I have been caring for my elderly parents for the better part of seven years now. Mom died three years ago. Dad has been through numerous major back surgeries and has been living with chronic pain for most of the past seven years. He has always been quick to anger, getting it over and done with and off his chest. He has also always been sharp in his criticism of family members and anyone who makes him angry or doesn't do their job.
My siblings and I, and now, one of my sons, feel as though we will never be good enough for him, even though neighbors tell us how proud he is of us and respects us.
Due to circumstances, I am now living with dad as I have medical issues of my own and dad was so lonely after mom died that I moved in with him in order to help us both out. I have not been able to go back to work because of the responsibility I feel in being here to help him.
Things are getting worse. Dad is making comments out the blue that are hurtful and just rude. He doesn't seem to be aware he is doing it and I am reluctant to discuss it with him because he is struggling enough with his chronic pain, the uncertainty of his future and frustrations in his medical issues being one thing after another. He is on heavy pain meds that cloud his thoughts, memory and make him tired all the time.
I am getting more and more frustrated myself and don't know how to handle this. I find myself hibernating in my room just so I don't have to be around him too much. We used to love doing things together and worked well side by side for most of my life. Now, it is a struggle to be around him and I feel guilty for having these feelings.
Getting counseling is tough as I feel like a child who has to tell him where I am going, how long I will be gone and what I am doing. I have to write out my weekly schedule for him as he has trouble remembering short-term things. He believes seeking help is weak and I don't want to lie to him about what I am doing, so I feel trapped.
I am struggling and so is he. Just at a loss and I know things are only going to get worse if something doesn't change.