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How do I help my dad(5 Posts)
I'm a fairly new poster as I worry I'll get shot down so please be kind.
Bit if back history- My dad has had depression for as long as I can remember. We never got on when I was at secondary school. I didn't really understand what was going on and all I saw was him being nasty and shouting at me a lot and arguments between him and my mum. (I have 3 older brothers who were mostly out when all this was going on so I took the brunt of it). I always felt I missed out on a ''fun'' childhood as he wouldn't want to take me out etc like he did when the boys were young.
My mum left my dad and we moved out of the family home when I was 16. My relationship with my dad improved marginally but I still spent a lot of time at his house so there was still arguments etc.
I became pregnant at 18 and since then my relationship with my dad has blossomed and we've become friends and have a normal ish father/daughter relationship.
Anyway, about 2 years ago my mum bought my dad out of the family home and we moved back in (there was my mum, me, my daughter and my DP as well as one of my brothers who was back and forth to Canada 6 monthly or so). My dad paid off his £18k debt which he'd racked up over the years. I've only recently found out this was a major cause of my parents marriage breakdown as he drinks and smokes and would rather spend month on this than pay bills etc.
With the money left he bought a small house suitable for just him, outright.
He seemed really good for a long time. He had a lovely new home and a much better relationship with all 4 of us children (we're a close family).
Over the 1st year my brother moved to Canada for a few years, my family and I got our own place and my other brother moved away further up county to a new job. My mum also started a new relationship.
My dad is still totally in love with my mum and hates that she's with a new man (it had already been 7 years by this time, obviously longer now).
Anyway the point I'm getting too is my dads depression is getting really bad, he slags my mum off all the time, emails her nasty things calling her all sorts of things she's not! And tells me and my bros he's going to kill himself or move away etc etc.
I try so so hard to be there for him if he needs me. We've all tried to find him things to do, voluntary work etc. We've signed him up to stop drinking programs/help. He just won't help himself and it's getting to the point now where I'm starting to resent him, not only for being so horrible to my mum, which I now know what she went through in their marriage, but also for forgetting that we have problems too. He rings me most nights upset, which I don't mind, I don't want him upset but he goes on about how his life is so awful. He did this after we lost our baby at 21 weeks then a few months later had a mmc. This was all a year after I had an ectopic and nearly died.
I guess what I'm trying to say in this essay (sorry) is that I feel so guilty for feeling like this, I know he can't help it but what can I do, both to stop myself resenting him and to help him? Any advice would be much appreciated
Oh and also, I am pg again and after so much loss this baby is, to us, a miracle and he keeps saying he's going to move away and I feel hurt that he doesn't want to be around to see his grandchildren to grow up. Am being selfish aren't I?
bugslife congratulations on your pregnancy after so much difficulty. You really need to look after yourself mentally during this time as although you are no doubt delighted it doesn't negate everything you have been through
You are not being selfish at all. You've actually been really understanding/forgiving of your father and to be honest he is coming across as being rather selfish. As you say, he won't help himself. Is he getting any help from GP/MH services? If he's drinking that is going to just make his depression worse. It sounds like he needs counselling though to come to terms with the break up of his relationship, and help him to move on.
FWIW you don't have to listen to him slagging off your mum. Like just tell him that he can talk about how he feels, but you love your mother and will not listen to him spouting nonsense. If he's saying he's going to kill himself and you are worried about his immediate safety I'd call him an ambulance…if it's for some point in the future I'd tell his GP. It's too much responsibility for you. You cannot be responsible for your fathers life. If he's having to ring you every night upset it sounds like he needs some sort of MH input, it is too much for any human being to deal with never mind someone who has been through what you have.
Nope you are definitely not being selfish bugslife and you are in such a difficult situation. Hopefully someone will come along with better words than me soon x
only other thing I can suggest is getting in contact with your local Carers centre (google them) as you are actually a carer for your dad. They are usually really, really helpful.
His GP knows everything and he is constantly on and off anti depressants. They do work as we all see a change in him when he's on them but it's a vicious cycle as he starts to feel better (obviously) so comes off them, then goes back down hill again.
He won't get help for his drinking, we all know this is probably the main reason he feels the way he does, in fairness he doesn't drink as much as he used too but he's defiantly an alcoholic with a huge problem, just won't admit it.
We've suggested counselling, both privately and NHS funded (although that was a long waiting list) and even done all the ground work for it so all he had to do was ring and book an appointment/join the waiting list.
I'll look into the other things Thankyou. I guess I just wanted to reassurance that I'm not being nasty to him as I know he can't help it. At the end of the day I do love him and I hate to see him like this but we all have things going on in our lives too and he doesn't seem to get that.
I really appreciate you taking the time to reply xx
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