Should I draw the line? He's making the family dynamic worse!


I've ranted about my Narcissistic father with Dementia countless times on this forum, but I am seriously starting to believe that some of his behavior has nothing to do with the disease... rather, he's just emotionally abusive and flat out MEAN.

After struggling to determine the best living situation for both of us (and moving him four times in a year), I finally realized that in order for me to get some semblance of sanity, it would be best to move him BACK to an independent living facility (he refuses to go to a full AL) and cut the overnight nursing and opt for someone to keep him company a few hours on weekends while I work TWO jobs.

He kicked and screamed at first but after about a month he had settled into the routine and I finally had the opportunity to breathe (now that I've lost my home, my car, my job and my BF... yet I digress).

That was until I received a strange text from my EVIL stepmother (the meddling ex wife that he always calls when I don't give him his way). Apparently she sent my sister a text that miraculously got into my inbox. Her text said that she was concerned about my father. He had called her "crying" and saying that I was screaming and cussing at him and mistreating him. I had JUST gotten off the phone with him less than 1/2 hour before this text came in, and he was FINE!!!

Quite unnaturally for me (I've always been the perfect little girl), I called her and CHALLENGED her to take me to any court of law and PROVE this horrible treatment, and went further to ask why she was still even involved in his life considering that she had been divorced from my father for over 15 years! I told her to mind her own D*** business and focus on her current marriage.

I then stupidly asked Daddy why he said those awful things, and of course... he couldn't remember.

Well, a similar incident happened today. This morning he ranted and raved about his weekend companion eating his food and asking him to pay for her meal if they go out to eat or additional gas money. I challenged him on this, but still amended our service agreement to provide receipts when they go out. Naturally, she was upset which I could understand, yet when she asked Dad what was going on, he called me a LIAR again and seemed to have no recollection of the conversation we had this morning. She actually recorded him calling me a liar and a few other choice words... continuing to accuse me of trying to take his money, etc...

So, I collaborated with the caregiver and put everyone on speaker phone. I asked Dad to repeat our earlier conversation about the accusations on the caregiver. He REPEATED word for word exactly what he said that morning. When we asked him if he told her I was LYING about the conversation he said NO. That's when she played back the recording.

He went BALLISTIC!!!! He swore and cussed and accused us both of being out to get him, etc. As soon as he realized he was caught he went on his tyrade about getting "out of here" and "taking care of himself"

Here's the thing. I have tried to do EVERYTHING I can to make this man as comfortable and happy AT MY OWN EXPENSE!! He's manipulative and mean, and though I think it would be a bit cruel since he has no one else (he has run off 11 children, 7 wives and one child committed suicide), I'm really thinking of throwing in the towel.

Some of his behavior may be a reflection of his confirmed Dementia, but part of me believes he's just being an OGRE that is throwing a tantrum because he cant get his way. The LAST thing he had control over was his money and now that I'm managing that, he's beside himself.

I'm sick of being accused of taking his money, mistreating him, fussing and cussing at him, etc. I've gone through this for more than a year and I just don't want to be unappreciated forever.

Would it make me a bad person to abandon the old grump?

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Tiny, when I ask what you understand about dementia, it's a real question. Recording his rants and expecting that to "prove" something to a person with dementia is unrealistic. His brain is broken. He can no longer reason.

You can only be the one in charge here if you are dispassionate enough and resilient enough not to be hurt by his rages and lack of appreciation. I don't think you're there yet; it would be hard to be, given that you've been in his thrall since birth. It may be time to walk away, resign your POA with the help of an attorney and allow the chips to fall where they may.
Helpful Answer (3)

Draw the line.

Throw in the towel.

Continue in your therapy and learn how to protect or better yer disable your guilt buttons so he can't continue to push them.

It is sad that he is sick. It is even more sad that you are being hurt by his sickness. Allowing that doesn't make him less sick, you know.
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Tiny, what do you understand about dementia? What do you understand about Narcissistic Personality Disorder (I'm making an assumption, but I think it's probably valid. Unless it's something worse).

You seem to be seeking, reading your previous posts and this one, appreciation, validation and a pat on the head from someone who was not capable of giving you that BEFORE he had dementia. Why would you think he's going to give it to you now?

Why are you trying to make him happy?

Why are you giving him the power to control your work life, your love life and your health?

From the sound of it, he belongs in a nursing home or a psychiatric care facility. I would talk to his doctor frankly about what level of care he needs so that you can get on with your life.

Get him into the best facility he can afford and let them take care of him. Keep in touch with the facility and visit in person once a month for as long as he stays calm.

Caring for a mentally ill parent with dementia is not a DIY activity.
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When my patient (who is not my parent, which makes it easier), tries to hurt me or upset me, I try to chuckle and act like she said something rather amusing. Like if she tells me what a horrible caregiver I am and how I do nothing well, I tell her that I'm not ever going to be a caregiver again, and thank her for helping me arrive at that good decision. When she then tells me that I will be a caregiver again because I'm too stupid to do anything else,I tell her that thankfully it doesn't matte that she thinks that because I wont be depending on her for anything--no references, no opinions, no nothing. And I smile. Then I tell her, " Nope, my caregiving days are over, and we will no longer have to put up with each other....haha...." Whatever, you get the idea. I guess its removing yourself from the situation a bit and trying to detach so that you can take it in stride, not take it personally, and not let it hurt you. She used to hurt me terribly, and if I dont let her, or at least act like I doesn't hurt me, she doesn't try nearly as hard or as often to hurt me or make me upset. I know that sounds simplistic, especially when its someone you're so close to, but just keep that idea in mind because it really does work for me. It used to work when I took care of my father too, if i could pull it off.
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W/o reading this post and your previous ones, wasn't this the father who had multiple wives and was abusive to women, including you?
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I did, but I feel so guilty about leaving the old, blind, almost deaf man with COPD and dementia alone. I promised him that I wouldn't put him away...blah, blah, blah...

I've since been going to therapy and realizing that he may have taken the "Honor thy father and Mother" thing too far
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Tiny, I will point out that in May of this year, you said you were done.
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Co- morbid mental illness, that is meant to say.
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Sweetheart, he has dementia and from the sounds of it, has co-ordination mental illness.

You are never going to be able to make him happy. You can resign your POA with notice and a public guardian will be appointed for him. Save your sanity and your health while you can.

Alternatively, you can hire a geriatric care manager with his funds, but I really don't think that's going to work.
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Freqflyer has the perfect idea.

My mother can cause problems. When she is just being a turd, I usually call her on it. She gets mad, throws a hissy and pouts for a few days but after that, she is ok.
Can you call your local elder care agency and see what they say?
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