And it finally happened...the blow out.

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The inevitable finally happened. I FINALLY screamed back at Dad. This comes with the added issue of me not feeling well for the past week or so. All the care giving and stress has taken its toll on my physically, and Dad REFUSED to understand that I just honestly didn't feel well enough to take him to breakfast at his new favorite greasy diner.

Correction: I did take him to the diner and agreed to sit with him while he ate. The smell of bacon was nauseating.

So... I'm sitting there as he complains about me "being too good to eat at this diner"...whatever... but it kept building. When I took him back to the IL facility, he again starts accusing me of stealing his money. We have this conversation EVERY day!!! I tell him every red cent I spend, but he forgets!

At a friend's suggestion, I decided to actually sit with Dad and let him attempt to write out his bills like he used to (I was just going to shred the checks and pay coupons when I left his presence). I had already paid them online. He goes bananas and throws his checkbook across the room. He throws my cell phone and slings the dining room chair into the wall. That was it....

I cried. I screamed. I cussed. "DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD THIS IS FOR ME!!!!!"... blah blah blah.

His response: Well fine! Maybe I'll just die like everyone wants me to (tears added for effect)...

Well... it worked. I feel awful. I'm doing all I can. I've sacrificed a social life... lost a promotion at work... and now my health is suffering but nothing seems to be enough.

I want to honor his wishes not to put him in a full service home, but I can't do this. How can I manage this without him hating me forever....

4 Comments

Tinyblu, we all can take just so much when it comes to caregiving. Growing up and as a young adult I never raised my voice to my parents but now that they are aging it takes all I have not to blow up on a regular basis.

First time I ever blew up at my Mom [91 at the time] was when my Dad came home from the hospital after having a heart attack... the poor guy could barely walk, his legs were like jello... I moved his recliner across the room so it would be closer to the bathroom and Mom didn't like it there, she wanted it back where it was.... I yelled "Mom, this isn't about you".

First time I ever blew up at my Dad [93] was last year when Dad said he wanted to start driving again [after not driving for 5 years] because I didn't have time to drive him to Home Depot... I blew up big time.... what was he thinking, he wouldn't be able to lift his leg to use the brake.

I also felt awful after those explosions. I was doing the best I could, too. And my health has taken a tailspin downward because of the stress. I feel like my parents will outlive me.
Tinyblu, I had to abandon any hope of my mother not "hating me forever" and just do the best I could. If he hates you, so be it.
When it began to dawn on me that nothing I could do for my mother would ever be good enough, and there was nothing I could do to cure her old age and dementia, I began to pull back from the visits and phone calls. I still provide continuous oversight of all her affairs, but it's 'hands-off' caregiving. She's getting everything she needs, and I am saving my emotional health.
This is a terrible situation for you. It sounds like your dad has some level of dementia and is becoming mean and angry. I had a fight similar to this with my dad about a year ago. I cursed him, yelled and felt terrible a minute later. He forgot the whole episode 5 minutes later. You must understand that you are not going to change his mind about anything. Telling him he is wrong about something is a waste of breath. It's hard, but you have to step back, change the subject, validate his thoughts (learned that on this site) and try not to take it personally or be offended. He has no idea that he's being unreasonable. I don't know your situation, maybe you can walk away and let someone else or the local authorities deal with him. That's very hard to do. In my case I'm all there is for my mom and dad, so when dad wants to fight, I sit and listen and move on. IE: why did you tell the doctor I can't drive! Who do you think you are! Hey dad, let's go down to that oil change place and get your car serviced. Sadly I haven't gotten the keys away yet, but I have learned how to avoid conflict with him.
Well, we went another round this morning... after I suggested that we put a reminder up about when the driver I hired will pick Daddy up to take him to the Adult Day Center.

I didn't cuss this time, but (at the suggestion of a therapist) set boundaries. I told him I am no longer the little girl that DOESN'T have a choice in caring for him (I've been caring for him since I was a child...he ran all of his wives and other children away). I reminded him that I am an adult and will NOT be disrespected. I told him if he continued to yell at me for helping him, I would leave. It actually worked... he calmed down.

I think I am going to start spacing out my visits. Whenever he throws a tantrum, he says that he doesn't need help... that's he's not an invalid...that he can do things by himself. Would it be wrong to call his bluff?

Of course, I feel guilty every time I do try to steal some time for myself... sigh... I guess I've been programmed well...

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