If you are the child of a TOXIC PARENT, understand that as senior citizens with narcissistic personality types or Cluster B personality types age, they tend to get more verbally abusive and demanding.
We had an interesting reader question asking about what can be done to protect an ADULT CHILD from being hurt by their abusive mother or a nasty father figure as they age, with regard to knowing what to expect from the parent as they grow older — especially noting that when an Abuser or a lifetime Abuse Enabler dies, that they tend to take their feelings of personal rage and a lifetime of Collapsed Narcissist emotions out on the people who love them best.
The following is a list of pro-social, pro-active, self-help strategies that can certainly help any child or person who spends their lifetime caretaking their own abuser protect themselves (at least emotionally) from being targeted for social abuse by a parent or conformist offspring following the death of that same person [or any family member with a matriarch or patriarch role who promises people money in their will for tolerating or keeping quiet for a lifetime about any number of physical, sexual, financial, spiritual, emotional, professional, familial, or psychological abuses].
In order to protect yourself from being emotionally, financially, or psychologically harmed by a parent or elder who seeks to cause harm and emotional damage to preferred scapegoats and Narcissistic Abuse targets from beyond the grave, consider taking the following advice under serious consideration:
- The ONLY thing that is pragmatic to do is to absolutely LET GO of any attachment to sentimental items or the thought that ANY money is ever going to come to you. If you have the chance, go through the parent’s house NOW and take PICTURES of everything that matters to you.
- Take photos in the four corners of each room.
- Take pictures inside and outside of the house — including things like inside the kitchen cabinets, the fridge, and things like your parent’s spice cabinet.
- Take pictures of the cars — they are fun to show great-grandkids later or to look back at on days you might be feeling nostalgic later.
- Take pictures of all the jewelry and sentimental items, including things like rugs, art, knickknacks, and photos.
- TAKE PICTURES OF THE FAMILY PHOTOS in albums so you have them.
- Photograph any wills or personal docs you can and leave NOTHING of yours in the home that could be used to forge your signature in a copy or for identity theft.
- Expect Cluster B seniors to get meaner and more irrational, not better.
- Expect them to hire staff that will be inclined to suck up to the parent in order to win favor and ultimately to steal — if the parent knows their choice of companion is someone who makes you uncomfortable because they are Cluster B or seriously sketchy, that’s the person they will give ALL their money to as well as constantly praise for no other reason than because they enjoy hurting you.
- Expect them to give away whatever you treasure most to someone who will throw it away or has no sentimental attachment to the item whatsoever.
- Expect siblings raised by them to copycat the parent in final acts to impress the toxic parent.
Cluster B senior citizens are awful. Seriously.
If you thought they were terrible to you in childhood, you have no idea.
If they were physical or verbal bullies when you were little, expect psychological, emotional, mental, financial, and spiritual aggression galore as they age. As their physicality weakens and their social and sexual power in society declines, they tend to lash out at their caretakers while sucking up as hard as they can to people who snub them due to age in decline.
Expect them to ask you to do things for them at the expense of yourself — to sacrifice family and your own career, health, and financial interest with the promise of someday inheriting.
IT IS A SCAM.
Realizing this as YOUNG as you can so you have a chance to make a plan and count on absolutely NOTHING from them. That way, if something does get left in a will, it’s like an unexpected GIFT rather than you getting caught in elder years expecting you are financially secure then finding out the parent gave the home to someone else, spent the family trust, or canceled things like life insurance on themselves.
Speaking of which — put a policy on them. You do not need their permission and they do NOT need to be informed of it. Make sure it covers burial expenses and whatever cost it would take to move or store their personal items until you have a chance to go through them.
If you inherit nothing, at least you can have a little touch of surplus cash to make up for them withholding affection and finances as a final thumb of their nose at you from beyond the grave. And expect their dying words to be something insidious, demented, and horrible as they tend to rage at preferred scapegoats and caregivers rather than become concerned with leaving a positive impression of themselves in the eyes of those who they sadistically socially abuse and emotionally terrorize.
The saddest tales are of dutiful children who take abuse for a lifetime, only to find themselves penniless and cast out on the street after doing all the companion and caregiver services unpaid for DECADES. Don’t let that story end up yours.
If a parent has been given EVERY opportunity during their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s to behave like a loving adult and they refused, by the time they hit 70, expect hell to ensue. It’s not honoring a parent to enable them to abuse. It’s disrespectful to your genetic ancestors and heritage to fail to strive to improve, and morally a poor decision to allow a parent with a personality disorder and serious blurting and impulse control issues to be allowed to rack up negative karma points before their death by treating you or their caregivers poorly.
Talk to their doctors about lifetime personality issues so their physicians are aware. If your parent refuses to allow you to communicate with their doctors or medical providers so they can walk in and con them — there’s a workaround.
If you care about your parent but need to supervise from a safe emotional and legal distance, you can make an appointment with their doctor. DO NOT ASK QUESTIONS. Present the doctor with a valid list of concerns for the health and well-being of your parent if you still find yourself compelled to spend your time showing care.
A doctor of a head injury patient, a senior, an abuser… whomever… will be bound not to discuss the patient with you — but they are also bound by duty to the patient to listen mindfully and reflectively to everything you say. If a Cluster B parent is becoming a PHYSICAL danger to themselves or others, they can at the very least have the patient’s chart noted and can watch for changes in symptoms.
As your parent ages, terms like DEMENTIA are likely to be errantly substituted by medical providers for typical Cluster B dictatorial behaviors, grandiosity, non-compliance with requests to exhibit civil behavior while ranting, and irrationality.
If their physician has no earthly idea that the person they met who appears to be quite with it for their age and charming is a serious situational abuser with preferred scapegoat targets and that they are historically prone to nasty, self-aggrandizing, duplicitous behavior, they are likely to make faulty medical diagnoses that can land the senior in the wrong facilities or end up causing them to be treated with the wrong medications.
Learning to spot the warning signs of Covert Abusers who happen to be senior citizens is essential for adult children of the abusers, their financial planners, their accountants, their living trust executors, healthcare workers, companions, home staffing reps, and for neighbors. Those who fail to notice the warning signs in the person’s early life that they do things like abuse their own children in secret or that they are historically untrustworthy socially or financially tend to bear the brunt of their own reverse projection.
People who believe that all humans have the same core values or thinking styles tend to have fallen victim to clever gaslighters. It’s gaslighting to claim the golden rule is the highest social value or rule, as what pleases or appeals logically to one is likely to be valueless or damaging to others.
Finding your way in the dark through a tumultuous relationship with a parent you seek to love, honor, and respect is a soul crushing experience for emotionally sensitive children born hostage to the whims of a Dark Triad parent. Mommy Dearest figures and their Enabling Henchmen mates tend to cause the most harm to everyone’s offspring.
Taking some of the emotionally safeguarding steps in the list above can help you protect yourself in the event you find yourself suddenly written out of a will in final days of an abusive or toxic thinking parent’s life. It can also help safeguard your MEMORIES in a more emotional security producing way.
Finding out things like a home has been foreclosed or signed over to a toxic sibling or virtual stranger after a parent has died is common for kids with Cluster B parents.
Things like loans on family estate homes get taken out without adult children having any idea, leaving them in a massive pile of unexpected debt when they inherit an albatross instead of the promised “place to retire and live comfortably and debt free for the rest of your life”.
So is coming home to find that every sentimental object or item of value that was treasured was donated to Goodwill, thrown out in the trash, given away to a neighbor or random stranger who spied and complimented the item, or sold for not even as much as two pennies on the dollar.
It’s intentional — make no mistake about it, when and if a toxic parent does something that on the surface seems so incredibly thoughtless, mean-spirited, foolhardy, and irrational… but understand.
The parent, knowing they cannot take money or an object to the grave, will destroy or get rid of every bit simply to spite the living on exit. If they do little things like giving family heirlooms a toss incrementally while they are still alive, understand it’s passive aggression.
Each item they take from you that they can visibly see hurts you, feeds their desire to feel physically in control of your emotions. They thrill biologically to the IDEA of being powerful.
While they might not be able to physically scare or harm you now because you are larger than them or they are frail, if they can knock the wind out of you by giving that family ring or grandparent’s treasured heirlooms like rugs or home goods that were promised to you for a lifetime?
That’s their number one way to do something psychologically, spiritual, financially, socially, and emotionally traumatizing to PHYSICALLY hurt you.
Protect your emotions and financial security interests by photo documenting and relying on the financial help or support of your toxic parents as little as you can.