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Caring for a narcissistic parent - Carers UK Forum

Caring for a narcissistic parent

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
I was roaming around the Internet searching, rather loosely, on the general theme of 'how to deal with anger at having to care for someone you don't want to care for' (!) (yup, that's Jenny all right, as all you all know from my continual harping on it (and harping, and harping...)....when I came across this article.

It is, hopefully, only relevant to a very small fraction of anyone here, possibly even none at all (though personally I think I've read posts here from those whose parents are in that 'narcissistic' range) (but that's only my inexpert and biased opinion of course!).

I post the link if it's the slightest help to anyone here at all.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the ... or-elderly

If you don't like the subject, don't read it.

If you don't even like that I've posted the link, it will, today, be water off a duck's back to me as its a DD for me (Diazapam day) and I'm floating merrily away. Image (everything is fine, just fine, utterly fine....float, float, float....)

If the mods don't like the link, then it will disappear anyway.

PS - FWIW I don't consider MIL narcissistic. Just mentally incapable now of saying thank you. Not her fault.

PPS - not sure whether to post this now. Scared. Then I think, look, if I've got to the point now where I'm scared of posting something controversial then this forum isn't the place for me, or anyone in situations similar to mine ('dark caring')

PPPS - oh, s*d it, I'll just post it anyway, and wait for the damn deluge.
Thanks, Jenny. I favourited it. Have a happy DD day. Image
I was roaming around the Internet searching, rather loosely, on the general theme of 'how to deal with anger at having to care for someone you don't want to care for' (!) (yup, that's Jenny all right, as all you all know from my continual harping on it (and harping, and harping...)....when I came across this article.

It is, hopefully, only relevant to a very small fraction of anyone here, possibly even none at all (though personally I think I've read posts here from those whose parents are in that 'narcissistic' range) (but that's only my inexpert and biased opinion of course!).

I post the link if it's the slightest help to anyone here at all.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the ... or-elderly

If you don't like the subject, don't read it.

If you don't even like that I've posted the link, it will, today, be water off a duck's back to me as its a DD for me (Diazapam day) and I'm floating merrily away. Image (everything is fine, just fine, utterly fine....float, float, float....)

If the mods don't like the link, then it will disappear anyway.

PS - FWIW I don't consider MIL narcissistic. Just mentally incapable now of saying thank you. Not her fault.

PPS - not sure whether to post this now. Scared. Then I think, look, if I've got to the point now where I'm scared of posting something controversial then this forum isn't the place for me, or anyone in situations similar to mine ('dark caring')

PPPS - oh, s*d it, I'll just post it anyway, and wait for the damn deluge.
Jennie - Have a look at my reply to your reply(!) on caring for elderly parents. I DO know what you're going through, there aren't many of us11
I have no idea why anyone would choose a chemical substitute when Scotland produces the finest, wholly natural, mostly harmless mind-altering substance known to man: Scotch. Be brave, support the Men of Tain: with water, neat, or on the rocks.
Scally, to each their own, but I can't stand the taste or smell of whisky. Jenny - pass the diazapam please! Image

The article made a lot of sense to me, and I can't see why anyone would be offended by the notion that some parents are just too narcissistic to put their children first. It's not news to me, having been raised in a dysfunctional family - The Waltons, we weren't! Image They weren't perfect/doting parents and I'm not the perfect/doting daughter, but that's OK.
She Wolf - I've got so jumpy here on this forum. I get my head bitten off even when I don't consider I'm posting anything the slightest bit controversial, eg, when I suggested chemical or composting toilets instead of a commode, and got slammed for recommending something so dangerous and unsuitable! And I was genuinely only trying to be helpful....

So, now, when I'm posting something I know is controversial - ie that, sadly, not all elder carees are angels of sweetness and light and devoted parents - I fully expect to be torn to shreds!

But, as you and I have discussed elsewhere here, like it or not, some folk in this world have noxious personalities (for whatever reasons - and yes, the reasons may well be genuinely extenuating, as Jessie's fascinating post indicates....) and have highly damaging effects on their children, and the moral issue of how to respond to them when it is they who need others to help them when they become weak and frail is, to my mind at least, a tricky one to resolve. Do we return 'good for evil' (I'm bible-quoting, not necessarily accusing such people of being 'evil' per se!), or do we 'turn the other cheek' and help those who have done little else in our lives but harm us?

I don't think the article I've shown the link to has any particular explanation of why some folk are narcissistic in the first place, and like I've said, I don't know whether it's somethign 'inherent' in them, or just that they were badly brought up themselves to be spoilt, demanding divas (or maybe they are themselves compensating for having been paid no attention at all when they were young, so become demanding once they grow up?)

If you read some of the comments below the article (which I think is American), from people caring for narcissistic parents (mostly mothers, don't know if that's significant!), the stories they tell are nightmarish. Especially since many of the posters admit their parent is 'monstrous' yet so many don't ever seem to be able to say 'No' to them....

But, again, not all 'selfish' elder carees are narcissistic - some have merely 'become selfish' in old age, or rather - possibly more accurately? - they have lost their adult ability to consider anyone else's rights or entitlements, and can now think only of themselves, that dreadful curse of 'second childhood'.

I personally think that our moral response to that kind of self-centredness could possibly be different and more forebearing, than it should be towards truly narcissistic personalities (though, again, Jessie's fascinating post raises doubts even on that score!)

I know this has all been aired before, and in that respect this is just going round in circles again. But for those of us, like me, who are faced, day after day, with an elder caree who simply doesn't acknowledge any of the efforts I'm putting in on their behalf, trying to get a secure moral perspective on the situation, to guide my behaviour, is genuinely helpful to me. Maybe it is for others too, or, then again, not - it's up to them!
this is interesting.
I have had experience of caring for a parent who was very self-centred.His own needs were all that mattered after my mother's death. It was very difficult at times.BUT,when my younger son died suddenly,my very frail Dad came into his own. Someone brought him to our house, he sat on the sofa and pulled me into his arms as though I was a small child and he could make it all better. I won't EVER forget that hug.When it came to my son's funeral,Dad was determined to be there with us all day.He was in a Care Home by then,and the Matron took a wheelchair in the back of her car as she did not think my Dad was up to walking far and it may be needed. He came in the funeral car,and at the church was helped in by my sister and her boyfriend,he was determined to follow his grandson's coffin.He was there all day, such a frail old man who had been very self-centred but all of a sudden he felt as though he was needed again and it made a difference. He only lived for 17 months afterwards,only that long because he wanted to be with us for the inquest. He didn't make it that far,but he had no strength left.
Being needed gave my Dad mental strength back again even through his own complete heartbreak on the death of his grandson,and I will look back on the last months of his life with much love and thanks.

By the way,my GP has refused to give me any medication at all,even within the first week of my son's death.He says because we know the reason for my depression,then there is no need to have any! I try to walk a lot,alone as often as possible because it helps me to sleep at night.
She Wolf - I've got so jumpy here on this forum. I get my head bitten off even when I don't consider I'm posting anything the slightest bit controversial, eg, when I suggested chemical or composting toilets instead of a commode, and got slammed for recommending something so dangerous and unsuitable! And I was genuinely only trying to be helpful....
So, now, when I'm posting something I know is controversial - ie that, sadly, not all elder carees are angels of sweetness and light and devoted parents - I fully expect to be torn to shreds!
Jenny,

I'd like to briefly interrupt the thread and respond to these remarks as I feel they may be off putting to newcomers who aren't aware of the background to what you're referring.

You should have no need to to be defensive or jumpy. Yes some people have taken offence at some of the things you have posted, as is their right, you have to expect that on a public forum where we won't all see eye to eye. However, what have you not said is that the forum Moderators have intervened and acted to ensure you are free to post.

There is no hierarchy of what constitutes a 'carer' here. Some people really resent their caring, some people as you say find themselves caring for people who, for whatever reason, are not nice people. Others experiences are different, they find caring deepens and strengthens family ties. All experiences are welcome on this forum.

Others may disagree with you, but our volunteer moderators and staff will be fair in enforcing the rules, that we are respectful to each other, even when we disagree.

Thanks for letting me interrupt the thread. Now please, back to the topic in hand!

Matt
Elderly folk can appear to be selfish but I think we have to consider whether this is because:

- they have lost the ability to control their own lives (which makes them feel scared)
- they are ashamed at their loss of ability
- were they always demanding & selfish

Under this heading of "caring for a narcissistic parent"....has this mental disorder been diagnosed by a Psychiatrist/Psychologist?
I agree with Jessie. Just imagine how frightening it is to lose control of your life - when maybe you were once strong and independent. The caree may appear to be selfish when really they are scared and unhappy about relying on others.

BTW - narcissism means self-love rather than innate selfishness.