Speaking Out Loud

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My father is a bully. 

He learned early to compensate for his crippled legs from childhood polio by aggressively verbally attacking anything that crossed him. If he barked loud enough, then maybe he wouldn’t have to fight physicially, a contest that he would surely lose. 

I was terrified of my father as a child. Eventually, though, I grew up and left that house.  I moved on. He doesn’t scare me anymore.

My mother, however, is still there. As his dementia worsens his verbal violence is magnified by paranoia and fear as he is unable to process even simple tasks. He clicks on phishing emails and gives out his social security number. He gets lost driving. He refuses his blood pressure and seizure medications. And my mother is beside herself. She does not feel she can make him do anything as he lashes out at her in the most appalling ways for minor infractions.

I don’t know how to help her. Or him.

She silently prays that things will get better, believing God will hear her and answer her prayer. In her world, that is her hope.

He insists there is nothing wrong with him, that the bitch he is married to is simply making things up, telling lies. In his world, this is his truth.

My mother has no voice. He stole that from her decades ago. She now looks to me to speak for her but he will not listen to me, either. I am the girl-child and inconsequential. 

It is going to be a terrible battle….

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173 thoughts on “Speaking Out Loud

  1. I’m sorry you and your mom have to deal with this abuse. I wonder what would happen if you caught him being a bully on video, showed it to him, and told him he better start being nicer if he wants….. I don’t know, something he wants.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My heart bleeds for your mom and for you. That is an impossible predicament but you might need outside intervention. Is he a threat to people as he drives? Surely there is some process to get him off the streets and into a care facility? I wish you luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The driving is simple. You can make an anonymous report to the DMV provided you have a date of birth and a drivers license number. He would have to have a doctor’s clearance to release him. The care facility will be a legal battle. He has to be declared incompetent and then someone has to be appointed guardian.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Right. I know about the incompetent thing. If only you could get him assessed by a neuropsychologist. But, it is an uphill battle but I’ve seen it done while working in a psych hospital. Of course in your dad’s case that is not quite the same thing but it does boil down to mental capabilities and the ability to make rational decisions and to use proper judgement. I hope this does not come across as me seeming a know it all. I understand the dementia dilemma and it is not pretty nor simplistic.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a terrible thing to face. At some point, he’ll need to be in a facility where he can be cared for – something some friends of mine are dealing with now. Blessings to you in choosing your path. This is something I worry about daily with regard to what I may wreak on my own family.

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  4. This can be a stage of dementia, irratiional anger and paranoia. I have seen this close up. You can not reason with the person or get them to act differently because they do not understand, they are not rational. A caregiver support group for your Mom?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We faced this with my MIL. Eventually she was haospitalized for something else and all the children united and refused to bring her home. She was discharged to a nursing home. She was furious but we could not adequately care for her. This sounds like a terrible joke, but she had Alzheimer’s and ALS. She could not remember she couldn’t stand. When she was in her wheelchair, someone had to be within arm’s reach or she’d get up and fall. When to attempted to stop her, she’d hit. Make the same recommendation you would for a patient and do it.

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  6. What a tough position to be in. It seems when people display certain behaviors early in life, Alzheimer’s tends to magnify the issues and the paranoia along with the denial compounds the problems. Dealing with a parent who was abusive then gets the disease has its own set of complications and I wish the best for you and your mother during this difficult time.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So very sorry to read this. My dad had Alzheimer’s too, but he was never abusive.

    I hope you can get your dad to stop driving. He could injure your mom and himself or someone else. In some states doctors are now required to report drivers with Alzheimer’s. If he’s driving without a license, someone needs to hide the keys. My dad was inconsolable about losing his license, but it had to happen.
    I wish all of you strength and peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Is it inhumane to hope he passes away? Would you even entertain such a thought? My mother was sick when she passed and I can’t hide the fact that I breathed a sigh of relief. I was glad her suffering ended but, in a beautiful show of self-absorption, was glad that I didn’t have to deal with an ailing parent any longer. I’m sure that’ll come around to bite me in the ass one day. Probably when I’m old and sick.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Victo, I simply had to respond to this. Reading it made my heart sink. I am so sorry that this is part of your reality. The identical situation happened with my father three years ago when he was suffering from Alzheimer’s. He became paranoid and violent and pushed my mother down to steal her car keys as I had disabled his car to keep him from driving. Then he started to threaten us with a gun. I took his gun away and he became obsessed with purchasing a new one. My mother had to move out of the house for her own safety. As the “girl child” my dad would not acknowledge anything I had to say and I became enemy #1. His doctor was too chicken shit and afraid of a lawsuit to help me. I was eventually forced to go before a judge and get him committed and I was appointed his guardian. It was horrible because what he needed was a a doctor and facility that understood and dealt with Alzheimer’s, not the standard mental health facility. He was taken away in a squad car and spent the night in a holding cell while they did triage on where to place him. He was scared and rightfully confused. He did not live but about a month longer and his last days were not what I would have wanted. It was my Sophie’s Choice moment between my mother and father and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Your being in the medical profession might help with understanding the physiological aspect of the situation but the emotional part -well no one is prepared and it just sucks. Again, I am so sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Victo, have you got an attorney who has dealt with this issue before? I know for us, it was the Public Health Service that lined up a place with good services, a social worker, and others to support you? I wish you strength as you and your mother go through this battle. Does he have adequate health insurance? there is so much to plan and I hope that you can put a plan into action to protect your mother and you soon. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

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