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My 95 year old mother has all the hallmarks of both Narcissistic and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. She lives in assisted living near to me. My brother lives out of state (and has for his entire adult life, which he acknowledges was intentional to distance himself from her dysfunction). My aunt, her sister, is 92 and no longer drives. So errand running, doctor visits, and pretty much every other bit of business for my mother is now my responsibility. In the past, my tactic has been to minimize contact with my toxic mother, since it's always a manipulative, no-win situation. However, under present circumstances, I am forced into regular contact and endless opportunities for guilt-tripping, emotional manipulations and the lifelong "you didn't do this exactly right". Any insights from anyone who shares this challenge would be greatly appreciated.

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Good for you Debralee for being strong and setting boundaries. I agree, that to the extent my mother is now lonely, she has brought it on herself. I've tried to explain that if every time I visit, she spends most of the time complaining and criticizing, then it's going to make me want to visit less, not more. Of course that goes in one ear and out the other. Unfortunately, I now have a "built in" excuse for reduced visits (not that I needed one), because my husband had bypass surgery a couple of months ago, and his recovery has not been a bit difficult. So my caregiving of my husband is my number one priority, and when I just can't deal with her complaints, then I tell her I am too exhausted to come out again. Sad that I still feel the need to give a "reason" I suppose. But as you know, with toxic parents, it's never "their" fault... Stay strong and try not to feel guilty. You have a right to avoid abuse and guilt-tripping.
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I have gone even further in contact with my mother to only when she needs transportation to medical appointments. Two hours of round trip driving time is not worth dealing with a needy, selfish toxic mother. She expects to be able to make all her decisions without any responsibilities and put the burden on to me and my husband. Her sense of entitlement makes me sick. I have had to deal with her ways all my life and now my enabling her has come to a screeching halt. Now she is responsible for finding people to help maintain her house, shopping, cleaning and entertainment. I have limited myself to being her freebe taxie service to medical situations and that may become less and less due to the cost of gas and taken unpaid time off without any offer of reembursement. She is now a miserable lonely old woman who brought it all on herself. I am glad she is suffering in her old age, now that she can no longer use me as the easy convenient dutiful daughter of her life. The guilt is there, but my boundaries are stronger against her manipulative ways.
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I have set boundaries that I am not available for unlimited trips, nor at a moment's notice. My mother seems to do the same thing as your grandmother, and I agree that it's most likely (at least in part) attention seeking, because as soon as one errand is done, there always seems to be a new one that is "urgent". So I'm trying to limit this to once a week and ignore the guilt trips.
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Is it possible to organize trips & errands so they can all take place on one day of the week or month? Can the ALF do some of this work, for an extra fee if necessary? My grandmother wants to be driven into to town like 3 times a week, once for the bank, once for groceries, once to get her hair done, etc, instead of combining them. I think it's an attention-seeking thing but thankfully I don't have to do it. But if I did, I'd be like: I'm available Wed from 2-5, what do you need to do in that time?
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Thank you So Much! I will check out all your suggestions. I can't tell you how much I appreciate knowing that I'm not alone with this challenge!
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People with personality disorders are very difficult and demanding. It has to be all about them no matter what. My mother also has a personality disorder. Distance is a good thing as it is setting boundaries that are necessary in order to cope. However, if you can't create distance, you can still set boundaries and learn to detach with love. Daughtersofnarcissisticmothers is a great website to get info from. There are also many books about setting boundaries. Google setting healthy boundaries. Learn about FOG (fear, obligation and guilt) Guilt is a big issue when dealing with a person with a PD. Usually AL's take residents on shopping trips, can your mother get her supplies this way. I understand you wanting to take her to the dr. appts., I do that too. Once you learn to detach with love, your mothers guilt trips and emotional manipulation will not affect you the same way they do now. Yes it hurts, but getting a grasp on the fact that you are dealing with a mental illness and that you don't have to accept the abuse will minimize what you are dealing with. There are many posters dealing with a parent with a PD on the dysfunctional thread. You may want to go there to get more help. My heart goes out to you and I hope I have helped you in some way. Big hugs to you!!
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