Need advise in a bad situation


#1

I want to know what other Catholics in my situation would do. I am 44 years old, separated from my husband since 2001 (do not want to go back) and have 3 children ages 5, 6, and 21. I home school the little ones and my eldest daughter is taking college courses online.

In September 2001 we began taking almost full time care of my mother, who has Alzheimer’s. She is in the late stages now, and requires the same care an infant would. I actually cared for her from 1999, on a sporadic basis, as I was pregnant and then had an infant son. My dad would drop here off when he had to go to work or shopping, and although at that time she would become quite agitated, I pulled it off OK.

In 2002 we moved into my parent’s home so we could care for mom full time. It was too hard to come in the morning (at that time my oldest daughter was in a catholic all girls’ high school, 30 miles away. We would leave a little before 6:30 am, with my baby son and daughter and I would drive an hour there and back to my parents home, feed the babies, bathe and dress and feed my mother, entertain, feed lunch to babies and mom, time to pick up my oldest, an hour there and back again, relax a bit, start dinner, wait for dad, eat, do dishes, home at 9:30 or so, bed, up and do it again) and leave at night. Moving in made it easier on everybody. I had my home that my father bought for me in 1987. But we only used it for the little ones visitation with their father, once we moved into my parents. That was mine and my oldest daughter’s home for 13 years.

My father has been having an affair with his secretary since the late 70’s. I found this out in 1996 when he had open heart surgery. She told me. I see now that my father has been living a double life since then, and this probably had a lot to do with my mother going down hill so fast. Dad says hi to mom in the morning and tucks her in bed at night, but that is the extent of his involvement. I should also mention I have a 42 year old mentally retarded brother, who apparently now is my full responsibility too. Last summer I mentioned I would like to take the kids to the zoo, on a Sunday, and he (Dad) would need to look after mom for 3 or 4 hours. His response was “Like Hell!” Oh, by the way, he works 7 days a week, from 8 in the morning till 9 at night. (Yeah, Right)

I found out last week that my home was being auctioned off on the court house stairs Friday of last week. It’s gone. I am so angry. I can’t believe he would treat us this way after we have helped him as much as we have. He has money to go to expensive restaurants with you know who and take 4 and 5 day weekends out of town with her. I’m sick. There is even more to this, but I won’t go on…I want to know how a good catholic mother, daughter, sister, would handle this. I am so hurt and angry. My father is so hateful l towards us, and I just don’t get it.


#2

I have to say after reading that post you sound like a SAINT! Not quite sure how you manage all that… My prayers are with you.
how would a good Catholic mother handle this, prayer, prayer and prayer.
We are all called to be servants, you are a servant to your family. And i have to say the task you take on everyday is amazing and wonderful.
And we are all called to forgive. So if you can find it in your heart, let the hatred and hurt just go. people say it isn’t that simple, it is, its just the conscience choice to forgive. and even if a person doesn’t change (dad), which they won’t, because people who are wrapped up in thier sinful lives are usually blind to the fact they hurt others… you can’t control how other people are towards you, you can only control your reactions to them.
What your building right now is an example to your own children that is worth more than any school could teach. They’re watching their mom act unselfishly, putting others before her own needs. you couldn’t pay for them to go and learn that somewhere. And one day when you see them doing the same thing for others, know it’s because YOU taught them that. And your suffering becomes a gift.

i ramble. but i will pray for you.


#3

Sadly, your father has abandoned the family.
I think I would get a good attorney and sue him.
That sounds terrible doesn’t it?


#4

The first thing that you should do is call the Alzheimer’s Association. Go to a support group. Alot of people in my support group get help with all kinds of things because of their income level. They can also be the facillitator for a family meeting but from the description of your father that might not be a great idea.

You are doing the right thing.


#5

if you have not already done so, retain a lawyer to protect the rights of your mother and brother, and get his help in advice on how to handle assets to insure they get benefits they are entitled to. It is only a matter of time before dad bails and you are left holding the bag. Since they are still married he has authority to make financial and medical decisions.


#6

Oh my gosh. I am sorry. I concur with the advice about getting an attorney.

Your father has stopped being a dad and husband long ago as hurtful as this is. Now it is time to help mom and brother via legal avenues.

Your family will be in my prayers.


#7

Whatever happens with your father, you really have your plate full. I hope you can get some help. Do you have any relatives that can help?

Don’t let yourself get stretched so thin you break. You need to take care of yourself, too.

Prayers!!


#8

[quote=puzzleannie]if you have not already done so, retain a lawyer to protect the rights of your mother and brother, and get his help in advice on how to handle assets to insure they get benefits they are entitled to. It is only a matter of time before dad bails and you are left holding the bag. Since they are still married he has authority to make financial and medical decisions.
[/quote]

Handling assets would probably involve guardianship since getting Power of Attorney after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis would be thrown out of court. All interested parties would be notified by the court. An investigator would come to the home for an interview. They would probably be served papers then. They have the right to contest. Few spouses would give up control without a fight. The father does not sound reasonable or agreeable so this could be a long drawn out (expensive) process. I doubt that he would be happy about an asset search or the publication of incompetence. If you get a lawyer make sure that this is his specialty.

In some cases just the act of filing has changed the actions of family members. They did not have to go further.


#9

[quote=geojack] The father does not sound reasonable or agreeable so this could be a long drawn out (expensive) process. I doubt that he would be happy about an asset search or the publication of incompetence. If you get a lawyer make sure that this is his specialty.

In some cases just the act of filing has changed the actions of family members. They did not have to go further.
[/quote]

One problem is, my father is an attorney. A smart one who knows the in’s and out’s and how to get around the law. I have no money to hire one anyway, and trying to find one dad dosen’t know on a friendly basis would be hard, not impossible, but hard.

As to relatives, my Mom’s sister lives in another state. She calls and comes over maybe once a year, but that’s it. The ones on my fathers side, go to his office to see him…they never seem to make it over here. I have another married brother who has washed his hands of my mother. I haven’t seen him in three years and he only lives a couple of miles away. Nothing from him to mom on ANY holidays or anything. I think it’s despicable.


#10

Contact your congressman’s or senator’s office and ask for help. They should know who in the Federal government can help you and probably some local charities as well.

Contact your local Catholic Charities and ask for their help.


#11

Since your father is an attorney he has probably covered himself every way you can. You should still try to get some help for yourself. I still recommend the Alzheimer’s Association. Groups help. You will learn alot and meet some people that know where your coming from. You will find that there are more people in the same situation (and worse)than you realize. The chance to talk (and complain) does wonders. Good luck.


#12

[quote=puzzleannie]if you have not already done so, retain a lawyer to protect the rights of your mother and brother, and get his help in advice on how to handle assets to insure they get benefits they are entitled to. It is only a matter of time before dad bails and you are left holding the bag. Since they are still married he has authority to make financial and medical decisions.
[/quote]

I would go with this, along with asking for help from whomever can give it to you: Alzheimer’s Association, legal aid, the attorney general’s office, newspaper columnists who deal with these situations, your parish, your pastor, Catholic Charities, anybody who will listen and can help. Take dated photos and rent a video camera. Call whoever it is in your state that sees to elder abuse (on your dad’s part, not yours). Collect your evidence. If dad is not home, protect your mom and brother by nosing around and making copies of things that look important to your case.

Your dad does not know every attorney in the state, unless you live in a state of little land mass such as Rhode Island. All an attorney needs to take the case is to be licensed in your state. There has got to be one that is better than he is- and with his attitude, I am almost sure there is one who he’s ticked off that would be happy to take the case. And I am betting while your dad is smart, in his situation, he hasn’t covered ALL his bases.

When you have your ducks in a row, I would start singing the family’s current tune loud, long and in public if necessary. You are not betraying the family by “airing the wash”.

God love you for all you’re doing. You move to the very top of my prayer list.


#13

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