Aging Narcissists: A Family Problem That Worsens With Time
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Welcome to the My Ransom Notes NOAH Podcast, the podcast for newly opened and and awakened hearts, with your host, author and lifelong student of love, Evening Ransom. Now, let’s get into the show: Well, let’s see, I wanna talk to you today about elderly, I gotta take this off, actually, about elderly narcissists.
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And, as you know, I’ve been talking about what’s been going on with my parents, and it’s so funny, I kind of have this, I think of, I think, I’m supposed to be in my 30s and they’re supposed to be in their 50s, and my kids are supposed to be like 10, but we’ve all kept going along, and so they’re actually in their 70s. The truth is about narcis , there’s a lot of misinformation out there, a lot of different things that you can read and find out, but what I know from research, what I know from my practice, and what I know from my own experience with my family is that time heals nothing. Time heals absolutely nothing, you know, time in and of itself. In fact, it really, it makes things worse. If you have a family, you have narcissistic parents, who have not worked on themselves, who have just been allowed to stay in their delusions, stay in their false self, stay in their lies and in the rigid roles that they have played and manipulated people and family around them, and especially I think that when you have a couple, as in my case, my parents have each other, they have my brother, they have a fixed little set of people that really need each other to keep the whole thing going, and so they have, over time, what I’ve noticed is, well, I was thrust out of this system and so I grew and came to realize how different things could be, they have gotten more and more fixed all the time. And so, in fact, I don’t see, I haven’t seen a drop of growth or any reason to hope for anything with my family, and every time I’ve seen my brother over time, it’s like the person that I knew in my 20s was completely more likable than the person that I know in my 50s.
So, you know, it’s really sad, it’s incredibly tragic that when someone, there’s been something that they’ve been so afraid of that they kept themselves stuck, if you are a person, which I think a lot of us could have been, it’s horrible, we get really bogged down in this stuff. We love our family, we were dutiful daughters and sons, and we probably always intended to care for them when they were elderly, and all this stuff, I know I did, and what I can say is that I’ve had a change of heart about how I think things are. There is no way that I could imagine subjecting myself and my son to any more abuse. There is no way that I would, after 15 years estranged, put myself in their lives without some sign of change on their part, without them making some gesture in my direction to let me know that they have had some fundamental change of heart. Or, at least they’ve realized that they had mistreated me, and value having me in their life.
They would at least have to come that far, and there’s no sign of that at all. Research seems to show that elderly narcissists are just even worse than ever. They just keep getting worse and worse and worse. And because also they get less fluid, so they get more rigid in their thoughts, and they have less ability to really manipulate their outer environment and get their needs met from other, get supplied from a lot of other places, so they will get it met from bullying the sources that they feel they have power over, which generally speaking is usually their children and grandchildren and things like that. Their tactics might change some, like having to do it with guilt or things like that. And it’s not even so much that I just won’t put up with it. It’s really not so much that as it is that I don’t see the point in it. I don’t think it would be good for them.
I don’t think it would be good for anybody. It wouldn’t be good for my son to have, he’s already seen so many bad examples, bad examples of bad behavior all of his life. He’s seen adults behave in a really bad way. And so what lesson is it gonna teach him if I, if my parents get to still have, if my parents get to mistreat me, mistreat anybody with me around condoning it, I think that everyone needs to sort of be accountable for their own actions and their own behavior. And you feel kind of valid because of course these are the kinds of things that you would have heard your narcissistic parents saying way back when, when you were a little kid and needing some compassion and some empathy from them and they didn’t have it to offer, and they were very big into tough love and you taking responsibility for not only yourself but damned near everything else that was wrong in the family because you were scapegoated. But I’m not gonna allow myself to be scapegoated, because it would be good for nobody. I’m tough enough now that I could do it if it was, I don’t think that I’m at a point where I am needing Daddy’s love so much that it would crush me, anything like that. I think I could do it and have it be a bit of a, I could have a detached distance from it.
But I don’t see, I think that it would be really harmful to do. I think it would be harmful to my parents to let them do that. I think it would be harmful to my son to let my son see any more bad behavior. It’s time now that he’s not gonna be forced to be around sociopathic, narcissistic people, he can choose the people he’s around, it’s really, really important that he is around good people who are responsible for themselves, and compassionate, people that are fully whole, have whole hearts, whole hearted people. And if the worse thing that were to come from that, and you do, you’re kind of, “Oh, what if he’s on his deathbed “all by himself or something?” And here’s the thing: I’ve been by myself a lot.
And if the worse thing, is it worse if say my mother or my father ended up alone on their deathbed, is that gonna be more harmful to them than having them be deluded and getting away with this behavior, and having me allow myself to be abused, allow myself to be mistreated? Really, being around my parents, being around my family, and being invalidated, having what’s happened just erased from the history books, I’ve already had that happen once. When they all attacked me 15 years ago, it was basically erasing the whole person that I’d been. I had been this really dutiful daughter, this really responsible wife and mother, and all this stuff, and all of a sudden there’s just this smear campaign that basically erased all of who I’d been, the person that I’d been. So I’ve already been through that one time. And, after 15 years of estrangement, and having been contacted by my mother, I didn’t necessarily have it all the way thought through, but about 10 years ago, they were trying to basically pretend like nothing had happened.
Just pretend like, let’s just act like nothing had happened. And it was just an impossibility. There was just no way I could do it, no matter how much I may have wanted to, it was just an impossibility because my life was completely, utterly changed. I mean I was my life was completely unrecognizable as compared to what it had been before this all had happened, and I had had enormous growth. I was also still very much in a really precarious position in every sense of the word. Still, the effects of what had happened to me, I was still really fully in them at the time. And so I knew that their expectation was gonna be that I would be able to act like I was before all this had happened when I was able bodied, married, financially secure, all of that and had the belief that my family and friends were all gonna be there for me if I ever had a crisis. That wasn’t me anymore, that wasn’t my reality.
There was absolutely no way in the world that I could even pretend to be that person. So at that point I just couldn’t do it. At this point I could do it, I mean I could pretend, whatever, and it wouldn’t even emotionally, probably, harm me. I could do it for their sakes or whatever if I thought that it was the right thing to do, if I thought that it was the loving thing to do, and I absolutely don’t. I don’t think that there would be anything loving about that. I think that it would be completely destructive to me. It would teach my son nothing good, and it would ultimately cost my parents their only chance that they have left for any kind of growth or honesty or coming up to doing something right for themselves before it’s too late. And it has nothing to do with me.
It is too late, really, to do much for me, and really, too late to do much for my son. The only thing they have left that they could do for me at this point would be to start here and just try and better people: Empowering those who yearn for more love, intimacy, and passion in their relationships and lives. Find My Ransom Notes podcast online at eveningransom. com. Join us next time on the My Ransom Notes NOAH Podcast, the podcast for Newly Opening and Awakening Hearts. ..