Always bored

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Sneezy

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Always bored
« on: April 01, 2021, 01:23:39 PM »
My mom - covert NPD - is always bored.  I talked to her this morning, and she rattled off all the activities she has going on this week.  Between bingo and cards and shopping, the woman has a pretty active social life.  Her independent senior living facility is not back to pre-Covid activity levels, but they are getting there.  Mom eats at least two meals in the common dining room every day.  She has plenty of social interaction.  And yet, she is always bored.  It's always too quiet and the walls are always closing in on her (her latest favorite expression).

I am having a hard time dealing with it because she makes it sound like it's my problem.  Like it's my job to entertain her.  But, even if it was my job to entertain her, which it's not, I honestly don't think there is enough activity in the world to keep her from being bored.

A therapist told me that people who are anxious can't stand to be alone with themselves.  That makes sense to me.  Whenever the constant activity stops and Mom is left alone with her own thoughts, her self-loathing and insecurity comes crashing in.

Knowing everything I know now, I really wish I had not encouraged Mom to move near me.  She used to live in a city where it was easy to go out to the casinos for entertainment.  She claims that she hates gambling and hates casinos and only went because her husband made her go.  But even after he died, she continued to go, often.  Luckily, she was pretty rigid about setting limits for how much she would spend.  But eating at the cheap buffets and playing the machines seemed to fill a void for her.  I went with her when I would visit and she would get almost giddy over the many different selections at the buffet and she really seemed to enjoy the machines. 

I have come to the conclusion that there's nothing I can do about Mom's boredom.  But what do I say when she goes on and on about how bored she is?  And how do I keep my own sanity when I just want to yell at her "only boring people get bored," and "suck it up, a lot of old people have it a lot worse than you do."  Because neither of those things would be helpful.

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AlisonWonder

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Re: Always bored
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2021, 05:56:44 PM »
Hi Sneezy
I have not experienced this with a parent, but my avoidant DH does tend to go on and on about things.  What I found helpful for him is to say "oh, I see. What are you going to do?".  I think it is a little more empowering than just listening.  Sometimes he does it for me, and I don't find it offensive.

I hope this, or something, helps.
child of the 60s, clinically disturbed mother, responsible cptsd father, much-older abusive siblings

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: Always bored
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2021, 11:20:22 PM »
My unPD mom has to be constantly busy or boredom sets in (and suddenly she *NEEDS* to talk to me, NOW). It's a pattern I didn't recognize until covid.

She has a habit of sighing loudly when we're talking on the phone and saying how she has NOTHING to talk about and how BORING she is. I guess I'm supposed to say, "No, no, it's such a treat to talk to you. You're soooo interesting."  :roll: I say nothing. She still says it almost every phone call, but I just smile and think to myself, "If you have nothing to talk about, why did you insist on a phone call?"

It's like you said: nothing you say will solve the problem. She's a grown woman, and she's had a whole lifetime to figure out how she enjoys spending her time. She's probably playing a game of "Why Don't You - Yes But" in which every suggestion you give, she will have some reason as to why she *can't* do that. I'd come up with some sort of cheery, MC response like, "Well, I'm sure you'll figure something out!"

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Sneezy

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Re: Always bored
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2021, 12:12:30 PM »
What I found helpful for him is to say "oh, I see. What are you going to do?".  I think it is a little more empowering than just listening.
Yes, I think something along the lines of "oh, that's too bad, so what are going to do to keep yourself busy?" may work.  Unfortunately, that may open up into a new tirade of how she can't possibly keep busy because she doesn't have a car and everyone there is so boring and on and on.  But we shall see.

She's a grown woman, and she's had a whole lifetime to figure out how she enjoys spending her time.
Our moms sound so similar!  I think my mom has figured out that she enjoys spending her time being entertained.  She doesn't like to (or can't) make any decisions.  She expects others to come up with ideas to entertain her.  That's one reason I thought independent senior living would be good for her.  Pre-Covid they had a jam-packed calendar of events and activities.  Unfortunately, mom found reasons to complain about most of them.  But even now, they are still doing some activities and mom has a lot more on her plate than many other 80-year olds.  She should be grateful.  But of course she isn't.

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lightworld

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Re: Always bored
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2021, 03:11:03 PM »
Yes my F did this before I went NC and he does it now with B. One of the last times I spoke to F last year, he shouted in an accusatory way "I only watch TV because there's nothing else to do. Don't you realise I've been here for FIVE YEARS!" ( in his care facility) as if it was all my fault. As it happens, just as with your  M's p!ace,there were lots of things happening before lockdown but F never wanted to take part in anything.

It's as if he's simply not interested in anything,  when I asked what he would  like to do he said " Get out of here" so I guess his anger and frustration with me is because he doesn't want to live at the care facility. I've always found it hard to know what he actually wants in life,  all I've been able to come up with is that it's nothing that I can provide. I'm sure he doesn't even know what it is he wants. I don't think he's ever managed to get it which is sad but not my problem to fix.

Maybe M is angry with you about something else but focussing on her boredom as a totally unsolvable problem for you so that you'll feel guilty and anxious to find her something to do.  As you say nothing you suggest  would be enough.

IME suggesting things just provokes more anger. MC is the only way I found helpful "Oh dear sorry you feel that way - anyway got to go the cat's just been sick/there's someone at the door/ I've got to get my cake out of the oven...Bye"  :evil2:
An empathic, highly sensitive, caring, loving, nave, emotional and vulnerable child is a prime target for a narcissistic parent
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Sneezy

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Re: Always bored
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2021, 03:24:50 PM »
when I asked what he would  like to do he said " Get out of here"
That is one of my mom's favorite responses when asked what she would like to do.  Along with "go somewhere," "see something," "do something."  All very vague.  It's like she just wants to be doing something different than whatever she is doing at the moment.  Like the grass is always greener on the other side.  I think in my mom's mind, everyone else in the world is having fun and she is miserable.  Which is part of her PD.  She is bored and miserable, and miserable and bored, all the time.  It's very sad, actually, what a way to live.  But nothing I do can change it.  Before I realized what her PD entailed, I made huge efforts to entertain her and cheer her up.  It never worked.  She always found a reason to be sad or to complain or to simply ruin everything. 

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SparkStillLit

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Re: Always bored
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2021, 05:23:23 PM »
The dog's on fire....my very favorite....

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Boat Babe

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Re: Always bored
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2021, 06:50:00 PM »
That was one of WI's gems.

Yeah, my mother is bored witless. I have offered to pay for her to attend classes/courses/activities at a very local centre for people over 55. They have THE BEST activities and all she has to do is walk 100 meters. But no. Apparently "There's nothing for me there." Her world is so restricted.  Very sad but ultimately not my problem now I don't feel guilty about her misery.
It gets better. It has to.

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Andeza

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Re: Always bored
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2021, 07:19:29 PM »
Yup, yup, some more yup. uBPDm no doubt is at this moment in time sitting in front of the TV as usual. If you asked, she'd say she is bored out of her mind. If you offered to take her out someplace to mingle with others her age, she'd turn you down in a heartbeat. Pretty standard for her. When I used to be in contact, she would moan about how lonely she was (post divorce), and that she didn't know what to do! I offered suggestions, she always countered.

"Why don't you try X?" "Oh, I couldn't possibly because Y."

In this particular equation, X+Y=My time being wasted. That was a big thing that went into the NC decision honestly. She had problems, reasonable solutions were offered, she chose not to take any of those solutions in favor of keeping the problem alive and well to keep complaining about. :stars:

The problem is a million times more entertaining to them than the actual solution. What's even better is if they can get someone running around for them trying to "Do something!" about it. I can't recall where I read it, but I remember reading something about my personality type plus some other fun things. We're problem solvers. Give us a problem, we'll examine it, put time and effort into it, research it, and come up with a solution. It's what we do, and we do it well. But because of that, we value our time immensely. And so, if a person scorns our effort, never implements a solution whether ours or otherwise, we give up on that person. We quite literally walk away and leave them in their own steaming pile of problems to figure something out. As I've gotten older, the threshold to hit that point where I leave them to figure it out for themselves, just gets easier and easier to cross. And so, my actual personality type is incompatible with most pwPDs, especially waifs and drama queens.

I encourage you, Sneezy, to continue valuing your time and effort, is what I'm trying to get to in a roundabout manner. It's way more valuable to you than it is to her.
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous
Lasting happiness is not something we find, but rather something we make for ourselves.

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Pepin

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Re: Always bored
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2021, 07:25:02 PM »
This is how my mil is.  DH has bent over backwards over the course of many years now trying to help her find something to do to pass the time.  He has given up and she spends her days watching satellite TV.  The world is at her fingertips and she doesn't want it.  There is always an excuse.  And honestly, I think it is good for her that she sits and stews in front of her TV.  Though it is doubtful, maybe she will have a lightbulb moment and realize how difficult she has been over the years and why no one wants to be with her.  When asked what she wants to do, she doesn't know.  She obviously has given zero thought about how she would like to spend her time because she wants someone else to do the work!  TV it is then.  PDs like this can't stand themselves.  They can't stand being alone with themselves because it is a reminder to them of how much they loathe themselves.  My PDmil has been literally prevented from doing all the things she used to do for her own benefit -- she thought that she was doing them to be nice....but no.  It was all an act.  I wish I had some advice for you other than to remind her that you have already offered many things and that she has turned them down.  You are out of ideas.  And I love the idea of turning it back on her and asking: what are you going to do about it?  And if she did come up with an idea and you said NO then how would she feel?  Most of us would feel ok about it but PDs don't.
NPD F (overt) NC
DPD MIL (covert) VLC
FALLEN GC SIB
GC#2 SIB (covert) LC headed to NC

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: Always bored
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2021, 09:13:46 PM »
We're problem solvers. Give us a problem, we'll examine it, put time and effort into it, research it, and come up with a solution. It's what we do, and we do it well. But because of that, we value our time immensely. And so, if a person scorns our effort, never implements a solution whether ours or otherwise, we give up on that person. We quite literally walk away and leave them in their own steaming pile of problems to figure something out. As I've gotten older, the threshold to hit that point where I leave them to figure it out for themselves, just gets easier and easier to cross. And so, my actual personality type is incompatible with most pwPDs, especially waifs and drama queens.

OMG yes. There is nothing more irritating to me than someone who complains about their situation but refuses to lift even a single finger to do anything about it. Worse still when they've been offered assistance. Repeatedly. I've made it a rule to offer once, and after that, it's up to them.

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lightworld

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Re: Always bored
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2021, 09:39:01 AM »
Yes and I'm sure the vagueness of their complaints is deliberate. It keeps your attention on them and keeps you anxious. Win win in PD world.
An empathic, highly sensitive, caring, loving, nave, emotional and vulnerable child is a prime target for a narcissistic parent
Clare Lane

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SunnyMeadow

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Re: Always bored
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2021, 11:18:00 AM »
PDs like this can't stand themselves.  They can't stand being alone with themselves because it is a reminder to them of how much they loathe themselves.

I've read this "they loathe themselves" thing quite a few times. Do you all think they loathe the terrible things they've done? The crappy way they've treated people, like they have awareness of their actions? Or does this mean loathe in a different way? Is it just general loathing?

I'm wondering if my mother recognizes why she has no one left, that it's her and not others. I've heard her say she doesn't want to think too much about ________ (family member) because she feels guilty but I was too busy medium-chilling to ask her why.

My anxiety goes sky high when she gets on topics of certain people so I try to veer the topic in a different direction. But I wonder if they have true awareness.

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SunnyMeadow

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Re: Always bored
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2021, 11:43:35 AM »
My uNPDmother complains that she has nothing to do and is bored constantly, always has. I used to make it my mission to take her out because she was bored. I was trained well to take care of mother  :doh:.  Then I got to hear the same old stories of people's terrible treatment of her and how awful so-and-so is, in deep detail. And after this full afternoon out with her devoted daughter, she was bored right afterward.

My mother's big thing is her husband is NO FUN. So he's supposed to entertain her but he doesn't, so she's bored because of him. I've given suggestions to join classes at her local senior center or call an acquaintance to go to lunch, she replies "I should" then doesn't. I should go for a walk, I should start eating better, I should go on a trip ..... . It's the standard reply.

I started reading here about my mother being a grown woman like I was and I didn't need to take her hand and fix her troubles. It was like a light bulb went on in my brain.

Yes, WI's dog is on fire thing is a classic. Gotta go, the dog's on fire!  :sunny:

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lightworld

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Re: Always bored
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2021, 12:22:37 PM »
Yes love that one too. Channelling WI always makes me feel stronger. She was such an inspiration.
An empathic, highly sensitive, caring, loving, nave, emotional and vulnerable child is a prime target for a narcissistic parent
Clare Lane

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Sneezy

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Re: Always bored
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2021, 12:48:05 PM »
My mother's big thing is her husband is NO FUN.
Lately my mom has been saying something similar.  She was married to her first husband (my father) for 25 years and, according to mom, he never wanted to travel (although after they got divorced, he sure seemed to do some fun trips).  Then she was married to her second husband for almost 30 years and, again according to mom, he wouldn't let her do anything.  So now, in her eighties she will cry "I feel like I haven't had a life!!!"  There is no answer to that other than medium chill.

Because mom feels like she hasn't had any fun in her life, she has recently announced that she has a "bucket list."  And it includes going to the Grand Canyon and New York City and taking a cruise, amongst other things.  But mom can barely walk and she refuses to use a walker or wheelchair.  Nothing on her list is suitable for an 80-year old who can barely stand, let alone walk.  All these things would require someone to take her, and they would be possible, of course, if she would take safety precautions, but she won't.  I can't even imagine telling her that she would need to rent a scooter to safely take a cruise.  That would result in quite a temper tantrum.  (Side note - I took a cruise a couple years ago, and saw three different elderly people take nasty falls.  One guy got pretty banged up and spent the night in the infirmary.  Cruises are great for older folks who are mobile, and they are doable for older people who aren't so stubborn that they won't use a walker or a scooter.  But they aren't for old people with balance and mobility issues who *think* they are perfectly fine).

The dog is on fire - that is one of my all-time favorite WI lines  :yahoo:

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: Always bored
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2021, 06:38:59 PM »
I've read this "they loathe themselves" thing quite a few times. Do you all think they loathe the terrible things they've done? The crappy way they've treated people, like they have awareness of their actions? Or does this mean loathe in a different way? Is it just general loathing?

I think it's usually a general loathing. A belief that they are somehow unworthy of being loved because of some deep flaw... probably as a response to being abused or neglected in childhood and believing they somehow caused it to happen. Which is a normal response for young children: "Mommy and daddy are mad because I was bad."

Nons learn how to deal with those feelings in a healthy way as they mature. Making messes, breaking things, saying the wrong thing, throwing tantrums... we realize these are NORMAL things for kids to do and we forgive ourselves for not being perfect (because who is?). We recognize that the reactions of our caregivers were not a reflection of us, but of themselves.

But for PDs, they've heaped on so many layers of defensive thoughts and behaviors, I don't think they really know or could admit this "inner wrongness" they feel. It's too scary and would make them too vulnerable. So the the more overt types parade around pretending they are perfect and Right About Everything. And the covert types waif and play the victim so you'll be tricked into proving your love and devotion over and over again. 

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Andeza

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Re: Always bored
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2021, 07:32:19 PM »
I'm going to agree with Cat. My own uBPDm is still carrying around crap tons of baggage from her teens that she won't speak of. But she lives loathing herself for the big nasty whatever it is. The truth? The truth is probably that it's something most of us wouldn't bat an eye at, but this deep well of endless guilt keeps her shackled to her disorder, and was likely the primary trigger. Although, admittedly, there were many if she's to be believed. But she always played them down as though they were no big deal, while still saying things like "I'll never forgive myself."

So she hates herself, to some degree, but can't or won't make peace with the past. Instead, she repeats it over and over and over again, and since she can't process the emotions due to emotional immaturity, she throws those emotions onto everyone else. But the relief is only temporary. It always comes back, and it will keep coming back because she won't change her approach, learn new things, or seek help.

Mine too likes to wail that she could have done X, or seen Y, or lived a completely different life. But, in the end, she chose her own way in life and this is the sum of it. Her regrets are born of her own refusal to heal.

Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous
Lasting happiness is not something we find, but rather something we make for ourselves.