Feel guilty because my Dad lives alone.

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My dad is 78 years old and is in end stage of COPD. He also has agoraphobia so he will not leave his house unless by ambulance to the hospital. Growing up he emotionally abused me and to this day I walk on eggshells around him. Out of his 5 kids, I am the only one who takes care of him. I check in on him regularly, visit him in the hospital, calm him down when he panics, arrange for outside care etc etc. I am also his POA. My dad refuses to live in a nursing home, which i dont blame him for that at all. The case manager at the hospital says he is still fine living alone at home but does need care during the day, meals, housecleaning, etc. I am married with an 18 and 13 year old. My husband is a truck driver so he is only home about 10 days a month. My Mom died almost 3 years ago. I feel so guilty that my dad is alone at home at night. I worry that he will need me emotionally. I dont worry about him falling or needing anything to drink or getting to the bathroom...He can do these things on his own. I worry about his mental health. I feel like I need to take care of his lonliness at night. I feel so sorry for him. He will not leave his house. I have 2 kids to take care of but part of me feels like i need to leave them to take care of him. He is fine at night right now. Doctors say he is fine by himself physically still. My dad has always been somewhat enmeshed with me. Expecting too much... My head knows whats right, my heart hurts for him. He has life alert and I live so close to him that I can see the front of his house through my backyard. I could be at his house in 2 minutes. I feel like a terrible daughter even though out of 5 kids I am the only one who pays him any attention. Does anyone else's parent live alone?


To be blunt, I feel you should worry less about his mental and emotional wellbeing and concentrate on your own. What, he needs you around to be an emotional punchbag? Nuts. If his material needs are being seen to and you've no major concerns about his physical wellbeing, that's plenty. And if it isn't, he can mend fences with one of his four other children, can't he.

Your children, on the other hand, not only need you but have a right to expect you to be around for them. Sort your priorities out, and consider getting help with this co-dependent relationship you've got with your father. It's time to say 'enough.'
Exactly what i needed to hear ....thanks
Allison, I couldn't agree more with CM. I just want to add (and please don't take offence) that if you haven't sought out therapy to try to undo some of the damage, now would be a great time to start.
No offense taken at all ! Going to look at my insurance plan tomorrow and look into talking to someone..... No wonder i am going nuts.
Amen to what countrymouse and ba8alou said. My mother, who was also abusive, lived alone for years, and I wasn't the least bit worried about her, and I live 5 hours away. She would have had me worry about her.

He has all his marbles, he has the physical help he needs, he has you at his back door,,,

Personally, I have found that feeling sorry for someone raises a red flag, and actions based on that never end up being good for me or for them. .

One day he may need more care - someone to be with him at night, or for him to move to a facility. Don't take that on. Get therapy. Set and keep healthy boundaries. Your first responsibility is to your husband, your kids and yourself. (((((hugs))))
You feel guilty because you are not abandoning your children to go over and walk on eggshells in your father's home? Huh?

It is not you fault that you grew up with an abusive parent. But it is time to put that behind you and make decisions that are right for you.That you are willing to help Dad is admirable. That you would like to reconcile with him before he dies is understandable.

But your first responsibility now is to your kids, to yourself, and to your husband.

I am glad to hear you will get some therapy!

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