Help: Trying to understand dads MS & support

I really need some suggestions/help/advice/understanding.

My dad has been diagnosed with progressive MS stage 4. He has lived with this for 3 years now and I understand that he is getting worse. Up until a year ago I lived with him and my mum so I have seen and witnessed the effect it’s having on him. When I moved in with my boyfriend I was still seeing them once a week and they would come to mine. We had a great relationship. However since my brothers wedding arrangements have started they seem to have completely flipped on me. It started off when I drove them to Liverpool and my dad was behaving very irresponsibly and ended up in A&E. I felt that he had been disrespectful and had behaved in a way that had led him there by his own actions but my parents were sure it was his MS playing up, which I am not doubting added to it but he was being irresponsible which made things worse. As my boyfriend is a paramedic he agreed and explained to them this. That whole weekend was a disgrace and they really made me feel taken for granted for. Since then our relationship is awful! It’s so bad. I’ve tried very hard to mend it and have tried to help them again but every time it’s just not good enough. They say I don’t understand what they are going through, they hold it above me and my brothers and now my dad is not going to my brothers wedding as he feels he is too ill. Everything we try to do to support them and show them we are willing to help us met with defensive and argumentative conversations, like we are the enemy. I really don’t know what to do. Myself and my mum have just had another argument just now though I tried to remain calm and see her perspective and offer alternatives so that she can live the life she wants to and still support my dad. I can’t do anything right. Please has anyone else been through this and please can you help me to try and work out what to do. I am at breaking point with this as our relationship is so toxic, I’m afraid I a might have to seriously think about what to do moving forward as I can’t continue to be spoken to or treated like I am the bad guy.

Hi, so sorry to hear that family relationships have broken down.

Sometimes we as daughters and or sons can just be too close and no matter what you say or do you will be met with ‘a defensive front’. I speak from experience, different illness but the same upsetting battle ground at times.

You have to remember as much as you want to help, you are not responsible for either your father’s or mother’s actions.

Perhaps in the short term, you take a step back from giving advice around ms and what they will or won’t do. The next time your mother says ‘you don’t understand’ agree and leave it at that.

Drop in for coffee, ask if they need anything, if they say no, just say ok. If possible keep the conversation off health matters.

Your boyfriend needs to be seen as that and not as a paramedic. Where possible leave the medical advice to your father’s ms team, assuming he has one.

Regarding the wedding, don’t press. Include your parents where you can, ask if mother or your father want to contribute by video and again leave it. Your brother has to think, well does he want him there if only to make a scene… better to have a good day than a ruined one.

Apologies, if my suggestions come across as over simplifications but that’s how I have to approach things with my parents. It keeps me sane and from going under.

Not sure if I have helped or not but here if you need a listening ear :blush:

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Firstly welcome to the forum. I agree with Rogue, stepping back is sometimes the way to go. When you are so close - you can’t see the wood for the the trees. I too have had a similar experience with my parents only with a different illness.
The term, you don’t understand, always seamed to be the start for an argument despite your best interests. You sometimes need to step back and look after yourself. Your parents know that you are there.
Everyone is here to share, support and offer advice.
Take care.

Hi, I agree with all the advice so far!
My dad has relapsing and remitting MS and my mum is gp, I don’t get to see them that much and sometimes I can have difficulty understanding how his symptoms affect him, and they don’t always understand how I feel about it. A few years ago his personality really started to change, he became really disinhibited and would sometimes be really snappy and angry. I had to take some steps back to protect myself and my relationship with him. It’s taken some time, but he’s started to realise the impact his words can have sometimes. It’s not an easy journey and I think sometimes it’s really hard to see the disease change him. But as a family, we try to just be open and honest about our feelings and listen to each other. Maybe you need to share your feelings with your dad and how his behavior is making you feel there’s no guarantee he’ll hear you. But my dad has since realised he needs to listen to us more and we do just have his best intentions at heart. Just make sure you take the time to look after you and have people around you who can listen, always here if you need a chat!