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Leaving a benign obsession alone
First things first, I'm okay. I'm still here; my Zoloft has been increased and while I'm still depressed the ideation isn't there like it was.
Anyway, today I had a moment where I just had to laugh at my father because of one his obsessions: the mail. He is so concerned that someone will steal his mail (even though we have it redirected to my brother's house so bills won't get lost) he has to check the mailbox several times a day. Sometimes, he will camp out in the garage and ambush the mail carrier.
Today, an old friend of his came by and took him to the cemetary to pay respects to former colleagues. The friend told me on the way home that he was anxious to get home so he could get the mail. She told him it was Sunday and he said, "What does that have to do with it?"
He got home, went straight to the mailbox, and looked in it. I told Dad it was Sunday and there's no mail delivery. He said, "Well, just in case."
The friend went home, and I heard Dad go out to the front porch and check the mailbox. He then went into the front yard and picked up a weed, threw it away, then came back and checked the mailbox again.
If he didn't have Alzheimer's I'd say, "What the hell, Dad?! You think the invisible mail fairy came along while you were in the front yard?" But he does so I just have to let him have his obsession with the mailbox. He cannot learn new behaviors and since this one is harmless, I'm just letting him go with it.
Thank you for checking back in and letting us know how you are doing.
As for your dad's obsession with checking the mail box it is harmless. And this too might pass and he'll move to something else or nothing, you never know. His mind can't 'accept' that a Sunday there is no mail - so let him check it. Of course I'm hoping he is safe going back and forth to the mail box. Meaning your not on a busy road, etc.
On a personal note my DH isn't obsessed with the what's in the mail, just the fact there is mail. Some days he asks if I'd heard the mail truck go by other days he forgets until I ask him if he'd like to get the mail. When he brings the mail inside he could care less about it and just puts it on the counter. He thinks he's helping me out by getting the mail and I just thank him. No harm no foul.
Ncsylvia, my mother was also obscessed with her “papers” . Finding them, “going over” them, needing to see them etc. looking through purse, drawers, closets, just as you said.
She could never quite say which ones, but occasionally the word “taxes” or “checkbook”would come out. Luckily she’d forget or get distracted pretty fast.
Hi Everyone! I can relate! My Grannie was obsessed with checking the windows and doors. We couldn’t go check the mail without her locking us out! She also obsessed with unplugging everything just in case there was a lightning storm. What ever she saw on the weather channel would set her off. She didn’t understand that the report didn’t always apply to our area. We eventually didn’t let her watch the weather or the news. We also put duct tape over outlets.
Good luck everyone!
abc - I got locked out a couple times when I was working out in the garage. MIL would do her rounds, not see anyone, and lock up because she figured she was all alone. Every set of keys that we have in the house (even our spare car keys) now has a house key, garage key, and gate key because of her earlier obseessions.
My MIL was also obsessed with turning things off because they ‘could catch fire’. I suppose it was a throw back to her youth (60s) when houses still had knob & tube wiring and such. When my kids started telling us that we had to turn stuff off because it could catch on fire, at least we knew who told them.