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View Diary: To My Dad & Sorry for my Rant (123 comments)

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  •  Fear plus magical thinking (7+ / 0-)

    Agree - it is not just his fear (for himself, for you) but also magical thinking that you could change your situation just by "trying harder", and that he could change how you feel by telling you to do so. It's daft, of course, and his approach is hurtful and mean. But it sounds like that is not new. He's showing up and helping in a way he can control - driving - and trying to control the rest of your situation, out of fear and habit, in a dysfunctional way.

    I've watched this with my father, who is caring for my mother, who has a particularly frustrating variety of early dementia. He was just convinced that by yelling at her to do stuff, he could make her able to do it. Just made her feel worse. With all my professional expertise, I couldn't convince him otherwise, until very recently, with help from some geriatric nursing experts. But on the flip side, he is there, every day, doing what he can (however much he grumbles and snarls.) Hard for my mom, but I pity him more than anything.

    The suggestions above are excellent! Especially letting go of this if you can, focusing on your kids and what you need, and (if possible) having someone else serve the role of listening to his anger and frustration and helping him to understand and to find a way to stop hassling you or to help.

    •  My parents are in a similar situation (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stormicats, wishingwell, DvCM, hazey

      and just a few days ago I say my dad alone.  I was so proud and touched when he said "My main and only rule has to be KINDNESS.  I admit I don't always manage, but that is my goal."  

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 11:59:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  this is so true (8+ / 0-)

      I know my dad cares deeply for me and loves me a lot.  He doesn't know how else to handle the situation and ends up being dysfunctional about it.
      I love him to death and am grateful for all his help; I'd like him to come to a group meeting or something with me so that maybe he will be able to understand what I'm actually going through and be able to handle it without the anger and frustration he feels.

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