Dad has brain tumor - I'm supposed to care

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by daralex, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    My dad and I have not spoken in over 10 years (with good justification in my head anyway) After 25 years I moved back to my old stomping ground. We even decided that we hate it here (which is why it's been 25 years!) and are moving AGAIN next April. So as fate would have it my father (he's 72) has an inoperable brain tumor and is not doing very well. They say it is very large and very advanced. They are waiting for pathology results - but it looks very grave. I occasionally speak with my mother ( 1-2 times every 2 years!) and have a decent relationship with my brother (small family - that's it)

    I know I should be feeling something but I'm just not.

    I told my mother that difficult child wanted to see my father and that if she thought it would help I would come by as well.

    So father says - NO - doesn't want to see me. I actually think I'm ok with that and feel guilty for feeling that way. I will still try to get difficult child over there for her sake.

    But how ironic that I'm gone for more than 2 decades and he gets deathly ill while I'm here. That will teach me to move back here again! What was I thinking?!

    Ever think you are supposed to feel bad and don't? Does it make me crazy and mean?

    I always wondered how I would feel if this happened and quite frankly I almost feel nothing.

  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Bravo to you for making sure difficult child can get there.

    It sounds to me like you're fine with the feeling nothing. I don't know/remember the back story but there is a good reason for you not keeping in close contact. Sounds like he's a difficult child too, only worse than many, so don't sweat it.

    And don't feel guilty for not feeling.

  3. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    In my opinion it would be difficult to feel attachment when there is none..... I don't recall your circumstances, but I always felt that thinking DNA similarities are a reason for putting up with emotional abuse is highly over rated...... in other words don't feel guilty for your father's illness and your detachment....... seems you have done the right thing with your difficult child in allowing her to make the decision to see him...... Also if the tumor is large, I'm figuring it didn't just start when you decided to move to the area....... You didn't cause this so get over that now! Just my 2 cents................
  4. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    Thank you for the support. Sometimes after thinking your crazy for that long can really make you think your crazy (I probably am!!)

    But the words of encouragement are really helpful. Thanks
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Dara, I had a similar experience with my mother. She found out she had a brain tumor, and told everyone in our small family (it's about like yours) NOT TO TELL ME. I'm not sure why. She hadn't spoken to me for ten years or even written birthday cards to my kids or met my youngest two kids or come to my second wedding. Then we started to speak, but it was because I wanted to right things with her while we are both on earth. I have the very strong belief that we go on after this life and if we don't work things out on earth, then it's still unsettled afterward. I took all the blame for our problems. She would talk to me when I called her, but she never once called ME and she didn't want me to visit her. When she was diagnosed eight years later with brain cancer (they couldn't get all the tumor so it turned cancerous), I was secretly and guiltily happy that I live in another state. My sister, who had a warm, close relationship with her did all the caretaking. I really felt that it was justified. She hadn't wanted me in her life. Why should I care for her when she wouldn't even recognize me? She didn't want me there for the tumor so why would she want me there now? She never did ask for me. When she passed on, it really wasn't an unhappy day for me--it was like a stranger had passed. For five years I'd spoken with her a few times a year and she clearly didn't care about me from the conversations. She was very distant. When the will was read, she had disinherited me. Guess I made the right decision. I wasn't her daughter in her mind. So don't feel guilty. I am learning that family isn't the womb you grew in or who grew in the same womb, but who cares about you and loves you. I have a close family, but, except for my one biological son, none are biologically related to me. When my best friend died of cancer at 50, I was devestated. SHE was my sister. (((Hugs))) I hear you loud and clear.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    You know, I can honestly say that although I can accept my Dad for the man he is, I would feel the same way if something like this happened to him. There is nothing bad between us, there is just basically nothing. lol I'd probably feel bad he had to go thru it.........but yeah, that's about it. I wouldn't rush back to my home town to see him except if my kids wanted to go. I'd only go to his furneral out of respect because he is my father.

    Sad but there it is. You reap what you sow. If we'd had a real would be different. I don't feel at all guilty and you shouldn't either. You feel how you feel, and are entitled to it.

  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    My parents will both be 80 this summer. I imagine that a time like this will come soon for me, as well. I'm not looking forward to it at all. If I wasn't welcome for Thanksgiving or Christmas, why should I care now?
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Dara, it's clear that you have moved on emotionally, so it stands to reason that you're not torn up. Better this way, I think. Very nice of you to keep difficult child in the forefront, and separate from your feelings.
    I hope your mom holds up okay.
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Just sending some hugs for you -
  10. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    When my Dad died a few years ago, I didn't really feel anything either. I hadn't seen him for about seven years and hadn't spoken to him in about five. The man systematically destroyed all the love and affection I tenaciously clung to until I finally had enough.

    My sister, who lived close by to him, called me to tell me he had been hospitalized. The man had a myriad of health problems because of his heavy drinking over the years, but now they found prostrate cancer and it had metastasized throughout his body (the doctor told my sister it was the worst case of prostate cancer he had ever seen in someone still alive). The next morning my sister called to tell me he had died during the night.

    I was shocked (he was 65), but not upset or sad. I did drive out to help my sister go through his few belongings and arrange for his cremation. That I did for my sister, not him.

    I don't miss him, or regret not seeing him. I just don't feel much of anything. The man continues to be an enigma, and a stranger to me.
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    This is a very sad thread...on many levels. It is too bad that you do not have enough of a relationship left with your dad for his troubles to have any effect on you emotionally. Not your fault, but very sad nonetheless.

    It is also sad to read all the responses from people who find themselves in the exact same situation with their parents. I can include myself on that list, as well. My own parents have stopped speaking to me....stopped sending birthday cards to their grandkids. And for no good reason that I can think of (not that there are many good reasons to stop speaking to your children and grandchildren in the first place).

    I am sorry for the loss of your father--which I guess you experienced many years ago. I am also sorry to hear that your dad is sick.


  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Dazed, it was still nice of your sister to call you. She and you still have a connection, and it was especially important for her to touch base with you while you dad was dying.