I grew up in the U.S.A. but now I live in Canada. One of the reasons that I moved here is that I wanted to create space between myself and my abusive family. This includes my nMom.
My nMom and I have a decent relationship and always have been loving on the surface. She is a covert narc, so I’m really just beginning to understand the extent of the damage she caused and the meaning behind many things she has done to me in the past. She has a pattern of self-destructive behaviour that usually involves a romantic interest. She lures the man in and makes him think that she loves him, and then she suddenly turns on him and leaves him (or divorces him). Between men, she uses me as a surrogate spouse and always uses me as her therapist. Although she rarely - if ever - takes my advice.
Now apparently she is “off men” and living alone. Just retired, she has lots of time on her hands and has recently started talking about moving to Canada to be closer to me. We have discussed the possibility of someday having a house with a granny suite where she can live her final years. I am her only child and feel obligated to help her when she becomes too old to live alone.
Now I regret encouraging her. I told her she should save up the money for the lawyer’s fees and immigration fees, and I will sponsor her when I become a citizen. But when I said this, I didn’t understand what I do now.
I am deflecting for now, and relying on her not being able to save up that much money. I think that will happen when hell freezes over as she is very bad with money and always has been. The amount of money she would need to save is more than she has ever had in her life. So I don’t think it would happen.
But if it does, how can I (gently) tell her that I don’t want her here? She has wreaked havoc on my life and I’m now almost 40 and just beginning to recover from the damage she has done. We have discussed this a little bit, and she acknowledges some of it and has apologized for some of it, but I don’t think that she understands that she is a narc. If you told her this, she would animately deny it. Because she is covert and puts on a very good front.
She has also made comments before about not wanting to live, or that I am the primary reason why she wants to live at all. I don’t know if this is just a tactic to get me to feel more concerned for her, and to make me check up on her more often. I think this is very unfair because she knows that my nDad attempted suicide and blamed it on me and that I’ve had a very hard time coping with his psychological abuse.
She also seeks lots of praise and phishes for compliments almost every time I speak to her. It feels icky and gross. For our wedding gift, she gave us a portrait of ourselves that she painted. I heard a saying which is so applicable to her, and that is, “A gift should never flatter the giver.” She always gives people paintings, and of course if you don’t shower her with praise, she will ask about what you think of it. “Do you think it looks like you? Did I capture your likeness?” I feel bad saying all of this because I am also an artist and don’t want to tear down another artist, but I also don’t think it’s cool to constantly be shoving your art into other people’s face and basically forcing them to say how talented you are.
Anyway, there’s a lot about her that makes me feel icky, and I really don’t want her to live here. The distance that we have now is perfect for me, but she has made it clear that she is not happy about it and she just said yesterday that she “needs” me more than ever. When we speak on the phone, it’s usually 2-4 hour long phone calls. Lately, I have told her that we need to limit to one hour, but I can tell she doesn’t like it because she mentions it often. And she phishes for affirmation that I want to talk to her and that I also need her. When I don’t give her those affirmations, or when I half-heartedly agree (just to get out of the awkward conversation), she acts like she is hurt.
Any advice is welcome. Thank you!