Should I bring this up to my daughter, or just leave it alone?

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I learned from my pastor that my youngest daughter has told him I am "over-protective" of her dad. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's two years ago, and now showing signs of Lewy Body Dementia. Most of our problems occur at night, with thrashing, hitting, shouting in bed, etc. He can no longer count money, has problems figuring out time, how to operate microwave, etc., and even how to put on his clothing sometimes. This daughter has been the one of our five kids who has been in denial all along. She works just blocks away from where we live, yet never comes to visit except for a birthday, or some other celebration, so she has no way of knowing what I go through in a day's time. The other kids are pretty supportive. Should I just accept this and be thankful for the support I do get?

13 Comments

First of all, it has to hurt that your adult child has made an inappropriate and untruthful comment to your pastor about something she knows nothing about. What is she trying to do? Is she in denial? Probably.

Was she confiding in the pastor? Since that could be the case, I would be quite upset about it, but I would also want to protect the pastor/penitent relationship. I don't think that pastors should reveal what parishioners have told them in confidence. So, I probably wouldn't reveal what I knew. It sounds like your daughter needs to talk to the pastor some more and get more involved with her parent's situation.

What I might do is let her know the truth without revealing that you know what she said about you being overprotective. Is it possible to ask her to come one day and stay with your husband so you can get out and run errands? Can you ask her to have your husband go and spend the weekend with her? If she is exposed to his condition and is responsible for him, maybe she will get the picture. Unless you deal with dementia first hand, it's difficult to fully understand. She may have to see it up close and personal to get it.

Of course, you could address her directly about her comment, but I'm not sure what help that would be. She would likely get upset or deny it. Not much would change and she still wouldn't get it.

Thank goodness you have other family members to support you.
The pastor was out of line in triangulating this relationship. He should have encourage her to share her feelings with you instead of being the messenger of them. What he did was not helpful.
Also, the "thrashing, hitting, shouting in bed," sounds like he needs another level of care.
Sunnygirl, thank you for your comments. To be fair to our pastor, this conversation was at a community meeting, so probably more than one person heard it. The times I have asked her to go with me to caregiver meetings, she always has some reason she can't go. So, to ask her to come and stay with him for any length of time would be pointless. I think I have the answer to my question - go on praying the Serenity Prayer to accept the things I cannot change, and be thankful for the others. I just wish I could shake my feelings toward her attitude.
I think I'd give that pastor a piece of mind about how learning that information made you feel hurt and what the real situation is with caring for your husband which he probably does not know, but should.
I agree with cmagnum. You already sort of knew what your daughter thought by her behaviour. To have the pastor running to you telling tales was hurtful and served no purpose but to stir the pot, hardly fitting for someone in his position.
Your daughter may never "get it", especially if she actively avoids situations where she may have to see the truth. I'm glad your other kids are supportive.
Is this an adult child?

I'm sorry but I just showed this question to my 24 yr daughter and she said "call her out on it", " over protective, someone has to look after her Dad, he has Dementia"..

Just confront her and let her know exactly how this disease has effected her Dad and remind her he is your husband too..
It feels to me that your daughter is begging for someone other than you to tell her the truth about her dad. Your pastor missed an opportunity , big time. You should send her the neuro reports and literature on lbd.
Your pastor dropped the ball. I hope he knows that now.

God bless you for your patience. You daughter may never see the light, until her dad progresses even further.

Your husband's behavior does sound troubling. I might seek further help. You have to protect yourself too. If he ends up hurting you, it might be difficult to find him placement down the road.
Alexander4, your feelings are there for a reason. I wouldn't try to shake them. If this was a public meeting, you don't have to mention that it was your pastor who told you what she said. I'd discuss it with her casually.

What exactly would you like? Acknowledgment that you're doing a hard job? For her to spend time? Acknowledgment of her dad's illness?

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