Author Topic: Coping (the older parent)  (Read 3477 times)

Hermes

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 390
Coping (the older parent)
« on: January 27, 2008, 08:51:27 AM »
Coping With Your Difficult Older Parent : A Guide for Stressed-Out Children (Paperback)
by Grace Lebow (Author)


This was one reader's review:


This book fills a gap in eldercare literature in a very unique manner. The subject is a touchy one: parents who have suffered with lifelong personality disorders whose problems have been exacerbated by aging. Often they have driven the very children on whom they depend away from them and now need their care. A person in the unenviable position of being a caregiver for such a parent is often uncomfortable even sharing what they are enduring with other people, for fear of looking as though they hate or are slandering their parent("How could their mother possibly be that bad?"). Navigating ordinary eldercare issues is challenging enough without deeply rooted personality disorders complicating matters and emotions.

My own mother suffers from what I now know to be narcissistic personality disorder. She was so fearful from physical and psychological abuse doled out by her own mother, that she clung to both her brother,and myself, her only surviving relatives. Her marriage broke up, and she ended up living with and being supported by her brother. She was fearful that I would marry, or get friends, and any friendship I formed was viewed as a personal affront, and she would let me know that it was her or them--- choose one. If that didn't work she would do something calculatedly embarrassing enough that the friendship was ruined.She worked for only ten years of her life, and never planned for retirement, stating "My girl will always take care of me!" I did take care of her, because I was afraid something bad would happen, her brother had passed away, and she would be totally alone. Finally at age 89, her legs gave out and she had become totally demented---on top of the personality disorder. The hospital staff admitted her to a nursing home. I was still concerned for her, but almost guilty that finally, at age 54, I was relieved to be free to live my own life.

This book just helped me survive Christmas. I am sitting here without a knot in my stomach because I read it from cover to cover right after I received it. I wanted her holidays to feel as much like home as possible, and as I had done for Thanksgiving, I prepared meals for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. When I walked in yesterday afternoon, carrying a huge styrofoam container of food to be microwaved and a decorated live Christmas tree, I heard her ripping me apart to the other residents to "never visiting" and stating that I was a "no good bum!" I would have been angry, hurt, devastated before reading this, but handled it very calmly. As I had promised the staff I came back for Christmas. Today I was a wonderful daughter....She also had no recollection of the fact that I'd even visited yesterday.

For anyone going through a similar experience, the book had covered all the the things that I mentioned above, and more, and I highly recommend it. I'm just surprised my mother's picture isn't on the cover...

Hopalong

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13466
Re: Coping (the older parent)
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2008, 10:27:49 AM »
Hi Hermes,
Are you the "I" in this narrative, or was that all pasted from a reader review? If it was you, I would love to talk with you about it. I have that book. (And that mother, except she's a passive-sneaky sort of N, and too concerned with propriety to reveal the Nrage when shes not obeyed. She triangulates/manipulates instead.)

thanks,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hermes

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 390
Re: Coping (the older parent)
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2008, 01:42:53 PM »
Hello Hops:

No, the "I in the narrative is not me.  That is just a review by a reader, I think on the Amazon page. 

I had good, kind and sensible parents.  No trouble there. 

All the best
Hermes