Not sure what I'm looking for here... maybe to know I'm not the only one? I need to get over the resentment I feel for having to leave my job to care for my Dad. I'm still feeling angry at the passing of my Mom a little over a month ago. I promised her I'd care for my Dad who has mild dementia. After reading what many of you are going through, other than having to live in his house, leaving my career, away from my husband, the care isn't that difficult. (Paying bills, getting groceries, cleaning the house). However, his lack of logic, reasoning, common sense and need to talk non-stop is driving me crazy. He doesn't care what I have to say, and is very selfish. Because of that and the resentment of having to be here, I feel I'm not often very loving. (I call him out on ridiculous remarks). I do that mostly because he was critical of Mom as she was dying - - I'm trying not to feel the need to get him back for it, but dang it, if it doesn't happen in moments of frustration. I then of course, lose sleep from the guilt and vow to do better tomorrow. But then he does it again... and so do I.
I can't see how it isn't just going to grow, you being only human. Your promise to your mother has turned into giving up your job (what are you to live on?) and separating from your husband (what about your promise to him on marriage?); and if your father has mild dementia then you have a long, long road ahead - God willing.
So I think you need to look again at that promise and see if it can't be kept through a far more practical interpretation. You didn't promise your mother that you would screw yourself financially and ditch your husband. You did promise her that you would care for your father. That means finding the best support possible for him, and the best support can't come from someone who is justifiably furious with him and with the situation she finds herself trapped in.
There are other options which will be better for everyone and still keep faith. I should start looking if I were you.
Under no circumstances should the adult child abandon the life they've built to care (long term) for a parent. You will need a game plan in case this goes on for another decade. If it does, the life you have built is gone and your own future will be much different than what you planned for yourself.
I don't think our parents' younger selves would have ever dreamed of asking us to give up our lives for them.
I would explore the consequences of leaving the work force. I don't know your age, but, if you are out without building your career, earning retirement, etc. I'd check to see how that effects you in the long run.
Don't look to dad to agree or understand - this is where you have to assume the adult role to care for dad. I hope you have POA for him for both healthcare and property?
I do sympathize with your frustration over listening to the prattle. My father does the same thing and I do call him out on it. They seem to think we are children and believe their word as gospel and are very shocked to find out that is not the case.
I suggest you stay only long enough to figure out a care plan that does not involve you 24/7 then get back to your life before it is too late.
You need to help find care for him in other ways and that still maintains the integrity of your promise. Moving him to a AL facility if it’s in his budget would be the first step. They can manage his meds, and other needs. Provide him with a safe environment, socialization and good meals.
Learning how to respond to someone with dementia takes a lot of know how and patience. The book I recently read really helped me with that skill. I’ve recommended it on here before and will continue to as it gave me much peace. Called Loving Hard to Love Parents by Paul Chavetz. It’s a thin book and on Amazon.
Realize you have options and make a plan. Get back to your marriage and career for the sake of your retirement. Let us know how it goes.
See All Answers