Caregiving a Narcissist
When reading these comments, I realize that while my mother was not as bad as some people's, she was always a difficult personality.
My way of dealing with her for years became keeping a distance and never telling her anything of my life.
Now that she is ill with pancreatic cancer, I have no choice but to take care of her. Her personality was always that of an attention seeker...."get this for me" even though it is right beside her. Cooking in the kitchen with her was always an ordeal because she was horrifically critical.
My biggest problem now is that when she asks for assistance, I do not believe her. She makes no attempt to do things that she is capable of "change the remote to this channel" for example and so it is difficult to determine what is genuine and not.
She has cried wolf too many times. Her illness has now started to rapidly progress. After 6 straight days around her, I am depressed and wanting to escape. Everything that gives me validation is not around because I am not at work as much.
Because of her past behaviours which usually meant turning on me and being rude to me, her praise, appreciation and compliments ring hollow. I feel that they are said to manipulate me.
After almost a year of caregiving, I am exasperated. I miss my old life. It is just sad to think that it takes her passing away for that to happen. I know that people way "well this is your Mom", but sad fact is that not all maternal relationships are a positive thing.
She resented caring for my father, and she abandoned the care of her own mother to my Uncle and I. I know that in the same position she would never do the same except to exact some story or gossip for her friends. She is a different person to her friends and my brother, than she is to other people.