The Mask Slipped in Spectacular Fashion

  • 5 Replies
  • 590 Views
*

Psuedonym

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 745
The Mask Slipped in Spectacular Fashion
« on: May 08, 2021, 05:14:51 PM »
So I've known my MIL had a PD since basically I met her. I know you get it, that once you know what a PD looks like it becomes glaringly obvious in the behaviors of others. I have very little to do with her (thank God) and she's never done or said a thing to me, but its very apparent in the passive aggressive demands she makes of H, and her personality can be summed up as superficially nice but with a big ol nasty streak right below the surface that comes out as soon as she doesn't get her way. Classic example: she won't call H but when he doesn't call her within the (only defined in her head) magic number of days she gets sullen and childish and/or does the old ST.

H is sort of on the fence about acknowledging her disordered behavior: he knows that there's something very not right about her but downplays it, I believe to his detriment. He is a very kind person whom everybody loves but has 0 self esteem or self confidence. (Strange how that happens, I know.)

Anyway, my H and MIL suffer from the same chronic pain condition and both have taken Oxy for years as its been the only thing that's helped. H takes less than what the doctor gives him and really tries to take as little as possible. MIL...not so much. She was taking a ridiculous amount for years until new doctor put a stop to it (of course she threw a fit and demanded her old dosage, (which went over about as well. as you can imagine). New doctor has been cutting back as she has had more side effects. So, of course, she blows right through her pills and demands that H give her some of his. (Because of course she doesn't give a rats ass about how much pain her son is or isn't in, that's totally irrelevant, because obviously she is old and suffering more). Last month it got to the breaking point where H gave her enough pills of his that he was really suffering (he did not tell me this right away) and finally said, never again. He told her that he would never give her another pill, ration hers out, and remind her that if she ran out she would be up shit creek on pretty much a daily basis. (I know you can all see where this is going.) She immediately started lying and trying to hide the fact that she was taking extra pills, and a few days ago, when she should have had about 10 days left, H gets the 'you have to give me some of yours' text. To which H kinds says 'nope.'  This was followed by a lot of begging and whining and guilt tripping, and when that didn't work, holy shit did the wheels come off. Literally texting 'I hate you!' over and over again. Calling him a disgrace and a monster and nasty in a bombardment of texts and threatening that he was going to pay for what he's done to his poor, sick old mother.   :stars: Then total silence, which is where it stands now.

It's so much like Negatron's massive Protest that Failed that its kind of eerie. I've known its been there, but just to witness all that hatefulness and dysfunction come out at once is...something. Of course H found out from her doctor that she's been trying to get her to go to rehab for months, which she's lied about, and that she'd been going to the emergency rooms and badgering multiple doctors to try to get her fix. She's so vindictive that I could honestly see her disowning H and never speaking to him again (which just between us, would be fine by me).

I hate to see H upset like this, but I also think its probably good for him to finally realize now not right his mother is. As for me, I think it has been enlightening to watch someone else go through this and see with absolute clarity that none of this is H's fault and he shouldn't be feeling guilty. Of course he does, even though he's actually helping her by not enabling her and letting her reap the consequence of her own actions. What a strange idea! Sheesh. Sorry this is so long, just wanted share this one.


*

Cat of the Canals

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 441
Re: The Mask Slipped in Spectacular Fashion
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2021, 07:51:20 PM »
It's such an awful thing to witness. I'm sorry for you and your H for having to go through this. Dealing with a PD in the family is already such a struggle, but a PD with addiction issues? Hoo boy.

If she was just PD, or something else was being withheld from her, she very well might discard him over it. But I suspect the fact that your H is her "easiest" source for extra pills means she will be back. Be prepared for some major hoover lovebombing, followed by another nuclear meltdown when she doesn't get what she wants.

Do you think your H would be willing to go to an Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meeting? I know several people who have found them very helpful when dealing with an addict in the family. If a meeting seems like too big a step, maybe watching some videos on Youtube? This woman is an addiction specialist and has a ton of great videos on dealing with addiction in a family: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQLB1RQfEFY

It might seem odd to suggest focusing on the addiction when she clearly has a PD, but a LOT of the tactics for dealing with addicts are very similar to the tactics for dealing with PDs. It's all about boundaries, boundaries, BOUNDARIES. And learning some of the skills for dealing with an addicted family member might help him Out of the FOG in the long run. He may still have misgivings about acknowledging a PD, but I don't think he can deny she has an addiction problem when her doctor is talking rehab.

*

Leonor

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 298
Re: The Mask Slipped in Spectacular Fashion
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2021, 12:36:48 PM »
Hi Pseudo,

I agree with Cat one hundred percent.

Right now, there is a safety issue. Your mil is addicted to opiates. That's the reality.

That reality, as sad and painful as it is, can also bring clarity.

It is very confusing and challenging and foggy to draw boundaries around an aging mother in pain.

It becomes clearer (not necessarily easier, but clearer) to not feed an addiction.

If your mil were an alcoholic, your dh would not be tempted to buy her a case of beer, for instance.

So rather than getting caught up in the upside-down world of PD behavior, trauma bonding, gaslighting, recrimination, etc., keep clear that you and your dh are dealing with addiction.

Learn about addiction, and how to support an addict without enabling her; to care about her without taking care of her; and how to maintain boundaries that allow you and your dh to strengthen your own relationship.

Codependency is a thing, and that is where your dh and you have your work to do. It is painful and sad, but it is worth it, and the only way to support each other and best help his mom.









*

Starboard Song

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 3239
  • Be good. Be strong.
Re: The Mask Slipped in Spectacular Fashion
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2021, 01:05:39 PM »
It might seem odd to suggest focusing on the addiction when she clearly has a PD, but a LOT of the tactics for dealing with addicts are very similar to the tactics for dealing with PDs. It's all about boundaries, boundaries, BOUNDARIES. And learning some of the skills for dealing with an addicted family member might help him Out of the FOG in the long run. He may still have misgivings about acknowledging a PD, but I don't think he can deny she has an addiction problem when her doctor is talking rehab.

 :yeahthat:
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

*

GentleSoul

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 392
Re: The Mask Slipped in Spectacular Fashion
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2021, 10:52:52 AM »
I very much agree that PD's are like addicts.  My late PD husband was an alcoholic. Is the same techniques to help cope with both issues.

I belong to this community as well as one to help family of alcoholics.

Exactly same coping methods, just different names.

*

Sneezy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 320
Re: The Mask Slipped in Spectacular Fashion
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2021, 11:08:04 PM »
When my mom moved near me (two and a half years ago) she was taking the maximum amount of hydrocodone that Medicare would allow her to get per day.  Her doctor prescribed it for her after knee surgery in 2003 and just kept her on it through the years.  Yes, mom has bad knee pain, she is barely mobile, and her arthritis is debilitating.  It still does not justify the high dose of hydrocodone.  When mom moved here, her new doctor wouldn't prescribe it for her.  And there was hell to pay.  She was not addicted, but she was physically and mentally dependent on it.  It was just one more difficult thing in a very difficult year.  At one point, Mom had a huge meltdown because she had seen a news story on how taking too much Tylenol was bad for your liver.  She started carrying on that she needed her hydrocodone because it was so much safer and better for her than Tylenol, and why couldn't I see that, and why wouldn't the new doctor give it to her, and why did she move near me when I clearly didn't care about her pain, etc., etc., etc.

I truly blame the medical/pharmaceutical industry for this horrible opioid problem.  Doctors prescribe, or used to prescribe, opioids on a regular basis.  For god's sake, when my kids were teenagers, their dentist gave them a 30-day supply of opioids for minor wisdom teeth removal.  It got out of hand.  And then all of sudden, the tables turned, and now we blame people for being addicted to this stuff.  It is unconscionable.

However, none of this changes the fact that your MIL is addicted and, as others have said, boundaries are now more important than ever.  I'm sorry your husband has to deal with his mother's addiction.  But if he can see the addiction as the number one problem at this point, and set boundaries accordingly, it may also help in dealing with the PD.