The Passive Aggressive As Caregiver

passive aggressive caregiverI got a new taste of what it’s like to be in a relationship with a passive aggressive last week. The passive aggressive as a caregiver. Considering how lacking in relationship skills most passive aggressives are, doesn’t this sound interesting? LOL.

I am full caregiver for my 80 yr. old mother and partial caregiver to my 80 yr. old neighbor. Last week my back completely gave out, and the passive aggressive boyfriend had to take over. Except for forcing myself through the pain to go to the bathroom, I was totally bedridden for three and a half days. On the fourth, I started making myself walk a little, as I had read if you rest too long you actually put yourself in a worse position as far as weakness, than you were in to start with. Not only that, but I really needed to be back on my feet.

I have to say that if it weren’t for my PA boyfriend, I don’t know what we would have done. Luckily, one day he didn’t have any work scheduled, and then the next 2 days he called in as we were in no shape to be left alone.

He did quite well. He took care of my mother’s and my needs, basically, checked in on my girlfriend a couple of times a day, did the grocery shopping and cooked delicious dinners while I was down. Believe me, between the 2 older ladies and me, he was kept hoppin’, but God Bless him. He did it. LOL.

A passive aggressive just cannot help but let some of that passive aggressive behavior out somewhere when he/she is doing something they resent. They just can’t. When I have to be to any kind of meeting, etc. and the passive aggressive boyfriend has to serve my mother a meal, once she is served he never goes back unless she calls for him. He doesn’t check on her to see if she needs anything. He doesn’t get her dishes and bring them out to the kitchen.

One of the ways I get my mother to get up and sit in her chair instead of laying in bed all of the time, is to bribe her with a cigarette. You would think with all her time in hospitals where she couldn’t smoke, she would have quit for good, but not her. LOL. (C’mon, she’s 80. How much more damage can 3 cigs a day do to her? It’s one of the few pleasures she has left). When the PA boyfriend gives her her cigarette, he lets her just sit at the side of her bed, which really doesn’t do her any good. I’ve let him know that she needs the exercise of getting up and down in her chair, but I guess he figures he won’t have to take care of her, so who cares? So she had almost a week of him caring for her where she never had to get up. Thank goodness we’re back on track now.

The other thing is the toilet. We have warred over who will put on the new roll of toilet paper, whether he puts down the seat or I put it up, etc. (At one time the war got so bad when his son was here about leaving the seat up, between the two of them I just started putting it up after I was done each time. LOL) When I hurt my back so bad, the last thing I could do was bend over without feeling like I was going to break in half. The passive aggressive boyfriend’s new thing was to not only put the toilet seat down, but the lid also. There was no way I could bend over to lift it. I screamed for him over and over. I even said once or twice about not getting him to put the toilet seat down most of the time, now I couldn’t get him to leave the lid up! Sure enough, the first morning I was actually getting close to normal, he left the seat up.

They just can’t help themselves, I’m telling ya! LOL. All in all, I would have to say he was quite good, and having a passive aggressive as a caregiver I’m sure could have been a lot worse. I just think I would rather not have that experience again.


5 Responses

  1. I think that what you are describing is a person with PA personality traits and with dependent and co dependent personality traits as well.

    These people are “good in nature”. Good nature Sam if you will. Their “selfless acts” of caregiving and hopping from one place to the other to take care of the needs of someone else before their own are basically part of their pathology so they are seen as people who are not so bad. Its a way to actively redeem themselves from their passive aggression. Their need to be liked and to be “rewarded” is so intense that they go to selfless acts of sacrifice to get a “thank you” or a “good job”. Things that their parents denied them in their childhood and now search like crazy. These people are people who are rather gullible and very easy to take advantage of. They can take a good chew from their boss without a peep, but then the whiplash effect comes with passive aggressiveness.

    If you take a look at doctors and dissect their personality you will find lots of these traits.

  2. I’ve thought this for a long time now…you are definitely destined for sainthood.

  3. thank you ALL……I love this site… has restored my faith and self esteem which were rapidly going in the toilet!

    You have described the observed behaviour perfectly …..I didn’t see it so clearly before…..knocks himself out for others but if I ask him to put something away or help me around the house; flaming PA aggression….and his older brother does it too……curious how one PA with the codependent traits deals with another….

    I know for sure that I do NOT want to be elderly with him as my caregiver…..Yikes!

  4. I am disabled and the first few years of my illness I was really bad. Had problems walking. I won’t get into the litany of things the P-AH did to me but it was bad. Thank god my neighbor was a nurse, I’d have never had a shower even during that time. And once I was formerly diagnosed and 3 doctors spoke to him? No apology. He was Mr. Compassion with the doctors and Mr. Hyde with me. He’s a Narcissist P-A. ugh…

  5. I’m disabled as well, with severe, debilitating RA. I live with my parents who are fairly fit and healthy but in their 80’s. I’ve been on the receiving end harassing levels of PA behaviour from both of them, sometimes turning into outright aggression (my father twisted my wrist because I asked him to leave some groceries in the hallway for a few minutes while my mother was on the phone).

    My mother is in some ways the worst offender. Today I was showering (an extremely difficult and painful process during a flare up) and she turned on the washer – which she know scalds me when I’m in the shower. I called out to her and asked her to stop using the water. So she did nothing about the washer. Her explanation afterwards, “Oh, I thought you wouldn’t mind if that was on”.

    When my father injured my wrist, she procrastinated so much that day that I couldn’t get to the Dr. In her recollection of the events, I was the one who didn’t hurry up. Three times during the day I begged her to help me dress in readiness (hard to do on my own with a damaged left wrist and RA in the right wrist) I spent the day sitting, waiting in tears for her to help.

    My father injured my wrist on another occasion, because I objected to him telling me that as a middle-aged adult “You’re under my authority”, and that I can’t make decisions for myself.

    I’ve been learning that PA in the elderly is the most insidious of all. No one takes it seriously, everyone babies them and tells me to treasure the time I have with them.

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