First time posting here

  • 3 Replies
  • 141 Views
*

Tribe16

  • New Member
  • *
  • 25
First time posting here
« on: July 13, 2021, 02:55:19 PM »
Hello there.

I once worked with a social worker that told me, "Anybody who totally drains the life out of you likely has a personality disorder."

I'm at this point with my mother who is in her 80s.

I started therapy about 6 weeks ago (weekly) and my therapist says the things I'm describing sound like borderline, but it's only a guess.

To cut to the chase, I am the oldest child of 4. One passed away, one totally estranged from our family (haven't heard from him in about 15 years, that's another story), my youngest sister and me. Sis lives close to elderly parents but does her own thing and is around on holidays, etc. We're not super close, but not at odds either. I regret to say my son called me "Old Faithful" the other day - not sure I like that moniker. But I have been the kid who empties out sheds, packs up cluttered houses of deceased grandparents, makes a zillion trips to the goodwill to drop crap off, listened to my Mom vent about her horrible marriage to my dad, yada yada. In the past 3 years, dad's health has been declining and mom's been his caretaker. Mom has always been a control freak/martyr personality. Honestly it wasn't a big problem until the past 3 years. Some significant stuff happened, Covid of course and mom lost two really good friends. So I have no doubt there is trauma there. But to put it mildly she's been a real B. She is angry, passive aggressive, sarcastic, critical, opinionated, bossy, demanding and extremely unappreciative. When I recently moved to the midwest because of my husband's job she has been making PA comments about that (when your grandparents were alive, we always made sure we were nearby). My dad's personality is gentle and he goes along to get along.

I visited twice so far this year to try and help with whatever, errands, chores, whatever. Mom has said some pretty horrible and unkind stuff to me (hence my going into therapy about this 6 weeks ago). My therapist is having me explore CPTSD and it has brought up a lot of childhood stuff. Mainly the silent treatment which started when I was very small. She is doing that to me now. I speak with my dad weekly, Mom begrudgingly gets on the phone, speaks as little as possible. Has stopped saying "I love you." Hasn't phoned me in months. I stopped asking to speak to her 3 weeks ago, because it's painful.

I don't want to go on and on and scare you all away from responding  :aaauuugh: but is it normal for an elderly parent without dementia to up and decide to cut you out of their life? She is leaving PA messages on Facebook that she makes sure my sister and her grandchildren are tagged but literally leaves me out. How do I not help but notice that kind of stuff? I'm sure I have exhibited codependent behavior and I'm working on that. I don't want to be like my mother and give her the silent treatment back. I also need to protect my heart from her disregard for me. Between a rock and a hard place right now.

Thanks for reading

Tribe16

*

Starboard Song

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 3481
  • Be good. Be strong.
Re: First time posting here
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2021, 03:47:53 PM »
Welcome to Out of the FOG.

Elderly folks are a special class: they can become quite difficult even without a PD. It sounds like you are still on a path, figuring out what you are dealing with. Good luck getting a handle on it.

I suspect there is a conversation worth having with her: forcing the issue by politely letting her know how you've felt, and asking for possible solutions. But go one step at a time and I hope members here can give you a good guiding hand from time to time.

Welcome!

Be good. Be strong.
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

*

Andeza

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1030
Re: First time posting here
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2021, 05:51:43 PM »
Hey Tribe, you asked "is it normal for an elderly parent without dementia to up and decide to cut you out of their life?"

Short answer: no.

Long answer: It is completely and totally within the scope of several personality disorders (which isn't really the point) to act like children, throw a hissy fit, and snidely say in their heads "Well I just won't talk to Tribe anymore! They aren't doing what I want! I'll punish them!"

Silent treatment is meant as a punishment, and those of us that have experienced it know that it is meant to goad us into doing whatever the pwPD (person with personality disorder) wants us to do. If you suspect that this is your M's goal, there is no need to chase after her and try to reason. Reason and logic are generally wasted on PDs, and then you've lost that time and energy and can't ever get it back. She's an adult, and she's chosen at this point in time to exclude you. You must decide for yourself how to proceed, but I recommend sitting with the uncomfortable feelings this silent treatment, which we frequently refer to as the silent "treat" because it's so peaceful, is bringing to the front for you. Failing to chase after her is NOT the same thing as returning the silent treatment.

As you journey, feel free to join us in the PD Parents forum. You'll get more eyes on your story, and more help, over there. Welcome!
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.

*

Tribe16

  • New Member
  • *
  • 25
Re: First time posting here
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2021, 10:54:14 PM »
Thank you so much for responding - I will be searching through those posts on the parents forum!