Father's Obsession with Finances

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Jude, Oct 10, 2004.

  1. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    #1 Jude, Oct 10, 2004
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2004
    Dear All,

    My father's rabid MANIC obsession with money is driving me utterly crazy.....!!!!

    My father has always been concerned about finances. Coming from a poor family, he has saved and hoarded money all his life to give himself and my mother a decent standard of living in their old age. I use the word 'hoarded' because he has been well known as being very tight with money over the years according to his friends. I now have POA over my parents' financial affairs and can totally understand my father's concerns about not being in control of this anymore. I do try and keep him in the picture as much as possible. However........

    Our usual 1 hour morning session of 'going through the books' has now extended to hours of the same every day. It has virtually become his sole topic of conversation. Every time I walk into the lounge, or am cooking lunch he is there accusing me of never talking to him, lying to him about it or avoiding the issue. [I am avoiding the issue actually, because I am sick and tired of having to talk about it for 3-4 hours every blasted day......]

    If I tell him that we have just spent an hour discussing it, then I am a liar and am stealing money from him. If people come to visit, then he attacks them with his latest information - which is hugely embarrassing for them and also NOT good that he is prepared to talk to all sorts of people about his finances, which should be private. If I don't give him any information at all, then he gets VERY angry.

    Friends are now not too willing to visit because they will be embarrassed and subjected to harrassment. Even the carers were getting fed up with the Inquisition before their hols.... Me, well I am hiding in various other parts of the house in an attempt to avoid speaking to him at all, which doesn't work because he berates my mother about it then and reduces her to tears. This means that we then have to start all over again......I am totally sick of this!


  2. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    West Sussex
    Oh Jude, how we sympathise, it's an almost word for word of what we endured! I tried giving Mum copies of bank statements, but they were shown and left for all and sundry (not a good idea!) I then tried giving her my ledger, the one you are supposed to keep when you have EPA, don't panic, I think I was just paranoid because it apparently stopped and had no meaning after she died. (Why do they do it then, mutter , mutter!!) after a while, she couldn't follow it, so I did her simplified weekly accounts, OK I know it's extra work etc, but if you bash out the first one on your PC, the next time they ask, just change the date and print! It drives you mad doesn't it. Mum said it was because she was worried about owing money, something she had never done in all her life. It was not enough to say she didn't owe anything, I had to prove it. I also showed her copies of all bills when they came in, then of course entered them with her payment etc in the ledger so if cross examined I could honestly say, I showed you the invioce and here it is entered as payed. I found after a while, she could no longer keep up with it all, she still asked, but just giving her the ledger satisfied her. (Oh, don't give him a pen though!!) Love, She. XX
  3. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Dear Jude

    Another day of trying to reason with the unreasonable? I don't really have much advice, as what works for one seldom works for another except to say could you possibly create another 'book' which you can leave with him to do whatever he wants with the figures ( is this what is meant by double entry bookkeeping!). Then take yourself out of his orbit. It's a constant learning curve - just as you find one solution, he'll move onto a new obsession.

    Is your Dad on anti-psychotic drugs yet? I know you don't like the idea (I didn't until things went too far), but there's also your poor mother he's frightening.

    Is his memory at a stage where you can use a diversionary tactic - I'll get if for you in a moment etc - and he'll forget for a short time (I'm working on the basis that he seems to forget that you did it an hour before and no amount of persuasion will convince him otherwise). I don't suppose this will help with the incessant queries and it's those that will drive you mad! Even knowing that 'its the illness, not your Dad' it must really hurt that he thinks you are trying to defraud him, but surely those people in the know don't take too much notice. I wouldn't worry too much about the carers. They are paid to do this and can walk away. You can't.

    One of the things I found with mum's dementia was that her conditioned reflexes were magnified. So whereas she had always been the Chancellor of the Exchequer, financially retirement was a difficult transition. Major purchases became a struggle because in her mind there was no means of replacing the carefully saved funds - and that was before the dementia set in wholesale.

    Am sorry I've not been any bloody help at all, really.

    Lots of love
  4. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    #4 Jude, Oct 10, 2004
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2004
    Dear Sheila and Chesca,

    It really does help to know that there's safety in numbers [no pun intended really!]. I mean that I'm not the only one who's had to put up with this ENDLESS 3xdaily Inquisition.

    I've been doing the computer printout/change date routine. This has only given him MORE bits of paper to wave under the noses of embarrassed others who really don't want to know....or other people who would love to know if I wasn't there to intervene, which is more worrying!

    What I can't work out, is that if he forgets everything else so readily, how come he can still hang on to this topic without let up? I guess that's why it's called an 'obsession'. Maybe Dad suffers from selective AD? I don't know...... All I know is that it's driving me to screaming point.

    Due to his mania over the years, I've evolved into the sort of peson who pays bills before they arrive.... That way, I figure if we were to run out of dosh, then I could sleep well at night and there would be nobody bashing the door down in the morning. We have no credit cards, no HP, no bills, no mortgage.... Well, we owe the milkman £12 but the account isn't due until the 15th.

    I think I might take up your suggestion and blind Dad with science. If I present him with facts and figures on the hour, every hour - then just MAYBE he will get tired of it and refuse to look at the stuff.....

    I've just sold a house in Darwin and have an 18 page contract that he can read for starters.... It's fairly weighty. Maybe I can beat him to death with it instead...?

    Somebody recently mentioned how they admired my tolerance and patience...... phooey!


  5. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Dear Ms Patience and Tolerance

    That's a thought! When he starts on about money stuff throw him the Darwin papers (I feel a movie title coming on THE DARWIN PAPERS: the tale of a descent into madness!) to look at saying that you need his help and he's always been very good at these kind of things and appeal to his intellect - by the end of page two he should have crashed out with boredom. Or be crashed out by you.

    As a solicitor once said to me, 'you can only poke somebody in the arm so much before something gives'! A useful defence should you resort to murder.

    And if funds actually run out: you have heard of Benefits in Kind? A last resort but useful if the milkman is tasty!

    I am thinking of you at screaming pitch - it's such a no winner.

    Lots of love
  6. susie

    susie Registered User

    Nov 30, 2003
    Dear Jude Chesca et al
    With all this talk of paranoia,I'm re minded of a post a while back about what phase the moon isin!!!!!! Things seem to be building up on all fronts.You,Norman and David has had one of those days when he seems to almost be deliberatley winding me up. If I can just bite the bullet(followed by a trip to the dentsit)he might make it through to the end of the day in one piece.
    I haven't regiustered theEPA yet but a she leaves all the finances to me and doesn't really understand about trust etc any more, I wonder if it is time. He even offered me his bankers card the other day and like a good wife(or a fool) I said no-what a shopping spree could have had.
    You stalwarts of TP seem to be having a rough time at the moment so Brucie, Norman and Jude-tomorrow is another day and we just have to have hope that it will be a better one or we wouldn't carry on caring.
    Well I'm off back into the fray with one eye on the moon but I can't remember where I left my glass one!
  7. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Chesca,

    Thanks for the legal information. I'll bear it in mind. Forearmed is forewarned - or do you think biceps are better stewed?

    The milkman probably isn't that tasty, but he's sweet, so no extra sugar needed. Should do for several weeks if freezer supplies get low. I've stocked up on all sorts of sauces and stuff in case. Plenty of garlic and chili should render him palatable.

    THE DARWIN PAPERS would be a far better movie or book title than I ATE THE MILKMAN AND HAD TO DRIVE TO THE SHOP.

    Happy chopping, er shopping....

  8. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Susie,

    Next Full Moon is on 28 October.

    We are obviously getting ready early.... Well, Norman certainly is apparently. He has got himself a very rare BROWN FROG. Not sure what he intends to do with it, because he's keeping this a big secret so far..... I keep meaning to ask him if he's just got some new wooden false teeth, but you just can't come out with questions like this unless you happen to be John Cleese or Princess Mitzy Gainor. [I've not lost the plot, just quoting Monty Python here.... Don't phone the cops just yet, PLEASE....!]

    I'm not actually planning to really eat the Milkman because he is also the Postmaster in the village and I'll never get any of my begging letters sent out if I do that.

    Just going out to catch a few voles for supper....

  9. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Not much relief for you folks, but Jan went straight past thinking I had stolen her money and majored on the fact that "I had stolen her life".

    That is much harder to bear but, if you think about it, that is what happened as she lost her faculties - I did indeed take over her life for her; had to.
  10. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Brucie,

    I think that is actually what my father means. Since I'm now POA, then I have control over his life [finances] and I have stolen his 'life' too. He saw his life in terms of having money, [or not] and constantly worried about it to manic proportions - and still is doing so. Now he just worries about having nothing to worry about, if that makes any sense.

    He took really drastic measures in the winter time. Having installed the cental heating system into our house as one of his 'projects', he then made sure that it couldn't be used, by shutting the whole thing down and making us live in one room to conserve gas and electricity each winter.

    When the electricity strikes were happening during the Harold Wilson era, my father was in his element dishing out and rationing candles. It was like WWII in our home - which is where he has been stuck for some time I feel. We had a steady diet of bread and dripping [yuk] for days since he wouldn't allow Mum to light the oven. Looking back, I don't think he's ever really got over been clonked on the head at Dunkirk and being one of the last off the beach.

    My having POA and using heating at an horrendous rate to keep us warm is probably giving him nightmares now. In fact, it is. He is refusing to have baths and is doing a wartime stand up strip wash in the mornings and keeping his shaving kit in his dilly bag in case anyone steals it.

    If we go to the supermarket, he gets into a tizzy if I spend any more than £8. Thank God for Tesco Online, which I can arrange to be delivered during the times that he and mother are out with the carers.

    Now I fully understand why my parents where so skeletal when I arrived from Bali when they were first diagnosed with AD five years ago. Yohurt on toast.......??? Hmmm

  11. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Dear Fellow Felons (robin hoods all)

    Somewhere on here, I told the tale about Mum and the £20,000 cheque (a pseudo cheque made out in her name sent as a promotional mail shot by Kays catalogue company, you know the kind of thing). She really believed it was to be cashed and even after Dad taking her to see his local kindly bank teller who gently tried to explain, there was no reprieve. It went on for weeks and weeks, relentlessly, in and out of the handbag went the cheque and no amount of persuasion would convince. In the end, practically in tears of frustration, I tore it up in front of her, all the while saying do you really believe I would throw away real money in such a fashion, etc., etc................. and she punched me a punch fit to floor Tyson!

  12. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Chesca,

    We've just received a real [big] cheque from the local authority in repayment of their overpaid Council Tax. Even this hasn't stopped the frenzy......

  13. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Dear Jude

    Thank you for culinary advice.
    I find I like my bicep fried with a little vole fricassee alongside a glass of domestos. Just hits the spot. But will bear in mind the addition of a little garlic and chilli.

  14. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Chesca,

    Lightly fry the vole. Don't overcook it as it becomes stringy otherwise. Mind out for the little bones and pointy teeth. If you include potatoes, then it's a bit like bubble and sqeak - you need to ensure that it is seriously dead beforehand.

    I've been out looking for brown frogs, so that we could have toad in the vole. No luck tonight so far..... Rats...! Sorry that is a different menu altogether.

    Jude xxx
  15. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    So many questions from you girls.
    An old lady down the road minds my frog when I am out,shen keeps it under her arm..
    Jude do you have a money programe on you PC?
    Could you do big print outs for Dad to play with?I find Microsoft Money useful.
    Would anyone like some fairy cakes? I could ask at the top of the garden for you.
    What do I do with the brown frog ?I talk to it every night and ask has he eaten plenty of slugs and snails,he useally says ate it ,ate it.
    Jude that van is outside again with the men in the white coats,do you think it is a milkmans covention?
  16. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Dear All

    For info: Norman's brown frog is trying to muscle in on my hamster, Treadmill; he's after Ted's Daisy the cow. Ref: Confession thread posted by Ted. A couple of fairy cakes may just sway the balance.

  17. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Norman,

    We've done it again here folks. How we got from my father's money woes down to exterminating British wildlife is anyone's guess. Still, it's cheered me up no end...!!!

    Unfortunately I don't have a PC money programme. The mere thought of a spreadsheet makes me quiver with fright. All those cells and things adding up in the wrong places...... eeek! Mind you, it might be worth it for a spot of creative accounting occasionally.

    Norm - lock the door immediately. It may only be milkmen, but you never know....

    Regards to the Frog.

  18. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Dear Jude

    Your well meant regards to the Frog are misplaced. That little pond splasher is a seducer and has possibly lured Daisy the cow into a highly questionable liaison. You might ask the milkman to keep his eye out for a Frog clinging to the back of our bovine innocent!

  19. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi Jude

    Microsoft Money is actually very good, and not a spreadsheet. I've used it for several years and find it invaluable.

    There's another product on the market called Quicken, though I have no knowledge of using that.
  20. TED

    TED Registered User

    Sep 14, 2004
    just been reading this as my dad is also obsessed with money (not just his either he's really keen on mine too for some reason)

    anyway, you asked how we got distracted again and I think it's something to do with you ladies wishing to fry Voles or something, sounds totally horrid and I have informed my local branch of the RSPCA to come and see you. Apparantly they are very busy with a Dairy Herd following a lead cow dancing down the M1 ... oh hang on that sounds like .... daisy come back you silly moooo !


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