Feeling guilty - Dad upped the stakes again and I didnt go with it

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Paul, I've just had an encounter with my Dad - he was watching total rubbish 1980s quiz program, and I asked if he wanted to watch Flying Scotsman that I had recorded while we had lunch.Not unreasonable- from my angle anyway :lol: I went off to get lunch and returned to a total rant from Dad- why was I so selfish, why had I turned off his program
(I hadn't) - it wasn't fair I wouldn't let him watch tv, who did I think I was etc etc -. A year ago or so this might have upset me and I might have gone off to sulk, but I have now managed to flick that internal off switch so I can listen to it, in one ear and out with the other, laugh it off , put it down to dementia, ignore it- all of those things wrapped into one and that is something you still need to learn ;)
Dad has had numerous falls over the past 9 years or so and it is quite possible your Dad may have had one to especially if he has taken some new medication. He has cried wolf too many times.
As the others have said, you need to concentrate on controling your own responses as you won't be able to change Dad. The only thing you have control over is you. One day you will "get it" but don't make yourself ill in the meanwhile. Try and set aside times that you will be "on duty" to deal with things and then other times that are "down times-not just phone switched off but your mind otherwise pleasantly engaged and not churning over Dad thoughts.
No Paul,
You don't tell dad you think he's faking it. You tell him how awful it was that he had a fall when you live so far away and are so busy looking after your wife and family that you can't go rushing over, what a good job it is that your brother lives nearby and how it is much quicker for him to get to Dad and how he'd be much better off in a Home where someone would look after him all the time because you can't do it as much. You say you know that he would be the first to agree that a man must look after his wife and children and you know that he would never suggest that you neglect your sick wife and the little children when your brother is there, on the spot, to look after him. AND if he's going to be falling now, then a Home is by far the best place to keep him safe and look after him.
If Dad is faking it, and didn't really fall then he might think twice next time and if he did really take a tumble then all you say is true.
Isn't it called 'reverse psychology' or some such? You use his tactics to further your own cause. You agree with him rather than dispute with him but turn it around to your advantage.
Next time he calls and says he needs an ambulance say 'Oh dear. Well call them if you are really ill but I hope they don't get fed up with coming to you if you aren't ill. So sorry Dad but I can't possibly come over now. I'm sure my brother will come because he's only round the corner. I promise I'll come as soon as I can but it can't be today/this week. I know you understand how it is with my wife and kids. I'll get off the phone now so you can call my brother.'
As for Christmas - if you have to mention it you say 'Sorry Christmas Day was so hard for you, travelling all that way and my wife found it hard too, as I did'. Next Year we will make other arrangements so you don't have to put yourself out. I expect my brother will make a dinner for you. OR you could have a lovely time in a Home by then'.
Get the idea? Sure you do. Gets rid of the agro and you leave him little choice when you are being so sympathetic and nice. Not a case of 'No I won't', but 'So sorry I can't. Maybe later or ask my brother.'
New year, new tactics?
KR
E.
Spot on Elaine!

Paul, learn Elaine's script even if it means practising in front of a mirror. I bet wife will help you learn the words ;)

Meanwhile here's a belated Xmas present of an "invisible Teflon shield". You hold it up to deflect Dads guilt barbs. They hit the shield and slide right off. They don't rebound back to him but simply and gently slide away. Wear it at all times
Xx
MrsA
Elaine, that is brilliantly cunning! Reverse psychology indeed!

I agree that his fall might be genuine - tranquillisers can make one wobbly (especially lorazpam/diazepam etc)
Thanks all. Well, I haven't been to see him in hospital today. To be honest, brother was going and I was not about to desert my wife and family again. I have no plans to go tomorrow either to be honest.

BUT it looks like hes coming out tomorrow and lo and behold looks like hes made arrangements with his cousin to collect him. I guess I will have to speak to him when he gets home tomorrow - not that I'm keen. But you can bet I'll be "called into work" on monday rather than him expecting me to be at his beck and call again.

Still unsure about the fall. It was mirtazapine (an AD) he took Thursday night. Assuming he did take it. My brother send me a pic of the cut - it was only a scrape on the top of his head and it did look a bit weird. I'm still not convinced this was not deliberate or giving him the benefit of the doubt hes used this to get what hes wanted all along. But its all just a bit convenient after what he said. But cry wolf enough times and what does he expect.

But agreed, I can't prove it and hes going to deny it anyway. I'm just hoping me not running to the hospital it will sink in with him that its not always going to go his way.

By the way, brother is keen to get him into sheltered accomodation now. When hes realised that he might have to put up with Dad all of a sudden. Good idea though but I can never see Dad agreeing.

At this moment he needs someone to sit him down for a serious conversation. Either he agrees to listen to the doctors, chill out a bit, not expect miracles from everyone or he has to consider alternative living arrangements.
Paul, your brother's shift in attitude sounds like a huge step in the right direction, now he's realised he might have to actually do more. Well done.
Yes, I agree - you know, it could be your 'uninvolved' brother who forces the issue - BUT you'll need to back off completely, or everything will just 'revert' to what it was last year, and just getting worse and worse.

By all means sit down and have that serious talk with your dad, but to my mind it won't change his mind. ie, he won't 'agree'. (Don't expect him to!). It's really now a question of 'forcing' - and to achieve that you'll need to back off. While you 'bail him out' he won't have to move.

Have you talked to your bro about 'How Best to Get Dad Into Sheltered Accommodation/Residential Care?' You need to be working together and most of all, your bro and anyone else should realise that 2017 is the year that Paul Bows Out!

All the best to you, and have a great NYD with your own family.
Still in hospital. I spoke to him yesterday and he had a bit of a dig that I hadnt been to see him to be honest. Same old Dad.

Hes convinced that he nearly died I dont think so.With all the recent crying wolf I must admit I find it hard to believe him to be honest. He might have had a genuine fall who knows.

Im hoping hes out soon otherwise hes going to expect me to visit one evening this week. (Up at 545am, off train at 6pm, hospital 7pm - no much fun but he will expect it).

Got MIL coming to help today but, of course shes 76 too so it doesn't seem fair for her to have youngest all day then me not be home till 9pm or whatever (and youngest will be in bed so I wont even see her that day). Of course, wife would not be pleased if I did that. Who can blame her but Dad is going to expect it.
Paul - Dad may expect it, but it doesn't mean you have to do it. You have enough on your plate. Your brother is much closer, so he could visit every day. Try not to be guilt-tripped into a visit.

All the best.
Emma
I agree with Emma. Dad can 'expect' what he wants (see 'same old Dad' comment above - spot on!), but YOU don't have to visit him.

You really do need to cut that 'umbilical cord' that allows him to yank you around.

I still feel you keep, keep, keep hoping (er 'expecting'???!!!!) Dad to one day 'realise' that yes, you have a family yourself to look after, that he's crying wolf, that there's nothing wrong with him, to act, in fact, in a reasonable way....but he IS NOT GOING TO!

I don't think, you know, from the way you write, that you have truly taken that on board. I still get the feeling you're hitting your head on a brick wall, trying to make HIM change, when the person who needs to change is YOU ...because HE WON'T!

Maybe he Won't because he Can't - and maybe he Can't because he's just 'the same old Dad' (!) and maybe he Can't because dementia is setting in (it can take a while to become 'obvious'....looking back, I can now see the signs of it in my 89 y/o MIL for a couple of years before she phoned me to say she couldn't live on her own any more....).

But the 'why' of why he is not going to one day 'be reasonable' is not really important. Because there is nothing that is goingto make him 'reasonable' now.

That's why the emphasis has to be on you stopping beating your head against a wall, and tackling the fundamental task of getting him into a care home or assisted living.

Think of that task as, in a way, requiring 'activation energy' - it's going to take a LOT to achieve, but once he's in that new state, the 'energy levels' he'll require are far, far less - it's a much more stable and 'low energy' structure/state to be in.

As ever, wishing you all the best for the coming year.

Don't visit him this week - if you do, you're 'confirming' to him in his own mind that yes, he DOES need to be in hospital. By not visiting him you're sending the message 'Dad, you brought this on yourself and it's nonsense!'

All the best - stay strong!
181 posts