Children of the Aging Self-Absorbed: A Guide to Coping with Difficult, Narcissistic Parents and Grandparents
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Growing up with a parent who is self-absorbed is difficult, and they may become more difficult to deal with as they age. This essential book shows how to cope with your aging parent's narcissistic behavior, and provides tips to help protect yourself and your children from their self-absorbed, destructive actions.
As your self-absorbed parent grows older and becomes more dependent on you, hurtful relationships may resurface and become further strained. In the tradition of Children of the Self-Absorbed, author Nina Brown offers the first book for adult children of aging narcissistic or self-absorbed parents. You will learn practical, powerful strategies for navigating the intense negative feelings that your parents can incite, as well as tips to protect your children from the criticism, blame, or hostility that may exist between you and their grandparent.
In this book, you will gain greater awareness of how and why your parent's self-absorbed behaviors and attitudes get worse, and develop strategies to manage the negative feelings that can arise as a result. You'll also learn to reduce the shame and guilt that may be felt when you feel like you don't want to be a caretaker. Finally, you'll learn to set limits with your parent so you can stay sane during this difficult time.
Having an aging parent can be stressful enough, but dealing with an aging narcissistic or self-absorbed parent is especially challenging. This essential guide will help you through.
these parents age, their needs can become overwhelming for them, which leads to their being extremely demanding of your and others’ time, efforts, and appreciation. Aging only increases their self-absorbed behaviors, attitudes, wishes, needs, and desires, as real maladies can emerge that intensify their demands on others, but there is nothing you or others can do that is sufficient. A clingy type of parent’s neediness can be wearing, as it is a constant and cannot be fulfilled. No matter how
up to the parent’s self-absorption. Doing so can signal that you are like your parent in that respect, where you blame others, have to be perfect, and cannot admit to ever making mistakes. What can be more helpful is to admit the mistake if there really was one, but to not catch the negative feelings of not being good enough that accompany the projection. Step two is to employ your emotional insulation (as described in exercise 2.7), which can be very useful. You can hear the words, but the
on every conflict with your self-absorbed parent, nor are all of these conflicts important to your well-being and health. Begin to ask yourself in every conflict, How important and significant is this to me and to those I care about, and do I need to take it on? Will the outcome be worth the effort I will have to expend? Some conflicts will be important and be worth your efforts, while there are others where the costs will outweigh the benefits. Choose the best strategy based on the answers to
yourself and others who may be impacted, and follow through. Listening, or having someone listen with understanding, is one of the most helpful acts, whether it’s you or someone else who is listening. An absence of blame and criticism is also of help. Continue to follow as much of your normal routine as is possible. Routine can also be comforting. Obtaining outside help, such as counselors, clergy, or social agencies, can also be of assistance. Involve the family as much as possible. Involving
11.5: Needs and Expectations Materials: Several sheets of paper and a pen or pencil, or a suitable digital device Procedure: Find a place to work where you will not be disturbed or distracted. Read through all of the instructions before beginning to work. Sit in silence, close your eyes, reflect on your life at the current time, and allow an image of your life to emerge. Do not try to edit or evaluate the image. Just allow it to emerge. When you are ready, open your eyes and write a brief