that darn bull again

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by pigless in VA, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    It is now March. I spoke with the Cactus Queen over the week-end. I asked a lot of questions but received few answers. Dad had some memory testing done sometime in February. I asked about the results. CQ told me that according to my Dad's internist, he his "perfectly fine to drive." I asked about further results of the memory testing. Oh, she didn't ask about that. Did she get a copy of the written results? No, she didn't ask for that. I asked if Dad had the driving evaluation done at the specific local hospital as we all agreed he should. No. I reminded her that Sally had said she made an appointment. "Oh, I cancelled that!" (delivered with a smirk, no doubt.)

    Basically, she lied to me about taking Dad for the driving evaluation which was recommended by the neurologist. The neuro has told her in no uncertain terms that she needs to seek another doctor. He no longer wants to help them. I am quite sure that is related to her calling him up and reaming him out for talking to me on the phone (when I was on the HIPPA form) and also because he believed that Dad should have his driving evaluated.

    CQ is not rational. She scares me. One minute in a conversation with her, she is whining about my dad having bowel control issues. (Has she even read that this is what happens to Alzheimer's patients?) The next she is telling me that he is asking relevant questions about their tax return.

    I have decided to pay my dad a visit to see if I can ferret out where he is with regards to his cognitive abilities. Ask my own questions of him like "What is your address? What is your father's name? What does a stop sign look like?" Part of me wants to ditch all this drama and allow CQ to deal with the fallout of whatever accident may befall my dad. The other more rational and responsible part of me wants to file the DMV report and let them handle it. I know if I do that, that I risk having any contact with my siblings again. CQ is ruthless, lies, and extremely vindictive. She told me several times that Dad would not pass the DMV test. Ferb says, "If he can't pass the test, he shouldn't be driving." D'oh!

    But what will her revenge look like? She is irrational and unwilling to give up her chauffeur. :stalker:
     
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This stage of life for parents and children is not easy. I for one did not come out unscathed.

    The way I tried to get through is, is the way you proposed: trying to make one correct decision after the next, not considering consequences. You are not responsible for CQ or what she does. She is, whether she puts the blame or not on you...and she will blame you. That is her makeup. Nothing you do or do not do will change this.

    Your responsibility as I see it is to be as good a person as you can be and do right as a daughter. Which is to make sure to the extent you are able that your father does not harm others, or in turn, be harmed. By allowing him to drive lacking the capacity is to fail yourself and to fail him.

    You are very strong. Whatever CQ decides to throw your way you will deal with. What you could never recover from is your father unintentionally hurting innocents.

    There was a point for my mother when this condition arose. I was working far, far away. I told her: don't drive. And she did not. It took me a few weeks until I was able to quit my job and I had food delivered from the supermarket until I arrived. My life was never again the same.

    The decision to take control of the situation cost me any possibility of ever again having a relationship with my sister. I spent the next year caring for my mother until she died, and my life changed irrevocably and completely. I was never the same person again.

    But I am a better person. I see that now.

    You know what the right thing to do is, for you, and I believe you have already decided what to do and when. That is who you are. Nobody, I mean nobody can or should take that away from you. Especially somebody as self-serving, small and conniving as is CQ.
     
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    CQ is a rank witch. No matter what happens, it will be your fault. When your dad gets into an accident, she WILL try to put the blame onto you. She will likely try to tell the cops that YOU told her that it was perfectly fine for your father to drive in spite of the fact that she is the one in the car with him. Why is she not the one driving? Is she too stupid to figure out how? Because honestly, to get into a car with someone who has alzheimers and to let them have the keys, you have to be. I don't mean to be mean about her, but it is just a really stupid thing to do.

    You gave her the option of the DMV or the other evaluation. This is not just CQ's life or some innocent person's life on the line. Your father's life is on the line here also. He is not able to make this decision. It is clear and obvious that his wife is not going to make it, and your siblings have some other kind of motives going on or they are just not strong enough to take a stand even with their father's life on the line. If someone had a bullet pointed at his head and you could push the gun away, would you do it? This is pretty much the same thing. That accident IS going to happen. You saw his driving. It is common sense, not quantum physics. It is time to contact the DMV and to report him. In my opinion CQ is just daring you to do it. I think she secretly wants you to and cannot admit it. She knows that he won't pass the test. But if she takes him, she is the bad guy.

    One thing you may not be aware of. People with alzheimers can be like living with adult size toddlers. They have tantrums like 2 or 3 year olds. They can be very violent. In my teens I had adoptive grandparents who lived next door. I could not have loved them more if they were my grandparents. In my 20s, the man, B, got alzheimers. I knew little about it. He never had a violent outburst around me, but his wife managed him carefully around me as I usually had infant Wiz with me. I remember the day I had to go and tell my father that she had 2 black eyes and bruises all over herself. I had stopped by to visit and she didn't have her makeup on yet because she couldn't hold her makeup sponge to put it on. Her hands were too sore and bruised. B went into a nursing home that weekend because he clearly needed more care and it wasn't safe to have him at home. His wife wasn't happy, but we loved her too. Their only son was my dad's age and died some years before, and we were their family for every purpose. We called the relatives and put some pressure on to help the decision get made. It came to light that they had wondered if he had hurt her, but no one had gotten her to admit it until then. It broke my heart, and would have crushed B. In his right mind he would have shot himself if he had ever harmed a hair on his wife's body, much less put a bruise on her. To see her all bruised up like that totally shocked me. I had to talk to a doctor about it to understand. But this is actually not uncommon in alzheimers because the frustration levels get so high and the coping mechanisms are pretty much gone.

    As time passed I was one of very few who could get B to do anything without a tantrum. I flat out lied to him and told him whatever we were doing was his idea. Usually it was something he either needed to do or would truly enjoy doing, never something just to make my life easier. It helped him not get so upset, and it let him enjoy his life more. Some of the nurses told me it was awful to lie to him, to manipulate him, but he was generally happy around me and happy to see me. Even when he wasn't sure who I was, he was sure we were going to do something fun. That was my goal, and it worked. As he never knew he didn't have a plan to do those things, I don't feel bad.

    Pigless, I don't know if your Dad is having tantrum at CQ. I will say that she is taking some really scary risks with his life and I find them to be horrible. I also think that things may be pretty bad for her when no one is around, especially as into having everything be 'just so' as she seems to be. Living with someone with alzheimers can be very difficult. She may be afraid on some level to tell him he cannot drive. Even if she cannot admit this to you.
     
  4. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    I don't know. Why did they also tell me that they would never use a senior driving service?

    Susie, I hadn't thought about her blaming me when he does have an accident. I can imagine her doing that. She had the perfect opportunity to use me as the bad guy when I insisted upon the hospital driving evaluation. I had talking to her about that option since last August when Dad was unable to answer a single question that his internist asked him. I knew when he was unable to fill out the questionnaire that every doctor's office gives you, that his memory was gone. He couldn't even find his license in his wallet. Not only is CQ allowing him to drive, she is allowing him to drive alone. When that inevitable accident occurs, I doubt that Dad can even dial 911 for help.

    Yes, I am aware that Dad could be having serious giant tantrums. Letty found an Alzheimer's advocate and a local support group for CQ. She refuses all manner of assistance. For her, life is all about keeping up appearances. She will go to the end's of the earth to keep up her social standing.

    You're right, Copa. I wanted CQ to take responsibility and be the adult with regards to my dad. It is obvious to me that she will not step up. There is little I can do to help my Dad through this awful stage in his life. But the one thing that I can do is push for him to be tested by the authorities to assess his driving abilities.

    If it had been up to me, I would have taken the car keys away from him months ago. It just now occurred to me that CQ probably never even took Dad to have any memory testing. If she lied about the driving evaluation, why not lie about that testing, too? It makes no sense that she has no results from that testing.
     
  5. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    so sorry, my mother in law has been in advanced Alzheimer's, she was evaluated at the beginning and they did revoke her license.

    Her 87 now year old husband has been caring for her, but we did not know she had been falling . She has had surgery for a brain bleed....and now I'd not rehabilitating...what's sad is they an afford the best of care, but they are proud and stubborn.

    Heart goes out to you, it's a horrible illness, and rough on the memory keepers.
     
  6. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    Hi Pigless. My heart goes out to you also as there is only choosing a course from two bad choices. How interesting that Ferb gets it but not CQ.
    My hubs parents were living in their home 5 yrs. ago, Dad with advancing parkinsons, both in their late 70's. We tried talking to mom often and at length about more care for Dad, moving to assisted, etc. to no avail. She just wouldn't leave her "Sticks and Bricks" house no matter what. Finally, Dad asked us to lay off as she was making it hard on him! She refused any change despite hiding car keys, leaving Dad to push cart in Kmart and losing him, having Dad call police twice at 2am for intruder in house (it was mom). She was sleeping opposite "shift" from him so she didn't have to deal with him as much---sounds crazy and that left him alone in house and yard many times. She would tell us he was lonely and we would visit more but she wouldn't budge. My hubs found electrical cord in garage cut in half-is that how Dad unplugged it? We then ambushed them one afternoon when Dad didn't feel good. We visited, Dad's legs were somewhat swollen and we said he needed to go to ER. She agreed. We needed to get in front of others for her to see how totally unreasonable this all was. The blessed ER doctor looked this nurse right in the eye, in front of all, and said "Is he safe at home?" and we said "No". Dad was admitted to nursing home from hospital. He died 2 yrs. later. Mom remained in sticks and bricks until she died there suddenly, alone, with all her things around her 3 yrs. after Dad. Seems so sad, but it was her choice. Her independence was more important to her than anyone's safety.
    You have to do what you can live with, no matter what it will be perceived as all your fault. Dementia in all forms is wicked. "Is he safe at home?" ...let alone out in a car to drive? Prayers.
     
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    There are so many logical steps somebody could take, like Uber. Uber is so cheap. I have not used it and I recognize most people use an app on their phone but I would guess you can call them, too.

    But for CQ this is not about finding solutions it is about absolute control I think. She seems so brittle and thereby fragile she allows no flexibility at all in the way she sees others, life, the world. I am not justifying or forgiving her, but I am wondering if SHE has some cognitive impairment, too. I am wondering about HER capacity.

    My sister is kind of like her. The extreme control, self-serving always, and the ruthlessness to meet her own goals. Lovely. (Imagine dealing with this as my mother was dying. She got mad and refused to speak to my mother or I for a year and never again did. And then defined it all as my fault. The whole thing. And she MY victim.)

    As far as your father's suffering: please recognize (very, very hard and almost impossible, it was, for me) that he is not suffering, in equal measure to his decline. To more clearly put it his suffering is less as his capacity is less. Who suffers the most is us.
     
  8. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    We are concerned, but live the farthest away from them. There are two other children close. No, I don't think he should be driving, won't use the internet or cell phone. So we only can talk to him when he returns for the night and eats, he's diabetic.

    I pray we hav e our ducks in a row and not burden our children with impossible decisions.
     
  9. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Precisely. The priorities are backwards.


    I am, too. Her answers to my questions make no sense. Perhaps the stress of dealing with Dad has worn her down. I cannot, however, fight her. I haven't the strength. Don't even get me started on their living conditions. They have an enormous house in Richmond with multiple flights of long steps and a cobblestone driveway. They also have a second home at the river 2 1/2 hours away. I wanted them to sell the river house 5 years ago. Last spring a tornado ripped through the river property and tore up 50 plus trees. There was a little damage to the house, but it was mostly okay. My dad went into a deep depression over it. I tried to help him see the bright side: no one was hurt, the house was okay, no cars were damaged, etc. Dad is now 84 years old. Physically, he's in good shape. Mentally, not so much.

    Copa, this is terrible, but I am looking forward to spending time with my dad when he is living in a home away from CQ. Maybe he will finally take a few minutes to have a conversation with me then. Maybe he will enjoy spending time with me, even if he doesn't really know who I am. I know very little about my dad. Several years ago, I gave him one of those books which asks you questions in order to help you tell the story of your life. I wanted to hear his. I have never seen the book again.

    Thanks for your support, ladies. It means a great deal.
     
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I had a "friendly" relationship with my mother, who I loved very much, except for the long period we were estranged. After she died I was in agony that I had not had more. Because a great love for her surged from within me when I could no longer be hurt by her.

    There were questions, too, that I had never asked. And now everybody is gone. We are Jews and our family almost all of it stayed in Russia. Why did nobody tell me if they had been killed in the holocaust and why did I never ask?

    pigless. I think what is coming up for you is normal for a person like who you are which is deeply connected, loving, responsible and caring. I will speak for myself: I grew myself from soil that was not necessarily what I needed or what I wanted. But I grew well. I think we may have more than a little in common.
     
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My dad is going to be 93. April. He lives alone (refuses to move) and still drives. Yes he has passed the test each year.

    I dont think he has dementia but this past year he was sicker than usual and his memory and balance are not good. He has to take his drivers test every year near his birthday. I pray he doesnt pass.

    My dad has enough money to take cabs or even hire a driver but he wont. He likes being independent and drives sll the time. I cringe to think about it. I know he cant be a focused or alert driver. I would never drive with him.

    Its scary for sure just thinking about it.
     
  12. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Copa, I've read a lot of Holocaust memoirs. Most of the people who survived it choose never to speak of the horrors that they experienced. Even if you had asked, I doubt anyone would have told you much. Many of the survivors felt an instinctual need to protect the future generations from the knowledge of the evil that they encountered.

    I've accepted the fact that I will never have a close relationship with my dad. I tried to change that many times in my life. He always talked like he was receptive to a change, but it never happened. He chose to spend his time "fixing up" or remodeling his two houses. He and CQ have chosen the material items over relationships every time.

    SWOT, does the test your dad takes involve someone actually riding in the car with your dad?
     
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Pigless, yes. He has to go to the DMV and take the same test we all take. And due to his age he takes it every year and passes. He is also not considered incompetent, although I feel he is not remembering things anymore and his balance is scary. He is getting frail but he is very stubborn and will not consider giving up his license and since his doctors have not noticed anything, i just hope he finally doesnt pass the test. To help him pass the test, he wont update his car.He has driven the same car for some thirteen years...he is used to it.

    Furthermore he has not been in any accidents or gotten tickets so i dont believe his license will be revoked unless he flunks the test. He is not the same as he used to be this year. He cant remember things that sometimes happened the same day and he had trouble walking the last time I was in town to see him. We were at a childrens museum and he struggled just to walk a few syeps inside it and to sit down. A young worker ran up to us to ask if he was okay.

    Dad knew me and my daughter were going to this museum near his house so he just showed up without telling us, or we would have picked him up. Instead he drove there...and made it...in that condition. Its scary but he will never give up his license on his own. Unless declared incompetent or if he flunks the drivers test, he has rights.

    My dad is another one nobody can get close to. I dont remember even one close moment i had with him, ever. He was never interested in a close relationship and I am not sure he can have an emotionally close relationship with anybody. I love him but feel distant from him and always have. And I am okay with that. It is the way he is and has always been.
     
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi pigless.

    EstherfromJerusalem posts here very occasionally. She is an old-timer here who really does live in Jerusalem. She posted to me that even in Israel it is the same. That there was a huge uproar a few years ago when the younger generations demanded that there be public discussion of their real history, not just abstractly but personally.

    She said that her parents, too, kept it secret, and I think this is what she said that her mother when confronted was extremely upset. It was as if these people could not and would not integrate this experience into their "real lives." They wanted to dissociate it from the lives they had found as refuge.

    I have been dealing a lot with this lately in my own life. How to think about my life, myself, and life itself--in relation to evil. I know this sounds dramatic but let me explain.

    In our culture we believe in personal responsibility. And what we "make happen" in our lives defines us and makes us feel pride, how we "develop." In my own life I have been an activist to develop myself. Except, guess what? I have encountered a lot of pain and cruelty and limitation. Am I responsible for these bad results? Is what happened to me my fault? Did I create the pain as well as the success?
    So I am striving to understand this in a spiritual sense and to integrate this understanding into some kind of self-forgiveness.