Breaking codependency when caregiving.
At a therapist's suggestion, I started attending Codependents Anonymous (CODA) meetings last year and have learned SO much about my own behaviors and the dangers of enmeshment with my father.
As I've grown, I've started learning how to set small boundaries, and boy, he doesn't like it. It's really hard for me because I don't want to be a "bad daughter", but I'm learning that Dad's tantrums are just that, and I don't need to run in and rescue him, especially when he can use the very expensive AL resources.
His latest melt down involves the AL changing the seating in the dining room. I just learned that Dad has "gone hungry" a couple of days because he won't open his mouth and say what he needs. With the new seating arrangement, Dad couldn't find his normal lunch / dinner buddies (they also changed the meal times). He can't see very far, so I can see how it's difficult, BUT after that incident, he just decided to take lunch in his room.
He complains of being lonely, but refuses to leave his room sometimes. There was also a new staff member that wasn't aware that Dad doesn't like chicken, so she mistakenly brought him a lunch dish with chicken. Instead of him asking for something different, he didn't eat that day and decided that he wouldn't have lunch at all.
I'm on the fence about what to do next. Of course, he asked me to bring him some food, since "I know what he likes," but that would be feeding the beast.
I am willing, however, to email the nursing director and ask her to remind her staff that Dad doesn't like chicken and maybe see if they can have his old lunch buddies knock on the door and go to lunch with him so they can find a new table together.
Other than that, I don't really think it's needed to do much more. Of course, he gave me an ear full when I told him I couldn't bring him food, and that he could tell the staff what he needed on his own, but he's afraid he'll "get into trouble".
Hah! Now I see why I have always had trouble asking for what I need. The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, I guess.