My Dads Paranoia?
November 25, 2009 1:19 PM Subscribe
What can I do about my Dad's paranoia?
posted by Neonshock to human relations (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Some background info first...I live (24) with my parents (mid to late 50’s) in the suburbs of London (UK). We have lived here for nearly fifteen years and almost since day one there has been some kind of anti-social behaviour in our estate. My parents are foster carers and throughout this fifteen years have had one or more (usually two or three) kids living with them (6-16) with varying different issues. There are a catalogue of things that have occurred; smashed windows, things been thrown at our house, verbal abuse, our door has been kicked down etc…These kids I think see our house as a target as my parents will always call the police (they have to as the children are/may be at risk), but cannot actually ‘do’ anything (physical - not that they would) but these kids know no one will come out chasing them down the street, threaten them or whatever (“You cant lay a finger on me Guv!” kinda thing,).
In the last year or so this has really calmed down and we hardly have any problems. There is a community policeman who visits about once a week and is a great support. My Dad has always been super neurotic and anxious in general but especially about these situations. Eg. If something gets thrown at our window and just makes a bang, me and my Mum will ignore it and they will usually go away. My dad will look through the curtains, see who it is, go outside and look through the cracks in the fence, come in and shout at us about it. Repeat this pattern, come in and start swearing and saying were under attack and we have to do something. Go and look again. Shout at us and wonder aloud what they are going to do next. Pace, sit down and shake, pace, shout…this will go on for hours, he will image the worst; “they’re gonna do it again and smash it…what if they push something through the letterbox….I want to go to the shops but cant…etc”.
Last night there was a big bang in the house (sounded to me like something falling over upstairs) my Dad jumped up and ran upstairs, couldn’t find anything, came downstairs and said “someone threw something” I said they didn’t and that it was defiantly from inside the house. He went on about it a bit in his usual way and I said clearly and firmly (I’m ashamed I have to take this tone with him, but he acts like a child, sorry.) “Look the noise came from inside, everyone heard it, and we think its probably next door (usually noisy) you need to drop this now, nothing happened, calm down.” I went upstairs.
I came down stairs late in the night to get a drink and my mum was up. She told me that after I had left dad had been going on and on, he had studied the window and decided there were cracks in it, shouted at my mum etc…. And now she didn’t want to go to bed as he would just continue harping on.
The next day he admitted that what he thought were cracks were smudges. This is a general pattern, he will work himself to near hysteria, go on for 12 hours then figure he was wrong or something and go quiet.
My question is…what can I do? It affects everyone and it always has but now I will be moving out soon and I’m worried about my Mum and my foster siblings handling him (I seem to be the only one he half way listens to,.He is very angry towards my mum sometimes when he is shouting), and my Mum cannot deal with it well (more likely to ignore him, shout back or clam up. I’m scared he will become so paranoid he will develop mental problems or worry himself into a heart-attack. Last year I bought him a self-help book about relaxing and letting things go for Christmas but my Dad is a stuffy old man from the North so…anything like that isn’t really an option. What can I do? How can I let him let go of things and be less paranoid? I’m at my wits end and it is very upsetting.
Thanks for reading guys.