ANGRY at my dying father and feeling a tiny bit guilty, but still angry.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I grew up in a dysfunctional family like probably many of you here. A mother who didn't have the self confidence to speak up for herself against a verbally abusive husband because of her own childhood. A father who suffered from untreated depression and out-of-control anxiety and agoraphobia and who vented his pain on his family. I do have fond memories from my childhood, but of course the bad and bitter ones tend to stand out the clearest and hang on the longest.

    And now my s.o.b. father is most likely dying and the choices he is making because of his mental illness are pushing him down that irreversible slope even faster.

    He's got congestive heart failure because that organ has had to work so hard for so many years with lungs that were not only scarred from either a trauma when he was young or asbestos exposure (no one really knows) but were also damaged by 40 years of heavy smoking, and obesity. He is NOT a lung transplant candidate because he is a cancer patient (in remission so far as we know). He refuses to consider a pleural stripping procedure that would give him SOME lung function relief. He's on oxygen 24/7. His edema in his legs is so bad the skin on his shins is oozing and bleeding.

    My mom had to use a wheelchair to get him from the car to the doctor's office yesterday to see the pulmonologist, and she could barely get his 300 pounds up the ramp (she weighs 125). He refuses to buy a wheelchair, let alone a scooter for home use because that would be admitting that he has a problem and that it's not going away.

    The doctor said he is doing even worse now than he was a month ago before he was hospitalized (just before Thanksgiving because of low potassium). He wants my dad to do a sleep study because he thinks his sleep apnea is contributing to his overall problems.

    My dad doesn't WANT to do that (he's AFRAID he'll lose his license when they discover how bad the apnea is -- well DUH, you can't drive the way you are NOW and you can't drive when you're DEAD -- plus he doesn't want to use the CPAP device he knows he'll have to use).

    My dad didn't like what he heard yesterday at the appointment and he decided that now he doesn't like THIS doctor (add another notch to the growing tally of doctors he doesn't "like"). He gets confrontational with doctors and wonders why some of them won't even see him anymore.

    He's freaking out. (Yeah, you SHOULD freak out, you IDIOT!) And because he's refusing to do what they tell him to do, he is likely hastening his demise.

    Part of me is so ANGRY with him for continuing to be such a stubborn, paranoid, abusive idiot that I just want him gone, and good riddance. And part of me realizes he is mentally and physically ill and afraid and suffering in the worst possible way. He has no faith in anyone -- mortal or otherwise. He must feel terribly, terribly alone. And I'm sad because his 67th birthday's in March and I have serious doubts he'll live to see it or his only son's wedding in May.

    I am grieving for the father I had, and the one I didn't have and never will have. For the grandfather he hasn't really been and never will be. I am grieving for my mother who so foolishly listened to people's advice when she wanted to take us kids and leave him so many years ago and didn't. I am feeling guilty for looking forward to my mother's new life without him, and sad that it took this long for her to be free from him.

    It really is just a matter of time. I hope for his sake and hers that it's over quickly.

    Thanks for listening -- I just needed to get that out.
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member


    Your feelings all sound normal in the situation. I'm sorry your dad is being so difficult child-ish.

  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    {{{Hugs}}} I'm sorry you are carrying this extra burden, I remember having many of the same feelings toward my father before he dies in 2007. I'll be keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I can understand what you're feeling and it's perfectly normal. I'm glad you have a safe place to get it out.

  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Many hugs.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry. I think it is perfectly normal to be angry and think, "good riddance," and at the same time, wish you could fix it all.
    You know you can't fix it. He will never change. That is SO frustrating. So sad.
    We only have one life. Why so many of us throw it away is a huge mystery.
    You are wonderful to have such compassion for his hurt, despite everything. He is clearly reacting from a fear-based premise.

    Are you able to spend any time with-your mom throughout this? Can you take her out to lunch or something? Maybe take her to a movie?

  8. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    My bio dad was a HUGE difficult child. He left home at 14, was an alcoholic at that time, met my mom in 1971 when he was traveling with a carnival, she ran away with him less than a week later. They had me in 1972, and she left him in early 73 because he was a heroin addict by that time. I didn't even know him until I turned 18. I moved to AL in 1995 to get to know him. He died of cirrhosis and liver cancer in 1998. He was told by his doctors that if he didn't quit drinking and drugging he wouldn't live to see easy child S. He died 9 days after she was born, went into his final coma of the day she was born. Until the day he went into the final coma, his routine was:
    Get up, take a handful of prescribed pills with orange kool-aid. Light a cigarette, light a joint, crack open a beer. I NEVER saw my dad sober, until he was in the coma.

    Its been 10 years since Daddy did. I'm still angry that he isn't here. He used to tell me that he missed seeing me grow up, and that he couldn't wait to see his grandchildren grow up. Well, ya blew that, didn't ya?

    Huge hugs to you. I know exactly where you are at. I just wanted Daddy to pass away and end his suffering, but also to end ours. I miss him and the dad he could have been if he hadn't been an addict every day.

  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Huge hugs, Chickadee.

    If its any consolation (and I'm sure its not), you're feelings are pretty normal. But I know how worthless that knowledge is.

  10. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    Sounds to me like your grieving. You have reason to grieve.

    My own mom sounds very much like your dad. It is a very difficult siltation.

    I'm so sorry.
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry that you are still having to deal with this at this point in your dad's life. My concern was for your mom, too. Are you talking to her? If the physical requirements are too hard on her, I hope that she will do what she can to save her own health. Will she be able to ask the doctor to order medical transport assistance, and DLA around the home? I know how hard it is to have a mom that won't stand up to your dad. My mom is 5'4" and frail, and my dad is 6'4" and big and somewhat strong. If he were ever immobile, she would have to get in home health or put him in a facility that could handle him. If I were in that spot, I'd get a POA and make him take the assisted services. I've already told husband that if he won't get his cholesterol under control (and he won't) and ends up with a stroke he will have to recover in a nursing home because I just plain can't lift him or push him in a chair. I'll force a power chair on him if he won't do it for himself.

    {{{{{{{{{Big hugs}}}}}}}}}}
  12. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    It is OK to feel this way.
    Strange how so many of us have difficult child parents.

    I am sorry for what he had chosen to do with these last moments of his life. It is his choice though, so you have every right to be angry at him.
    At least you are a big enough person to realize he is most likely scared.
  13. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    In my reading the fact that families with depressive members have not been studied (Ann Sheifield) gives me hope that in the future there will be better understanding, care options, and ways for all the brain funtion alternatives.

    I feel glade that this site is here and that I can read your thoughts and feelings and that in a small way you do know that you are not alone, that your feelings are not shameful and that others do know that you care and you are cared about all where this message is read.

    Thank you for being you. Thank you for sharing with others.
  14. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thank you to everyone for your affirmations and support. It's good to know that there are others who totally understand what this experience feels like.

    My mom went up to the hospital to get info on the sleep study today and ran into my dad's internist. She told him about her concern over the edema, the diuretic he's on just isn't doing the job, etc. He told her to call the office and tell them he'd see my dad on Friday.

    Well, Friday is the day they get their kitchen cabinets installed and my dad REFUSES to leave the house with the workers unattended because he "KNOWS" they'll steal him blind. I offered to go over to "keep watcah" so my mom can take him to see the doctor again -- she said she'll tell him... we'll see if he cooperates!

    Oh yeah, and apparently he had a wad of cash stuffed in an envelope for "emergencies" or whatever, and he can't find it now. Says he put it in one of the boxes of "stuff" they packed up so the crew could lay their new flooring last week. Brilliant, huh?

    He is also a compulsive hoarder. Medication. Clothing. Old electronic parts. Computer stuff. Car parts. Magazines. VHS tapes. DVDs. Books. Junk. Their garage is packed to the gills with his "stuff", as is about 75% of their house. Major anxiety and abandonment issues, I know.

    Sigh. It's a wonder any of us survives the families we are born into. Maybe that's one of the reasons I fight so hard for my difficult child's. I have always been determined to ensure their childhood did not have the problems that mine had (and sadly, theirs has had its share of problems, but nowhere near what they could have been).

    Anyway, thank you so much for all your kind words. I was just feeling so down about Dad's situation and so angry. I'm sure that will come and go with time. I'll do whatever I can to help my mom -- she calls me almost daily to talk, and it's good we can do that for eachother. I know she's going to really need me as time goes on, and I'm happy to be able to do that for her.