General chatter - Long vent, can't fix my parent's problems...

06-22-2013, 10:35 PM
I just need to put this somewhere. I am upset and frustrated because my dad is in a horrible life situation, but he created himself and I can't fix it.

Basically, my mom and dad had me young, like 19. But when I was 11 they seperated. He went to live with his mom (he work a labor job) and never bettered his life. Never went back to school, and got caught up in other stuff.

Over the years as I got older, I would try to talk to him about setting up a better life for himself, so as he got older he wouldn't be stuck. He was cutting lawns for money. For the past idk, 8 years its been him and one other guy. He remarried several years back but his new wife doesn't work, she used to but they said they need her home to do the paper work of the business. But even running their own business, they are living paycheck to paycheck. I don't know anything about their finances, unless the sh!t is about to hit the fan, then my dad will say something. Like last year he started telling me how he might be going to jail for not paying taxes...and that blew over...apparently he worked it out...The way he describes things (when he does) it like they are a few dollars away from being in the street...and for many years its had me sick.

I've been telling him for years that if something ever happens to his one guy or him, he's not going to have an income, and from what I'm told they have no money ever..idk where the heck it goes...THAT'S none of my business, but when my dad's finances are crapping out big time, he tells me....

Maybe I shoud add mid-story, he has probably given me a total of $200 my entire life, while I gave him a couple thousand a few years ago for a minor surgery he needed because he has not health insurance. He did not contribute at all to my college education or my wedding, never bought anything significant for any of my kids (like a bike or crib or whatnot).

So his one guy was in a car accident the other day. Which is aweful, the guy was really nice, and we've known him for years. I'm really upset because he's in very critical condition, and he's not coming back anytime soon and depending on long term injuries, he may not come back ever. My dad is freaking out that he tried to do the day by himself, but he physicially can't. My dad's in his mid 50s, and in bad physicial shape, and the other guy (in his late 20s) did most of the hard labor, he really helped my dad.

So now my dad is trying to find another guy, and he got a few no shows off craigslist. He's telling me if he doesn't get a guy by Monday he's going out of business...I told him, I doubt all his customers would just leave after one missed week of a lawn mowing. He's had them for years, I told him tell them that Dan (his partener) was in an accident and is in critical condition. I said tell them that you will need a week or two to get a new guy. I told my dad, most of your customers will understand. This is a small business, my dad is very close with most of his customers, its a very mom and pop business...and he told me, most of them if he misses a week will leave him regardless of the he just assumes the worse...

Ugh, so my husband is off tomorrow, and I called to ask my dad about visiting with the kids, as he only has us over on Sundays. And he says he's too worked up about all of this to have us over, so I said, Ok I'll check back with you next week...and he says "I'm going to call you tomorrow, to get some information from you, and use you for some resources, etc" and I said, " well, M (my hubby) is off, and we are going to be doing some stuff around the house and we have to head out, I'm not going to be around to talk."....I know its mean but when these problems hit, he wants me to drop everything an help him, meanwhile he DOES NOT do that for us!! At all!! I had one time several years ago that I was vomiting all night, and I called him in the morning and asked him to sit with the kids so I could go to the ER and get som zofran and fluids (I'm a nurse) and he told me "no, you'll have to bring the kids with you"...seriously he will not inconveince himself for me at all, never has, but when I basically said I'm not going to help him out of this mess, I could hear he was a little upset...I've always dropped everything to help him and I'm just done with it...I think what pushed me over the edge was when I had two miscarriages last year, and didn't tell him right away. I told him after this pregnancy was around 11 weeks, when I was more sure I was not going to miscarry again, and his response was "I'm playing head games with him"..not i'm sorry, no sympathy, it was all about him....

Sorry so long I just needed to get this out somewhere...I really wish I had a parent that could parent me, and not one that I feel like needs me to rescue them...I know I'm an adult, but I've never had the parent rescue sucks :(

Small pitty party...will be over soon :^:

Missy Krissy
06-22-2013, 11:42 PM

First and foremost you have to take care of your own family (your kids and DH). You can still be kind to you dad and lend an ear when he needs it, but I think it would be a good idea to set clear boundaries to avoid hurt feelings in the future.

It really sucks when you're parenting your parent.

06-23-2013, 12:57 AM
I agree with Missy Krissy. You should sit down and have a long talk to your father and set clear boundaries. Tell him what you expect of him and asks him what he expects of you. It sounds like this relationship lacks communication. If he can't respect your requests then maybe it's time to cut communication until he CAN respect them. Unfortunately, some parents are leeches and bring their children nothing but grief and stress.

Give him a few weeks. After he finds some help with his work, tell him you need to have a serious talk with him and you'd appreciate it if he would make the time to see you.

06-23-2013, 02:25 AM
You have to be able to set boundaries in cases like this. When somebody does not bring anything positive into your life it's time to think twice about continuing on the same path. From what you wrote it seems that what he does bring into your life is stress, uncertainty and lots of worry. Even though he is your parent and emotions are involved eventually things will come to point (if they haven't already) where you will have to put your own well being above his. For your own good. You have to sit down and talk to him, explain what you wrote here. Tell him what are the things you can not handle anymore and ask if he is willing to make the necessary changes you need so you can have a relationship. If he says he is not willing to make changes then you have no choice but set those boundaries and follow through. When it comes to family this is a very hard thing to do but sometimes there is no other choice. I wish you the best!!!

06-23-2013, 02:45 AM

I'm sorry you have to go through this. I hope you can find the strength to protect your life and happiness from all the stresses that your Dad seems to cause. I hope you won't think that you need to feel guilty, because you certainly should not feel guilty for trying to keep your life positive. I also hope that everything turns out well for your Dad, and for you as well.

06-23-2013, 03:59 AM
I had to do the same with my mother. There is a lot of family history that has pretty much destroyed my relationship with her. Spending 3 minutes with her was enough to make me go insane and we would end up getting into some serious fights with each other. It got to a point that I DREADED hearing her voice and just hearing her voice stressed me out. It made me feel like a lousy person to feel this way about her. I had to come to terms about my feelings for her. I loved her, but found it impossible to show her. I've tried and tried to talk to her about the issue, but alas, she's as stubborn as a mule. Along with our inability to get along with each other, she felt it was ok to make unannounced visits (one of my biggest pet peeves and she knows it). Of course, these visits ended in an argument. I decided it was time to pack up and move. Not too far away, but if she were to visit she'd have to ask me first. We still talk occassionally, but not very often. We still argue. I haven't talked to her since mother's day. I didn't cut her out of my life, per say, but I've distanced myself from her. I've limited my communication with her and she definitely isn't as big a part of my life like she once was. We talk occassionally to see how things are going, but we are practically strangers and I prefer it that way. I got tired of her harping on me about everything. At first it was very difficult to do, but I'm really happy that I did. I feel less smothered. I can breath. I can make choices without her unwanted input.

I realize that moving isn't a logical option for everybody, especially for those who have children. I know that it isn't the best option for most, but it was for me. I had nobody and nothing to keep me in that town. My point is that you have to be happy and you can't let other people prevent you from having that happiness. It definitely isn't easy to limit or even completely cut out the people you love most from your life, but there has to be a time in your life where enough is enough.

06-23-2013, 09:13 AM
Aww, hugs! What a terrible predicament to be in. You obviously love your Dad but clearly there are some resentments and I don't blame you one bit. It sounds like you've tried to help your Dad but he doesn't want advice or respect your opinion, he just wants you to help him with whatever he asks you to do. And that's not the kind of help he needs. He doesn't need to be bailed out, you've offered him some good solutions to problems but he just wants you to put bandaids on the times he messes up.

Even if we love a person very very much, we cannot fix their lives for them. There comes a point where you have to distance yourself and it sounds like you're at that point now. If he hasn't listened to your advice in the past he won't now. He probably wants you to go mow those lawns for him. Don't. He has to step up, talk to his customers, and make the right provisions. You are NOT responsible for this.

Personally, I would tell your Dad how you feel. All relationships are about give and take and it seems like he's on the take take take. I would air out your grievances but be prepared that he might not agree.

06-24-2013, 02:29 PM
Thank you everyone. I'm sorry I wasn't around to respond yesterday, we really did spend the day doing stuff, went to the beach etc. I didn't call my dad and I haven't heard from him. While I would like to talk to him about this, I know its a waste of time only because I have tried to talk to him about issues in the past. I'm not fit to diagnose, but he kind of fits a narcissist in a way. And bringing up anything confrentational, that even remotely sound like I'm am suggesting he isn't perfect sends him into an insulting rage. I don;t think he is able to have a conversation like a normal adult when its somrthing that needs to be dealt with. He does this with other people in his life, and really there is no one in his life because of it, except family, and I believe its the reason he has to work for himself, he cannot handle working for someone or with coworkers he cant pick and choose. Running his own business means he does not have to talk to or get along with anyone he doesn;t want to.\\I have to say that DH and I have thought about moving away, nad were very seriously considering it. I think that someday with will but $$ is was too hard to do right now. I think the distance would help, besides I expect as my dad ages that he will expect us to take care of him.

06-24-2013, 04:59 PM
I am older than your dad. I really wouldn't try to sit down and have a reasonible discussion with him. It sounds like he has some pretty ingrained personality issues and he wouldn't be positive to any discussion.

It sounds like he lives his life in a reactive manner, doesn't make reasonable plans, just blows up when the unexpected happens.

You are an adult with a family of your own to consider. I think you can just do what you have been doing; maintain some distance; listen when he wants a sounding board but you can't take anymore responsibility than that. Any advise or help you give would likely backfire when something else he didn't plan for happens and he needs someone to blame.

06-24-2013, 05:51 PM
Your dad's attitude is definitely not unique! You have every right to not be available when he calls, and it's not like you were intentionally dodging him (and even if you were ...)

Make sacrifices for the people who do right by you ... your husband, kids, etc.

My son's father is similar to this: it's always about him, his momma 'rescues' him and prevents him from ever learning what it truly means to pull up his own bootstraps, etc. Him helping me was always optional (once, with a broken leg, he wouldn't come care for our baby so I could get a cast), but he always expected my resources to be unconditionally available to him.

I also know how hard it is with dads. My dad, also, acts selfish and is often emotionally unavailable. I tend to enforce certain boundaries and share when my feelings are hurt, but like patns said, nothing you say is going to change habits and attitudes that have been with him his entire life. At the end of the day, I still have a soft enough spot for him that I am kinder than I expect to be, but I do my best to not take any **** from him (or others) when it comes to things like guilt trips, narcissistic behavior, and boundaries.

Good luck! We are here for you.