Gran died and m doesn't care

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Gran died and m doesn't care
« on: May 30, 2016, 10:36:39 PM »
Hello All
Fairly new here and in need of some advice/comfort/venting

So my mother is bpd and I'm fairly sure npd, and her mother my grandmother (g) died less than two weeks ago.
We got told she was near the end so i spent 12 days alternating visits to my G's care home with my sister and sometimes other members of my family whilst she was dying. It was a long process but I wanted to make sure my g wasn't alone when it finally happened. I havnt been so close to her in a few years and she also had dementia so it has been hard for a while. However when we got the call for the nursing home I thought the least I could do was be there for her at the end. So I'd visit, sometimes stay all night. My sister and I would sing her songs or play music and watch dvd's or just be with her. I think I felt guilt and so in some way was trying to make up for it. Most of the time my g wasn't responding but there are moments when she did and I will hold those close to me forever. I was there by her side at the end and had my hand on her shoulder whilst my sister held her hands and face and told her how much she was loved.
So now we get to how my m behaved.
She visited my g a few times but then said we needed to get on with our lives and we can't stop doing what we are doing. It made me question whether I was spending too much time at the care home but then the feelings of needing to be with my g so she wasn't alone at the end were more important and I'm glad I stuck to that. I mean- she was dying so how could we just 'get on with our lives'? Incidentally my m is not working at the moment so could have visited alot. One day I saw on the register for the home that my m hadn't been for 3 days. When I got home that day I told her about g and how she was doing & how things were, low and behold my m went to visit the next day and texted us all to tell us how she had done this and that for g. I felt like she did that just to show everyone she was there?- does that make me cynical? It's funny because if anyone else texted me that I wouldn't question their motivation.  But with m....I always think she does things for show. Me and my s were there for days and didn't broadcast it all the time.
My m wasn't there for the death. She turns up (after we called her letting her know g was near the end) and throws herself on the sofa screaming that she missed it....then proceeds to get annoyed and say we should have phoned her earlier so she wouldn't have missed it!
Obviously m wanted to phone all the family and be the one to break the news. I felt I wanted to tell my other siblings. I was there and wanted to share my experience with them. But my m likes to be the centre of things and take control of these situations.
the night of gs death I sat alone in my room thinking about that day. My m was downstairs with her boyfriend drinking wine and arguing about politics. I was going over and over the last moments in my head and my m was downstairs like nothing had happened. She never came up and saw if I was OK.
So 2 days later my sister and I go and clear out my g's room at the care home and choose the clothes for my g to wear at the funeral. I asked if m wants to help and she tells me she "can't do it" but in a blasé way like id asked her to take the bins out. My m phones my sister half way through irritated we were taking so long and says "how long are you going to be? I've got things to do, I suppose I'll have to do them by myself" not understanding at all the gravity of what we had been doing all morning.
We get back and there was no compassion or empathy from her. No asking if we were OK or anything or an arm round the shoulder. I really believe she doesn't think that was a hard thing to do or emotional. I don't know why she didn't want to help or be part of it- I tend to think it's because she actually doesn't care? She told my brother to just take all the stuff to a car boot sale- hasn't even looked through it all or anything!
Later that day we go to register the death and it's the first time I really see a tear since the day g died- suprise suprise in front of the registrar (am I being cynical again?..)
Next stop is the funeral home to sort arrangements for the funeral. My uncle comes along. To cut a long story short  my m is annoyed at him at the funeral home for a very minor thing. My s and I got the hairdryer treatment in the car on the way home. I managed to stay calm (whilst hands shaking with anger) and talk her down. I knew her rage was directed at my uncle and not me so managed to keep my cool despite the things she was saying "how she has so much to do...noone will she cope...noone is helping her" shouting, crying, swerving the car into a lay by as she'd got to a point where she would have been unable to control the car. I just thought to myself, I've had the worst week of my life, I don't think I could have done more to help my g at the end and my m in the days since- but it isn't good enough for her and she has more to deal with than anyone apparently.
So we have a family meeting to decide arrangements for the funeral. M flips out as my uncle wants to bring a friend to support him. My cousin wants to bring his boyfriend.  My m disagrees as she doesn't want people she doesn't know at the funeral. We say it's a reasonable request, our side are bringing a partner or someone close to us for support. She can't see that & says no. It escalates and I end up leaving as I cannot take anymore. Trying to reason with her is pointless. When my cousin said he thought she was being selfish & he wanted his boyfriend to support him in his grief and she's his grandmother...she said "well she's my mother so how is that the fucking same" and thereby invalidating all our grief to get what she wants...I could go on with all the other rubbish she came out with that night but I feel so tired and drained from it. How can you reason with someone who is a)unreasonable and b) will use every trick in the book to get their own way? Guilt, blackmail, the ability to counter argue every point even if it is a ridiculous counter and finally rage until you back down as you fear an 'episode' or 'meltdown'
Anyway so funeral arrangements were on hold as m wasn't getting her own way so threatened to cancel it. She threatened to re arrange it and not tell my uncle! I spent 3 days in a state of anxiety overy worry about the funeral. Will it go ahead? Will she actually cancel? Will uncle bring someone on the day thereby causing m to have an 'epsisode' etc etc. For some reason I was in the middle of the 2 of them. I was accused of taking sides and all that. I just want to be able to give my g a good send off, and trying to come to a solution which suits everyone. My grief was totally on hold for those 3 days. I was too worried about that situation and not thinking about granny. My m had made it all about her and the focus on G was gone. I was angry/sad about that. Finally I broke down in front of m as the stress of the past few weeks got too much. I cried and walked upstairs to cry some more. Instead of comforting me she got on the phone to my uncle (I overheard the conversation) and manipulated him into backing down because "you've made her so upset. You should have seen her, she was distraught I couldn't console her (she didn't even try). She watched her granny die etc etc" so he said he wouldn't bring anyone to the funeral to not upset me and in the end she got what she wanted and used me to get it. So of course after that she comes up to me "there there lovie its all sorted" trying to be mumsy (took 3 days of a standoff and my emotional breakdown and only then after she got her way did she come to me to act concerned- me being cynical again hmmm)
So now we are having a funeral on Thurs. Our partners are not allowed to come now as m made us agree to that because uncle and cousin aren't allowed theirs and that's "fair". Her partner is allowed to be their incidentally. everyone is sacrificing their needs on the day for her.
She vetoed every suggestion or decision we had made for the funeral. She then overturned some of them after they had been agreed. Making the grandchildren feel like our input was just pointless and our wishes ignored. I now just want to get through the day without a hitch or a meltdown and I think I'll move out now as I don't know how much more I can take.
This has turned into a long post (I think I needed to let it all out)
My main point though was dealing with Grief. I don't think she is grieving and it's hard to understand. 6 days after g died I asked m how she felt about it all and was she OK. She told me she'd forgotten all about it up until I asked (which was about 7pm at night). She sings and dances round the house. She gets upset in front of people and not at home from what I have observed. She tells me what a bad mother to her my granny was. That is upsetting to hear at this time. For me, my granny was a rock of stability in a turbulent ocean. she does all this stuff and yet has made the funeral totally about her and what she wants like she's the only one to be upset. ..even though shes not really upset? Maybe that's harsh. Maybe she is somewhere inside. She has not once asked any of us how we feel or are we OK either. Life is continuing as normal for her from what I can observe. It doesn't occur to her that we are grieving.
Does anyone have experience of a npd/bpd in times of grief? I've seen An uncaring, selfish person. Maybe she cares somewhere deep down in some way. But if she does I havnt seen it. I feel like I've finally realised she will never ever be the mother I crave and I should give up trying.
If you got this far thanks for listening, I feel better getting it off my chest xx



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Re: Gran died and m doesn't care
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2016, 11:15:36 PM »
I'm sorry about your granny and what you're going through with your mum.  Unfortunately in my experience, none of that is unusual and is honestly rather predictable and "normal" for my mother.  I've seen all that and more with her during family funerals - she makes it all about her, public emotional meltdowns, lashing out and screaming fits at everyone around her behind closed doors at home.  She's the only one who's suffered a loss and is vicious when it's implied that others are grieving or that others are coping as best they can.

Your mother may not be grieving, honestly.  She may have shut down [long before now, actually, if she ever had any depth of feeling] where she doesn't feel much, everything is superficial and fleeting - I know I've seen that with mine.  There doesn't seem to be much recognition or appreciation for true loss, may not even understand the possibilities, much less the realities.  She may, in fact, resent that the attention is on your granny and your feelings about her.

If my experience is any indicator - and for your sake, I hope it's not - you've not even seen the worst yet.  There may be bigger and better performance ahead.  Just keep in mind no matter what she says or does, this funeral is not about or for your mother.  It's for all of you to pay tribute to and say goodbye to your granny.  Trying to predict or placate her is only going to delay and distract from your own grieving. 

And honestly, this foolishness about "no partners" at the funeral is just ridiculous - there's no earthly reason for them to be banned other than yet another power play by your mother.  I know you're all going along to get along, but seriously, someone who wants to be angry is always going to find something.  I'd bet money she's nowhere near done with the drama.

You hang in here and be good to yourself.  Hang tight with those who comfort you, step away from those who don't and can't feel.  Do it for yourself.
"Expectations are disappointments under construction.”  ~ Cap'n Spanky

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!



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Re: Gran died and m doesn't care
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2016, 12:52:58 AM »
My uNBPDmil was hateful and angry when her parents died. She treated my BIL like a pile of feces, and everyone was too afraid to confront her. She didn't cry. I do believe, however, that her home life was bad, possibly very bad.

My NM also doesn't understand that others hurt. When my F left when I was a teen, I truly hated my mother. Her raging, self-absorbed ways were destroying our family. Still, even I couldn't bear to see her sitting there, crying and suffering. I put my arm around her shoulder and tried to comfort her, telling her I loved her (I didn't, but it felt like it should be said). She didn't respond whatsoever. That day, she had been hanging onto my dad's vehicle as he tried to drive away. It was an awful scene, so I begged her to let him go (before someone got hurt). Later, when I was grieving no father at home, she snapped at me wondering why I was crying, as I was the one who told her to let him go. She not once asked any of her 4 children how we were doing, if we were ok. There was zero comfort or empathy. It was all about her. Always. We weren't allowed to talk about it to anyone, as it "wasn't our story to tell." Any grief is HERS alone. Nobody else cares, nobody else notices. It makes me sick.

When my grandfather was dying, and my brother and I went to support my dad, she demanded we all leave earlier than my dad was ready, as she hadn't had any "real food in more than 24 hours." I still regret not standing up to her. My dad was about to lose his father, but she didn't give a crap, as long as she got her food when she wanted it. We left my dad to sit with his father and took her out to eat. I was seething with disgust for this self-absorbed woman.

I think it's a lack of genuine feeling on your mother's part for her mother (maybe she was worse than you realize?!) or your mother's own total inability to have empathy. Even if she had a crappy relationship with her mother, if she were a good mother herself she would understand that you are hurting and would want to try to comfort you. It sounds like she is extremely self absorbed and controlling. What a nightmare for you, although I'm glad you and your sister had such good days with your grandma as she left life.



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Re: Gran died and m doesn't care
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2016, 08:19:28 AM »
99problems, first, I'm sorry you lost your G.  How awful your M is upsetting you further.  Everyone grieves in their own way.  You might consider letting M have this day, but then a gathering of your close family members and their partners to celebrate G.  Do what feels right to you.