My father has dementia.

My father has dementia.

Since August of last year when a psychiatrist at the VA declared him incompetent, one of my siblings has managed to drain his money market account, his savings account, his checking account, not to mention the line of credit that’s close to being maxed out. Credit card accounts have been opened in his name and maxed up, and even his dumpy ole’ car had been taken to use rather than the $42,000 Dodge Ram pickup, because ya know – gas is expensive, “over $4.00 a gallon for diesel!”

Some might actually understand because I’m sure our quintessential dysfunctional family is struggling with what other families are attempting to figure out. How to take care of an asshole who doesn’t remember (for the most part) being an asshole and is confused by our reticence, but yet – continues to be an asshole.

Quite simply put our father was a violent angry man who meted out his anger and violence on my mother. Every once in a great while, one of us would be the momentary target. But for the most part, my father wasn’t physically violent towards us which didn’t lessen the fear any. We have stories all right. Long ago though, I decided you just don’t beat on, smack around, say vile terrible things to people you truly love them. Only one of my other six siblings has managed to figure out the same with her children and act accordingly.

Now – we’re starting the process of guardianship and figuring out what to do.

This isn’t mentioned because I want sympathy or even empathy. It’s mentioned because I cannot believe how absolutely out of touch I became within a couple of days of dealing with this mess. It’s consuming. I’m about ready to buy some good pot just to sleep through the entire night without tossing and turning. But then – if I recall correctly – it made me paranoid which would seem to be counterintuitive – too paranoid to sleep. Today was the first day I’ve watched “the news” in a week. I am quite saddened to see that Bush and Cheney are still sequestered in D.C.

What this has highlighted is what many American families go through and why many people simply cannot keep up with what’s going on in the country, let alone around the world.

At any rate . . . posting intermittently at best.

Oh – one thing, I either never realized or had forgotten was my father’s bigotry and biases. Now we’re talking about a man who fathered a son with a woman who was Inupiat while stationed in Alaska. We’re talking about my older brother. We’re driving from Kuna to Boise on the freeway. My father hasn’t been that route in some years so he was stunned at the amount of ‘new’ building/construction and other business along the interstate. Who’s behind all that? The Jews . . . . “those goddamned Jews.” I thought I heard that but wasn’t sure because I’m sitting behind him in the back seat of my sister’s SUV, but I did see my sister roll her eyes and shake her head. Then he said it again, and I said – “enough with the Jews. The Jews aren’t responsible for anything.” Later on the campus of the VA, we’re walking down the sidewalk and a man approached who was obviously Asian. My father greeted him, “Hi, Louie.” I asked my father if he knew the man passing by. He said, “No, but he’s a Chinaman isn’t he?” That was it for my sister.

Christ! And today is just starting . . . . God help us if Dad finds out the Pope is in country.


2 Responses

  1. My condolences and best wishes for the strength to cope with what surely can’t have a real happy ending.
    Sometimes the Blog is damn therapeutic though.

  2. You’re so right on about therapeutic… really is. I sit down to write and all I want to write about is my dad. Still – it might be for the best…..

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