weekly photo challenge: admiration

I grew up hating my father for being overly strict. He easily gets mad over small things and when anyone of us answered back to explain our sides we would get spanking as punishment. Among the three siblings, i am the most vocal. Even if i knew i would get more spanking for reasoning out i still would reason out especially if i knew in my heart i am right. That’s how hard-headed i am. I hated him for treating us like that, i hated him for spanking me and in one of those times caused a broken tooth when my mouth was hit by the rod, i hated him for not letting me go on school fieldtrips with my classmates with a reason that is not clear and i don’t understand, i hated him for not letting me attend parties during my teenager days, i hated him for not letting me attend the high school graduation ball, i hated him for that time when he hit my mother and the list goes on. Over my growing up years i just consider him an image.. that i have a someone that i would call as my father. I never really understood his way of rearing us. He is not the “sweet” type because i cannot remember any instance when he hugged any of us. He is just like his father who was also a strict disciplinarian who resorted to spanking instead of understanding kids’ behavior. But inspite of it all, i love my father. He worked hard for the family and even did two jobs during harder times. I think his definition of love is by being strict and overprotective.

The only time that all of us became free was when we all have our own separate lives to live away from our parents’ home. This year he is turning 85. His dementia is getting worst and worst every single day. He often asks about the time, the date and the day multiple times everyday. He lives his day bullying and bullying more my mother and tormenting her with verbal abuse. He gets angry over very minor things and after quite sometime forgets what happened. It is always like that day in day out… so angry now seconds later he is smiling and in a good mood. We don’t know and not sure about what’s really going on inside his head.

Since my youngest sister is based abroad and my brother has gone to heaven, i am the only one who attends to their needs or do errands for them. I drive and go with them to the supermarket or when they need to go shopping at the mall, or to buy medicines. It is so difficult caring for him because he always gets angry. I told my mother that because of his unpredictable moods, those supposed to be joyous family moments always turn sour and sad and we all feel frustrated and dissappointed because we don’t know what to do anymore.

I have been telling my mother if only we could let him visit a doctor. Maybe there is a prescription that stops the degeneration of my father’s brain cells. I want him to stop bullying and verbal abusing my mother. I want my mother to live the remaining of her life free from stress. The problem is my father doesn’t want to go to the doctor. Forcing him will only end up with more fights between him and my mother. We are all so frustrated.

Looking at my father now, he is just a shell of his being. He used to be an intelligent and good looking and the best industrial arts teacher. He draws very well and so talented in calligraphy. I think i got those talents from him. Today, he is just empty. He is not the same strong man that i knew. He is old and weak. He is not aware now of what he is doing and saying. He forgets our names. He doesn’t know the days of the week. He even forgets that he had already eaten his meal and then asks again for food stressing that he still hasn’t eaten. The list goes on.

Most of the times my mother would just cry in one corner. She always calls me for comfort just to take off from her chest those frustrations and anger. I pity my old lady. I know how tiring it is to care for my father who has dementia. She doesn’t deserve to live a life in misery. At 83 years she should be living a good life and just be happy for the remainder of her life. We hired a helper to do the usual house chores for them but my father highly disapproved and the poor helper was thrown out of the house and was refused entry. So frustrating really! There came a time when we came to our turning point and that my sister and i had welcomed the idea to look for a good nursing home for my father just to free our mother from the daily bullying, verbal abuse and misery. But still my mother’s love for my father prevailed. Nursing home for him is not in her option.

Cliche as it may sound but i really have a strong ADMIRATION for my mother. Inspite of all the verbal abuses, threats, bullying, physical pain, emotional pain and frustrations that she gets from the old man she still cares and dedicates herself for him. I often told my mother that i don’t think i could do even an ounce of all the sacrifices she is doing now. Physically she maybe weak but behind the frailness of her body, my mother is a very strong woman.

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photo of my mother at 22yrs young

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21 thoughts on “weekly photo challenge: admiration

  1. Mother Hen says:

    My mother passed away in 2010 from Alzheimer’s. It was my older sibling that cared for her throughout the eight years or so.Our brother helped out during the weekends.it is physically demanding and important for you and your mother to be able to rest and some relief as you are able.As a child I missed out in having a father to love and nurture me.I am thankful for the love of God. Take care and I will keep you in prayer..

    • elizz says:

      thank you, that is so thoughtful of you.. caring for my father is very physically demanding.. one time we were invited by my sister in law who is celebrating her birthday.. after we finished eating in a restaurant we walked to a nearby park.. we all sensed that my father’s mood changed and he became so angry.. my mother tried to pacify him only to be threatened and bullied and verbally abused again.. i am overhearing his verbal attack on my mother and because of my desire for him to stop i approached them and told my father (in a very sweet voice) that we are going home.. you know what he did, he shouted “go away, i will kick you (with his left leg up in the air).. go away…go!!!”… i said “you will really kick me?” and he said “yes, i will really kick you!!! .. i was so hurt, i turned my back and walked away from them.. but i could feel my tears rolling down my cheeks.. so frustrating.. i couldn’t even fight back because i know he is not in his right senses anymore.. and i was afraid that i might be making him more angry and that he will continue to bully my mother.. so difficult to deal with him.. so frustrating..

      • Mother Hen says:

        I am just now reading this as I have not had internet connection except for on my phone for a few months.. I am back online of of today. Hurray! I am sorry to hear about how difficult it has become for your father and family members. I have a former co-worker that is going through challenges with her mom at this time. She is an only child and the only to care for her. She is wearing down.. Please get all the support you can, even if it is support group to share your thoughts. There is help and do not hesitate to ask for help… Make sure you make room to do the things that bring you peace and joy… Take good care and look forward to hearing from you again…

      • elizz says:

        thank you.. i will surely keep this in mind.. as humans situations like this is very frustrating indeed but no worries, i will not hesitate to ask for help if needed..

  2. Brenda Davis Harsham says:

    Your mother has such spirit and beauty in her eyes. I’m sure this isn’t how your dad would choose to end his days. How sad for him that he never let himself enjoy the tender side of life with you. Who knows how he was raised, but probably the same as he raised you. Your parents are lucky to have you, which I’m sure they know. Blessings as you bear the struggles and try to hang on to the beauty.

  3. elizz says:

    my father’s dementia is getting worst.. the frustrating part is that whenever he had a bad mood or became angry, after quite a while he had completely forgotten what he did or said and we will notice that he is in a good mood again and smiling.. i don’t think he knows how much my mother is suffering because he is not aware of his actions anymore.. maybe he also has Alzheimer’s.. if only he knows how much we want him to be happy.. according to my mother, my father’s father was also a strict disciplinarian.. thank you for your comment, i really appreciate it.

  4. Leya says:

    This is so hard for you and your mother to bear. You have tried to make things easier for them, but to no avail. At least you know you have tried. My mother, at 81, is now losing her memory and becoming more angry and impatient with my poor father. I can see what is happening. I do not think there is a medicine to cure this, at least my friend, who is a professor in this area, tells me so. Your mother is very beautiful in this photo – I am so sorry she could not have her last years in harmony.

    • elizz says:

      thank you for your comment.. i know there are some people who really could relate to the situation i am in right now.. talking to my father is really useless as he seems disconnected, sometimes laugh without any reason at all or even what we are saying is not funny.. so difficult and frustrating.. what is important is for me to give the best assistance to my parents as much as i could especially for my mother because she’s the one directly affected by my father’s illness.. by the way, visited your blog and it’s lovely.. thanks again..

      • Leya says:

        Thank you, Elizz (?), for your kind words about my blog. our thoughts often go to our parents, but sometimes the strain is too much. We must not think about it every second, because then we might get ill from too much concern. Take care of yourself too!

  5. Beauty Along the Road says:

    Alzheimer’s is such a curse, to all involved. I can understand your wishes for your mother to have a few peaceful years left, without any abuse from her husband. Seems like your dad and my dad were brothers or cousins, or something….They grew up in such a difficult time and whatever abuse and trauma they experienced was never really healed – so they passed it on to the next generation.

    • elizz says:

      so true, my father endured a lot of spanking too from his strict and disciplinarian father as what my mother told me because they were neighbors during childhood.. my mother’s choice is to care for my father and we respect that.. we all know that the person that he is right now is different but we couldn’t help but feel frustrated because oftentimes it is so difficult dealing with him.. he cannot hear well, has no reasoning, speaking words we couldn’t understand, gets mad over small things and sometimes without any reason at all, list goes on.. really frustrating.. thank you for dropping by, i really appreciate it.

  6. lexklein says:

    As I scrolled down, I found myself hoping and hoping that the person you admire would be your mother! I would say you deserve quite a bit of admiration yourself.

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