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So tired of my parents' lack of interest in our lives


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I'm not seeing what you're seeing in the OP's posts or how what you've said above applies to the OP's situation. And given that NPD only affects a small percentage of the general population, an unusually high number of forum members have family members presumed to be affected by it. They may genuinely have NPD--but statistically, most people do not.

:iagree:

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I'll also chime in about the eagerness to diagnose every imperfect family member as having NPD.

 

If I had the ability to diagnose based on reading one-sided comments on the internet, I'd say some of the people accusing others of this are actually a little narcissistic themselves. Or at least, some of them have not grown up enough to allow their parents to be human. You know, human, as in, entitled to be imperfect, tired, forgetful, choosy, and not 100% fair at all times.

 

My parents have 6 kids and I'm in the middle - the oldest daughter. When I was young, I used to feel my mom was unfair. She gave me more responsibility, and as we all became adults, she did a lot more for each of my siblings. More than was actually good for some of them, actually (IMO). However, I eventually realized that demanding that my mom act as just as God was a bit idiotic, considering she was just as human as I, and I had zero hope of ever being perfect. And secondly, my mom's "favoritism" was actually just a reflection of who was most capable of getting along independently. That happened to be me, and if I should feel anything about that, it should be gratitude. I'm thankful for being born that way and thankful that my mom nurtured that by giving me the responsibility I could handle. Thanks, Mom!

 

I'm 45 and I already get tired a lot faster than I did at, say, 35. If I had a bunch of adult kids whining because I didn't send out invitations to come visit me, I'd be rolling my eyes all the way down the street. Why should seeing one's grandkids be all on the grandparents and such a chore / responsibility? Maybe we should go back to the old days when the granny moved in on her ds and dil. Would that be better?

 

When I was little, my grandma (a widow) did not drive. Also, her youngest daughter, who'd had a nervous breakdown upon her dad's death, and who was widowed in her 20s, had a severely autistic son. Grandma spent a lot of time with "the boy" because it was needed. My mom had our ship under control. So for most of our lives, we saw Grandma when my dad drove over and brought her to our house, maybe 1-2x per year, or when we walked over there on our own (a few miles) in the summer time (to help her clean house). It never occurred to us to feel jealous of "the boy" for having more time with Grandma. Seriously? We thought Grandma was a saint for putting up with some of the surprises a severely autistic child brought to her life.

 

:iagree:

 

I have to agree and I was having similar thoughts reading so many of these responses. Actually, they make me sad and apprehensive about getting older and having grandchildren. We also have 6 kids and when I think of how hard it is to always try to be just and fair with all of the kids, and they all still live with us, yikes! I get nervous trying to imagine how to keep all of them, their future spouses, all of the future grandchildren, etc. happy and feeling as if there are no favorites. Really, as I get older it is so much more obvious how our own insecurities, biases, and yes, plain self-centeredness colors our perceptions.

 

When I read the OP I really imagined some good-hearted parents trying to care for a neglected little girl, being worn out by it, and chances are, doing the best that they can.

 

Many of our parents are simply imperfect people trying to live their lives and love their children and their families and doing an imperfect job of it. But, sometimes it is hard just to do enough for people.

 

Where is the grace? It is really hard to get older and lose much of your ability and energy that you once had. Society used to ask what can we (the children and grandchildren) do for our aging parents? How can we best care for them? So often on these boards the question seems to be only what can my older parents do for me and mine?

 

To the OP - I do not mean to be insensitive. I am sorry for your hurt feelings and I definitely know the desire to have our parents be MORE in our lives and in our childrens lives. It just hit me one day that I really was trying to hold my parents and others to a standard that I doubt that I would be able to attain at their age. At that point, I stopped having all of these unrealistic expectations of my family, started initiating more, and trying to notice and celebrate the rarer but precious moments of closeness with my folks. HTH

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I'm going to be extremely honest with you and tell you what I think. You can take it with a grain of salt. My husbands parents could care less about visiting with our children. They let the other grandchildren sleep over many times so that the parents could go out on dates and whatnot. But for us? They watched our three children while we went to my fathers funeral and yelled at my son because he was hot and wanted the fan on. They are poisonous and my children know it. I think that you should tell your parents how you feel. Tell them that either they start acting like they give a d.a.m.n about you, or that they'll have to say goodbye to your family. Don't keep setting yourself up for abuse. You deserve so much more in your life. How is your husbands parents and family?

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I honestly don't mean this in a mean way, but a lot of the responses on this thread are from people who clearly don't have any experience with a family member with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

 

These people are not just busy grandparents stretched too thin money- and time-wise. These are not just people who overlook sending an invite to April because of a time crunch.

 

People with NPD are seriously abusive, mean and scary. They're often passive-aggressive ("Oh, dear, did I forget to invite you? Silly me! I'm just so busy these days."). By the way, that's called a faux-pology. It's not real. This type of person isn't really sincere about apologizing for having made a mistake.

 

My concern is that April is dealing with a seriously difficult person and getting responses from people on this thread who don't understand how hard (impossible, the experts say) it is to interact with these people. (Which I'm happy about. The fewer NPD people in the world spreading their icky "charm" is a good thing for the planet. I'm glad there are people who don't have someone like this in their family.)

 

They're all about: dividing people up, ruining people's reputations with other family members, working one family member against another, picking favorites: the "golden child" and the "scape goat."

 

That's just for starters.

 

Hugs to April. :grouphug:

 

Alley

 

Or, for the accomplished NPD, "you're just so busy these days". That would be NPD perfect! Blame the victim while also suggesting you know about them, their life, their challenges!

 

OP, :grouphug: on the pain and frustration. I don't really have anything to add that hasn't been suggested.

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:iagree:

 

I have to agree and I was having similar thoughts reading so many of these responses. Actually, they make me sad and apprehensive about getting older and having grandchildren. We also have 6 kids and when I think of how hard it is to always try to be just and fair with all of the kids, and they all still live with us, yikes! I get nervous trying to imagine how to keep all of them, their future spouses, all of the future grandchildren, etc. happy and feeling as if there are no favorites. Really, as I get older it is so much more obvious how our own insecurities, biases, and yes, plain self-centeredness colors our perceptions.

 

When I read the OP I really imagined some good-hearted parents trying to care for a neglected little girl, being worn out by it, and chances are, doing the best that they can.

 

Many of our parents are simply imperfect people trying to live their lives and love their children and their families and doing an imperfect job of it. But, sometimes it is hard just to do enough for people.

 

Where is the grace? It is really hard to get older and lose much of your ability and energy that you once had. Society used to ask what can we (the children and grandchildren) do for our aging parents? How can we best care for them? So often on these boards the question seems to be only what can my older parents do for me and mine?

 

To the OP - I do not mean to be insensitive. I am sorry for your hurt feelings and I definitely know the desire to have our parents be MORE in our lives and in our childrens lives. It just hit me one day that I really was trying to hold my parents and others to a standard that I doubt that I would be able to attain at their age. At that point, I stopped having all of these unrealistic expectations of my family, started initiating more, and trying to notice and celebrate the rarer but precious moments of closeness with my folks. HTH

 

I understand having sympathy for grandparents who are helping out a grandchild in need. But there are two red flags in the OP's post that point toward it being more than just overwhelmed grandparents -- 1) her parents never call her, not to ask about her or her children and 2) her mother wants to be the go-between for the siblings.

 

As a parent of 6 children, can you imagine never calling one of them as an adult? Can you imagine only talking to them when they chase after you? Not caring about the grandchildren from one of your children, just because they are stable? I can't imagine being like this myself.

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Not all a$$holes are NPD. Some (most) are just a$$holes.

 

Yup. And not all imperfect people are a$$holes. Some are just imperfect.

 

I can't imagine WANTING contact with my narcissistic sociopath family members (abusive, criminal schemes, danger to others, violent etc). My maternal grandmother doesn't even know where I live and I have not spoken to her in 3+ years when I told her to stay away from my mother's funeral. If someone is truly awful, move on and count yourself lucky to be able to get away. If someone just isn't who you want/need them to be, that doesn't make them a sociopath.

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My dh says that I should confront them about it. But honestly, I don't think I could do it, and I don't even know where to start. And I can assure you that the relationship would not be repaired, they would passive aggressively take it out on me forever. For example, about 12 years ago we missed a Christmas Eve dinner with my dad's extended family because we were going to a Christmas Eve service, and my parents have made sure that we were not invited to anything of my dad's family ever since. They get together regularly and my parents tell my siblings when and where but never tell us. I have told them to please let me know when they are getting together and they still don't. It is bizarre.

 

I agree with your husband. You could start by saying that when your parents do not call or invite your children to stay over, it makes you very sad. Don't play the blame game, just tell your parents specifically what you have a problem with and how it makes you feel. They might be upset afterward but you will have at least asserted yourself by honestly telling them what you don't like and how it makes you feel. There is a certain kind of peace that comes from doing that.

 

Thank you for reading. I don't even know what I am asking... Maybe advice, maybe some of you have a similar situation and can offer some coping skills. All I know is that I want something to change. I want her to know that I am not happy with the status quo, and at this point I don't even expect it to change, I just want her to know that I don't appreciate it.

 

Good luck and :grouphug: to you and your kids.

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I understand having sympathy for grandparents who are helping out a grandchild in need. But there are two red flags in the OP's post that point toward it being more than just overwhelmed grandparents -- 1) her parents never call her, not to ask about her or her children and 2) her mother wants to be the go-between for the siblings.

 

As a parent of 6 children, can you imagine never calling one of them as an adult? Can you imagine only talking to them when they chase after you? Not caring about the grandchildren from one of your children, just because they are stable? I can't imagine being like this myself.

 

My mom doesn't call me. I call her (not that often either - but enough for both of us). She doesn't visit me; I visit her (without an invitation!). So then, why do I feel quite well loved by my parents? Why do my kids feel included and happy?

 

I know my parents get tired. I'm obviously a lot younger than they are. I have one set of parents to their 6 children (whose families total 25 people so far). It only makes sense that I am the one initiating contact in the normal course of events.

 

The fact that my sister (with her special-needs child and relationship drama) needs them a lot doesn't make my parents magically more energetic when it comes to my kids. It just makes them more tired.

 

But when something seriously big went down with respect to my kids, my mom really surprised me with her readiness to be there for me. It was the only big thing she's done for me since I was a teen, but it still blows my mind. She's there for me. I just don't need her most of the time.

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It may not be that your parents don't care, but that they are so burnt out with the demands your other siblings have put on them that they just don't have the energy to reach out to you.

 

My sister has been leaning on my parents the way it sounds that yours is for about 10 years on and off. My initial response was to back off because they were so worn out from my sister and her kids that I wanted them to have some time to themselves to recharge. In the end, I realized, that the more I backed off, the more my sister moved in.

 

I started pushing for time for myself and my kids and things are much better. I have let my mother know that I want one day a week with her. That usually happens now. Yes, they are still tired after watching my sister's kids 5 days a week, but more and more I am looking at that as their choice. I do know that they don't feel like they have a choice and I don't know what I would do if I were in their situation. However, I don't feel like I have to allow myself to be cut out because of the choices other people are making anymore. They are my parents too, and I love them dearly.

 

I am so glad I stopped backing off and started reaching out because I have the lovely relationship with my mom that I always had again and my kids enjoy their time with their grandparents so much.

 

I hope things resolve similarly for you!:grouphug:

Lisa

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My mom is 100% uninterested in my life...and the feelings are mutual. I don't care that my children don't have a relationship with her because she is an alcoholic. My mom came over after we had lived in our new house for over a year (at my invitation) and she looked at our homeschool room and asked "You homeschool your kids?" This was when DD was in 2nd and I have homeschooled her since 1/2 through K. My mom didn't have a clue.

 

Sometimes you have to just walk away. You can't make her want to have a relationship with your kids. Your kids will be just fine.

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:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

I empathize, as we have a similar situation in our family.

It is hard, but we can not change the behavior of our family members.

After years of frustration, Dh and I decided to limit our exposure to them.

Dh has contact with them a few times a month via telephone. We visit once a year for the annual family reunion.

Praying for you.

Warm Regards,

Kathy

:001_smile:

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