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Help! I am at my wits end and my health is suffering from it. I am 46 years old. Between the little sister and myself we have been taking care of Dad since 1992 when my mom passed. Dad was young then and still worked but didn't date and we cleaned house and cooked for him, etc. Fast forward to 2019..he is 77 has COPD/Emphysema, mobility issues, 3 Aortic Aneurysms, and a multitude of other issues. He currently lives with me. We fight constantly. He does nothing really for himself. I cook all his meals, do his laundry, take him everywhere, clean up after him, clip his toenails, balance his checkbook. I am his maid, his nurse, his receptionist, his taxi.. I literally do all for him except well go to the bathroom for him. I know I sound harsh but I am done! He constantly calls me a "B" and expects me to not let it bother me. Did I mention I also hold down a full time job? I feel like my life has become a prison sentence with work release. I recently asked my dad to think about moving into a home and his response to me was "it will be a cold day in hell when I give up my life for any of yours". I asked him to please clean up his dishes off the table and put them in the sink..his reponse was "I enjoy watching you clean up after me besides my picking up my dishes constitutes me cleaning your house and I won't do it". HELP! I have to take antidepressants just to keep from crying all the time. How can I get my dad to understand? Is there somewhere he can live that would be considered an apartment not a nursing home? He has two dogs that I also take care of and he won't give up so that puts a damper on a lot of things. HELP! I am going to lose my mind...he gets mad if I don't stay at home to keep him company or I am gone too long. Recently needed to get a second job to make ends meet and was accused of taking it only because I didn't want to take care of him. Help.. I am desperate.

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You can't make him understand. He will not understand. He doesn't NEED to understand. You need to take charge of your own life, now. He is 77 and ill. The next time he goes to hospital you need to tell them the day he arrives in the ER that you WILL NOT be taking him home with you and that he now needs placement. You will be beset at once by social workers promising you help saying "We can make this work". You will not get help and it will not work (I spent my life as a nurse and know this). You need to tell them that your care of him has made you mentally ill and that you will be taking care of yourself and his two dogs now. Plan for this. Do not SPEAK about this to him or to anyone else. You know he will eventually, with this onslaught list of illnesses be needing hospitalization. Plan ahead for this, set it in your mind what you need to say. NO ARGUMENT and NO DISCUSSION. Just a flat statement over and over as many times as you must say it "I am truly sorry but I WILL NOT be taking my father back into my home. I am unable now to care for him. Please arrange placement". If your father did not have you there the same thing would happen to him. The mistake was taking him into your home. That is done and there is no changing it. As to "he gets mad", who cares?
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Upstream Jul 11, 2019
Great answer!! I hope the poster gets her life back ASAP!
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Enough is more than enough.

But to be blunt, if you were a person with a standard concept of what constitutes "enough" you wouldn't be in this situation. You and your sister would have passed that point over a decade ago.

So: you were 19, your sister younger when you sadly lost your mother. Looking after your father began then - were you compensating? - and snowballed, and your sister got away but you didn't.

I think you're going to need more direct help than you can get from a forum. You'll have to work with someone who can really see into how your situation developed and what habits of thinking you have to break. Have you ever tried anything like that?

As far as your father goes, it actually isn't a problem because it is your decision. You move, you leave, you evict him, whatever. It'll be you who acts. But the *difficulty* is going to be permitting yourself to do that, and I can't see you doing it alone. Can you?
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Laurellel Jul 12, 2019
Good points! The thing is, if the father has a personality disorder, daughter has been conditioned since birth to kowtow and think this is just how it is. If that is the case, she will need to understand down to her bones that yes, Dad has a PD, He will never understand, never great her better, never change. There are several cards missing from his deck, starting with the empathy card and the conscience cards. A child wants to believe her parent really loves her -- It is sort of a primal thing. It is so hard to accept a person with a Cluster B personality disorder simply is not capable of loving anyone, including his children. A good therapist with a good grounding in personality disorders is what is needed here.
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Just to pile on here...

You will not convince your dad of anything. He will not change.

It is only within your "locus of control" to change your reaction to this untenable situation.

Do you rent or own? You can move. "Dad, I'm not renewing the lease. I'll be moving in a month's time without you."

You can stop cooking and cleaning for him.

You can start eviction proceedings.

You can call the Area Agency ON Aging and get a needs assessment and tell them that you will be "moving on" and will no longer be available to care for him.

Can you do this? Only you know the answer to that. Do you have a therapist? It sounds like you are in need of one to help you resolve this situation before you sacrifice anymore of your life to this b@st@rd.

He said it himself; its "your" house. Take back the power.
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There is no convincing your father. He’s got total control over you and he knows it. He probably either hates or despises women, since he has lorded his nasty behavior over all the women in his life. You have been brainwashed to believe it’s OK for him to be that way. And you comply!!

“We fight constantly.” Why? Because you want him to do something that he has no plans of ever doing. And why should he? He knows you’ll do it. He has control over you. You ARE his slave and he gets off on his power over you. It will only get better when YOU take control of your own life.

He derives pleasure by degrading you verbally by calling you a b*tch. Why do you let him demean you that way? Do you have ANY self esteem left or has he whipped it all out of you? He believes he’s the king and everybody should bow down to him. Well what about you?
Obviously you don’t believe in yourself or you would have kicked him out a long time ago.

You need the assistance of a therapist to first sort out your feelings, then process and deal with them, then start the long process to build self esteem and self love. When you get to that point, you won’t bother “trying to convince him”. Your desires are what matters and you will take steps to get him out of your home. You do not owe him an explanation nor should you apologize. After therapy you will have a backbone and will not have any GUILT in living your life. It doesn’t matter what he thinks or says.

Would you let him treat your daughter this way? Would you treat anybody this way? You need to see that this is improper behavior. He has a mental disorder but doesn’t realize it. Do not take what he says to heart. Believe in yourself. Do what is best for you because he doesn’t give a damn about you.
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cherokeegrrl54 Jul 14, 2019
Wise words!!
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You ask: " How can I get my dad to understand?"

You can't. It is time to choose -- your life or his?

Did your younger sister escape this abuse? You escape, too!

You are worth it. Get away from this abusive father. He is not your responsibility. Please believe this.
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Hey dad, did you hear, HELL JUST FROZE OVER. Looks like you are moving and you don't have a choice.

As he said, this is your house and you are the boss. His treatment of you is abusive and you DO NOT need to accept it.

I would take him to a men's shelter and let them deal with him. This behavior will kill you and he has made it clear he doesn't care about anyone but himself.

I am sorry that you are going through this, but time to take your life into your own hands and send him packing, I don't care what his diagnosis is, he can go live his life on his terms out of your house.

Hugs! You can do it!
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Harpcat Jul 13, 2019
I love your first sentence!! Perfect!!
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I don't know who owns the house you live in. If it is his house, save up your money and leave. A studio apartment sleeping on the floor is better than what you have. I know, I had a one bedroom apartment with no furniture. I didn't even have a refrigerator, just a foam ice chest. I remember like it was this morning, waking up after sleeping on the floor, I looked out the window and felt like someone had let me out of jail. One of the most wonderful feelings in the world. Don't give him your phone number, don't argue or threaten, just save up your money and do it.

You need to get with a good therapist who can teach you to say "no". It took me over three weeks to do that. I hope you can learn faster than I did.

Hugs to you, it will be scary but you CAN do this.
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Isthisrealyreal Jul 13, 2019
You are a true inspiration. Hugs!
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Your approach is not in your own best interest. Continue sharing a home a force him to hire a servant. Get off the antidepressants and start seeking joy in your life. Better yet sell your home and move to another state. Start over free.
My intention here is not to be cruel like him. Just woman to woman who also has a controlling selfish bitter old dad.
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You cannot reason with an unreasonable person. Hindsight, as they say is 20/20. When he was younger and healthy you and sister should have let him fend for himself after mom died. He wouldn’t like it, but he could have done it. He won’t like this either, but he will have to get used to it. It sounds like he has been verbally and emotionally abusive and controlling your whole life and you were never “allowed” to have a voice or opinion. Most likely mom was also verbally and emotionally abused and waited on him hand and foot and that was encouraged in you as well. I’m sorry for that. I’m glad you have woken up and realized that you can’t and won’t take it any more.
What are his finances like? Can he afford an AL place? Or will he need Medicaid? Sounds like time to start checking in to places nearby, and line up your top two options and then tell him “Dad, I cannot and will not take care of you any more. It is killing me physically and emotionally and I cannot do it anymore. You may not care about my well being as evidenced by how you treat me, but I do, and it’s past time for me to take a stand. I have done some research and these are your 2 best options. You will be moving to A or B next week-you choose.” And the FOLLOW THROUGH! Find a friend or family member with a backbone and have them be with you when you tell him. And no matter how nasty he gets, and he will get nasty, DON’T BACK DOWN. If he physically threatens you in any way, go outside and call 911-press charges if you have to, or have them take him to a hospital to be evaluated.
It will not be a reasonable and rational ordeal, but there is light ant the end of the tunnel and we’ve got your back to support you!
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Your dad has shown absolutely no consideration for your feelings or making this easier for you - in fact - he expects you to be his slave. Expecting to reason with him or cry and argue and he'll change - won't happen.

You say you are done - then be done. What are you willing to do to make this happen? If you want him out - research options pegged to his income (my mom lives in senior housing pegged to 30% of her income, she gets SNAP for food assistance) for housing and food. Give those to him. He won't move out but he will have options when you start the eviction process - because that is what you are likely to have to do to get this monster out of your house.

How willing are you to be tough and take your life back?
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DILKimba Jul 11, 2019
Excellent advice.
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