NPD Mom Passed away last week

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Proverbslady49

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NPD Mom Passed away last week
« on: April 10, 2017, 12:24:26 AM »
I have been taking care of my mother for the past 2 years in a home I rented so she could live with me and my children.  She had been out of state in my hometown from 2007 to 2014 in an Assisted Living facility.  Until December of 2016, I had no idea that I had been abused.  I knew nothing of NPD.  I have lived 49 years believing everything is my fault and that I am an ungrateful, wicked, uncaring person that  had serious problems and caused my poor sweet adored mother torment and grief.  I knew that I was seriously damaged, but I can now accept (sort of) that I was damaged but not originally.  Damage was inflicted on me because my mother had a serious mental illness.  I spent months tortured because I just couldn't bare to even talk to her.  I only visited her once a year over her birthday while she was in the assisted living.  I called infrequently.  I avoided the calls.  All that guilt because I was convinced that I was a deeply selfish and ungrateful child that avoided such a wonderful mother. 

My mother NEVER called me.  I was expected to call her and if I didn't, she let me know how disappointed and hurt she was.  I told her she could always call me anytime and her response was always "I don't want to bother you because you are so busy."  This was a typical guilt tactic and it certainly did work.  WELL...if only I had known what I know now.... mom called me one day and said I don't want to die here alone."  Well, I immediately snapped into gear.  I cashed in my retirement fund at a significant penalty.  I moved heaven and earth to get my mother to live with me and my children.  It was my way to redeem my miserable behavior all my life and repay all her love and generosity.  It was a chance to honor a promise I made to my dad to take care of her (funny it never bothered me until now that my father's only concern when he was dying was that my mother be taken care of).  I snapped into action.  My mother was 83 and in good health.  She could take care of herself.  She just wanted to live with us.  She talked about spending time together and being with her grandchildren and going to their special events.  She made it sound like we would have a loving relationship.  OH HOW MISERABLY WRONG I WAS.

I paid for the move with all the savings I had.  I found a house that she would love and paid the landlord to build a handicapped bathroom for her.  What a waste because she rarely showered.  She moved in and immediately expected to be waited on hand and foot.  I was her maid, cook, caretaker and secretary.  She had no responsibilities and never offered to lift a finger.  She handed all her social security over to me for her portion of the additional expenses but that was it. I had to manage everything.  All the doctors appointments.  She was still a walking, talking, physically healthy person that absolutely refused to engage in the world. 

She would follow me into the kitchen.  She knew when I was having a difficult day and chose those moments to come and talk to me.  Otherwise she never came out of her room except to see what was going on in the kitchen for meals. It was brilliant.  She perfectly timed when she could get me the most upset and then would put on the wounded, horrified face and I was immediately overcome with guilt.  She refused to call her friends.  They would call and leave messages.  She never picked up the phone.  I originally believed it was depression, but now I am convinced she was more pleased at how often they would pursue a conversation with her.  Eventually of course they called me very concerned that perhaps all was not well.  Always there was that hint of accusation that I was mistreating her or not providing for her.  Nothing could have been further from the truth.  She had a big beautiful room.  Everything was done for her and she didn't have to lift a finger (and she never offered except when I was so overwhelmed with her care that I became a basket case... then she would pitifully look at me and say "Oh I am such a burden to you, I wish there was something I could do to help"  MADDENING.... of course she could do things to help.... bring your dish to the kitchen.  Make your own meal.  Microwave something.  Call your friends and let them know you are okay.  Nope nothing.  I was constantly having to make regular telephone calls to the dear friends on her behalf.  I made excuses but eventually many of them stopped calling.   It was unbelievable to me.  I always was the friendless kid.  My mother was the most popular person anywhere she went and just threw them all away without even a care to the hurt she must have caused.  Even through all of that everyone still adored her. 

My mother refused to bathe.  She refused to comb her hair.  She would wear stained clothing and not brush her teeth.  It was unbelievable that this once meticulous all about appearances fashion plate mom was behaving like this.  She was a slob.  She refused to bathe and the odor was so bad the house would smell.  I had to beg and plead and then scream in frustration.  She would just look at me and say "OH, I WILL".  That was the only thing she ever said when asked to do simple self maintenance.  Then she would promptly not do any of it.  It was maddening.  All the while I blamed myself.  I begged the doctors to please do a psych evaluation and they humored me once and came back with "Your mother answered all the questions perfectly".  Well of course she did... she was a master at putting a good impression to the public.  She would routinely contradict her behavior to the doctor.  I would go in and discuss her symptoms and my observations and she would very sweetly LIE TO THEIR FACE  and I would just glare at her.  The doctor would then sweetly tell me that it was normal for the elderly to exhibit some of these behaviors.  I was in hell.  I was a single working mother that was now having to devote more time to her mother than her own children.  When expressed to my mom that I was over my head and stressed and that the children were not getting enough attention, she wouldn't even respond.  NOTHING.  She acted like I hadn't even spoken.  Of course 2 years of this was taking its toll and then we get the cancer diagnosis. 

It was in August the surgery and by December my mother was acting in such an unmanageable way that I finally went online and typed in some of her behaviors and discovered NPD.  Finally I had an answer, but it did no good in helping my predicament.  She was given an excellent prognosis and was told that she was very lucky and if she would eat and drink and do her exercises she could live many more years.  What did she do?  She refused to eat and drink.  She refused to get out of the bed or do any exercises.  She wouldn't even touch her ostomy.  Eventually she just stopped getting up to go to the bathroom it was just easier for her to have me change a depends.  She would beg me to just put them on... I know that to some that must sound like I am a cruel daughter but at the time I was desperately trying to get her to do what the doctors said.  She was NOT DIEING.  She was perfectly capable of doing these small things.  She was willingiy and knowingly causing me to have to completely take care of her.  Eventually of course she destroyed any chance of getting treatment and it was at that point when she looked at me and said I don't want to die, you must get me treatment.  It was insane, she refused to help herself and then it became my responsibility to fix what she had deliberately done. 

Sorry for the long post, but even though I expected her death.  It still just makes me furious that she refused to do anything to help herself and that the doctors told me that she could have potentially lived many more years.  If she was just wanting to die that I could understand but every single day she would remind me that she wanted to live.  She didn't want to die.  Yet her actions were the total opposite of the words.  I would cry and pour my heart out to her about how worried I was and how I was cracking under the pressure and my job was in danger.  I would tell her that I was doing all I could but that she had to do something too.  She would just look at me and not respond one word.  She wouldn't answer direct questions.  She wouldn't tell me what she was thinking.  She would just say, well I'm lazy that's all.  I am just too lazy.  Hospice was involved twice.  The first time was horrible,  The nurse and the social worker were horrible.  They actually came to the house to speak with me and my mother about her "reluctance" to eat, drink, bathe, wash up, dress, even go to the bathroom.  It was that meeting that my heart finally realized that my feeling that my mother never loved me was completely accurate.  I poured my heart out to her.  I cried and told her how awful this was.  I begged her to talk to me about what was going on.  She sat at that table with a stone face.  She was cold and indifferent.  Finally the social worker said to my mother "Helen, your daughter has just expressed a great deal of feeling and emotion.  What would you like to say to your daughter?"  Without even really looking at me, she addressed the social worker with this statement  "I don't know what she wants me to say."  It was at that moment that the fragile thread of hope that my mom loved me and that she valued me broke and I was irrevocably destroyed forever.  At that moment, I believed that I had been such a terrible daughter that I was unworthy of her love.  I was unaware of NPD.  I was just that 5 year old child being told that I didn't have any friends because I didn't act right.  I was that 10 year old that never did her school work to perfection.  I was that teenager that weighed 120 lbs and was told I needed to go on a diet in order to fit into a prom dress.  I was that adult that was constantly a disappointment. 

However, once I knew, it somehow made the end much better.  I wasn't angry.  I truly was sad for her.  I hated that she hurt.  I hated her empty last years devoid of anything good because she chose to act like a pathetic abused person then actually live and enjoy.  Now that she is gone, the guilt is even worse at the moment because I am so relieved to not have to take care of her.  I am numb.  I hate all the condolences from well meaning people that tell me how lucky I was to have such a wonderful mother.  How wonderful that I was able to take care of her.  Every single story they tell about my mother's sainted behavior and what a good generous friend she was.  Inside I want to scream.  I have become a hermit.  I dread the comments and the posts to my Facebook wall about "MOM, I miss you and wish I could tell you one more time I love you" type posts that friends keep leaving me.  The send me long messages about how wonderful their mom was and how they mourned and all the things they expect me to be feeling.  It isn't helpful.  In fact, it has added a layer of frustration that I can't possibly describe.  It is horrible to know all the terrible things she did to me in private that no one saw.  It is horrible to have no one to actually understand that her death was the beginning of my freedom.  It is so sick and horrible it would revolt most of these well meaning friends.  So I have no outlet.  I have no support or understanding.  I am utterly alone just like always and even though she isn't here to inflict more damage, her abuse of me still haunts my ability to be a regular person. 

Sorry for this amazingly long post.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 12:29:21 PM by Bloomie »

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SunnyMeadow

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Re: NPD Mom Passed away last week
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2017, 01:17:02 AM »
I'm glad you wrote this long post! I think it's important to read your experience. I think many of us can relate to it.

I've been groomed to take my mother in when she needs care. I read stories like yours and know I can't do it. My life would be a living hell, like yours was proverbslady. I'm sorry you went through all of that and with zero thanks for all you spent and went through.  So sad that you put yourself out so much for a woman who didn't even help you by handling her own personal grooming and hygiene ...awful!

I hope your guilt dissipates quickly. I can completely understand you being relieved you don't have to care for her anymore. She treated you horribly. If I were in your situation, I'd be relieved too.





« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 01:25:50 AM by SunnyMeadow »

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Medowynd

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Re: NPD Mom Passed away last week
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2017, 01:18:05 AM »
You are welcome here.  My uPD mother passed away, seven years ago.  I tried to mourn, but I couldn't.  Even on her deathbed, she was cursing and ranting at her scapegoat children.  Her death was a relief and I finally felt free.  I prayed for years about my relationship with her and I was always the inadequate child, the one to blame when my brothers got into mischief, miles away.  I stayed in my hometown until her death.  Six months later, my husband and I packed our bags and moved a 1000 miles away.  His father, a uPD had died five months before my mother.

Even to this day, when I speak about my uPDM, I call her a mean woman.  Many people are shocked, but I am not going to hide the years where death was a welcome idea and I tried to commit suicide twice, because I felt that there was no escape. 

So come back here often and check the toolbox for help and the resources section.  There are many people here that have had similar experiences. 


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Adria

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Re: NPD Mom Passed away last week
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2017, 10:19:16 AM »
I am so sorry for all the pain you have been put through and are going through. You have come to the right place. We truly understand and support you.   :hug:

It is so hard to come to terms with the fact that they can't love or appreciate anything about us or anything we do.  It's hard to fathom.
However, you can rest peacefully knowing that God has seen everything you have done to make her life good even if she never saw it. That was the way Jesus lived his whole life. You maybe can't see it now, but down the road you will look back and realize that because of your great love, and that you did everything you could, you will have no regrets about her care, other than maybe the toll it took on you.  Please don't fault yourself for being the loving, caring person that you are.  You did what you thought was best at the time . . . you took care of your mother.

Maybe you could step away from your facebook page for awhile until things simmer down.  No need to read all the wonderful comments about your mom. The well meaning thoughts of people reaching out to say nice things might only make you feel more misunderstood,  isolated and lonely.

Yes, it's a harsh realization when all we feel is guilt and relief after they pass.  It's hard because that isn't what you think you would feel or want to feel. But, having gone through all of the trauma they put us through makes it understandable. After all, we are only human. You have sacrificed so much for your mother. Try to let go of the guilt. It's time to go back to taking care of yourself.  You are a very special person. Hugs to you Proverbslady  :bighug: :bighug:
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 10:29:50 AM by Adria »

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daughterofbpd

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Re: NPD Mom Passed away last week
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2017, 09:26:43 PM »
Hello Proverbslady49,
I'm not sure quite what to say, it sounds like you showed your mother a great amount of generosity and love before she died. I'm sorry she wasn't able to return that. You've given up so much, I hope now you can work on healing and taking your life back. Be gentle with yourself and take care.
 :hug:
“How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego”
~ Amanda Torroni

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all4peace

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Re: NPD Mom Passed away last week
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2017, 12:20:55 PM »
Welcome, proverbslady49!

Thank you for your well-written and heartfelt story of your life with your mother. I'm so terribly sorry that you didn't get a mother who knew how to love, who could be a good-enough mom to you, or who would even just take care of herself instead of heavily loading you with the burdens of her life. I can only try to imagine how exhausting and painful your life has been in the last couple years, trying to care for someone absolutely bent on destroying themselves, passively, without explanation. It sounds incredibly painful and frustrating and totally bewildering.

I'm so glad you've found this forum. It is such a good place to share our stories, when friends cannot fully understand or we don't want to burden them too often. This is a supportive and caring place and I look forward to seeing more of you over time! I'm sorry for all you've been through and wish you healing over time, and peace.

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JenniferSmith

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Re: NPD Mom Passed away last week
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2017, 05:41:49 PM »
Thanks for sharing your story. I actually really enjoy the long posts with lots of details. It really paints a picture of what you went through with your mom.  Unlike the people on your FB who had healthy moms, the folks here completely understand how you feel about yours. Lots of us have parents who put on a great front to everyone else, but behind closed-doors, its a totally different story. That is a very common pattern among folks with PDs and other mental problems.

I hope that you will now finally have some peace, and a chance to heal from all the pain your mother has caused you over your lifetime. Its a lot to grieve, but that is how we heal and move forward, so its important to let yourself do that.  If you have a chance to meet with a therapist who has knowledge about PDs, that might be something you would find helpful. But also feel free to keep posting here. It can be therapeutic, and your posts will definitely help someone else.

As I was reading your story, it made me think of my elderly father. I can very much imagine that when he dies, the people that know him will think he must have been a wonderful father. But they have no idea what he has put me through for decades. I have already decided I won't be attending his funeral. One of the main reasons is I don't want to face all his various acquaintances. I am not capable of putting on such a facade, nor do I want to.

best wishes to you

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caramelia

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Re: NPD Mom Passed away last week
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2017, 10:55:53 PM »
I understand. My brother had substance abuse problems and strong narcissistic tendencies. He died a few weeks ago at a very young age.

I grieve for the little brother I remember from when we were young, but like you, there is a definite layer of relief, and that is just so sad to me.

And no one else will understand it. I'm sorry that you're going through all of these mixed emotions that you can't share in real life. It's heartbreaking, I know.