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Advice need regarding parents and where do i go for help?


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My mother has finally admitted that she has been afraid of my father for over 40 years. He verbally and emotionally abused us kids and my mother all this time. I thought that things had finally changed for a while but it turns out that she was just hiding it better. She has also admitted that once many years ago he physically abused her but only that one time. He does not contribute to the finances, he is a hoarder and addicted to HSN, he won't let her pay off certain debts even though the money is there and in her name, he also has OCD and has indicated that life wouild be better for all of us if he would just disapear on many occasions. At various times it seemed as if that meant he would kill himself...other time simply that he might just go away. My father is also in very poor health but does little to make himself better. He won't go to the doctor until it's life threatening and he gets admitted to the hospital. He was a functioning alcoholic when I was a kid but is now addicted to pain pills which his doctors freely prescribe.


My problem...Now that i know all this, how do I help my mother? She is unwilling to take any major steps. She wants to take baby steps but doesn't see herself without my father. Guilt is a major issue here. My father is also a victim of some horendous abuse as a child and has no relationship with his 5 siblings. I'm sure she doesn't want to see him alone but we have assured her that we would make sure he was cared for. What about my children? Thinking of them any where near him right now makes my skin crawl. He has always been good to them but...I won't even call the house because I have nothing to say to him that doesn't involve what I really think of him! If my mother doesn't do something she will never be able to retire. He's spent it all and doens't contribute.


So I'm all a mess...How do I help my mother? How do I help myself? How do I navigate this extremely stressful situation?


This forum seems to get a lot of replies so I am crossing my fingers.

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I agree with the above. You can't "help" your mom. She has to make the decision herself to put one foot in front of the other. I agree with suggesting al-anon to her and it might be very good for you to go as well. There are also sometimes free counseling resources for spouses who have been abused. You can point her towards that, but you cannot make her do it. she is not just abused, but she enables him also in the shopping and drinking.

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She is unwilling to take any major steps. She wants to take baby steps but doesn't see herself without my father. .


Unfortunately, this is your answer. If she does not want to take major steps and has no intention of leaving him, there's not much you can do, sadly. The most you can do, as others mentioned, is to suggest programs, help, hotlines, support groups, etc. But it has to be her decision to go.

She is an adult and you can't make decisions for her. If she wants things to change, she must take action. By staying with him, she allows it to continue. Some people can't handle the thought of leaving someone or consequences that come with it, and so stay in horrible situations that they know will never improve.

My heart goes out to you. You can fight the good fight and keep trying, but you sadly can't choose for her.

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Thank you for the replies.

Today I am taking her to a lawyer that specializes in estate planning. She needs a will and to figure out what she can/should do with the house.

I also just emailed an intervention specialist with all the details. I feel like that might be a good way to go about changing this situation.

I am so confused and conflicted.

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