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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.

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I took my Dad to see his sister and my sisters husband yesterday then to the grocery store although I had just taken him grocery shopping Monday. Today is Friday and last night he informed me he needed some more spoons. So today I left to go do my shopping and bought his spoons. When I got home I put my groceries up then walked over to my Dads house which is 10 steps. He doesn't hear me if I knock so I always just walk in and he is usually in his recliner watching tv but this time he was in his bed playing with hisself, so I turned around and walked out. I do not know if he saw me but this is extremely embarassing to me as he is my Dad. He is 94. Does anyone else have to deal with this and what do I do about it. I just wish he would lock the doors when he is preforming this activity.
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BJ I read your note and know too exactly where you are coming from. I let me Dad to his own things for the past 7 months and it has gotten way out of control. I have had no control. I am cutting things out a little at a time. He goes off on me each time but then soon sits back and adapts. I know that he is lonely but I have given up my life and ready to live again. I do things with him also but am not going to allow this to be all my life and thats all there is to it. I retired 3 yrs ago to enjoy life. I am sorry that the other sibblings do nothing with his father but thats not my fault. I should have somewhat of a normal life too. My husband also does things with him but he has gotten to where it is only what he wants to do and the heck with us. I have 4 kids and 6 Grandkids and they are starting to feel the brunt of this also. So I give him one day a week now with whatever he wants to do and the rest is for me and my husband and my kids and grandkids. If he thinks it is his responsibility to go see his sister more than once every two weeks then he needs to call his other children. One sister is taking him once every month and I am taking him once a month, so he gets to see her twice a month. My Aunts husband is in the same nursing home and will not see him so he is the one that is lonely. I will see him when I go there once a month. I drink coffee every morning with him and sit on the porch and chat every day sometimes twice a day. How lonely can he be. Maybe he is lonely for the ones that dont come see him. Anyway, I am always on here BJ and know the stress you are going thru and anytime please do vent on here. It sounds like you have been very compasiohate towards your Mom and it is like it will be said soon the alternative is a nursing home if he is not happy here. Good Luck to you BJ and hugs to you!
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Karol, I wanted you to know you have been heard and I understand so many of the issues you are dealing with. My Mom lives with me even though she has her own house (built by my husband) at the back of our property. She just 'decided' she didn't want to live there anymore. She's 88 and has a few health issues but is mainly able to live independently but just chooses not to. She's very controlling. She has never paid her own way financially. Her 'money' is spent by her on what she wants such as more purses and shoes. My only sibling, a sister, tells me Mom is taking advantage of me and she doesn't want to spend time with mom. I understand that as Mom is negative, makes bad comments about everyone including our children and grandchildren. I'm preparing to make some changes here because living with my Mom is not pleasant and it's causing me so much stress. I think there are some of us who are just not cut out to be care-givers and we need to acknowledge that and make changes, for everyone's benefit.
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He Sounds Lonely and Reaching out for Attention even if its negative..
maybe do things WITH HIM..NOT JUST hand him food..k .play cards..
to an outing..park..etc.
its just how some are knwing that they are at an age&Alone.k
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I am uplifted reading about the changes you made. I can feel the smile in your words. "I am woman, hear me roar."
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Well, I took my Dad grocery shopping yesterday and since he will not allow me to have my own cart, I did not buy anything as I am tired of my bread and eggs getting smushed so I took him home and then my husband and I went back into town which is 25 minutes away from my house and we bought my groceries. Sooner or later he will ask my why and I will tell him because you will not allow me to have my own cart. It was nice using my own cart and just shopping. I haven't done that for 7 months. He will not be going to see his sister in the nursing home untill next week. He thinks he should go every week. I have invited my oldest daughter and her kids out to the house tonite. I am tired of doing just for him and things will change and when it gets to where he is interfearing in my life then I will revamp the situation untill then I am going to live my life some. Just because he is 94 doesn't mean I have to honor just him.
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JanetJ, congrats on surviving your abusive husband and deciding to get help. Thanks for sharing your experiences. It's never too late to overcome the adversities. Having a parent who bullies is no picnic but you're right, you have to learn to stand up to them and hope it'll get better with effort, and if it doesn't, there's always the option to walk away. What ever the choice, it is our to make.
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My mother- I am adopted- told me that the only reason she adopted me was because no one else wanted me. She said I am jealous, selfish, and stingy, said that she wished my dad had suffered when he died, said I owe her all the money that was spent raising me, and said "I need you to come straighten up my clothes." That was 2 months ago. I have not seen or spoken to her since My cousin is flying in today and will take her home with her. I am 54 and have had 54 years of similar treatment. It is time for me to live my life. Do I feel guilty- NO
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I understand the comments about narcissists and abusers as I was married to one for 31 years. I had to learn that I control my life and that I need to set and defend my boundaries. I am now taking care of my 93 year old mother who, thankfully, is not abusive or controlling. Back to the abusive people, one quote that has inspired me for the past 40 years (and I don't even remember where I read it, I think in a feminist novel or essay) is "A slave is someone who waits for someone else to free them." People will do to you what you allow them to do. I allowed my spouse to abuse me for years. I have found support, knowledge, and understanding through my local domestic violence shelter support groups. Everyone is welcome and one doesn't need to be currently in an abusive relationship to attend. However, from what people are writing about their parents, they ARE being abused. There is also a domestic abuse hotline number. You can call just to talk. So, if you can't get to a group, you can find someone to talk to who understands and can help YOU break out of the cycle. Another thing I learned is that change happens in "baby steps." When you take some of those steps even though you are scared, the WOW, I DID IT and the world did not collapse is so awesome, you start taking more steps. Your "self" starts to grow again. Then one day you may realize that you have evolved from a victim, to a survivor, to a thriver (thriving individual). Your parent or siblings might not like it, but that is not your problem; it is their problem. This is now starting to sound like other comments. Jeannegibs, I think you are right on. I've been reading the forums on this site for a few months, and your insight is valuable.
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Ye always my duty parents do set examples for us. That is so sad she did that to her own Mother. I stayed with my Mom every single day but went home at night to get a good nights sleep so that I could deal with what was in store for the next day. Two of my sisters did help out then and would spend the night but she slept every night so they slept. I gave her every bath, cleaned house, all duties that had to be done during the day. No regrets and I miss her terribly. She was all so grateful to me. Two other sibs did nothing. She left this world knowing I was all there for her and quite my job to see her out of this world. She was only 62 when she died. On the other hand my dad has aged and the brain does not work as well for him so it is rather difficult and everywhere we go he tell everyone he is 94 and thinks because he is so old that my duty is to keep him happy and give him his way and I mean all the way. The heck with my life and who knows I may die early like my Mom. I am now 59. And who knows how long this can go on because most of the men in his family lives to be around 100. So he may very well see me leave this world. I sure hope not but we never know. But yes I feel hurt for your Grandma. No one should be treated that way. We lived too far away from both sets of my Grandparents so my parents never took care of them. I live in Louisiana and my Granparents live in Montana on my Moms side(she was adopted) Then my Dads mother lived in Ohio. So we got no example there. My Dad very often tells me how stubborn his Mom was and no one could get along with her. Wow sounds familiar.ha And yes we do keep things stored in our mind and do refer back to them when needed. Your Mother should be very grateful to YOU.
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Karol, that's a good idea about safeguarding your place while you're gone. Too bad one of your sibs won't watch him or take him home with them. I don't blame you for being scared that you'll come home to a burned down house.
You mentioned about your sibs setting an example to their kids about visiting in old age. People do in fact look to others as an example. My mom was an only child and when her mom couldn't live alone, she moved grandma from CO to TX to live with her and my dad. Mom let her mom know every day how much she resented taking care of her (I wasn't the only one my mom was mean to). Poor grandma. So one time my mom was being particularly ugly, I told her what I had observed and what kind of example she had set for me. I also reminded her, that if I were less of a person, I might be treating her as she had treated her mom. My mom knew what I was talking about and didn't say a word. I doubt it meant anything to her but it was a life lesson I've always kept in mind. Just sharing.
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Hi, I do worry about my Dad burning his apartment down with cooking. I am going to get a small fire extinguisher this week. When we go to our cabin this summer, I will not be around so I think I will take all our valuables or get a safe for them. And pictures. My neighbors watch over his place also which helps. His apartment is only 10 steps to my house, so it would go up if his went up. Hope that Sasansgal your Dad doesnt need surgery. At his age it would be almost impossible for an easy recovery if at all.Thanks for the other two supports. Madge and alwaysmy duty. Family members can be so cruel. I don't understand them and never will. My Dad can no longer drive as he hit cars in parking lots and would leave instead of doing the right thing. So he depends solely on me to go visit. but is a shame his own kids cannot visit him. I guess they will get old also and their kids won't see anything wrong with not visiting them when they are in that shape. Take care you guys!
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Madge1, vert, very well said. I too get upset when I get told I should've considered it an honor to take care of my mother, after all "she is your mother", etc. Yeah right, you didn't have to be raised by this selfish, hateful narcissist who let you know well into your 50s that you never did anything right, you werent going to get a thank you and you'd eventually get disowned because you dared cross her. If anyone considers it an honor to take care of your mother, that's wonderful. There are some of us who just can't apply that feeling to ours.
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Karol, honoring your father does not mean you have to take abuse. This sounds like abuse to me. I am the daughter of a bully and have an enabler mother. It was dysfunctional at best. Your siblings have learned their roles and are still playing them. You are obviously the scapegoat.

You can help your father but you don't have to do the hands on if it is hurting you. That is beyond the call of duty. Have a meeting with the sibs, and tell them he has to go to a home, or some place other than your house.

You do deserve better.



When my father died I thought my family would be different but have come to realize they are playing their "roles". Even today my mother carries on the dysfunction. And, no, I will not care for her. She allowed this man to abuse me and she wants to go to a nursing home. So she has made it easy.

I feel sorry for people who have these abusive parents and others tell them, it is their duty to take the abuse and care for the parent. Not so. You can arrange care but you don't have to take abuse. You are still a good daughter and you are not his only child.

Like a willful child, a bully will push you as far as they are allowed. They must have their way and alot of attention. And yes, he is probably lonely, well join the club, so are alot of people. Mom complains constantly of being lonely but won't come to visit me, doesn't want me over two days (and I live 11 hours away) won't go to church, meet ladies for lunch, or do anything to make her life better. Manipulation is their best and most often used skill.

Find him care somewhere else. You deserve it.
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Hi Karol53,
I was at the hospital all day yesterday. My father is on antibiotics with a liquid diet. His Dr. is hoping it may help the gall stones so it won't be necessary for surgery at his advanced age.
He doesn't cook any more. I honestly don't want him using the stove or the microwave. He's burned many pans and kettles, and ruined the last micro with putting the settings too high and too long, causing the smoke alarm to go off. I bought an electric kettle that automatically shuts off. He uses it every day for tea, instant coffee and dried packaged soup.
I understand how you feel about your siblings not helping out. I have one sibling, a brother, who lives three hours away. He hasn't made an attempt to come here to visit our father while in the hospital. He always tells me he feels badly because he can't help out etc, Yesterday his daughters and husbands were at the hospital. They think it's terrible that he doesn't come here more often. Not only to see our 97 yr.old father but to visit them and the grandchildren. It's a second marriage for him so his present wife is not their mother. I've learned that people will let you do it all with no concern as to how you're coping. So, if your Dad wants to cook and is able to, let him. He may be saying that today but time will tell. Take care.
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Hi Sasansgal! Alot of people live with Gall Stones. No greasy fried foods. Hopefully he doesn't have to have surgery. I guess it depends on how bad they are and how often the attacks come. Sounds like you had a ruff few days. I guess it doesn't let up even if they are in the hospital. My Dad told me yesterday he was going to start cooking his own meals. It will atleast give him something to do. I have been doing everything for him. My sisters and brother don't care. They act like he is living here so you do it. But anyway take care of yourself.
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He sounds Lonely.
mayve spend time with him doing something so he is distracted by having fun ..
or going somewhere fun..
he may be fiesty becos he knows that he has to have a tough front in order not
to show he is Lonely or scared..hard to be Alone.
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Hi Karol,
Good for you. Remember I told you think of this as a game of stradegy. I don't mean that in a nasty way, just a way to cope with it all.
I had to call 911 last Thurs. because my father had severe pain in his chest/stomach area. He had a triple by-pass 12 yrs ago. We thought it was his heart but now find out it's gall stones. He's 97 so it depends on wheather he can go through surgery or can this be treated in another way. I was in the hospital all day yesterday and finally went home. I just got to sleep and the phone rang at 11:30 pm. It was him saying he wanted to go down stairs to the kitchen thinking he was home. He wasn't talking rationally and sounded confused. I don't know what's going on but need to talk to his doctor. It can be stressful when they're home, but also when in the hospital because then we worry. Talk soon.
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And also I would like to add that my oldest sister has never done a thing for him along with my youngest sister and he talks about them two like the are gold. It hurts when I do everything for him. He thinks I should do all this and never blink an eye about it.
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I do fine untill he starts yelling at me because for the past 7 months I have put alot of emphasis on him while still doing for my kids but pretty much have given up everything I use to do for myself. Enough is never enough for him. It is very hard.
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He Sounds Lonely.
I am sure you do well..just patience..and it is your Dad.
I guess when he starts being upset remember his age...
&perhaps do something fun while having breakfast&coffee..
play some cards or dice game.
I would give everything to have my Father back.first.before ME.
In all my Heart I share this with you.
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He lives right next to me. 10 steps from me. He probably is lonely I have one sister that visits him once a month. The other 4 forget it. He comes over to my house to drink coffee every morning. I do treat him very well but cannot take too much of the bullying. Not sure if you were referring to me. He wants me to jump every time he speaks and am very tired of it. Just trying to get some of my life back.
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Sounds like he is Lonely.
for the most part just sounds very Lonely.
put in an apt to pay Rent..Sounds Lonely...can u have him live with you so he has
availability to eat meals with..instead of Alone..Etc.
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I have truely enjoyed reading everyone's comments on their experiences and also their own experiences. It breaks my heart to know how parents turned their backs on their own flesh and blood as children and now those children are taking care of the old folks. (I really wanted to say old goats! ha) I left today and stayed gone all day and don't care. When I came home he said I wish I knew you were going somewhere, I would have had you pick me up some cookies. I said no problem, I have cookies in the freezer you can have. Another words I need to tell him where I am going. I didn't remember telling him I would do that. My youngest sister lives 3 hours away and ask her if she could come down maybe once a month or 2 months to take him somewhere. Haven't seen or heard from her since and that was 3 months ago. What a jerk. My oldest sister gets off on being POA. She had it on my Dad before he moved here. She has it on my Aunt now and is getting very overwhelmed. She has not even seen where our Dad lives and he has been here 7 months. Thats ok. She is just a miserable person. My youngest sister is too busy running after the married man! ha That will drive you insane...So tonight It was stouffers!!!!!He is still living.
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Karol53, I feel such pain reading your story. It sounds like you feel trapped, without the skills to free yourself. It sounds to me, though, like it would just take clear communication to set the rules, and I can see you can do that from how well you have told your story here.
The things you want are not unreasonable. You've turned it into a power struggle--one that you're losing. There was a great scene in a Jonathan Franzen novel where a character is picking up his elderly mother at the airport, and the guy says that everyone else sees a frail, white-haired old lady but he still just sees his killer. My point is: you need to remind yourself that you are fighting a 90-year-old; you can win this.
From what you've described of your parents' relationship, it sounds like your father is just acting the way he's always behaved toward your mother. I think you have to accept that your father will not change, then commit to changing your own behavior. He doesn't sound like such a delicate flower that he'll fall apart if you tell him to push his own grocery cart!
While he's filling his cart, tell him to put in a lot of microwave-ready frozen dinners. Then serve them on a lovely plate. You should not be cooking! If he's going to complain anyway, let him complain about Marie Callendar.
I had a similar issue with the bathing. My mother is 94, and she came up with many excuses, including post-traumatic stress from a near-drowning in 1925. Her sense of smell is gone. Mine isn't. I bought a bench for the tub/shower and a hand-held shower with a setting for big droplets, so the shower experience is less cold and less dangerous. She has to take a shower every two days. This was non-negotiable. For me, it was a deal breaker: I would not take care of her if she would not do it.
I would write down what you are willing to do, what you cannot do (anything that prohibits you from working on your art), and buy a calendar for his schedule. Put limits on what you are putting into this situation. Does he have a phone? Let him call people and ask for help for the things you can't do.
More than anything, I think you can see in rereading your own message to us that you are in over your head. Your father is not going to save you because he sees what this is doing to you. You have to do it.
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Wow, I needed to read this. How I am going through the same thing with my dad. I am only 40 and my dad is 75 but looks like he is 85. I do not know why I put myself out there to care for him but I guess in my heart my attitude has been "someone has to do it" but the problem is that once you put yourself out there, everyone EXPECTS you to do all of it with little respect or appreciation to the demands placed on you.

My dad walked away from me when I was 11. He did not care if I had food in my belly or clothes on my back and yet here I am taking care of him and he has NO respect for me. He frequently accuses my of evil things. He says I do not care for him. He yells at me and constantly insults me. In fact, most of my life he took little interest in me as a person much less his daughter.

When we go out or when the nurses come in to change his wound, he gives the impression that he is completely with it mentally and emotionally and sometimes bad mouths me in front of them, yet in reality he is a manipulative, deceitful little child who insists on getting his way all the time. He expects me to be at his beck and call. He demands all my attention all the while not giving me any attentive care or concern for my exhaustion of taking care of him. He has never taken responsibility for his life either because he is depressed or simply does not give a crap and yet he expects everyone else to do it for him. When I talk to him about making funeral arrangements, he says let the state take care of it. He is a child who never grew up and here I am left holding the bag. He usually give me grief about medical decisions and frequently states that I am "miss know it all" and yet funny because even though I am not a doctor I was correct in his diagnosis of CHF because of pitting edema without any diagnostic testings done. Many things I happen to be right about but he has too much pride to admit that I am right.

To be fair though, my dad has some good points but now in his old age, he is just MISERABLE and he is taking his misery out on me. He seems to get pleasure out of making me miserable as if I should some how join him in his misery.

So truly I understand what you are going through. I have no one to help me. My oldest brother doesn't speak to me and treats me like crap and my other brother has helped some but not much because he lives 4 hours away and has 4 children and a demanding job.

One day this will all be over because he is on the waiting list at a nursing home and I am hoping that by early April he will be in there so I can move on with my life.

Cindy

He is simply UNGRATEFUL. He is about as humble as Adolf Hitler himself.
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Once a bully, always a bully applied to my mom. She was also extremely jealous of the close relationship I had with my son and daughter. She and I were never close and she did everything possible to drive a wedge between my only sib and me our whole lives. She constantly downgraded me to my kids. Then she wondered why our family was not close and why we didn't enjoy being around her. We started keeping our distance at times and standing up to her. It didn't work. With someone like her, it never is going to work. She was dead set on always getting her way. Now that she's gone, I have pity for her. She had so much hate in her heart and the more love we showed her, the harder her heart got. Sometimes you just can't make it better for your elder. You have to save yourself and accept they will never change. No matter how much you love them.
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Whew! I'm glad you wrote to this community, Karol - it is so important to have others who can help with ideas, and who understand some of the conflicts, and who see your side, so you can think more clearly. Good idea for you to write down the things YOU feel you can do, and Jeannegibbs had good alternatives for setting limits. Also consider the time YOU want to put in - then train your Dad! If he wants more, say there are other sisters. I also like the idea that you will not take him out if he won't bathe - if you can hire a helper to help him bathe, it could be the day before you take him shopping, or out anywhere. We come from past cultures, where women felt it was their job in life, to create a loving home with extended family, who shared work to provide good nutrition, a home that looks beautiful - and the man, who went out to work, expected this is just part of life. He did not even think of the work it takes to create and maintain such a home, for the woman's work was often shared with other women, and given as a "gift" - means the labor was hidden! Sometimes the labor is easier than others - the ups and downs were hidden also. And for one woman alone, the ups and downs are very difficult to fit in. The man just thought the result was a pleasant home, to which he was entitled if he worked and provided for the family. Because it was not their responsibility, many men don't realize the situation has changed when it is just one daughter doing it all, and it is sad when the entitlement falls on one of the children, is not divided in some way aImong all. I really had to teach my siblings a lot, after I took responsibility for my disabled brother in his adult life - and my far away siblings, brothers - said, "well, you accepted the responsibility, so don't complain now!" I was surprised at how important it was for me to learn to teach them about the ups and downs - how I was willing to work for a certain time, but I had to learn to stand up to them - I found it difficult to even think of what they could do to help, for they are in a different country. But I learned to pay attention to my own choice. What can I do, with joy - When my brother's health issues got worse, I had to change my definitions, because being with him was harder than it used to be. Recently I hired a Geriatric Care Manager whose job it would be to help ME sort out the issues, not help my brother directly. And I told my other siblings they must help pay for this. I am not finished with the negotiations yet, it takes TIME even to negotiate with other siblings, who think things are fine because they are not there. This is enough for now, but I am glad you wrote here and can get some ideas from everyone, who understand your responsibility to your OWN life - and encourage you to define that first!
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Hi Ssansgal you said it just right. He must think if he can control me with the shopping card and every other little thing such as getting me to change tv services, and what I cook then I will continue doing what he wants so I do not play anything his way anymore. I am letting him know this way that I do not allow him to control me. He wants it to where when he tells me to jump I would react with how high do you want me to jump but I dont do that anymore. I feel for you also. I do not go next door to his house except to clean or give him his meal. When I try to get my oldest sister involved he blows up and says she is busy. It must be nice not doing anything for him. My son is going thru a nasty divorce right now with a custody case on the kids and I am solely their for him and will contiue. I think he is jealous of my kids because I do alot with them. I now leave alot of times without telling him where I am going and he usually ask when I get home where I have been. It is so hard. I feel this is totally my life now. Good luck to you with your Dad also, I do feel your fustration. His little house is ten steps from my door. Atleast I do not have to hear his blarring tv. Hugs to you. Keep me posted.
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Hi Karol,
I fully understand what you're going through. I am the sole caregiver for my 97 yr. old father. Your father sounds exactly like mine. He's always been controlling and continues to be. It hurts when you're the only one doing things and aren't appreciated and respected for it. I've tried it all, as how to react to him in difficult situations with him. It's so hard, but someone recently told me to more or less agree with him, but then do what I know is best. It's almost like playing a game of stradegy. The hardest part is when I'm tired or not feeling well myself, so I tell him. That's when I need to have less contact or conversation with him. It's makes it difficult because we live under the same roof. Good luck.
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