Identity crisis; My dad thinks I am my mom.

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My dad thinks I am my mom (his wife of 50+ years, deceased for 8)


I am with him 24/7.


I realize it is not uncommon for dads to see the younger version of their wives in their daughters, but he frequently says things like "...the other you..." or introducing me to others as his wife. It not only is disturbing and uncomfortable to me, but I find I put myself at a distance with him, both physically and emotionally which is totally against my character. I am by nature a touchy feely person, and I find I have to pull back from my own dad. The man I long to hold hands with, rub his aching shoulders, apply lotion to, hug endlessly. He has on more than one occasion attempted intimacy with me which makes me build the wall even higher. I dont like who I am, I like who I was, who he was. My heart is not only breaking, but shattering. He is my dad, always will be, but we live in different realities and it's killing me.


Just wanted to get that off my chest.

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Maligirl! Spot on!
it isn’t just that he confuses me with my mom...he REALLY believes I’m her!
Breaks my heart because I know it’s his broken brain. I try to remember when my girl was little, her dolly was a REAL baby. Fine line between imagination and reality.
At this point, I let a lot of things slide...I don’t feed into the delusion but I don’t try to hammer reality into him as before. I keep ‘professional distance’, and make comments (often) of how “daughters and fathers” don’t do this or that, but I’m beginning to loosen up when it is apparent he is talking to my mom...not “me”. I’m ok with that now.
The killer is the look on his face when he gets a brief realization that I AM his daughter.
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Reply to Longhaul
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My situation is very much the same. I moved in with my Dad about 3 months ago. My Mom passed away 4 years ago. My Dad has mild Alzheimer's. He still gets around ok and can pass for normal much of the time. If he calls me by my Mom's name, I answer him calling him Daddy and he will often correct himself. But at night, after he has gone to bed, he will get up once or twice and tell me that he's waiting on me to come to bed. I'll explain that I'm his daughter and I'm going to sleep in my own bed. "You don't sleep with me anymore?" No, I never have slept with you. I'm your daughter and daughters and daddies don't sleep together. Of course there are variations on the questions and answers, but it's basically the same every night. Fortunately, he usually goes back to bed after that. I just have to remember that it's the disease and not get stressed about it. I would also be happy to hear any advice on this topic.
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Reply to Maligirl
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Wow... this topic scares me a little because there have been a few times that my Dad has called me by my mother's name or referred to me as his wife at his former AL and his new ADC.

I'm hoping I won't have to face him ever taking it further. I'm not sure how I would react to that.

I don't have any input. My heart goes out to you. I. HATE. DEMENTIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Reply to Tinyblu
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That happened with Mom and I she also would get jealous every time this would happen I would remind her that I was her son after a few times she finally stopped
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Reply to Wylee333
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Hi Longhaul. Your reaction is perfectly normal but please remember it is the illness and not Your Dad as Your Da's Brain is sick. This is the severness of the illness sometimes referred to as "the silent thief" which robs the Sufferer of their memory, reality, balance, speech, and towards the end organ failure. Finally Longhaul I took a peep at Your Profile and I do so admire You as You packed up Your Job and came 300 miles from out of State to Care for Dad leaving Family behind. Take a bow Girl because You are a wonderful Person.
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Reply to Johnjoe
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My father lives with my husband and me. He has had dementia for about 2 years. I am very scared that something like that will happen to me. My mom's been gone for 12 years and my husband's days are numbered. Several times my dad has called me by my mom's name or referred to past times as though I was my mom. I am so afraid to think about what will happen when it is just my dad and me in the house. I put a lock on the bedroom door. I really feel for what you must be going through. Is there any way for him to be put in a NH?
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Reply to NorieV
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My mil also believes that her son is "available". One minute she's hitting on him, and the next she is asking him or me if he has a girlfriend, (which bothers the crap out of me, and he just laughs) followed by "Not that it is any of my business". She says that a lot when she makes inappropriate comments or asks inappropriate questions.

I'm sorry that you are experiencing this and that I cannot offer any beneficial answer to you. We are doing the best we can, just winging it, it seems to me.
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Reply to Lostinthemix
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I can relate, when I first moved in with dad after mom had died about 8 months later I woke up with him telling me in my ear what he wanted to do to me, thinking of course that I was mom! I was shocked 😳 and horrified! Lest you worry this does seem to pass with an occasional 😳! I would stand next to dad and just say, dad I know I look a lot like mom and thanks for the compliment but I am your daughter. Smile at him and give him a one arm hug, this will soothe his embarrassment for making a mistake and correct the mistake for other people. There should be some indication that he may be heading towards trying to be intimate, I would tell my dad hey I’m your daughter and fathers and daughters don’t do those things together. Also if he approaches me with a kiss I lower my head so he will kiss my forehead and I will say I love you too dad.
I also found that if I talked to a friend and told them about it I was able to let go of the uncomfortableness and laugh at it.
Just wait until you are cleaning his backside and having to shower or bathe him! It does get easier I promise
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Reply to Glendaj2
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A person with dementia mistaking a caretaker of loved one as their spouse is very normal.The lady I care for introduces her son to me every day as her husband.She calls me by her daughter's name even though her daughter is 40 years older than me .I share the same name as my patient but she doesn't know who I am .Not once has she called me buy name. Remember your dad's reality is altered by dementia.The intimacy thing would make any of us cringe but I think if you step away and change the scenery a bit his brain will switch gears and make things more comfortable for you again.We constantly have to do this..My patient goes from almost catatonic to manic in a matter of minutes.I have left the room(only when I know she is safe) and put on my glasses and came back in and she will talk to me like I'm a different person and sometimes complain about me to me.lol .
It's hard. And it will likely get harder along his journey.Just breathe.You got this and your doing a great job.You need to remember though to take care of YOU too. Try to get a friend to be there with him a few hours and take some much needed downtime.If you burn out you are no good to either of you. Hang in there!
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Reply to angelaK
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I took care of my mom for about 7 years. At one point she thought my brother, (her son) was her boyfriend. He lived at her house because otherwise he probably would have been homeless, was more trouble than help, since I had to clean up after both of them. I found it really funny and teased him a fair amount. She would want me to fix her hair etc. I know it's your dad, but try to find the funny in it or you will go crazy. I think my mom thought I was her housekeeper!
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Reply to quiltinrealtor
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