Family trip gone bad: Dad overused his anxiety med

Posted by januaryjane @januaryjane, Dec 15, 2019

Im 33 and I just traveled thousands of miles for “vacation” with my parents. We flew all day. The problem is, my dad scared the heck out of me because he overused an anxiety med he got for the plane travel. The thing is he already takes multiple medications that increase sleepiness and cognition when taken together. Well, maybe from noon on, he began talking funny, mumbling, in and out of sleep, poor memory, trouble with walking. I told my mother she needs to take that from him, she did. After coming out of it later tonight he realized he lost his mouth partial, so he was ranting and they were searching everywhere. I had enough, told my mom they needed to figure this out, went to bed. He was dropping his new phone and computer, etc. a lot. I had to help him out. And I know you can make that mistake but I was scared and they are treating it too lightly. Again, I feel like my feelings dont matter. I even asked my mom if he could have had a mini stroke, she just laughed. I have 2 weeks with these people, and no way out. Trapped and stunned by my parents behavior.

@januaryjane

I do admire this attempt to take your parents on vacation. Your desire to give them this trip is so commendable. However, I am sorry to hear about this very difficult start to your vacation with your elderly parents. It sounds like a stressful beginning.

I might suggest that you keep your vacation time simple with more restful activities than you would usually have on a trip. Take time during the day to watch a movie on TV or a sports game along with having snacks. You might also consider skipping activities that involve a lot of walking but instead take bus or boat tours and remember how important it is for senior citizens to take naps and have regular meals/snacks and hydration.

Regarding the phone and computer equipment, you might consider consolidating these items into one bag and take charge of that bag so that you will always know its whereabouts.

When they return home, you might consider talking with your dad's doctor to be sure his medical team is aware of some of these problems he is having with cognition, etc. If you were surprised by his difficulties, they might be as well.

I hope the rest of your two-week vacation goes better than the first day and remember that it would not be wrong to end the trip a bit early if it gets too stressful. Keep in touch as you travel!

REPLY

@januaryjane it sounds like you have really have your hands full with your parents. Talking to your dad’s doctor is important. Taking care of you especially when you are very stressed has to be a priority. Two weeks can be a long time if you are not practicing self-care. Take a walk, get a massage, go off on your own.
@hopeful33250 made good suggestions to help with your parents.
I’d like to hear what happens.

REPLY

No, my parents are still fully functional, for the most part. They are in their 60s.and work full time. I am on the trip with them.
Im trying to feel better, its just been a lot of stress. I dont want to do anything, just want to leave but thats not possible. We are somewhere weve never been, with a rental car that i cant drive, and they are constantly getting lost! Not sure how the hell we are even going to get anywhere. Anyway, sorry to rant. I will have to stick it out, just wish me luck on keeping it together.

REPLY

@januaryjane I’m hoping and praying for you. I can hear the stress in your words and I understand. Breathe. My parents are long gone but I would change places in a heartbeat even to stress over them.
Hang on!

REPLY
@januaryjane

No, my parents are still fully functional, for the most part. They are in their 60s.and work full time. I am on the trip with them.
Im trying to feel better, its just been a lot of stress. I dont want to do anything, just want to leave but thats not possible. We are somewhere weve never been, with a rental car that i cant drive, and they are constantly getting lost! Not sure how the hell we are even going to get anywhere. Anyway, sorry to rant. I will have to stick it out, just wish me luck on keeping it together.

Jump to this post

Hi @januaryjane

Thank you for checking in with an update. While you say that your parents are "still fully functional, for the most part. They are in their 60s and work full time." Some of the behaviors you have described in your first post, may indicate the need for some medical attention, especially if your dad's "ranting" and losing things is a new symptom.

It can be difficult to face the loss of cognition and/or a personality change in parents. There can be many physical causes such as diabetes, heart problems, etc. It might be a good idea to compare their behavior now to where they were a year ago and suggest a medical check-up.

REPLY
@hopeful33250

Hi @januaryjane

Thank you for checking in with an update. While you say that your parents are "still fully functional, for the most part. They are in their 60s and work full time." Some of the behaviors you have described in your first post, may indicate the need for some medical attention, especially if your dad's "ranting" and losing things is a new symptom.

It can be difficult to face the loss of cognition and/or a personality change in parents. There can be many physical causes such as diabetes, heart problems, etc. It might be a good idea to compare their behavior now to where they were a year ago and suggest a medical check-up.

Jump to this post

Yes, we were kind of making fun of him at first because we knew he just got some atavan for the plane. We dont know how much he took, but he mixed it with other meds he takes normally, meds that can cause drowsiness. The next day he started acting better and the pills were taken away. But yes, i was very concerned, although i think most of it was the meds. He is acting normal now the entire time. He sees a dr regularly. Thank you for your responses. Its going a little better.

REPLY

Just had back a bumpy trip with parents, got a nasty virus and then had discussion with my dr about my continual problem and maybe needing surgery.

Im in no mood.

Actually, i feel so defeated when it comes to my father. He is extremely selfish, doesnt put any effort into our relationship, and just expects me to talk when he wants to talk, which is usually never, but hes had time off work lately.
It just brings back bad memories, and not feeling important enough. I dunno if i had the chance to have kids, id want to know them. But i guess i havent learned to stop wanting from a Narcissist. Hes my dad though, i guess ill always want that relationship. Just makes me mad, turn away.

Its worse that i live in the same house, believe me, id take another option if i could.

It still surprises me how small i feel here, like im still a kid. Im working hard on boundaries and reactions. I am a great person and responsible adult, but my role has remained the same in their eyes. Do Not Speak. I am not validated as they say but i drop things, a protest will be meaningless, and im tired and already hate my life.
Im learning to communicate enough to get point across, if need be, and walk away. In an abusive family like mine, took me too long to learn, ill never win.

So, the plan was to focus on me, my health, my sanity, my life. Some days are so much harder.
I think my birthday is triggering it, the possible surgery. I want my dad to care, to show something.
No support. Only worried about him.
I feel worthless when i shouldnt. And thats normal, in my situation. But it is an add on to add ons. Something i have to work at everyday. Watch my self esteem shatter, then build myself up again.

In the end I really have no one to depend on but me. Advocating for yourself is hard but worth it. And it seems like a never-ending feat to find good support.

Im here, in the trenches with you.

Liked by tykehome

REPLY
@januaryjane

Just had back a bumpy trip with parents, got a nasty virus and then had discussion with my dr about my continual problem and maybe needing surgery.

Im in no mood.

Actually, i feel so defeated when it comes to my father. He is extremely selfish, doesnt put any effort into our relationship, and just expects me to talk when he wants to talk, which is usually never, but hes had time off work lately.
It just brings back bad memories, and not feeling important enough. I dunno if i had the chance to have kids, id want to know them. But i guess i havent learned to stop wanting from a Narcissist. Hes my dad though, i guess ill always want that relationship. Just makes me mad, turn away.

Its worse that i live in the same house, believe me, id take another option if i could.

It still surprises me how small i feel here, like im still a kid. Im working hard on boundaries and reactions. I am a great person and responsible adult, but my role has remained the same in their eyes. Do Not Speak. I am not validated as they say but i drop things, a protest will be meaningless, and im tired and already hate my life.
Im learning to communicate enough to get point across, if need be, and walk away. In an abusive family like mine, took me too long to learn, ill never win.

So, the plan was to focus on me, my health, my sanity, my life. Some days are so much harder.
I think my birthday is triggering it, the possible surgery. I want my dad to care, to show something.
No support. Only worried about him.
I feel worthless when i shouldnt. And thats normal, in my situation. But it is an add on to add ons. Something i have to work at everyday. Watch my self esteem shatter, then build myself up again.

In the end I really have no one to depend on but me. Advocating for yourself is hard but worth it. And it seems like a never-ending feat to find good support.

Im here, in the trenches with you.

Jump to this post

Hi @januaryjane, I moved your message to the previous discussion you started about your family and caring for yourself. I did this so members can read more of your story and understand the background. You're so right to recognize that ultimately you have to focus on you and your health. You're one person you can depend on. Happy birthday too. When is your surgery?

REPLY
@januaryjane

Just had back a bumpy trip with parents, got a nasty virus and then had discussion with my dr about my continual problem and maybe needing surgery.

Im in no mood.

Actually, i feel so defeated when it comes to my father. He is extremely selfish, doesnt put any effort into our relationship, and just expects me to talk when he wants to talk, which is usually never, but hes had time off work lately.
It just brings back bad memories, and not feeling important enough. I dunno if i had the chance to have kids, id want to know them. But i guess i havent learned to stop wanting from a Narcissist. Hes my dad though, i guess ill always want that relationship. Just makes me mad, turn away.

Its worse that i live in the same house, believe me, id take another option if i could.

It still surprises me how small i feel here, like im still a kid. Im working hard on boundaries and reactions. I am a great person and responsible adult, but my role has remained the same in their eyes. Do Not Speak. I am not validated as they say but i drop things, a protest will be meaningless, and im tired and already hate my life.
Im learning to communicate enough to get point across, if need be, and walk away. In an abusive family like mine, took me too long to learn, ill never win.

So, the plan was to focus on me, my health, my sanity, my life. Some days are so much harder.
I think my birthday is triggering it, the possible surgery. I want my dad to care, to show something.
No support. Only worried about him.
I feel worthless when i shouldnt. And thats normal, in my situation. But it is an add on to add ons. Something i have to work at everyday. Watch my self esteem shatter, then build myself up again.

In the end I really have no one to depend on but me. Advocating for yourself is hard but worth it. And it seems like a never-ending feat to find good support.

Im here, in the trenches with you.

Jump to this post

First off nobody deserves to be hurt especially by family parents that can't be there it's like they never grow up with love from your grandparents that maybe, the case with your father. Nobody can put or make you feel sad without your saying so . It's very hard having to live with people especially family when there's no communication between son and father daughter and father or mothers , yet you can learn to sit down and say how you feel maybe do reverse roles might help get some history about your father's family how he was as a boy than sit down you put your points across in his shoes as it were and he looks at what your life has fell like from feeling as if you don't have a voice in your precious home where you need to feel safe, that is First place you grow up with love and kindness, but we know all too much it's not the case , your suffering from illness is tell tell sign you need to be listened to, you need someone who maybe understands your life that could be a sounding board , i know it's not everyone s place to go but I've found praying and meditation on reading the bible helps to keep calm if only for you especially as you sound like you are a kind loving person love doesn't keep account of past hurts letting go will help you too . Hope this makes senses . Wish you well , I kinda understand , iam a grandmother like you say if you have children you would do different , you would be there for them because you know how much they would need you and your precious love. (had to show love to my family to receive it yet haing said that it all takes time for them that never grow up with love to learn how to express it ) You get back twice as much as you give out . Kind regards swift hug from England

REPLY

Hi, @januaryjane – I also wanted to invite a few other members into this conversation who may have some input about a) the temptation to overuse an anxiety medication, as you mentioned your dad did on the family trip that went badly, and b) how to deal with someone when they overuse an anxiety med. @jimhd @johnhans @azkidney57 @artscaping @Erinmfs @taylor1998 may have some insights on these issues.

How has your dad been doing since December with his anxiety meds, januaryjane?

REPLY

@januaryjane

I grew up with a father who didn't know how to communicate with his 6 kids. It was the rule in our home that kids are quiet, especially when it came to disagreement. We could never disagree with our parents. No discussion. And no validation from Dad. I was 30ish when he said for the first time that he was proud of me. Even though it was long overdue, it wasn't too late for me to hear it.

I think that a lot of those ways of thinking were typical of the generation, as well as the previous generation. Boys were raised to be tough, strong and never to cry. Emotions were to be kept inside.

When I had my children, I made a conscious decision to raise our son and daughter differently, and we have always had really close relationships. I'm far from perfect, but most of us are. Have you been able to develop a better relationship with your father? It's worth the effort.

Jim

REPLY
@jimhd

@januaryjane

I grew up with a father who didn't know how to communicate with his 6 kids. It was the rule in our home that kids are quiet, especially when it came to disagreement. We could never disagree with our parents. No discussion. And no validation from Dad. I was 30ish when he said for the first time that he was proud of me. Even though it was long overdue, it wasn't too late for me to hear it.

I think that a lot of those ways of thinking were typical of the generation, as well as the previous generation. Boys were raised to be tough, strong and never to cry. Emotions were to be kept inside.

When I had my children, I made a conscious decision to raise our son and daughter differently, and we have always had really close relationships. I'm far from perfect, but most of us are. Have you been able to develop a better relationship with your father? It's worth the effort.

Jim

Jump to this post

Im learning to accept that it is what it is. Hes handicap, he has limitations- that will never change because he chooses to stay that way. I get that era "type" you speak of, but only accept it to an extent. Its sad, but i tried. Now i have to try and move on while living with him, try to balance my mixed emotions, and figure out how our transactions should go. I honestly have too much bs in my life, no one should have to do this.

REPLY
@januaryjane

Im learning to accept that it is what it is. Hes handicap, he has limitations- that will never change because he chooses to stay that way. I get that era "type" you speak of, but only accept it to an extent. Its sad, but i tried. Now i have to try and move on while living with him, try to balance my mixed emotions, and figure out how our transactions should go. I honestly have too much bs in my life, no one should have to do this.

Jump to this post

@januaryjane

I get it. I don't like putting people in a box, though each generation does have some general character traits, and there are the cultural habits, etc. Some of the attitudes of my parents' generation were great, but others not so much. Having said that, we learned some things from them, particularly some child rearing issues.

I grew up with 5 siblings, in smallish homes, so no privacy. I think that I survived childhood better than my brothers and sisters, probably because of my natural submissive personality. I didn't do all of the forbidden behaviors that I saw the others doing, so I didn't get into trouble. I did get my share of spankings, though.

As an adult, I didn't live very close to my parents, so as the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. I always loved my Mom and Dad and I knew that they loved me, though Dad had a tough time expressing it. My father was a minister, and at his last church he asked me to be his assistant pastor. Sometimes I kinda wish I accepted the offer, but I know that it would have been a real challenge. For one thing, they weren't very good at being in-laws. I believe that I'd have felt like his child, and I really didn't want that. They weren't perfect, but I loved and respected them.

I hope you can carve out your personal space in your father's house. Have you talked with a counselor about the difficulties you're facing? Therapy has kept me alive, and being able to text with a couple of friends about the sensitive things I live with has been a real help.

Jim

REPLY

Yes, im in therapy. It does help. With me, i think its just a little deeper with the issues of abuse and neglect in my growing up. I confronted my parents and brother almost 2 years ago, didnt go well. I have since disconnected from my brother. The healthiest thing to do. But that came with a lot of garbage and guilt. Im not saying i dont love or respect my parents, im just trying my best to make it easier livin here, so i tried communicating, which they are very poor at. It is frustrating, but still learning. I have enough on my hands with my health, i try to focus on that.

REPLY
@januaryjane

Yes, im in therapy. It does help. With me, i think its just a little deeper with the issues of abuse and neglect in my growing up. I confronted my parents and brother almost 2 years ago, didnt go well. I have since disconnected from my brother. The healthiest thing to do. But that came with a lot of garbage and guilt. Im not saying i dont love or respect my parents, im just trying my best to make it easier livin here, so i tried communicating, which they are very poor at. It is frustrating, but still learning. I have enough on my hands with my health, i try to focus on that.

Jump to this post

@januaryjane I'm most grateful that I didn't grow up with abuse. I know that it's a disturbingly high percentage of the population who did, and are still. My traumatic abuse started as an adult.

I've been working for 15 years on guilt and shame that I carried around, like rocks in my backpack. I think I'm past it, then it pops back up. My first step in the process was to identify deserved and undeserved guilt and shame. Even though the guilt was dumped on me by someone else, it hasn't been easy to move forward away from it. It's a theme that keeps coming up in therapy.

It's no fun being the bad guy who tries to speak up in order to mend relationships, but sometimes that's what we need to do for our own mental health. It sounds like it's time for you to tend to your own needs, and that's what you're doing. I wish you wellness and safety.

Jim

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.