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My father calls me names like ‘mouthpiece’ and says things like— if I see your face I won’t be happy. He has threatened to ‘make trouble’ for me over items my late mother gave me in her will. Just recently he told me that he was so angry at me that he might have hit me if we were in the car together. I have set the boundary that I will not visit unless he stops this abusive behavior. He will not even consider stopping and blames it all on me and wants me to listen to how I am provoking him to behave this way. I do not engage— I just tell him unless he is willing to stop the abuse I am not coming. He is in rehab and I have to go to a care plan meeting this week. I am dreading it. It’s not about me, but in fairness (to me, my family and my health) I cannot commit to any type of care for him. All my life when I tell people about the insults and threats they say— oh, he’s such a nice man. Bottom line is they don’t believe me until they really get to know him. Then they are so apologetic but until then I am just a daughter who doesn’t care for her elderly parent. How do I broach the subject with the social worker? Or should I just go to the meeting, be silent and remove myself from the situation when he gets out.

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Carol, now I understand why you want to go to the care meeting. So they would take the elder's word that someone is going to participate in their care, even if that person isn't at the meeting? How does this work?

What is your father in rehab for? What kind of help do you think they will say he needs?

This is the situation I've been mentally prepping for (hasn't happened yet; I've provided care in the past, but won't be doing it again for my mother). That is when you have to look them in the eye and say that you are simply unable to provide care for the person. And know that they will probably try to shame you into it. Many buckle under that shaming and agree to provide the care.

You can refuse to provide that care! And let the rehab place know that they will be releasing your father to an unsafe environment. It's up to them to figure out what to do then.

Since your father threatened physical violence, you MUST not agree to take him back home (he can call a taxi) OR to help provide any care once he gets there.

We are on your side!
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Carol, definitely let us know what you decide to do and what happens. Also, I am wondering if maybe you might have a better fit with a different therapist. Maybe one who gets the level of dysfunction you've been dealing with more. Not sure why you have to write him a letter, for example. . . Anyway, thinking of you.
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Carol2954 Oct 2018
I hate to switch therapists because this one actually met my parents in action and they were HORRIBLE at that appointment so she gets the picture. I pretty much dragged them both there because I was ready to walk away from their dysfunction four years ago.
If I go to someone else I feel like they won’t understand the level of dysfunction, at least for a while.
She said if I have to walk away the letter would constitute a measured exit, rather than just an abrupt exit. I guess giving an opportunity to address my concerns. (Hilarious— That will never happen)

I have not visited the rehab at all. I do check in with the caregivers and they say he’s of sound mind and making his own decisions. I cannot bring myself to go after he told me he is not satisfied with my facial expressions, that I don’t look pleasant, and said he felt like hitting me. I tried my best to just attend to the task at hand, getting him settled in, without any negative emotion. I have asked him to please just be civil— he just shouts at me and tells me it’s all my fault. (I’m not even sure what it is that’s my fault)
I know at the meeting he will sit there like the most reasonable, calm man ever. Afterwards he will try to tear me apart.
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Wow thats just awful.

I have lots of grief with my elderly Dad. Nothing physical but lots of emotional blackmail etc.

BUT just wanted to say, I hear you about what other people think. He goes to hospital and comes across as a sweet old man. Hes anything but. Then I get family who try to tell me I can't leave him alone even though they stay out of it. Most of the time they dont know the half of it of how hes behaved.
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Why is he in rehab?

If he is mentally competent, then he can be the one to go to his care plan meeting to plan for his own care. Does he even want you there?

Of course the professionals would like you there, because then they can dump any after-care on YOU. I like SnoopyLove's idea to call the social worker to tell them you will not be providing any care to your father.

What do you do for him now? Drive him places? Food preparation, cleaning? So many of these elders who live "independently" aren't really doing so without propping-up from family members.

Keep us updated. Call the social worker. Let us know what happens!

I totally understand how you feel.
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Hi, Carol. How terrible! I am so sorry your father treats you this way. Tell me, do you really want to be part of any kind of "care plan" for this guy? If not, call the social worker first thing this week and advise him or her that you will not be helping to "care" for your abuser. You won't be at the meeting. They will need to make other arrangements.

Are you in therapy for this incredibly painful situation? What does your therapist say? Does he or she think you should be participating in a care plan for your abusive biological father?
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Carol2954 Oct 2018
The only reason I want to go is so that he doesn’t lie and tell them I will be participating in his care after release. He tells lies like that. His lies have thrown me for a loop before, but not this time.

I have gone to a therapist about this. She said my parents behavior will kill me. That forced me to back a few steps away years ago. She also suggested writing him a letter to tell him why I cannot be around him. I KNOW he will not read it. He won’t even read short texts that are important to him— like addresses of relatives that’s he’s asked me for. (He can, and does text perfectly well when he wants to). He will later tell me I ASKED FOR AUNT _____ ADDRESS A MONTH AGO!! (Yes shouting) I am so uncooperative, you see. I am not what he wanted in a daughter, I am combative. I send him the original text with the date and his reply ‘thank you’. All of a sudden he can’t read it, text, find his phone, he’s cooking. Whatever. I offer to show him whatever he doesn’t understand tech wise. He says— you are not a good teacher. You should get it together and explain things the right way. Whatever that is. Then you see him on FB posting pictures and doing fine. So apparently my ‘teaching’ wasn’t so bad. It’s just another way to kick me, and tell me how substandard I am.

I’m running back to counseling as fast as they will take me. I feel terrible because after the ‘I will hit you comment’ I don’t really care what happens to him anymore. I feel no sense of love toward him. But that is a terrible way to feel about your parents. It’s not what I’d ever want to feel about family. They say he is sane and competent, he handles his own affairs, so this behavior is willful.
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