Venting after NPD mother's surgery

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waterfalls

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Venting after NPD mother's surgery
« on: June 22, 2021, 03:54:25 PM »
Please allow me a moment to vent about my NPD mother.

She had surgery on her dominant hand Tuesday of last week. She has arthritis, and the surgery shaved a bone in her thumb and gave her a titanium implant. She knew going into the surgery that she wouldn't have the use of her hand for at least 6 weeks, that it would be a painful and difficult recovery.

Last Friday, my husband had surgery to remove what turned out to be 3 rather than the 2 parathyroid adenomas we expected. If his blood tests after the surgery turned out to be abnormal, his outpatient surgery would have turned into an overnight stay. Thankfully, it didn't, but I was on edge all the same. My husband is home now, but is living on calcium (10 Tums or more a day) to make sure he has no complications (numbness, tingling, trouble breathing, or anything else).

While anticipating and going through my husband's surgery issues, I called my mother once a day (we live on opposite coasts) to check on her and give support (thankfully, her sister and my father were there to help her). Everyday, I got the same answer from her--she has no improvement and she's in pain. Her attitude sure didn't help.

After my husband's surgery, when I told my mom about his surgery being more involved than we expected and how we have to watch his calcium levels, she told me I'm making my husband sicker than he actually is. She's the one who's in more pain and needs more attention because she can't do anything with her dominant hand.

Her surgery and my husband's are apples and oranges. Yes, hand surgery is extremely painful and takes a long time to recover from, but it really gets to me that whatever she's going through is always so much more worse than what someone else is going through. My husband will have to monitor his calcium blood levels every few days over the next few weeks, and possibly he'll have to monitor his levels the rest of his life because he now has only 1 parathyroid, and that parathyroid is questionable.

I'm just so tired of my mother and the "me, me, me" thing. I know that's how narcissists are, but it doesn't make things any easier. When my mother was complaining about her pain and I told her that I hear her, she told me that I don't know her pain. So to appease her, I told her, "No, I don't know your pain." I also told her that I'm not going to bother her if she's feeling so badly, and that when she feels like talking, she can call me.

Thank you for allowing me to vent and get this off my chest.


As a side note: My mother is always in pain after 2 neck surgeries, a back surgery, bladder surgery, arthritis throughout her body, and other issues I can't remember. She lives on hydrocodone to deal with her daily pain, so naturally, any pain medication for her hand is not going to help because her body is used to medication for her other pain issues. I don't know what she was expecting going into the surgery, but putting it bluntly, her attitude sucks. It sucks to begin with, and post-surgery it sucks even more. The glass has always been half empty with her and it will be until the day she dies.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2021, 03:57:12 PM by waterfalls »

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Andeza

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Re: Venting after NPD mother's surgery
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2021, 04:48:46 PM »
I'm just nodding as I read this. It sounds so familiar! :doh: mine is ubpd, but same deal. Nobody has it worse than she does, nobody understands blah blah blah. But won't make lifestyle changes that could help.

Ah well, if she won't help herself, I sure as heck can't do a darn thing. Horse and water and all that. :bigwink:

Any chance you can call less? Like... once a week or less? Calling is only feeding the narc, not really making her feel better, and most definitely complicating your already difficult home situation. You don't need this added stress. I do hope everything works out for you husband and he recovers well. It sounds like a major surgery, with potentially lifetime impacts.
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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waterfalls

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Re: Venting after NPD mother's surgery
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2021, 06:29:36 PM »
Thanks, Andeza, for listening, your advice, and your wishes. Normally, I call my mother every other day or when she has a doctor's appointment, tests, etc. When she's going through something more difficult, like a surgery, I'll call everyday to check up and show support. I do realize that this is feeding her "narcissistic supply," but when I'm seeing she's doing better, then I put the day back between calls.

Since she's having a big time pity party now and is wallowing in her misery, I'm putting the ball into her court. I'm not planning to call for a while. As I told her, I'm letting her call me when she feels up to talking; I'm sure that won't take too long when she sees I'm not calling.

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: Venting after NPD mother's surgery
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2021, 07:07:47 PM »
I also told her that I'm not going to bother her if she's feeling so badly, and that when she feels like talking, she can call me.

Excellent response! The daily calls don't seem to do her any good, and they certainly aren't doing YOU any good. Might as well drop the rope.
I hope your husband has an easy recovery. And don't forget to take care of yourself, too!

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Sneezy

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Re: Venting after NPD mother's surgery
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2021, 08:08:59 PM »
I also told her that I'm not going to bother her if she's feeling so badly, and that when she feels like talking, she can call me.
This is a great way to handle it.  And if your mother calls and is still miserable, you can just tell her that you don't want to over-tax her as she's still not well, so you'll cut the call short and let her rest.

Getting older is tough.  For a narcissist, especially as they age, pain can be a reality check - they are hit with the reality that they are not the perfect, young, healthy, beautiful, homecoming queen that they imagine themselves to be.  Pain can also be a source of supply - oh woe is me, no one suffers like I do, everyone must rally around me and take care of me and be nice to me and acknowledge what a stoic martyr I am.

And for some people with NPD, they do both at the same time.  My mother will tell me that she is the most active, healthiest, mobile person in her senior living complex.  She is as vain as can be, and does not understand why she lives with all these old people.  And in the next breath, she will be pulling up her pant leg to show me the latest rash that is so itchy and painful that she can't sleep.  And why don't I care, and why don't I run out and buy her more creams to put on it, because no one has ever had such a fiery painful rash.  Up and down, from grandiose center of attention to the most long-suffering put-upon miserable old lady you've ever seen - all in the same few minutes.

A while back, someone on this forum told me that for our suffering NPD mothers, the glass isn't just half empty.  The glass has been spilled.  All over the floor they just washed.  On their hands and knees.  With a toothbrush.  And no one cares.

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waterfalls

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Re: Venting after NPD mother's surgery
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2021, 08:56:07 PM »
Thank you, Cat of the Canals and Sneezy, for listening--it's comforting to know that others understand.

I'm trying to take care of myself while I take care of my husband. Yes, unfortunately it is true that people with NPD have an especially difficult time with getting older, and they let everyone know about it.

"...for our suffering NPD mothers, the glass isn't just half empty.  The glass has been spilled.  All over the floor they just washed.  On their hands and knees.  With a toothbrush.  And no one cares." That quote, Sneezy, is so well put and sadly true.

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Torn and confused

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Re: Venting after NPD mother's surgery
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2021, 04:10:03 AM »
I'm just so tired of my mother and the "me, me, me" thing.

I absolutely hear you on that one! You cannot have a conversation with my mother without her turning the topic around to be about her, I can even predict what she's going to say when we're on certain topics because she only has so many stories and just repeats them because she lacks the skills to have meaningful conversations.

It sounds like you've made a good choice to leave the ball in her court but be prepared for the whole "you don't care, you abandoned me when I needed you" spiel. The best line I've ever used on my mother was "I'm not personally responsible for your emotional well-being and you need to stop putting that burden on me." It worked for a time so maybe give that a go.

I'm sorry to hear about your husband's ill health, I hope he recovers quickly.

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waterfalls

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Re: Venting after NPD mother's surgery
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2021, 12:21:41 PM »
Thank you, Torn and confused, for your tips and your wishes. It didn't take long for my mother to call me, not surprisingly. She called the same night asking about how my husband was doing, then quite naturally the conversation transitioned to her and how she's doing. I let her talk and then ended the call. I'm just so tired of the "me, me, me." Right now, I'm focusing on looking after my husband (who, thankfully, is doing better) and doing some self-care. Thank you again for your helpful words.