are mid stage dementia, really aren't able to live alone. They are at risk of fires, strangers, falls, mistaking medication, eating non-food items, wandering, inability to handle hygiene, etc.

I hope you can find some answers and some support. If you can make arrangements for her care, maybe, you can start some healing.
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