I am caretaker for my mom, stepdad, husband and my mentally disabled little sister. In the last few months, my stepdad has been behaving overtly, well, "lover-ish" towards me. He calls repeatedly throughout the day. He gets upset if I need to do things with my husband. He tries to hold my hand constantly, but lets go and acts guilty when my mom walks in the room. When i go to kiss him goodbye, he grabs my waist and tries to get a lip lock (I have always kissed his forehead). There are too many other weird incidences to mention, but it seems to be getting worse. I have tried to tell him he is being inappropriate towards me and making me uncomfortable, but he starts crying and threatening to kill himself if I don't spend more time with him. I admit to using my own health issues as an excuse to avoid him, but he just gets more desperate and clingy when I do go over. My mother is toxic under the best of circumstances, but has lately upped her viciousness in response to his neediness.

My stepdad and have always been close, good friends ever since he came into our lives when I was 13. I have always felt safe with my stepdad. His recent behaviors are making me want to run away and hide. It is breaking my heart to lose my mentor and best friend this way. What the hell do I do? Is this from his medication (no changes in months)' damage from the stroke 2 years ago or some new, fresh hell?

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Holy Moley, get yourself another apt, detach big time and get out of dodge.
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Too much. What you do is look after you and your husband first. I agree that explaining won't help. You need to grieve the loss of your dad. He is no longer the person he was and I am sorry. Please give yourself the space to do that. It is not something small. It is wonderful that he was such a good dad, and this is a big loss for you/ Talk to his doctor by all means and get an eval. So glad you gave the care of your sister over to someone else. You may have to do that for your dad. Sounds like your mum is no help either to put it lightly. I would not put up with her berating you. Time to put a stop to that. Tel her "No more!" You don't have to justify or explain yourself -just no more comments about abandoning your sis. You are not obliged to do anything for her -she is lucky to have your help. Now be sure you take time for you and your husband. You deserve a life and not to use all your time and energy looking after other people. Do keep us updated. ((((((((hugs)))))
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Pam, will your grand kids be safe around your sister? Yikes. You have more than your share:( Sending you positive vibes and hugs. xo
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Dad is 82' soon 83. Considering he is a childhood polio survivor, he is actually in amazingly good health. Type 2 diabetes, now diet controlled. High blood pressure and chronic pain from the post polio. He gets a lot of hip and knee pain, one leg is 3 inches shorter than the other so it strains hips and knees. I got him into pain mngmnt 3 yrs ago and he is doing very well, when he takes his meds right. Dad doesn't drink or smoke, that's moms deal. Up until this recent stuff, dad has been my ideal of a close to perfect man. The soul of love and patience who never raised his voice, even when mom was in batshit crazy mode.

I have contacted his dr and arranged an appt by myself so I can discuss his mental deterioration and see about getting an assessment done. Now I have to figure out how much to tell my stepsister about all this. Our relationship is rather new and I hate to strain it. She has only been back in dads life for about 10 years and mine for about 3 years. My mom was the other woman, so I get it.

As for my little sister, she is more of an abuser, never a victim. She is mentally about 9 years old on a good day. She is borderline psychotic and a pathological lier to boot. Her favorite hobby is trying to trip dad or otherwise make him miserable in some way. Usually by eating anything designated as his. She is obese, lazy, cruel and viscious, as well as a chain smoker with COPD & emphazema, type2 diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid problems and incontenant by choice (she prefers diapers to using the toilet). The only saving grace about her is she has her own apartment so I don't have to clean behind her anymore at mom & dads, except what she does on daily visits. I had to quit being her guardian and turned her care over to a nurse after she accused me of beating her. God knows I thought of it frequently, but never had the actual pleasure so I felt it best to have professionals deal with her before she got me locked up. Mom still berates me for abandoning her, even though I still handle all her financial and medical decisions. I just don't clean her apartment or battle with her to make her wash and take her meds anymore. Sorry to run on, sis has been a pain today and is on my mind.
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Oops sorry Pam, I realize you don't have a son but a sister, well I would look out for her and yourself first.
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Hi Pam, you don't say how old your step dad is. You have an awful lot of people to look out for, hopefully you are not a codependent person because this would cause great pain to you and make you excessively prone to guilt imo. In any event, you say his primary ailment is depression. Has he been drinking excessively? Self medicating with alcohol is from what I understand symptomatic of alcohol abuse, and God knows how it can twist a person's thinking. I would not say he has dementia, I would let a doctor, depending on his age, diagnose this. If he is in his late 70s or 80s a Geriatrician would be the best bet in my book. For now, don't let him manipulate with threats of self-harm, if you are codependent you will be drawn in big time. I would go the route you said, if you have the right to do so talk to his doctor and keep your distance. You are not responsible for the world of hurt he is in but you are responsible for yourself and your son.
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Thank you Bobbi. This is the same conclusion I came to last night after reading all those posts. His dad had dementia and ended up in a state home that "accidentally" left a door open and he fell down stairs and broke his neck. He was the same age dad is now. Being in an NF has been my dads greatest fear ever since. Crappity crap crap! Well, time for the big girl panties. I will call his dr and arrange an assessment ASAP. Maybe one of these wonder drugs can buy us a little more time.

Thank you for your blunt honesty. It was just what I needed.
Helpful Answer (2)

Hi Pam,

He has Dementia and his behavior is reflective of that.
Yup, a new, fresh Hell with a whole new set of rules.

Please think of yourself first as hard as that is. You can limit your exposure to him and keep a better distance when you are in his presence.
I can't imagine how difficult it is for you to see the person that you have loved as a dad for years and years morph into someone who is 'creeping' on you.

Part of the long goodbye of Dementia is the mourning of the loss of the personality, the entire Person, that we once knew.

He will say and do anything and just try to remember that it is the Disease talking to you and not the dad that you remember.
Dementia is a form of insanity and don't let any 'expert' tell you it's not. What you are witnessing is insane is it not?

This is essentially a new person in your life and now, as sad as it is, you must react accordingly. Explaining to him how you feel is useless and just makes you both upset.

I am not a professional, and I will say that you don't have to put up with this and if he gets upset and starts crying that is better than you being pawed at and made to feel crappy.
I am not of the school of whatever the elderly need they get because if the caregiver gives out then the whole game stops right there.

Now is the time to get someone else to provide the day to day care for him because he is progressing to a point where you cannot control the situation and you don't have to. Sounds simple but believe me, I know it's not.
This phase of the game will take a lot of strength on your end because you have to change it all up.

So, if he's making you feel bad, leave.
If he starts threatening you with suicide, leave.
If your mom is being a vicious brat, leave.
Screw that nonsense.

You probably won't change their behavior by leaving but you will help yourself by not subjecting yourself to the physical and mental anguish that their behavior causes in you.

The demented are the world's best manipulators and because they are our parents they know, deep in their reptilian brains, how to smash our buttons and what to do to get us to engage in their insane behavior.

It's hard but we have to detach in order to save our own lives.

On this amazing website there are links to extra help so you can begin the process of getting either in home help or begin the process of placement.
This is your life that we are talking about here.
They have had their turn at life and now it is your turn to live your life.

We only change when it hurts more to stay the same.

Good Luck and keep writing it out. The process of change is helped by bouncing your ideas off of others and getting feedback.
These are my ideas and opinions and there are amazing caregivers here who will have more ideas and opinions. You pick and choose what will work for you. Everything will help you make the tough decisions that are on the horizon but there is one hard truth:
This is about saving your life.

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