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Author Topic: Caring for elderly parent  (Read 1011 times)

helenmelon

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Caring for elderly parent
« on: September 05, 2018, 06:51:30 PM »
Hi - My father is 82 years old. Ever since my mother passed away 5 years ago he has lost all interest in living. He takes no interest in his basic cleanliness and is just disconnected from the world. He had been suffering from stomach cramps and constipation but would not let anyone take him to see a doctor. One night 3 months ago he was vomiting so violently he was admitted to hospital. It turned out he had a bowel blockage and had we not admitted him to hospital he could have died.  It's been more than three months since that night. He was in hospital for almost two months and then moved to a rehabilitation care place. I know he is capable of walking more than he is willing, but he just doesn't even try unless one of us children really insist when we visit. He won't even walk to the toilet which is 3 meters away from his bed. He rather choses to lie in adult diapers in a pee soaked bed. He looks like a homeless person, kind of did his whole life. I recently arrange with a friend to have a barber go there and trim his beard and give him a haircut. I also arranged tickets for him and his sister and brother in law to go watch a show at they love at the local cinema.  I managed to get my dad dressed and even got shoes on him as he wanted to go in his slippers. I had a wheel chair in my car in case we needed it, but he didn't he managed to walk from the car park in the mall to the cinema, aided by my sister and I. He makes no decisions. My mother always did. It's been so difficult planning what to do with him as he is playing the victim. I know he is scared, he is like a frightened little boy. My mother was the strong one, she died from cancer, but she fought to the end, I remember she would race with her walker in the hospital right up until the very end, trying to get stronger and run away from the physio. My dad has just given up.  He has zero interest. And it's just so incredibly hard busting my butt trying to do nice things for him. The above being an example. And taking him the Sunday paper. And having booked another concert to take him to. And managing all his admin. I took him to the house one Saturday back just so he could have a look and see how he felt being there.  My sister made lunch for all of us. But he is this helpless old man.  And what sucks the most is it's self inflicted. It makes me so angry. And I don't want to visit him in that place I hate going there, even though it's literally next door to where I live. I hate the smell. I hate that he is always just lying in bed when I get there. And he does not need to be.  I also feel guilty for example I was very snappy at him last night, but it's just too much now.

Tony Crisp

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Re: Caring for elderly parent
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2018, 11:51:00 AM »
HelenMelon – There is an old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.”

As you said, it seems like his mother was his strength, and her death has left him with little will of his own, so he is not playing the role of victim; my feeling is that he honestly feels he is.

He was probably looked after so much he never developed his own ability to care for himself. It seems like you have taken on the role of carer, and it’s not a good one, for he doesn’t give a shit, or maybe that is all he gives.

It is difficult, because some people, even if left alone to face their own misery, can continue it for years. I came across an attitude which is, “An attitude I had in which I loved to have problems or shit. I saw that again and again, when talking to people I would describe this shaky condition I was in, the problems I faced, the difficulties I had. For instance, I might say, “It’s OK for someone like you, you’re not so anxious. You didn’t have such a bad start. You have more money. You have more luck on your side, etc, etc.” I just revelled in the shit.

I used this defense because I was anxious life or people would ask something of me. If I had a nice problem, I could run back and hide in it. It helped me escape the necessity of saying, “What you are asking makes me feel anxious. I’m afraid I might fail. Don’t ask me for love or help, it frightens me.”

I don’t know if this helps, but here is another person’s way.

Hi all,
I work as a trauma therapist with refugees and have been overwhelmed at work. I had the following interesting dream lately and would like some help unfolding it...

Dreamt I am fascinated by a small angelic child in the waiting room of my office. Her mother is trying to place her on her brother’s head but it’s not working out. I ask if I can play with her. The mom says yes and leaves us alone. I take out my raccoon puppet and start to play with her feet. Right away the child, who is also somehow a very sweet and contented lamb lies down and rests. We lie together very cosy and content. I am surprised how fast she lay down. I see a beautiful orange butterfly. It lands on first the lambs face then my own face. It is a magical moment although I am slightly nervous as the butterfly tugs the skin of my face. I say Fai Ling (lamb's name) do you see the butterfly?  I don’t have a camera to capture the moment. I am glad Fai Ling and I are alone with this moment.  Then I wake!

I am confused about what aspect of my life is failing...my sweetness? Any questions or nudges welcome. Thanks!

Camille – Moments are often so full of wonder and power. We cannot hold on to them for they are part of change. We cannot even often capture the magic with a camera, but we can remember them and let the memory live is us at times.

To quote from the Butterfly entry, “A butterfly can also be such a seemingly fragile creature, and yet can fly up to 2000 miles. So it can signify not only your vulnerable nature but also your wonderful strength.” You dream has so many moments of interactions and relationship, and ends in a magical experience. Yet you say you have a feeling of failure.

It might be that you cannot yet see the answer you have in you.

While recently leading a group practising movement, I was struck again by how creative we all are if given an environment in which we can allow our originality. One woman in the group, exhausted from the demands of her job, experienced deep relaxation out of which enthusiasm and pleasurable energy arose, leading her to dance and bathe in her own joy. A man explored his relationship with love, and saw that he needed to gather to himself the love he received from others to call out his own resources of affection. A woman who worked as a nurse met the painful emotions arising from observing the difficulties of a mentally retarded patient. Her creative movements led her to find a way of accepting the reality of life’s difficulties. The pain cleared and she felt was ready to give a more flowing response to others in difficulty.

The nurse experienced shifting her position and seeing that she could simply be her loving self, perhaps as you were with your angelic lamb. See http://dreamhawk.com/news/my-body-is-a-moving-sea/ Perhaps you can find you answer there.”

Another wonderful story is told where a single mother, trained as a nurse so she could apply for a post as a private nurse with a rich family. This was so her daughter could live with her in the house she worked in. After her training she applied and got exactly what she sought, nursing a man – but she never saw the patient.

When she did she was led into a room by her employer, and saw a cage around the bed and imprisoned in the cage was a man smeared with his own faeces, and obviously mentally retarded. The nurse was surprised but thought, “Oh well, lets get on with it.”
The patient was not dangerous, but when she opened the cage to start cleaning him, the moment she touched him she felt enormous disgust and revulsion. It happened each time although days past, and she felt that she would have to leave – but she faced a conflict because of her daughter was happy there.

She had read about Edgar Cayce, the amazing seer, and wrote to him explaining her situation. Cayce did a ‘Life Reading’ for her and said that she had been the patients mother several times, and each time she had pulled back each time he was meeting difficulties in his life. This resulted in his slipping deeper and deeper into slipping back into a mentally unstable state. Cayce went onto say that the man was almost losing his humanity, but if she could bear to care for him he would slowly turn around and move toward healing. See https://dreamhawk.com/interesting-people/edgar-cayce-and-the-cosmic-mind-superminds/

The nurse tried to do that and over months the cage was taken away, the man no loner smeared himself with his faeces. In fact he began to follow her around like a loving dog, with the same affection. Not long after that he died. And a follow up reading from Cayce said that the body he had was no longer suitable, because the man was now on an upward path in his evolution, and her loving attention was what the man needed.
Many of our life’s difficulties probably could be explained if only we had access to our full memories. See https://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/seed/

Tony

helenmelon

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Re: Caring for elderly parent
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2018, 06:39:56 PM »
How does one let go? How does one stop trying to lead that damn horse to water?  When does one walk away?

I realised recently that my father has no interest in his children.  He actually has no interest, can you believe that? But it's true. He's not a bad man, he would never harm a fly. But he is disinterested. His kids are actually a nuisance to him. I think we always have been. He didn't have connection with us as children and as adults we are a nuisance trying to get him out of the rehabilitation / recovery centre.

I have been hanging around all my life wanting the approval of my father. Needing him to give me direction. But now at the age of 36 I get it, I will never get that from him. Once a therapist said to me "what you are looking for you won't find there" and it rings home even more true now than ever. My father was never a father, he simply put food on the table.  He had no interest in us and still doesn't. And even though I no this and I know I need to walk away ... it is so very hard to learn to let go and lead ones own life.

I'm still just baffling around in the dark at 36 years old not knowing what to do with myself. And I see I am wasting more time on my dad, someone who actually just doesn't care not because he's bad but because I think he just doesn't know how.

Wow Tony, your piece about having a "problem" as a way of "defence". Very interesting.

Tony Crisp

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Re: Caring for elderly parent
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2018, 01:40:01 PM »
Dear HelenMellon – I found that not having a fathers love leaves as much or more pain than sever beating in childhood. Here is my own experience as I fell into the pain.

“So, the damage to the muscle was the injury to my supportive confidence through my relationship with my father. As all this was felt I sobbed uncontrollably. I wept for the lost years, the wasted years of my youth. I was convulsed with the pain of not having been loved by my father. Tears fell from me for the failure of my life. I would never have believed one could feel so much pain about something missing in one's life and not being loved by ones father. I had always thought to feel that much pain you would have needed to be beaten or abused in childhood. My father was kind, but he showed no warmth, no interest in me, just criticisms. And that was as bad as being beaten, perhaps worse. I had been severely beaten at school, but it hadn’t scarred me like this.”

I slowly came out of feeling second best, but it was through diving into my dreams not thinking about them. I discovered that we each have an upstairs and a cellar. Most people are fully aware of their personal life lived in the physical world, but hardly anyone are aware of their life in the cellar. It was in my cellar I met such passion and realisation of emotional pain, but meeting it was what cleared its influence from my life.

I have tried to explain it in https://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/lifes-little-secrets/ 

Tony