- 1 year ago
- Wedding: April 2021
Hi Bees, first time poster and newly engaged bee here! I’ll try to be concise here but bear with me. If there’s anyone out there who has experience with parental depression (fathers specifically would be nice, there’s so little literature out there on depressed men/dads) I would greatly appreciate your help.
Long story short, my father is deeply, clinically depressed and has refused treatment for almost two years. In that time my mother and I have arranged for two psychiatrists to make house calls on separate occasions and he has been prescribed three medications he refuses to take and lied about it on numerous occasions. He was forced into retirement from his career of 20 years because he literally does not leave the house (the basement specifically), has to be asked to bathe, cries day and night, and has lost about twenty pounds from his once muscular, fit frame over the course of this downward spiral. Although he talks about suicide regularly, we have been unable to place him on a 5150 psychiatric hold/TDO because he does not, by legal or medical definition, show a “substantial likelihood that he, in the near future, will “cause serious physical harm” to self or others, or will “suffer serious harm” due to lack of capacity to protect himself/herself or to provide for his/her basic human needs.” Believe me, we’ve tried. Prior to losing his job my father was a high level attorney and even in his sickness he can rationalize and lie his way out of treatment in the face of medical professionals so even though it’s clear to friends and family that he needs to be committed, he can snap himself into being just clearheaded enough to convince physicians otherwise. What do we do now? He treats us so terribly bees, emotionally manipulative, deeply selfish, irrationally vengeful, and verbally abusive day in and day out. He doesn’t listen to anything we say and plays the victim any time we bring up seeking treatment (which we do daily because frankly we’re all suffering emotionally from his decisions at this point). My mom and I have asked him numerous time to come with us to family therapy because we don’t want him to feel like he has to do this alone but each time he barks at us “You all can do whatever you want, I’m not going.” Now my mom is going on Prozac just to deal with him. We’re really doing our best in our own therapy to move forward but it’s HAAAARD bees.
Just prior to my dad’s depression setting in in full force, I met my wonderful fiancé (dated a little over two years, engaged in April 2019). I almost don’t know how to describe him, he’s the real deal. He’s shown up for my family in every way imaginable and really made a beautiful effort to carve out a place of his own with the people who love me most (no easy feat lol I have a the biggest extended family you’ve ever seen) and they absolutely adore him. He’s kind, respectful, loving, treats me like the an absolute gem, and has a great career as an immunologist and a patent under his belt at 29 (please don’t take this as a brag, just background info, his career will come into play shortly). At first, things between him and my dad were great. They really got along respected each other’s knowledge so much. They used to have these long talks about science and history, I even have a great photo of the two of them reading the Times side by side. But as my dad started to descend further into mental instability, he started treating my now fiancé like crap right along with the rest of us, in some ways worse. Six months ago my fiancé’s washing machine broke and my mom offered to let him use theirs when he came over for our weekly Sunday dinners during the three week period before his new one was delivered and installed. He declined twice because he didn’t want to impose, but after the third time she insisted (my mom’s a huge giver and she’s essentially adopted him, they have the sweetest relationship) and he agreed. My dad flipped, all of a sudden my fiancé was a user…because he washed three loads of clothes at their home at the insistence of my mom. That was in December and he still resents him for it to this day. Mind you, this “user” is the same man who cooks for my mom and aunts to reciprocate the warmth and hospitality they show him, tutors one of my little cousins in science, mows my parents’ lawn now that my dad has stopped leaving the house, washes the dishes after every family dinner, has paid for both of us to attend numerous out of state family functions, and just generally shows TF up in every way a parent would want their child’s partner to show up and more. When I spent Christmas with my fiancé’s family out of state last year, my father called me to berate me and cry about it daily, despite the fact that Christmas has never been much of thing for my family (Thanksgiving is more our jam) and decided not to give me a gift as an act of retaliation as if I’m 7 and actually care about Christmas gifts anymore. He pulled the same behavior for my birthday and was angry when my fiancé surprised me with a weekend away. Last week my fiancé accidentally wore a sock with a tiny hole in it when he was around my dad at Sunday dinner and he called me upstairs to tell me to tell my fiancé to never come to the house that way again. The day after we got engaged and announced it to the family (this fell on Easter Sunday) he gave us both the silent treatment in front of everyone despite my fiancé having asked and received both of my parents’ blessings to propose weeks earlier. It was so bad that I ended up begging my mom not to give the celebratory toast she had planned.
Now that we’ve moved into a beautiful new home together 18 miles from my parents’ house, my dad calls me at work to accuse me of “leaving the family” when I’m as close to my mom(we actually work for the same company so I get to see her and have lunch with her daily) and cousins as ever and says that my fiancé is “using me for my money.” Now bees, I have a great career in corporate design but trust me lol I’m not making nearly as much as a physician scientist with a patent. It would be wonderful if the world worked that way but sadly it does not. My fiance and I are very serious about our finances and building together and while he does cover most of the household bills, we are partners. I’ve been adamant about contributing because I want to for the sake of my own personhood, we’re both on the deed and I take pride in having a career that allows me to have a financial stake in our household. The notion that I’m being used in any way is just completely baseless, and it makes me really sad that at this point in my life my father has such a low opinion of me and where my future is headed. I don’t know what to do. My fiancé is such an incredible support system for my mom and I but I feel so badly that he has to be exposed to this. I feel so guilty that my mom has to deal with my dad’s refusal to help us help him day in and day out. We’re supposed to be planning this happy new phase of our lives but at times it hardly seems worth celebrating when my dad is causing so much pain over it as a result. I don’t know what to do. Any words of advice would be so welcome.