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I was wondering what to do with a Father who is mentally ill but my mom has alzheimers and needs my help. I have been going over to my parents house for the past 6 months to help out my dad with mom who has alzheimers. My dad is just a hateful narcissitic crabby ill tempered old man. He has been like that his entire life. My bothers and sister have nothing to do with them anymore... all because of my dad. My mom is very sweet and I believe she has gotten better since I have been going over to their house to help... My father appreciates what I do... he tells me thanks sometimes when I leave... but I can't deal with his behavior towards me. I try to carry on a conversation with him... but with his mental issues... half the time he ends up yelling and cussing at me... for things like asking a question????? He has a horrible temper and needs help himself... my mom put up with his temper her whole life... she's an angel... I believe no one else would have... but anyway... he thinks he can treat me anyway he pleases... just because I am his daughter. He got mad at me last week because I literally just asked him a question he thought I should know the answer to... He was yelling and beligerant with me... just crazy stuff... so anyway I told him I was leaving and wouldn't come back. Now I don't know what to do......whether he's belittling me... telling me I don't know how to do anything right... whatever the reason... I can't deal with him anymore... I am feeling depressed and down a lot... just like I did growing up and having him as a father. ..it's like I am back in that time in my life again... that age again... and I hate it... I left home at 18 to get away from him... but I want to help my mother... I miss helping her... but I will not let my father destroy my happiness either. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated... thanks.

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Hi, Pamela. My heart goes out to you. I am the daughter of a narcissistic mother, and she is now 90. She lives independently with my help. About 15 years ago, I was in your shoes, and couldn't take it any more. So I educated myself about the narcissist personality, started setting boundaries with her, stopped participating in her rants, and slowly but surely have a better relationship with her. It's still very difficult at times, but I made it clear that if she wants my help, she has to rein it in and be respectful of me. Before you go back, read about what you are dealing with, and how you can protect yourself if you want to help your parents. The moment your father doesn't respect you, even if its shortly after you get there, stay calm and tell him you have to leave because of his behavior. You didn't mention your parents' ages, but senile dementia can impact your father's personality and outbursts as well. He may need to be evaluated by his doctor to see if there is any need for medication. My mother is on medication that helps her be less combative. I have had private meetings with her doctor about what I'm dealing with, but it is clear in doctor visits, too. Talking to professionals about your situation will give you the support and strength to develop clear and steadfast boundaries that should make it easier to help your mother and deal with your father. I wish you the best!
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My Dad was just like that.

My brother called him at my request. My brother read him the riot act. Told him..you both with be in separate nursing home if you don't knock off the sh*t. Told him..you depend on your daughter..you better act like it or you will be forced by social services to leave your home!

It worked. I noticed right away...no more trash talk. He would still grumble to himself. He would still say sh*t with a "stage whisper". But, the crap stopped. He was never pleasant to be around, but leave Mom without care was not an option. My brother was never going to come and help...but he made that call.
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Is your father mentally ill, or is he "just" a hateful, crabby, ill-tempered narcissistic etc.? It's possible to be both, of course; but the reason it matters is to do with whether or not he can be reasonably expected to support a person with Alzheimers Disease living at home. If he's mentally ill, as in diagnosed ill, then I'd suggest not and you'd better refer them as a couple to APS.
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Hi PamelaAnn,

Maybe you could take your mom out for meals or fun, drop off books, groceries, supplies and clean laundry, hire house cleaners or take her to your home for a few days at a time.

My dad was a sociopath and a nasty piece of work and as he aged got worse and worse. Luckily he and my mother split when I was 16. I tried to have a relationship with him after that but we were mostly estranged until he died at 86.

My mother has narcissistic personality disorder. She's much more personable than my dad but she was jealous of me and scapegoated me all of my life until I also became estranged from her for about 15 years. I recently moved back to her city a few months ago because I missed having a mom and knew she probably doesn't have much longer.

I learned a lot about her personality disorder while I was gone and now when she lies or manipulates I call her on it and tell her that it's wrong and that I won't put up with it. That helps a lot--it's like shining a flashlight on something she thought she'd hidden.

You might try calling your dad on his meanness and point out that it hurts your mom by causing you not to come around. These mean people seem to live forever...
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I applaud you for trying to seek positive options... in reading your post, my first thought was ear buds and wonderful, uplifting music... :) Past that, you have a variety of viable options posted here. Only you can pick what best fits your personality and the situation. My Dad did this behaviour to my sister and me, we, however, set our boundaries. One vivid memory is when he was cussing at her - and in a calm voice my sister told him - "If you are going to cuss at me, I'm leaving and you might notice there is not a line of folks at the door, waiting to come in here and help out." Apparently, something clicked with this reality, cause he started to observe the boundary. Bless you, for your willingness to serve your family, as you move forward remember our treasures are stored above, your unselfish efforts will not go unnoticed. :)
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Pamela, you made the smart decision stepping back. I seriously don't know what to advise, because I know you want to see your mother. I have the feeling that your father will stay the same. Whatever makes him mad will be your fault in his mind. Since he is your father he will feel that he has the right to do and say things. Parents can forget that we're adults now. In their minds we are often seen as willful teenagers. It does get tiring.

If you think you can, you can listen to him with half an ear and still continue to see your mother. You'll have to find something that works for you. It could be that he is feeling a lot of angst, worrying about your mother. That added onto the original personality and the crankiness of age is making him unreasonable to be around. Maybe saying something like "Will you quit being so mad all the time" would work (but may make it worse). You know him well, so you might be able to figure out a way to calm him down long enough to visit. Good luck! I do empathize with what you're going through. Parents are always right even we're they're not.
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Pamela, Browsing around this forum you will notice that you are not alone in being abused by a narcissistic parent. It's not a lot of consolation but I have found some solace in just reading of other people's experience. The only thing that helps me cope is accepting that nobody can change an elder's narcissism ; you can only try to not take it personally, considering the source as you would for a toddler. I know it's tough, since we the children of such people are (were) often conditioned from an early age to respect our parents, no matter what. Hang in there
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Dear PamelaAnn,

Sorry to hear what you have been going through. It is tough. And you have to protect yourself as well. Because you miss your mom, do you think there is any chance she would consider moving out? It can't be easy on her not to see you anymore. Or maybe just take your mom out of the house, so you can have a girls day without your dad.
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Hi pamelaann, and the nice answer-ers so far. Definitely, my reading up on borderline personality helped me in dealing with my mom... You do learn perspective and tools, and you can get more respect out of them, usually, by setting your own new rules. One thing that always works for me is having someone else there. Try asking a friend or associate at church or civic group to come with you, for a small fee or treat like coffee afterwards, to come every single time. Go only when they're available to come along. Or call some caregiver agencies and find one who's flexible enough to offer this service at a reasonable fee.

I hope I'm saying this right, but it's almost certain she's not getting adequate care so you may need to get moving with her doctor to evaluate the next proper move for her. Good luck, I know it's so hard to feel how you felt back then... remind yourself that it's a completely different time and place, and you can do more for yourself now to keep him from even reaching you emotionally. You're like Hebrew National hot dogs, and you answer to an even higher authority! I try to see how amusing it is that my mother thinks hers is the final word on whether I'm a good person, am acceptable, etc. I answer to me and my maker, not her. Hugs.
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I applaud you for trying to seek positive options... in reading your post, my first thought was ear buds and wonderful, uplifting music... :) Past that, you have a variety of viable options posted here. Only you can pick what best fits your personality and the situation. My Dad did this behaviour to my sister and me, we, however, set our boundaries. One vivid memory is when he was cussing at her - and in a calm voice my sister told him - "If you are going to cuss at me, I'm leaving and you might notice there is not a line of folks at the door, waiting to come in here and help out." Apparently, something clicked with this reality, cause he started to observe the boundary. Bless you, for your willingness to serve your family, as you move forward remember our treasures are stored above, your unselfish efforts will not go unnoticed. :)
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