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I am a 65 yo female. I am/was a Nurse Practitioner. I had to retire 5 years ago. I have multiple sclerosis. I am the second child, oldest daughter of 5 siblings. I was very interested in medicine. Loved biology and wanted to be a nurse since 12 yo. He refused to allow me to take any nursing courses. My older brother and I had to pay rent (mine was two weeks salary). He did not pay for college. I went to college to become a nurse. My husband payed for college. After I graduated at age 30, I had two daughters, continued to work as an RN while obtaining my BSN and MSN. Paid for my partial scholarships and work. My husband was very supportive throughout this busy time. I was a good student, worked part-time job after school. My father was cruel and abusive to first 3 siblings...but he despised me the most because I was outspoken and overweight (25 lbs overweight). He was emotionally, physically abusive to first 3 kids. My sister and I also were sexually abused by him for 4 years. I was married at age 19 to a supportive, kind man. Father sexually abused my younger sister once I was married and out of the house. Both my sister and I confronted my parents when we were in our 30’s. He admitted to the sexual abuse. Very domineering father...very passive mother. Although she had 5 children, she did not like sex. Considered it her “wifely duty.” Something to endure rather than enjoy. She did not discuss menstruation or any topics remotely involving sex. My mother denied knowing anything about it. He would take us to their bedroom after dinner for a “back rub” behind locked door. My mother did not question this. She acted like it was “normal.” She was very angry at my sister & I for accusing my father of the sexual abuse. My father’s response: “you did not seem to mind. And this is done in many cultures.” He also was angry because he was concerned about his “standing” in our family. He is narcissistic and a hypochondriac. After I became a nurse, he seeks my counsel whenever he has an illnesses or sexual issues. He is 90 yo, lives in memory care. Mother died age 66. He has a selective memory, and states that he does not remember being cruel or abusive to his children.

I very strongly believe that a person who was abised should never have to provide any level of care to their abuser. Period.

Not from a distance, definitely not hands on.
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Reply to Tothill
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He does not remember being cruel and abusive because in his twisted mind what he did was neither. You do however remember and understand the degree to which his abuse has affected you and your family, so why would you even answer his phone calls? If you feel any obligations to him at all having had him placed in a memory care where his needs are met has more then met them.
(I sometimes remind people that not every senior is a sweet little old man/lady, the users and abusers and truly evil people grow old too)
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Reply to cwillie
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Dear Conflicted,

Please take the advice of the other posters and, if you haven’t already done so, get some counseling. There is so much betrayal to work through on the part of both of your parents. I kept going back to the part in your post in which he still calls you for advice on “illnesses and sexual issues”. This made my skin crawl. This man is still abusing you. What father would go to his daughter for sex advice? One who had already abused the father/daughter relationship. This is truly disgusting.

Your father is already being taken care of medically and is in a safe environment. I would severely limit my contact with him. It is clear you have not been able to make peace with your past because to an extent you are still being abused. Your parents’ behavior was not normal then, and his is not normal now. His present dementia does not give him a pass with you. You were at the mercy of your parents when you were a child, but now as an adult, you have the right, and the power, to protect yourself from further abuse. I believe it is possible to forgive the past abuse (for your sake!), but that won’t happen if the abuse is still ongoing.

You are to be commended for the success you have made of your life, and I am happy you have a strong, supportive husband. Take care of yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually. I believe that today, well-lived, has the power to work backwards to help heal the past. I have prayed for your healing.
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Reply to Treeartist
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I had an OB like this.

Dirty little family secret...nobody talked about it.

Mom was good at hiding anything that made us look less than 'perfect'....but in the end, the truth came out.

I had ZERO contact with this brother for years before he died. And yes, when he died, I cheered. Not out loud, but in my heart. Wherever God sends child molesters, it better be pretty bad.

I am the 'confused child' who caused our family to fracture b/c I accused him of abuse. Turns out, once I did, I was rapidly followed by a YB and YS and several of his children's friends.

After he died mother said "Well, are you happy NOW?" I said, "Mother, I have been in therapy and on antidepressants and anti anxiety meds for years. I will be on them my whole life. What he took from me cannot be replaced. Yes, I have to forgive him, at some point, but doubtful it will be in this life."

Had he lived through the stroke that killed him, I still would never had made any effort to see him and definitely would not have cared for him.
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Reply to Midkid58
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Conflicted, this is more than a forum such as this can help you with.
In all these years have you sought professional help?
I would like you to consider taking issues such as this to someone who is professionally trained and knowledgable, and can help you toward healing. You are now 65; these issues are lifelong. We can give you our sympathy, and I know there isn't one of us here who doesn't. But we can't guide you in things that pertain to the kind of abuse you sustained.
Congratulations on your career as a nurse. I spent my career as one as well. Like you it took me a while. My loving parents could not help me financially, so I did it on my own, working up from aid to LVN to RN. I loved the career. I am so thankful you had it as well. We knew we helped people. We were lucky in that.
For myself, the relationship you choose now to have with your father is up to you, and up to what serves you best. There IS no reconciling what your father did to you. Just because he is now aged and weak and without a memory doesn't mean that it didn't happen, that he wasn't what he was. I would not have had any relationship with him lifelong, myself, I don't believe. But of course that's so easy for someone who has utterly no experience of it to SAY. I sincerely doubt if you will ever come to any understanding, and apology, any anything with an ill old man in denial undoubtedly all his life about what he has done.
I would like to tell you to spend as little time thinking and worrying about this severely ill and limited creature; but you ARE worrying about it. Please seek help that can guide you, because I haven't a clue what to tell you except that I am appalled for what you had to go through, and couldn't be sorrier.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Conflicted, I am so sorry for what you and your siblings went through with your horrible father. I would go NO CONTACT with him. You don’t owe him ANYTHING!!! Please talk to a therapist about it and don’t spend one more minute thinking about him. He is nothing more than a sperm donor. Go NO CONTACT!!!! I am so glad you turned your life around and you should be proud of all your accomplishments!! I know we on aging care are all very proud of you!!
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Reply to elaine1962
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i call bs on not remembering. personally, i would not give him the time of day or take care of him at all.
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Reply to klhblues
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Why do you even have contact?

Sorry, but I don't think that you should care one bit. He hasn't taken responsibility for his actions and he never will, that doesn't mean that you have to act like it never happened.

I would personally never have any contact again. He is a sick, sorry POS and doesn't deserve any consideration. He should be happy that you never had him arrested and thrown in prison with other sickos.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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My feeling is, this man should have been placed in prison. He is now where he belongs, but with better care. Do not feel obligated to visit, call him, over see his care or anything, just because he fathered you. You owe him nothing! With dementia, things will change a lot in the next months/years. Now if you feel you will regret not doing things for him, that is your choice but this will be your last chance to stand up for yourself and say no. Saying no to him now might not register with him, and he might very well not remember anything he did due to the dementia, but you remember and that is what matters. Just ask yourself.....Do I feel sorry for him? Do I want to visit him? Do I want to talk to him? Will I regret anything after he passes? If the answers are no. You have answered your first question. Remember each of us has a right to our own feelings. Bless your heart.
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Reply to Marylepete
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My heart broke reading your post.
Sad thing is there are many many more children growing up in conditions like this that never get a chance to let their voice be heard. (and maybe more now that children are home schooling and there are no teachers to pick up on potential abuse)
I do hope both you and your sister have had counseling or you would consider it now.
I would not feel bad about not having any further contact with him. He is not worth your time and concern.
But if you want to look for the silver lining in this cloud of a childhood you had can I offer this...
I think it might be because of your parents not despite them that you chose the field you did.
It might be because of your parents that you drove yourself to accomplish what you did.

I would fully understand if any contact or information that needs to come to you can be done by staff at the facility where the man that fathered you resides. (I do not feel he is worth being called a father)
You have done well for yourself congratulations on that.
It is now time to take care of yourself physically and mentally.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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earlybird Aug 29, 2020
Well said, Grandma,
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