I work a very demanding job and have tried in every way to meet the ble demands of my daughter in helping her with the girls. She expects me to take them 10-11 hours on my day off every week and now is insisting that I can only see them if I keep them overnight. She is uninterested in any personal life I may try to have or how tired I may be from my job.
I tried counseling last year but the therapist I had did not seem to grasp that explaining my side of life would work with my daughter. If it were not for the little girls I could distance myself from her anger and abuse.
I can't bring myself to do that but know that I can't live my life being blackmailed by my daughter.
I see much advise about getting far away from them but what do yo do when they have something so dear as your grandchildren and are using them as weapons?
This is a very difficult situation as your daughter has a useful set of tools (your grandaughters) to manipulate you with. However, all narcissists are manipulators and the idea is for you to set firm boundaries and limits about what you will or will not tolerate. Although you feel that you might lose your grnadchildren if you do not comply with her every whim, the relaity is that you could lose them any way. I don't say this to frighten you, just to remind you that you could offend your daughter in some other way and sh could withhold them from you.
So for this reason you will need to sit down and decide what is accpetable and what is unaceptable to you in terms of her behviors. You are not completely without power, but at the moment she has it all. Yet, she does need you. Not only for the obvious need of childminding and the expense you are saving her, but she needs you as her narcissitic audience.
Try reading all of my articles on NPD if you haven't already done so and try to understand how these people work. They do conform to a pattern in their behavior and once you become aware of the pattern it becomes easier to "work" with them. If you need additional help other than what your therapist can supply, just contact me.
B.Sc (Hons). B.Psych. Dip.Sc.
Principal, Your Online Counselor
My mother and sister are classic NPD - I didn't discover this until I was in my late thirties. My mother used by little brothers, 13 years younger than me, and my sister used my niece and nephew to keep me tied to them and their sick little games.
My brothers grew up before I even discovered what was wrong with their mother - there were several years when they did not communicate with me because their mother had convinced them that I was such a horrible, terrible person. I tried re-connecting with them after they were well into their 20's and it was a very tenuous connection, for a while. Until, I tried to reconnect with their mother - and she started the same manipulation, lying, etc. she had done all my life......and they saw it.....not as little boys, but full grown men with families of their own. They no longer berated me for not wanting to have anything to do with her, but rather finally saw that all the things they had told them all their life were not true.
My brothers and I further bonded while validating each other's experiences of our NPD older sister - they had recognized the issue as NOT them when they were still teenagers. I so admire them for that! We have healed so much over the last few years after getting that validation that we were not crazy, that our sister did crazy things, had extremely unreasonable expectations, was overly judgmental and none of us ever "measured up" - although "on paper" we were as or more "successful" than she, and generally created chaos, always!
After I recognized that my sister had major problems, I tried for nearly another decade to "deal' with her. I finally just couldn't do it anymore. When I tried to stand up to her or set reasonable boundaries, her claws came out in force and she just amped up her awful games. Your story of your daughter's unreasonable expectations regarding babysitting and her lack of recognition of your right to have your own life, really struck home to me.
If I told my sister I couldn't watch her kids, which only started happening after I realized there was an issue and HAD to set boundaries to save my very life, she would tell me my needs were "irrelevant." - i.e., Me: No, can't watch the kids this weekend. I have no food in the house, no clean clothes, need an oil change, and tons of other errands to take care of before I start back to work and school next week and this is the first weekend I've had off in months and the first free days I've had in weeks (I worked as an RN in an ICU and was attending law school, was single and had a house, car, etc. to take care of alone at the time I last had contact with my sister). NPD sister: That's all irrelevant! I want to go out with my friends and my useless husband (who worked 12-16 hour days, then was responsible for all clothes, about 50% cooking, about 75% cleaning and took over their kids the minute he got home every day because she "needed a break" - she was a stay at home mom) is going to do something with his friends (under her breath, "How dare he!)
Can you relate? I'm sure you can!
Anyway, I hope you have found a measure of peace in dealing with your daughter. And, have a life of your own - with or without your grandkids, for now.
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