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serenityNOW's avatar

How do I express to my Father that my Mother is scared of him?

Asked by serenityNOW (3419 points ) August 23rd, 2014

So: my mom is very ill. At the rate things are going, she’s going to be bedridden soon. (My guess would be maybe 2 months.). My dad insists on going out to eat morning, noon and night; going to Atlantic City for the weekend, etc. and dragging her around like a goddamn rag doll.

Well, today, she told me she was scared to see him. She’s been holed up in her room all day. He needs to be told to stop toting her along, as if bringing her out and about, that somehow everything’s okay. Not to mention’ she’s going to lose her job of 25 years. Yup, we’ll talk about that later.

So, I’m truly the only one who has the balls to say something. It’s time. He needs to help her and get out of denial mode. It’s something that needs to be done. Now. But, jellies, where do I even begin!

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12 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

Call social services in your area. You have to be her advocate.

M1952's avatar

It seems he only wants to keep her from being bedridden ? I’m sort of confused but I mean if she doesn’t want to go out she should be the one to express this to him or maybe you could tell your father she doesn’t feel well enough to go out all the time.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Contact her medical Dr and then have him/her contact social services.

chyna's avatar

Maybe it’s just how you wrote the question, but it sounds to me like he is trying to do as much as he can with her before she is bedridden. It doesn’t sound as if he is being intentionally mean.
So you tell your dad that mom is too sick to go out anymore and that he needs to step up and be her caregiver, not her social director. Tell him that her condition has worsened and she is too weak to go out anymore and that he is actually making her condition worse and is not really making good memories with her. She has a lifetime of other memories with him, now she just needs him to understand and make her bedridden days easier.

janbb's avatar

If you know or can figure out your Dad’s motivation for toting her around, it might help you with how to approach him.

cookieman's avatar

I might guess he is afraid of “losing” what he knows to be his wife. His companion and friend and partner in crime. Maybe he is in denial, or maybe he just sees this as their last hurrah. If they’ve always been an out and about kind of couple, her loss of mobility will be devastating to him as well. What is he to do without her by his side?

You are right though. He does need to adjust his behavior and learn to be there for her the ways she needs him to be — but she needs to communicate to him what that means right now. Maybe then you can help to reinforce that and keep him on track.

I would just consider doing so compassionately. He too is losing something dear to him as her condition worsens.

dabbler's avatar

I agree with the suggestions that maybe she, with your help, just needs to let your dad know she needs some rest at this point, not as much activity.
It’s hard to tell how well they communicate in general, and there is some reason she is afraid to says what she wants. But it’s entirely possible, as several have observed, that he’s actually doing this for her, to pack as much into their life together while they can.

Best to air the issue and see how everyone feels about it at that point. Best of luck, it could turn out quite well and give your mom a new channel for communicating with your dad that she never had before,

snowberry's avatar

My father did the same thing with my mom. He insisted she get up and fix meals for him. It didn’t work. He only made her last days more painful, and actually hastened her death.

Try the above suggestions of just talking to your dad. If he won’t listen, take it up a notch.
Start by calling her primary care provider if you can (or any of her doctors if you don’t know who the primary is). Doctors who specialize in seniors actually have social workers on staff to help family deal with this sort of thing, and that’s who you need now. Your dad doesn’t know it, but he’s actually breaking the law.

KNOWITALL's avatar

MY gpa did that to my gma, and my mom just moved in to bridge the gap while they both adjusted. Family conference time.

serenityNOW's avatar

Hi all,

I just want to let y’all know that I’ve been working really hard for the past couple of days… at work now, but I look forward to reading all the replies. (It wasn’t a “drive-by” question!) Thanks!

serenityNOW's avatar

@snowberry – your response resounds with in me deeply. ”...actually hastened her death”

I feel like that’s happening, and things are spinning out of control rapidly. I’ve lost my courage to say something, though. This is just bad…

Thanks for the thoughtful responses everyone.

snowberry's avatar

@serenityNOW You need to get someone to help you with this. It’s way too complicated for any one, or even a group of individuals if they’ve got divided loyalties, etc. Please contact a social worker who specializes in seniors. They are familiar with these sorts of things, and they will help.

I’m guessing that you’re concerned about repercussions from your father. Are you afraid of him too? If so, explain that to the social worker also. This is a common story.

I’m not a fan of social workers, but in this case it’s appropriate. I know it’s painful, but it’s not going to get better on its own. With outside help at least you have a chance.

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