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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?

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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.
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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...
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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!!!!!
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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 .
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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
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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.
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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 .
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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..
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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!!!
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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
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I think older men begin to act like children. The pouting and sullenness is very childish. I think he is being self centered and expects your undivided attention. Just go and do what you want to do! He will have to get over it. Tell them you will have to move out if you cannot live an adult life. Good luck. You are not alone.
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emjo, so glad to hear you didn't get the addiction gene either and I am so sorry you had to endure an alcoholic parent. Best of wishes with your mother. Borderline is a sticky situation. You have a positive attitude and I think that's wonderful. I do have a great group of friends who keep me in check and also this group now:-) Hugs
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I am the child of an alcoholic dad too and also very thankful for not having any addictions. I find my borderline mother much more difficult than my dad ever was. He died years ago. It is great you have set some boundaries. Stick to them! I find my boundaries get eroded periodically from continual pressure and I need to step back, re-evaluate and reset them. Do you have someone who can support you being accountable to maintain the boundaries you have set. I find that helpful - my children and girlfriends and s/o do that for me as they know the situation well. Of course this site does it too. Keep up the good work!
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Yes! Yes! Yes! Result Fantastic. Keep It UP xxx
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@emjo and happisoo, thank you for posting. Happisoo, I'm sorry you had to deal with an alcoholic. The only upside of being a child of an alcoholic for me was seeing the damage it does and not becoming one myself. As we know statistically I very well could have become one. Thank God I didn't!
Today, I sat both down and explained that I will not be "checking in". I directed it with a stern stare at dad. He responded with...ok. So far so good. Trying to stay positive and will stick to my guns! Hope all of you have a blessed day and many thanks:-)
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Your dad is losing his ability to keep control of you and he knows it, hence the spiteful comments and last ditch attempts to upset and unnerve you. Take a deep breath, be calm, centred and all-knowing (!) and tell him that thanks to his wonderful parenting skills, you now have all the skills and abilities to cope with whatever life throws at you - and that includes him. Be very strong and cool. When I had a relationship with an alcoholic THE MOST important thing I learnt was to say "Uh huh" or just "Oh" to most of his demands/comments, and do nothing. Do not call him as demanded - nobody will die if you don't Tell your plans to your mum if you need to for an ally.
Maybe you need your own home and get some professional carers to come in so that you are a free woman .... best of luck x
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@lilliput "You owe them a safe and comfortable environment and that is it."

Amen to that.
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jeannegibbs, yep it's a vicious cycle!!!! Thank you for your inspiring words and you are right. I CAN do it!!!!:-)
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Thank you Lilliput! It was my decision to move in because of my Mom. She's diabetic and can barely get around with her walker . She can no longer take care of herself. I tried getting in home help at first, but it just wasn't working out. It made her nervous having a "stranger" in the home and she began falling. I couldn't bear it, since I'm single with no children I moved in with them. I am here full-time and not working. Just talking with all of you makes me feel better. Thank you:-)
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Sigh. Here it is again. YOU feel guilty because your FATHER did bad things. Guilt is such a simple concept. How do we humans (the only animal with a conscience or a need for one, as far as I know) get this so screwed up? :)

Here is how it is supposed to work: You do something bad. You feel bad about it, a special kind of bad we call guilt. You make ammends/and or resolve not to repeat the action and/or clean up your act. Life is better. Simple, eh?

But we complicate it by carrying around guilt we don't deserve. Often this guilt was planted by persons exploiting our vulnerability such as when we were children or when we are going through difficult stresses. However it gets there, we didn't earn it and the natural course of repenting and moving on doesn't work.

Here we go again. Your dad does something bad, or at least inappropriate, expecting you to report in to him. Your dad does something else bad by childishly not speaking and trying to push your guilt buttons. And YOU feel guilty and obligated to make things right. What's wrong with this picture? :) :)

Stand your ground. Jettison the irrational guilt. You can do it (and life will be better)!
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deedee: welcome to this forum...lots of good advice and caring people here. Your dad is continuing his "alcoholic behaviors" even though he is older and, apparently, no wiser. You are returning to the "victim" role which is quite common.

Was it your decision to move in with them? Is there an alternative: moving out, but living nearby, having a paid in-home caregiver come in a few days a week so you can get some "me time", finding an assisted living center in your town?....there are other ways of caring for your family, you do not have to live with an abusive father. You owe them a safe and comfortable environment and that is it.

For now, when you go out, do not "call in." Turn off your cell phone. If there is a true emergency, I am sure they both know how to dial 911. Do not "rush around" just so dad is happy.

Let the passive/aggressive behavior roll off your back if you can. If it starts to diminish your spirit, my advice is to start looking for another place to live. Please do not think that, out of obligation, you need to put up with this. Just reading your note made me sad - I couldn't stand it for a day!

Please take care of yourself, value yourself, and get out of there....just my opinion....Lilli
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I believe it is a combination of a lot of things I think. Thanks for your insight jeannegibbs:-) You sound like you can relate. He ALWAYS was a control freak and very critical when I was a child. His drinking led to cruelty....not with his fists(came close though) but with his mouth. I can't believe I'm talking about this, but it feels good to let it out! As he aged it didn't get much better until he got in his late 70's and he "softened" if that makes sense. I tried one time 20 years ago to ask WHY he put us through the hell he did. He acted like I was lying and making it up. I was told to shut up and leave his house. Which I did.....but here I am again....back. If it weren't for my Mom I wouldn't be here. Still, I feel this guilt/obligation when things get "testy" after all these years:-/ So far, he's giving me the silent treatment and I'm just going about my business as usual acting like all is well. Thank you again and I'll keep you updated! So glad I found this site!!!!
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Is he trying to make up for being neglectful during his alcoholic years? Is he, as naheton suggests, worried about what will happen to him if something happens to you? (If you are going to be in a car accident, you are going to be in a car accident, whether you are supposed to call me or not. This short leash he tries to have you on is not preventing anything, of course. It is just distressing you.) Is he just a controlling person?

Whatever his reason, this isn't healthy, so I'm glad you stopped it. He can pull the shade down. He can pout. He can give you the silent treatment. He doesn't want to listen to further explanation because he knows what you meant and he probably knows you are right, but he still wants his way. Sorry Dad. It's not going to happen.

Do not back down. Sure, try a "sit them both down" discussion. Maybe Mom's contribution will help smooth things over. But make it clear that you are not checking in when you leave the house. Whether Dad speaks to you or not, go about your business cheerfully. Act as if you hardly notice that he is in a snit. If he changes from silence to trying to argue with you, don't get sucked into an argument. You are not checking in and that is the way it is. It is a condition of your being in their home to help them out. It is not negotiable.

Draw the line now. If he gets away with this who knows what irrational control he'll try to put in place next?

Let us know how it goes.
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Thank you naheaton! I sort of think it's a "what will happen to him" scenario. I will take your advice and sit them both down. Thanks again:-)
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First of all your dad knows you're grown up, so that's not the problem. Ask him exactly WHAT he wants to know, and WHY he thinks after all these years he needs to know your every move. Is it because he's afraid something will happen to you, then what happens to him as a result? If it were me, I'd be sitting them both down and talking about this. Maybe your mom can shed some light on it too.
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