Before visiting or speaking to a narcissistic parent, the adult should remember the parent is a narcissist. It might be helpful to review some of their glaring characteristics so expectations can be more appropriately set. Once a person knows a lion is a lion, they should not expect a lamb.How to Set Adult Boundaries with Narcissistic Parents…PsychCentral
On the advice of my therapist, I have not told my mother that I’m leaving town. The last thing I need is a late night panic call from the ER that she’s taken a tumble down the stairs and, as her emergency contact, I need to come immediately. I’m not sure how I would handle that. Would I even answer the phone? Would I tell them to call my sister? Would I just say “sorry, wrong number”? Or would I go?
Today, I took her to her last scheduled appointment and to run her errands for the week. I have to keep up some semblance of an appearance so as not to tip her off, but we both know things aren’t right between us. She thinks I’m being a hard-ass, drawing an imaginary line around “my time” and “her time” (which honestly is something I really should have done in the past but never did). I think she’s business as usual.
From the get-go today she wanted to gripe and complain. She was mad that I hadn’t been there in 5 days and that I hadn’t texted more than just a few words, and that was only to say the lawn service would be by on Tuesday due to the rain. I had also told her I didn’t feel well all weekend, which was in no way a lie. When your world gets turned upside down, you don’t feel well.
“Well, food poisoning doesn’t last 5 days,” she said, “so I don’t know why your stomach would be upset. Maybe it’s your demons coming out.”
I started to practice my usual tin foil deflection (imagining myself wrapped in foil so her words can not penetrate me) but then I realized something strange. Her words were not touching me.
When she told me she was not going back to the doctor even if she had cancer, I didn’t respond. When she told me she wasn’t going to leave anything to anyone in her will and they could work for what they got just like she did, I didn’t say a word. When she told me that “my better half would be back soon and we could do whatever it is we do”, I stood stoic. When she tried to guilt me at the door, telling me all the things she struggled with every day without anyone to help her, I said, “I hear you. See you later. Bye.” And I walked out.
The fight or flight response I used to feel every time I entered her presence, wasn’t there today.
I would be proud but it is tremendously hard to be proud of yourself for doing something you should have done 6 years ago.