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Family kept Dad’s stroke from me

(17 Posts)
Nafo Mon 10-Aug-20 06:28:33

Hello,
I’m quite angry and upset at the moment and would appreciate some advice or just a rant.
I haven’t slept all night and I’m probably rambling.

My mum called me on Thursday to say that my dad had collapsed and was in hospital. I’m in another country.

Initially she said it wasn’t a heart attack or a stroke and that he was lucid but ill.
Dad was messaging me Thursday night.
They both assured me “everything was ok”.
On Friday dad told me they think it was a severe case of vertigo and a concussion from him hitting his head.

Over the weekend they both messaged me keeping up with the theme that it was ok.
Yesterday evening my mum called me and told me that he had actually had a stroke, they knew this on Friday, and that he’s still high risk so will be in hospital for the foreseeable future.

Mum said they had wanted to wait until they knew more before they told me anything and also that because I was really unwell (stomach ulcer) at the start of the week & I was going to stay with friends (Safely & socially distanced) for the weekend to relax, they didn’t want to spoil it for me...
I can understand the waiting until they knew more information, I’m less understanding about the “spoiling my weekend” thing.

Anyway, it turns out my whole (and I’m talking Aunties, Uncles, cousins) knew on Friday.

I feel so upset, especially with my brothers, no one gave me any sort of heads up. And when I messaged one of my brothers to say I’ve been told, he asked was I ok, to which I replied “no I’m not ok, my dad had a stroke and I’ve just been told, so no I’m not ok” he responded “well don’t take it out on me he’s my dad to”. I went back to him saying “I’m not taking anything out on you, you asked how I am and I’m telling you”.
He hasn’t responded.

I’m worried and anxious and terrified for my dad. I can’t get back to my country easily and even if I could I wouldn’t be able to see my dad.

And I‘m mad as hell at at my family, I don’t trust them now to tell me the truth, I’m also confused & upset as to why no one told me and angry that I was the last to know.
Then I’m angry at myself for being so angry about it!!

I don’t know where to direct these emotions. I don't know how to begin to talk to them about not saying anything to me because I’m afraid I’ll go absolutely nuts and cause damage to our relationships if I offload right now.

I just want to see my dad sad

OP’s posts: |
crosser62 Mon 10-Aug-20 06:36:24

No wonder you have an ulcer jeez, that’s an awful lot of anger about, well, people being protective of you and obviously knowing what an angry person you seem to be, maybe trying to delay that anger while they deal with the main issue...your dad bring unwell.
I’m thinking that maybe they have got an awful lot on their plates there with worrying about the poor bloke without your rantings and ravings on top of it all.

I think you need to step back, take a deep breath and just maybe ..in the gentlest way possible, think about them, not you.

Bigger picture here, much much bigger picture I’m afraid than who told you what and when.
While you have a right to be upset about your dad being unwell, you have no right making a bad situation worse.

bumblingbovine49 Mon 10-Aug-20 06:44:01

I am so sorry about your dad. Of course you are worried and upset .it sounds like a very difficult time for your family.

I do understand the irritated at being lied to . It isn't quite the same thing, but I remember years ago calling my mother for a 10 min chat and she told me she was fine etc . Later that day my sister rang to tell me that during my call mum had been waiting for an ambulance as she had fallen and hurt her wrist ( turned out to be broken). She didn't even mention it to me. I was pretty annoyed with my mother at the time and bewildered. But the truth is I couldn't have done much at the time and I've come to realise she was doing what parents always do ' protecting me' for as long as she could.

I mean this as kindly as possible but try to move past the anger at being excluded. You are focussing on your anger at this, as it is probably easier than dealing with the fear of what is happening to your dad.

By all means at some point tell your mother and siblings about your feelings about being excluded but I would wait until you can do that without being so angry. In the meantime focus.on taking care of yourself and staying in friendly and supportive contact with your family.

Nafo Mon 10-Aug-20 07:02:40

Hi thank you for your responses.
You are both right about the bigger picture. This week was an absolute crap show from end to finish.

@crosser62 I promise I’m honestly not normally angry! Which is why I don’t know what to do with it. I absolutely adore my family and I have never ever felt angry with them. And you know what, maybe you’re right about them not knowing how I’ll react, I’ve been going through a separation so maybe they were trying to soften the blow?
I’m just feeling a bit panicky and alone over here at the moment and I’m trying to hold it together and find a way not to worsen the situation as you said. I’m really trying to calm down.

@bumblingbovine49
i think you are also right about the fear. I can acknowledge how extremely fortunate I am that I’ve always had healthy family (my gran & grandad are in their late 80s with little health issues) and I often write in my journal how I grateful I am to have not been exposed health issues. And I don’t know what to do. I physically can’t be there to help.

Again thank you both for your insight. ❤️

OP’s posts: |
crosser62 Mon 10-Aug-20 07:16:55

Oh love, you are having a shitty time I can see that.
I’ve tried to answer how a really good and honest friend would answer you.
While I completely get why you feel the way you do, I don’t think that agreeing with you and putting a sympathetic arm around you is the point in this instance.
flowers to you, I hope you recover from your own health issues and I hope your lovely dad gets well soon too.

Nafo Mon 10-Aug-20 07:23:11

And I honestly really really appreciate that you did that. Thank you. I needed it. ❤️❤️

OP’s posts: |
Idontgiveagriffindamn Mon 10-Aug-20 07:30:17

I’m sorry about your dad and do understand your anger but please don’t take it out on your family.
We all do things we think are for the best - sometimes they are, sometimes they’re not. I’m undecided in this case.
I can understand them not telling you until they had more informations. Especially as you are abroad. Perhaps they thought that more information may soften the blow - he’s had a stroke but they’ve said these positive things...
What I would say is that everyone is now dealing with this and please don’t add this anger on yours onto your mum, dad or brothers plate like you they have enough to deal with.

SomethingLessBoringInstead Mon 10-Aug-20 07:32:24

I’m worried and anxious and terrified for my dad. I can’t get back to my country easily and even if I could I wouldn’t be able to see my dad.

This is why they didn't tell you.

They knew you would feel like this and didn't want you worrying unnecessarily about it until they could give you a full account of what was happening.

I understand your anger (and probably humiliation) at being the last to know but it sounds like it came from a good place.

Your brother was also right. It wasn't his choice not to tell you. He might not have felt comfortable with the decision, even if he understood the reasoning behind it. He is also worried about his dad. When he asked if you were ok, he meant in response to hearing the news, not about the wider family politics of the decision not to tell you immediately. He probably hasn't replied because he's trying to deal with his emotions around it and doesn't have the capacity for yours too.

You're overseas and can't do anything but worry; you are going through a separation and so the last thing you needed was more worry and the uncertainty that would have come with the news; you have a health condition that is often stress related. They clearly understand you have been going through a difficult time and that is why they felt you deserved your uninterrupted weekend in order to relax.

Put it this way, some families would have revelled in being the bearers of such bad news precisely because you were so far away and unable to return easily; precisely because they wanted to ruin your weekend of peace and rest; and precisely because they wanted you to feel bad.

Maybe they did get it wrong but, with everything on their minds, they were unlikely to be thinking straight themselves.

It might not feel it now but it sounds like they were trying to do you a kindness.

I hope your dad recovers well.

SomethingLessBoringInstead Mon 10-Aug-20 07:36:00

I also suspect your anger is misplaced.

You are angry at the stroke and you are scared. But you can't be angry at the stroke. You can't shout at it. You can't ask it what the hell it thought it was doing hurting your dad like that.

So it becomes directed at your family instead.

Anger is a natural response.

RichPetunia Mon 10-Aug-20 07:36:20

Sounds like your family were thinking of you and trying to not add to your stress. Your family had your best interests at heart.

DennisTMenace Mon 10-Aug-20 07:42:09

It was misguided, but not unusual, and done out of love. My mum broke her leg while I was away and didn't tell me as didn't want to worry me. I was then much more worried as I didn't know the whole time what else she was keeping from me! It does show that they care, or there would be no bothering to try spare your feelings.

NotStayingIn Mon 10-Aug-20 07:50:50

I think the reason they didn't tell you was because they didn't want to ruin your weekend.

But your post and your brothers reply might also suggest you have a tendency to make things about you?

I hope he recovers well.

fabulous40s Mon 10-Aug-20 08:04:30

You are quite rightly angry and scared and upset for your dad- don't misplace this and aim it at your family who were trying to be kind.

Stop texting, get on the phone and have some real conversations with your family. Support each other. And when the heat has gone out, have a chat about how you'd like to be involved in the future should anyone else be taken ill.

Wishing your dad a speedy recovery

ClaryFairchild Mon 10-Aug-20 08:05:16

Well I think it's pretty crappy. Ask them how they would feel if you didn't tell them about something bad happening to you? Because you are either the family that shares things honestly or you're not, and it goes both ways. So if they keep things from you they can't be surprised if you keep things from them.

Idontgiveagriffindamn Mon 10-Aug-20 08:09:28

I wouldn’t confront them at all - whilst you’re feeling rubbish your dad for one will be feeling many, many more times worse. And you’ll effectively will be making him feel worse - that’s not on.
By all means ask them not to keep things from you in future. But don’t do it to make them feel guilty - just request they don’t do it in future

purpleboy Mon 10-Aug-20 08:14:02

Parents do this quite often, it comes from a place of love and protection, but by god is it fucking annoying and heartbreaking.

My parents didn't tell me my gran had died until we all were together at about 7pm. Despite them being called in the morning to say goodbye to her, they didn't give me that opportunity to say goodbye and I don't think I will ever forgive them for that.

A friend who's DH had terminal cancer didn't tell their uni aged child it was terminal so they could continue with uni, the dad dies a few weeks later and she is now furious she didn't get to spend those last weeks with him.

I have a few more but it's always the same line about protecting you, not wanting to upset you. But in the process they take away the ability for you to make tour own decisions based on what they think is best for you. In my opinion no one has the right to do that.

I know how hard this must be for you, i hope your dad recovers soon.

Nafo Mon 10-Aug-20 08:24:37

Hi all, thank you so much for your advice and understanding.
Had a chat just now with one of my other brothers (I messaged the other brother because I know he’s a late riser! Apologising that my message came across as snappy and that I’ll call him later).
Back to the call with my 2nd brother, I feel much better & calmer having spoken to him. And I’m glad I spoke to all you guys first because my anger was definitely misplaced. I really didn’t like the feeling of being angry at my family. It didn’t sit well. I just had all of these overwhelming feelings and didn’t know what to do with them.
Thank you all.

OP’s posts: |

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