The painful conversation.

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So this is probably a combination of Dad's dementia, My codependency (as a result of growing up with Dad) and me being tired-which leads to being overly sensitive. OK... I semi-cope with Dad's repeating of the same thing he's told me since yesterday for the millionth time, but I took offense to something that should probably be trivial. Dad kept repeating the story about my late brother's (may he rest) son being deemed academically gifted. Dad then kept repeating how "He's just like his father..." NO DAD!!!! I WAS THE ONE WHO GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL EARLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know it's petty, but the more he repeated it, the more frustrated I could feel myself becoming. I never got ANYTHING below a B- EVER!!!! I HAVE THREE DEGREES THAT I DON'T GET TO USE BECAUSE I CHOSE TO WORK A JOB THAT KEEPS ME CLOSE TO DAD!!!!!!!!! IT'S INFURIATING!!!!!!!! I'm aware that MY issues are way more deep rooted than just being looked over again for having the wrong "equipment", but I wonder if his oversight is "innocent". I know dementia patients get things crossed up sometimes and I'm secretly hoping he's just getting our accomplishments crossed up due to his disease, but GOODNESS!!!! It was my hope that dementia would change the "overlook the daughter" and "make the black sheep bad boy the golden boy" syndrome would somehow diminish with the dementia. Guess I was wrong. Forgive me for the pettiness. I needed to get that out. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHH!!!!


Right there with you Tinyblu.
Tinyblu, yep, you were wrong. What was probably at one time a wish has become a memory for Dad. So sorry!

You hoped dementia, and the fact you are taking care of him, would have improved his relationship with you. I suppose it sometimes happens that way. But more often the adult child is disappointed that the old patterns persist. Bummer!

Reacting strongly to one false memory of someone who has dementia is kind of trivial. I don't think it is the dementia part that you are reacting to -- it is the lifelong pattern that has hurt for a long time. And that, my dear, is far, far from trivial.

We all know never to argue or reason with someone who has dementia. But I wonder if it might be a good idea (good for you, not necessarily him) to interject a little reality. "Yes, grandson is very smart. He comes from a very smart family. Not only his dad was smart, but so are you, and I am too. Do you know that I have 3 college degrees?" He'll probably drag the conversation back to Golden Boy, but at least you've asserted yourself. Repeat as often as he tells that particular story.

I know that you are just venting and you didn't ask for advice. Sorry. I guess I'm kind of compulsive about that. What I really want to do is reach out and give you a hug!

Tiny, Ive posted this elsewhere. To make long story short, my dad, with Chronic Leukemia developed a potentially fatal infection. I got him into a clinical trial. My brother brought the tissue samples to the lab. My mom refers to this as "the time Paul saved your dads life".

I recently got mom's awful roommate moved. I know that mom will credit brother with doing this. At some point, you have to let go and let G-d or other higher powers be on control. Because we are certainly not.
See also BarbBrooklyn's mother's routinely attributing the saving of her husband's life on one memorable occasion to her son. Clue: it wasn't the son; although he did provide minimal late input after BB had already sorted everything.

So, in parallel, I don't suppose your late brother was any slouch when it came to schoolwork, true? So your father's not actually *wrong* - nephew probably does take after his dad. It's just that your father is smiling fondly on that memory and completely overlooking your much shinier record. Which is extremely irritating.

I personally like to claim responsibility for any achievement by any junior member of my family - "takes after his/her mother/aunt/grandmother, that must be it." This includes my Australian nephew who is not in fact related to me by blood, so perhaps it's more an environmental influence. Except when he does something idiotic. In which case he's very much his parents' child.

So Tiny, when gifted nephew comes up again, you merely repeat "takes after his auntie, AND MY FLAWLESS ACADEMIC RECORD, obviously!" as often as necessary. Also. Never mind what your Dad says, he's old. What your nephew understands is much more important: make sure *he* knows it's not only boys who get the bright genes.

I know you know better than to expect Daddy Leopard to change his spots by now, don't you?
Sorry BB - I was typing while you were posting!
CM, thanks for posting this.


Unfortunately, my brother was smart, but didn't exercise it. He made lots of bad decisions as a result of alcoholism that landed him jail time for several DWI's and a dishonorable discharge from the military for assaulting an officer while intoxicated. He didn't think he could go on and took his own life.

My Dad has NEVER acknowledged that either. So a LOT is going on here. It's just hard sometimes when I don't have any physical support in this journey.

This board is a Godsend...

And this issue was placed in my "God box"-- a little gem I got from Al-Anon.

Yesterday was just a bad day... I'm better today.

I just let it go.
I think it is a generational type thing.   Males are suppose to be smart, and women not.

My Mom [98] was that way.   She was appalled any time she went to a new specialist and the doctor was a woman.   Same with women being Mayors, Governors, Senators, etc.   Same with Attorneys.   Mom would say those women need to be home having babies, and taking care of their husbands.... [sigh]

Tinyblu, correct me if I am wrong but, it seems like you are in the same situation that I am in. If this was suddenly a new behavior or thought, it would be a little hurtful and a lot annoying BUT you could forgive because it is the dementia talking. But, in our cases, dementia is acting like a truth serum and removing the filter between their thoughts and their mouths. They are saying out loud what they believe and have believed all along.

If my mother had always acted like she had any belief/trust/pride in me then I could chock comments like these up to dementia. But when I have been hearing MY WHOLE LIFE how great this brother or that brother is and how I was insignificant, it hurts to hear it now.

When I am elbow deep in poopy buttcrack but she seems to remember my brother taking such excellent care (he didn't, BTW), it hurts to hear about him.

Yeah, in the long run, we have to let it go. But it sure is nice to have a place to vent right after it happens.

Mom loves to mention how my older brother was a genius and got a near perfect score on his SATs. I was just, eh, average to her. Wasn't expected to make anything of myself. Well, I was the one who bought a half million dollar house so that she could move in with us. And the genius has never held a job.
I'm right there with you guys. My mother talks about how smart and accomplished my brothers are. She doesn't even recognize that I have degrees and taught biology and statistics in college. Girls to her are only good for two things -- breeding and cleaning. It was how she grew up, though surprisingly she doesn't see herself that way.

My mother talks about my brothers so much. She doesn't have but one or two memories of me when I was growing up. My consolation is that I know it isn't my fault. She has something missing in her that doesn't let her acknowledge other women. Her comments about them are if they are fat or slim, and if they're pretty or not. This is strange in a way, since my mother was very obese and certainly not a beauty. You would think she would have empathy with other women. I just SMH and don't let it get to me. What she thinks of me really doesn't matter.

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