Question This is going to be long but i will do the best I can. My mother has always been negative, distant and emotionally draining. That being said she now has cancer. She has no one else. So, I left my job and home to be with her so she did not have to go through this alone. We never got along but I wanted to do my best. Well, if she was negative before this just took her over the edge. She has a HORRIBLE look on her face at all times and grunts or gives one word answers usually. Then she waits to talk until I finally quit trying to converse and get on the computer or watch a tv show. Then she complains that she tries to talk to me and I just ignore her. I told her all she has to say is when yoru done there I have something to tell you but if I am busy I'm not really giving her my full attention. I try to prompt conversation by asking about her childhoos, my grandparents or times I think she remembers as happy. NOTHING works. The only time she is talkative is when she talks about her old job. She says that is the only thing that eve made her happy. I said "what about being a parent? when I was a little kid" and she says of course I enjoyed buying you things. But that's not what I meant anyway, She never says I love you has never hugged me just because or even when I was hurting. She has always been there financially, growing up or even as an adult if I got in a bind. BUT she ALWAYS brings up everything she has ever done for me and then says all she has gone without. Well, that hurts as well. I want to be close but she is like an animal just waiting to unleash. She never smiles and now blames it on cancer. Complains no hair but has a beautiful wig, complains of no friends but rejects people who reach out. I offer to go to a movie, the cancer center support groups or other activities where she can meet people going through cancer. They have put her on multiple psychotropc drugs but each one she says makes her anxious and feel bad so tells the doctor to take her off of them and then the cycle continues. I spend most of my day saying "is there something wrong?" "can i get you something""are you comfortable"? Yet the other day I ws literally choking and she just sat there and never said or did anything. I was trying give myself the Heimlich maneuver and everything else finally I was able to dislodge the food and she still never said a word. Let me also add even with her chemo she is able to do anything anyone else could do. I am not talking of a woman that is bedridden. I ask if she would like to talk about things and she says no. Well, they finally convinced her to see a therapist. He gave her an assignment to list 5 blessings everyday. I think even if they repeated themselves for a bit it was the point of doing the activity. She did it for about 3 days and quit. Well, yesterday I happened to find the notebook that she accidentally put in my stuff. I read the things she listed. Not one time did she say that me being here or my kindness or anything about me was a blessing. She did say my friend was a blessing when i was out of town. She mentioned her old job and mother multiple times. It hurt but i said nothing. And before anyone says it I know it was wrong. But I thought if I could see what she found special maybe I could build on that to bring her mood up. She refuses to go back to that guy or any other therapist and she has been to multiple over the years. Each time they give her something to do outside to work on herself she says it is stupid and won't go back.
Finally yesterday at Christmas. She had given me a gift already a couple fo weeks ago when i went to visit a friend (yes, she's brought that gift up about 50 times) anyway, since I am not working I am on a budget but I still wanted to give her some things. They were all pretty inexpensive and she has NO hobbies or interests but i did the best i could. I had told her I was giving her a few little gifts. Yesterday morning when I cam downstairs with she started raising her voice and throwing her hands around saying "why did you do this? we made an agreement no gifts! what are you doing?" and on and on soooo rude. So I said never mind you are rude and that's not going to change." I came back upstairs for about 3 hours. I then went downstairs and asked nicely if she would like me to start the meal she I were having. She said "well, who knows you're pissed off" We then got into an argument because she saw nothing wrong with being rude about the gifts. When all was said and done she finally opened the gifts. She never smiled or acted as if she liked any of them. She did check to see if the tennis shoes fit and then just put them away Said "thanks" and went on with her sullen horrible attitude. I am at my wits end with her. What can I do? Sorry this is so long. Thanks!
Answer These may be of help:
How to Cope with Narcissistic and Psychopathic Abusers
Personality disorders. I have collaborated with Israeli psychologists and criminologists in the study of personality disorders and am the author of "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited" (available from Barnes and Noble and as an e-book from my publisher). My expertise is: the Narcissistic Personality Disorder and pathological narcissism.
I am the author of Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited. (number 1 bestseller in its category in Barnes and Noble).
The Web site "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited" was, for many years, an Open Directory Cool Site and a Psych-UK recommended Site.
I am not a mental health professional though I am certified in psychological counseling techniques by Brainbench.
I served as the editor of Mental Health Disorders categories in the Open Directory Project and on Mentalhelp.net. I have my own websites about the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and about relationships with abusive narcissists here and in HealthyPlace. You can read my work on many other Web sites: Mental Health Matters, Mental Health Sanctuary, Mental Health Today, Kathi's Mental Health Review and others.
I also served as the author of the Personality Disorders topic, Narcissistic Personality Disorder topic, the Verbal and Emotional Abuse topic, and the Spousal Abuse and Domestic Violence topic, all four on Suite101, as well as the moderator of the Narcissistic Abuse Study List , the Toxic Relationships Study List, and other mailing lists (c. 7000 members). I wrote a column for Bellaonline on Narcissism and Abusive Relationships.
Publications "Managing Investment Portfolios in States of Uncertainty", Limon Publishers, Tel-Aviv, 1988
"The Gambling Industry", Limon Publishers, Tel-Aviv, 1990
"Requesting My Loved One: Short Stories", Miskal-Yedioth Aharonot, Tel-Aviv, 1997
"The Suffering of Being Kafka” (electronic book of Hebrew and English Short Fiction), Prague, 1998-2004
"The Macedonian Economy at a Crossroads – On the Way to a Healthier Economy" (dialogues with Nikola Gruevski), Skopje, 1998
"The Exporter’s Pocketbook" Ministry of Trade, Republic of Macedonia, Skopje, 1999
"Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited", Narcissus Publications, Prague, 1999-2007 (Read excerpts - click here)
The Narcissism, Psychopathy, and Abuse in Relationships Series
(E-books regarding relationships with abusive narcissists and psychopaths), Prague, 1999-2010
Personality Disorders Revisited (e-book about personality disorders), Prague, 2007
"After the Rain – How the West Lost the East", Narcissus Publications in association with Central Europe Review/CEENMI, Prague and Skopje, 2000
More than 30 e-books about psychology, international affairs, business and economics, philosophy, short fiction, and reference (free download here)
Winner of numerous awards, among them Israel's Council of Culture and Art Prize for Maiden Prose (1997), The Rotary Club Award for Social Studies (1976), and the Bilateral Relations Studies Award of the American Embassy in Israel (1978).
Hundreds of professional articles in all fields of finance and economics, and numerous articles dealing with geopolitical and political economic issues published in both print and Web periodicals in many countries.
Many appearances in the electronic and print media on subjects in psychology, philosophy, and the sciences, and concerning economic matters.
Education/Credentials 1970-1978: Completed nine semesters in the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa.
1982-3: Ph.D. in Philosophy (dissertation: "Time Asymmetry Revisited") – California Miramar University (formerly: Pacific Western University), California, USA.
1982-5: Graduate of numerous courses in Finance Theory and International Trading in the UK and USA.
Certified E-Commerce Concepts Analyst by Brainbench.
Certified in Psychological Counselling Techniques by Brainbench.
Certified Financial Analyst by Brainbench.
Full proficiency in Hebrew and in English.
Awards and Honors Winner of numerous awards, among them Israel's Council of Culture and Art Prize for Maiden Prose (1997), The Rotary Club Award for Social Studies (1976), and the Bilateral Relations Studies Award of the American Embassy in Israel (1978).