ARTICLES & ANSWERS
Senior Life and Jennifer Meagher RN are featured on the WHEC News 10 website: www.WHEC.com. Jennifer answers
questions from people like you and writes an article as well. She’s been writing for News 10 since 2007.
The most common questions asked of Senior Life are about life planning; options, costs and decisions. These letters and
articles outline some of the considerations. Need more information? Book a consultation for complete information for
PERSONALITY DISORDER AND BAD PARENT VENGEANCE
I read Samantha’s letter and your response. (From last week.) My mother can be so nice to me, even when I make a “mistake.” Other times she is nasty. When she’s nasty, she doesn’t seem anxious, she just seems angry and vicious. When she gets over it, she acts like it never happened. Up and down and all around. I’m sick of it. She wants me to forgive and forget which is a tall order. I’m sick of it. I’m not going to do anything for her anymore. I can’t. She starts after me and I’m upset for a week. I can’t predict when she will make a mountain out of molehill or when she will seem paranoid or jealous of her own daughter! I’m sick of it. She is making me crazy. I see a therapist who is very sympathetic to my situation and agrees. He thinks she has a personality disorder. I think you should explain that to your readers. Anti-anxiety medications or treatments won’t help these disorders.
Yes, thank you; personality disorders are a different situation all together and present in a haphazard unpredictable way. Any mental or emotional health situation requires a mental health professional to diagnose. I am a nurse, and as such would not consider providing an official diagnosis: this is up to a physician. I recommend discussion with the primary care doctor and an appropriate referral to a specialist. There are many personality disorders: antisocial, avoidance, narcissistic, and schizoid to name a few. In your case, I am guessing you refer to borderline personality disorder. The main characteristic is a pattern of instability in emotions and relationships, and impulsivity. Again, a doctor’s assessment will help define the problem. As for medication, this is up to the doctor who will base the options on the individual’s presentation and how it affects day to day life.
Thank you for writing to share your situation so that others might learn from it. Some adult children are so angry at their parents for their behavior that it can result in unhealthy decisions. Read today’s article for more perspective.
GETTING “EVEN” WITH A “BAD” PARENT
This is the third in a five part series about relationships. If you missed a segment of this series, you will find it posted on my website: www.SeniorLifeGCM.com
So, your parent/s didn’t take good care of you when you needed them (as a kid) and now the shoe is on the other foot; your parent/s need your help. This is a recipe for anger, resentment, renewed hurts, and depression. Some of you are so angry you back away from your parents.
Too bad for them, right? They did this to themselves, if they had only been a better parent to you…. Some of you are stirred up inside. Your voice is too loud whenever you talk about your parent/s. Your insides are pounding and spinning. The unfairness of it all leaves you ready to scream.
If you have these feelings…. Please, don’t try to be a hands-on caregiver. Your anger will come through. Helping your parents will be a punishment for them and you. Contact professionals for help. Consider Lifespan, Catholic Family Charities, Jewish Family Services or a Geriatric Care Manager.
And seek professional help for your emotions. Internally, some people imagine they will feel a sense of relief when their parent/s die. And maybe they will: but more likely there will be feelings of anger or betrayal. Once a “bad” parent is gone there are no more chances for that parent to apologize or to become a better parent. And where will you put your anger and hurt when they are not here?
Always my advice is to take the actions which will give you the least regret and the most comfort for yourself when your parent/s is gone. Ask yourself how you will feel emotionally and spiritually if you:
- Ignore your parent
|| Directly help your parent as much as you have time to spend
||Indirectly help your parent by contacting professionals for assistance
|| Confront your parents about their wrong doings.
No one can rewrite your childhood or the times when your parents were not able to nurture you. But you can write what happens today and tomorrow. Think carefully and choose well.