How do I deal with my father's "sulks". He has the early signs of dementia. If he becomes angry with me he will sulk and make me feel guilty

Started by

4 Comments

3930 helpful answers
First - you don't need to feel guilty. This is a learned behavior, but try to "detach with love." Just don't respond as if you are guilty or act guilty. Don't give him that response and he may be better toward you.

Do keep in mind, however, that he is experiencing great loss and some confusion. That will make him cranky and he feels safe taking it out on you. It's too bad, but it's human nature.

This is not going to get better, so it's good to set boundaries now. Be supportive and sympathetic, but don't accept abuse.

Carol
My mom is sulking a lot, feels trapped in the nursing home, hates not having her privacy. I dread coming to visit and my visits are miserable because she pours on the guilt trips. I am just about ready to try to leave town for a whle, but I can't, I have to testify against my own mother at a hearing on Friday. I do not think I can ever visit her again after what happened last night. One minute she says she is gratefull for the care I gave her for five years, the next minute she asserts that she doesn't need care anymore and wants all her things back that are stored at my sister's, then I have to try to explain away why my sister hangs up on her on the phone and doesn't come and visit and won't take her to church with us. I feel trapped in a big spinning wheel right now. She would sulk alot when we were in the apartment together, mostly because she was upset that she couldn't spend the money that she wanted to on trips, extravagant clothes and have the boyfriend back that passed away last year. Mom needs men around her and feels lost without one, then criticizes me and my sister for not being attractive enough so we can have boyfriends and husbands. I have been so busy taking care of her for the last five years I haven't had a social life, and my sister works 60 hour weeks as a doctor to support her children on her own and pay for this big house. It is hard but I am trying to learn not to respond to the guilt trips and criticism that I get when I go to visit her.
It will be hard at first and she may never get it but you can change how you react and just keep telling yourself she is wrong and you are right and after awhile she may realize when I axct like an ass people will stay away-she may be reapeating how her parents and grandparents acted my husband acted just like his mother and grandfather did when they got older-for me to stay sane I had to get away from him and the dozens of times he was in rehab I would not go to visit or talk to him on the phone -I even cut off his cell phone service at times I felt I did not deserve to be treated badly period he kept trying to push my buttons even up to the day before he became critical.
I have had so many of my buttons pushed today that I am ready to scream. My sister went out of town to get away from it, maybe when she gets back I will have to do the same, only I do not have any money to go anywhere.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support