Still In the Same Rut ..Three Years Later an Update...

Started by

Rather than hijack anyone else's post, I will give an update on my own situation. Three years ago my daughters and I moved in with the man I used to call my father. I still call him Dad but I dont feel any sort of closeness to him. I only feel stress and depression. The one good thing that has happened is I am no longer working from home. After losing my work at home position due to not being able to concentrate and focus on my work, I am now working a full time position outside of the home. I dont love my job but I have benefits and a decent hourly wage. Its been almost a year. Other than that its still the same. My father is obsessed with my sister. He now comes right out and says he is not related to my children and that they are their fathers problem..not his, they are not his children. If my sister is kind to the girls he tells her she is not related to them. Meanwhile he is still treating his home health aide as if she is his wife and the woman of the house. She brings both of her sons each day. At one point my father was driving them to get pizza after school and only offering my girls some after they were done. He takes out 200 dollars every five days . My sister and I wonder if he is giving her money. Every day she brings her laundry and goes into the basement my personal space to do her laundry. She knows I cant say anything because she knows my father will take her side and tell her its not my house. its his. He reminds me of it at least once per week that its HIS house. A couple of months ago we got into a HUGE shouting match over the way he treats my children. My girls wound up crying hysterically over the shouting. Since then Ive tried to be stupid and cheerful. It worked for a while but now the anger is back. If anyone tries to give me credit, he discredits me and tries to undermine me. He feels I should be waiting on him whenever I have a spare moment. At this point I hate him beyond words. My sister contacted his neurologist about his behavior because he was acting so crazy that the Home Health Aide called her . My sister was afraid that she would quit .Meanwhile no one cares how he acts toward me or my children. All the neurologist did was reduce his anti seizure medication. There is nothing that is going to change his evil behavior At this point Im ready to give up on life. What have I or my children done to deserve this I cant afford my own place and unless I was being physically attacked, no agency will help. I hate my life and every moment of it. Im sorry for being a Debbie Downer but I dont see how this is ever going to get better.


I don't know if you've thought this far down the road - but have you given any thought to what you're going to do once your father passed away? I ask for two reasons: if you can't afford to live on your own now - what will you do then? Next - if you do have a plan - any options at all, is there a way to fast-track something sooner rather than later. Seems to me like you've got two options right now - either learn to put up with this b.s. or take your children a get as far away from this destructive, demeaning relationship as possible. Obviously this is having a huge negitive effect on you and sounds like it's beginning to hurt your kids - never mind what's being imprinted on them subconsciously. Please seek some help from a social service agency. Low income housing - get on a waiting list. Seek out any and all government assistance- food stamps - whatever. While it's certainly not an ideal route it has to be better than continuing to live as you are.
You need a way out of there and ASAP. If he is acting crazy enough someone could get guardianship, no? You could move out of state to a small town where your $$ would go far enough to put a roof over your daughter's heads and yours. Maybe try Arkansas. We have an outfit called Our House that is meant to help the working poor get back or get on their feet.

YOU care about how he treats your children - and if they know that, they have something very, very important. They have your love and support, and they have YOU. I have a feeling you will find some way to hang on until you can get free for their sake even if the constant exposure to a truly toxic person is making you miserable and has you doubting your own worth. This man is indeed treating you like hired help or even a slave - he keeps you in the basement, abases you and his own grandchildren, treats you worse than the actual hired help, and expects you to be there for his needs as if you have none of your own. It's like he's the evil stepmother and you are Cinderella. You are strong and good just for surviving three years of this....and that's already three years too many.
toomuch4me, you're making a decent wage now. Are you getting any financial help for the children, or is supporting them all on you? In your position, I would do whatever I needed to do to get away from the man who used to be your father. You don't owe him anything else. You tried and he kicked dirt on you. Time to dust off your shoes and find a new life for yourself. He doesn't deserve you.
You are all very kind. Its comforting and empowering to share thoughts with all of you. I live in NYC which is very expensive as you know. I dont receive any assistance from my ex husband whatsoever. But I dont ask for my father for a dime. I purchase any and all items my children need. My sister helps me with buying groceries when I need extra help. Other than that, Im on my own.

For the sake of my job, I cannot move right now. All I really want is for all involved in the situation to work together. Ive tried speaking to the HHA about being problematic and trying to rule the roost in our home. It goes in one ear and out the other. My sister who pays her will not address the issue because she does not her to quit. Even after I told my sister that this woman once got in my face ready to physically fight me, she did not do anything. This woman brings her children to work every day, tries to take over the food shopping so that my children and I have to ask for things to eat, "Oh your grandfather bought that for have to ask if you want some.." The one who pays her does nothing. If I move out of state and Arkansas is sounding pretty good. My sister offered for me to move in with her. I dont want to do it because it is going to cause more trouble. My father will be calling her every day to complain about us being with her. Physically he is not in poor shape. He likes to act helpless but does not want my sister to lift a finger to do anything. When Im around, he wants to be waited on hand and foot. Any suggestions on how to find housing or a solution would be helpful.
Did you father disapprove of your choice of husbands? Turning their back like this is so typical when that happens. It is like time freezes in their minds and they still think of you as the girl going against their wishes. Him rejecting your children made me wonder this more.

I understand that staying there right now is something you need to do. I hope you can find a way soon to get away from it. That area is so expensive. I know I couldn't afford to live there. And I also understand you can't afford to leave your job. I do wish your ex was helping financially. That would make all the difference in the world. But it is what it is.

I am trying to imagine who you would talk to about getting your children and you out of such a hurtful situation. I am afraid the government would have options that could be worse than you're looking at now. At least you aren't in a dangerous area now, just a hurtful one. I wish there was a way to improve things without jeopardizing loss of your paycheck.
Oh Jessie Belle thank you for your kind words.I dont think he disapproved him as much as he disapproves of us being divorced and bringing "shame" to his Huxtable life. Although Huxtable is probably a poor choice of words these days. He acts like my girls are future pregnant teens when they are great students and very well behaved. No matter how horrible he acts they dont say a word. But at the same time they do not say more than hello to him or answer whatever question he may ask. It breaks my heart especially when you hear about Grandfathers and their granddaughters. I agree that any sort of government housing would be far worse. Thats the sentiment everyone has and thats why I feel so alone. My girls were far happier when we lived in a basement apartment with nothing.
Well, maybe you could go be with your sister 'til you are ready to get outta Dodge - it could be less "trouble" than you are getting now, and you wouldn't have to be face to face with the source of it daily! She would not offer if she didn't mean it. Don't let fear of dad's meanness and bad moods make your decisions for you. If you are moving out, and he's got a home health aide who is running the show anyways, maybe you can afford to make him mad. You can't make him happy with you the normal way, so maybe he'll happy being mad at you and yelling "good riddance" as you walk out the door with as much of your stuff as you can carry. And you are right about living in peace on a shoestring being a better situation than watching others live well while looking down on you and discounting you. I don't know your area at all but food pantries, church based or other might be an option to spare enough money for rent somewhere else. Here's one resource listing of agencies to try talking to: kidsonashoestring Struggling to makes ends meet can suck, but its better than some alternatives.
I just wondered if the sister was the same one who takes care of the father's bills and has not been very supportive. Or is it a different sister?
Toomuch there are housing options especially since you have children. Entering a family shelter. Its drastic butbin longbrun you have your own place. Its something I often wish I had done many years ago. The family shelters are not sooo bad and if there is abuse involved service is faster and special. Well like u I work but fall between the lines of too much and too little so I dknt qualify for any services. Also theres nychousing connect on line. With your dependants it might work. You sign up and apply for housing and lotteries on line. I have heard nothing as ive said but it might 0work for you. Good luck in all. That hha is out of her mind if she works for agency id complain. Or find if your father can get service from agency. She needs to go. Some peole will run all over you given the a little authority. Tricky too. Watch her maybe you can eventually have reason to report to anauthority. Seems sister is not monitoring cause she prrobly feeding her family off your father that may be why she so protective. They have ways of getting in favor while maki. A killing ive seen it many times. Anyway I wish you well in all but do something now it gets harder when you no longer have dependents.
Oh yes and vetstans had good advice for pantry. Call 311 ask for foodpantries give zip code and they can run them down. They are good once you get over the stigma. You get good stuff at different places as u go.people give info and you find ones that work for you. After a while its fun you meet folk who r strugli like yourself and then people like that hha who jump lines. You find some where theres no wait its a process but the work of it helps take your mi d of lroblems. Get fresh air exercise and if you get or find a partner its even better.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support