T Nation

Naughty Parents

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!

Leave…you’ve done more than most other people have done for their parents. Heh…anyone who would do anymore than what you have done would have to sacrifice even more time from their lives and considering your moms age you must be at least in your 40’s.

If this NPD works the way it does the best you can do is stay in contact, but you can’t expect to stay close by till her last days. If you are considering staying then it sounds like YOUR life isn’t as fulfilling as it should be.

I disowned all but one brother in my family. My family was dysfunctional. With four husbands I’m thinking your was to. In my book you reap what you sow. I owe nothing to my family and will not have my life screwed up because of there fuckedupidness.

My best advise, as hard to coup with as it is, walk away and remember as you raise your family that you reap what you sow.

Drop her. I would have done it long ago, and by all accounts I’m a pretty stand-up sort guy.

Streamline, I’m fairly certain it’s ‘reap’ and ‘sow’, by the way.

[quote]Vicomte wrote:
Drop her. I would have done it long ago, and by all accounts I’m a pretty stand-up sort guy.

Streamline, I’m fairly certain it’s ‘reap’ and ‘sow’, by the way.[/quote]

Thanks, I was pretty sure it was wrong. I was just to lazy to google it, isn’t that pathetic.

[quote]streamline wrote:
I disowned all but one brother in my family. My family was dysfunctional. With four husbands I’m thinking your was to. In my book you reap what you sow. I owe nothing to my family and will not have my life screwed up because of there fuckedupidness.

My best advise, as hard to coup with as it is, walk away and remember as you raise your family that you reap what you sow.[/quote]

How do you explain this to the women in your life streamline?

Women judge a man based upon how he treats his mom. Disowning your mom would be a huge red flag no matter how justifiable. This is a big part of the dilemma.

A couple women I have dated were scared off by this. They never had the complete story on mom, just knew we were not close.

T-Vixens? I’d really like to hear from you!

I didn’t post this on Mother’s day for any particular reason. It’s just weighing heavily on my mind since yesterday she told me she wished she’d never had kids…

[quote]eric_lacrosse wrote:
streamline wrote:
I disowned all but one brother in my family. My family was dysfunctional. With four husbands I’m thinking your was to. In my book you reap what you sow. I owe nothing to my family and will not have my life screwed up because of there fuckedupidness.

My best advise, as hard to coup with as it is, walk away and remember as you raise your family that you reap what you sow.

How do you explain this to the women in your life streamline?

Women judge a man based upon how he treats his mom. Disowning your mom would be a huge red flag no matter how justifiable. This is a big part of the dilemma.

A couple women I have dated were scared off by this. They never had the complete story on mom, just knew we were not close.

T-Vixens? I’d really like to hear from you!

I didn’t post this on Mother’s day for any particular reason. It’s just weighing heavily on my mind since yesterday she told me she wished she’d never had kids…[/quote]

I’m single and staying that way. I’m way beyond giving a shit what people think about how I choose to live my life. That’s what made it possible to give myself my life.

I do however treat my daughter with the utmost respect. As well as anyone else deserving of respect, man or woman. People have to learn to deal with their own fuckedupidness and stop dragging others down with them. I know misery loves company but I’m not to fond of it.

Man thats some hard shit. I have been a caregiver on 2 seperate occasions and understand the complex array of emotions that come along with caring for someone older than yourself (anger, resentment, guilt…) and feel where you are coming from.

Family is important obviously, but as cliche as it is, you can’t help someone who is not willing to accept your help-or at least meet you halfway.

Is it possible to talk with her and put her in an assisted living communitiy?

[quote]eric_lacrosse wrote:

How do you explain this to the women in your life streamline?

Women judge a man based upon how he treats his mom. Disowning your mom would be a huge red flag no matter how justifiable. This is a big part of the dilemma.

A couple women I have dated were scared off by this. They never had the complete story on mom, just knew we were not close.

And as far as the women go…fuck them if you ever try to explain and they refuse to understand. [/quote]

Streamline you are becoming one of my favorites! However, I don’t know how much that says for you.

[quote]dk44 wrote:
Streamline you are becoming one of my favorites! However, I don’t know how much that says for you. [/quote]

That’s ok dk44 I don’t mind rolling in the mud.

[quote]streamline wrote:
Vicomte wrote:
Drop her. I would have done it long ago, and by all accounts I’m a pretty stand-up sort guy.

Streamline, I’m fairly certain it’s ‘reap’ and ‘sow’, by the way.

Thanks, I was pretty sure it was wrong. I was just to lazy to google it, isn’t that pathetic. [/quote]

Well, you reap what you sow, eh? :wink:

Eric, I’m so sorry to read about your situation with your mom. But as far as your assertion that women will judge you by how you treat your mom, that is only true to a point. A person who leaves you because you refuse to be mistreated by an abusive mentally ill person is probably someone you don’t want to be with.

While I admire you for doing the honorable thing and trying to take care of her as best you can (& it sounds like you’re doing an amazing job), there does come a point when one turns from rescuer to victim. It sounds like you may be getting there.

Just so you know, if she has dementia, she will most likely end up in state care, as she will eventually need 24 hour supervision for her safety. I’m sorry that she told you that women have children so they’ll have someone to take care of them. This is not the case for normal women. We have children because we have love to give, and because we want a family. What a horrible thing for you to have heard.
I wish you the best.

[quote]pdub wrote:
Man thats some hard shit. I have been a caregiver on 2 seperate occasions and understand the complex array of emotions that come along with caring for someone older than yourself (anger, resentment, guilt…) and feel where you are coming from.

Family is important obviously, but as cliche as it is, you can’t help someone who is not willing to accept your help-or at least meet you halfway.

Is it possible to talk with her and put her in an assisted living communitiy?

eric_lacrosse wrote:

How do you explain this to the women in your life streamline?

Women judge a man based upon how he treats his mom. Disowning your mom would be a huge red flag no matter how justifiable. This is a big part of the dilemma.

A couple women I have dated were scared off by this. They never had the complete story on mom, just knew we were not close.

And as far as the women go…fuck them if you ever try to explain and they refuse to understand.

[/quote]

Pdub, regarding assisted living or nursing homes, mom says she will wander off into the cold and lie down in the snow to die before she goes into one of those places. Do you think she is playing the guilt card?

babe, i know i’m a woman, but fuck any chick that thinks u r wrong for what you feel. You should only be judged by how you treat the person judging. Being a biological parent does not entitle one to run roughshod over their offspring…

[quote]Miss Parker wrote:
Eric, I’m so sorry to read about your situation with your mom. But as far as your assertion that women will judge you by how you treat your mom, that is only true to a point. A person who leaves you because you refuse to be mistreated by an abusive mentally ill person is probably someone you don’t want to be with.

While I admire you for doing the honorable thing and trying to take care of her as best you can (& it sounds like you’re doing an amazing job), there does come a point when one turns from rescuer to victim. It sounds like you may be getting there. Just so you know, if she has dementia, she will most likely end up in state care, as she will eventually need 24 hour supervision for her safety. I

'm sorry that she told you that women have children so they’ll have someone to take care of them. This is not the case for normal women. We have children because we have love to give, and because we want a family. What a horrible thing for you to have heard.
I wish you the best.[/quote]

Thanks Miss P.

Mom made that comment about having kids when I was in my mid 20’s. As sort of a sanity check, I asked a buddy’s mother about it. She turned me around so that I was facing her square on and said “That is not why people have children. Do you understand that?” I knew it, but it was good to hear it from another mother.

This is one thing about American family culture I hate. The society revolves around each others individualism while other countries are more collective.

In America, you put your parents in a retirement home and ditch them

In other countries, your close to all your families and you take care of your parents when they are older.

They take care of you. Then you end up taking care of them.

[quote]Lady_J wrote:
babe, i know i’m a woman, but fuck any chick that thinks u r wrong for what you feel. You should only be judged by how you treat the person judging. Being a biological parent does not entitle one to run roughshod over their offspring…

[/quote]

Lady_J, Thanks for your candid response. Your husband is a lucky dude to have a woman like you.

In today’s america parent aren’t doin such a hot job…teenage pregnancies, school shootings, polygamist groups where men impregnate their daughters, men killing their pregnant wives, mothers drowning and shooting their children…

What has to be done for it to be considered “taking care” of a child? AS long as they’re fed and clothed all is good? I think not…

[quote]eric_lacrosse wrote:
Lady_J wrote:
babe, i know i’m a woman, but fuck any chick that thinks u r wrong for what you feel. You should only be judged by how you treat the person judging. Being a biological parent does not entitle one to run roughshod over their offspring…

Lady_J, Thanks for your candid response. Your husband is a lucky dude to have a woman like you.

[/quote]

no hubby, but thanks for the sentiment.

I cannnot sympathize with your situation as I have had no contact with my parents since i was a small child…I firmly believe that one must do what is best for them. If it drags you down now then it will do that forever, if there are kids or a wife in the picture it will spill over.

[quote]pdub wrote:
Man thats some hard shit. I have been a caregiver on 2 seperate occasions and understand the complex array of emotions that come along with caring for someone older than yourself (anger, resentment, guilt…) and feel where you are coming from.

Family is important obviously, but as cliche as it is, you can’t help someone who is not willing to accept your help-or at least meet you halfway.

Is it possible to talk with her and put her in an assisted living communitiy?

[/quote]

pdub, that was a great post.

eric, I really feel for you now and no matter what decision you make, it is going to be a difficult one. Like pdub has already mentioned though, if someone is not willing to participate in their own wellness, there is little to nothing that you can do.

You are not responsible for your mother’s illness! From what I can tell, you are doing everything that you humanly can to try to build her a better life. It is up to her to receive your help. Some people are not capable of doing this.

Have you tried speaking with her doctor at all?

In addition, I just loved Miss Parker’s post. You are right on the money, lady.

Not sure what else I can tell you, eric. We’re here for you if you need it. Be strong.