Dad unhealthy attitude towards help

  • 10 Replies
  • 647 Views
*

p123

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1465
Dad unhealthy attitude towards help
« on: July 27, 2021, 06:33:30 AM »
Now I'm pushing away and its going well but he's getting worse....

At the moment, his entire life seems to be focused on how ill he is, how much help he needs, and playing games to get the help he thinks he needs.
He NEEDS pretty much zero help and for his age his health is very good.

BUT, he is obsessed with ensuring people help him. I'm wondering if this narc supply hes craving all the time.

Im away for 4 days this weekend. You'd have though I'm emigrating to australia. I just spoke to him and said i'll pop in tonight and he reacted as if he'd won the lottery. Crap about how hes so pleased and how he'll can manage now that someone is getting him groceries. Im REALLY busy this week and can do without visiting (its an hours drive) but he'd have a melt down if I said I couldnt go....

I mean, cmon, bit of planning is all it took. (He deliberately keeps freezer/fridge stocks low to make me visit). Away 4 days and he makes it into like I'm leaving a disabled person stuck in bed alone with no food for a month.....

This is not normal is it? He'd be SO MUCH better in a home where he had someone else (who was getting paid) to fuss over him. Theres only so much I can because I've got my own family and young child.

*

Sneezy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 434
Re: Dad unhealthy attitude towards help
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2021, 01:52:58 PM »
You'd have though I'm emigrating to australia.
I've heard Australia is nice - I mean, if you're thinking of moving to get away from your dad  ;D

Seriously, you know this is purely manipulative behavior on your dad's part.  It's like he is competing with your wife and child to see if he can pull your attention away from them.  Don't let him win.  In fact, refuse to play the game.  Give him some medium chill, pull back your emotions (as tempting as it is to read him the riot act, that would just be another source of supply for him), and put your attention fully on yourself and your family.

Enjoy your time away!

*

Sidney37

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 723
Re: Dad unhealthy attitude towards help
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2021, 06:46:43 PM »
Hi P123.  Enjoy your time away.

Iíve been thinking as I have read your posts over the past few months.  Are you familiar with  learning theory, operant conditioning and positive/negative reinforcement as it is taught/studied in psychology?   Have you read about it?

Each time you give in to your dad about the visits or the groceries, you have reinforced his behavior. Your visit is a positive reinforcement.   His comments, demands, complaints, etc. are like the rat in a learning experiment pushing the lever over and over again.  Your attention and your visit are like the food pellet the rat gets after pushing the lever.  In your case, you donít reinforce every time he ďpushes the leverĒ or demands.  You respond intermittently when you are frustrated or itís been a while and you are feeling guilty.  This is called intermittent reinforcement.  Intermittent reinforcement creates a stronger pattern of behavior than reinforcing him every time he asks.   An intermittent schedule makes it harder to extinguish his behavior (demands, complaints, etc.) and you are actually making it harder for yourself. 

If you want him to stop demanding visits, groceries, attention, etc. from you, you have to stop rewarding him when he demands.  Itís called extinguishing the behavior.  You have to extinguish the behavior that you originally reinforced.  And most importantly and hardest for you, the behavior you want to stop/extinguish will increase initially after you stop rewarding it.  Think about the rat.  If you stop giving it food when it pushes the lever, that rat will go crazy pushing constantly hoping a food pellet will pop out.  Eventually it will realize no matter how many presses of the lever occur, no food is being given.  If you stop giving into your dadís demands, heíll demand constantly and furiously until you give in.  You canít give in and reward his behavior.

The only solution I see to this, if you donít want to go NC, and instead you want to extinguish his behavior entirely, is to set up a hard and fast schedule when you will visit and go to get groceries.  You could go every other Tuesday for example.  No matter how many times he asks, demands, guilt trips, etc. you remind him that you will only go every other Tuesday and actually do it. But if just once you give in and go on a Saturday afternoon because heís demanding , youíll have to start extinguishing his behavior all over again.  That Saturday grocery trip was a reward and heíll start ďpushing the leverĒ/making demands furiously all over again because he found out that it worked.

I hope this makes sense and helps.  Itís hard.  Itís very hard, but none of us wants you to make it harder on yourself by rewarding his bad behavior.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2021, 06:52:16 PM by Sidney37 »

*

nanotech

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 898
Re: Dad unhealthy attitude towards help
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2021, 01:53:36 AM »
Hi P123.  Enjoy your time away.

Iíve been thinking as I have read your posts over the past few months.  Are you familiar with  learning theory, operant conditioning and positive/negative reinforcement as it is taught/studied in psychology?   Have you read about it?

Each time you give in to your dad about the visits or the groceries, you have reinforced his behavior. Your visit is a positive reinforcement.   His comments, demands, complaints, etc. are like the rat in a learning experiment pushing the lever over and over again.  Your attention and your visit are like the food pellet the rat gets after pushing the lever.  In your case, you donít reinforce every time he ďpushes the leverĒ or demands.  You respond intermittently when you are frustrated or itís been a while and you are feeling guilty.  This is called intermittent reinforcement.  Intermittent reinforcement creates a stronger pattern of behavior than reinforcing him every time he asks.   An intermittent schedule makes it harder to extinguish his behavior (demands, complaints, etc.) and you are actually making it harder for yourself. 

If you want him to stop demanding visits, groceries, attention, etc. from you, you have to stop rewarding him when he demands.  Itís called extinguishing the behavior.  You have to extinguish the behavior that you originally reinforced.  And most importantly and hardest for you, the behavior you want to stop/extinguish will increase initially after you stop rewarding it.  Think about the rat.  If you stop giving it food when it pushes the lever, that rat will go crazy pushing constantly hoping a food pellet will pop out.  Eventually it will realize no matter how many presses of the lever occur, no food is being given.  If you stop giving into your dadís demands, heíll demand constantly and furiously until you give in.  You canít give in and reward his behavior.

The only solution I see to this, if you donít want to go NC, and instead you want to extinguish his behavior entirely, is to set up a hard and fast schedule when you will visit and go to get groceries.  You could go every other Tuesday for example.  No matter how many times he asks, demands, guilt trips, etc. you remind him that you will only go every other Tuesday and actually do it. But if just once you give in and go on a Saturday afternoon because heís demanding , youíll have to start extinguishing his behavior all over again.  That Saturday grocery trip was a reward and heíll start ďpushing the leverĒ/making demands furiously all over again because he found out that it worked.

I hope this makes sense and helps.  Itís hard.  Itís very hard, but none of us wants you to make it harder on yourself by rewarding his bad behavior.
Wow wonderful knowledge and advice. I donít know if P123 has seen this yet but anyway thank you Sidney- this has definitely helped me in how I will react to my UNPDDAD and UNPD sister.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2021, 01:57:31 AM by nanotech »

*

p123

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1465
Re: Dad unhealthy attitude towards help
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2021, 09:01:30 AM »
You'd have though I'm emigrating to australia.
I've heard Australia is nice - I mean, if you're thinking of moving to get away from your dad  ;D

Seriously, you know this is purely manipulative behavior on your dad's part.  It's like he is competing with your wife and child to see if he can pull your attention away from them.  Don't let him win.  In fact, refuse to play the game.  Give him some medium chill, pull back your emotions (as tempting as it is to read him the riot act, that would just be another source of supply for him), and put your attention fully on yourself and your family.

Enjoy your time away!

Yeh anywhere furhter away is nice!

I know its his game. Trying to push himself forward as the most important. And "how dare I go and have fun and leave him alone to struggle?"

*

p123

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1465
Re: Dad unhealthy attitude towards help
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2021, 09:06:43 AM »
Hi P123.  Enjoy your time away.

Iíve been thinking as I have read your posts over the past few months.  Are you familiar with  learning theory, operant conditioning and positive/negative reinforcement as it is taught/studied in psychology?   Have you read about it?

Each time you give in to your dad about the visits or the groceries, you have reinforced his behavior. Your visit is a positive reinforcement.   His comments, demands, complaints, etc. are like the rat in a learning experiment pushing the lever over and over again.  Your attention and your visit are like the food pellet the rat gets after pushing the lever.  In your case, you donít reinforce every time he ďpushes the leverĒ or demands.  You respond intermittently when you are frustrated or itís been a while and you are feeling guilty.  This is called intermittent reinforcement.  Intermittent reinforcement creates a stronger pattern of behavior than reinforcing him every time he asks.   An intermittent schedule makes it harder to extinguish his behavior (demands, complaints, etc.) and you are actually making it harder for yourself. 

If you want him to stop demanding visits, groceries, attention, etc. from you, you have to stop rewarding him when he demands.  Itís called extinguishing the behavior.  You have to extinguish the behavior that you originally reinforced.  And most importantly and hardest for you, the behavior you want to stop/extinguish will increase initially after you stop rewarding it.  Think about the rat.  If you stop giving it food when it pushes the lever, that rat will go crazy pushing constantly hoping a food pellet will pop out.  Eventually it will realize no matter how many presses of the lever occur, no food is being given.  If you stop giving into your dadís demands, heíll demand constantly and furiously until you give in.  You canít give in and reward his behavior.

The only solution I see to this, if you donít want to go NC, and instead you want to extinguish his behavior entirely, is to set up a hard and fast schedule when you will visit and go to get groceries.  You could go every other Tuesday for example.  No matter how many times he asks, demands, guilt trips, etc. you remind him that you will only go every other Tuesday and actually do it. But if just once you give in and go on a Saturday afternoon because heís demanding , youíll have to start extinguishing his behavior all over again.  That Saturday grocery trip was a reward and heíll start ďpushing the leverĒ/making demands furiously all over again because he found out that it worked.

I hope this makes sense and helps.  Itís hard.  Itís very hard, but none of us wants you to make it harder on yourself by rewarding his bad behavior.

Thanks Sidney - all makes sense. He'd be like that....

We're getting there. No weekend visits and I visit once in the week now.
Its STILL hard work. It annoys me that its so "set in stone".

I do oncall at work (I work in IT) so occasionally im doing like 30 hour days. Dad would not give a monkeys if I was awake 3 days straight he'd still expect a visit. That annoys me.

Hes given up on trying to sabotage my weekend, but hes said "but you're defintely coming next week like normal?" I cant even think that far ahead so I said "yes probably"
Then hes off "No probably, You'd better d@mn well make an effort. I'll need groceries by next week since I'm stuck home alone all weekend".

I just look at him and think - Really? Have you got no manners at all? Days like this I wish I was NC.

*

TimetoHeal

  • New Member
  • *
  • 17
Re: Dad unhealthy attitude towards help
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2021, 03:46:15 PM »

Im away for 4 days this weekend. You'd have though I'm emigrating to australia.


Omg, this right here!!!  My mom spirals into narcissistic injury if I miss one phone call with her (I try to call her once a week and visit about once a month.  These are my self-determined limits).  I missed one phone call and she was in full-blown suicidal depression this week.

Hang in there!  You are absolutely right that you can only do so much, and SHOULD only do so much for a grown man.  It is their narcissistic supply they are desperate to feed.  It is NEVER enough.  If you went over there every day, it should be twice a day.  You can't win.

*

M0009803

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 111
Re: Dad unhealthy attitude towards help
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2021, 05:15:33 PM »
1. Change your mobile number by getting a new phone

2. Maintain old phone as a burner phone

3. Possibly buy dual SIM phone?

Its obvious to everybody that without his phone he has no way to get to you. 

That gives you an opportunity to filter his calls (and anybody elses).

Good opportunity for you as well to try to establish some boundaries.

*

p123

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1465
Re: Dad unhealthy attitude towards help
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2021, 12:07:20 PM »
Im going away for a week soon. About 20 times literally hes mentioned it along with "dont know how im going to manage".

Im sure he thinks if he keeps on enough Im going to say "oh I cant leave you alone for that time I'll cancel it".

Umm no chance.

*

Happypants

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 167
Re: Dad unhealthy attitude towards help
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2021, 06:09:20 AM »
P123 - i canít help but wonder if you could calmly put him on the spot with some close-ended questions

Dad, are you trying to say that I cant EVER take a holiday with my family?
Dad, do you believe I should prioritise you, a grown man, over my children?

I realise some may think that could exacerbate his behaviour but ultimately you both know that thereís only one sensible and acceptable answer to both these questions, and if he canít say that answer then you may find your boundaries strengthen.

*

p123

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1465
Re: Dad unhealthy attitude towards help
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2021, 02:11:44 PM »
P123 - i canít help but wonder if you could calmly put him on the spot with some close-ended questions

Dad, are you trying to say that I cant EVER take a holiday with my family?
Dad, do you believe I should prioritise you, a grown man, over my children?

I realise some may think that could exacerbate his behaviour but ultimately you both know that thereís only one sensible and acceptable answer to both these questions, and if he canít say that answer then you may find your boundaries strengthen.

Tried it. His justification is always "But I need help I cant manage without". In other words, not my problem sort it out.

Hes got a long, long history of this. I've had problems over the years with many things, inc son with aspergers etc. The underlying sentiment always seems to be from him a case of "yes well sort that out first then remember me". Like hes number 1 and everything else is secondary.

Many years ago I did ask him. It was xmas day and he was in hospital. He wanted me there 9am to visit. My son was 3 or 4 at the time so I said look let me open presents with him and I'll be along lunchtime. His answer was "there'll be other xmases for that, this year you need to visit me when I say".

Im glad to say I didn't he wasnt impresseed. He'd pull this ALL the time. I'd be divorced by now if I hadnt at least stopped some of this.