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It's becoming taxing on me, my life. My mother died in 2013; she was controlling (histrionic personality). My father was always just horribly mean until he retired in 2004, and he went insane. We thought he had a brain tumor; they said bipolar. He went off meds in 2005 and 2013 (to spite my mother) and had two more full psychotic breaks. I mean, "I am God," "the end is near," "they're trying to poison us all," and "the aliens are coming." The last one in 2013 really fried his brain; they wouldn't/couldn't get him on meds for a few months. Being hypermanic (awake all the time and throwing your life's belongings away) and psychotic that long fries your brain. Since he came down from that, he has done less and less. He is in his recliner basically all day, every day for over a year. He responds to maybe half my questions, normally with a "ya." He wouldn't give me POA when mom died (and recently claimed I had it) and thinks he's fine but he really can't properly communicate. Yet, he can fool others. They just say, "How are you?" He says, "Good." He did add me to his checking account (his idea) so now I can pay for bills instead of hounding him to do it for weeks which he finds difficult because his vision is poor, and he can't think straight. I got him to go to the vision doctor (for driver's license renewal) but the doctor refused to sign, trying to "blackmail him" (his words) to see a real eye doctor which he refused. I can't have discussions with him as he mostly just stares at me. He had dementia testing after the hospital in 2013 and had mild to moderate deficits but they couldn't diagnose anything because of his mental illness. I work full time (only 10 days off her year), take care of dozens of animals, a 19 room house, and 5 acres basically 100% on my own, do all household and yard chores, and I'm just spent. I'm 42 and never left home and was probably doing 80% of the chores about three years back. When am I allowed to be happy? My mother and the nasty woman my brother married never worked full time after they married but I was too ugly to get a husband so I have to work and work and work and work and work. Oh, and my brother's help is rare but appreciated. I got him to help offload pea gravel and mulch today; the problem is I have no time to lay it in! Living with a zombie is exhausting. I need conversation! Oh, and dad hasn't used soap or shampoo in his daily one minute shower in over a year, and I can't take the smell anymore. ;-(

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It sounds like you need a break, some time away to figure things out. Maybe you could pay to have a caregiver move in for a while so you can get some perspective and peace. Good luck.
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my mum has dementia, and she too does not communicate much, I have stray cats and find they are a welcome break from the daily grind of washing bed linen, getting food that is sometimes rejected good luck to you.
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I laughed about the web site. I used to spend a lot of time on it but spend next to no time on it anymore so "getting rid" of it wouldn't save me time but would take away my biggest passion which is sharing and educating people about animals.
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Just skimmed through this thread..... Zombie, somethings gotta give here. You need to get dad in care, get rid of that massive website, find homes for some, if not all, the critters, and get some semblance of a life. No one can give you a honest resolution or easy answer to your burdens unless your load is lightened. Many of us got stuck with the care of our parents. There lots of life, fun stuff I'd rather be doing but my reality has changed and so has yours. However, it can be dealt with without destroying you.
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Oh, just wanted to clarify a few things. The tapes were recorded in the 80's but he tore them up in 2004. Before 2004, no one had any idea that he had a mental illness. That means that I too could one day become bipolar. I won't have anyone to care when that happens. Also, my father looks like a homeless bum so, if that nurse does nothing, she is a pretty sucky nurse!
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Remember, I've been through three psychotic breaks with him. Unless you've experienced it, you really have no idea how bad it is. I know the rules and such for involuntary admission and so on. If, for example, I had him taken in now, they would release him. The last time, he was insane for a month, and they wouldn't take him until the nurse finally did it (signed for involuntary admission) after she spoke with him. He was also writing long insane letters but she didn't even need to read those. He is currently SANE. Let's keep it that way by giving him his meds. Yes, he's depressed but that's a combination of brain damage from his insanity, medication, dementia, and just old age. The last time he was committed, they released him while he was still hypermanic. He tore the house apart throwing things away, including important things I desperately tried to salvage. I was working so who knows what I missed. [I'll give you one example of something he did from his first episode. In the 80's, he made a hundred some copies of rented porn VHS tapes. He said that he had to destroy them because "they" were coming for him and knew what he had done. A normal person would have just thrown them away. He opened each and every tape and pulled out each and every foot of the magnetic tape for hours during the middle of the night until he had bags and bags of tape which he then cut up.] It was hell on earth all three times but, as long as he stays on his medication, it's highly unlikely he would lose it again. I have found his pills spit out twice this year, once on the floor and once in the toilet (single pills) but I think he just hacked them up because he refuses to take them with food and/or milk as instructed. He used to be religious about the milk and testing his blood. He's diabetic although he decided he was cured during his last episode and hasn't cared since. Who knows where that's gone although the nurse supposedly had his blood tested last year (I was not allowed to see the results since I'm not allowed to talk to her; they are very strict on privacy). He's going to see her tomorrow. If I were her, I would want him evaluated or at least to speak to the family but I bet nothing will happen. I'll let you know. I have contacted some aging agencies and none got back to me. I feel like nobody cares. He is sane; he can answer specific easy questions; and I know he would never be able to take another break or being "put away." I just want him to get medical help that he doesn't want.
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Zombie most certainly never give up your animals! What you have are a few small critters and easy to care for. An only child, I grew up with a narcissistic, emotionally and physically abusive mother and an enabling father, so I basically grew up totally alone except for a German shepherd and an old cat who became my family. I have 2 rescue dogs, 5 cats and an old goldfish and I prefer them to most humans to this day.

With respect to your father, there comes a time when we just can't do the care giving any longer because the person needs professional care and it would seem that your father has really been needing that for many years. Do as looloo suggests and make a lot of calls to see what can be done. In my humble opinion your father needs to be placed in a facility that specializes in caring for the mentally ill asap.

As phone calls may well get you the brush off, if/when he has another psychotic episode call 911 immediately and have him taken to the ER before he hurts you or himself. Once at the hospital refuse to take him back and let the authorities get involved. You can't keep taking him back and when you refuse to do so you'd be surprised at how fast you get some action/help. Good luck!
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My father is on his meds. Since his last episode, I give him the medication, or he wouldn't take them (can't even open pill bottles or hold little pills). If he were not on the meds, he would possibly be more alert but he could also become hyper-manic again. In his current condition, it would kill him if he tried to run around and do things all of a sudden. As for the animals, I've been doing it all my life! I started cleaning the house when my mother was my age because she decided she didn't want to do it anymore and somebody had to. As for therapy, I saw one in 2009 when I couldn't sleep due to fear of having my wisdom teeth out. As soon as they were out, I was fine but my mother insisted I was bipolar and tried twice to have me committed. I spent 8 hours in a psych ward mostly resting which I guess proved I wasn't manic like she claimed. She's the only one who believed I had bipolar (dad got it from his mother who committed suicide), nobody else does including a few psychiatrists and therapists. The therapist told me I was the most amazing person she had ever met, that I just had anxiety, that anyone else would have broke with the life I've had but that I had my own coping mechanisms (ones she would have suggested but I was already doing them). I recently made a new internet friend who thinks I'm superwoman. Men just don't agree; nobody has ever asked me on a date. I have the phone number for the mental health mobile crisis unit which we used before but he's not a risk to himself or others right now because he just sits there so there's nothing I can do. I would not sooner "get rid of" one of my animal children than you would get rid of a human child.
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Zombie, start making some calls to agencies. I recently was reminded about the phone number 211 in the states, which can provide you with all sorts of info. Explain that your father is bipolar, off meds, and now has dementia, and you can NOT care for him physically any longer.
What captain suggested about downsizing the animals is a good suggestion. I'm an animal lover too, but this an unsustainable situation, so see what you can do.
And Jeannegibbs questions for you--you need to examine how things got to this point, and why you believe it's so hopeless. That's just not so. Start seeing a therapist, preferably one with expertise in adults w/ mentally ill parents.
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It's hard to convey an entire person's life in a few sentences. I was speaking mostly about my father above but I guess I need to clarify myself. My mother once told me (and later denied saying), "No one will ever love you, not because you're ugly on the outside but because you're ugly on the inside." My parents never loved me in the ways that they should have. My father was cursed and screamed, broke things, and used to beat me with his belt at mother's request. Mom yelled and was very emotionally abusive. My parents detested one another. How much? Mom prayed daily for my father to die. Peers also rejected me telling me I was ugly to my face. So, animals became my children, my life, my raison d'etre. The property, plants, and animals are my life; I've devoted my life to them. I go to jobs I hate to pay for them. I make less than half the average of what someone with a BS in chemistry should make, and I have a BS and a MS. That's not because of the animals but there are simply no local jobs in my field after my job I had for 14 years moved out of state. I could never "liquidate" my animals. So waiting around to finally not have to worry about losing the house/land/animals is what I'm going to do. My brother married an evil woman who only cares about money so my parents changed their will to put his half of our house in my trust so I shouldn't have to move out. I will inherit a good amount of money because our family has never spent much money. The house is falling apart including a hole in the bathroom floor and black mold on everything. We've never been on a real vacation. The last time I didn't sleep in my current bed aside from time in the hospital was 1996. I have not gotten new animals in years. My mother used to get them, and then make me do all the work. Right now, I have 3 indoor cats, 2 outdoor (were stray) cats, 1 chicken (all the others have died), 2 super old rabbits who defy the odds, 3 guinea pigs, 2 mice (the only ones I've gotten in the last few years, and they bring me a lot of happiness), 2 turtles, 3 freshwater aquariums, 2 saltwater aquariums, and 6 ponds (only two with fish, rest are tiny). I run a massive animal/pond web site. It's just so frustrating to work so hard while he just sleeps all day. I wish he would at least listen to a book on CD, watch a movie, or something but he won't. I've tried. He does go to the psychiatric nurse but she won't talk to me (patient confidentiality and all) but he won't go to regular doctors. He did let me put him on a long waiting list for a regular doctor but we're still waiting. I'm not his wife nor do I have medical POA (mom had it) so I can't participate in his appointments. I hate waiting around for animals and my father to die. It's wrong but I see no other way. My father is 75. His physical health is going down fast since he sleeps most of the time. Mom could get him to do anything. He'd curse his brains out but always take her orders. I guess he's decided he's never taking orders again.
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Why?

Why are you going this? No one is "too ugly" to get married, and in any case, getting married is not the only way adult women live on their own.

I think I can understand how you fell into this trap, but I'm having a harder time understanding why you are staying in it. If your father is in his 70s (guessing based on his retirement year) he might need care for another 20 years. Can you picture yourself not having a turn at being happy for that long?
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Zombie, I get you. I especially get how nice it would be to have a conversation once in a while. I mean, a conversation where you get some meaningful feedback, that is. Most of my companionship comes from the chickens and the dog. They're lovely, and I wouldn't be without them, but…

Do we have to be so isolated? The forum is a godsend for me, I hope you feel the same; also I am whinging compared to you because I do have kids - and in fact one has just arrived to spend a few days with us, but there's a case in point. She hugged her Granny, then vanished into the tv room to watch a rugby match with my ex-SO - he'd recorded it for them to watch it together, which was lovely, but so there I was in the kitchen on me tod, as we say in England, cooking the dinner in between tending to mother and doing the laundry. I still haven't really spoken to a living soul, the operative word being soul, all day. Or, indeed, for several weeks.

Guy de Maupassant said that marriage is "an exchange of bad tempers by day and bad smells by night." (He wasn't quite so cynical about all relationships, just most of them.) I suppose you could say the same for caregiving?

Going back a bit: this idea that you can't diagnose dementia in mentally ill people sounds like a cop-out to me. My SIL is a psychiatrist specialising in adults with learning disability, and she seems to manage fine handling both depression and dementia in Down Syndrome patients - well, if she can spot these problems, I suspect your father's doctors should be trying harder. Not that I don't appreciate how difficult your father's lack of co-operation must make him to treat.

Given your father's hospitalisations, could you apply for guardianship? Would you want to? Your options, basically, are to wait for your father to die, God forbid; or to take control - maybe sell the property, move your father into dementia care, get your own place and start from the beginning. Gosh. Now I've written it down that seems like a lot of change in one go. But where *would* you like to start?
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i dont know what kind of animals you have but id start liquidating them . im getting older now and pointless routines are dropping like flies around here . i aint never mulched anything , never raked a leaf , dont even mow the woods . if your buried in redundancies you need to shake of societys idiocy and think outside the box a little .
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