Guilt ridden and Ashamed

by Steve

I cared for my 85 year old dad until he died in December. I have a younger brother who wanted to put dad into a home, he did so when I was admitted to hospital due to a heart problem. I have virtually lived with dad since mom died 6 years ago. Dads world imploded,as did mine. We were best buddies, fishing,walking and shopping together. I noticed about 3 years ago dad was clumsy and losing his balance,his ability to care for himself was diminishing.

So as soon as I went into hospital my brother had him homed as an emergency respite case, dad hated it, took me a month to ready his home to make it a safe environment for his release. After just 30 days in the home he was unable to do anything even walk unaided.

As my health was affecting my work I gave up my job to care full time for dad and moved in with him. A care company supported me with morning visits to wash and dress dad,the help also gave us new faces to chat with,all went well for about 12 months.

Dad was eventually diagnosed with PSP and Vascular Dementia.his physical demands,through no fault of his own,increased. Unfortunately, as my health deteriorated I tried to arrange a weeks respite to which dad agreed but 3 months later I was still waiting.

My anger at growing difficulty in caring for dad and his now much greater needs erupted into verbal abuse.

I blamed him, belittled him and swore at him.

I always apologized tearfully, my dad would say "he probably deserved it and he would be lost without me" i told him no-one deserved to be treated like this and begged his forgiveness.

Eventually the situation worsened and I slapped his face on several occasions whilst verbally demeaning him. Although after each bout I wept and begged his forgiveness and we always hugged and went to bed as friends I believe he became scared to let me know if he had soiled himself or if he wanted anything.

I loved my dad so much I could not understand my actions i am so ashamed. My dad died in December peacefully with me holding his hand and stroking his brow. How could i have done such things to a helpless old man who all his life loved and cared for me.

I am disgusted,ashamed and guilt ridden especially when people praise me for looking after dad so well and keeping him out of care homes as he wished. Maybe he would have been better off in a home.

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