Narc mom dying of brain cancer

Weedflower

Learning
Hello, it's been a few years since I've been here. First, I just want to say thank you to everyone who keeps this page going and to this community for always being here with their support.

Well, this year and last year have been rough for everyone. But this year has hit me hard. I guess I'm just wondering if someone else has had a similar experience? I hope not but... Anyways. On Christmas, my dad started showing COVID symptoms and went to the hospital for a while because his oxygen levels dropped to about 80%. It was horrifying. My dad is my rock. I love him so much and he is the only reason I'm not more f*cked up by my trauma. He's all better now, but he was sick for a little over two months.

Just as my dad was starting to recover from COVID, my brother called to tell me that our mother is dying of late stage glioblastoma (fatal brain cancer with no hope of living longer than 1 year). I have been no-contact with my mother ever since I was 14 years old because she gave me a black eye, among other abuse, but that was the tipping point for my father to see he needed to intervene and have her custody rights removed and also take my sister away from her too. For background info, I have learned through years of therapy that my mother is a narcissistic abuser.

Anyways, my brother flew really far to come help and, after arranging for temporary care for my father, my sister and I drove a few hours over to the city where my mother lives to help my brother take care of our mother. She had emergency brain surgery to remove most of the tumor just to buy her some more time. I wondered if I should even go, what the point of it would be, but my family encouraged me to at least make one final effort and leave nothing unsaid. I also wanted to support my brother because I didn't think it would be right to let him go through that alone.

In summary, it was a horrible, horrible two weeks. She kept playing her usual narcissistic games. She had the audacity to tell me "you know I may have made some mistakes but I did my best as your mother" and got my grandmother (also a narc) to gang up on me and agree that I should forgive her. My mother not only has never apologized to me at least for just the black eye, but she told me multiple times that it was my fault and I deserved it. No one was allowed to upset my mother or else her brain could bleed and she could die. She f*cking loved that. She f*cking loves dying and all of the attention it gave her (while that lasted). She also started dating her abusive boyfriend again (the guy put her in the hospital multiple times but ok) and tried to make my sister talk to him. My sister is terrified of him and used to carry a knife on her at all times until she finally realized she didn't ever have to see our mother again and stopped going for visits. We all came and tried to take care of her, changed the dressing on her head, made sure her medicine was in order, took her for walks, tried to play games with her and catch her up on our lives, etc. She just kept starting drama for no reason, claiming everyone was trying to control her and abuse her. She also kept sneaking off to smoke cigarettes (you can't do that with an open skull because it could easily get infected. Also she's literally dying of cancer. Also the doctors gave her nicotine patches but she kept trying to throw them away). She also kept inviting all of her friends over to come see her even though she could die super easily from COVID now. And got angry when we wouldn't let people come over. We found out later she was sneaking extra pain medication so we have a strong reason to suspect she's been a drug addict for a while. We finally gave up because we just couldn't take it anymore. She was still being abusive and refusing to take care of herself. We all felt terrible leaving (my siblings and I) but we just couldn't take it anymore. My aunts were going to take care of her instead, but she kept pushing them away. One of my aunts was supposed to pick her up after a day-long doctor's visit and scans and exams but when my aunt came to get her, she refused to pick up the phone. She kept calling other people to get her (friends, my brother who couldn't take it anymore, etc). My aunt waited for hours. Then called us because she was worried something happened. My brother finally figured out what happened. In the end, a family friend drove all the way from my city (hours away) to come pick her up from the hospital. She claimed we were all mean and abandoning her and trying to control her and then tried to guilt trip my brother because he wouldn't pick her up.

That was all back in late Jan / early Feb. When I got home, I sat down and wrote a really long letter to my mother. I documented all of the abuse she committed against me. I described in detail the negative effects I suffer or have suffered from because of it (PTSD, social anxiety, similar abusive tendencies built from habit that I now have to work really hard to undo, sexual trauma, intimacy issues, suicidal ideation, self-harm, etc). I told her that dying of cancer is not a get-out-of-jail free card. Especially when she keeps doing the same shit even now. I told her she needs to own up to her actions and apologize. That I love her but that doesn't mean I have to tolerate her abuse and I won't. It was everything I ever wanted to say to her. Nothing left unsaid.

She got it. And blocked me on Facebook (I unblocked her to send the letter). She then texted my brother some super long, stupid message about how she refuses to waste her "precious time" on my "hurt and hate".

Flash forward to yesterday. My brother text me some screenshots of some more long, twisted rants our mother sent him. In summation, she said we all lack empathy for her, that we're cold and uncaring, that everyone is so cruel to her, that she keeps trying to live as long as she can for the sake of her children but we refuse to see her and we don't even care if she dies, that her only hope now is that no one disrespects her body after she dies (what the actual f*ck????), that she wishes we could experience exactly what she's going through except that would mean we would be dying too and she deeeeefffinitely doesn't want that...stupid c*nt. My brother shut that down and told her to stop playing the victim, that she made her bed so she should lie in it. My mother said "you sound exactly like your aunts and sisters and I am not playing the victim but I am sorry if it sounded that way". So yeah. She literally said she wishes her children would get brain cancer.

I feel terrible, but I keep thinking over and over that I will feel so relieved when she's finally gone. I don't want her to die this way. It's horrible and no one deserves it. But I am just so tired. Her prognosis came late January, so next January at the latest, she'll probably be gone. That's just a few more months. It's awful. I wanted that closure. I wanted an apology. I wanted to spend the last of her days making the most of it. I always held this little sliver of hope in my heart she might change. I know she won't. Most narcississicts (if any) never do. But I just thought of all the things in the world, surely this would make her wake up. Surely if everyone has cut ties with her, she'll realize. But she won't. She just is so stuck in her twisted reality that she can't. And frankly, I'm angry. I didn't get to have a mother because of her. So much of my childhood was robbed from me. And even as I've become an adult, she's robbing me of so many things. And now. Now she's refusing me that closure.

I've been back in therapy since COVID hit so I've been generally coping fine. But I just don't know how I'm supposed to go on every day wondering when she's gonna die. Wondering if it'll happen sooner rather than later because she won't even take care of herself or go into hospice. Or if it'll be later because she's just f*cking stubborn. It's just more torture. And I'm just so angry at her.
 

Friday

Moderator
You were kind enough to give her a chance.

Having enough strength to be kind? Speaks well to how far you’ve come... however it’s also exhausting. On top of everyhing else.

She’ll spend her last days as most narcissists like best; surrounded by people who don’t know them, believe all their stories / any contradictions or bad behaviour excused by her condition rather than explained by her personality, being paid attention to 24/7, waited on hand & foot. A captive audience, devoted to her every wish and care, for whom she can do no wrong.

So her happiness is already sorted & underway.

Time to go back to focusing on your own happiness?
 

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
Whew, I recognize a lot from what you are describing. It was compassionate of you to try. It's not your fault she's like this, and it's ok that you can't be around it. It's ok to feel like a parent's death will be a relief even though it's not socially acceptable to feel like that. Who cares. It's hard to understand nthe depth of resentment from being raised by a narcissist if you haven't been.

It's ok to be angry. She was violating. She violated the common expectation of what a mother is supposed to be. She probably violated your boundaries a thousand times too. I hope there will be some peace for you around this.
 

Weedflower

Learning
I'm so sorry.

Amazing you sent that letter though. That takes strength. And amazing that you have your siblings who understand.

I'm sorry your mum is like that.
Thank you so much. One thing I will say is I think this experience definitely brought me and my siblings closer together. Especially my brother. My mother isolated us from him since he has a different dad and then he moved far away so it's been hard to reconnect. We're all keeping in touch better now and that makes me really happy. It just makes me angry to realize I wasn't the only one of us she was abusing (I thought I was the black sheep, which I was, but her abuse reached them in other ways).

You were kind enough to give her a chance.

Having enough strength to be kind? Speaks well to how far you’ve come... however it’s also exhausting. On top of everyhing else.

She’ll spend her last days as most narcissists like best; surrounded by people who don’t know them, believe all their stories / any contradictions or bad behaviour excused by her condition rather than explained by her personality, being paid attention to 24/7, waited on hand & foot. A captive audience, devoted to her every wish and care, for whom she can do no wrong.

So her happiness is already sorted & underway.

Time to go back to focusing on your own happiness?
Thank you for your words. Exhausting is so right. That entire two weeks, I kept saying I have literally never felt so exhausted in my entire life. Not even when I had jet-lag and stayed up for 72 hours straight and eventually passed out from sleep deprivation (that was a funny time; always sleep on the plane kids!).

It just makes me angry that she always finds really good people who just don't see past her. Having interacted with her as an adult, I realize how weak her façade is. But maybe I just recognize it better since I was raised by a narcissist.

I keep trying to focus on the positives. That at least now I know for sure she won't change and will die how she is. But it just hurts so much to know I HAVE to accept that now. I'm an optimist and I kind of liked having a bit of hope, even if I knew deep down it was useless.

That sliver of hope is cool, but also kind of hard to live with sometimes. Too bad she's the kind of person she is, she's missing out on the chance to know a pretty good person from the sound of it.
Thank you. I appreciate that. It just makes me sad. She could be actually enjoying the end of her life instead of wasting it in her fantasy world.

Whew, I recognize a lot from what you are describing. It was compassionate of you to try. It's not your fault she's like this, and it's ok that you can't be around it. It's ok to feel like a parent's death will be a relief even though it's not socially acceptable to feel like that. Who cares. It's hard to understand nthe depth of resentment from being raised by a narcissist if you haven't been.

It's ok to be angry. She was violating. She violated the common expectation of what a mother is supposed to be. She probably violated your boundaries a thousand times too. I hope there will be some peace for you around this.
Thank you. It's not even about the resentment I feel towards her. It's just that I am so exhausted. Before I knew she was dying, I used to have nightmares all the time about her trying to come take my future children away from me or turn people against me. I felt so paranoid. Frankly, now that I know she'll be gone soon, I feel relieved to know I'll never have to worry about her trying to ruin my life ever again. Trying to hurt more people that I love. Or hurt people that I don't even know who just don't deserve it. It's not like she had to be a perfect mother. Parents do make mistakes. But good parents take responsibility, own up to it, apologize, and make genuine efforts to change or improve. That's what my dad has always done for me. She never does that for anyone.

The thing that still makes me laugh is before I left, she gave me a pamphlet for a support group for family losing loved ones to cancer. "Isn't so terrible for ME that my children have to watch their own mother die? Poor me!"
 

Recovery4Me

MyPTSD Pro
I respect what you have given to your family despite your personal cost. However, the weird thing is in the long run you will respect yourself more for the integrity you strive to maintain.

, she's robbing me of so many things. And now. Now she's refusing me that closure.

Often closure is found within ourselves as we learn to find peace with how we handled situations despite ‘their’ actions. It may seem an oddity but it happened for me.

I wanted that closure. I wanted an apology

I too wanted an apology from my family of origin or my parents. For many years before my Father’s death, I had hoped for such an offering. But it was not to be. However, my last words as he laid dying in hospice disconnected from all the machinery were, “ I forgive you and will always pray for you.” This allowed my closure, a space inside that had held tight to his right and wrong doings that had poisoned my heart, soul and mind. I freed that anger. I freed myself. And if truth be known… his apology would never had been enough for what he took.

Luv, light and warmth for all that you choose as you struggle through this hardship and loss of so many things.
 

Weedflower

Learning
Thank you everyone for validating my feelings. I still feel shocked, I think, that this is how it's going to end for her. And also that she's apparently a drug addict (idk why it shocks me, no one else was surprised). I'm generally pretty happy. But when I think about her, I get so triggered and angry and sad. I do love her so, so much. I always have. And that's always been the hardest part of it. So I think I'm just going to keep going up and down this year until it finally happens. I'm so stressed out about what the funeral will be like...will we get to spread her ashes as is our right? Or will we have to fight our stupid cousin or her ex-boyfriend for them? I try not to think about it but those are the thoughts that sneak up on me in the shower.

I respect what you have given to your family despite your personal cost. However, the weird thing is in the long run you will respect yourself more for the integrity you strive to maintain.



Often closure is found within ourselves as we learn to find peace with how we handled situations despite ‘their’ actions. It may seem an oddity but it happened for me.



I too wanted an apology from my family of origin or my parents. For many years before my Father’s death, I had hoped for such an offering. But it was not to be. However, my last words as he laid dying in hospice disconnected from all the machinery were, “ I forgive you and will always pray for you.” This allowed my closure, a space inside that had held tight to his right and wrong doings that had poisoned my heart, soul and mind. I freed that anger. I freed myself. And if truth be known… his apology would never had been enough for what he took.

Luv, light and warmth for all that you choose as you struggle through this hardship and loss of so many things.
I'm happy that you got that closure. I'm afraid I probably won't even be there on her death bed, unless my brother calls me (he's chosen to remain in sparse contact with her until the end). I'll be moving to another country soon, so even if someone calls me, I may not make it back in time. But that's okay. Because I don't forgive her. Even if I did, saying it to her would mean nothing. I definitely want to let go of all my anger one day. Even when she dies, I don't know if that will bring me any closure. But I keep thinking...at least I'll never have to fear her harming anyone ever again. I'll be free.

Thank you so much for sharing your story, again. I wanted to hear other people's experiences. I think hearing other people's stories gives me assurance that I can have closure too, even though it may not be in the same time or way.
 

Recovery4Me

MyPTSD Pro
I feel you. Everyone is unique within their journey.

Just offering, (not at all suggesting you do anything that is not true to your center) my Brother called me and let me know it was happening and the medical staff did not know why my Father was hanging on for so many hours past life support being removed. My War Vet Brother was horrified and in tears.

I had been in no contact for over 35 years with my Father. I was relocated through position many times & several 100’s of miles away. Even if I had wanted to … it was impossible to be there. But there was a phone and the nurse held it to his ear as I uttered the words. He passed within 5 minutes after I spoke to him per my Brother’s sobs. My Father was for all intents and purposes waiting …

And yes, my words felt hollow somewhat and my trauma is termed Chronic PTSD so there is still that. However, if you choose a similar path …just know there is a phone. There is a choice even down to the last moment with most endings.

May you find yours and forgive me if I appear to overstep. I just wanted to reassure you that you are courageous and there is no pressure for the perfect resolution: only what we can live the most comfortably with. Blessings to you and yours.
 

Weedflower

Learning
I feel you. Everyone is unique within their journey.

Just offering, (not at all suggesting you do anything that is not true to your center) my Brother called me and let me know it was happening and the medical staff did not know why my Father was hanging on for so many hours past life support being removed. My War Vet Brother was horrified and in tears.

I had been in no contact for over 35 years with my Father. I was relocated through position many times & several 100’s of miles away. Even if I had wanted to … it was impossible to be there. But there was a phone and the nurse held it to his ear as I uttered the words. He passed within 5 minutes after I spoke to him per my Brother’s sobs. My Father was for all intents and purposes waiting …

And yes, my words felt hollow somewhat and my trauma is termed Chronic PTSD so there is still that. However, if you choose a similar path …just know there is a phone. There is a choice even down to the last moment with most endings.

May you find yours and forgive me if I appear to overstep. I just wanted to reassure you that you are courageous and there is no pressure for the perfect resolution: only what we can live the most comfortably with. Blessings to you and yours.
You're not at all over-stepping. I guess it's true there is a phone. I'm sure someone would tell me and I could call her if that's what I want when the time comes. For now, I can't talk to her. Thank you for the suggestion.

I'm still sorry for your experience. Though it's wonderful that you had some kind of closure. I hope I'll have closure too, in some way.
 

GrayOwl

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you R4Me for your words of wisdom and compassion. They are a source of comfort for me and it is nice to hear of the positive outcomes and possibilities.
Having experienced "The Killing Fields" I wish not to embark upon a description of the feelings and triggers associated with this.
The Prayer of St. Francis is awesome.
Healing and search for serenity are so important.
We are wise and justified to place ourselves at safe distance from those who are narcissistic and have proven they will harm us.
It is also comforting to seek understanding and forgiveness - ESPECIALLY OF OURSELVES - and our frailties and needs (for safe distance).
Finding that balance is important.
And being good with it in our own mind also important.
@Weedflower: Thank you so much for sharing.
Be careful. Be safe. And be good with yourself whatever your decision may be!
 

Recovery4Me

MyPTSD Pro
@GrayOwl (hug if you accept) …I can feel your heart through your words. Beautiful truths. As well St. Francis’s prayer hangs on my home entrance wall. Thank you for being so vulnerable in your share to Weedflower and myself. It makes a difference.

@Weedflower
It is a beautiful prayer or goal set. One might elect to insert their Higher Power of choice where St.Francis prays to his choice of deity. I borrow many prayers, chants, meditative states, universal consciousness from many people’s but this one speaks to me closely. If you do not know it but want to read it or see it…let me know. His full name is Saint Francis Assisi.

However, I often have fallen short of being transcendent or accepting peaceful choices, especially being trained in many fields of engagement. So I sit with you, support your choices and am offering a comfort possibly… or perhaps not. Take care.
 
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