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I love my Dad dearly and we've always been close - until now. He is a quiet, gentle man, but he has slowly taken over my life. I care for him, my Mother and my husband and although I do well most of the time, sometimes I just "let it out" and this evening was one of those times. I had to leave town for a few hours today to help my brother. Before leaving, I made sure they were fed and comfortable and called to check on them after a couple of hours. As soon as my brother finished his errands I came home to learn that I was "gone for 5 1/2 hours" and Dad wanted to know exactly where we had been. So.... I told him. He balked at what I said and implied that I was lying. I promptly left the room and lost my temper.


Now I'm sick of heart and ashamed of my lack of control. Did I overreact? Am I being abusive? Is it just me? I hate myself when this happens and I hate what is happening to our relationship. Dad is terribly upset with me and I fear what this is doing to both of us.

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Please, don't feel guilty. You have a lot on your plate. I have a feeling Dad maybe showing signs of Dementia. You may not be able to reason with him anymore.

You can honor your parents without taking on full responsibility for their care. You just need to make sure they are safe, clean and cared for. You cannot be everything to them. You ARE going to burn out. Caring for one person can be overwhelming but 3?

From your profile, you are a Senior too. That brings physical limitations.
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dlpandjep Mar 25, 2019
Thank you JoAnn
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I really don't think God expects one person to do it all. Mom is only going to get worse, as is Dad. And Dementia goes hand in hand with Parkinson's. Your priority is your husband. If Mom and Dad have money I would consider an AL for them. This 50 questions would bug me too. My husband doesn't even do that.

This will eventually effect your health. We all need down time.
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dlpandjep Mar 25, 2019
I know He doesn't - He gives us a brain and expects us to use it!  😊 

I do put my husbands needs first.  He's had a hip replacement (x 3), open heart surgery, neuropathy in both legs and on and on....  but he's been very kind and understanding through it all.  My parents are a big help financially, so I know that figures in. 

I guess I just needed to vent and needed reassurance that I'm not over the edge.
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My dear, you dont have a character flaw!!!

It sounds as though your father has an anxiety disorder that needs treatment by a geriatric psychiatrist.
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Is he on any meds for anxiety and depression? They helped my mom TREMENDOUSLY!
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dlpandjep Mar 25, 2019
He's taking Trazodone.  It seems to help. Thank you!
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First of all (((((((hugs)))))))). No guilt.

I just read your profile.

You are caring for 3 people with varying disabling conditions?

How much help do you have coming in?

I think that you are being awfully hard on yourself if you had an outburst out of your dad's hearing. But I also wonder that you are surviving all this.

Do you think it's possible that your dad needs to have a caregiver with him 24/7 so he doesnt become anxious?
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dlpandjep Mar 25, 2019
Thank you Barb - My Dad has help from Home Health (bathing and cath changing).  You're right about him being anxious.  He wants me with him 24/7 and I've tried to explain that I need alone time too.  I haven't been shopping since he moved in 16 months ago.  I guess I'm just needing comforted and to know that I'm normal (?)  By the way, although I left the room, I did come back and let him know how I felt. (hence, the guilt)  I'll talk to him about an additional caregiver.  Thanks for taking time to comment.  💙
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"I promptly left the room and lost my temper."

Er, good? That way round is the *correct* way round. I don't think you should be remotely ashamed of your "lack of" control. In the circumstances, on the contrary, I think you should give yourself a little pat on the back, there. Faced with something intensely annoying after a long and tiring day, you handled it just right.

I'm sorry that your father is terribly upset, and I'm very sorry that your absence, in spite of all your thorough preparations, caused him to become anxious and fearful. But, please: you do know that this is him, and not you, don't you?

I'm sure you have been keeping a close eye on him. Would you say that this inability to comprehend is something new?
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dlpandjep Mar 25, 2019
As I just mentioned above, I am not guiltless - I returned to spew a little venom on him too.  He has always been independent (divorced since 70's), and having to rely on someone else is very difficult for him.  And no, this isn't new.  He doesn't seem to understand that this isn't a picnic for me either.  He tells me, "I don't cause you any trouble."  Well, truth is, he requires more attention that my Mother - who has dementia!  Thank you Countrymouse. 💙
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When my dad inquired about where I had been like I was 16 years old again and late getting back with the car, I would give him a short direct answer and then ask him a question (re-direction). As our parents age and their health declines we become their security blankets and our absences sometimes create anxiety. Now when I leave for any reason, I leave a written note with some basic reason for being out and a time when I will be back (going to drop off J at the skating ring - be back by 6:30). If I'm gone later than that time, I call my mother and give her an updated arrival time - sometimes she writes the new time on the note. I find this process helps me as much or maybe more than Mom. It reminds me Mom needs a calm predictable environment and it avoids that "where were you" interaction that pulls on those old teenage emotions. When I lose my patience and give Mom a short answer, I apologize and accept her forgiveness. At least on the verbal impatience, I have learned to let go of the guilt - there are just so many other/better things to feel guilty about (:>).
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dlpandjep Mar 25, 2019
Thank you for sharing your experience.  I can understand some anxiety, but there are two people with him - I would never leave him alone.

I leave notes too.  They help my Mother, but not my Dad.  He times me every time I leave the house.  I've explained that I don't like being timed and it is very upsetting to me.  I don't understand why I can't just walk away and let it go.  Maybe it's just a character flaw that I need to work on (obviously need to).  Thanks again for caring.
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I know how you feel. Every time I go to church or somewhere my mom wants to know who is picking me up and at what time and how long will I be gone. 57 years old and I shouldn't have to account for all my time. Maybe she worries about me, I don't know. She doesn't like me out late either.
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dlpandjep Mar 25, 2019
Thank you Teresa - Comforting to know that I'm not alone.  Hope you handle it better than I do.  💙

Oh - he doesn't like my going to church either, but I made it clear that I am not going to give that up.  Don't know where I'd be without the love and support of my church family.
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I don't think you acted strongly enough. What gives your father the right to dictate you every movement? You need to set some boundaries with your father before it gets out of hand. I am not saying be nasty with him. Just sit him down and explain the situation.
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dlpandjep Mar 25, 2019
I have set boundaries.  We had a situation just before Christmas when I actually wrote him a letter - so he could reread it and hopefully understand.  I told him his need to control me was out of control and that I am not a child and don't like being treated like one. 

Obviously, I cannot change him, so I'll have to find a way to cope with this.  It's unhealthy.  Thank you for your comment. 💙
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You are stressed! Been there many times myself, with the stress and the outbursts. As my kids grew, I had difficulty handling the stress, running from child to child to meet the never ending needs.

Personally, the less "me" time I had to "be," the more outbursts I had. Give yourself sometime, whether a few minutes or an hour, to do something that gives you pleasure: take a walk outdoors, enjoy a long bath, listen to some of your favorite music, meditate, anything to center yourself.

And when the outbursts happen, forgive yourself. You are running to help everyone else, and I'm guessing taking a little time for yourself.

Years ago, when in college, several of us overachievers who were trying to do good for everyone happened to be together. We were beating ourselves up for not doing our best in each situation. Our college professor asked why do you think you have to do better? Well, isn't it obvious? We are always told to do our best! He pointed out that our best in one situation would be different if we didn't have everything else swirling around us as well. When everything hits at once, we just do the best we can. We have to allow ourselves that.
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dlpandjep Mar 25, 2019
Yes Joanies - I  know I'm stressed.  That's why I so enjoy an opportunity to get out and spend a little time away.  It's the coming home to "twenty questions" that seems to counteract it. 

Thank you for your kind advice and understanding.  One day at a time.  😊
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Your father was being unreasonable and you were not abusive. You have a right to a life, and you do not have to account for every minute of your time. You know that this is true, so please don't feel guilty.
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dlpandjep Mar 25, 2019
Thank you Margaret.  I just wish I didn't get so upset!  It affects the whole household. 💙
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