My 89 year old father has heart problems, depression and anxiety. Looking back, I suspect he has had mental illness his whole life. He has been a functional alcoholic most of his life and I've been concerned about it since I was a young adult. He used to drink after work. As he has became elderly and isolated he started drinking more and also not being able to handle his drinking. Since he moved in 9 months ago he drinks frequently, often starting around 4 (scotch or vodka straight). He doesn't drink anything aside from beer either. That's his liquid.
My 85 year old mum gets poured a drink when my father pours himself one. She has dementia. She becomes a mess even with just a small drink.
My father has always isolated himself in his office all day, when they lived in a flat and also when they moved in here. So when he is drunk we don't really have to deal with him aside from when he staggers around and falls down. He has fallen down around 9 times since he has been here, one time bruising his face.
A big issue of getting them to move in was how isolated they were. My mum was essentially alone all day long because my father barely interacted with her, even often eating his meals alone. So my mum now has my company all day. Even if I'm not actively conversing with her, I try to engage her, she reads the paper (sort of), she helps me cook, clean, talks to the dogs, etc. So when she has a drink, it's my husband and I who end of dealing with her. And it's difficult and unpleasant. So we've discussed this with my father and he was incensed, ready to move out, that we had the audacity to mention their drinking. And nothing changed.
This afternoon, I asked my mum, why are you drinking and she just shrugged. I told her it makes my difficult job even more difficult and she shrugged again. Said if we want to drink we can drink. She promptly went outside to complain to my father. He came in and they started discussing moving back to NJ (I'm in VA). I told them they can go to assisted living, but they would not be able to find one single person who would support their living on their own. I told them, that this situation is not my fault, that it is just getting part of getting old, that most people there age can't live alone without home care. My father scoffed and said, "you THINK it's not your fault..."
This has been an ongoing issue. He blames his unhappiness and loss of independence completely on me. And he calls 3 of my cousins who don't even know me, and tells them how horrible I am and how I'm abusive and they so sympathetic to him. So it's a BIG trigger for me when he implies this situation is all my fault. I blew up.
All the other times I hear him complaining about me and blaming me I keep my mouth shut just to keep peace for my mum. This time I lost it.
It was heated. I asked him what I'm doing that is abusive and why is this my fault? He never has anything much to say - that I call him dumb (never has that happened), that I say he is too dumb to learn (never have said that. I started listing the many things I do for them, including buying all their food (very particular about food) and he said, so don't buy it and I shouted, "I won't, you can starve to death!". Yeah, not my best moment.
I guess my stand is that he can drink, but he shouldn't encourage my mum to drink because we have to deal with her. I would prefer he didn't drink and fall down and need tending to, but I can deal with that even though I don't like it. I get that he can't fix that at this point. Additionally I want him to stop saying what a bad person I am to my stupid cousins. He thinks I have tapped his phone, but he is deaf and he speaks so loudly that I hear him!
Their response is to say they are moving out asap because I don't want them here. Obviously that is not what I said or mean.
Am I asking too much? Any suggestions on how to handle this?
Can we say dysfunction?