breaking point

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    Hi everyone.

    Posting here for advice and guidance again.

    2020, and now 2021, has been a difficult year for me as it has been for many other people.

    In oct I lost my aunt who was like a 2nd mother to me and fifteen days after that I lost my grandparent. I have been very actively grieving and finding day to day tasks difficult.

    Since dec 2019 my father, who is 75, has been hospitalized thrice for manic episodes. This is his forth admission. Each admission has lasted at least 6 weeks. I no longer speak with my father as in the past he has been abusive at the worst of times and manipulative/coercive at the best. However, I have been navigating the ins and outs of hospital admissions and trying to arrange finances while keeping minimal contact with him. This has been more difficult in dec as I got covid and things started falling through the cracks. I also have a very specific PTSD trigger around his hospitalizations because they were violent events in the past. So I have been trying to do this from a very triggered space.

    We decided to shift him to the care of a different well reputed psych facility because we were losing faith in his current doc. We were really hoping things would stabalise. However they did a covid test for him which came back positive. They asked us to take him home immediately. This would have meant putting my mother and I back in a difficult situation as well as exposing her to covid as she hasn’t had it yet and my dad would not isolate or wear a mask. I scrambled around and found a facility which offered both covid care and psych care which was difficult since health care (or other social services) are not at all developed where I live. However, this facility is not following proper protocol with regards to quarantining and patients, doctors and attendants in the covid wards don’t wear masks or protective gear, or dont take off their protective gear when the leave the covid ward. Every time I visit this hospital the staff there urges me to meet my father, from the receptionist to the administration to the doctor and ward boys. They have even started calling me on the phone to meet him. They say things like “he is not eating he only talks about his daughter he just wants to talk to you” “uncle is very sweet he is so good he just wants to talk to you it is his deepest wish” “he just wants to talk to his wife and daughter” “so you will not talk to him” “you can visit him wearing a face mask” . I got four phone calls from three different people from the hospital yesterday all pushing me to speak to him. It touched my own guilt which I still have a lot of for cutting off from him and I broke down completely.

    Today I found out that I made a pretty significant mistake at work which jeopardized a partnership I have been trying to get for 2 years now. I made this mistake during the week my dad tested covid positive and I made this mistake because my own mental health was bad. I work two jobs so that I am financially stable enough to move out of my parents house and I feel like collegues at both places have had to carry and cover for me a lot in 2020 because of my bad mental health.

    I dont know how to escape my life, or to fix things so that they are okay . In my culture, you are the worst of the worst if you neglect your elderly parents and right now I feel like I am the worst of the worst. I really feel like I have nothing left to give anyone.

    I am sorry for the overlong message, it all felt relevant to say. I am hoping for some advice guidance for support.



    Dear greenshade:

    You are currently still living with your mother, working two jobs with the goal of moving out. You had Covid in December last year, your mother did not. Your elderly father had Covid and is currently hospitalized for his manic depressive (bi-polar) disorder. You haven’t seen him there because he abused you for so many years, but he wants to see you and employees at the hospital pressure you to see him. You feel guilty because in your culture, an adult child not attending to her elderly parents is considered to be “the worst of the worst”-

    – I am sorry, greenshade that your life is so difficult, and has been for so long. You asked for guidance and support: I hope that you manage to move out of your parents’ home before your father is released from the hospital and is back home. I hope that you keep safe everywhere you go, so to not get re-infected with Covid. I hope that you make the right choices for yourself, for your own physical/ emotional well-being, and I wish you well! Feel free to post again anytime.



    How are you, greenshade?




    Dear greenshade,

    I am sorry things are so hard for you, and that you’re in such a tough spot regarding your father. Based on what you shared about childhood, it’s no wonder that you’re reluctant to visit him and show affection to him, knowing how he treated you and manipulated you in the past.

    The staff at the care home is telling you that “he is not eating he only talks about his daughter he just wants to talk to you”. They are making you feel guilty, probably unintentionally, because they don’t know the truth. And the truth is that he’s been harassing you like that for years, demanding your presence at all times, calling you at work every few hours, complaining “how lonely and sad he was”, telling you how he misses you… in short, making you feel guilty whenever you didn’t spend time with him.

    Now he’s doing something similar, trying to coerce you into visiting him, not because he really cares about you and misses you, but because he wants to exert control over you. If he can control you, he can calm down, I guess.

    On top of your father’s obsessive control and abuse, you also live in a very controlling and abusive culture. It forces you to live with your parents until you get married, and if you live alone, you’re in danger of being raped. In addition, you’re forced to take care of your parents regardless of how they (mis)treated you, and if you refuse, you’d be labeled as “worst of the worst”.

    Just writing this causes anger and righteous indignation in me! No wonder you feel trapped and “don’t know how to escape your life”. But for the sake of your own sanity and your own future, it’d be very important to change your present circumstances, to give yourself a chance at a better life. You owe it to yourself. You’re an intelligent, eloquent woman, educated, with lots of wit, you’ve seen the world and managed to escape the abusive culture for at least 10 months. You can do it again!

    You said in June 2019 that you’re planning to go back to your boyfriend in a 2-year time. It would be this summer… How is the situation on that front? Are you still in touch with your boyfriend?

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by TeaK.

    Dear greenshade:

    Inspired by teaK’s empathetic, insightful, high-quality post in every way, I re-read your first thread of June 21, 2016 all the way to the most recent, January 11, 2021, a span of over 4.5 years. You were 26 in June of 2016, living with your parents. You are now 30 or 31, living with your mother,  and if your father has been released from the Covid/ psych facility in the recent two months, then you are currently living with both your parents.

    In your most recent post, you wrote: “I don’t know how to escape my life, or to fix things so that they are okay. In my culture, you are the worst of the worst if you neglect your elderly parents and right now I feel like I am the worst of the worst”-

    – instead of worrying about neglecting your parents, think for a moment about your greatest accomplishment so far: you survived your parents.

    I have read many stories here over the years about wrongs committed by parents against their children. Your story is one of the worst: your parents, particularly your father, is indeed one of the worst of the worst parents I have ever come across.

    You survived your father so far, congratulate yourself for surviving him and think about how can you survive him further, and perhaps make your life about more than surviving your father.

    People told you that he can’t help himself, that his bi-polar condition made him someone he is not (“I was also taught to believe how he was acting wasn’t fault because he was sick and not in control of his behavior.. how he was acting wasn’t who he was”)-

    – I read your accounts of him and I disagree: (1) you did not describe a man who behaves in two different ways, one who is dishonest and abusive (when manic) and the other, honest and kind (when not manic). Your descriptions of his behaviors have been consistently dishonest and abusive. Even when he apologized to you one time for treating you badly, it was not a sincere apology: he pretended to cry, having his hands cover his face, peeking through his hands smirking, enjoying the success of his pretense.

    (2) he has been in control of his behavior no less than many people, for example, * he mixed tobacco in your mother’s food, without her knowledge, so to make her sick… but he didn’t mix anything so to kill her because he wanted her sick, but he also wanted her alive, * he yelled at you and at your mother for hours, not allowing you to get up or move because he wanted the two of you terrified of him, but he did not hit you, causing physical injuries: he wanted you terrified, but not visibly injured, * he made you feel guilty for being away from home, expressing how much he misses you and needs you at home, but he didn’t stop you from getting an education abroad, or a job, because he needed you to be able to make money, to produce a better income with a better job.

    In October 2016, you started applying to Master’s programs abroad. In October 2018, you posted that you recently moved abroad. In June 2019, you posted that you were back home, living with your parents after ten months abroad. You shared that while away from your parents’ home and country, you had a relationship with a man you trusted, a relationship where you “felt healthy and happy, and loved”.

    I believe that was your first experience of this kind.

    You and your then boyfriend intended to “try to make things work, in spite of the distance”, but back home, you started doubting the relationship a lot, You wrote: “I have fallen into the old role of my life revolving around my mum and my primary focus had shifted (from) building a happy, healthy life for myself.. to taking care of my parents and wanting to see my mom happy… My mum feels like my life.. going back to my life with my boyfriend.. feels far off and not real… I am definitely feeling like I had moved backward since coming home”.

    In September 2019, you shared about feeling rage and exhaustion living with your parents, and considered moving out of your parents’ home, but you were too exhausted to do so, “Don’t have energy-> can’t work-> no salary-> can’t move out”.

    In January 2021 you were living with your mother, working two jobs while your father was in a care facility following his manic episodes and getting infected with Covid.

    “I don’t know how to escape my life, or to fix things so that they are okay”- move away from your parents, leave them both. It will not be easy for you, just as it wasn’t easy when you lived abroad for 10 months, but it will be a whole lot better for you than living with your parents. Away from them both, you have a chance to escape misery and experience a better life.



    I am thinking about you, greenshade, wondering if your father is back home and if you are living with both of them again…


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