Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to your Cross I cling;
Naked, come to you for dress;
Helpless, look to you for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.
Rock of Ages
(snapdragon / Julie Cook / 2016)
“We cannot stand the humiliation of acknowledging our bankruptcy
and allowing somebody else to pay for us.
The notion that this somebody else should be God himself is just too much to take.
We would rather perish than repent, rather lose ourselves than humble ourselves.”
My dad is an exasperating man.
If you’ve been a reader of my blog for a while,
you already know this.
I’ve gotten where I don’t write about it or him as much as it
is mostly overwhelming.
He holds two college degrees.
He is a retired civil engineer.
He sent two kids to college.
He lives in the same house he bought in 1961.
He has been retired for nearly 30 years…
and he has lived a comfortable life.
But at 88, he is now exasperating.
Very very exasperating…
For my dad lives in a constant state of denial…
He refuses to acknowledge the truth.
A hard truth that it is, but he will deny it all day long.
He will vehemently fight it—
me, you, whomever…tooth and nail,
as if demanding the truth to be something other than what it is,
willing the facts to be false.
Yet his willfulness will not, cannot, change the facts.
I can see, hear and be very well aware of this particular truth,
with him knowing that I am only too aware, but he will argue with me,
or anyone holding to that truth,
working himself into a tizzy of epic denial.
When his colitis rears its ugly head, as it has today,
it is the signal to all of us that he does indeed know the truth…
but he is fighting deep within himself, willfully lying to even himself.
And so his body reacts.
His body negatively reacts to his hostile denial of the truth.
For my dad lives in a state of constant fear, denial and conflict.
All three going hand in hand.
It frustrates me to absolutely no end.
The constant fighting and denial is not good.
It is not healthy.
And it is a lie to not only us and the reality of it all, but it is a lie to himself.
It is utterly counter productive to the care that both he and my
stepmother are being provided…
Yet he thinks that if he can deny it long enough,
fight it long enough, he thinks he can change it.
Making it work out in his twisted childish favor.
It leaves those who are tasked with his care utterly frustrated.
And it makes me nuts.
Yet there is nothing any of us can say or do to turn him around to the truth.
For in his mind, the truth is worse than the lie…
And that, to me, is the saddest thing…
He will have temper tantrums, shouting and pouting.
He will “sull up” as a small child…
Wearing a deep frown, refusing to talk.
Any sort of possible verbal or physical demonstration,
in order to change the truth to his yearned for lie…
This is not a case of just letting him be…
living happily with his half truths and lies of his aged demented unreality.
Leaving him alone to his skewed view of reality these final years…
It’s not that easy.
It’s much more serious and much more complex than that…
It is a battle really.
With serious repercussions.
One that I must continue fighting…until, as one insightful care provider noted, something
catastrophic will have to take place in order to finally shake some light on the reality…
And unfortunately it is believed that that will happen most likely sooner than later…
as my dad has painted himself into a corner, and I’m stuck in that corner with him.
My dad will fight God on this one.
Refusing to let go.
Up his meds they suggest.
But until he can stand before God, offering this mess of his up,
up to the one true God who in turn is the only real Truth,
this mess will stay a mess, taking all of us charged with his care, with it…
Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Praying as always Julie that God will sustain you through the challenges of caring for your father and stepmother.
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
I have a very close friend who is dealing with a similar situation with her own very elderly parents. Yes, there are days when she decides she needs a break and doesn’t call them. The best thing that I can do for you and for my friend (although I do visit her parents as they are only 30 minutes away!) is to pray for strength for you both. As you know prayers continue! Blessings Julie.
Thank you Lynda- and I am a firm believer in prayer! It’s just one of those things in this life that is none too easy– and my dad has never been one to realize that he could help to make things not as hard or difficult– but that is where he will be selfish– he’ll be very generous in other areas but when it comes to his tiny little world, he will not yield — like admitting that things are far worse and that there are things that can be done to help easy the situation.. But he will have none of it. It’s the same way he does the poor cat– he’ll shut her out on the glassed in porch, keeping her prisoner as it were and will go into hysterics when I open the door, allowing her to interact or go elsewhere — if he can keep her locked up, then nothing will change– much as he’s doing to a very miserable person who would be better off in a care facility verses putting herself, her safety in jeopardy as she works making our lives miserable — a no win that I’m just dealing with
When I read what you wrote about this being a “no win”, I cannot help thinking that you are winning in one very important sense – you are dealing with the situation as frustrating as it is. And you are dealing with it in love. Interestingly, I’m preparing for the Bible Study which meets at my home on Wednesday evenings and this evening we are studying John 13:31-35 where Jesus gives the disciples a new commandment: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” (John 13:34) You are living that commandment on a daily basis as you put one foot in front of the other and see to the needs of your father and Gloria. God has given you the grace that you need for this very difficult time. Blessings and more!
yes, well, let’s try telling all of that to dad–today the calls came—him, the caregiver, the care center—and somehow he decides that sense he can’t make things good for Gloria as she constantly says she’s a prisoner and is ready to leave—I must be the bad guy—see my eyeballs rolling in my head…looking for that Grace to be sure!!!
hugs from the nutter in Georgia 🙂
As I may have mentioned before, my husband and I took each of our mothers into our homes as they were going through transitions in their lives. One was schizophrenic and the other reliant on pain medication to the point of addiction. It was truly hell going through the process, but there were lucid moments too when we had good conversations and happy memories to make. We were able to get my mom off her drugs and able to live out her remaining years on her own in a small cottage community of over aged 65. She loved her freedom and enjoyed her final years of life. My husband’s mom required nursing home care. With her mental health the way it was, she simply needed more assistance than we could provide and needed to be motivated to interact with others. She spent 13 years in a nursing home loving every minute of it. At the time, all of this was very difficult, but as I look back, I really treasure the time I had with these women. I often wonder who will take care of me in my later life. Hang in there, my friend. God will not give you more than you can handle and I think He knows that you have huge shoulders!
They do go into denial and refuse to believe even what they have done or not done. I’m so sorry you are having to deal with all this as it keeps unearthing painful moments in the past. I wish I knew what to do to help.
Love and hugs, N 🙂 ❤