Hello, My mom is 88, has always been emotionally immature and self-absorbed (no dementia). I've never set many boundaries with her. She doesn't 'get' boundaries. Example- She's always called me and talked and talked(!) about nothing and I've listened. So draining. Over the years, I've asked her to not call so much. I don't even like talking on the phone, am a total introvert. She doesn't stop. She cries when I ask her to stop. I would describe her as on the low end of the narcissistic spectrum. But since January, things have escalated...
In Jan., my stepdad (age 95) and mom got Covid. He died of it. She is ok now, but it affected her heart and kidneys. My brother and I (1 brother, no sisters) have spent SO MUCH TIME dealing with her- doctors, hospital stays, moving her to an independent living facility, doing her finances, groceries, etc., etc. (I live 5 hours from her; my brother, 1 1/2 hrs.) My mom has always been needy and dependent. She expects us to do everything for her now. My brother? Jumps through hoops to do whatever she wants. I help, but I don't jump.
About 6 weeks ago, I reached an 'aha' moment realizing that my mom is a covert narcissist. She has many bad behaviors toward me, but they've gotten WAY worse. (And it's not from grieving.) She bullies me. She compares me to other daughters my age. I've asked her to stop. She doesn't stop. Too, she has always interrupted and talked over me. I've been speaking up for myself the last few weeks. I ask her over and over to stop interrupting me. She's interrupting when I'm asking this! It. Does. Not. Stop.
To everyone else, she's this sweet lady. To me, she's the opposite. I've been calling her out on her bad behaviors lately. She doesn't like it and turns things around and blames me. She yells at me. In July, she went into a RAGE. I hid in her condo bathroom to get away. She hides her bad behavior from others. The rage was when my husband went to do a curbside pick-up. Of course, she stopped right before he got back.
In the past several weeks, I've read 22 books (no kidding!) about emotionally immature, self-absorbed, and narcissistic parents. Wow, did they open my eyes!! They describe my mom to a T. I see patterns now over and over (from decades!). My brother, whom I felt so close to most of my life, is now treating me differently. I'm pretty sure my mom is triangulating. I see my brother is the Golden Child. And I am the Scapegoat. My brother's wife has always treated me passive-aggressively. Now, I feel this united front of the 3 of them against me. My husband totally sees it too. It's distressing and disturbing.
Last night, I lost it with my mom over the phone. She doesn't understand why I don't want to talk to her on the phone and only want to correspond by text or email. I told her I'm treated kinder that way. She doesn't listen though because she's interrupting me! She was yelling at me. And sadly, I was yelling back. I'm so very angry with her. She DENIES all her bad behavior. She denied going into a RAGE in July. Huh?! She denies comparing me to other daughters though she does it over and over. She gaslights. Her answer when I tell her something she said was hurtful? "I never said that!"
I am accomplished in my field, have a master's degree and also play the piano. My mom didn't go to college, has no hobbies, is not musical. (I'm way more like my dad, who passed away 31 years ago. I miss him so much.) On top of everything else, I think she's envious of me too. I have a good marriage, 4 wonderful grown kids, and 4 adorable grandkids. My life is good. Except for the relationship with my mom. It is eating away at me. Too, last night my mom asked 2x why I don't get along with my brother now. I wanted to (though I didn't) scream that she's manipulating our relationship and causing the rift! Everything channels 'through' her, has for many years.
My question- Do I go grey rock? Or should I write my mom a letter/email explaining why I feel so mistreated by her?