I give up.
I give up. I’m not talking about the stuff I’ve previously given up on: ever being happy, ever going on a vacation, ever getting that puppy I wanted, ever getting a descent job, ever having another human being love me romantically, ever having renovations done on the 39-year-old house I’ve lived in all that time (but it’s not my house), or ever getting help with my father. I’m talking about giving up on trying to get my father to change his clothes. I’ve been told it’s my fault that he hasn’t used soap or shampoo consistently in more than two years, that he no longer brushes his teeth, that he won’t change his clothes, that his finger nails are half an inch long. He won’t let me help him. He has undiagnosed FTD. He just cares about nothing. He won’t let me hire someone. His psych nurse says, “You look awful” and “You need help” but she never says how that can be done against his will. He finished his cognitive testing almost two weeks ago, and not a peep from them. Anyway, last Friday, I put relatively clean clothes where he dumps his dirty clothes, and he did change for the first time in a month. So, I told him, I will put the cleaner clothes there for a changing every Saturday morning, and I did get a “Ya” out of him. This morning, he had not changed. It would be just as easy to put the clean clothes on as the dirty. After asking about three times with no response, he finally raised his voice a little (which he hasn’t done in a while but he loved to yell most of his life) and said, “Because they’re not that dirty!” Ok, I don’t care what they look like, if you haven’t changed your clothes in a week, and you don’t use soap or shampoo, and you don’t brush your teeth, and you stink like a rotting corpse, and you don’t even use toilet paper anymore, those clothes need changing. So, come arrest me for neglect but I’m not ripping the clothes off of him. I officially give up.