Tell me how you would feel....

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by mad madam mim78, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. disykat

    disykat DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Messages:
    17,098
    I think it's really sad that your mom won't let her "step-son" visit his father. It sounds like she has no relationship with him and simply doesn't want him in her home - thus limiting his access to his dad unless he will take him out of the house.

    I get why it would be easier for brother to just visit with his dad in his home. However, he may have no choice but to pick him up and take him out if he wants to see him since step-mom is denying access otherwise.

    I'd be tempted to ask mom if I could come over and then simply bring brother with me.
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. cabanafrau

    cabanafrau DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    5,491
    That seems somewhat manipulative and disrespectful.
     
  4. disykat

    disykat DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Messages:
    17,098
    I guess so, but we're talking about family here, not bringing a total stranger into her home. This is Dad's son we're discussing! OP hasn't given us any reason to believe he has a criminal record or has treated step-mom badly or any other reason he wouldn't be allowed in her home. She seems to feel her mom is the one manipulating.
     
  5. cabanafrau

    cabanafrau DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    5,491
    But the bottom line is it is her home. She's not denying him an opportunity to see his father, merely setting up terms which work for her, whatever her reasons may be, good or bad.

    OP's brother is only interested in things working his way. Wife seems to want things to work her way from what we've been told. Her home. She is the only one doing the caretaking. Her rules.
     
  6. Kellydelly

    Kellydelly DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Messages:
    2,861
    This sounds a bit like me and my parents, but my parents divorced when I was 15. I had a father that was self absorbed and didn't make much of an effort to be a part of his 7 kids' lives (kids from two marriages). I went for two years before his death of not seeing him, not because I didn't want to, but because he was 1200 miles away and it wasn't convenient for me to get to him (job, dh's job, 4 kids, distance). I feel horrible that I have no idea what he looked like when he died :worried:. I feel horrible that nobody but his *****y 4th wife was there with him the days before he died. So don't let any unresolved stuff hang in the air if you want to clear it.

    Anyway, just saying if you are close by, don't waste an opportunity to be a good daughter, even if he was a crappy father. Don't put yourself out, but put yourself into the situation as much as you feel you can or need to for your own mental health. I think your brother should just show up with some takeout food as a treat to your parents. If he is too much of a woose to just show up and say hello, then there is not much you can do for him :confused3. Let your mom play the martyr if she wants to, that's her perogative.
     
  7. sunshinehighway

    sunshinehighway DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Messages:
    4,770
    Her home her rules? We are taking about the guy's very ill father. It doesn't seem like the time to be playing that card.
    I can understand why the brother doesn't want to come take the father out. From what the op has described, it sounds like that would be a very stressful way to see him (for both father and son). She is being spiteful and playing games.
     
  8. The Mystery Machine

    The Mystery Machine Sunrise at my house. :+)

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2001
    Messages:
    44,259
    Yes, but you are missing the point.

    Whether she is spiteful, depressed, overworked with care giving, hates the world, has 2 left feet and a sore thumb.....

    If brother wants to see his father he has to go and get his dad.
     
  9. sunshinehighway

    sunshinehighway DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Messages:
    4,770
    My guess is if he tried the mother would just come up with an excuse why he couldn't.

    I actually think its ridiculous that posters are telling the op she and the brother need to just go help the mother whether she asks or not. I've seen so many threads here where women are told if the want their husbands to help around the hose, they need to ask. Husbands are not mind readers but in this case people are getting on the op and her brother for not reading the mother's mind and knowing what help she needs.
     
  10. The Mystery Machine

    The Mystery Machine Sunrise at my house. :+)

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2001
    Messages:
    44,259
    Probably.

    People in this thread are upset that they are not helping out their father. They are caregivers, I am also care giving multiple people at the moment. It is tough.

    This is a way the brother could help out. He refuses. Does not make people warm and fuzzy toward OP and the brother. It is just how it is.
     
  11. Agri

    Agri DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Messages:
    1,139
    First of all, there is a HUGE difference between taking care of someone at the end of their life and working out chores with your partner.

    When you're taking care of someone who needs a lot of care and assistance, you lose the ability to ask. I was actually stopped by someone who hasn't made an effort to talk to me in at least a year the other day taking out the trash who asked how she was doing. I briefly explained that she's been going downhill since November and she chastised be and said that's when I should call people and ask for help. I was polite, but I really wanted to tell her off.

    It's so easy to tell someone to ask for help when the help they need is incredibly varied and difficult to provide.

    I don't think anyone is ever prepared to call someone and say "Could you please sit with my loved one and possibly change their diaper if they need it while I'm gone?" Unless someone has specifically said what they're willing to do, it's difficult to call anyone at midnight when your loved one is having difficulties and YOU need a break from it. You just do what you've been doing - take a moment, collect yourself, and keep taking care of your loved one. You cry/breakdown when they're sound asleep and you move on.

    Moreover, you're so accustomed to doing everything yourself (and having an endless list of things that need to be done) you don't even know where to begin to tell someone how they can help you if they ask. When someone asks me, I'm at a loss for words. How do I know what they're willing to do? Do they mean some dusting and other light cleaning or will they scrub my tub and toilet for me? Or do they just want to figure a way to throw some money at the problem?

    People disappear when someone begins to show signs of their illness. The people who used to hang out with your loved one will disappear and those who used to spend time with you will disappear. They won't all vanish, of course, but little by little your social circle gets smaller and smaller. By the time you are changing diapers and praying that tomorrow won't be the day your loved one stops recognizing you, your social circle is quite diminished from it once was. When you factor this in, you become even more reluctant to be honest with someone when they ask what they can do to help. You don't want them disappearing too because they think you were asking too much of them and didn't want to just be honest about it because you've already got so much to deal with.

    Now, regardless of whether the OP's mom was an awesome parent or not, the truth is mom has control of the situation as the kids aren't involved in dad's care so brother needs to go by whatever mom says. Not to mention that by saying he needs to take him for the weekend, she IS telling him what she needs. If seeing his dad before he's in a casket isn't worth taking care of him for a weekend (2-3 days), then I guess he won't be seeing his dad until he's in a casket. I think that I and others are focused on this because it's really not a huge sacrifice of time and self to make for someone who is dying. It hasn't gotten to the point where she's denied him once he's agreed to do that.
     
  12. sunshinehighway

    sunshinehighway DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Messages:
    4,770
    I don't need to be told what taking care of a dying loved one is like. Like so many others, I know from experience. Its not an excuse to keep that person from his children. Actually I find it offensive that you would assume you need to explain something so personal and emotional to someone when you have no idea what their experience is.
     
  13. Mary Jo

    Mary Jo Techarita Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 1998
    Messages:
    22,199
    Hey guys. Please remember to be courteous to each other when responding on this or any other thread on the DIS.
     
  14. bellebud

    bellebud DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,545
    I'm very sorry for your unresolved feelings with your dad. It must be hard.

    But I honestly find it surprising that you're upset that his &$%^# 4th wife was the only one w/ him when he passed. Didn't he choose this person to be his wife? Didn't he choose to not be very involved with his children? I'm truly stumped why you're upset.

    You say he was self-absorbed and was hardly there for his 7 children (that's a lot of children to have when you don't really want to be a father), but yet you feel so badly about you not being there for him.

    I think you're upset deep down for the father you never had, not for the father you couldn't see for the last 2 years of his life. There were many, many years before those last 2 years to see him and for him to see you... if efforts weren't made then, why should it be so important to be made only at the end?

    I don't mean to pick on your post, but I'd hate for it to make the OP to feel like if she doesn't do more now for her dad, she's somehow at fault and should feel bad.

    Of course you have your right to your feelings, and no one can say anyone else is right or wrong in how they feel, but you're feeling guilty for something you truly shouldn't. :hug:

    OP - your parents sound like they didn't make the basic relationship with you that every child wants with their parents (and god, you'd hope every parent wants with their child) . That is on them, not on you. Do whatever you feel you need to, and I honestly hope for you that you don't feel guilty for anything.
     
  15. kmccain

    kmccain DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Messages:
    681
    So sorry that your going through this.

    I took care of my father at the end of his life. Basically i felt like i needed to protect him. He had old friends come to visit and i would make excuses. I basically did not want them to see him the way he was. I didn't think that he really wanted them to see him that way either.

    If your step siblings made not effort to see him or have much of a relationship with your father that is probably why your mother is not making any effort. Why should she now so they can relieve their guilt?

    It is a very difficult time. :hug:
     
  16. badblackpug

    badblackpug <font color=blue>If you knew her you would be shoc

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Messages:
    4,089
    OPP, excuse the fact that I have not read all the responses, because some of it is bickering.

    1st for everyone: People with dementia do not do well outside of their familiar environment. It increases their anxiety and increases their symptoms. I don't know where the OPs father is on the dementia timeline, but this is just a fact.

    OP: It sounds to me like you and your siblings had a difficult childhood. It sounds like you have emotionally distanced yourselves in an effort to protect yourself psychologically. Totally understandable given the circumstances. For whatever reason, your brother now feels the need to have some sort of closure or relationship with your father. Probably because he realizes that your father is coming to the end of his life. Maybe there are some regrets, maybe he remembers the good times, whatever reason, it doesn't matter.

    Your mother is being unfair to suggest the only way that he can see his father is to take him somewhere. There is some unresolved issue between you mother and your brother, even if it's only in her head. It's wrong of her to use your father as a pawn.

    I can see why your brother wouldn't want to just go pick him up, considering that he has dementia and is not comfortable being "out," and being that your brother doesn't really have a close relationship with your father he may not know what do do if your father becomes agitated or anxious. I, honestly, think it would be a more comfortable visit for both on your dad's home turf.

    If I were your brother I would start with the "when is a good time?" tactic. If that doesn't work I would just go over when he knows your mother isn't home.

    If I were you, I would bow out of the middle of this fight.
     
  17. mad madam mim78

    mad madam mim78 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    943
    This is how I'm feeling right now. I think she's mad and holding a grudge. They aren't her children (in fact they are close to the same age since my dad married 20 year younger woman) and she has no moral obligations to them because honestly when my dad dies she will probably never hear from them again. She's mad at me because I'm trying to help my brother so she looks at me like a traitor. She is annoyed that I keep bringing up the fact they are my blood family. Whether she likes it or not its true.

    It also doesn't help that I have to talk to my brother about my crazy *** mom. How embarrassing.
     
  18. mad madam mim78

    mad madam mim78 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    943
    Agreed. It's just so hard to see my mom being so hateful. My brother may not help but he's always been a good guy. I need to back away. I tried.
     
  19. disykat

    disykat DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Messages:
    17,098
    Well explained. I find it really hard to fathom how people think it's acceptable for the step-mom to tell her stepchildren the only way they can see their dad is if they come and get him and take him away. I'm guessing many of the people saying that have never had to take someone they don't know well with dementia out of their comfort zone.

    Dad and son aren't close enough to be in a caregiver relationship at this point. Maybe if she let him visit, it could grow into that. At this point, he's not allowed to see him so Dad probably doesn't even recognize him as familiar.
     
  20. Disney  Doll

    Disney Doll DIS Security Matron

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2000
    Messages:
    27,810
    Not for anything but somewhere in the thread the OP posted that Dad is alone while Mom works full time and goes to the casino or whatever occasionally.

    It's not like Mom is at his bedside every waking moment. Now I realize that one of them has to work and since Dad is probably unable to, that falls to Mom.

    So either Dad isn't as ill as everyone here is assuming he is, or Mom is taking a pretty big risk every day, unless she has arranged for someone else to stay with Dad.

    So maybe brother should call Mom's bluff and say "OK, I'll take Dad on such-and-such weekend" and see what happens. Maybe Dad would enjoy it. Maybe he wouldn't. But it would brother the basis for what to do moving forward. If Dad enjoye dit he coudl do it again. If Dad didn't enjoy he would then have the ability to say to Mom "We tried that remember, and it didn't work out. So we have to figure out a different way for me to spend time with Dad".
     
  21. The Mystery Machine

    The Mystery Machine Sunrise at my house. :+)

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2001
    Messages:
    44,259
    You have to stop being the go between. It actually mucks things up.

    It is better for you to tell your brother that HE has to resolve this issue with the step mom.

    Time to bow out of the situation.

    Just keep repeating to your brother that he needs to go along with the rules that the stepmom has in place.

    I do understand how difficult it is however he has to try. Perhaps the dad will freak out and perhaps not.

    If anything, it would be a good assessment of whether this man should be home alone.

    That is probably what is disturbing me the most with your story.
     

Share This Page