30 Bananas a Day!

Last night, my Dad went crazy.

The purpose of this post is to discuss different approaches my family can take to address this problem. I'm wondering, how to help someone, who doesn’t want help, and believes everyone/thing else needs to change.

But first, here's a little about what happened, and my Dad:

The prompting incident: My sister, Mom and I came home from volunteering with the Animal Welfare foundation. I was the first to walk in the house and my Dad was acting strange... in order to stop the 3 dogs from barking (because they haven't been consistent with training) he was spraying them with a water bottle. But he didn’t say anything, he was just staring the dogs down (with a scary look on his face), spraying them over and over again (getting me wet in the process), then even cornered my dog who was no longer barking or jumping and who was hiding behind my legs (so cornering me in the process) and I just looked at him... with that kind of "what's wrong with you?" look. He yelled "what? These dogs wont shut the fuck up" and blah blah blah… and I said "you dont have to be rude though" while I was walking away, then he sprayed me in the face with the water. I said "ok dad, just have another beer (cause a new one was in his hand) and be all mad" and left the room. I'm the only one who doesn't tolerate his negative/disrespectful behavior, though I shouldn't have said anything. My mom and 15 yr old sister just ignore him, and walk on eggshells. Everyday, its always a matter of just not making Dad more mad than he already is, because we (or they) don't want him to become enraged. It always seems like he's on the verge of having a breakdown. He has many times in the past... but I haven't seen it get this bad... I've seem him with more rage than this (he even choked me 10 years ago when he snapped), but I’ve never heard him be so disturbing. I think he is really mentally ill. His grandma went into a mental institution for a break down and died in there, and I've even been in one.

So, my mom walked into the house and he started complaining about me and what just happened... He stormed downstairs to his room and blasted the game he was watching. I went on to talk to my mom about him and how he can‘t just keep acting like this, and not doing anything about his anger. I was very clear, telling her (while he was downstairs) that something has to be done, because it's affecting everyone in the house (and he has caused my mom a LOT of depression and stress). He brings alcohol into the house, when he knows my mom is trying to recover… he’s usually the reason she cant stay sober.

A little later, my mom went down to bring him his dinner (as she always does) and he REALLY flipped out because it wasn’t what he wanted. He threw the food, screaming about how he hates his family, he hates his life and he didn’t want it anymore. He starts throwing more things, breaking stuff, screaming... my mom comes upstairs and acts like nothing is wrong. We all just keep watching TV... But later, when I go into the kitchen, I can hear him down there repeating "I want to fucking kill her, I want to kill her" and I've never heard someone sound so psychotic. It's hard to explain the voice he was using, and the anger coming out of him. I told my mom what he was saying... she said "get away from the door, don’t listen, he's talking about me." But the noise kept going, we could hear it through out the house. He would be screaming, crying, growling, talking to himself, breaking things, kicking stuff...saying he wants to just die.. it was VERY disturbing... and my mom (who always ignores stuff) even decided it wasn’t okay. She went down and told him "your disturbing the family, this is unacceptable"... but he would just say "I hate my family... I'm going to kill my daughter, the more I think about it... I'm going to fucking kill her!" (in the voice of rage and tears like you couldn’t believe). She told him if he hates it so much, he can leave (I was so proud she stood up to him) and then he said he would kick us out cause it was his house.

Basically, after this we all went to the top floor and locked ourselves in my room with dogs. I always knew my Dad harbored hatred for me, but to say that?....

I think that the way the my mom has dealt him up til now, has promoted (allowed) his unhealthy patterns and actually made him worse of the years. He plays the victim role and always points his finger outward. “life isn’t fait, people screw me over, I work my ass off…“ He also constantly disrespects, insults, and controls her and she puts all of her energy into making sure he's happy (which he never is). He complains about work, health, family, politics, etc and is seriously addicted to the drama of Fox news (5 hours a day).

I've mostly tried to avoid him since living at home. I'm trying to improve my life and don't need to be around someone who is poisonous. But, after last night, I know something has to change.

Last week, my mom said she could get him back in with a therapist he saw years ago, but he refused. I think he really believes that he doesn’t need to change, but I need to be gone… and a bunch other stuff needs to change. When I’m here, it might send him over the edge, because he doesn’t like or isn’t used to someone reacting to him… its like a bratty child who never used to hearing “no” and they kick and scream. The person saying no isn’t bad or mean or the reason for the pain.

I feel like we need an intervention, and his addiction is negativity. :P He needs a serious wake up call, because his self awareness is extremely low. An hour of therapy a week isn’t going to fix this. Something more dramatic has to happen. We’re even looking into sending him to a depression clinic or something... but money is limited. Plus, I think he might be hypoglycemic, and he complains about not feeling well a lot, so I’d like to get him holistic help. The doctors even said he could easily have a heart attack... if he doesnt change soon, I think he will die.

The real problems is-
-getting him to see what’s really causing his depression and stress
-getting him to see he could be free of it

and then if he agreed, he will likely not put the work in... so I feel like he needs to in some where, with no distractions.

Thanks for reading, I really appreciate it. I like to solve problems, but don't know how to with this one.

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We are individuals with unique sovereignty. I think its wrong to expect to change another person or for them to try to change you. You can suggest help, but it has to be HIM that will accept it. You cannot force change on another. You can only change yourself, sorry.
No we can't change others, and I do plan on moving out when I can. However, that doesn't mean you have to just accept the dysfunction. If my parent's said it wasn't their place to help me, and put me in the hospital 2 years ago, I might have died. I understand where you're coming from, but you might not understand where i'm coming from.

I think deep down, we all want help... we just dont know how and we dont believe its possible. You can't make a person get clean, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take their situation seriously and help lead them to water (rehab, etc).
Hi Sabrina,

Now I don't know you or your family but I think it's really important to let you know that you're incredibly strong to be able to see the situation for what it really is. From what you have written here it is clear that you realize that he is ill and that it is not your fault in anyway.

I grew up in a really similar situation. My father was a "rager" and I spent most of my teen years busying myself with as much things (good and bad) as possible to keep me out of the house. The things he would say and do to me would rock my heart. It wasn't until last year that I realized he was terribly terribly ill and that it wasn't me in the least bit.

I don't know about your father or your relationship with him, but I can say that I know my father cares a whole bunch about me. He might have chased me out of the house screaming c--t, he might have laid too many hands on me, but that was when he was raging. He's literally not the same person when he slides into that state.

About a year ago I made an offhand remark to my doctor about it and she told me that his illness was effecting my health and well being, and that I needed to decide to be healthy or weak. I could either engage with him and his rages, or not. So the next time he called me screaming and yelling, leaving 42 voicemails on my phone telling me he wanted to kill me, I turned my phone off.

He could only rage for so long, right? Well I let him cool off for two weeks. Then I sent him an email telling him that if he ever treated me like that again, I would cut him off. I would pay for my own education, for my own bills, etc., and that I would no longer be communicating with him.

Needless to say, he flipped out. Again, I let him cool off. This time it took around a month or two. He's slowly starting to realize that he did something incredibly wrong.

Your right, it's incredibly difficult to even approach the situation because they claim that nothing is wrong. It's everyone else's fault. With my father, he literally wouldn't remember what he had done. I had scaring on my back for weeks but when he apologized to me, he said he had never and would never lay a hand on me. Frustrating much?

My situation was a lot easier compared to yours because I wasn't living in the same house. But my mother and brother were. There were times where my mom would make him go to work with her because she was scared he would kill himself while she was gone. My father didn't have to go into any treatment, but he was put on bipolar meds. I think it was the combination of his personal low (being suicidal) and me threatening to cut him off that made him start questioning things.

If I were you? I would act fast but I would protect myself. I think an intervention is perfect because it enables you to get more family involved, instead of it being just you, your mom, and your sister. Get grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, involved, if possible. He is not going to be happy when you approach him and I wouldn't want anyone getting hurt. It's not okay for you not to feel safe in your own house.

I think with the history of mental illness and with the severity of his threats, hospitalization is definitely a viable option. It will allow you to sleep soundly at night as well as keep him safe from himself. Have you researched your area for institutions? I know when I needed therapy a church sponsored me. Maybe that's an option?

If that's not financially possible at the moment, then I guess the second best thing would to be get him to agree to seeing a psychiatrist/therapist. If this suggestion angers him and riles him up, you could always call the cops and have him held for 72 hours for a psych evaluation.

I hope this helps, even if just a little bit. My heart goes out to you, I can't imagine living through that again.

xx peach
Peach, it sounds like you have survived a great deal. I really appreciate you sharing and I'm so glad that you were able to set up boundaries and respect yourself enough to not allow him to hurt you anymore. You a very strong. <3

Your situation sounds more intense... like your Dad would lost touch with reality. My Dad is very lost in his head, but I do feel relatively safe here. It's like you said, normal unless that rage happens... then he becomes scary. He has only hurt me a few times and it was in the past. I can see he really tries to suppress it, he really tries not to hurt others and act out, but sometimes, he can't hold it in anymore, and his pain is inflicted on others.

I REALLY appreciate your advice and encouragement of taking measures for change. I am so hopeful, and really believe in people. I know that he can find peace, that its possible for anyone to find it. I don't know how much will change, but we have to try.

I'm searching clinics/institutions right now and will talk to my mom about them tonight. I might sit down with her and make a list of reasons why we love him, and write a letter each, about why we want him to find help and why we care. Its hard for me to do that, its hard to tell someone nice things, when you feel like they have never accepted you, but i know its the right thing to do.
No problem. I don't mind sharing these things at all, I think it's important to let others know that it's not something to be ashamed of. I know I always was and I wouldn't want anyone else to feel that way.

I am so hopeful, and really believe in people. I know that he can find peace, that its possible for anyone to find it. I don't know how much will change, but we have to try.

I can't even explain to you what a beautiful attitude that is. Seriously. Very very very few people think that way. Your father is very lucky to have a daughter like you.

It sounds like he is very much lost in a deep depression and I think you're right, writing letters and listing off reasons why you care has the potential to strike a chord with him. When you're that low, sometimes a friendly hand is all that you need. Someone who believes in them regardless of whether or not they actually "deserve" it.

And you never know, this could be the beginning of a brand new relationship with your father once he gets the help he needs.

Good luck and keep us updated please :)

xx peach
Do you think he needs alcohol intervention if he picks it up and drops and different times? He's always said that my mom had the problem, not him... It seems more like he uses it to treat depression, but doesn't feel compulsive. I guess if it's a problem, its a problem right? He is much worse when he drinks, when i assume is partly hypoglycemia too.
Hey, I'm sorry you had such a hard time. I totally get that just because you're pain comes out in anger, doesn't mean you don't need compassion. People really just don't know how to approach this sort of thing... or even just depression thats turned inward (like mine) when you hate yourself, and hurt yourself. I bet many people don't even know how to react to this discussion on here. But I believe its important to talk about it. Mental stability/peace is just as important as eating 811 :)
Thanks for sharing, and I'm so glad you were able to get well! Thats an example for other's!

Getting off drugs is definitely a prompter. My mom had just recently tried to quit drinking again, and so my dad's been drinking less overall, but drank last night. I really think the beer spikes blood sugar and then makes you anxious when it crashes.

Anyway, thanks again for sharing it helps give me more insight into his situation. <3
My Dad just apologized to me. He said "I'm sorry about last night, I think I'm having a nervous breakdown." I said it was okay. He lingered for a minute. I said "mom and I were talking about you getting help, beyond therapy" and he said "yeah, i need something but i dont know what." And I told him he should be glad he's hit rock bottom, because it motivates you to change. I said "its the start of something better." He really took it to heart, it seemed... his face is so sad... I feel bad for him. He's a smart guy, whose hard working though, with some some help with a push start (from a retreat or clinic) he could do very well.

Any ideas on places I should check out, that focus on nutrition, meditation, etc?
Hey Sabrina, I just wanted to say that I am so sorry. You sound so brave. Maybe a good thing to do would be for you to go to therapy, to talk about how all of this has effected you. It sounds so painful. I am praying for you.
Thanks, I just went and talked to him further. I told him that I feel bad for him, cause I understand he is suffering... I talked a little bit about how I challenge my negative thoughts now, and have to work on it everyday. He listened and didn't even get mad. :) I even hugged him and told him I loved him (which was hard to do).

I gave him a spiral and said, "maybe you could take a first step, by writing down and challenging your negative thoughts each day." and thought a good way to start feeling better and motivated is to write down reasons you love yourself. I don't know if he will do it, but I am at least showing care, love and forgiveness in my effort and that helps people in itself.

my mom and I are looking into programs. Maybe even Tree of Life!

Thanks for the advice :)
What an interesting story, Sabrina. You know, I gave up "the sauce" 27 years ago. Incidentally, I guess your dad eats like a SADDER, too? Kudos to you to speak to your dad and being open. I know it is difficult on all of us with our families. I am ALWAYS working on people who are close to me (about diet). I think we owe it to them and to ourselves and to the world. It just needs to be done as wisely as possible. Yeah, good for you. Maybe you can help them with their diets too. That would give your father hope for a new life and possible incentive to quit booze. ... Thanks for the info...

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