After cutting me off emotionally, my dad now wants me to keep in better touch with him.

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Recently, he no longer has any appetite so he forces himself to eat but never feels any new energy and for some strange reason is loosing a lot of weight quickly which he does not need to loose any at all, plus he has some pneumonia type symptoms but no fever, but it does appear that the skin cancer on his arm has returned. He's 86 and until now has had rather good health.

All of a sudden now I have a dad in decline, an uncle in decline and a mother who continues to decline.


Crow - it's so hard to remain up beat when all the members of your family's "older generation" are in decline. I've been in the same boat and all I can say is: "all you can do, is the best you can do for them and for YOURSELF and your spouse". Now is the time to delegate, spend their $$ on them and get all the help you can from others. Help them, love them but don't endanger your own emotional or physical health; you won't be any good to any one then. It's not selfish to think of you - it's realistic.

Regarding your dad, I sense some hurt there. Sorry to hear that too and again I can empathize. They get mad when we try to help then get scared when they realize they can't go it alone. His appetite loss could be due to several things - the cancer, anemia, diabetes - I hope you can help him figure it out and easily deal with that and the cancer.
Best of Luck.

very perceptive. You are.

Yes there is much and rather deep son/father pain which has a long history which my mother helped contribute to as well after they divorced when I was 6. Via, the past 5 years of my 8 years in therapy, I understand him and how he got that way more than before. Frankly, I've never known the healthy love that a father should have for his son nor has my mother's been healthy either for she absorbed me into herself to meet her emotional needs while not meeting mine and she did not want me to be like my dad or to be raised like an all American boy like my dad wanted me to be raised. To get in touch with my feelings before I could talk about them in therapy, I ended up making emotional movies in my computer about my mother, then about my dad and then about them both. It is hard to relate with a dad who takes you on a very nice trip following your high school graduation and then during that trip tells you 'go to hell' I came home in tears after that trip and people asked me why I even wanted to have anything more to do with him.

My mother has appologized for how she raised me knowing it was wrong and how much pain it would cause me in life. She admitted that she never tried to meet my emotional needs and promissed to do better with her grandchildren.

Several months ago, my therapist encouraged me to try and build a better relationship with my dad but then he cut me off and my therapist encouraged me to share with my dad that I am hurt that he's removed any possible way that I can help him in these latter years by moving the Medical and Durable POA he gave me in 2002 or so from me to my step-sister. He does not see that he's been manipulated by my step-mother and his step-daughter but that has been the case for a long time. He does not understand this POA stuff and my step-mom has filled his head with lies which sound convincing since she did work as a secretary for a lawyer once.

My aunt and her family will have to deal with my uncle. My situation with my mother's care and her messed up unpaid taxes is about to level out. My dad lives out of state and his wife has been jealous of me forever. About all that I can realistically see that I can do now for my dad is to call him up once a week. The last time I visited up there my step-mother verbally abused me and I never want to see her again, nor do my boys. My therapist says she has no impulse control and has a diagnosis. I know enough mental health material that I can guess at her diagnosis.

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