PTSD TRIGGERED!

As I write this my hands are shaking.  There’s a jigger of good bourbon at my left elbow, and hopefully Noga the Wonderdog  will decide to hop up under my right.  I’ve just downed my evening med cocktail, plus an extra milligram of Ativan, plus a extra 5 mg of sleeping pill.  I hope to G-d they work, and soon.

Monster Mother has been working her poison.  It’s very subtle and mostly accomplished with tone of voice and a twist of the face, a sarcastic remark, a minimization of something I find important, or an outright barb.  That’s not so subtle after all, is it?

This time is was merely that I had forgotten I have a therapy appointment on Thursday, so I couldn’t give her the day off from taking care of Dad.  “Why don’t you make up your mind?” was the irritable remark that set me off.  I was carrying in her copious number of plastic bags from Walmart when she said that, and I reflexively rattled the bags to cover up the fact that I was shouting “You fucking bitch!”  I think she heard me anyway, but good.

Poor Dad is triggered too.  I sat with him while he ate his lunch yesterday, so that Monster could go out shopping, and a bit of the orange he was eating dropped onto his sweatshirt, making a stain.  He panicked.  Oh, he said, I am so clumsy.  I should have been more careful.  I am such a slob.  Now this is language that I have never in my life heard from his mouth until recently when he has been confined to a wheelchair and completely dependent on you-know-who except when I am there.  And why am I not there more often?  Because if I was, I would drive my car off of one of the many handy cliffs that the Blue Ridge has to offer.

I asked Dad, “Are you upset that your orange landed on your sweatshirt, which will go in the wash tomorrow?”  “No,” he said.  “Then who is it that gets upset if you drop a bit of food on yourself?”  “Someone else,” he said.  “Do you get upset about it?” he asked me.

“No, I just think it’s normal.  It doesn’t upset me at all.”  “Oh.  Then we know who gets upset.”

I am 100% sure that she is verbally and emotionally abusing him, just the way she has done to me all of my life.  He has started to say “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” for transgressions such as dropping his napkin or drooling on his front.

And she is the reigning narcissist, who is triumphantly happy to finally have everything her own way.  It’s chilling to see it in action. I’m going to have to write a more cogent essay about this, as the drugs are starting to take effect.

What triggered me, other than the Me-Me Monster’s ugly mug, is all the reading I’ve been doing on Narcissistic Personality Disorder, the havoc it can wreak on the next generation, and the panic regarding the fact that even though I’ve been working with shrinks since my son was a 5 month old fetus to try to prevent my behaving toward him as my mother behaved toward me, there still might be some spill-over to feel guilty about.

The drugs are taking hold, and I am going to have a little bit to eat before blessed Nepenthe folds me in her arms and takes me down, down, down…

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20 Comments

  1. so sorry your dad is at her mercy now. but am glad you at least have your own life and only choose to be in hers when you want. and im glad you can recognize when she is being abusive and can put it back on her, rather than absorbing it into yourself.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Kat. I wish I was better at doing all that stuff you mention. Most of the time I revert to my terrified inner child.

      Reply
  2. I wish there was a Parentmart with a fully refundable forever plan. Life is hard enough without dealing with the extreme stress that the overentitled give. I had a grandmother like you describe and my son is very similar. Pandering just makes them more demanding, not giving in makes life completely miserable. I feel for you.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Queenie. I had a hard time with my son too, and a series of confluences of influences brought him to a therapeutic boarding school where he learned that he and only he is responsible for everything he does. I wish my mom had gone to that school 😦

      Reply
  3. Hi, I didn’t read your whole post because I was afraid of triggering my own PTSD. Only the part about your hands shaking and the bourbon.

    I feel for you. A horrible feeling that is. I hope that by the time you read this comment, you feel better. Sending happy, feel good vibes your way

    Reply
    • Thanks, SSG. Probably a good thing you didn’t read it, and I really appreciate the comment and feel good vibes. From the interesting dishes and bottles I found on the counter this morning, I must have made myself a very nice dessert having to do with B&B and preserved cherries and whipped cream. I may have to repeat that one while conscious sometime!

      Reply
  4. I’m so very sorry that your dad is having to have this added abuse to him in these last chapters of his life — when he should be loved and cared for; shown that he is needed, wanted and not in any way a bother!! God bless him!! I’ll keep him in my prayers!! And you, too, of course!!

    Sincerely and with love,
    Kathy

    Reply
    • Thanks, Kathy. I keep on having these flashbacks to “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.” My dad was an icon in his field, and now that he is totally disabled she gets to make him psychologically crawl…it is disgusting. Prayers desperately needed and grateful for yours!

      Reply
  5. Aw, I feel for you and your dad. My mom was a Narcissist too and treated my dad poorly. It’s sad your mother is abusing your father emotionally. Narcissists can be so cruel. Is there anyone who could offer some respite so your mother would not be abusing your dad so much? Home care can get pretty expensive but even a few hours with a nice person not abusing him might be beneficial. My thoughts are with you.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Natalya. I am the respite. My mother will not accept any other, even though my dad has veteran’s (WWII) benefits that pay for home care. It’s one of her power trips. I have decided to go on vacation to the other side of the world for a few weeks, however, and perhaps that will force her to reconsider using me as her slave.

      Reply
      • Geez, that’s horrible your mother doesn’t allow home care and uses you b/c she is manipulative. Good for you for planning a vacation for yourself and leaving your mother to realize how much she relies on you. Hopefully she’ll get desperate enough and act reasonably and get home care.

        Reply
  6. I love you, always.

    Reply
    • Thank you, dear. Much appreciated, and right back atcha. I may be coming to visit you soooooon, as I need a mental health break and a dose of Eretz and all y’all.

      Reply
  7. Sorry to read this. Hope it passed quickly or at least a little more gently than it was at the time of writing.

    Reply
    • Ah, Lunchie my dear, after writing this I staggered off, and apparently from signs remaining, made myself a delicious dessert laced with alcohol and passed out for twelve hours. Feel much better and have a therapy appointment today, so things at this moment in time feel better than they felt last night. Thanks for the good juju 🙂

      Reply
  8. (((HUGS))), sweet.

    Reply
  9. You wrote “I am 100% sure that she is verbally and emotionally abusing him, just the way she has done to me all of my life. He has started to say “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” for transgressions such as dropping his napkin or drooling on his front.

    And she is the reigning narcissist, who is triumphantly happy to finally have everything her own way. It’s chilling to see it in action.”

    The scene was quite vivid in my mind after reading your entry yesterday. The [unnecessary] apologizing really struck a chord. I think it’s one thing when we observe these counter-narc behaviors in ourselves, but to observe it in someone else (e.g., your father) sheds needed light on what exactly we are taking up when we try to keep the narc in balance [an illusion and a need that can never be satisfied – by us or anyone else outside of that individual].

    Thank you for writing about this. I’m sure it was hard to experience, let alone recount. Sending you peaceful thoughts.

    Dharma

    Reply

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