The Narcissistic Parent Guilt Trap: Don't Fall In
Here's a quote:
"But seriously, are u *absolutely sure* that the moral obligation, the guilt and the power of attorney is not just another word for the pathological bonding of children to their narcissist caregivers? The same old same old?"
Yeah. Definitely. I suspect there is no other way to bond with a narcissist. It's just not possible.
When we're children, we don't know any better. Our entire world is controlled by our parents.
When we grow-up, the attachment is, by nature, dysfunctional because our parents are.
In my case, the only reason I have any contact with my adoptive father is out of guilt.
Not because I want to. But the voice in my head says, he's all alone. He's old. He's sick. I am his only connection to the wider world. Without me, he is utterly alone.
Dumping the guilt is easier said than done, which makes the EFFORT to free ourselves critical. We were TRAINED to put the needs of the parent first. Repeatedly told that, as an adoptee, we owe our adopters gratitude. We owe them our very lives.
Of course, the aging narcissist - having no social charms or empathy to attract companionship - relies on making his children feel guilty to reel them back in, with such ploys as: "If you don't send me that candy right away I'm going to go into a diabetic coma," and "I am so glad to hear your voice! You didn't call last night and I get so lonely. I need you so much," and, like the other night (encouraged by your comments) when I told him I couldn't call for a bit? The next day he had chest pains and begged to go the hospital, a decision he knows requires my involvement. The nurse said was sure he was faking for attention.
The guilt thing? It's like a noose around your neck. It just gets tighter and tighter the more you struggle and pull.
What scares me is, now that so much of my life has been given over to being responsible for (badly) aging parents, how much of my identity is tied up in it? The Good Daughter? (Of course, my adoptive family believes I'm the Bad, Ungrateful Adoptee. Good Mexican daughters - especially those rescued - do not put their parents in assisted living facilities. Of course, now that he's there, not one of those relatives who scolded me have called or visited him once.)
And Anonymous Bob...it's like totally dysfunctional.