The depth of the need

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lightworld

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The depth of the need
« on: July 14, 2018, 07:09:21 AM »
After a long period of NC my F called yesterday. He told me he can't be made to 'look after your mother 24/7 any more' (she has dementia but they are in a nursing home where M is looked after) . He said 'I need you here'. What does that even mean? That I go to visit? That I take M away from him? That I give up my life and move to be near them?

It turned out it wasn't just a visit he wanted, he shouted  he needed SUPPORT!

So - what is the depth of this need? It's bottomless and there is no recognition of my life, needs or feelings at all.  I know this, it's familiar, I know he's a frightened child, he can't handle getting old or my M's dementia, he sees me as a doing not a being. I do know all that but still the depth of his need is staggering.
"Hope springs eternal..."Alexander Pope

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daughter

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Re: The depth of the need
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2018, 10:11:51 AM »
It's a vent: I'm not happy; I'm discharging my unhappiness ON YOU.  You rightfully note that your father has little genuine responsibility for your mother's care.  He's safe, she's safe.  Yes, I think he's displeased with being old, with finding himself in a nursing home (as opposed to wherever he thinks he should be), so he channeled a bit of that outrage at you, as if you're duty-bound to "fix it".  (Was that your prior role: the "fixer" parentified child?).

My malevolent NBM at 80 said to me with great belligerence that she "refused to be old", that she "refused to have pain", that she "still felt like a little girl".  That's a lot of self-truth wrapped-up in wishful thinking, my NBM thinking she can "refuse" old age, meaning, of course, that we/I were responsible for making her old age as super-comfortable and enjoyable as possible.  NBM took little responsibility for anything or anyone besides herself.  Me as her parentified and overtly disfavored daughter, I was long responsible for "keeping mom happy", and finally shed that role myself 6+ years ago when I chose to be NC instead.  Perhaps you should maintain your VLC too, monitor situation without face-to-face contact.  No one posting here that I recall has experienced a meaningful "death-bed reconciliation" with their difficult pd-disordered parent.     

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lightworld

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Re: The depth of the need
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2018, 12:17:49 PM »
Thank you daughter I can see that now. I was just stunned at his total disregard for M on the one hand and his sense of entitlement on the other. That's not to mention his expressed need for me to 'be there' whatever  that means as if I will just plop down out of nowhere and then disappear again when everything is back to what he considers normal, ie M better, him able to walk again and restored  to full 40 year old health and  magically back in their old home abusing M and bullying her into taking care of his  every need. 

Yes I was a parentified child and am now a scapegoat/dutiful daughter. Lately I've begun to malfunction, as practical would put it, in the dutiful daughter role and F is furious. Sometimes I can't deal with his totally surreal world, a world that only exists in his mind. What your M says about getting old reflects what F thinks and says. Things are not how he wants them to be and he wants someone, usually me, to fix it.
"Hope springs eternal..."Alexander Pope

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Psuedonym

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Re: The depth of the need
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2018, 06:43:00 PM »
Hey lightworld,

I can sympathize with what you're going through. My uBPDm made my dad's life pretty hellish for many decades. When he became terminally ill she called me one day and said "well when he dies I can come live with and your bf, right??" (She had just moved into a senior living facility, by the way and we had discussed many times that she was never living with me). When I said absolutely $#%ing not (in a nicer way) she flipped out and said "I CAN'T BE ALONE! THIS IS MY WORST NIGHTMARE!!' I did not tell her what my worst nightmare is but you can guess. Needless to say she is doing just fine at her residence. I have said the words 'bottomless pit of need' many times. Mine still talks about how awful and horrible it was when her father died 60 years ago. When my dad died, not one bit of concern for how I was taking it. You are right that it's a staggering lack of empathy.

 :bighug:

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practical

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Re: The depth of the need
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2018, 10:35:36 PM »
He yelled your marching orders over the phone! You are supposed to check the wind, open your umbrella and then like Mary Poppins drop out of the sky and fix IT ALL!!!!!!

Yes, the sense of entitlement is breath taking, and so is the detachment from reality, after all he isn't caring for your M, as far as I remember they were separated because of him abusing her, and yes, you have a life, not that that matters to him. I think you got it right, he wants you to make it all like it used to be (him age 40 again, back home, your M restored to being his healthy servant). Really he expects you to do these things for him, it isn't a want, a wish it is a command. Well all I can say is "Duck and Cover", stay out of the line of fire.
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: The depth of the need
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2018, 01:49:46 AM »
The sense of entitlement and lack of empathy never fails to baffle.   :stars:

I mean, honestly, what does he realistically expect you to do?  Wiggle your nose, pop into their rooms, wave your magic wand and make them 40 again?   :???:

I had a similar experience when unBPD decided she didn't like my boundaries and kept having herself hospitalized for makeitupitis, as a way to force the issue.  Surely, I couldn't refuse to visit my poor, sick mother, could I?

You'd better believe it!   :evil2:

One night, I got a call from unNPD Ray and he's SCREAMING at the answering machine.  I stupidly picked up and asked him to *stop yelling* - thinking maybe there was an actual emergency that needed my attention, but he just screamed louder that I HAD to get to the hospital to "fix" my mother, she was MY responsibility, I had to DO something because he couldn't keep doing "this" and I had to come and make her better, since the doctors didn't know what was wrong.

To recap:  she's in a hospital, which has doctors, nurses, medicines, tests, and machines that go "ping!"   :doh:

I am not a doctor.  I have an Associate Degree in medical assisting!   :blink:

He finally screamed, "She's depressed!" - which I took to mean she's *pissed* because the Dutiful Daughter is malfunctioning and not paying court to her, nor making plans to install her at our house, in a hospital bed in our living room, which is what she *expected.*

I think they both expected it, but DH and I had decided decades ago that if any of our parents moved in, we'd be moving OUT in the dead of night, with all our pets and just the clothes on our backs!   :ninja:

I told Ray I'd see what I could do and he slammed the phone down, probably thinking he'd won or they'd won or I'd at least get her off his back, but as it turns out, the best I could do was *absolutely nothing but stay away and minimize contact.*   8-)

That's what I suggest your "best" be, too.   :yes:

If he's going to abuse his phone like that, I'd suggest blocking his number for at least a couple of weeks, while you consider whether you want to make it permanent.  You might really come to enjoy the peace and quiet!

ALL his needs - and your mom's - are being met by *others.*  Your help really isn't needed, unless you're taking care of the bills, and that can be done without actually contacting him.

When people scream at me, I automatically balk and do the exact opposite of what they want. 

It's actually a trait that's served me well, over the years - and it might serve you well, too.   ;D

It *could* be just a vent - or it could be The New Normal, and if that's the case, I wouldn't put up with it.

Ray got to the point that's *all he did* - his hello was, "Where the hell are you!?" - and he'd start ranting about his checkbook, his house, his bills, his car, and going home *right now* - I WOULD be there and I WOULD pick him up and I WOULD take him home and I WOULD take care of him like I should have been, all along!   :roll:

Ray was incompetent and in a nursing home by then - and asking to borrow people's phones.

I'd ask him to hand the phone back to the person he borrowed it from.

"WHY!?"

"I have to ask them something."

He never asked what, he'd just grumble, "She wants to talk to you."

I'd then nicely set the person straight - you hear the way he's talking to me?  That's how he always talks to me, and why he doesn't have a phone, and I'm no contact.  The staff knows it and enforces it.  If he ever asks to borrow your phone again, please tell him you left it in the car, or you can't do that, or whatever you're comfortable with.

That was actually the last time I talked to Ray, because people REALLY started taking me seriously - especially when I mentioned to the Social Worker that I seem to be Ray's biggest TRIGGER, and him contacting me only makes it worse for them.

You might want to try that with the Social Worker, if you haven't already - if your dad has his own phone, there probably isn't much they can do, but if he's using the nursing home phone, they can probably re-direct him and distract him from pestering you.

If you're handling their bills - or his bills - and you're the one cutting the check for that phone every month, you might want to consider having it turned OFF and getting your dad a shiny new NoPhone.

That's what Ray has - and I even shelled out the extra $0 for the NoPhone Air.   :bigwink:

It's worth considering, because you deserve FAR better than what he's dishing out!

 :hug:

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practical

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Re: The depth of the need
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2018, 09:08:24 AM »
If you do decide to take a nice long vacation from your F as WI suggests, it doesn't mean you cannot talk to your M. I assume she has a different number as she is in different room (assuming memory serves me right), so you can call her. And if he ever gets on your M's phone, you are free to borrow a line from me "I cannot talk to you till you treat me according to the Golden Rule." and then either proceed to ask him hand the phone back to your M or hang up.

Sorry this is all such a muddle, and it is really triggering. Being yelled at in this way is beyond not okay, never mind the substance, which makes it much worse.
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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lightworld

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Re: The depth of the need
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2018, 09:10:27 AM »
When my dad died, not one bit of concern for how I was taking it. You are right that it's a staggering lack of empathy.

I'm so sorry Pseudonym but I can relate totally to that lack of concern or even awareness  of our feelings yet we are supposed  to drop everything (well we have no life -right?) to cater to their every need because THEIR feelings and THEIR life is what's important.

He yelled your marching orders over the phone! You are supposed to check the wind, open your umbrella and then like Mary Poppins drop out of the sky and fix IT ALL!!!!!!

Yes that's me or at least that used to be me, I'm wiser now thanks to all of you who have been through similar experiences and  recognise behaviours. Thinking about F's latest rant, it's the same old, same old - the abuse cycle. Yes he's  getting nore frustrated with my VLC and MC but a rant has come around again. It never fails to affect me anew with the sheer audacity of it,  but each time I feel stronger dealing  with it, by which I mean going dark. One day he might get that a rant only leads to NC.

The sense of entitlement and lack of empathy never fails to baffle.   :stars:

I mean, honestly, what does he realistically expect you to do?  Wiggle your nose, pop into their rooms, wave your magic wand and make them 40 again?   :???:
Yes he does and  it sounds like Ray expected much the same  of you. It's as if I am responsible for M 'malfunctioning'. As he said many times to her 'the only reason we're in here [nursing home] is because  you can't look after me any more. :wacko:

He had started a variation of what Ray did to you, he got the NH staff to phone  me on his behalf.  After leaving 11 voicemails for me one day and 7 the next, I got a call on the home phone from a nurse at the facility. Your advice to tell them that I seem to trigger F with any contact so it's best not to phone me except in an emergency has worked a treat so many thanks for that.

F's phone is pay as you go so I may well forget  top it up for him the next  time he runs out of money  :evil2:

Anyway I'm calmer now and able to get back to peace and  life as normal but when this happens, when the abuse cycle reaches ranting anger stage,  it upsets my equilibrium and throws me off so I can't concentrate and yell at DH (who luckily understands).

In the latest  call F never said a word about our past conversations where I was no good to him anymore and he didn't have a family because we  don't help him, nor did he mention the NC.

I need to stop analysing what F says or does, I'm implementing a new strategy to say to myself 'THINKING' each time I start ruminating on what he does and says, no matter how stunning, because it's totally fruitless  and a waste of time.

I'm trying to concentrate on the practical aspects of what I do for him which is just finances and you are so right I can do that from distance.

What I found helpful too was another of  your posts WI, about the consequences, or lack of, when we decide to malfunction.  As you so rightly say, there are none.  I am no longer a child to be sent to bed without my supper,  I'm an adult and can choose how  to behave.

 :bighug: to you all and may you find continued peace and happiness.
"Hope springs eternal..."Alexander Pope

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lightworld

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Re: The depth of the need
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2018, 09:25:30 AM »
Practical thanks for the  follow up post. Unfortunately M can no longer handle a telephone, even F's so I hardly ever talk to her and it's why I still go to visit on occasion. If I ask F about her he just  says 'she' s got dementia',  so I tend to talk to the staff about her and they keep me updated.

I'm conflicted  about M because  she was an enabler and I believe has/had a PD herself. When I was a child she would regularly throw me under the bus to avoid F's abuse and after a violent episode from F she'd  say to me 'isn't  your F wonderful, he doesn't mean to hurt you'. She also did and said  some pretty awful things to me which I won't go into, but now it's hard because she is no longer M as I remember her.

For the longest  time I didn't realise that she too was abusive to me but in fact it later came to me that I was more scared of M than I was of F because her abuse was much more covert.

 :hug:
 
.
"Hope springs eternal..."Alexander Pope

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practical

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Re: The depth of the need
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2018, 03:22:29 PM »
I'm really sorry, this sounds emotionally so difficult, and utterly confusing and confounding. It is hard enough to sort through our feelings when we are dealing with a PD or enabler, now there is the dementia too to deal with. Getting your information from the staff is definitely the smart move, your F sounds heartless.

The way you describe your M reminds me of F, of what he would say, and still for the longest time I saw him as another victim of M, and somebody who needed my protection, the protection I hadn't gotten from him. I recently remembered how I used to say as a teenager I preferred having issues with F because at least you could fight and then it would be over while with M it was endless ST. Weird thing is I only remember one fight, which is when I said this at the end, but to come to that conclusion there must have been quite a few more fights and I have totally blocked them. I do remember F's fights with B. M's ST was such a problem, I guess anything else was a "cakewalk" in comparison. I think we both wanted to have at least one normal parent, we didn't get so lucky. :hug:
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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lightworld

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Re: The depth of the need
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2018, 07:00:04 PM »
Yes we got two PDs but it's strange how we thought the other parent was a victim and then only later realised it wasn't necessarily as simple as that.  Maybe as kids,  we had to rely on at least one parent.

My situation was different to yours in that I was parentified by F but M was  in fact also his victim.  He used  to confide inappropriate stuff about M particularly ridiculing and humiliating her and saying she was unintelligent and unable to hold a proper conversation. At the time I felt proud as a child to be confided In like that and I'm afraid I probably made things worse for M because I adored F in those days.
"Hope springs eternal..."Alexander Pope

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practical

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Re: The depth of the need
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2018, 07:20:34 PM »
Actually, very similar, only the genders are switched. I was parentified by M and adored her for a long time, was her replacement spouse, went to museums, concerts with her, was her confidante about how F was a bad husband because he expected her to put her salary into the household (same as he did), wouldn't take her out to concerts, museums or fancy places, didn't fulfill her every wish. According to her she only stayed with him so I would grow up in a "real" family, so I felt very much like I owed her. She also alienated me from F for a long time as he seemed to make her miserable. When I was 18 she was away for several months and I started to connect more with F while renovating a house with him my parents had bought. I don't think I was aware yet how enmeshed I was with her, of all the manipulation etc., I simply became the confidante of both parents, seeing them as victims of each other and I had to fix it  :sadno: .
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)