Hi - like many I am posting this in part because I feel I have nobody else to talk to.
Background: I'm the eldest son, brother (Jay) is 2 years younger, father is 85 and in hospital having an operation on his stomach, he is frail and has lost weight but apart from the stomach, is in good enough health in body and mind. We lost our mum 22 years ago which destroyed us as a family, my father and brother seemed to cope better than I did at the time, as we had had an extremely loving and pleasant childhood and upbringing, and I loved all my family dearly.
I'm extremely happily married with 3 lovely kids, own home, good jobs, life for our unit is great. Brother is single, unemployed for a year, depressed, and has lived with my dad for last ten years, and in effect has become my fathers official carer.My father had remarried after my mothers death (about 5 years later) to a lady his own age, more for companionship really, and sold the family home and moved 5 hours away - she died a few years later from Cancer. He then lived alone for a couple of years, then my brother went to live with him.
ok, here is my situation: I am finding that on top of all the other natural upsets and worries that we are all sharing about my dad, that I am also getting increasingly angry with him about his situation and how he has treated my brother and I. He has kind on manipulated my brother into his current carer / dependant status, and at times tried to play my brother and I against each other, and has a history of doing this since my mum died. I was always closer to my mum, and my brother to my dad, but I'm finding that I'm being blamed for a whole bunch of stuff and its destroying my love for my dad.
its all stuff like "of course if you were here you would see this', 'Jay does such a wonderful job of looking after me', complete uninterest in the kids when they visit to the extent he pretends to fall asleep - am just gnashing my teeth all the time. The truth is my dad and Jay are now barely capable of looking after one another, financial head in sand moments, house is filthy, 6 month old bottles of milk in the fridge, piles of ashtrays and dirt etc and Jay is now a barely functioning member of society as he is on benefits, depression, councilling etc. Whenever I try to help my dad in any way its met with indifference, and am just not feeling any love from him at all, and this has been a declining trend since my mum died. My capacity to still be the dutiful son is getting eroded by his actions and (on things like cleaning or personal hygiene, inactions) and I'm now feeling strong anger, guilt, on top of the normal upset of potentially imminently losing your dad. I am just so enormously sad and feel I'm failing as a son, a brother, a husband and a dad.
I've come up to stay for a week, Jay brings up the question of my dads will - and I find out now Jay gets basically everything, 'because he needs it more'. I just feel ostracised and hurt, Jay is embarrassed and says if my dad goes he will just split everything 50:50 but that's not the point, I just feel marginalised and barely tolerated, and penalised for getting on with my own life. In truth, I'm not interested in anything from my dad because he doesn't really have much and my life is quite comfortable as it is, but its just yet another slight aimed against me. For some reason, perhaps jealously, my dad ALWAYS tries to turn things about money, and resents that I got a good job early on and bought my own flat when I was 24 without any help from him at all, and tried to lay on the guilt by saying things like "oh if i had known i could have given you £10k and you could have bought a house instead of a small flat" (he was in fact told i was buying a place but chose to forget this..)
i am just fed up with his manipulative ways and wish i could just walk off into the sunset and leave them to it - but i can't switch my heart off and it would destroy my brother if i cut them out of life. I only fed up with Jay because he's kind of allowed himself vegetate and is now picking up the same sort of head in the sand / can't be bothered habits from my dad such as not opening credit card statements just because you don't fancy facing reality or bad news. They are not actually financially in a bad place, no real debts or mortgage or expensive habits - but my dad is also doing strange things like buying a brand new PC just because a heat sink came off the cpu, or spending thousands on solar panel system when he has the gas central heating going 24/7. Yes, its their money to do with as they like, but now my brother has zero income he's become totally dependant on my dads pension, and I'd much rather money be spent on travel or fun things or quality of life help rather than unnecessary tech stuff that won't even get used. (Salesmen of PC's and Solar panels must absolutely love old single people judging by the ease they sold to my dad). he didn't even use his credit card for the insurance ! am seriously worried something like 'oh we got the drive tarmacked at £10k because it needed doing' type rip off scam will occur, especially as my brother doesn't have a huge amount of nous.
I'm sorry if this all seems like a rant, for in truth that is exactly what it is - I've only just given a few examples here and don't feel I've conveyed my emotions properly here - but i am just so very upset right now, at the thoughts of losing him, at the thoughts of NOT losing him & his continued negative attitude, worries about my brothers downward emotional spiral, guilt at me getting upset.... i feel close to just giving up on it all and just giving them both a hug and driving off back to my own life (for good). I forgot to mention one final point - my father had married young before he met my mother, and had two kids much older than me - he has had no contact with them since 1976 approx. when he separated from his first wife, and i guess part of my paranoia is that i can see that happening to me if it was left down to him. He just seems emotionally able to walk away forever from his kids and engineering situations so that he can be the martyr. It has also got to the stage where i resent my wife's parents who are completely lovely, caring, and hugely involved in my kids lives despite living in another Hemisphere. I am not normally a jealous person, but do find myself turning into somebody else, and it makes me very sad.
if anyone can shed light on how i must handle things better, or cope better, or explain to my dad what he does is hurtful (I've tried often), or what i must do to just be there for my brother both now & in the perhaps imminent future - I'd be very grateful.