Been caring for narcissistic father for over decade. He is very loving and helpful to others but mainly relates to me like his personal assistant, therapist and well, servant. He has let others believe he is very wealthy so he gets VIP treatment. And although I do more for him than any other adult child that I've seen at the facility, he apparently gossips about me as a deadbeat mentally ill daughter (the mentally ill part comes in when I'm physically ill or I object to the rude intrusive behavior of grifters/staff or other enablers.

I've given up vacations, all holidays and many weeks to help him through operations, rehab, falls, etc. As well as a number of complete moves. And I'm left now with my health and finances in shambles due to travel/medical costs and this ugly swirl of gossip as there appear to be a number who'd like me out of picture to gain access to his funds (he's had several grifters come close to gaining complete access to his funds)

He has continually surrounded himself with these grifter types, people who flatter him and take him out on adventures and who in turn treat me like crap. I'm so tired of this and really heartsick as well. I fell for the carrot he dangled that we could have a real relationship one day. Once he was settled in a good care facility things really took a turn for the worse.

He's very angry it seems that I did not want to commit my own funds to help pay for multiple care givers (he has almost zero mobility). Which would have been a small fortune. I've been guilt tripped for years that no expense should be spared for his care. That I should commit to top of the line care that no one else at facility uses, even the very wealthy. The hook is that he has only a few more months to live But I've been hearing this for years now.

My health is shot after all these years of crisis and dealing with his endless needs. I thought when he was finally settled, things would get better but as I've said they are worse than ever. I have to deal with palpable hostility and respond to very ugly intrusive comments and behavior by staff, enablers and the little group of grifters he has assembled (he's gone through several groups) .

The rest of my family is furious with his demands and are now refusing to visit him as he barely speaks to them except to ask them to perform a task, while they have to watch others lavished with his love and devotion. Their lack of visitation just feeds into his poor me victim stance.

When is it enough? I know if I walk away the grifters will close in and I'll also deal with a bunch of intense guilt tripping. But I've hit a wall with his lack of gratitude and continual gossip/slander about me. And the worst part is the intense pain at realizing I've just been used, the lure of having a relationship with him was just bait.

Any suggestions, tough love, shared experiences? Very sorry for the length, but . I'm just fried and needed to get this out. Thought I could do lower contact, but now not so sure. Thanks to anyone who's reading any of this.

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I would go to the Administrator and tell him how unprofessional his staff is. They should not be acting like this to you.

If Dad is in a NH then all his needs are met. He gets 3 meals a day. He is clean and safe. Laundry gets done and toiletries given. So, you don't have to be there. You have been guilt tripped for years. You have done more than most people. He will not be alone if you walk away. You need to get your life together. I think finding a therapist may help in finding out why you allow this abuse. Why you feel guilt when the rest of your family walked away.

This is not meant to hurt, but you have been trapped in abuse for most of your life - parents in name only. I think you may have to go no contact, like the rest of family seems to be doing. This is too destructive to you physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Sounds like he plays people off against each other. The best way to protect yourself if not to play in his sandbox. Period.  He is in a facility, receiving care, not out in the street, so I think your moral obligation is nil.  Do you actually have the authority to guard his money? If not, the grifters may get it and he may become a ward of the state. Since there is nothing you can do to protect him short of putting yourself in the line of fire, so to speak, I would opt out.  You will be amazed how much better you feel, and clearer you think, once you are not subject to this daily abuse.
And keep in mind, it is normal to want a relationship with parents that is good; it is not your fault for hoping to this, but he is not a good parent nor capable of love.

polarbear, thank you for your response. It's tough and to the point . I realize that
I have PTSD from dealing with childhood of caretaking my physically abusive mother and then an endless revolving door of grifters. And then add the stress of multiple life and death concerns of my father. Add the pile of grifters verbal, physical, psychological abuse. I'm fried.

I'm doing the minimum and looking for the exit. I am not going to continue to
demean myself begging for him to treat me with common courtesy. Nor to
expect grifters to back off and act appropriately.

I realize that I really stepped in it, rushing in to take care of my father given his
past behavior. So it's time for me to quit acting like a victim and find a good
way to exit and embrace life instead waiting exhausted for the phone to ring
with the next crisis, unnecessary drama or guilt trip.

Thank you again for your on point analysis!

betina - let' look at your situation logically.

How you treat your father:
-You care him like a good daughter.
-You sacrifice your health and money for him.
-You do more for him than any adult child at that facility
-You try to protect him from the grifters.

In return, this is how he treats you:
-He badmouths you.
-He uses you
-He guilt trips you
-He dangles the father/daughter relationship to lure you to do what he wants
-He plays the poor victim to guilt you to do what he wants
-He's ungrateful
-He treats you like a servant
-Most of all, he does not love you or think of you as his daughter. You're just someone he can guilt trips and uses and abuses.

How much more of your health, money and life do you want to lose? Until you drop sick or break down mentally? Or until you run out of money? Or until your whole life and existence are swallowed up by him?

Draw a line where you want. And exit. The rest of your family did.
Before you go, write him a letter explain your side and tell him good luck with the grifters.

MargaretMcKen, I'm sorry to hear how things turned out. I don't know how parents can behave like this. It's very heartbreaking. Thank you for your response. I realize that by getting angry at his slander, I'm only "feeding the beast". That old saying about being careful about wrestling pigs in mud, you both get filthy and the pig loves it.! I get the impression my Dad loves my anguish about the slander and
grifters. He feels in control, knows I care, gets to play victim and also gets to
punish me for not spending all my time and $ on him. He behaves like this despite
me taking great care of him over the years (as well as throughout my childhood)

Thanks for that image too. Cut the rope and sail away. Time to enjoy my life
instead of living in exhaustion, shame and anxiety!

Your father sounds almost worse than mine. I’ll tell you how mine finished. The ‘good relationship’ carrot never happened. He was appalling to the end. I was the only family member who maintained any relationship with him. He left all his remaining assets (not that there was much) to one of the grifters. He left nothing, not even a message, for his three children and seven grandchildren. ‘Our father, which aren’t in heaven’, is how we remember him.

I wish I hadn’t bothered. The very very slight good bit for me was that I knew I had nothing to blame myself for. But I knew that anyway. For your sake, I hope that you have indeed reached the end of the rope. Cut the rope and sail away.

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