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I moved him 3000 miles to live with my husband and I since where he lived, he had pushed everyone that ever cared about him, away. He tries to make them responsible for his misery and when they can't "fix" his emotions, he lashes out at them and they leave. I am the only one left who had an ounce of concern for him so we agreed that he would live with my husband and I, and now he is doing the same with us. He picks fights with my husband (barges into the bedroom or washroom), throws away food that I cook him only to blame me for his hunger after, and many other irrational behaviors. I know he is hurting but it hurts me more to see his misery. Does anyone have any tools that I can use to help keep me focused on loving him (instead of hating him which is that point I am at right now). I know I cannot change him. I know I am not responsible for his feelings. I know he needs love as he never had it growing up. I do not want to leave him despite his displacing his anger on us. I just want help finding a different perspective in which to see him so I don't kill myself in the process. Any thoughts?

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openathena,
You nor anyone is responsible for other people's emotions. We can't take responsibility for their feelings as if they were our own feelings. That part of codependency is called enmeshment. Know that you didn't make your dad the way he is. You can't control how he is. And you can't fix how he is. All you can really do is to take care of you in choosing a healthy path with the outlook of if he wants to make such a change in his life fine and if not fine. Yes, his misery would trigger you less if you took care of you first and basically detach from his issues with love. Plus, you can't be the loving mommy that he evidently never had. Sorry, but if someone barged into my wife and I's bedroom, I would find them another place to live very soon. I don't know what your dad's diagnosis is, but maybe he needs a level of care and oversight that ya'll are not equipped to give 24/7 which is no fault of your own. Where did this idea of doing enough to make up for being born come from? That is a false premise for feeling any sort of guilt. I'm not a therapist, but I've been in therapy for almost 9 years now dealing with family of origin issues primarily with my mom and me as an only child. Thus, I can say from experience that just knowing about codependency in one's head is often not enough. So, I would strongly encourage you to see a qualified counselor and by that I mean someone really trained and who does therapy all the time, but not a pastor, etc. for one thing they usually aren't that trained in this area and for another thing don't have the time to invest in this deep of stuff.
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I am also an only child and this has actually been my worse nightmare since I was a little girl - worrying about being the only one responsible for taking care of my aging parents - in this case, my father - not to mention the guilt of feeling I was never doing enough to make up for what I owed my father for giving me birth. I really took to heart, what Helen said: "Giving up the codependency of trying to make others happy is a difficult challenge" as this is exactly what has been making me so miserable through all of this - my unconscious idea that I am responsible for my father's happiness without realizing that I have been doing the very best that I can and my father is just not happy with himself or with life in general. It has nothing to do with me, and whether I make a huge effort to TRY to show him a glimpse of happiness, or I just accept him for the miserable man that he is, he really wouldn't see the difference. The difference would be with me - if I only stepped back once in a while to take care of me, I would have more energy inside me, and in turn, would probably be willing to do more for him without expectations. And perhaps his misery would trigger me less if I took care of me first.

Thanks for all the insight everyone.
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Cindy,
Do you have either Durable or Medical POA over your mother? My almost 80 year old mother would like to go home also. But she's there because of the doctor's order and the doctor with the nursing home is not going to make an unsafe discharge because it would make the nursing home and the doctor liable for anything that happened to her if she were to go home right now. I would imagine the staff has dealt with this before. I'd strongly recommend not going every day. That is not doing you or her any real good, but particularly you. If you don't have POA, then guardianship is your only other recourse. The doctor who helped you put her there and mostly likely the nursing home doctor will have to make notarized statements to the effect that your mother is no longer competent to handle her affairs in a business like manner and will have to testify in court. Right now though, you need some refreshing of energy for yourself and the journey before you now. I"m an only child also and know how hard it is for us not to be overly responsible and forget to take care of ourselves. Take care.
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Thank-you Helen and Athena, I just placed my 87 year old mother in a nursing home because I am right were you are exhausted and getting more anger everyday. She has dis-missed or refused all the home health help that she has had and can no longer care for herself. She is hateful toward me and nasty. I know that her dementia is progressing and I had no choice placing her in the home. I know she is safe now and getting the help she needs, but everyday I try to visit her and all she does is argue with me. She insist that I can't make her stay there and has already has a confrontation with the staff insisting that she was going to go home. I still feel am in the middle of this nightmare. I feel guilty, but hope that in the near future I will be able to get guardianship so I get some kind of control over this situation and get part of my life back.
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Thank you for your response Helen, this helps a lot.
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Read about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It reminds us that we can't FIX whatever is wrong with these folks. My mother is one - I love her, but it is always about her. If you have not had him professionally evaluated, consider seeing if it is physically induced. I just smile at my mother and set my boundaries for behavior. You and your family are as deserving of happiness as your father, Giving up the codependency of trying to make others happy is a difficult challenge. Check out the venting thread and some of the narcissistic or borderline personality comments. You might see yourself..I did. Hugs, Helen
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