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Caring for the abuser
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One of the current situations I find myself in is deciding whether or not to provide care for my now elderly and ailing abusive father. I struggle with feelings of rage whenever I find myself picking him up to take him to lunch, to his appts, or to help him run errands. He feels that, because I am his only child, I have an obligation to look after him after he tortured me for over 15 years....I know I need to let go of the inner anger because that only turns in to depression, but it's hard to have to care for someone who was unable to care for you....Any thoughts?
Posted on 01/30/13, 11:23 pm
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Reply #1 - 01/30/13  11:35pm
" Why not hire a helper who can drive him to his appts & take him to lunch. Or check w/local churches &/or home health care agencies thru your local hospital. Many organizations have volunteers who help people get to their appts, do their shopping, read to them, etc.

Just because he feels you have an obligation doesn't mean you do. He has an obligation to be a kind & loving father & he didn't hold up his end of the deal, so IMHO, that releases you from any obligation.

Please consider getting therapy to help you learn to set healthy boundaries & work thru your rage (which is totally understandable). It's important that you take good care of yourself above all else. "
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Reply #2 - 01/31/13  12:05am
" Thank you for your reply! Yes, I am faithfully going through therapy to work through my emotions...fortunately the rage I feel only comes up when I'm around him, and it's only an inner feeling. I never yell, scream, or have any outbursts, which is good.
I think a care giver would be most optimal, it's just tough to find one that he will accept in his home. He is a hoarder (among other things) and doesn't let anyone in the house. I've been very close to calling Adult Protective Services and reporting him so that they will do something about the state of his home.... "
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Reply #3 - 01/31/13  1:08am
" Sorry but he voided his family obligation contract w/ you long ago. He is not your legal or (from my personal point of view) moral responsibility.

Protect yourself. Set boundaries. Disconnect.

Wish I could say something kinder, but this is the best I can do, and it's hard to be this gentle about it. "
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Reply #4 - 01/31/13  1:47am
" What about his obligation to you as his child when you were young and most vulnerable? So the obligation card is pulled only when it suits him.

Wasn't there a recent post on karma and when the abuser pays for his (or her) behavior.

I feel for you. it's a tough situation to be in.

Do what is best for you (I;d at the very least call the APS on the hoarding situation).

Seawee4 "
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Reply #5 - 01/31/13  2:30am
" You are a remarkable person. I think I would get in touch with adult protective services, and leave it in their hands...he does not deserve you. This sounds cruel, but, he was cruel to you your whole life. I would call.... "
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Reply #6 - 01/31/13  2:04pm
" It is incredibly difficult to care for your abuser. I'm also in the same position. i suggest arranging rides for him versus doing it yourself. make all of the calls but let someone else be his transportation. There are van services and some individuals that provide comapanion and transportation services to the elderly that are often free or charge a small fee to get to doctor's appointments. Some grocery stores will deliver groceries. His church friends can pick him up and take him to church. If you are a member of the same church find a reason to attend the service at another time when he doesn't go. Most churches have two services. Whatever fees are involved, he can pay. There is absolutely no reason for you to rearrange your life to fit the needs of someone who abused you. "
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Reply #7 - 01/31/13  2:14pm
" The Federal and state governments
provide services for older adults
and thier families.

To get those services,
call: 800-510-2020

To let go of anger
it needs to be processed.
To process anger
(and depression)
it's good to have the
guidance and support
of a counselor.

You are not obligated
to caregive someone
who tortured you.

Sending you hugs
and healing thoughts.

Take good care of yourself. "
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Reply #8 - 01/31/13  11:52pm
" Thank you so much, all of you! Each one of your replies has been very thoughtful and I appreciate it very much. I think that I intuitively know all of the answers that you have given me, but it's nice to hear it from those who have experienced the abuse in some form or another. I think that those on the outside will think that I am cruel and unloving to my father for not caring for him, but they just don't know the history and I have to learn not to care... "

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