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I'm still shaking as I type this...

So, my sister (the one with the bratty, ungrateful kid that called me selfish) wanted to visit Dad for Easter. I was OK with her and her husband coming to visit, and I knew they would need some assistance with his new oxygen apparatus.

Imagine my surprise (and subsequent RAGE) when I walk through Daddy's door to find the bratty niece sitting on his sofa!!!!! I saw RED!!!!! I spun on my heels, walked out the door and slammed it. I knew that spending any time in that situation would potentially land me an assault charge. When I get that angry, I disengage in order to protect myself or the person on the receiving end of my wrath.

I had almost made it to the entrance of the facility when my sister walks outside. It was all downhill from there. Let's just say my language was colorful... something to the affect of "Get that ungrateful so-and-so out of my father's apartment" which she responded to with colorful language. I basically told her to go back upstairs and I left.

Mind you...other people were watching this in astonishment. So I now look unstable and crazy for blowing up.

The brat sent me a TEXT (notice how she can never speak to me directly) in response to the situation which I didn't even read.

I'm embarrassed on my behalf because I gave into stereotypical African American behavior (something I strive hard to fight against as an educated black woman) by yelling and cursing in the parking lot of a public place.

This just fuels the "family's" fire of me being erratic, unstable... blah blah blah.

I want to place a restraining order against this niece and have her on the do-not-visit list of my Dad's place. Is that selfish?

I really can not stand my whole family dynamic. It's always been dysfunctional, but Dad's illness just makes it worse.

I'm just exhausted. If I cut them off, I'll be the big bad daughter that's limiting Dad from seeing his "family" who didn't give a crap about him in the first place.

Am I abusing my POA by restraining them? Happy ______ing Easter.

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Yay! And I like the analogy of the "pause button".
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AMEN kdcm1011!!! I'm going to regain my life.

I've decided that Dad AND I are better off if we move him to the full Assisted Living side of his current facility. The independent living and assisted living buildings are right next door to each other.

I'm sure I'll have a few OMG moments during the transition, and I fully expect some resistance, but two years of placing my life on hold to feed my own guilt and sense of obligation is enough.

I'm looking forward to looking for another full time job that pays what I'm worth because I will have the freedom to travel and know that Dad will be OK. I'm only 38. There's no reason why my life should come to a screeching halt. No one else in the "family" pressed the pause button. Why should I??

Thanks for helping me navigate through this!!
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I forgot....do you live with Dad or is he in some sort of facility? I ask because I, too, was angry at myself for not setting boundaries like everyone else did, had no life because "someone had to be there for Mom & no one else is", was overwhelmed and under appreciated, and was envious of, angry at, and hateful of my siblings because .....well, just because.

I joined a caregiver support group when Mom moved in with us. It was there I realized I (like everyone else in the group) had the personality trait of being a "fixer". We all felt we and only we could fix things. That morphed into no one else in the family even trying because they knew we would do it if left long enough.

From there and from this group I gained the strength to say ENOUGH! What about me? I, too, am entitled to a life. So I called a family meeting & told my 3 siblings it wasn't working out with Mom living in my home, it was disrupting too many lives, and either one of them had to take her or she had to move back into her own home (which they were in the process of cleaning out to sell) & 24/7 care was to be arranged & managed by sister who lived 2 miles away from Mom (I was 60 miles away) or we had to place her in Assisted Living. If no decision was made, I had planned on taking Mom on a "visit" to sister & leaving her there.

Assisted Living it was and within 2 weeks Mom was there. She wasn't happy, but I sure was! I had my life back. And my sanity. And my marriage.

I tell you all this, Tinyblu, because it sure sounds like you're feeling all the same thing....even more so. Yeah, I wanted to tell them all to stick it. Yeah, I wanted to get all that rage out of me. But once I decided to focus on ME & what was best for me, I realized they all weren't worth it. Too much effort to do that, & I wanted all my efforts to be positive ones for me.

So my visits with Mom are just that....visits. The ALF is close to sister, so I backed off & leave all the BS for her to deal with. She keeps trying to push it back on me and I say "if I get a chance" and then never find the chance. Oh, and to add insult to injury, sister and I are both POA for the last 10 years, but she never told me or gave me the piece of paper the lawyer gave her to give me. So she has been handling & skimming $$$ all these years. NOW she wants me to get involved....I just tell her she is doing a fine job so let's leave well enough alone. And I make sure nothing points to me .

As someone wrote on here a long time ago....Our parents lived their lives. No where is it written that we are to give up ours so they can continue to live theirs.

You can do this!
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Tinyblu keep your chin up! Glad you"re finding your way..
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Hi All...

I'm doing a little better today. As I continue to navigate the waters of Dad's decreasing health, I had a turning point.

I realized (with help of therapist) that I am somewhat responsible for my own martyrdom by NOT taking somewhat of a stand. I also realized once I got "under the hood" of the anger, that a lot of it stems from resenting all of THEM for having the life I wish I had.

Bratty niece had the freedom to do young girl things and go outside and play while I spent the majority of my childhood cleaning up adult messes that I never SHOULD have had to clean up. I unconsciously resented that so it is no wonder that her judgement takes me over the edge when she really has NO idea what I go through.

I resent my sister (Bratty's mom) for having the freedom to coupon with friends (all of mine have dwindled away because I'm never available to go out with them), to participate in a running group (when I gained 25 pounds because care giving exhausts me to the point that I can't work out 4 times a week like I used to) or go on mini vacations with her hubby (my relationship broke up after I started caregiving and I can barely afford my rent from month to month) so the fact that she doesn't even ACKNOWLEDGE my sacrifice while she lives her life is infuriating.

The truth is... all of these judgemental you-know-what's wouldn't last a week doing what I'm doing, and I'm working on getting to the point of being OK with taking my life back. I'm still young and shouldn't have to throw my life away because Dad is old and sick.

I'm doing the best I can, and all the nay sayers need to just stick it (how I wish I could find the courage to tell THEM that)!
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It sounds that with all the dysfunction in your life growing up Tinyblu, that you learned survival skills, but not much in the way of congeniality. That can be a handicap in adult life. I would try to gain some skills to deal with it, instead of raising your blood pressure and giving you an ulcer.

I would suspect that anger management skills would also help you in other areas of your life, not just dealing with the family ordeal. I would explore it as others have suggested. Even though it sounds like you were treated very unfairly and that you have suffered, having poor emotional control skills will not serve you well in life. ( Allowing others to push your buttons only works to help them in the long run.) It makes it difficult to be in relationships and severely limits you in the business world. I wish you all the best.
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I feel for you. It seems like you have been through a lot. You don't have to forgive and forget but I feel you do need to work on breaking the dysfunction cycle. As long as your dad is still alive you will invariable cross their paths. When you visit your dad and walk in on him with visitors you don't wish to be around just say "Oh, I didn't know you had visitors" and walk out. I learned that you can't change people, you can only change yourself. Best to you
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Fakebook is what I call it. Wish I was smart enough to have bought the stock in the beginning. Ahh well......

Tinyblu, are you doing better today. Do NOT let those bimbos control your life by getting a rise out of you. Though I know exactly how you feel re my BIL & his wife. I absolutely cannot stand them....don't even want to breathe the same air as them. So I avoid them at all costs. When I do have to be around them, I humor myself by being so sickeningly sweet to them -- all the time holding an open paper clip in my hand and jabbing myself while imagining it being jabbed at them. Or something like that.
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kdcm - isn't that the truth! Can you imagine ending a relationship by way of "unfriending"? If it weren't for the fact I bought FB stock at around $20 a share - Id be happy to see the whole site just go away! A good investment financially but I'd never invest a minute of my personal business there!
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Tinyblu, block her on FB or just don't get notifications from her. Rainmom, I am horrified, too, with what people are airing on FB. Just another venue for bullies to be a bully.
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It sounds like there is a mess of abuse in Dad's past, and it is amazing that you are willing to even have a relationship with im. I believe I would talk to an attorney for advice about banning people from visiting dad at the nursing home. This may not be a popular answer, but the visitors seem to be exrtodinarily destructive people. There is the possibility that one of them could convince dad to appoint them POA and have him sign new documents, take him out, and then permanently move him without you knowing. It would be up to the former POA to prove that he was incompetent to sign at the time the new papers were signed. And the standard for competence in these cases is pretty low.
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Tinyblu - you asked "who does that"? Just about everyone under age 30 and very often older people who should know better! It never ceases to amaze me the personal dirty laundry people put on personal media for the world to see. My 25 yr old step-daughter is the queen of this. Just recently she and her 54 yr old mother went at it exposing secrets, calling names, making accusations in a way that mortified my husband and I. My SD has broken up with boyfriends, fought with friends - the drama is endless. Regardless - I know it's hard but you are doing the right thing. And I know what you mean about always being the bigger person - it can be exhausting. More than once I've found myself asking "why do I always have to be the one to do the right thing"? In a bad way it turned me into a "people pleaser" most of my life. On the plus side - my guilt level is generally pretty low at all times, lol! Hang in there - eventually it will end.
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So I decided to calm down and not restrict the people with whom I share DNA from my dad for HIS sake. I truly hate them all.

I did specify that they must let me know WHO is coming and WHEN so I can stay far, far away. I can't even occupy space with them and we don't have to share the same space. They can visit Dad without me being there.

Bratty niece took her tyrade to Facebook (what is it with young people and cyber courage?) basically calling me a coward... almost taunting me. Who does that?

Thanklessjob, thank you soooo much! It helps to know that I'm not the only one that has been through HE** and still trying to do the right thing.

Nothing irritates me more than when people see my Dad and I and say something cliche like "You're going to be blessed..." I don't care about the future. I just want peace now.

I don't like being the bigger person. I've had to do that all my life (even when I just wanted to be a normal little girl).

I just wish all of this would end.
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tinyblu ((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))
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Tinyblu,
Emotional pain turned outward is anger. Emotional pain turned inward is depression.
Your anger is coming from your pain. Your pain is splattered all over your last post. It sounds like your whole childhood was a bummer (like mine), endless women in the house (me too! My dad took the "lady" into the bedroom, told me not to come in and shut the door.), violence (me too! He threw a crystal ashtray at me, missing my head by an inch) abandonment of siblings (I am an only child, but my divorced parents were alcoholics). I, too, did it all. My dad had been awful to me growing up. I loved him but I hated him too. I was so stinkin' mad when, in my 40's, I had to move my debilitated, sick dad near me to take care of him. I remember sitting on my bed screaming at God, " WHY do I have to do this?" "I don't deserve this. Didn't I go through enough?" I was so mad that I had to hold things together, once again. There was no way I could be my dad's caregiver with all that anger. I decided to pretend he was my patient (I'm a nurse) instead of my dad. That helped somewhat. I realized that the anger was consuming ME and was a cover-up for pain. Then I had a "poor me-pity party" with a good cry. It's hard to let go of anger because we've been wronged. Of course we're mad about it. But you MUST let it go, not for them, but for your own well being. Anger is like cancer, it only gets worse if you don't cut it out. Why would you withhold happiness from your life to spend the energy to hate someone? There are many fine books and groups for anger management. Check them out. A friend of mine and I use the phrase, "Let it go!"
Unless your father doesn't want to see these people who irritate YOU, you shouldn't keep him from seeing them. Just don't be there when they are visiting. I wish the best for you.
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You can avoid crossing paths with your abuser, and when you can't - and this is one of those times - you can basically shun them, and remind them you are not on speaking terms; forgiveness is actually besides the point, it is something you do for yourself, when and if you can, so your anger and hate does not poison YOU.

You could practice looking at a picture of them and saying, "We are not actually on speaking terms. I know you are here for Dad and that's fine. But I have never been able to forgive you for the very, very cruel things you said to me about the loss of my brother. They were not true and they hurt me very deeply. You cannot expect to just have a conversation with me or expect me to listen to you before any kind of an apology takes place for those horrible, unfounded accusations."

Leave them and their sins for God to judge and correct. Your stepmom's self-serving self-justifying "religion" was no more pleasing to God than the current state of presidential politics in America - God does not like bullies especially bullies who claim to be bullying in His good name. You don't need to be the one to correct them, or take it on yourself in any way shape or form to see that they understand the wrongness of what they did (quite possibly futlie especially if they can always get a rise out of you and invalidate you in their eyes by saying somethng even uglier and meaner) or that they get anything they deserve or don't deserve. Hanging on to the idea that you can or should be the one to punish them is just letting them take up space in your heart, and that is the one thing they truly do not deserve. You deserve to be strong in your own heart for your own life and journey that will take you far away from the belittling past you have endured and its slings and arrow that you have already found to be so false.
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Thanks everyone for the level headed answers.

I didn't read the full texts because I knew they would be venomous and hateful and angry.

Yes, this is YEARS of dysfunction coming to a head, and the people in question aren't even blood related to my father. The "sister" and I share a mother, but she ran away from home around the age of 10 and didn't materialize again until college age (which Dad helped pay for). She disappeared again and re-appeared when her daughters went to college. She now lives in Dad's old house (I didn't want it).

I can count on one hand how many times I even seen this ungrateful, bratty daughter who has such an opinion of how "selfish" and evil I am, and how my actions led to the suicide of my brother... those words alone make me not want her in my presence at all. Until yesterday, she had NEVER come to see my father, and I felt shocked and angry that my sister still has done nothing to reprimand that horrid little B****!!!

For years (not my choice) it was just Dad and me. He abandoned his other children, and after a certain age, the revolving door of women FINALLY closed (I can't tell you how many women I called "mom" because I wanted one so badly).

The uber religious "step mom" that mothered my now deceased brother was 27 years younger than him and reminded me how ugly, retarded, weird and stupid I was every day. In the event that dad did hit her (which was often), it somehow became my fault which determined if I got dinner that night or not.

So... the whole dynamic is completely a mess, so now I feel like none of these people DESERVE to be a part of the end. Why should I ease their guilt or remain subjected to their negative comments and judgements while they live their lives and I'm sacrificing EVERYTHING to care for Dad in spite of our history?

I hear everyone, and you make valid points. I still think I need a couple days to cool off. Honestly, I don't WANT to forgive anyone. I've been told to do that all my life to no avail. I could care less if I EVER saw any of them again, and once Dad is gone, I will have NO family.

Is there at least a way for me to arrange that we don't cross paths at least? Yep... still mad!
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Who would of thought a Disney tune would become the anthem for caregivers dealing with dementia and dementia related family issues? I tend to hum the song from The Wizard of Oz - " if I only had a brain, a heart, some courage..."
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You can't control everything; only how you react to it. You gotta work on that. Especially those situations where you see red. I speak from experience. Am better at it with some people than others. Unless tthey are physically or emotionally abusing your dad, you have no authority or right to stop the visits. In fact, it could be construed as emotional abuse if you do & who knows where that would lead. Certainly not worth it to win the battle but lose the war (another thing I am learning thru experience with family members who push my buttons).

You are better than this. Better than that crazy woman that came out in the parking lot yesterday. They WANT you to act like the crazy woman (again, I speak from experience) because it somehow justifies to them their own actions. Many times now I avoid entirely or walk away singing "Let It Go" in my head. Yes, it's hard, but we can do this. {hugs}
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POA does not give you the authority to prevent someone from visiting your father.

It gives you the authority to help him obtain a restraining order IF that is what he wants.
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Yes. You are abusing your POA, he is their father and grandfather too. I know they make you mad, but you have to bite your tongue and walk away when they visit. Your father does not deserve to see what goes on with his children, so be civil, as hard as it is.
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My father always said to me "it doesn't matter what anyone else is doing, you do the right thing". So I've lived my life this way and had it come back to bite me on the butt more than once. But I will continue to strive to do the right thing - my father was a kind, generous man respected and loved by many - I believe his advice to be good. So, I send that advice your way. You be the good person, the bigger more generous person. If you think theyre awful now, just wait till you give them fuel by "isolating, kidnapping, controlling" or whatever inflammatory word they may come up with - if you begin to restrict your fathers visitors. I'm not sure I'd vote for any attempt at a family meeting to try to smooth things over - sounds like you all may be well past that at this point. Here's what I do with my brother that is forever criticizing me. I do my job. I inform him when I think it's something he needs to know or may cause me more drama if he finds out a different way. When he disagrees or criticizes a decision I make I remind him it was mine to make and mine alone. When he blows up at me I remind him I am a grown @$$ woman not the little sister that he use to bully but can't bully me anymore - then I tell him I would be happy to continue the discussion when he is ready to be civil - hang up the phone or walk out of the building. It's amazing how great it feels to be the mature one, the civil one, the one in control! Give it a shot.
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Tinyblu, I know you have an unusual family situation and that there is a lot of anger. I wish you could all sit down and talk. Sometimes I think your father is pitting you one against the other with his phone calls. I just read back on one of your messages where he told your stepmom that you were yelling and cussing at him, then couldn't remember doing it.

Why did it upset you so badly to see your niece sitting on the sofa? And do you think your father could be setting up this family dysfunction? Maybe it would be best to try to get the sane family people together and figure out what is going on. It would be great to pull together more, instead of battling at each other -- particularly if the battles are being orchestrated by things going on behind the scene.

And whatever you do, don't hurt yourself to try to serve your father. We have to remember how important we are, and that our needs count just as much. If we don't take care of ourselves, no one will. Big hugs to you as you work through this. Don't let the anger eat you from inside. I know that it can. I am forever wrestling with my own anger over the unfairness of things.
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Tinyblu, you sound like you are about to break with all the stress, the losses in your life, and the accusations from others plus the guilt and false guilt coming from inside your own head must just be crushing you in the middle. It is no wonder you have lost perspective. Honestly - yes - I'd vote you let them see your Dad. It is not about what they deserve or don't deserve, it is not even about how they are treating you, it is about what may make your Dad happy. You are not in charge of karma. You are in charge of being the responsible adult acting in the best interest of another person - that's what POA is. And you can't realistically expect your niece to speak with you directly when she knows good and well that you hate her for whatever she said to you that made you hurt even more than you were already hurting. Have a good great big all out cry, let the "red" hot anger subside a bit, and then you probably should read her text. It is Easter after all, and the celebration of the ultimate victory of the One who paid the ultimate price because of his ultimate mercy on us all.
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i used to retreat clear out of the picture when people came to visit my mom. so , yea , i think you are overreacting . safety and finances should be your concern , not much else .
im not trying to be snarfly because everything is complicated in elder care and we all succumb to emotion sometimes .. you may need your family at some point so dont drive them away ..
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Tinyblu, we all have our boiling points no matter what is our ethic background. It's only human nature. And some of us wish we could implode at our relatives like you did.

I was snipping and snarling today at my sig other because he went to the gym instead of being with me at my parent's house to help me sort and move out some of the items.

Next time, tell them to "talk to the hand" as you don't want to get into any fights over Dad's care. And if they think they can do a better job, let them at it. You are doing what you think is best for your Dad, and you are now burning out. Welcome to the club. Pat yourself on the back for doing all that you have been doing, and walk away with a smile.
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