Four things twice (days 9 and 10)

Yesterday we started moving some of dad’s stuff into the assisted living place. Nine years ago I would have found words for this sort of thing. I could have made it poignant, or blunt. Now I am just broken, running on empty, and increasingly wordless. I could tell you the angle of the sun, I could tell you what dad said (it wasn’t kind), I could tell you about driving through the countryside on “the back way” to the assisted living place. There hasn’t been much rain and so the landscape is still brown. I could tell you what it looks like from the window there. I could tell you what dad said there (it wasn’t kind). I could tell you about the geese.

***

So many conversations with the same three triangle points: the veneer of rationality; the level of sheer desperate anger (“cornered rat” viciousness); and the possibility in between that he’s consciously or unconsciously manipulating. The geriatric consultant says it’s impossible to tell which, and it’s probably all three (or four). And today we noticed clear attempts by him to triangulated between me and HL.

I simply can’t do this, it’s exposure to the worst possible kind of gaslighting. “I’m rational, and my rational choice is to abuse you.” “I’m not rational, so you may not defend yourself against anything I say to you or about you. You may not even react to me. You must just take it and take it and take it.”

Upside: Forty years ago I would have just taken it. I wouldn’t have understood what was happening.

***

This morning was worse. A few more things moved in, and so much anger. There are only so many square feet in that room, and dad has determined to cram every inch of it full. He can’t be told that it won’t fit. If it didn’t involve a huge amount of work to put all this stuff in the place I would just give in and let him manage, but it disrupts the other residents and HL has a hard time accommodating what dad wants.

***

This Grandpad is really complicated to set up. After 40 minutes I still can’t figure out how to get a new phone number for dad.

***

This afternoon, more running around buying stuff you only notice is missing when you’re there. A bathroom vanity, a cart for towels, a shower curtain, a shower caddy, and a pillow. How could I forget a pillow? Then picking up the stuff I had already ordered yesterday.

***

This evening: apocalypse. This is the worst it’s ever been. I don’t know how we come back from tonight.

***

Any relationship counselor will tell you that the thing a relationship can practically never recover from is contempt. People can work to, agree to, surmount all kinds of other negative emotions but once contempt is in the picture, saving the connection becomes infinitely harder. Dad has treated me with contempt, off and on, since I was a teenager, and pretty continuously for the last year or so. As a child you always hope and believe that your parent can change, if you can just figure out how to be good enough. And then I was away for a long time and it didn’t really matter what he thought of me.

After tonight, I may finally be at contempt.

It is not ethical to feel contempt for someone who has brain damage.

We’ve gotta get him out of here.

~ by Servetus on April 7, 2021.

24 Responses to “Four things twice (days 9 and 10)”

  1. Serv, honey, my heart is breaking for you. Wishing I could just give you a hug. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This move was always going to be the catalyst for his explosion and you were always going to be the main recipient, no matter what. Emotions are so heightened at the moment and maybe do what you have been doing so well these past few months – take a deep breath and suppress the feelings for a bit longer. Once dad is settled in residential care and you aren’t so bone tired maybe you will be able to revisit how you feel towards him.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Possibly. I think I will somewhat better when he’s moved. However, I am not highly confident that this move is the end point. I keep having these conversations about whether he’s a flight risk or not and all I can say is that I don’t know. So I wonder if there won’t be another chapter, especially after the fight the other night. But I don’ thave any choice, other than running away myself.

      Like

  3. When we moved my father in law to supported living , and to help him we moved to a place nearby so we could see him every day, a place we did not wish to live, he told us that he had moved to suit us. We had to say goodbye and leave or explode at him. We were in shock and it took him a long time to adjust. but he did and he died 2 years later. It is so hard . My thoughts are with you when. I read your blog. You have done , and are doing the right thing . Blessings to you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I sympathize with this problem so much. The combination of poor memory and the total embrace of victimhood is so hard to take. Dad has always kind of only heard what he wanted to hear — and it’s worse now. That was part of what came out of him the other night: how I engineered all of this to please myself, he hasn’t made any choices, everything is my fault. I think one advantage of him moving is that if he starts that again I can leave without worrying about what will happen next.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so sorry to see this and that you are going through this. You are in my thoughts and I hope once he is in things will improve. I don’t know how you’ve done it for so long. Xxx

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for your support.

      A friend sent me an email last night listening everything we’ve been through with him and a lot of it wasn’t present to me any more. It’s like the newest crisis always erases the previous one.

      Like

  5. You’ve said this so eloquently! ❤️
    Sorry if these words aren’t helpful – darkest before the dawn comes to my mind?

    I was planning on commenting on your earlier post about anger. Being patient and speaking soft-words to parents is regarded as best practice in my culture and religion and one is a real villain when we don’t do this.🥺

    I feel awful and a real schmuck when I repeatedly fail at this.😔 But we are human, we aren’t all of us saints! We can only try to do our best and due to various reasons, sometimes we won’t meet our own expectations.?

    I think you’re handling things well because you have had chronic issues over the last few years. Hugs and hoping it will feel better in a few weeks time. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • treating your parents — I have similar issues (due to years of catechesis) and also just because I feel so out of control when I yell. It’s not the person I want to be. Thanks for the good wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so sorry. I don’t know what else to say but you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. That is such an intense situation and I hope you find relief and healing soon ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks. One way or another things will change. Maybe not for the better but they will not be like this much longer.

      Like

  8. ((Hugs)) I’m so sorry that things are so bad. Hang in there. Don’t take his words as truth. You have been so good to him. Soon this will be behind you and hopefully he will settle well into the new place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • i think what burns is exactly how much time and thought we put into this — and looking for any alternative. The thing was that there was no alternative that wasn’t going to be my sole responsibility to make work. What he wanted — to die in that house — would have been even more work for me than the current situation, given the road repairs.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You know, I say “hang in there”, because I believe you want to see this through. However, the constant emotional abuse has to wear greatly on you. If there is any way that you can accelerate either him or you getting out of where you are, that might be a better idea. Or even to have a break from it for a few days. Maybe easier said than done, I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not much longer now, but you’re right that I want to see it through. We did end up (subsequent post) accelerating his move, primarily for practical reasons (it’s impossible to work on the move with him around, and when he’s there and I’m not around, he starts doing things that actually hamper the move — for example last week he started dismantling the rear deck, without which we can’t move stuff out of the house via the largest, most convenient entrance).

      A big catalyst of this is that there is never any way for me to have a break for more than about eight hours. I haven’t spent more time than that away from dad since last September. Some of that is caused by the pandemic, but I think it was just really convenient for some people to use that as an excuse. If we didn’t have the resources that we do, somehow we’d have to deal, but I got to the point where I didn’t care what it cost any more.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh wow. The deck being dismantled sure can’t help the work get done! I’m glad for your sake that it’s been accelerated a bit. Just focus on that light at the end!

        I was wondering if you could say stay at HL’s house for a night or two, but then conversation would probably still be on the same subject and who would be the dad sitter? I think you are probably right that people are reluctant regardless of whether there is a pandemic or not. I’m glad you do have the resources to take that next step, now that it has become so necessary.

        Like

  10. {{{Hugs}}}

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sending a few hugs to help get you through this nightmare

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This really is a nightmare, I’m so sorry. He may be acting out because change is hard but that doesn’t mean you have to just accept it. When will he actually move in? It may sound harsh, but not living with him anymore will finally give you some room to breathe again, I am sure of it and I hope for your sanity that it happens soon. Hang in there. (((Hugs)))

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

 
%d bloggers like this: