Reached my breaking point and left...Family wants me to return.

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Hello all..I have been living with 87 year old father in his home since May of last year. It has been drama filled to say the least. I work from home and we have two Home Health Attendants. (one for weekdays and one for the weekend. Our weekday HHA chose her friend to work on the weekends. So when she wants extra money she works on the weekend instead of her friend even though we would prefer she NOT work on the weekend since she is very loud and obnoxious.
My father has a crush on the weekday HHA and acts as if she is the woman of the house. She takes advantage of the situation. She rearranges things, comes in late, leaves early...she runs the show. My father treats me like Im the HHA. Every day is a shouting match. He acts as if my children and I are up to something all the time. He hides his wallet, walks around the house acting as if he is the security guard/warden.
On Friday, I reached my breaking point. I work from home and my father came into the basement as if I was not doing anything. He started talking about coming down to get salt for the snow. I was on an important call with my boss. He was told several times not to come into the basement during work hours. Needless to say it turned into a huge explosion. I told him I was leaving and this time I did !!!! My children happily packed up their things and we left. We are staying with a close friend. When I told my siblings I left, my older brother (who arranged for us to come live with our Dad) he told me I HAD to go back. Truth be told I dont feel comfortable staying with friends because then I turn into an automatic babysitter.
I told them I would come back tomorrow but how should I proceed with this ? I feel guilty for leaving in the first place. The Aides had to put in extra hours because Im not there. But I dont want to react upon feelings of guilt. I want to feel empowered. How should I move forward..have any of you ever left your caregiver role and returned ?? Thanks as always for listening and Happy New Year

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Emjo, Im sorry to hear what happened with you. My mother passed away in December 2010. However she was in the early stages of Dementia (undiagnosed but it was very evident) She told my children that I NEVER sent her a birthday card, ever. My children were very little at the time and they were very upset with me. Had my mother lived longer I know she would be accusing me of all types of crazy things.
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Wow, surprised - you returned the favour when you wrote "When there is friction in any situation, a very popular method for "getting" the other party is to report non-provable wrong doing. Charges may not stick, but it bothers the dickens out of the falsely accused. And the reputation of the person accused is damaged"

This applies exactly to my situation with my sister who has made false accusations - non-provable wrong doing. I am supposed to have a vested interest in my mother's demise, among other things. How do you prove that unless you find arsenic in her tea?

Thankfully my reputation will remain in tact, as I have a good relationship with the people dealing with mother and sis antagonised them when she visited mother recently.

Your mother passed on some stories!!! It is my sis who does that to me more than mother, though mother provides fuel. People can be gullible about the elderly. Mother got a cab driver to call me the other day and tell me that I should visit my mother as she is lonely! I told him he didn't know the whole story and that the last couple of times I tried to visit she wouldn't see me.

toomuch4me. Glad you had somewhere to crash for the weekend. I hope you find another situation for yourself and family. It
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Surprise, you are so insightful. Thanks again. You know if anyone should be calling someone its me. However Im learning that people take out of control elderly folks with a grain of salt. "Oh just ignore him.." Yeah right. I called my closest friend when the latest blow up happened. She wasnt very willing to help us out and that bothered me. Thankfully another friend was willing to let us crash for the weekend.
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When there is friction in any situation, a very popular method for "getting" the other party is to report non-provable wrong doing. Charges may not stick, but it bothers the dickens out of the falsely accused. And the reputation of the person accused is damaged. It sounds like your brother, your dad, and the HHA have reason to torment you. You would have no witnesses to your innocence, but they would have several.

Being in a highly secure industry, you know that your personal reputation is essential to being trusted by clients. If you are under investigation by APS or CPS, you will not be as effective in work, and if charges are brought, you may lose the job.

My narcissistic mthr told nasty stories about me for the last 20 years to get back at me setting a simple boundary of no loaded and unattended guns in my home while I have little kids. She told people I had hit her, robbed her, she was penniless, etc. When I was alerted by APS that she needed rescuing, there were people who strongly opposed us based on lies she told. People are gullible, and they want to protect the weak. Little do they know who the weak one may be in any relationship.
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Thanks for your reply surprise. I have to have a phone that plugs directly into a router and it cannot be a wireless router. I also deal with people's personal info and that is why Im supposed to be a home office with a door that closes. My job has strict rules and that is the only reason why Im still living here.
I never thought about being accused of elder abuse and thanks for the heads up about the HHA and cps. She does watch every move we make. We have a captive audience for everything. She and my father sit on the couch all day watching us as we go through the house.
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Do you realize you are in the perfect situation to be falsely accused of elder abuse? If something happens when you are there "on duty" you *will* be held responsible. If something happens with the HHAs taking off with property/$, they won't be blamed, but *you* will. If something happens with your children, the HHAs will be there to report you to cps. I think it is a horrible idea to go back into this MESS.

I imagine you are still in upheaval about not being married anymore, and the family is using your guilt/shame to keep you in line. What a jerk to use your children as a way to manipulate you! Do you have a pastor who is not their pastor- a good place to know what help is available to you. I know you use the phone and computer to do work during the day. How about using the public library instead - here, we have 30 or more people who are freelancing from the library and they just run to the lobby to take calls. In the afternoon, their kids spend the afternoon there too. There are ways to make it work - harder to start with, but once you get the hang of being on your own, you will be so proud of what you have accomplished.

Your situation with POA and dad is probably similar to why you are not married anymore when you get down to root causes. Why not make a true new start, with you in the driver's seat?
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Abbey, you feel my pain. Some caregivers (Im sure not all) add to the stress especially when they want to run the show in your home. You never know what to expect when they walk through the door. You see them looking over things as if needs to meet their approval. I could NEVER walk into my job and have the attitude that things are going to go MY way.
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My moms live in care giver was driving me crazy, I felt like I was looking after and managing two people...instead if helping she just added to my stress. Mom fell and broke her hip and the caregiver couldn't manage her anymore ( she thought she could but there was no way) so I got Mom into asst living and with the caregiver gone 50% of the stress went with her.
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Toomuch, ok, I do see; but try this - rewind to where you had to move at short notice. Pretend you didn't have the Dad option. What would you have done instead? Do that now.

From your Dad's point of view, he probably does feel that he wasn't given much option either - it would explain why he's being such a [expletive deleted] to you and about you. Plan to get out at the earliest opportunity, beating an orderly retreat.

I do know how uncomfortable the disapproval/pity/exasperation/scorn/distortion of facts vibe from one's siblings can be, by the way - I get that left right and centre. My daughter correctly counsels me to remember that my siblings probably don't think nearly as badly of me as I feel/suspect they do. Humph. It's hard, but getting slowly slowly better… Hope it can for you, too. Whole new year ahead! x
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Toomuch4me,

I remember your story VERY WELL. Please don't go back without a list of DEMANDS! You see how happy your children are to get out. Don't go back unless they pay you enough so you can get an apartment when school is out. Don't go back unless you are given the power to pay or not pay that damned diva of an aide who is so rude to you. Write up a list of rules she is expected to follow, like cleaning up after herself in the kitchen, and NEVER bothering you unless your father's hair is on fire. (That's an image from Dr. Phil.) She has to sign the list to show she accepts it. She needs to know that YOU are her boss. You need a letter of apology and appreciation from your father, saying that he knows how much you do, and he is sorry for saying mean things about you.

You can look at your old posts by clicking on "News Feed" on the upper right. Reread them and recall how horrible your situation is. Read all the advice you have gotten. You are out of that house. Think LONG and HARD before you walk back in.
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