Friday, March 23, 2012


In recovery, it's often said that FEAR stands for "False Expectations Appearing Real".  I have to remind myself of this often.

I expect the worst to happen everyday. It's a survival mechanism for me that keeps me focused on what needs to be done in order to protect others from themselves. My father volunteers to give his money to every internet scam "opportunity" out there, on an almost daily basis. If I didn't expect the worst to come of his actions, things could get much, much uglier. 

However, living in FEAR isn't healthy. The reality is that the worst doesn't happen everyday. I have been dealing with Dad's decaying judgement for a while now-and the worst hasn't happened. It's frustrating and is scary-but the expectation of impending disaster is different from the current reality. 

The reality is that Dad has been taken advantage of by scammers-and has lost thousands of dollars already. The reality is that there are not enough safeguards in place in our society to protect our more vulnerable citizens: seniors and those with mental handicaps. The reality is that I can only do so much on my own to protect him. 

I don't have a lot of support from my family, unfortunately. It seems that the sadness of what is happening to Dad is too much for my brothers to handle. My husband makes effort to do things like watch him at work, screen his email etc- but having the real conversations with Dad falls on me and me alone. This in itself is problematic, as it makes it easy for Dad to write off my concerns as "female hysterics" or to decide that my motivations lie in a desire to control him.  Neither of these are true. 

It's an exercise in living in the moment really. I can't control Dad's actions. I can choose not to spend each day with a knot in my stomach, wondering what trouble he has gotten into now. Ultimately, I can also choose when the time to act to restrict his activities has come. My goal is that this decision, which is quickly approaching, will be driven by love and not FEAR.

No comments:

Post a Comment