ageing narcissitic mother

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koslowski
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ageing narcissitic mother

Post by koslowski » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:26 pm

Hi Beth

I am the sole caregiver for my ailing, widowed 84-year-old mother. She has physical and mental illnesses, all of which are stable and well-managed with medication. Her wish is to continue living in her own home and I have the means and willingness to support this.

I recognised a long time ago that she displays the classic traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (your articles have been extremely helpful - thank you) and used to cope by minimising contact. Since she took ill 2 years ago I've been providing round-the-clock care - so the bottom has effectively fallen out of my strategy. She has been unrelenting in her lying and attempts at manipulation and I have responded by being argumentative and passive aggressive. The outcome has been absolutely catastrophic for us both.

I pity my mother the same as I would any other person in her situation (old, unwell). So why do I keep punishing her with my passive/aggressive behaviour and how do I stop - for both our sakes?

Thank you in advance

Beth McHugh
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 9:47 am

Re: ageing narcissitic mother

Post by Beth McHugh » Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:35 am

Hi Koslowski,

Thanks for sharing your story. You are certainly taking on a lot looking after your mother 24/7. Do you have any help coming in to give you respite to do the things that you need to do for yourself? It's important to do this for yourself even if your mother was an angel.

The reason you and your mother keep going around in circles and you become passive - aggressive is that this is the pattern you have learned from your childhood/teen years to deal with your mother. As you are experiencing, it's not helpful and it will be impacting on you more than it will on your mother.

How to deal with it?? First, you have to accept that your mother will never change and this can be a huge task -- but it's do-able. While you consciously or unconsciously keep expecting her to act differently, you will be angry with her. Because you can't express your full anger, out comes the passive-agressive talk and actions. It's an awful situation for you.

If you would help in coming to grips with who and what your mother really is, click on the top of the page and go to the main website. You've read many of the articles, so that is good. It may help to keep reading them, but you may also need a bit of a helping hand to get you started on accepting your mother. As this is very hard to do, it will take time. Contact me if you need help. But once you get to the point that "This is how my mother is " and can actually expect and accept her behaviours, her actions will irritate you less and maybe for the first time in your life, you will feel a bit more comfortable with her. I don't know where you are in the process of recovering from a narcissistic parent, but hoping for change is the killer.

While hope is usually considered to be a good thing, in these circumstances, hanging on to hope causes enormous problems, including resentment and anger which is no good for you. So acceptance is the answer -- it's a tough task, but a rewarding one and it can be achieved.

Best wishes,

Beth
ImageBeth McHugh
B.Sc (Hons). B.Psych. Dip.Sc.
Principal, Your Online Counselor

koslowski
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Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:33 pm
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Re: ageing narcissitic mother

Post by koslowski » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:25 am

Hi Beth

Thank you so much for your response. I thought I had accepted that my mother won't change but, in reading your comments, I've come to the realisation that actually I haven't. That in itself is helpful.

I will reread the articles on the website as you suggested but I may need some one-on-one guidance. Do you offer phone counselling, or online only? I am in Australia.

Again, thank you very much for taking the time to provide a thoughtful reply.

koslowski

Beth McHugh
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 9:47 am

Re: ageing narcissitic mother

Post by Beth McHugh » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:33 am

Hi Koslowski,
I offer online counselling as I find I get quicker results that phone counselling. Writing your thoughts is very powerful. There is more about how I work on the site if you need more information. Or contact me at enquiries.

Best wishes,

Beth
ImageBeth McHugh
B.Sc (Hons). B.Psych. Dip.Sc.
Principal, Your Online Counselor

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