My mum left my dad after 49 years... How do I cope with his emotional and manipulitive ways? - AgingCare.com

My mum left my dad after 49 years... How do I cope with his emotional and manipulitive ways?

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I know he is a nasty manipulative man...but i feel so guilty as i want to wash my hands of him... he is 70 and quite capable of looking after himself....i am trying to help him emotionally but he is vile...he is threatening revenge on my mum and her brother....i get all the disgusting details.... then i get the suicide he has played this card since i was 10...then he apologises and is nice for a visit ...my mum did right to leave him as she is living her life not being controlled and she thinks i should too for my sake...but i cant i feel so cruel..i feel no one understands..

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Claire, good advice, especially from surprise and golden. Always keep in mind the basic difference between morally responsible guilt and false guilt, which is largely emotional and not based on moral principles. Hard to do sometimes, but it will become easier with practice. As for these threats, please take them very seriously. This is an old man who has probably been used to controlling people and getting his way for many years. Now his wife has actually escaped his control! This is like an earthquake, tsunami and Hurricane Irma combined. Control freaks panic at this. The situation is almost certainly more dangerous than you realize. By all means work with the police.
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Claire, when you say on your profile that your father is at 'independent living' do you mean he is in residential care or sheltered housing, or do you mean that he is living independently in his own home?

Your mother did indeed do right to leave him, and please give her a virtual bottle of Champagne from me. Better late than never!

The only trouble is that now she has got away she's left you in the firing line. Are you in the UK? Do you have a sympathetic GP and primary care services?
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He is a nasty manipulative man...but he is your father. He is vile ... but you want to help him. How conflicted you must feel!

I suggest a couple of things:

1) Do not do things for him that he could do himself or easily hire someone to do. I don't know if that is part of his manipulative ways -- trying to get you to clean or cook or run errands? If it is, do NOT comply with his demands. That way lies increasing demands and disaster for you.

2) Learn to set boundaries and enforce them. "Dad, I don't want to hear anything about Mum from you. I can understand you have bad feelings but I love you both and I won't listen to anything about her." If he continues, leave or get off the phone. "I'll be back when you are calmer."

Your dad is a nasty, vile man. You cannot cure that. You can love him in spite of that, but you do not have to subject yourself to his manipulation and cruelty. If boundaries aren't enough, perhaps you need to follow your mother's example.

Depression is not a diy fix. If he is depressed you could encourage him to see a doctor and/or a therapist. You could help to make appointments. But his depression is Not Your Fault. Depression is treatable -- by trained professionals, not by loved ones.

How do you usually respond to his suicide threats? Have you tried, "Oh Dad! If you are that unhappy I'll call the Suicide Prevention line, I have their number in my purse. They will listen to your troubles."

You are not abandoning your dad, and that is to your credit. But it is not cruel to protect yourself by setting and enforcing boundaries and saying "no" to unreasonable demands.
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How would you act if this man we're not your father, just a random neighbor? If he told you how he was going to kill someone in detail, you'd 1) slammed down the phone and 2) called the police. I'd suggest that you call the police and tell them about the threat to Uncle as well as the last straw for your mum of bring given the list of items to get to complete his plan. I don't care if he's your dad, he's dangerous, and these are clues the police need in case he does something. If he does need lock up in a mental hospital, the report will help there as well. (It was the police report plus Adult Protective Svs that made the judge allow an emergency guardianship on her).

Don't be afraid to leave your name when you make a report. He has you afraid of him, and he gets a rush from knowing you fear him. Having you report his actions angers him because it is evidence he lacks power.

I completely cut off contact with mthr (whom I called mummy at the time because she reminded me of the living dead) when she started turning her evil onto my family. Once bio parents cross a line, they tear up their parent card and become an evil human to protect against. My mthr is missing something inside- I show it with the loss of vowels. Your dad shows he is evil every time he makes a threat. Report him, protect your mum and help her soak him for everything (mental cruelty), and change your phone number. I would not speak to such a vile man.
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Oh, I get it. My stepfather was vile and hateful. My dad could be amazing or horrible depending on what part of his mid/late life crisis he was living in (he was bipolar). My mom gaslighted me for years to take on the guilt and blame of these men victimizing me, and she expected the people who were close to me (my husband and our child) to do the same. She made me feel I had to continuously "forgive" them even while they continued top pile their hateful baggage upon me.

So I used to worry nonstop about being a "bad daughter" if I set boundaries with them. Becoming pregnant grew an inner Mama Bear who wasn't going to put up with that sh*t. I couldn't risk putting my child through it. Kiddo would have had a traumatizing childhood (and' I'd probably dump on her) and she'd have either grown up to be another victim or a monster, because that's all she'd ever see. So I cut off the men and gave Mom the option to be respectful of my choices (which she didn't take) or staying out of my life. It's been 6 years since I've seen her—though I spoke with her a year ago. It's been closer to a decade since I have seen my father and stepfather. As of last fall, I found peace in the conclusion of knowing this was her problem—not mine—after I wrote her a letter. It's not my responsibility to change her, and she has no business treating anybody like that—especially her own daughter. 

It was scary and hard to do, and there will always be people who judge me for it (they do not get to have "front row" in my life), but it's the best thing I've ever done for myself and the rest of my family—including my husband, child, pets, and friends. Yes, I miss my mom and biological dad once in a while (my stepdad can drop dead for all I care), but I don't feel the guilt I thought I would before I cut contact, and I feel 110% more in control of my feelings and my choices.

Seeing a supportive therapist when I started setting boundaries helped a lot. I grow my family in other places, too. Finding good friends can be healing. 
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Claire, you can and should report these threats to the police, you know. At least start keeping a factual record of them.

Don't worry that the doctor let slip about your reporting the suicide threats. Your father's call could have been a lucky guess; or it could be that when he wants to vent some spleen on any subject you just happen to be the first person he thinks of calling.

Safety first, yours and your mother's; and you're right to bear in mind that empty threats can turn into real ones without further warning. How much day to day contact do you have with your dad?
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claire - one of the things that happens when you grow up with a mentally ill parent is that you are accustomed to sick behaviour as it is the "norm" for you. In a way, it helps you survive your environment. However, it is not a good thing.

Your father is making some very serious threats and you are saying he will not carry them out. You don't know that. All you know is that he has not done any of those things yet. I believe that people who make threats like that are much more likely than the general population to carry them out and may be mentally ill. People who talk about suicide are much more likely than the general population to do it.

At the very least, this is verbal and emotional abuse. Please see a counsellor to help you figure out what to do. Of course you feel guilty. Those guilt buttons were placed in you by your father many years ago and he knows how to push them. This is false guilt not true guilt. You are doing nothing to truly be guilty about. False guilt comes from not meeting the (often unrealistic, unhealthy) expectations of others.

I am so sorry that you have this to deal with. I agree the police should be informed of any threats and of the guns your father has which should be taken away from him. Unfortunately the "system" does not always cooperate until a tragedy has happened. I sincerely hope this will not be the case for you and your family. (((((((hugs)))))) Let us know how you are doing.
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I would suggest do what is in your best interest and make a life for yourself...he has had his life..and does not seem to care about anyone but himself...

it's time you let it go...and be happy...life is too short to deal with a manipulative selfish individual ..he is emotionally abusing you..,,, (if he wants to kill himself and he threatens to do it...call the police they may just placed him under a protective order and have him mentally evaluated).    Can't you see this is emotional blackmail.....this is what they do!!

Set your boundaries and if you feel threatened or just do not want to be around him...do not visit him...he is your father..but he does not own you........do not let him emotionally blackmail you...because the next thing will be physical abuse...stay strong and stand up for yourself...document everything he does...make a case of his mental instability...it's apparent he has issues...and will continue to harass you...   

May god watch over you.
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Thank you all xx
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This guy is a relationship/dating coach, but I think the comments/principles in this video apply across the board to all relationships because it has more to do with how we view ourselves and what we think we deserve. I rewatch it every so often just as a reminder. I hope it helps you to strengthen your resolve to not allow yourself to be treated disrespectfully. All the best. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCdFzjEuQrY

Also, you could call his bluff on the suicide threats.  The sarcastic side of me wants to say when he says he's going to do it, just agree with him.  "Ok Dad, if that's what you really want.  Do you prefer a burial or cremation?"  I know, I'm terrible...and I'm ok with that. ;-)
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