deedee67 Asked June 2011

My controlling 81-year-old father makes me check in with him where ever I go. How do I tell him that I am an adult and that he doesn’t have to worry about me?

Follow
Share

I am a caregiver for both my parents and live in their home. They are 81, I'm 43. My Mother is a sweetheart and very easy to care for. My Dad on the other hand(former alcoholic) wants me to call him whenever I leave the house and get to my destination. Whether it be running errands, meeting friends for dinner or even taking my own self to the doctor. It has made me so nervous I feel like I have to rush all the time. I tried telling him that I am very careful and not to worry about me, that him making me "check in" like that is unnerving. He told me that it's because he loves me, but that he's "pulling the shade" on me now and will stop caring. I feel guilty and have tried to talk to him some more to clarify what I meant, but I'm getting the cold shoulder. What can I do?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
25

Answers

Show:
1 3
palmtrees1 Jun 2011
As I have said before on this forum, these people don't change just become more like their true selves. I feel bad for you but think some of his problem is based in anxiety. He can't relax until he knows you are safe. He doesn't feel safe unless he is in control. It has little to do with you and alot to do with him. My Dad was like this and I find myself doing some of this with my grown daughters.:( My friend/neighbor is this way with her college age daughter. She is a major control freak. A wonderful person but handicapping her daughter. Some people just have to be in control to feel safe inside. Maybe if would be better not to live with your parents.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

ladee1 Jun 2011
deedee, am so happy to hear your "sit down" was so successful.. You sound happier, and I feel Dad will be too, you are a sweetheart and I pray for you to continue standing strong on this part of your journey... hugs across the miles...
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

deedee67 Jun 2011
I feel so blessed by all of your comments and helpful guidance. You are all angels and thank you so much. Update since my "sitdown": Another good day. Went to the grocery store this morning, asked Dad if he needed anything....made my list and shopped peacefully without him calling or feeling the "pressure" to check in. It's a great day!!! Hugs to all of you!!!!!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

linda09 Jun 2011
jeanne- yes thats what i have done , are u going to be home tnite ? she always tells me where she sgoing anyway soi never had to ask her lol . but always would like toknow if she llbe home for supper soi canmake a extra meal for her or lock the house up for the night .
controlin as far as saying nope u cant go anywhere , phhht thats when i would laugh and say ill be back pa . an go on to my merry ways .
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

golden23 Jun 2011
jeanne - agreed! I have had adult shildren living with me and would never expect them to account for their comings and goings other that that required by common courtesy or as you mention, safety. Controlling behaviour is common with alcoholics and personality disorders. Ed - I can relate - my mother did that kind of this to me - my way of dealing with her was to ignore the many, many, many phone calls or even now - up to 20+ emails day. It is very intrusive. deedee you come across as a very caring person working to achieve a balance in your life. I commend you for what you are doing - including setting healthy boundaries. Give yourself a pat of the back. You are doing well!!! Blessings Joan
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

jeannegibbs Jun 2011
Linda, my 40 yo son lives with us. I might ask him, "Are you going to be here for supper tonight?" or "Please be home tomorrow evening to stay with your dad, so I can go out," but I absolutely cannot imagine expecting a 40 yo able adult to check in with his parents, even if he lives with them. If he had to go somewhere in the middle of extreme weather conditions I MIGHT ask him to call me to let me know he arrived safely and he'd probably think of doing that on his own. But everyday comings and goings? Hey, that's his business. When he moved in with us I wondered if I'd have any trouble dealing with him as an adult instead of the teenager he was when he last lived with us. Nope, no trouble. What deedee describes is controlling, plain and simple. And the childish "OK then I'm not speaking to you" business is part and parcel of the controlling.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

linda09 Jun 2011
deedee im 49 yrs old . i worry about my daughter , it is normal reaction , i be piss if she walked out ofthe house and not say bye mom im leavin . so i know how that feels . hate wondering is she ok when will she be back home , mmm oh gosh i hope shes ok waa waa . so i know how that feels .
i always tell dad hey im going to store i shall be back in a hr or so , do u need anything in town while im out . hey dad my neighbor is havin a party and daughter is stayin with u while im gone , do u need anything before i leave ? it gives him satisfaction cuz they do worry and wonder and it is not good to see them get all wound up with worries , end up with heart attack , panic attack .
i see nothing wrong to tell ur dad where youre going . on the other hand he is not to tell you no u cant go , no u be home in 15 mins etc . i would put a stop to that , i get home when i get home .
i would like to know what my kids are doing , poof out of the house car is gone , uhhh where did she go ? now that suxs .
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

ladee1 Jun 2011
I read that you had a "sit down" with them... Good for you...just two thoughts I want to leave with you..one, when we were children we were victims, as adults we "volunteer" to be victims unless we set boundaries... which you did!!!, Two, courage does not mean we are not afraid, it means we do it anyway... then we also acquire more courage and self confidence.. which you did!!!!!!
It is so refreshing to see someone post, ask for some guidance, and then follow thru... I am very proud of you deedee, keep up the healthy path you are on... You take care of yourself.... hugs across the miles..
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Ruth1957 Jun 2011
I'm a paid caregiver. I cared for a gentleman who was this demanding - drove everyone crazy! But I got a lot of insight at a training recently. This kind of behavior can be brought on by grief. Your father MAY be grieving his loss of one or more things: Freedom, physical abilities, decision-making, mental capacity... So, while it's torture to go through, thinking of some of the process going on inside of HIM might make it a little easier. I wish I'd known this when I was so angry with the Colonel that I quit doing overnight shifts. Even though your dad is giving you the silent treatment now, I'm sure it won't last. When he speaks (is it the "whoever speaks first loses thing???) you can use the strength you get from others on this site to speak up for yourself and not feel guilty!!!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Eddie Jun 2011
DD:

Poor guy feels like he owns you, and every "check in" reinforces that behavior. Give them both the heads up before stepping out, and leave the cell # in case of emergency. (He'll probably dial it a few times just to send you on a guilt trip. Answer the first 2 calls, put it on vibrate afterwards.) If he gives you lip and attitude when you come back, don't feel you have to explain where, why, and what you did.

My mother used to emotionally blackmail me with the "I worry about you," "You could've been dead on the side of the road and I'd have never known," and "I love you and want you to be safe." Crock. ... The old Duchess of Discipline just wanted me at her beckoned call, and insisted I checked in too. ... Every hour on the hour. Of course I got sick of it after a while. And even sicker when she started interrupting my full-service Saturday night dates. "Where are you?," "What are you doing?," "Who's that trifling trick in the background?," "Do I know her?," "I'm worried sick," blah, blah, blah. ... So I told her to get used to it. Indignant, she said "I'm sorry I called," and I answered "Next time you better be dying, or moving out."

DD, I'm not suggesting you do what I did. But a line needs to be drawn if you're to have a life outside caregiving. He'll keep trying to erase it while you struggle to find a balance between asserting your rights as a grown woman and pleasing them as you've done since you were a little girl.

Don't argue with him. Just ask him if he respects you. If he really did, you wouldn't be going through all this stress and aggravation.

Wish you the best my friend.

-- Ed
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

1 3
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.

Related
Articles

Related
Questions