I suspect that I am not the only one dealing with aging or nutty parents. I am looking for feedback not sympathy. T-Nationers can always be counted on for objective feedback.
Last fall, I got a call from Mom’s neighbor. Mom’s 4th husband had died suddenly and mom was in a really bad spot. We had not spoken in nearly two years by my choice. She and #4 had a very destructive relationship, and I chose to put distance (700 miles) and time between myself and them because they were bringing me down with late night phone calls to bail him out of jail, lend them money, etc.
When I got the call from this neighbor, I knew things would be bad when I got to mom’s place. I also knew that my brother, and none of mom’s 3 siblings would involve themselves in her problems. She and her sisters will talk on the phone, but they wont get involved beyond that. One of them wrote a letter to me saying “I know you think this is our problem, but she is your mother.”
I was stunned when I got to her house. The place was stacked with garbage from floor to ceiling in every room. There were two dogs which defecated and urinated indoors whenever they felt the urge.
I took pictures to document what I saw because I knew I would need to get mom to a doctor or into a psyche ward. She was hallucinating from mixing alcohol with 3 different types of anti-depressants, and who knows what else. The house was in foreclosure, so I had to get her out of there, but I’ll be damned if I’m bringing her into my house.
I took over managing her finances, got her into a geriatric psyche ward and 5 weeks later she was released having been detoxed and sobered up.
While she was in there, I found a brand new apartment that fits her budget, and along with three awesome friends of mine, got some of her stuff moved out of the filthy house in Georgia and moved into a brand new apartment in Wisconsin. I bought her new furniture. We left the rest of her shit behind and abandoned the house. Sorry Countrywide!
Mom has been unofficially diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) by her God Daughter who is a clinical psychologist. My God Sister, tells me that there is no effective way of correcting NPD.
The best way to free yourself from their destructive influence is to sever ties. That was her recommendation, and my lifelong friends have been telling me this for years. I’ve done some research on this, and found evidence to support her advice.
In one story that I read, an NPD mom eventually drove all 4 of her children to leave the country to get away from her. That’s how poisonous these people are. Dealing with them on a regular basis leaves you questioning your own sanity.
Here is where he guilt comes in. Even though she is incapable of loving anyone but herself, I have a hard time turning my back on her now that she is alone and 71 with the onset of dementia.
She even told me that the only reason people have children is to have someone to take care of them when they are old. So from her perspective, I owe my life to her so I should spend it taking care of her. I cannot have a life of my own if it inconveniences her in any way.
Mom is now about 2 miles away, in her new apartment, reasonably coherent, but drinking again. NPDs are very often addicts. She is a bottomless pit of needs, I just can’t do enough for her, and she says horrible things to me when I tell her she cannot afford something she wants.
Not being a complete doormat, I give it right back to her, and leave. Even though I later feel guilty, I don’t apologize. I have my limits but this is getting old.
Fortunately I work for a company that has a lot of opportunities abroad. If I leave the country, which I have wanted to do for several years now, I have no doubt that she will drink herself out of that apartment and into some state-run nuthouse. I won’t rescue her again. Just don’t have it in me.
I recall reading in the definition of a T-man that a T-man takes care of the women in his life. I think I’ve done enough. Do I need to sacrifice everything I’ve worked for to keep her out of a nuthouse/nursing home when she doesn’t even give two shits about me?
Sorry this was long winded, but your time and feedback is very much appreciated!