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To want to scream about my dad?

(24 Posts)
DanZZZenAroundTheTreeAgain Tue 30-Nov-10 08:36:37




Thank you

BootyMum Tue 30-Nov-10 08:41:07

Yes, but what's the problem...?

DanZZZenAroundTheTreeAgain Tue 30-Nov-10 08:45:54

the problem is that he is being so annoyingly mule-headed and difficult. I know he is an elderly man and lonely and I should get past the annoyance .... I knowAIBU really but I am p* d off.

My parents left the UK and went to live in NZ to be near my sister who has developped a debilitating disease - so they could help her out. My motherdied 4 years ago and my father is now over there and alone andof course he is lonely. Last Christmas my sister took her family to spend Christmas with him and he blew up and told them toleave. She was very upset. This year she invited him to come to their home but he has refused. He says he would rather stay in his own home and keeps telling mehow lonely it is etc etc and he never sees dd .

So we have been trying to organise getting there forChrsitmas and he is frustrating it at every turn whilst saying the same about being lonely and so on. What are we supposed to do? Last night he called to say thathe may not be there, he may be travelling around. He likes to do that at that time of the year.

So we travel half way round the world and he isnot there? We organised flights, time off work for me and dh, time off school for dd and he may not be there.

fartmeistergeneral Tue 30-Nov-10 08:50:01

I feel your pain. My case isn't as extreme, as my dad lives one hour away but has become totally awkward and cantankerous. He wants to just be on his own at Christmas, watching telly. Never wants to do anything or see anyone (except me and sis), hates everyone in the world. Hates Britain. Hates the government. All TV is rubbish. All books are rubbish.


DanZZZenAroundTheTreeAgain Tue 30-Nov-10 08:50:39

I feel like giving vent to my feelings but if I do, he will be offended obviuosly and he is an old man. He is still not speaking to my sister personally a year after he threw her family out. It was excruciating for her, she was there with 3 dc, dh and had booked for them all to go to a resort together after Chrsitmas itself, him , her little family, MIL and FIL. He said he couldn't stand MIL and FIL and when she started saying but it is all booked and don't you think you could try it etc he hit the roof and said she wasn't welcome in his house.

It is so very strange to me. Mum was always the one who could manage things but generally he is a responsible and reasonable and friendly person, just atm not to us really. Not sure why. Or what to do about it. Dh is stunned. I feel like telling him to get stuffed tbh (although I will not do it). Just annoyed today.

DanZZZenAroundTheTreeAgain Tue 30-Nov-10 08:51:58

I suppose it is just the way they become then f-y, I am tempted to just fade gently out of it but I suppos you cannot do that either!

fartmeistergeneral Tue 30-Nov-10 08:52:16

Well, I never tell my dad how I really feel. I just come home and rant to dh. They are old men. Almost miserable with life would you say? It's hard to imagine how they feel. Try to roll with it I think.

DanZZZenAroundTheTreeAgain Tue 30-Nov-10 08:53:18

yes I know you are right, but that phone call last night after the organisation involved, just seems so odd to me.

Ah well, just good to vent I suppose . Thanks

DanZZZenAroundTheTreeAgain Tue 30-Nov-10 10:33:30

I spoke to dh who thinks it might be alright when we get there but I don't get that impression and in the end we decided maybe it would be better to cancel the flights.

I think I'll do that rather than risk a bust-up if it is all going to be so difficult. He couldn't travel over to us so if we see him, we do have to go there IYSWIM, maybe stay in a hotel if he finds it difficult having people around him too much - but it sounds like he is not really that bothered to have us round at Christmas so maybe that is the right thing to do.

Anniegetyourgun Tue 30-Nov-10 11:53:32

Be fair, if you actually went and visited he wouldn't be able to moan that you never do, and that would ruin his favourite pastime.

whatdoiknowanyway Tue 30-Nov-10 12:03:12

How's his health DanZZZen? I had so many awful, awful bouts with my dad after my mm died 5 years ago. A lot was to do with hius personality - never been an easy man- but he also had dementia which he used his high intelligence and verbal skills to hide as long as possible.

This year he is in a nursing home and we are worrying about what to do for Christmas. It seems callous to leave him there and just go to visit on Christmas day but he gets so bewildered when he is out, stressed and uncertain that it also feels cruel to take him out just so that we 'look' to be doing the right thing.

I'm not wishing anything like this onto your father but could it be a possibity that might explain his harsh behaviour?

whatdoiknowanyway Tue 30-Nov-10 12:05:25

mum not mm
his not hius
sorry, must get this keyboard sorted blush

BudaisintheZONE Tue 30-Nov-10 12:15:01

I would also think it could well be health related DanZZZen. My mother has had huge personality changes over the last few years due to small stokes and (we think) vascular dementia. She is parantoid about my Dad - thinks he is having an affair with the man across the road. It sounds almost funny but is really horrible for my Dad. The guy in question is someone she once dated before she married my Dad and she doesn't like him. We think the not liking him has gotten all mixed up in her brain and she now thinks he is trying to steal Dad away from her. I wonder is your Dad resenting your sister for having to move to NZ to help her and this is how it is coming out?

Maybe you should still go. At least then you can see your sister and her family and you can assess the problem if any and it will be easier to talk to your sis about it all.

healthyElfy Tue 30-Nov-10 13:14:51

My first thought was age related mental illness. Another idea is that it could be that feeling you get when you want something so badly (like you visiting) that you dont want to let yourself be dissapointed. I am not explaining well.

chicaguapa Tue 30-Nov-10 13:22:13

I also thought about dementia. I don't envy your situation. Is there anyone to look after him out there?

DanZZZenAroundTheTreeAgain Wed 01-Dec-10 08:18:54

Thanks everyone. I was away on a day trip yeterday so I couldn't get back online to reply.

Tbh I never thought ofanything likedementia. I hope it isn't that but tbh he has a rather authoritarian nature and always has had. My mother used to temper it/smooth itover but it is his character really. He was sort of in command at work from an early age , so I think he just is used to being "the boss" IYSWIM and he cannot switch it off in retirement or with his children. He is different with other people, also younger people but he doesn't like to feel we are organising him in any way.

His health is physically up and down. Hewas diagnosedwith cancer and operated on but it was found to be benign and his regular checks come back ok but it is worrying and he has smaller health issues since he is elderly -sinus problems and things like that. He has someone who comes in to clean and he knows and likes his neighbours, they all keep an eye on him. He refuses to have a nurse or live-in housekeeper or anyhting like that. He will not live iwth my sister or return to the UK where my brother and the family are. He will not come to us (which makes sense since here he wouldn't know anyone but us and cannot speak th local language.).

that sounds very difficult whatdoIknowanyway. How hard on you all, and your dad of course.

DanZZZenAroundTheTreeAgain Wed 01-Dec-10 08:22:31

It could be that he is resentful buda. His relationship to my sister is strange. She actually lives in Australia but when my parents went out there , they decided they did not really like Australia that much (my apologies to any Australians, sorry) and they preferred NZ which they also visited on that trip. When they decided to move, they chose to move to NZ so he is not really even that close to my sister. It is two flights.

If he were in the UK and we only had a two hour flight to go and see him , it wouldn't really matter but to go all the way to NZ and he has perhaps decided to just up and travel off, isn't tempting.

I am not annoyed today so much as tired. I will have to speak to my sister. I feel sorry for her in all this, must have been horrible last Xmas , she was so upset and really whenever he speaks to me about her dc , he is always so disparaging of them and her way of birning them up. they are honestly lovely and she does a good job. I never know what to say/do about it. It almost sounds like he really doesn't like my sister and she is a very sweet, gentle type of person.

BudaisintheZONE Wed 01-Dec-10 09:11:55

It sounds very difficult DanZZZen. As I said my mother has some dementia and one of my sister's theory is that it is just let her give free reign to let out her normal personality!

It is hard to think of your Dad alone but I think he and your mother made their decision. They must have taken into account that one of them could be left alone there surely? Very strange to move to NZ to 'help' your sister if she is actually in Australia.

DanZZZenAroundTheTreeAgain Wed 01-Dec-10 09:16:00

I will have to read some more about dementia (just in case). How does your dad manage with your mum acting like that?

BudaisintheZONE Wed 01-Dec-10 09:40:33

He finds it very hard DanZZZen. Most of the time he is ok but he does blow up at times. He is her main carer and does everything in the house. A carer comes in twice a week to shower her etc. Dad has recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer too which is a double whammy. sad

whatdoiknowanyway Wed 01-Dec-10 09:50:56

DanZZZen, here are a couple of links that might be useful for you if you are doing some reading. ct

Alzheimers Society is a great source of information and support about all kinds of dementia. Admiral Nurses are a (truly wonderful) organisation, UK based but they have a phoneservice where you can ring and ask for advice.

As I said before, I am really not wishing this onto you but your description of your dad rang so many bells with me that I do think it's worth looking into a little more.

Mine too was a highly intelligent man (still is) with a senior position in a very hierarchical organisation. He was accustomed to having his instructions obeyed without question. Hated being organised by anyone else. Still does.

With hindsight we now realise that as dementia began to take hold so he began to distance himself from family events (doesn't 'do' any other sort of social gathering anyway). He made up an excuse to boycott my sister's wedding (she was crushed) and cancelled holidays at the last minute with my mum etc.

As we learnt more about dementia my Admiral Nurse explained that people use techniques like this to avoid being in company with people who might spot that they are not as alert/in control as they used to be.

Dad was fantastic at this. Also at convincing health and social care professionals that he was fine. After a fall he was assessed by a social worker and completely pulled the wool over his eyes. He is so used to command and many kind, gentle people are used to accepting authority so are not always ready to challenge. He blinded them with language, big words, slighly patronising attitude towards them...

As Buda says, paranoia can play a big part. Dad has 'taken picks' against people all his life but with dementia this became even more pronounced. My 10 yr old nephew suffered badly, Dad's neighbour (stealing his post), his parish priest (lying about things happening in the church), my husband (sabotaging his relationship with a local organisation) etc etc.

Hard to know what to do with him being so far away from everyone. FWIW I don't think he'll miss the opportunity to see you and if you do go it could be a good chance to chat with his neighbours and get a more immediate idea of how he's doing. I'd try not to stay with him though, give him (and you) space to hide.

I do hope things work out.

DanZZZenAroundTheTreeAgain Wed 01-Dec-10 09:51:15

I'm so sorry buda, how horrible for him and how worrying for you. Is he going to be operated on then?

DanZZZenAroundTheTreeAgain Wed 01-Dec-10 09:56:08

thank you very much whatdoIknowanyway. I will read up on those links and have a word with my sister about it, see if she thinks it sounds like the way he has behaving. Unfortuantely it does sound a lot like it.

If so, I will really have to make some plans about him but I am a bit reluctant to trouble my sister with anything until after Christmas. I would like her Christmas to be nice this year. She is already quite disabled with MS and she really doesn't need this, cannot be expected to cope with dad on top of it. I will have to find a way of doing it. Thanks very much, appreicate your advice.

ABudafulSightWereHappyTonight Thu 02-Dec-10 14:50:17

Sorry DanZZZen - didn't get back to this.

Dad is not facing surgery thankfully. He had a quadruple bypass in January so has had enough of surgery for a while! He is on hormone treatment and will start radiotherapy after Christmas. We are keeping our fingers crossed.

Have your gotten any further on?

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