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I need help and advice.


You know, that one lady we met that one time.
V.I.P Member
I am laying here in the wee hours of the night, after a tremendous day.

I don't really know how to put these feelings into words, but I'm going to try. It's a big hurt, and I need support.

I must first preface that I am surrounded by the most wonderful people and that I am not being hurt in any way. I have an abundance. I am blessed.

I love my father very, very much. I did not have an ideal life growing up. But while my mother was gone most of the time, my father was always there with me. And as an adult when I got into serious trouble from poverty or abuse, he would do whatever he could to help me.

My dad got sick about a year ago and he's been in and out of the hospital since then. I have been spending a lot of time at my parents' house to care for him. My mother, who was not so long ago had a very outgoing, outspoken, and funny personality, now is so soft and quiet. Broken.

I think my brother has something to do with it, as he is an abusive hard drug addict with comorbid mental illness. But I think also my daddy's illness and his change, has broken Mom's heart, and her spirit. I worry that my dad might be abusing her in his dementia, but I'm not sure. I just know that sometimes people with dementia get violent when they are confused. But my daddy seems very sweet, so I don't know.

After his hospitalizations, I would visit a lot, caring for him, talking to him, watching shows together. And the days I didn't visit, my daughter would try to.

But then I got hurt in October or November sometime. Whiplash. And since then, I've been seeing less and less of Dad. My daughter still gets out to their place often once or twice a week, but she had her injury and illness too. I get out there when I can, but it's not as often at all. A few times a month, lately. I feel so guilty.

Then I reinjured myself, aggrivating the same back injury, to the point where I've spent most of my time in bed. I rarely even cook or take out the trash, lately, which burdens my daughter to do more work, even though she has her own shoulder injury, and has a job.

It's been since Christmas that I saw my dad. And I've only spoken to him on the phone a handful of times. My mother too. I've just been hiding an illness and injury, trying not to worry them. Or anyone in my world.

When I was there with my dad and talking to him a lot, he was doing so good, recovering from a couple severe brain injuries. With all the family's support he was speaking in full sentences, remembering great things. even apologizing for stuff that happened years ago, which of course I told him were non issues nowadays. He even made me something to eat and drink, which was really nice, because I was there to take care of him, and here he was recovering so well. We got really close.

I love my Daddy.

And so I have this massive sorrow, that compounds upon itself, every time I hear a report of my father's declining health. And I physically can't be there to help him. And then the sorrow puts me into panic mode, and I go severely nonverbal, so I don't call my folks. My daughter has seen me several times lately in such nonverbal grief and anxiety. It scares her when I'm like "The... the... the.. get the... please the... um... um..." I have never, ever been that way in front of her. I've always been able to mask until lately. It scares her so much and she's already dealing with my father's illness too.

My dad is the closest thing to a father that she has. And my father has for years been the only soft spot I have in my life. The only strong watchman. My only defender during times I was surrounded by vultures as a child.

He taught me great noble things about integrity, honesty, compassion, charity, self sacrifice. He is a steward of the land. He'd rather have no friends than the wrong kinds and made sure I followed suit.

I would watch him saddlebreak wild horses. One black stallion no one could ride. My dad wouldn't even have his leg over and the stallion would bolt. But my dad could hold on. He did not fall. He was the only one out of a group of great ranchers that could. I would watch in awe as he groomed and courted unbroken horses walking trusting getting closer, petting them. I believed he was superman.

He made sure, when no one else did, that I got to radiation every single day. He'd sit in the car with me, and would talk me into going inside, sharing intimate details about our past, and how much he needed me to fight. I am crying right now thinking of it.

And here I am laying in bed. My dad is becoming nonverbal. Not finishing sentences. Getting confused. More and more each day. This is the man that's shepherded and guided me all my life. And I'm not doing enough.

It puts me in panic mode, like a filly that got out of her corral and is bolting up the mountain, full speed, trying to find something she recognizes as safety and comfort.

And I can't do anything. I'm not doing anything.

I am very shy, and I love my Dad so much. I derive happiness from seeing him well taken care of. But right now I am the problem. I am the one needing help. But my Daddy needs it more.

I don't know what to do.

I feel horrible. Great sorrow beyond depression. I call it the big sad. And my verbal skills are going down too. The panic makes it so I've been speaking a lot in very short, simplistic sentences.

Am I exacerbating problems? Am I a burden? How do I help? I don't know, and I feel so scared and small.

I worked so hard yesterday, and wore myself out. Trying to forget for a moment. It didn't work, I just re-injured myself. And found out later that day that my daddy is doing even worse.

I am not helping. I think I am making things worse. And I don't know what to do.

I just want to help my dad, to spend time with him, care for him. I know that the lack of interaction in the days is harming him cognitively. I just want my daddy. I feel so useless.
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Would it help either of you to have more frequent telephone conversations?

Daily *Hi, how's it going/love you * calls? Emphasis on positive and simple things.

When I talk to my older friend with memory issues, she is delighted to hear, sometimes
more than once in a call, which day of the week it is. We talk about what she is doing
(yes, even when it's washing the dishes), what she had for breakfast (if she already has
had that meal and remembers) or what she plans to have, the weather....etc.
Maybe talk with Dad over a video call app like FaceTime? So he can see you and know that it really is his daughter and that she cares. Do you know how to set up a webcam? They aren't that common now, but people used to use detached USB video cameras to talk with each other. I have one, albeit at home in Jefferson, and I plan to use it to talk with my psychiatrist since the insurance is demanding video calls and for her to record them. Sometimes you can find old webcams at Goodwill and other thrift stores, often tangled up in bins or racks of random cables. It would probably help your dad some, not as good as physically being there but hopefully sufficient to know that you haven't abandoned him.
This is kind of blunt so I apologize in advance. Feel free to reject any or all of it. The following comes from my hospice experience.

There are two issues here. First is your father is declining and all the care in the world is not going to prevent that decline permanently. At some point, even with all the loving care in the world, he is going to decline and die.

Second, your guilt and shame over not being there to care for him. If you cannot physically get there to be with him or to help, you will have to do it from a distance. Face time or zoom or other technologies can make it so that you and your father can talk and see each other. You can only do what you can do.

A personal story. My sister died from an extremely rare type of cancer. During the several years she was being treated, she was in and out of hospitals. Then one day she called me from the hospital. She was starting to get a bit confused, but was very focussed on communicating to me a couple of things. I do have a sixth sense about these things, and I could tell from this conversation that she knew she was dying.

The trouble was: Hurricane Irma was headed straight for my home and there was no way I could travel to see her when she needed me most. Counseling better done in person was done over the phone. I had to be insistent with her husband because he thought this was just another round of in and out of the hospital. I had to tell him over and over that it was very important for people to gather around her and say to her whatever it was they wanted to say; that this was likely their last chance.

After the hurricane passed, I had to find someone to come stay with my husband who was not coping well with the destruction around us. Then I had to drive about 8-10 hours to get to where she was. Almost no gas stations were open and I had to buy gas to get out of Florida. The lines were miles long for the few stations that were open.

I got there and she was almost into the actively dying stage. She was past having a reasonable conversation.

I regret that I was not able to be there for my sister when she needed me most. I had to hang my hopes on our telephone conversation where I assured her I would get there as soon as I could and make sure she was pain free for her last ride.

That said, we can only do what we can do. Many blessings to you and your father and family through this difficult time.
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Sounds very difficult, @Yeshuasdaughter. I agree with those who thought about getting more phone calls or video calls in. Even this step can be difficult, I understand.

Maybe you could start by making a few voice recordings or short videos to send him. This way, you could at least let him hear your voice and maybe see you in a video. Maybe this will pave the way to have more comfortable phone call and video calls.
I was wondering if you could Skype or do a FaceTime call with your parents? You not only get to talk to them but, also see them in person on the phone. They don’t have to be long. They can start out as 5 minute conversations to get familiar with talking on the phone again. I know it can be hard to talk on the phone sometimes and anxiety doesn’t help. I hope you feel better and are able to have a fast recovery. Sending love to you! :fourleaf:
Yes. Maybe even video him, next time you are with him to keep his memory always near you when you wanted to be comforted. He was really there for you. I never had a true father like that. That's a beautiful relationship, and you obviously are grieving all those times he always protected you, and now you wish to protect him, but he knows you are there in spirit looking out for him. Reading all he did for you helped me understand what a real father is.
Your continual effort is what counts. I think whatever you are able to do with him, he might notice inside but not be able to express himself at this point. Since we can't actually "see" his reactions, all we can do is try. I think your father would want you to keep yourself at maximum capacity not only to spend as much time with him as possible, but to do it in a way where you are also reasonably caring for yourself. Remember, if you can't care for yourself first, you are not able to help others out.
Gosh, we go through so much, you are strong to cope and God will give you strength if you need. Some of us are rock foundations, we don't whimble when things are tough.
I'm reflecting on my life a lot as I age, I suppose we all do. I'm having my regrets, and oddly it's about not showing or telling people what they meant to me.
I'm not sure where your dad is but I am judging my health as to whether I may reach 50.... I don't want to upset my boys but I'm pushing to ensure they ready to write finals, that I'm teaching them as much as I can about life and survival.
I'm often laying down, tired. I feel like it's a coma, I struggle to communicate my pain as it's being regressing over years...I don't usually like my hands touched but sometimes i just wish I had real people who cared.... I think men communicate or connect less. To me making that peace would be best way to go, in loving memory. It would mean more video call although be nice to hear someone voice.
Don't have regrets if you love family, move closer. I moved away and wish my dad would take boys fishing but he always cared more about agenda, work or politics than my feelings or ever deciding to put family first.
Men have testosterone so sadly your brother is not going to buckle down and act sweet! But he can at least try be decent.
My spirit broke after living burn out for so long, so it's now PTSD...
Spirit thing is bad cause affects way you love, way you don't bounce back at life...it sullens you, it zaps your energy
Just so many things
If you could get over once a week at least. The strain may be less than the beating yourself up over not being there.

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