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

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.

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@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

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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.

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@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.

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@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

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@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.

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@januaryjane I read strength in your words. You have worked hard to be able to live, as much as you can, in a way that is healthy for you. I usually have to remind myself that I am the only one who can change me, and others have to decide to make their own changes. We can only tell/explain how their actions/words/non-actions have affected us; they choose to make their own change. If they will not/cannot, we have to release with love, knowing we took the steps we could. I have had to do this with my family, also, so I understand a bit of where you come from.
Like @jimhd has mentioned, guilt and shame seem to be put to bed, then pops up again. But we soldier on, and take care of our own mental and physical health first.
Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I know you have spoken for those who are not able to, and it has helped.
Ginger

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