My mother is 82, healthy and fairly active. However, she has always been a narcissistic person & is getting even more so with age. Everything has to be absolutely her way or it's no way. My brothers & I have had a lifetime of this behavior and my poor dad just goes along with her to get along. She still manages to make his life hell. On the Monday before Father's Day, my dad's brother passed away after a brief illness. We were all expecting it and had been visiting with him in the weeks leading up to his death. My uncle had arranged to donate his body to science and would be cremated after. He wanted no funeral, no memorial. With Father's Day approaching the following Sunday, my mother told me she wanted to cancel the get together my brothers & I were planning for my dad. I asked her why would she want to do that when it would mean so much to my dad. Our plans remained even though she was in a snit over something else (my dad's sister had upset her). I asked my mother to put aside her hostility because my dad had lost his brother and in the process, it appears that he will be losing his sister as well. He needed this celebration. She agreed, although reluctantly. One of my brothers and his family were coming into town to spend the night with them but called my mother to tell her they would need to leave early in the afternoon on Sunday, so we could have a Father's Day get together on Saturday night instead if it was okay with everybody else. I should mention I just live down the street from my parents & it was okay with me as my daughter was coming in on Saturday as well. The other brother wasn't going to be able to make it until Monday. My mother was absolutely furious and pretty much told them to stay home and not bother with it all. My brother told her they wanted to come into town to spend time with our dad & if she didn't want them to stay at their house, they would stay at mine, as I, too, have plenty of room. In the meantime. my brother called me to tell me about this but also said he didn't really know what to do because if they stayed with me, he thought it would fan the flame, so to speak. I agreed and he said they would go to her house and see how it goes but left their suitcase in the car just in case their reception was hostile. I prepared dinner for everybody, made margaritas and a really nice dessert. She didn't show up. After dinner I drove up to her house where I found her just sitting on the porch, drinking Bailey's & coffee and smoking her cigarettes. I asked her if she wouldn't please reconsider and come back with me to have dessert or at least a drink and play cards. Nope, she wouldn't do it. "Just tell your dad to get home in time to give the dog his shot." The dog is diabetic & takes insulin twice a day. Since my mother was not at all happy with my brother for needing to get home a few hours earlier than she wanted them to, she told them they would need to get up and get out by 10:00 as she was going to the casino (about an hour & a half away). So rude, but she was going to show them just who was in control apparently. My parents usually go to the casino once a month or so, but they had already been the previous week. That's why I knew this was just another one of her stunts. My sister in law sent me a text telling me my mother had taken all their pictures associated with their family down from the walls in the guest room where they slept. She had even taken down the picture of their great grand baby. She asked me if I had noticed the picture of some kids prominently displayed in a frame in the living room that said "Grand Kids". Oh yes, I had seen that and also how my mother even said she feels closer to them than her own grand children. Another story altogether. My mother's antics definitely marred the celebration for my dad. He just sort of rolls with the flow and is probably so used to her behavior, he barely acts like he notices. It is very disturbing to us, however. When my brother and his family were leaving, she asked them if they were still planning to come for the 4th of July. My sister in law was somewhat flabbergasted & simply replied she would have to let her know. I can tell you if anybody had treated my mother the way she treated my brother and his family, she would probably never speak to them again. Of course, now my mother has realized she screwed up on some level, but only offering excuses, never apologies. She is always the first one to demand an apology but has yet to apologize for anything she does. Instead, she tends to deflect or gloss over. My brother is offering her a way out of the hole she has dug for herself by choosing to forgive & forget and that is very gracious of him, but these little tantrums she throws are getting so old. Since I live just down the street (since last year & a move I have come to regret), I get to see more of them and no luxury of distance between us. Any suggestions on how to deal with the narcissist person?

drewxjacobs, we have a lot of similarities! My parents moved down the street from me over a decade ago. Somewhere between the time I moved out as a young adult and the time they moved down the street from me, their marriage had deteriorated. My mom was always snarky nasty to my dad even when I was a child. Oh how I wish I had discouraged them from moving so close. I thought at the time, well, it will be helpful as they get older and need my help. Goodness! The bickering and nastiness I have witnessed over the past decade have changed my views on my family and my past. I am an only child and would continually have to go down there and play marriage counselor and say, please - be nice to each other! Mom drops the F-bomb constantly and when things don't go her way - look out! I believe the negative environment accelerated my dad's dementia decline and he had to be put into a memory care facility last year. Now that she no longer has my dad as a verbal pin cushion, she zings her verbal abuse my way. I am forever changed by what I have witnessed and I wish I had not had a front row seat to this sh*teshow.
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Reply to Upstream

Excellent advice here, as usual. My mother was the same way. In addition, she was also paranoid and a drama queen. My father and I tiptoed around her as well because if we didn’t we’d be treated to a performance of slamming doors and stone cold silent glares. My grandma told me that when my mom slammed doors as a girl at home, my grandpa took her bedroom door off the hinges. My father and I fed into her behavior because life would have been impossible if we hadn’t.

But the others are right. The more you give in to her, the worse it will be. She expects you to cave to her demands now. She expects you to ask for her permission to do anything and everything. If you don’t, she becomes the Snark Monster like my mom did. I do t envy you at all. Stick to your guns and do as you please whether she approves or not.
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Reply to Ahmijoy

Don't indulge her on the big things like Fathers Day. Pick up dad and take him out for the day. If she wants to go to the casino that is her choice. If she always gets her way she will always demand it. Take dad out on a random day for ice cream, just the 2 of you! Mom does not have to be in on everything. Dad is entitled to relationships and relationships are between individuals. You might also want to serve punch instead of alcohol when mom is with you as it can increase narcissistic tendencies. Good luck!
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Reply to Shelbyloren

Narcissists thrive on attention and power, so don't beg her to attend things and ignore her as much as possible. Leave her out--spend time with your dad alone. The poor guy--what a life for him. Try to make sure she doesn't have power over his well being because these people have no empathy and will let their nearest and dearest suffer.

I came to live near my narcissistic mom about two years ago. I never could have dreamed how much worse she is now. She is spoiled rotten after surrounding herself with yes-people all of her life. (I'd been gone for 43 years with only intermittent contact).

For the first six months I was here I spent time with her regularly. I had to pull away from her about seven months ago and am leaving as soon as I sell my house.
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Reply to Davina

The answer to your question is sadly ... Not much except establish
Boundaries and more boundaries!

Here is a bit more information than you asked for.
Your mom should be tested for a UTI if her behavior has escalated. In case you aren’t familiar with this. UTI can often be the problem when dementia like symptoms occur. It doesn’t always cause the same symptoms younger women might experience such as burning or increased frequency of urination. It’s a simple pee test she can get from her dr or an urgent care. It takes an antibiotic to knock it out usually.

There are many posts about narcissist on this website. The general consensus seems to be that the narcissist is not able to change but she can learn what you and your brothers will put up with.

I urge you to take your dad to a certified elder attorney and have him assign one or more of his children as his DPOA for finance and medical decisions.
Heaven forbid if your mom is left in charge of your dad should he need help and things aren’t going her way.

Perhaps they already have that set up?

With your uncles recent passing it might seem appropriate to your dad that you would bring this up now.

Before you take on too much for your mom, figure out just what you are willing to do and not do for her. You will have to be very firm. Your picture may also be removed from the wall but since you are right down the street you will be called on more and more.
It sounds like you have loving brothers. Try to make this a team effort on caring for your parents.
Read the book on “ Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande.
It’s not about narcissism but it’s a helpful book to read with aging parents in mind.
I’m sorry for the loss of your uncle.
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Reply to 97yroldmom

Mom has never had a formal diagnosis of narcissism, and I'm no doctor; but on anyone's list of narcissistic behaviors she scores a full-spectrum 10 out of 10.

After 64 years of bullying, ridicule, tyranny, self-absorption and hissy fits, I wish I'd resisted her behavior and weathered the fallout. She had all of us, the entire family marching to her drum. We were terrified of the consequences of challenging her in any way. Consequently, she tore our family apart. The damage has been far-reaching, too great to describe.

Given a second chance, and knowing what I know now, I'd definitely resist. It might have turned out different. Unfortunately, we don't get do-overs, and Mom has dementia now. Shoulda, woulda, coulda.
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Reply to CantDance

Moving at this time is simply not an option although I am looking at real estate closer to my old hometown. I am trying to keep my distance, although my aunt was visiting and we all went out to dinner last night. I realize my mother is upset with me on some level for talking about the weekend's events with my brother and his wife according to my dad. I can't believe she would actually think they wouldn't bring it up to me, but where she was contrite a few days ago, she is back to that "Snark Monster" as Ahmijoy so aptly stated. She mentioned she would like to go shopping for wall decor but thought perhaps she should call for a family meeting before she did any redecorating. I can only shake my head at her childishness.

It's odd that I am more upset with her than my brother seems to be, but they have the luxury of distance and can go home and forget about it. I, on the other hand, have witnessed far more of this type of behavior than they ever will.

I love my mother dearly but I don't think I like her very much. I feel guilty for saying that, but if she treated her family with just half the respect she gives to the next door neighbors and their kids (that she feels closer to than her own great grandkids), this would be a very nice situation.
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Reply to drewxjacobs

HA! I had to laugh at Mother's *push you pull me* tactic. 

If brother has to leave early, don't come at all. 

Ok, then brother can stay at sisters house. 

That should have stopped right there. But no, We'll try to appease mom and see if she accepts us at her door. In doing so mom got to kick brother and sil in the teeth further, by taking down their family photos!

Mother has trained you guys very well. Please dig deep and find some grit, you can't be a door mat unless you lie down....Get up already!
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Reply to Pepsee

Thank you all for your comments and advice. My mother is never going to change & if I have gotten anything from all of this, it is I cannot fix or change her. The woman has had the benefit of her family doing whatever possible to make her happy or to at least minimize the fallout when she was not happy. I'm done. The events of Father's Day weekend were quite literally the tipping point for me. We managed to have a nice celebration without her. My dad doesn't seem too bothered by her and if he can do it, I surely can. I've enjoyed my limited contact with her this week & will continue to establish those boundaries. I'm 62 years old and it's high time I stop worrying about trying to make my mother happy. She has yet to figure out her happiness is her responsibility, not mine, not my dad's, not my siblings...
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Reply to drewxjacobs

Upstream, our situations are very similar indeed! I can honestly say I feel your pain because I know it has been a miserable existence for you. I'm sorry your father is suffering from dementia & was not able to stay in his home. However, in some way, he's probably much happier being away from her. I, too, worry that my mother will facilitate a decline in my dad's overall health. Anything that doesn't go just exactly as she thinks it ought to go, sends her into a tailspin and he is the first person to feel her wrath & of course, if she isn't using me as her sounding board, she's directing it at me as well.

I don't know how this will play out but I have finally had it with her & all the BS she dishes out. I have tried talking to her about expectations and how she would be much happier if she didn't have any. No expectations, no disappointment. Those are my words to live by but she doesn't see it that way.
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Reply to drewxjacobs

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