Putting myself in someone's shoes

Whenever I encounter difficult people, I try to understand why they're that way.  I imagine their lives and what shaped them into the person they are. 
Last week, yesterday, and today, I've had intense arguments with my father.  They're one sided, with him always right, and me just wanting peace.   I can't leave.  I've finally reached the conclusion that he is not acting normally.  He forgets conversations.  He's hostile.  He doesn't sleep.  And he's made my life a living hell. 
I'll be honest with you.  There's been times when I've entertained the fantasy that it was my husband who lived.  That's hard to admitt.  But I'm tired of being miserable. 
That's how I felt earlier today, when I got home from work with a brand new puppy for him, only to be greeted in anger that left me gasping for air.  Then I asked myself: if a man had lost a limb, would I expect him to be normal?  Would I expect him to get up without aide of a prosthesis and walk across the floor?  The answer is no because my knowledge of this type of injury keeps me from beliving that this man could walkl without help. 
And yet, I expect my father to be normal.  I expect it and I've lied to myself because of that expectation.
The fact is, he is sick.  Yes, he's always been a difficult man.  Yes, I've always suspected he had a mental problem, but now, it's worse.  He's forgetting conversations.  He's not able to follow simple instructions and he's desperately in denial.
So here we sit--two people with a pink elephant in the middle of the room, each hoping that somehow the thing would just disappear.  And it wont unless God wants it to because it is just to big.
Now, I'm left with a situation.  I can choose to run and hide, or I can put my pride to the side and just let things go as they may.  I must connnect to my own intellect and realize that I can't fix this and no amount of crying about my sad life is going to change this.  My father is not capable of being anything except who he is.  This condition has exagerated the person he has always been and I can't say I've ever liked that person.
Part of me is angry.  I'm here dealing with a potential disease.  I love him and want him to be normal.   I can't have what I want and my husband is dead.
There, I've said it.  My husband is dead.  I'm not using my usual words: passed, transition, etc.  He is dead to this current world.   And my father is alive and I love him.  If I didn't I wouldn't be sitting at my computer at 3:30 in the morning hoping to have things my way.  I've got to accept, things will never be the same.  And no amount of arguing with my father is going to change that.  And no amount of arguing with my father is going to make him see things my way.
 
 

Replies

tessandbarney
tessandbarney

Facing up to things being as they are rather than as we would like them to be is a very hard thing to do, living with it even harder. I admire your loyalty and sense of responsibility towards your father, he would have a very difficult life I think if you weren\'t there for him. Don\'t ever wish it were you instead of your husband, we\'ve all been there but life is a gift and we shouldn\'t squander it, it\'s not what your husband would want for you. Do what you feel you have to do with your father but do everything you can to make life easier and happier for yourself. Enjoy your new dog, I\'m sure you\'ll find much joy together, there\'s nothing like watching the antics of a puppy to lift the spirits. I hope your father wakes up in a better frame of mind and the day ahead is easier for you, hugs, Lottie
DianeMTB
DianeMTB

I gather you can\'t convince your dad to go to the doctors with you to get him checked out. You would have to go first to tell the doctor the changes in your dad and then try as you might convince your dad to go for a check up. It sounds like there is a problem and it won\'t disappear and needs to be addressed. I don\'t envy you. Parents are stubborn and difficult when it comes to checking out their own health. It can\'t be easy for you and all the best from Diane
Joely
Joely

It still seems to me that he could be in early Alzheimers. The anger, hostility, not sleeping and forgetfulness are all very good indicators. Does he go to a Dr? Maybe like Diane said, you could talk to his Dr. first and then get him checked. ??
You need some help. Is there a Council of Aging in your county? They might possibly have some answers, but, I wouldn\'t count on it. Ours didn\'t have any answers for me when I was working on trying to get help for Joe\'s uncle. It is a thought though. In other states it might be better than ours.

As I mentioned before, you don\'t need this added to your grief, but, sometimes our lives are just that way. I know.

Hugs, Joely