I have been an unpaid family caregiver for 10 years. I have been subject to continuous gaslighting and abuse. I have been threatened with imprisonment, intimidated, manipulated and intentionally kept poor as a means of control.

I cared for my mother with cancer and dementia for 8 years until she passed. I had also been caring for my father at the same time through his insistance. When mom passed 2 years ago I said no more, I won't take care of dad, it's my rich nurse sister's turn. I went from working full time AND caring for 2 people, to working part time and finally now disabled and not working. My dad is very demanding of me and not of anyone else. I have lost everything, absolutely everything yet he says he wants to kill himself anytime I want to break free. I got him a therapist, I call hotlines when it's bad, I intervene to try to find help for him. Last week same song and dance. I said, dad, you aren't the only one who wants to die. He didn't miss a beat, he said don't, don't do it until after I die.

This explains also why he doesn't care about my ability to survive in my old age. He figures I won't have one. My narcissistic sister is VERY abusive. She was to my mother as well, even with dementia she would call and verbally abuse her. My father did nothing to stop this. He has said he doesn't want to piss her off because if everyones money is gone he will need her.

This is not the first time he has shown he doesn't care not even a little for my well being.

We had a hurricane a while back, I told him to go with my sister as she is 45-50 miles further inland from the coast. When the hurricane was hitting I called to check on him. I got through. He was fine, he asked about my house, I said it's pitch black outside and the water is starting to come in the house. He said ok, call you later. He waited over 5 days to call, and had a list of things for me to do for him once we spoke. People drowned and were electrocuted not far from me. Yet he couldn't be bothered. He said he was snacking and watching old movies when tv went out. He never gave me a second thought.

Tomorrow I call Dept if Aging and tell them, I have been an unpaid caregiver for 10 years. I have been abused for 10 years and I won't do this anymore.

Are there any pitfalls I am not thinking of involving the Dept. of Aging?

Stop thinking about your difficult sister and father. Start thinking about yourself – in particular how to get the finances and/or contacts to move away. If you own your house, how do you fix it up to be saleable for the best price? Where can you move that is affordable and enjoyable? You are bogged down in an impossible situation that seems just too much. Cut off everything except the bits that stop you from getting out of it. And then get out of it!
Helpful Answer (23)
Reply to MargaretMcKen

Hi. In regard to the pitfalls of calling Dept. of Aging, I am sure others will be able to provide insight. I just wanted to reply to say I believe you stepping away from the situation is quite alright, and likely a healthy step forward for you emotionally and physically. You did not ask for anyone's opinion on that, but sometimes it is good to hear anyway. Even if there are pitfalls of making that call, it might still be better off. Ten years with abuse as you describe is more than enough. You deserve to put your own wellbeing first in your life. Personal sacrifices for others who do not respect our thoughts, feelings, and life priorities takes a toll we sometimes willingly pay hoping for the love and approval of those who will never give it and likely keep laying the hammer down upon us. Let the caregiving role go. Time for you to take of yourself now.
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Reply to GingerMay
Lostinva Jun 19, 2019
Amen! Thankyou!!!
That you don't live with him is a good thing, it shows he doesn't need 24/7 care.

Get the assessment and tell them and repeat frequently that you can no longer provide any care, in any way shape or form. Give them your sister's contact information and forget you have a dad or a sister.

No matter what, nobody has the right to abuse you. You have every right to be done with them two. Go have a life of your own.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
dadisavet Jun 18, 2019
Thank you very much. I followed through yesterday with APS, took him to VA and threatened to leave him there, now a social worker is finally assigned. I needed to hear your post.
My heart was sinking and then I read:

14 hours ago
Thank you very much. I followed through yesterday with APS, took him to VA and threatened to leave him there, now a social worker is finally assigned. I needed to hear your post.


WELL DONE!!! Please keep in touch and let us know how you're doing.
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Reply to Countrymouse
DollyMe Jun 19, 2019
Good News! Keep your resolve.
When you move, get a new phone number. Close your social media accounts, and when you get new ones, use a different name. Get a different email. You don't need any of these people. Also get some help for you. You've been through a LOT! Take the time and space you need to heal. Good luck.
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Reply to boehmec

I agree with mmcmahon12000, It will help you tremendously to see a therapist as you walk away from this abuse. Start calling different agencies, The Office of Ageing would be a good place to start. There is help out there. You may have to call around and try several therapists before you find the right one for you and one you can afford. I have had 3 that walked me through different phases of my life. One was an intern, they need practice before they get their license. They are cheaper too. Don't give up.

The next time your father says he will commmit suicide, take him seriously and call 911. Tell them he is threatening suicide. That is the proper thing to do. Call them every time, he will stop that form of control and abuse if he has to go in to a 72 hour lockdown very many times. Then on the other hand, if he means it, you will have done the right thing to get him some help. Helping a true suicidal person is beyond your pay grade.

Don't call your sister. You don't need people in your life who push you down and are unkind. Don't answer the phone if you know it is her, if you inadverently talk to her. As soon as she starts in on you, say. "Oh, sissy, I have to go, love you, bye" and hang up.

Don't give your father any more money.

(((HUGS))) you have a lot of people in your corner.
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Reply to MaryKathleen

Are you living in dad's house, or he with you?

It's more complicated, I believe, if you are living in the dame domicile and leave.

I think perhaps what you want to do is call the local Area Agency on Aging and ask for a needs assessment. You want to tell them that you will be ( moving/ are ill) and are no longer able to provide assistance for dad. You are seeking their input on what level of care he needs, you want them to examine his ability to access/qualify/ pay for care so he is not left without what he needs.

I understand the fact that you are fed up with what sounds like entitled, narcissistic, demanding behavior. I agree with your decision to walk away. You just want to do it in such a way that doesn't cause the AAA to push back.

If they tell you that you have a legal obligation to provide hands on care, ask them to show you where that is written in statute.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
dadisavet Jun 16, 2019
Yes, thank you. No we do not live in the same house. My house is actually pretty uninhabitable. Bad plumbing, sometimes I have to wash dishes with a garden hose in the front yard. Windows broken, exterior doors don't lock, electrical is from 1940's and causing fires but my sister said I should be grateful. Tells everyone who wants to help me not to help as I steal the money she gives dad. She rarely gives money to dad. Normally about 500-1,000 a year. Even though her 401k alone is mid 6 figures. I have never ever stolen from them. It took 5 years before dad started to speak up and say that wasn't true, that I never stole anything. Meantime I wasn't welcome for Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays etc. I was to do my "familial obligation" and not be seen so no one would know the extent of the abuse. I was told to move in to this, my parents, former rental house which needed so much repair they wouldn't be able to rent it out. I needed a place to stay after I moved back to this state to care for them. Together as a family I thought. Boy, what a dope. My parents figured that without paying rent meant I spend the rent money on my elderly parents and do some repairs myself. Before she died my mom made sure this house was put in my name. Even with dementia she never lost gratitude for all the years of caring for her. She would take my hand and lovingly say, "Thank you! I wish you were my daughter, I love you!" I would say that's ok mom, I am your daughter! She would laugh and say "good, good."

Dad is a covert narcissist and sister a malignant overt narcissist whose own daughter has not communicated with her since she was 17.

Dad makes sure all my money goes to his needs so I have nothing left for repairs. The flooding from hurricane rotted all the wood floors. They crumble beneath your feet. But as long as he is ok, that all my "dad" cares about.
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You have allowed yourself to be controlled by others who have a different agenda than you do. You alone can stop it.
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Reply to careinhome
dadisavet Jun 20, 2019
You aren't wrong. I was always the woman commenting on why an abused wife doesn't just leave.
Life is kinda ironic some times. They loved making my life hell while I cared for my mom for 8 years. This I did willingly, I wanted/needed help but I would NEVER walk away, my mom was my everything. So I took it.
But these last 2 years I guess I was lost, grieving and depressed from mom dying that I didn't walk away. So I took it.
I am still grieving but I am no longer lost.
I think that BarbBrooklyn's answer was excellent. No, with this level of anger and manipulation, it is time to move on. You say that you have your own home. That is excellent and it is now time to concentrate on unraveling the financial and keeping your own money for fixing your own home so that it is habitable, and time to concentrate on what kind of services you yourself can get through your disabled status to do that. Nowhere that I can see do you state that your father is deep in dementia, or I missed it completely. Even if he is, it is time to leave. I would simply notify both him and the Department of Aging, leave Dad with the appropriate numbers to call in an emergency. Whatever your sister decides about moving him nearer her is on her and Dad. The one thing I would NOT do is get into any family discussion, Dad, Sister, You and any others WITHOUT a mediator from Social Services. The relationships are now frayed to the extent that will do no good, people will use the same manipulations they always used to get you to stay, and with this level of anger and frustration staying is simply not a good idea. Whatever your father's decision is, knowing that you are leaving, and it is not up for discussion, will allow him to address his needs. Or not. But it is important you seek your own support for counseling, and staying away will be more difficult than you imagine. This level of fraught family interaction becomes almost addictive, and that can become dangerous. It will be better for you to leave now and take care of your own life, which will be difficult enough. Wishing you the very best of luck and please contact resources now for YOURSELF to help you move on.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

Dear human being - Get yourself out ot this situation as fast as you can! You CANNOT nor SHOULD NOT continue on as it is. RUN!!!!!!!!!
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Reply to Llamalover47

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