T Nation

Naughty Parents

[quote]Phate89 wrote:
eric_lacrosse wrote:
Phate89 wrote:
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.

I was going to ignore this post, but here’s what I think.

I am not sure where you are from, but nowhere in the world is perfect. I’ve been to several other countries, and each has it’s problems.

Yes Americans are more individualistic, but we don’t all “ditch” our parents in retirement homes. That was the reason for the post buddy. I am struggling with the decision in spite of years of mistreatment.

Unfortunately, in order to look after mom as she gets older I’d have to quit my job. Can’t do that, I need to work another 20 years or so.

Cheers!, ciao, au revoir, adios or whatever.

I didn’t say everyone did that, but a lot do.
Just pointing out the difference between American families and familes from the eastearn side of the world. [/quote]

Well, through your choice of words, you pretty much alluded to “all” Americans. To be fair and balanced, you should also note that many of the eastern cultures are in turmoil because of the fact that a man’s wife is supposed to be the caregiver for her aging in-laws. This is leading to many young women in those countries to eschew marriage, which is in turn, leading to declining populations. Japan is a primary example of this culture shift.

DB

It does happen in America, especially with the increasing cost of assisted living centers and nursing homes. Many people just can’t afford to have their parents in one of these places. But, there are plenty of people in America who modify their homes and schedules to accomodate an aging parent (I know more than a handful of people around where I live that do this). I just want to point that out. Maybe it’s a regional phenomenon, maybe not. You’re experience is your experience.

DB

Eric, I’m a daughter and a mother, so I like to think I can be sort of objective about this.

Sounds to me like you’ve gone beyond the call of duty; anything further and you’re turning yourself into a doormat.

In skimming all the replies, I saw that someone labeled you “a rescuer”, and I tend to agree. You might want to be really careful that you don’t fall into that role with the women you date.

I can’t imagine that any woman with her head on straight would condemn you for cutting strings with your mom at this point.

[quote]dragonmamma wrote:
Eric, I’m a daughter and a mother, so I like to think I can be sort of objective about this.

Sounds to me like you’ve gone beyond the call of duty; anything further and you’re turning yourself into a doormat.

In skimming all the replies, I saw that someone labeled you “a rescuer”, and I tend to agree. You might want to be really careful that you don’t fall into that role with the women you date.

I can’t imagine that any woman with her head on straight would condemn you for cutting strings with your mom at this point.[/quote]

Thanks for the feedback. As far as dating women who need rescuing, trust me, when one I date starts to exhibit any of mom’s tendencies, I bolt. Fast.

If you can offer any advice as to how much to tell a woman and when to broach the subject I’d like to hear it. You’d be surprised how many have said “why don’t you just get her some help?” Like the idea had never crossed my mind. Then I have to give them the “you can lead a horse to water…” analogy, but invariably the tell me I’m not doing enough. Maybe I should share more ugly details to get them to understand the depth of her problem before judging my position.

[quote]eric_lacrosse wrote:
dragonmamma wrote:

Thanks for the feedback. As far as dating women who need rescuing, trust me, when one I date starts to exhibit any of mom’s tendencies, I bolt. Fast.

If you can offer any advice as to how much to tell a woman and when to broach the subject I’d like to hear it. You’d be surprised how many have said “why don’t you just get her some help?” Like the idea had never crossed my mind. Then I have to give them the “you can lead a horse to water…” analogy, but invariably the tell me I’m not doing enough. Maybe I should share more ugly details to get them to understand the depth of her problem before judging my position.[/quote]

you ever watched that show “intervention?” Maybe you could do it kinda like that.

Come at her from a place of peace and calm. Tell her exactly what her behavior has done to you, and give specific examples. Maybe show her a “symptom” list of this disorder. Tell her what your ground rules are, i.e, you have to go to counseling, we can talk this often, see each other this often, never call me for this reason, etc. Then tell her what will happen if she cannot agree. Take it or leave it. That way she can’t say you did it to her because it’s her choice.

Not sure if that’s the best way, but it’s how i would do it… just make sure what ever you say you’re gonna, you do

[quote]Lady_J wrote:
eric_lacrosse wrote:
dragonmamma wrote:

Thanks for the feedback. As far as dating women who need rescuing, trust me, when one I date starts to exhibit any of mom’s tendencies, I bolt. Fast.

If you can offer any advice as to how much to tell a woman and when to broach the subject I’d like to hear it. You’d be surprised how many have said “why don’t you just get her some help?” Like the idea had never crossed my mind.

Then I have to give them the “you can lead a horse to water…” analogy, but invariably the tell me I’m not doing enough. Maybe I should share more ugly details to get them to understand the depth of her problem before judging my position.

you ever watched that show “intervention?” Maybe you could do it kinda like that.

Come at her from a place of peace and calm. Tell her exactly what her behavior has done to you, and give specific examples. Maybe show her a “symptom” list of this disorder.

Tell her what your ground rules are, i.e, you have to go to counseling, we can talk this often, see each other this often, never call me for this reason, etc. Then tell her what will happen if she cannot agree. Take it or leave it. That way she can’t say you did it to her because it’s her choice.

Not sure if that’s the best way, but it’s how i would do it… just make sure what ever you say you’re gonna, you do

[/quote]

Not familiar with that show Lady_J.

I’m slightly embarrassed to say that I don’t own a TV. I gave it to mom when my buddies and I moved her into her new apartment and have not gotten a new one. I never really watched much TV anyway. I guess I’m missing out on some things.

I tried an approach similar to what you described about a week ago. I took mom out to dinner for mother’s day a week early to beat the crowds, and to try to discuss a few things with her. I kept it positive and told her about some job opportunities that could take me overseas, and she said “don’t go off and leave me here” like I was abandoning her in a dumpster in an alley.

I asked her what was wrong with being here. She lives in a beautiful apartment building on Lake Michigan. In this town it is a highly coveted place for retirees. She said “I need you here” and I told her she could not ask me to forgoe my career potential for her. I told her she needed to be more independent if she was going to avoid nursing home life. (probably shouldn’t have said that)

Then she went silent until this past Saturday when I told her it was not a good idea to get another dog. Then all hell broke loose. She told me she was at the end of her life and I was ruining her life.

I told her to stop being so dramatic and that she was not at the end of her life, and she said “not if I have anything to do with it”. So basically she threatened to kill herself. She gets really nasty when you tell her no. I was tempted to offer to buy her a gun so she could get it over with, but I held my tongue.

Lady_J, did you happen to read Squiggles post about 6 up from here? That is mom. I got chills reading it.

Appreciate the support, you and the others have been incredible. I never expected this much feedback.

Hi, Eric. As to your question about telling girlfriends about your mom, here’s what I think: First of all, don’t tell her unless you like her enough to want to keep her around long enough for it to matter in your relationship. If this is the case, tell her, “I need to talk to you about something”.

This is girlspeak for “I’ve put some thought into this & it matters to me. The fact that I’m telling you about it means you matter to me, too”. Then lead with, “My mother has been diagnosed with Narcisstic Personality Disorder”. Starting with a medical diagnosis tells her this is real, its serious, & you’re not just bitching about your mom.

Tell her she is under treatment for the disorder, and on medication, but that there is no real cure for the condition. Only then should you describe your mom’s behavior, and try to do it in a way that shows it as symptomatic of the disorder. Again this will avoid the impression that you are just bitching or whining. You can do that later, once she really has a grasp of the situation.

Also, at some point you’ll want to assure her that you do not have this disorder. Many disorders have a genetic link, so this may be a concern for your girlfriend. I hope this helps. We’re behind you, Eric. Good luck!

Miss Parker

Your post was exactly the kind of advice that I was looking for. You see, I recently met someone and am concerned as to how to bring up the subject of mom.

I am really touched by the responses that I received from you and the others. I never expected such a compassionate outpouring.

You guys rock!

All the best

Eric