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Compassionately and heartfelt, I read your post this morning and have given consideration to a number of responses throughout the day.

In so doing I reflected on my own experiences with my father and his life circumstances and situations with my mother and stepmother throughout my five decades.

To be honest about our family situation our problems escalated toward the end of our father's life as our stepmother's Alzheimer's grew worse. It was a no win situation.

We had almost no influence on our father other than as a minimal advising or supporting role. Everything and everyone was suspect in his life. He was not open for anything but what he wanted as his own way.

Each of us suffered with the emotional problems associated with his and her attitudes, since there was so much left over from the first marriages of both families. The women really took it hard.

The fact that both parental-marriage partners were having mental and physical difficulties only increased the family confusion for all concerned.

Professionally speaking, there is not much you can do other than follow the advice and counsel of the physicians and attorneys involved, and to gradually become well-informed about the possibilities involved in care, treatment, and the probabilities for recovery; and these are in all ways changing over time as medical applications advance in technique.

My own knowledge grew considerably after-the-fact of our father's death; it was somewhat of a liberation. I played no part in our stepmother's care and treatment. I can only share my own life experience as a gesture of good faith and observation.

In this sense I found that the "emotional crisis" was more of an involvement with "tying-up" all the affective "loose-ends" of the past in the present as a compression of the moment-momentum.

The whole situation was an intense state of family matters, as a family affair. The legal threats were all too easy to come by, as was the red flagging over who was responsible for this and that, as if anyone could really be held accountable for the decisions our father was forcing on everyone.

The doctors-attorneys were duly concerned about their patient-client-career management efforts. Anticipations and expectations abounded in the families of both parties!

All the unresolved emotional patterns of our family behavior came to a head in the last two years of our father and stepmother's life affairs. The following two years were an “out-rage-ous” chain of events as an after-shock of disillusionment.

Our stepmother's family viewed their mother's situation as a virtual death and loss, with considerable contributions made by our father's narcissism toward her nervous deterioration. I had a relative disrespect for her position since she had played the marital advantage in the first place.

The most difficult part of our whole family experience was realizing how convoluted and full of dis-trust our family life had been under the negative influences of our father's destructive narcissistic pattern.

Respectfully, I wish you the best of luck in these family affairs.

[This message has been edited by chiron (edited 04-19-2003).]

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