My father is verbally abusive and I cannot take it anymore. How can I deal with this?

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I am the main care taker for my parents. May sound stupid but as I was helping unload groceries the other day, my dad let a storm door slam right on me. He knew I was helping and we always help with this door since it is broken and slams easily. I told him "OK that's enough". He didn't say oops sorry or are you ok. He just kept walking and said "you should have told me you were behind me". I am always behind him! I have listened to his verbal abuse for years but no one believes me when I talk about it b/c he has that other persona that he puts on around my 3 sisters and 2 brothers. I was beaten and abused by my first husband and maybe that plays into this. I don't know how to handle this. I would do anything for my parents and try to help them all the time but I just can't handle the verbal stuff from my Dad anymore.
One of my sisters and one brother live out of state and they send money to help but don't come round, one sister won't be involved at all, one sisters helps every few weeks and one brother helps every few months so I get the rest. Sorry this is long. I am at the end of my rope!
Help! Thanks!

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Oh Boy - Oh Boy. I am sorry to hear what you are experiencing. I experienced it when my mother remarried after my father died when I was eight. My mother never grew up - she always blamed other people for her problems. I think I was the reason she had to marry and that is why she resented me. Then came the stepfather that unknown to me at the time was a pedifile (sp?). I was nine and tried to tell my mother what was happening but didn't understand the problem at all at that time. He complained to her that I would not help out around the house. That was partly true because I hated when I was alone with him. Remember I was 9yrs old. He took the lock off the bathroom door so I had no privacy in the bathroom. I bathed in the showers in the locker room at school or stayed overnight at my friends homes or bathed when he was not home. Then he made a schedule out for when all of us could bathe - the schedule left he and I alone in the house. Thus my going to my girlfriends to bathe. I would come home and do my chores before dinner - set the table - peel the potatoes etc.etc. then I would leave and eat at my friends homes. I broached the subject with my mother time after time and soon realized she would never protect me. By this time I was 13. Then I became the bad girl and everything I did and said was wrong. Finally, when I was in high school, I called the police and they would not come to the house because I did not have bruises on my body. My stepfather sat by me while I phoned and told me that "they will not believe you! So I ran away to my girlfriends house. Told them the story and I was invited to live with them. My mother came over the next day screaming and yelling and pulled me by the hair down the stairs to come home with me. I was 14yrs old at the time. There was no help available! My uncle was a Police Chief in the area and I guess my mother guessed something maybe could be wrong and I was being abused and she called him to talk to me. The purpose was for me to not cause a problem so she could continue the life she was comfortable with. My uncle did explain the laws to me and I was mature enough to understand them. We could go to court. If my stepfather was found guilty (and he would have because I was not the only child in the area that he tried to sexually abuse). If would mean the court would take me and my younger sister and put us in foster homes. Remember I was fourteen at the time. I rode the school bus with children in foster homes and they were not happy. I could not inflict that on my sister who my mother always protected. So at that young age I understood a lot about abuse and how people react. Everybody (or most people) protect themselves and you are the "bad guy". Not the person causing the problem - but "YOU".
I needed to tell this story because I want to tell you what I learned about being abused.
Your father is abusing you because that is who he is - has nothing to do with anything you did or are! There is nothing you could do to stop him - but there is something you can do to help yourself. First, stop being hurt because "that is who he is" not who you are. Forget being treated any other way. It is not fair, of course, but you can't do anything to correct his behavior because you didn't cause it. The only thing you can do is quit trying to please him. Forget that he will tell everyone bad things about you - that is his ploy. Do what you think you should do and expect to be mistreated. Laugh in his face - but do not take it to heart. That will not stop his behavior but it will release you from just taking a beating. I would reduce the time I spend helping him because of his behavior. Do not expect your family or friends to agree with you. Know you are right and protect yourself. If you don't no one else will! It is a tough burden to carry but it is what it is. If he is abusive with you tell your family he doesn't want me and doesn't like me. Perhaps they can do the things he needs. LISTEN - YOU WILL NEVER PLEASE HIM!! His pleasure is abusing people for his pain. So do what can without taking any abuse. Explain to your family members in a short sentence. I am tired of being abused for no reason and need to give some of the responsibility to others because he obviously doesn't want me to help. They will find fault with you because they sure don't want the responsibility or they would have been there by now. So, understand that you will never rate his approval and that has nothing to do with YOU! You are just his victim. He is old, he is sick and you have done everything you can but cannot continue to be abused. Anyone that is willing to help is welcome to the responsibility. I feel for you and I wish you strength and luck - write me anytime. I understand the loneliness of the position you are in. Know that I understand (and so do lots of people but have been beaten down so much they just cower). Take a deep breath and say "I can do this"!
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My father is 87 and my mom is 82. My father has been a wonderful husband for 80 years but as he got older and started losing control over his bodily functions, he has become increasingly abusive to my mother. He is extremely rational and reasonable and affectionate with all of us siblings. But at night when his body does not cooperate with him he turns really abusive towards my mom. He would not let the in house full time nurse do much of the work, instead my 82 year old mom has to do all the changing, cleaning and diapering and even lifting him off the bed sometimes. In return she gets just lot of abuse. In the morning, again, he is nice and friendly to every one. Even with my mom, he isn't as bad in the day time. could this be dementia? He sounds so rational, can still speak legalistic topics reasonably well. My mom is old fashioned house wife who out of guilt simply cannot walk away. Two of my adult sisters who are close by do step in as much as they can but even they cannot shield my mother from what is happening at night. They just advise her to not take it personally. My gut feeling is to tell him strongly but my siblings advise me not to. How can I tell if this is is dementia? Or just his old control freak personality coming out in a nasty form? A part of my just thinks he knows fairly well what he is doing but when we suggest to be nice to my mom, he sulks and claims he is really nice to every one. My mom is old fashioned and thinks us interfering will only make matters worse for her, but she breaks down every night and can't take it much longer. I am at a loss how to deal with this. Can us talking to him even help? Is my mom only one who can do something about her fate? Any ideas ?
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My elderly father owns our house, he is 81 he goes for treatment for his knees and ridilupathy. I am a 54 year old female never married, on ssi, i have post traumatic stress from him, and also i have terrible degerative congential curvature of the spine, and still waiting one more year to be a breast cancer survivor. He will not help me with money as far as food, its like he goes off on me, and he takes my friends food when they come over. He will not give me any privacy. He is verbally abusive and threantens me all the time. I do alot around this house. He is very frugal, to the point he is using cold dirty water to do the dishes. Has every last penny so to speak. He talks to some younger woman every night on the phone for hours, and then i see him in am and he looks exhausted, I get afraid for him to drive. Today he really let me have it. I am so disturbed, as he was eating my friends pizza. He tells me all I do is want, and believe me that is so not true, I drive a 21 year old car, and he told me I have to keep full coverage. Why? I pay for it. Unreal the answers. He drives an even older van, that is hard for him to get in and out of.
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LOVE and PEACE
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endofmyrope, you contradict everything you say. DON'T tell me to place my Mother from your own perception of what you think I might be dealing with. I'M NOT THE ONE WHO POSTED ABOUT WHAT TO DO BECAUSE OF A VERBALLY ABUSIVE ELDER. I know what to do. I called the Police, and the Police handled it. That's what they are there for, to serve and protect. Just because a person is old doesn't give them the right to slap the shit out of you FOR NO REASON. My Mother is WELL cared for. You came here and addressed the caregivers for solutions, I give you one and you insult, judge and ridicule me for it. Then, you come back and try to smooth it over with kind, but yet still judgemental words. Look, I KNOW what I'm doing, I am in control of the situation, Maybe that's why I have 80 "helpful answers"...if I sound angry, it is because you pissed me off by asking for help and then contradicting yourself by trying to degrade how others handle their own situations...but, stop asking for help if you already know the answer. Your words..."I'm done here".
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I wish you Love and Enlightenment Sylvester. Best of luck, and I pray your mom doesn't give you any more black eyes!!! I wouldn't want to think of her sitting in a cold cell.

XOXO
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Rovana said it all..thank you Rovana..and if you are really looking for help, you should not insult the people who are trying to give it to you. This is a hard job to care for an elder person, trust me I know. I am not abusive to my Mother, in fact, when the police came out to diffuse the situation, they DID have a long talk with her and let her know what the laws are and that threats are something that they take very seriously. Like I said, her fist has made contact with my eye once, which busted a blood vessel in it. This was assault. Was this abuse towards ME? YES. Did I press charges? NO. The Police let me know that I didn't have to, any assault cases are given to the State's Attorney and they review the case to see if charges should be brought against the person.
Bottom line..."if you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen."
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Sylvester,

PLEASE read. It is written with great care and love for you, and all caregivers. I hope it clarifies, and gives some comfort. :")

I believe both of you people may need to consider placing your parents in a good facility that can care for them properly. By what you have shared with all here it appears you are in very serious trouble; much more trouble than my post is about. When one starts mentioning "Police", and "False accusations" it is a big sign that you are fearing for your lives the actions of your poor, sick and elderly mom or dad. Speaking for myself this would NEVER EVER be the case. I would be able to handle them myself no matter how unpleasant it may be. It is UNPLEASANT to say the very least for ALL of us. It sounds like you have very different issues that require more care than you are able to comfortably give.

It worries me to think your parents are in such a sad unstable life. The whole reason we take them in, and care for them is to enhance their lives at the end, and bring them love and comfort to the best of our ability. It is called sacrifice, a word that not everyone is capable of. It is not a sin to not be able to handle the burden, and you should never feel guilty if you can't. That being said, I'm sure that's what you really desire for them so the best thing to do would be to consider placing them where they will be at peace. This way you can visit them minus the immense stress on you. You can simply go and love them minus the burden.

We all have different circumstances, and all have to devise our own ways of dealing with them. It is complex, frustrating and frequently leaves us with a sense of feeling inadequate. These are ALL normal feelings, and part of the process, Feeling at times like you'd just wish they'd "go" already . . . TOTALLY NORMAL. Any good psychologist will tell you that anger is only a form of guilt. Sylvester, I'm sure you care dearly for your mom, but I think you may still feeling very guilty about the unforgivable treatment your dad suffered at the hands of a facility that should be closed down. Now There's a reason to call the police, and more importantly the Department of Elderly Affairs. Action is the best way of elevating misplaced guilt that you are inflicting upon yourself. I would be LIVID, and filled with unnecessary guilt myself if that happened to my dad. You were doing what you thought would be best for him, and an unconscionable things happened there. It was ENTIRELY the fault of that "facility" (hell hole) . . . NOT YOURS!!! Do you hear me? IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT. YOU ARE INNOCENT AND NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR DAD. I believe when we pass we see our whole human life completely clearly. Your dad is right there with you RIGHT NOW, and does NOT want you suffering over placing him there. He KNOWS you loved him. PLEASE believe me. I do this work for many people because I am able to communicate with them (shush...don't tell)!!!!!!!

I believe perhaps both you and Rovana may need to consider placing your parents in a GOOD that can handle their needs (research it first), or if you still choose to keep them home see if visiting nurses can come in to help you. If you don't have insurance and get them, get on the internet and Google all kinds of non profit services in your community till you find help. People WILL work with you if you are in serious need. DIG till you find help. By what you have shared with all of us here it appears you are in very serious trouble; much more trouble than my own little problem. When one starts mentioning "Police", and "False accusations" it is a warning sign that you are in fear of the actions of your parents. Speaking for myself this would never happen. I am very fortunate that my dad is sane, and quite easy. My problem was only a matter of how to diffuse his pain, frustration and anger. I would never subject him to the trauma of "police" or any other scary thing. I will be able to handle him always by myself no matter how unpleasant it may become. It is EXTREMELY UNPLEASANT to say the very least for ALL of us here. Caregiving is the most difficult thing that many of us have ever been through in our entire lives, especially when there is no family, spousal, and financial support. That's where I am, and it's been going on this way for 4 years. I am on disability, and in terrible physical and psychological pain all the time which compounds things. I get so miserable and irritated at times, and feel completely isolated, alone and often very depressed. At times a lot of us feel like we can't take anymore, but somehow we rally, and once again miraculously find resources we never knew we had, and go on. It sounds like you have some very serious issues, and may be at that point of not being able to take any more. It happens to many of us especially after just going through the same hell your another parent!!!!! I cannot even begin to imagine how awful that must be for you. You must really feel like your life is gone. I feel so bad for you my friend. Placing a parent in the care of unstressed people is not a sin, nor something you should ever feel guilty over. In fact it could be the most generous thing you might do. Your worry, and devotion to them demonstrates just how much you love them.

It does worry me though to think your mom may be in a feeling of daily instability. They are strongly sensitive to our stress and emotions even though we don't realize it. They worry constantly about what might happen to them because they no longer have control over their lives. Think about it; all their freedom, and personal choices of freedom are totally gone. They are completely reliant on us which they hate! Along with being sick she may be worrying about what might be coming next. This could be part of the reason she's lashing out too. Aside from being sick and feeling her loss of control, the question of your stress and the unknown may be scaring the crap out of her. The whole reason we take in, and care for them is to enhance their lives bringing them love, comfort, preservation of their dignity, strongly maintaining their sense of safety and unquestioned stability. What we are doing is is called self sacrifice; one of the hardest things in the world to do. It is not a sin to no longer be able to handle the burden, and you should NEVER feel guilty if you just can't anymore. That being said, I'm sure that's what you want most for them. Maybe it's time to consider placing them somewhere safe where they will be at peace. This way you can visit them without the immense stress, and anger that's heaped onto you. You'll be able can simply go and love them minus the burden.

We all have different circumstances, and all have to devise our own ways of dealing with them. Any good psychologist will tell you that anger is guilt only in a different expression. We turn guilt inward, and store all that anger inside ourselves like poison. Sylvester, I'm sure you care dearly for your Mom. You would not be speaking with so much passion if you did not. Also, you should NEVER feel guilt for placing you dad in that hell hole. YOU DID NOT KNOW. You did the right thing. Additionally, never feel guilty for cruel things you may have said or done (aside from physical abuse). There is no "right" or "wrong" in this process. All we can do is learn from the mistakes and go on. This is a foreign world that we are all trying to navigate around. Our emotions, and reactions are all over the map, so give yourself a break. We're only human. Forgive yourself, and move on. Maybe it is time to care for yourself WITHOUT GUILT, and ease yourself of the past and present years of hell. It may be the best thing for both you and your mom. Again I applaud you for your devotion to both your parents especially doing it all by yourself. I don't think you see how angry you come across, but the answer is not to do something drastic like "calling the police". Imagine how traumatic that might be for her? Would you want her to experience that now? I KNOW you would not; you care too much . . .

Prayers are going out to you. LOVE is the one single truth, the one emotion that is of value in this world, and all eternity. It is the only single thing that counts. Love yourself, and you will find yourself relieved of all other burdens.

Peace, Light and Love to You My Friend

A great quote for all caregivers

"Being a caregiver is the most thankless role in the world.
Everybody gives the patient some slack, as they should,
but the caregiver has the stress of life
and then you put a catastrophic illness on top of it
...the stress goes through the roof."

~Marcia Wallace
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In most places the police or EMT.s or Paramedics can not take a person to a psych unit unless they are a threat to themselves or others and most angery people can turn it off and on at will -my husband conceinced doc he was fine but his wife was crazy-I never called the police or an ambulance like the NP told me to if he really acted up because he could go happy go lucky at the drop of a hat -even when he had be sucidial for hours before. My pastor did come one time and he was ok for a day-calling the police or paramedics is just a waste of time when the sick person is a psyco who can be an actor.
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I agree with sylvester 18 here - sometimes it is essential to call the police, not only to protect yourself from false accusations, but quite possibly to prevent a tragedy - the house set afire, the "thieving" neighbor gunned down. Did you read that story from Florida - the 96 year old woman who shot and killed her son? They may be old, they may be sick, but you can't fool around with violent threats.
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