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Verbally Abusive - Not sure how to handle
I have POA and my Dad has been sending me 50 or so texts every night starting around 11pm until 7am. Mostly saying he disowns me and I am not his child. Its just horrible. I have blocked his number from my phone. I am sure that is not the correct thing to do but I dont want to see these texts or listen to his voicemails because they are hurtful. He has contacted my sister and has made her cry over the phone saying the same things to her. But then some days when you are face to face he is fine.
Any advice on how to handle this situation?
Under the circumstances you are doing the right thing. Talk to your father when YOU
choose to, when you contact him, not when his broken brain has him abusing you.
Also, if his phone has you preprogrammed with your numbers, remove them so he actually
has to figure out how to input your full phone numbers to contact you. Sooner or later
he will not be able to use the phone at all, but until then, do what you have to do so you are
not subject to this type of abuse.
Does he live alone? If so, maybe it's time he shouldn't. From what you wrote I am assuming he's alone and that he is scared of what is happening to him. It just comes across as abusive when maybe he's trying to ask for help? Was he this way to you and your sister before? When you say he seems fine being face to face, I am again assuming because he is scared and having someone present brings him some relief.
Depending on how much you choose to do is up to you. There's no judgement here. You can only do what you can do. I would first suggest reaching out to your local Dept. of Aging and have a discussion with a social worker who maybe able to help and come over and access your father's situation. Also, does he have a diagnosis? If not, that should be #1 priority.
Best wishes to you.
I’m sorry this is happening to you and your sister. This is a terrible disease and I hate it.
I think you are right to block his number. The times he is texting he should be asleep. My Mom usually stays up all night too. It’s really hard.
I hope your Dad will calm down and have some peace. There is medication that helps this type of behavior.
I speak from an "entitled" point of view, in that there was no abuse whatsoever in our family from or to anyone (ok, I was a pretty miserable teen lol). So with that spoon of salt, I say, words from an illness are only abuse if you have already been abused. For all I know, the generic PWD thinks they are pouring out their love, and are not aware that the words are coming out ALL WRONG. If it were a person in intractable pain cursing a blue streak, one would tend to sympathize, not complain. ThePWD is in an intractable condition, with much to rail against. For myself, when"Jerrold" at Mom's residence calls me a she-dog, it doesn't bother me. He can be very friendly and well spoken, and this cursing has a reason in his dementia or pain somewhere.
Some day even meek and gentle Mom, who never came out with worse than "dammit!" will dredge awful language from the depths, and use it on me. I hope I can roll with the punches as I do with one of my kids.
When my kids were going through that "I hate you!!!" stage, all I'd say was, "I'm sorry you feel that way right now. I love you anyhow!" That would shut them up quicker than any "HOW DARE YOU talk to your mother that way!!!" would have done.
In the same way, hateful-appearing speech, unless part of an established pattern of abuse, may indeed not be a sign of lack of love. In my book, the opposite of love is complete apathy, not hate.
Hi, Welcome to the forum,
Can you tell us a little more about your dad? Was he seen by either a geriatric psychiatrist or a neurologist with experience in dementia care? Has he been diagnosed? Were any medications ordered and does he take them regularly? Does he live alone or is there another caretaker?
D-in-law is right that he may be frightened about the changes he is undergoing. Poor memory, confusion, etc.
I agree with not looking at the texts, and maybe even blocking his phone calls, but I'd encourage you to call him at least once a week and try to get him a definitive diagnosis if possible. There are medications that may help him for a while.
Meantime, here is the URL for some information on dementia that you might find helpful, including "Understanding Dementia" which will help you understand what he is going through.
Hoping this helps,
All the responses have been great . Thank you so much. He lives with my step mother unfortunately she has pretty much given up on him. He has been diagnosed about a year ago but will NOT take medication for it. Even though his DR has prescribed medicine. I think I will take your advice and contact the Dept of Aging and see if they can meet with him and go from there. I also need to get him to the DR because he seems to be worse.
I know its not him saying those things its the disease. I did reply to his texts with pics of squirrels saying I love squirrels.
Oh Kiki, I love squirrels too! Thank you for making me laugh this morning.
Sorry your Dad is doing these things. My Dad does too. He is so frustrated by losing his mind, he says horrible things. I am luckier, however, because his happens during Sundowning. I still get my sleep most nights (for now). We use Zoloft. It has worked well for a couple of years now.