Does the closest person to the PD patient catch the majority of anger and sarcasm?

It is clear to everyone around that my Dad is extremely rude and downright mean to me, while being sweet as pie to everyone else. In a one minute time period, he will be sarcasticly growling at me and then turn around and put a huge smile on his face and cheery greeting for someone else who walks in the door. It doesn't matter what I say to him, the conversation goes south every time. Even small talk about my kids turns into an angry discussion about the money he is spending on care or that I'd rather sleep at night than stay up with him. Obviously there is a lot more history to tell, but the point is.... it's become increasingly difficult to talk to him or spend time with him at all because he's so angry and rude to me. His caregivers and our other family members have pointed it out to him but he doesn't see it.

18 Replies

  • Hi,

    I know it is hard for you to understand how your Dad's mind is working now, and believe me your Dad doesn't understand it either. I'm sure that he does not mean to hurt you but his own frustration along with his short circuiting brain, and the overwhelming sense that he will never, never be the independent man he once was probably pisses him off like you would not believe. Is it right for him to take his anger out on you, no, but I imagine he hates the idea that you, his daughter,and all his Family is watching him become less and less of himself.He loves you, and I love you for having the strength and the love to be there for your Father, to visit, to ask questions. Stay strong and just know deep inside that crabby and rude man is your real Father and he Loves you.


  • jupiterjane,

    Thank you so much. You helped me a lot. I'm sure everything you have said is true. I love him very much. It's just very hard to keep a smile on my face and be there for him on a daily basis when I'm being criticized, told off and snapped at every time he speaks to me. I'm going to try to keep your post in mind and remember what he must be going through. Thanks again. I do appreciate your help.

  • Have you heard "you always hurt the one you love"? I had someone explain it to me this way one day. They told me it's because they know you love them the most and regardless of what they say or do to you, you'll always be there for them. And, this is the important part....they love you the most. I've witnessed this with my mother-in-law and her daughter. Her daughter would do anything for her and loves her with all her heart. There are times that my heart goes out to her because of the way her mother treats her. Even though her actions don't always show it, I know my mother-in-law loves her daughter. Your Dad loves you too....hang in there!

  • Thank you CheriH. You're right. I know he loves me. It's just a tough situation. Thank you.

  • i agree with above. Only you can change this dynamic if you want to. It may be hard. I've had to say to my adult children, please don't speak to me that way. They do apologize (a day or so later) now.

  • To be clear, I'm the one with PD and not my kids :D

  • PatV,

    It's a vicious circle. No matter what I say or how I say it, my Dad snaps at me and sometimes I respond by snapping back. A lot of times, I stay very calm and try to keep going with the conversation without getting upset, but in the end we almost always end, we both end up upset and/or angry. Something simple can turn into something ugly. I have gotten to the point where I just let his caregiver do things with him because it appears as though that's what he prefers. He's very kind to her.

  • My husband is still in the "why me" phase of mourning his diagnosis. He is fighting to maintain his independence and when normal everyday tasks give him trouble, I am the one he lashes out at. I've learned to leave him alone (and in another room, preferrably) until he calls and asks for assistance. I willing assist and leave him to the next task. Some days he dresses quickly and other days he can take two hours or longer. Unfortunately PD doesn't affect only he patient- it also impacts us- the caregivers.

  • wifeofparky,

    That's true. It affects everyone. My Dad is also still in the "why me" phase. He wants to keep control of everything and stay independent, but he's just not able to do so any more. It's very sad and frustrating. I feel terrible for him, but wish he would stop fighting it and let me help him without all of the drama and fighting.

  • Sorry I know it can be hard but this was explained to me at one point. As a person begins to not be able to do the things they once did and can no longer be the "head" of the family they have little left. The one thing they have is their voice to give commands and unwanted guidance to others around them. All the angry in them has to come out somehow and it is on the one that they "know" cares for them the most and will always be there for them. Your Dad loves you and right now you are his fortress in his trouble times. Just get away when you can and revibe yourself and understand your bantor is the major thing keeping him going. God Bless you for being there for him.You are allowing him to be "him".

  • Sounds like you've hit on something here. Hard not to be the head of the family or anything. Glad you're all here. together we will can make it better.

  • I'm afraid that I am one of those that hurts the one they love. It's very much a frustration thing. I know when I have barked or snapped at my wife and regret it straight away. I am aware that my control relaxes when with my wife and that is when my "bad temper" is likely to flare. She just looks at me, smiles and leaves the room for a very short time, then returns as though nothing has happened. This gives me time to get my control back. My wife would rather I wasn't rude to other people.

    I know your dad loves you. Unfortunately it is difficult to keep that smile going 24 hours a day. I bet you don't see him cry but I bet he does. I do!

    Stay with it, he needs you now and this dependence will grow as time progresses. It isn't going to get any better. Those that put up with us should have a medal.

  • Yes. He does cry. He has in front of me. He is so depressed and angry inside. Sometimes, when he lets it out I don't know what to say. It doesn't seem as though anything I say would make him feel better.

  • Give him a hug. If he won't let you, hold his hand. If he keeps pulling away, be persistent. I can only tell you how my wife deals with me. I build a brick wall, she knocks it down. He is probably anry with himself not you.

    You are doing a first class job looking after a family and your Father and Sister. You have done the right thng getting help. I know it must be hard, but you, your husband and children must have a life and future. You have my admiration.

    You are getting enough good advice so I will leave you alone. All the very best.

  • I have read this thread and your previous one about living with your Dad. Wow, your life sounds really stressful and trying. i get the feeling you are pulled in so many directions that it must be hard to feel you are doing anything ok. If I get it right you are carer for your father and disabled sister, mother to 4 children, wife and income earner and I guess you also organise the running of the home.

    Others have imagined how it is for your Dad and now I wonder how it is for you? Do you have any time for yourself in all of this? Are you the one taking responsibility to hold it all together? I do hope you have support for yourself and want to say not to feel guilty if you let go of some of this responsibility. It is ok to care for yourself first so you have the energy to care for others. All the best through this difficult time.

  • Hikoi, Yes. All of that is correct. I am a mother of 4 and a wife. I care for my Dad and my disabled sister and I work. I wasn't able to work for almost a year because I was home with my Dad. Just recently we hired 24 hour care, 5 days per week. My Dad is home and the caregivers stay with us. What's one more person in the house?? This new arrangement just started last week. I'm already feeling some relief. I still feel like I need to be in the middle of everything and making sure he's ok, but at the same time, it has removed some of the weight off of my shoulders. My Dad makes me feel guilty. He is clearly angry with me because I have to work. My family has been struggling badly since I have been home and not helping financially. It's something he doesn't understand. I have come to the conclusion that I have to do what is best for my family so that we are not in a bad situation now or in the future. I will continue to help my Dad as much as I possibly can. I know that it will never seem to be enough for him, but what can I do? I don't have any other siblings to help. It's just me + seven people who depend on me to be there for them.

  • It's very difficult for all parties , we all all just human and have our moments .

    I made a pact with my husband who is the onewith parkinsons and told him that we never need to say sorry to each other .

    He had got so apologetic /grateful .It's not anyone fault that they have Parkinsons and the problems that it cause s

  • Tell your Dad he is the strongest person you know because you know he wouldn't have wanted any other member of the family to be given it, so your aware he took it instead. ! It will give him something to think about !

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