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Hi! I was blessed enough to find a job in the town my fiancé and his boys live. I have been here 4weeks. Dad is worried i'll never visit him (2hours away). I text him to just let him know i'm thinking of him. I am planning on going and spending sunday with him to catch up and do his bills. he is like he'll believe it when he see's it. i'm really enjoying being with my fiancé and boys. We are getting married in Sept. and putting the finishing touches on that. My dad called me drunk sat b/c he got the wedding invite. I know he wishes he could proudly Walk me down the aisle. Even though I told him I picked it so he can "roll" down next to me. In his mind its not good enough. he wanted to be walking by now. He's disappointed that i'm not going to have children of my own.
Im having a hard time in some ways. I used to go out once a week to help him, have dinner, ect. I'm enjoying not doing that but feel bad too. Just needed to talk it out here. Thanks!

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Blannie you are so spot on. He will never be "ready" for the wedding. he does other things and then doesn't take responsibility for his own decisions. He says the words but doesn't follow through with actions.
he wants to ride a horse. I have a friend who has a therapy ranch 50mins away. oh well his van and he doesn't want to take my time up. what? I find a place closer. I need him to get the medical form signed by his doctor. nope he doesn't do it. but tells me he wants to ride a horse. I said why didn't you get the paper signed then he "forgets" he was supposed to do that. And lots of other situations like this. I moved used up my savings to work one on one with him. But he used me up instead cooking, cleaning, bills, ect. When I would get him to the pool to swim I had to change him myself and it was a lot of energy. Then i'd still have to cook dinner and help him to bed. I asked him to get more help but somehow it never happened.
He so likes to blame others for his problems. Smoke another smoke and drink coffee and talk about how we all have "screwed him" . he can be very positive but it still hindges on others for him to do things.
Debralee -Part of me likes to think with therapy and surgery he could walk again. I don't know now its been 13 years since his accident. he has a lot of promise in the start but now? I don't know. He was in a car accident. He blames the hospital b/c they didn't give him a steroid shot in the neck it swelled and by the time they sent him to craig hospital damage was done. he has a c5-c6 injury.
I love him and try to help it just breaks my heart b/c I wanted to help him get back more of himself. I feel like its my fault somehow and yet I know its not. I have to accept his decisions.
I will keep living life. Thanks so much for all your comments and thoughts!
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How did your dad get a spinal cord injury and can he eventually walk if he does his therapy? Right now he seems to be wallowing in self pity due to his situation. Do not put your life on hold. You are not responsible for how he decides his future. You have a chance at happiness for yourself and if your father cannot accept it, that is his loss.
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Beth your dad manages to get done EXACTLY what he WANTS to get done. He gets done what he values - like bidding on a chest he doesn't need. But he doesn't order the night boots he needs. Or do his rehab exercises. He likes playing the victim, which keeps you around him, trying to rescue him from himself. If you put off your wedding, he still wouldn't be "ready" a year from now, I can guarantee it. He knew the wedding was coming and has evidently done nothing to get ready for it. Why will it be any different a year from now? He's still blaming you and your brother instead of taking responsibility for his own life.

Listen to your doctor and limit your time with your dad. As long as you're his crutch, he won't try to help himself - he'll wait for you to knock yourself out trying to do it for him. You're a good person and you need to live your life and be happy and let your dad take care of his own happiness. He truly doesn't deserve you as a daughter.
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Thanks everyone!! I really appreciate all your thoughts!! it helps so much to be able to talk here. Jim my fiancé and his two boys are so wonderful to me and we have our ups and downs but I have never had this kind of support and love. We've done the long distance relationship for 3 years and have been engaged for 1 year now. I've told dad all along so it didn't come as a shock. For the first 3 years I worked full time and went out to dads at night till 9 or 11 pm. and at least once on the weekends. Then I stepped back having a relationship and only went out once a week taking night classes. For this past year I've gone out once a week at least. I did all the paperwork for his mom (my gma) up till her death last year. I helped pay her bills and his. I've learned that no matter how much I do its still not enough. There are times my dad is thankful and I know its him missing me. He's always had control issues. He can drive his modified van (that's falling apart) to town to get booze and smokes. He doesn't want to live in town. He blames my youngest brother for not giving him the exercise he needed and me for not doing more therapy with him as why he hasn't recovered. I told him its up to you. If I was in the chair i'd be busting my butt to keep fit. That is when I realized my BP was high and i'd gained weight by always putting myself last. My doctor told me the best thing was for me to stay away from my dad. With therapy I've tried to find a happy med. with my dad. He won't change but I can change how I react to him.
With my other job I lived close to him. 30 mins away and would leave work early to go to walmart with him. I wanted to do so many things with him to help him get more ability back but I realized you can't force someone. and even though they say the want to change. words and actions are two different things. it tears my heart up thinking we could have accomplished more but didn't. I did go see him last weekend stayed 5 hours. wrote bills, had a visit, and little things. He hasn't ordered his night boots that I looked up tons of info on the last few years. But he did manage to get online and win an auction for a dresser he doesn't need. He said he's kicking himself and he's in $ trouble. It went well overall. He asked me if I could put off my wedding for another year so he could get ready for it. He knows I've already sent out invites. I've made sure the church can work for his wheelchair.
After visiting with him I sometimes get alittle mentally drained. He has his finger in so many pies he can't get done what he needs too.
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That's certainly all right. You've done enough caretaking to know whether or not you're drawn to MORE motherhood, you sound exhausted and it's time for you to have a break and go on with your life. Prinably a good thing your fiance is happy with his two sons and you seem to care for them so what's the difference. Only to your dad, and that would just be selfish on his part. Too bad!
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my fiance and I have discussed having a child. He can't anymore. hes happy with two and is sad he can't give me a child but he really doesnt' want more. I had to decide while dating if I was ok with that. My dad is not interested in getting to know his boys. He doesn't travel very well and when we do go down there I don't make the boys go out there where he smokes in the house. I love children. I helped raise my youngest brother then wanted a break. I think took on helping my dad. i'm 35 and tired. Part of me wishes I would have had my own child but i'm not set on it enough to leave a man who has become my partner.
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Its true. He has full control and is making his own decisions. I've had this long distance relationship for 3 years. Dad wants to know why i'd really want to get married. then tells me im selfish for not having children. I can't win for losing. and I get that. Its true therapy can help me but not his issues! very well put. I've learned that I can only do so much and that's ok. I help where I can, I stay in contact and for now dad gets to live on the farm. he says he wants to do other things to help himself but he doesn't do it. instead hiding behind my brother and I that we haven't done enough. I agree and will try to remember I can do certain things and the other until i'm given control he makes those decisions. Thanks everyone!
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Beth your dad sounds like he's been a manipulator for a long, long time in your life. You don't mention any kind of mental impairment, so it sounds like he's just someone who wants other people to do his work and to give up their lives to take care of him.

You're one smart cookie to get far enough away from him that he can't continue to control your life by guilting you into doing far more for him than he needs - or that is good for him.

He gets state money to get him help and he spends it on other things? Well phooey on that! He doesn't do the therapy to help himself get better? Phooey on that too! That's NOT your responsibility. It's HIS.

I agree with the other suggestions that say set your boundaries and don't let your dad and his issues upset your or ruin your upcoming wedding. I'm 62 and can't imagine a man of your dad's age needing as much help as he says he needs from you if he doesn't have dementia. It's HIS responsibility to make himself happy, not yours. Go live your life and enjoy yourself - you deserve it! You've been a terrific daughter to your dad and he's lucky to have you. Let him act like the adult he is.
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Just a couple of afterthoughts, Beth...

1st - unless you and your fiance have discussed it and decided against it, you are still young enough do you have a child or to adopt. But whether you do or not, your husband to be's boys will be your children and maybe your father could get to know them as his grandchildren as well. My brother in law who married my sister when I was 12 copped an attitude about the lady his son, my nephew, married as she already had a son. He made a comment to me privately about wanting to see his new granddaughter but not wanting to have anything to do with my nephew's stepson. Always having been upfront with him, I cautioned him that moms are in charge of their children and if he wanted to have a relationship with his granddaughter, you better damn well make sure that he treated his step grandson with parity, else incur the wrath of the mother. Hint, hint.

2ndly, whatever disability benefits your father is deriving from being in the state he's currently in, that should become easier when he is 65 and his Medicare and social security will become more important than his disability benefits. Perhaps if you look into that a little bit before you discuss it with him, and you find that it would be more possible for him to move at that time, you could broach the subject with him as a possibility to look forward to a future move and the closer to you (with les inconvenience on your part). Even if he chooses to stay put, you have at least shown interest in him moving closer, and not doing it becomes a matter of his choice.

I've said before and I'm sure you read elsewhere that behaviors present during one earlier years seem to become magnified in the elder. It's just something we have to learn to cope with. I've also said that I don't believe TOUGH and LOVE belong in the same sentence. Granted it's a way of TEACHING people your boundaries and standing your ground. But those who are mentally challenged in any way do not really LEARN anything, so trying to teach them is just a little mean in my opinion. Better to just be light, airy, happy and as loving as you can be, and just change the subject, don't do what you don't want to do, what you're not comfortable with. And you don't have to have a big discussion about it. Your dad may not have dementia but he definitely has some mental problems. Try being a bit of a Pollyanna, see the good things in him and act like that's what he means, good things. Pivot away from anything you begin to perceive as ugly or bad. Smile, happy, turn, walk away, do something else.
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Smilebeth-It is time for you to start your life and let your father worry about himself. He is hellbent on dying by smoking and drinking, and I'm wondering, who is supplying him with the cigarettes and booze? He will stop drinking and smoking if he can't get either one for sure. Let him live his life his way, and you wish him only the best, but you go live your life. Tough love it is called...
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That's a tough place for you to be stuck in. As horrible as it sounds to say, when our seniors have some form of dementia, it's actually a little easier to get them help because those around them begin to recognize they can't make good decisions for themselves. But your dad seems to have his full faculties in terms of choosing his lifestyle.

If he were completely rational however, he would tell you, I'm happy doing what I'm doing, go on daughter and live your life. But he isn't, is he? Admitedly he is in a pitiable situation, but the truly pitiful thing is that he can't see the stress he puts on you by trying to manipulate your behavior through control and guilt.

No amount of either free or costly therapy is going to help YOU resolve HIS issues. You must choose the healthy path of going on with your life the way you want it to be, do for him what you feel you can handle comfortably, and what you can't, just ask your dad how he would like you to get him help for that. When you are experiencing a relationship, such as with your dad, where there's really no true negotiation allowing you to help him in a way you can handle, you must make a unilateral decision to only do those things that you can and either help him to find a way to get the other things done or step back and let him figured that out himself.
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He's 59 and has a spinal cord injury 13 years now. No he's not improving b/c he thinks my brother and I should be the ones who do his exercises. I did swimming with and physical therapy but after that and cooking and putting him to bed I couldn't do it all. I'd be happy if he'd move closer but the state he's in has better $ for disabilities.
He used to drink more. Not so much now. He wishes life would have been different. Nope but smoking is. Everyday in the house. You cant force someone to stop. He is in full mental control. He won't move to an asst home b/c they aren't nice and its in the city. He doesn't like city living. so he rents a farm house and has a morning aide. nobody at night. He won't recover he'll only get worse.
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Beth, you don't say your dad's age or what's wrong with him and put him in the wheelchair, although you do say he thought he would be walking "by now" so I inferred that he is continuing to improve and will be ambulatory one day again?

He is an independent living right now? Is there a possibility of moving him closer to where you will be living? If not right now, but when he recovers more. Maybe there's a place for him that is near your new location but not right around the corner, if you get my drift.

What is your dad's age? The time he called you when he was drunk, is it a common occurrence if he drinks much? Elders are subject to different forms of dementia for many reasons, but much drinking of alcohol can not only contribute to dementia but also to liver, pancreas and kidney problems. I hope drinking isn't a big part of his life.
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and when I say he couldn't afford to hire more help that isn't true - that is what he would say but he uses the money the state provides for other things.
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Thanks everyone!! I moved 5 years ago to live in the same town as him. We've had a hard relationship over the years b/c of his control issues. I worked all day and went out all night for 3 years. I then started therapy b/c I was burnt and my dad couldn't afford to hire more help. I then went back to school at night to get some distance. Started therapy. I have been with my fiancé for 3 years now and thank God for him. He's helped balance me out. The last year I have been going out to dads once a week. Still doing his bills and grocery shopping with him. I've come up with meals on wheels and all sorts of ideas but somehow it always comes down to I do it better. I've really had to step back. I've told him what was coming I just don't think he thought i'd go through with it. I'm 35 years old never married. no children. I helped raise my youngest brother (11years difference) with my mom. Then moved to help my father. I understand its time for my life. I cry b/c I wish I could have helped him more. I come up with plans and ideas and my dad likes them but he is more interested in trying to buy a motor home and remodel it. its frustrating and breaks my heart I couldn't do more.
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I am sure he is feeling abandoned even though you told him you would keep in contact. Maybe there is someone else than can stop in to see him and chat or maybe line someone up thru a home care place to stop in to see him. Remind him that you want him to be part of your wedding and that even though he is not walking now, doesn't change how you feel about him. All parents want their children to have children, but he will have to remember its "your choice". God bless you on your upcoming marriage/family and praying that your dad will enjoy that moment also with you.
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I think she meant that he was drunk when he called. Self medicating, perhaps?
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Do not let your father emotionally manipulate you. You have a right to be happy. He should be proud to be able to escort you down the aisle even if it is by wheelchair. His inference about you not having children of your own is not his business. Your father is acting selfish and calling you drunk should send you a red flag about this type of behavior. You are willing to go out of your way to make it possible for him to attend and be part of your wedding. Don't allow him to ruin this special day for you because of his manipulative pity me selfish attitude!
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Sorry, I did not mean to say "finance", but betrothed. I have to sign loan papers for a new home today, and have money on my mind!
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Well, congratulations on your forthcoming marriage. You cannot control your father's behaviors, and since you are happy, in love, and want to stay that way, do not let him spoil it for you. Having said that, no one can make another person unhappy. You either choose to be happy or you choose to be miserable. Which one will you choose? Your finance did not sign up for any of this drama, so ask him what he thinks about your father. Good luck!
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