My dad bullies me and controls me.

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My Dad ask me could he move in a small apt next to my house that my husband and I own when he no longer could drive. He was 93 at this time and turned 94 in Nov. First off he did not like my tv service. He wanted boxing and old western channels. So I changed to direct tv which cost double but he did agree to pay half. He gives me 500 a month for his rent which includes elect and water. He ask me to provide his evening meals. I agreed. When we go grocery shopping I have to use his cart. He waits untill we get in the store and throws a fit if I try to get my own cart. He takes a bath about on average twice a month. Once he went 6 weeks. I tell him when we go somewhere to clean up and sometimes he does but usually not. Now his sister went into a nursing home and wants me to take him every week. He told his other sisters and brothers he would go see her every week. Its 35 minutes from here. I told him I was not taking him once a week and that my sisters need to come take him once in a while and he got mad and blew up and said the only reason why i moved over here is because you dont do anything. I have grandkids that i pick up once a week and transport two of them to there mothers for my son twice a month. I also work on this house we bought as it was in bad shape when we bought it and also do lots of art work. I have no life anymore. He controls me. I am a retired nurse but am getting to my witt ends with him. What do I do. I am getting depressed over this. This is not all that he does to me. And also may I add that have caught him playing with himself. He wont even lock his door.


First I suggest that you pick your battles. Sort the important issues from the things that don't matter. The TV service costs more but he's paying the extra cost. So why is that a problem for you? I don't understand the grocery cart issue. Why does it matter who pushes the cart? If you don't like shopping with him, leave him home. If you don't want to spend an hour a week on the road in order to see your aunt and for Dad to see his sister, then try to arrange for your sisters to each do it once a month. That he plays with himself is no concern of yours. Even if the door is not locked you should knock and wait to be invited in.

Your life is just as important as any of your sisters' lives. It is not true, of course, that "you don't do anything." I think I would consider that a battle worth fighting -- I would require personal respect. I would also point out that he was free to move, and there was no binding lease he couldn't get out of.

He cannot control you unless you let him. If you are a retired nurse and he is 94 you are definitely an adult and do not need to "obey" him even if he is your father. Act your age. :-)

I might consider the bathing issue another battle worth fighting, depending on whether he does a reasonably good job of getting clean between baths.

Let the little stuff go. He's old. He's entitled to be a little crotchety. Insist on respect. Know that he can't control you without your cooperation.
I guess I wasn't very clear on my issues. It is affecting my well being. I use to see him bully my Mom. I took care of her and she was appreciative. He will not allow my sisters or brother to do anything for him. My oldest sister will not help period. He hates my brother and my youngest sister is too self centered. Don't get me wrong I do love him but he has always treated me this way. At this point I am beginning to resent him for the way he is making me feel. I would like to push a cart when grocery shopping and him push one and he can follow me. When I load the cart he has no place for his and my bread and eggs do get squashed. I have had the doctor talk to him about bathing. He told him to bathe every two days. He does not and really smells horrible. He will not even change clothes. If I knock on his door he will not hear it and he knows I check on him. My sister walked in on him too doing the same thing because he did not hear her knocking. I have had a hard time talking back to him but I do act my Age!!! He is the one not acting his age. A year ago I had a woman call me and tell me she was my sister. He never acknowleged him.. He gave me heck about my x not supporting my kids. I am sorry I am just a little deshambled today and he knows I am upset. It really got to me when he tells me in a harsh tone the only reason he moved here was because I don't do anything. I love my kids and grandkids and would like to spend some time with them. I never ask him to move here. The whole deal was i take him to doctor appointments , groc shopping and get his meds. I have taken him to see my aunt 6 times in the past 6 months and had no problem with it and infact took him to see his son in law 5 times. We took him out to eat and he complained to others about the food. I clean his house once a week. Provide hijm a hot 3-4 coarse meal every day. He came over one day and told me I dont like this and that. So now I have had to change some of my cooking. I am sorry I am just at wits ends.
Talk to you Dad about what you understood the original agreement to be. Maybe your husband should be there and support you in the discussion. Give your sisters a schedule of visits to the Aunt and let them know they need to take one visit a month at least. Let them take him grocery shopping a couple of times a month as well.

When he starts treating you badly, just let him know you will come back when he is in a better mood. A few times of that and he will get the message.

As far as meals, you are not running a short order kitchen. He can eat what he likes and leave the rest. Good manners mean you don't complain about a meal someone else prepared for you.

Call senior services or an inhome healthcare provider in your area for an evaluation as to what services your Father might be eligible for; someone to help him bath a couple of times a week, housekeeping and cooking. This should all be covered by Medicare. Whether he likes it or not, Dad needs assistance in his life.

Your plate is full and you should be enjoying your retirement....not running two households and being treated in this fashion. Only you can change what is happening.

I wish you well!
No. You do not have to change some of your cooking. He doesn't like your cooking? Hey, there's always Stouffers frozen dinners.

You are not responsible for what your ex does. No doubt you'd have liked him to pay child support! So his complaints about that are inappropriate on two counts! Not Your Fault, and he had a kid he didn't support.

So, you've had a very responsible career. You are a grandmother. You don't have to do what Daddy says anymore. Really. He bullied your mother. You are not your mother. You do not have to take that kind of treatment.

So, why are you letting him control you, bully you, or get under your skin?

It really amazes me that smart, strong, independent women put up with this crap leftover from their childhood.

Maybe some counselling could help you stand up for yourself.

You decide what you are going to do. Don't let your father tell you that you don't do anything. "Dad, I'm going to spend Monday visiting my kids. I won't be home until late. I'll cook extra on Sunday and you can have leftovers or microwave a frozen dinner." or "I'm going to be busy all weekend. The grandkids are coming over to make cookies. They are staying overnight and Sunday we're going to a movie." or even "I'm going to spend tomorrow shopping and visiting a museum. I'm having dinner with a friend. I'll be getting home late." You agreed to take him to appointments, cook one meal a day, take him grocery shopping and get his meds. That should not consume so much time that you don't have a life anymore. Seems like you've let a lot of extras creep in. Offer to help him find a cleaning person. You've decided you don't want to clean his apartment. Cut back on everything except what you agreed to originally.

Remind him that you aren't holding him to a lease. He is free to find somewhere else, and you will continue picking up his meds and taking him for groceries every two weeks. You love him, but he is not in charge of your life.

And for heavens sake, push your own dang grocery cart! How can he stop you? Throw a tantrum? Not Your Problem if he wants to make a scene while you walk off and go about your business.

He can avoid bathing if he wants to, but you can refuse to take him out if he smells bad.

You really have to either set some boundaries and stick up for yourself, or insist that Dad moves, or both. If you don't you can expect to be depressed and resentful for another few years.
Thanks to both of you. I am feeling a little clearer now. It is so hard for me as I feel I am disrepecting my Dad when I stand up to him. I think I will take him grocery shopping and I will do mine another day and he only gets one day a week for that. I have gotten one sister to agree to take him to see his sister next week and will ask her to do this every month and I will take him once a month and that way he will get to see her every two weeks. My oldest and youngest sister will never help out. They have already said this. Thank you all
Be strong, Karol!

Your father is being extremely disrespectful to you. Since you are both adults, respect must go two ways. Stand up to your father in polite terms. You don't have to be rude. And when he is rude and ranting, say "You seem to be upset now. I will come back later," and leave the room.

He cannot control you without your permission. And this fear of being disrespectful is one of the tools he uses.

The oldest and youngest sister have figured out a way to protect themselves. I hope that you can figure out a way to live your own life and still help your father. If you can't, then maybe you should follow their example.
Karol I know exactly how you feel. I am going through a simular situation with my dad who will be 90 in April. I am trying to understand the time in which they are from. Men in my opinion have NO respect for women. Sadly enough I was married to somewhat of a control freak who had my selfesteem beat down. I know first hand once it is beat down it is hard to get it back up!! At times I feel it is easier to just do it and deal with the situation than create more up roar. For me though my dad was 22 years in the military and is extreamely clean. If he doesn't like a meal he sits quiet. What I envy about you is he has his own space and not just a bedroom next to yours. I try to go places (short trips ) to get away and he will say why did you want me here if you are just going to leave me alone??? Um I don't remeber begging you to move in. I have 3 kids who are still at home. My father is 89, I am 49 and my baby is 9. Generation Gaps 3 times over. Now I am faced with getting a sitter for my dad and cleaning up accidents. I can so totally understand where you are coming from but we have to try to get out from under the control and more times it is easier said than done. Children are master manipulators and as parents age they revert back to childhood which makes them master manipulators too. They have come full circle. First we raise our kids then we try to raise our parents. My finding is kids are way easier to raise. I am getting better at demanding respect and when he goes off I go off right back and he gets this look on his face like I just smacked him. After he pouts his mood seems to be a little better adjusted. Good luck to you and know you are not alone. Blessings to us all
Let me correct something. Men from that generation have NO respect for women! Not all but allot of them.
Thanks for your comments, it helps to know I have others to say they feel he does disrespect me and don't allow it. Sometimes I feel if I stand up to him, I am being insensitive to a 94 yr old. I am 59 years old and have earned my retirement thru working for the state of La for 30 years. And now that I am retired I am doomed to live this way. He may go on like this for years as the men in this family live to be about 100. He has one sister 99. There were 12 kids in his family with no closeness. I do talk to one of my sisters and he has degraded her so bad because he hates her husband. He will not go to her house because he does hate her husband. His idle is my oldest sister. Her husband is paralized from waist down and owns a business and know she is busy but she doesn't do anything for her they have a sitter. But in my Dad's eyes she is the best and feels that she is too busy and its ok if she doesn't help. She has not once visited him the whole 7 months he has lived here and thats ok. But he thinks I should take him to see her and I have numerous times. I am just tired of being the taxi. We had planned a trip to Ohio two yrs ago to see his 2 brothers and 2 sisters and numerous nieces and nephews and he wanted to pay half the gas in which this was a gift to him but he insisted so I said ok. In the mean while one of his nephews was diagnosed with end stage cancer and was given a month to live and was in the hos[ in Tenn. So I ask my Dad if he would like to stop at the hosp on the way to ohio and see him one more time before he died and he said no. So I said since it is on the way I would like to see him and that the hosp he was in was right on the interstate. We would be in our RV. He threw a fit and said Whats Mike ever done for you and I said nothing but I have never done anything for him. He got up and stated if you go to the hosp to see him forget me going. I was so hurt by the way he acted, so I said forget it, I will not stop. I had arranged for one of his brothers to fly from Oregon to be in Ohio when we were to be in Ohio. So that was the only reason I said I wouldn't stop to see him. I am so appauled by the way he acts. But anyway it is good to know I am not alone anymore and others see him bullying me and back me up not to take it. It really helps to talk to others.
Thank you so much
Karol let me ask you this, if you had a job and were gone 8 hours a day, how would he cope with the things he has to do? I think probably he'd find a way to get what he wants done. You have to keep this in perspective I think. He'd find a way, whether or not he could rely on you. And 'honoring' or 'taking care' of an aged parent, I believe it means, you make sure they're not living in a box on the street. That they're not starving to death, dying of hypothermia and are getting their meds when they need them. Other than that.... well it's out of the kindness of your heart and the parent needs to know that and act accordingly. In my humble opinion.

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