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Anger management: Kate Swaffer
llee08032
Posted: Friday, September 18, 2015 6:29 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


As I've been committed to two blogs a day for Dementia Awareness Month 2015, I've been reviewing old writings to see if there was any value in revisiting go of the issues! Some time ago I set up a blog called One Big Rant... where a few friends and I were going to have regular […]

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The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Friday, September 18, 2015 7:26 AM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


I was really great to meet her on the webinar the other day.

alz+
Posted: Friday, September 18, 2015 5:54 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608


That was helpful. So was the little graphic. Thank you!

sometimes the feeling of anger helps me stop allowing things into my life that are harmful to me. I am rarely around people other than my keeper or passing a neighbor on a walk so my aggravation is of one source mainly. I wish I was always cheerful, content to sit around waiting, but in my heart I know it is best to push until some basic situations are finished. I could do that better if I did not get angry about it. Room for improvement!

Most of the time anger that hangs around for days feels like a brain malfunction. Also it feels like I am too weak (physically) to readjust my emotional state to be in synch with my thoughts - unless I am left totally alone for hours.

The dementia has shortened my patience, and anxiety is driven constantly by the sense of HURRY UP BEFORE THIS TOO IS GONE.

If a person does have a lot of fears, esp PTSD, or lack of trustworthy support, it is likely the anxiety will turn to anger because it is not resolved by letting it burn. I wish some one could describe this anxiety better than I can, but as one's brain functions become unreliable it is common for people to get off kilter emotionally. A spiritual or meditative practice is a huge boon, animals help, the presence of someone calm and happy...

Who remembers all the self soothing stuff? Not me. Once in awhile I think, hot baths in lavender with a book used to be good. Or sit nude under sun and bake myself into a sleep. Or to get caught up in something, wild turkeys crossing the yard, a really good Masterpiece Mystery, ...

I used to clean to calm down, that's gone. Take a drive, that's gone. Go for a swim, pool not open until November.

I think the doctor could help by telling us when diagnosed that sometimes we might "need some help with anxiety" and if we experience too much heightened alertness or feel too overwhelmed they have some medicines to try for that if the need appears. Not unacceptable behavior issues, but that the course of losing one's ability to think and reason naturally may create tension and it is treatable.

Maybe I should have been a drinker.

Now I am being told possible 50% of my "anxiety" is lack of oxygen from heart failing to pump properly.

Above all my best practices is to have the intention to make life good, it is possible, we deserve it, and envision it. When I am in frame of mind to care for myself I calm down. When I feel I am being treated as a thing, or a bother, the fear takes over.

I love you all.


The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Saturday, September 19, 2015 7:32 AM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


I agree, I wish someone would write on the loss of ability to deal with stress, anxiety, and anger...because it is a real shocker isn't it?! Especially if you had good skills in it before.

Before the last brain bad, and my whole life before, I was the pillar of calm, cool, and collected...people sought me and my house for my and its calming influence on them. But daughter and fussy baby send me through the roof, however. So far I have maintained the ability to keep my mouth shut...but I can see that going day by day and threatening to explode out at her.

Or things on here, like personal attacks at me for my bad writing abilities, can wear down my normally thick skin and when it does it takes over a week to get rid of that. Used to only have to take a walk...not enough anymore. Times like then, I walk about raw, like I have been skinned and everything gets to me...and yes, brain gets worse too...what is up with that?! It is like very real damage is caused from stupid internet stuff. I expect my brain to have the skills it used to to deal with it...they expect me to have the communication skills I used to have...I have neither.

The stress, and hurt, and rawness I get comes out as less ability to cope with how much work it takes to do just about anything...so as I try to do tasks...and then the baby fusses...I feel inside like the scream painting when all that is going on.

In so many ways I wish I could exit the world now, but then there is my mom...and the duty I feel to stay for her, and all the crap around me that I have to put up with to stay for her.

I was supposed to lose the ability to find my house...not the path to find the calm inside me. No one tells you that you have to re-learn how to find it. Or that it will be a week long cutting of a new path through a dense jungle.

My daughter wants to be the best caregiver too...but it is unlikely to happen...she as to learn to be there for herself and her baby...and she says things and does things that just send me through the roof...add to that no ability of skill left to deal with it...and it just equals an untenable situation. That adds to the helplessness and fear I have for my future.

Maybe Kate isn't there yet? I am sure she will write about it when she gets there.

I found that forcing myself to lay down at night, no matter how much pain I am in, helps...my body at least gets to rest.

Forcing myself to only focus on the positive for a while. After the last insult of mentioning the good things people say about me, I have taken to saving the good comments (that I wrote about in Words Like Life Jackets) and reading them when people are yuk. That helps me remember (because I have to keep re-remembering it) that it is just one or two people and not everyone...because it feels like everyone and I forget every time. I cherish the people who reached out...and the connection we shared for those brief moments. Their words keep me from sinking as far as I would without them.

Time away.

I used to be able to clean too, to restore a sense of wholeness...but in states of stress, it is mind bogglingly confusing...and I end up making more of a mess...and I feel worse because here I am, again, reminded my brain is failing me.

It helps that I have some people who work with me to talk to about it, it doesn't help when they don't understand...but when they do understand, it can really restore me. Sometimes just being understood and validated.

The new twist I got yesterday, however, when talking about the situation with my daughter with someone...and how it would be easier for me if she wasn't here (she thinks), how much I am needed for help with the baby (and being therefor my mom)...and she got it, and she got what that meant for my future...and she welled up. As crappy as that makes me feel (that my situation made her sad), at least I know I am not crazy for wanting to cry about it myself. But the walk away was feeling crappy, and wishing to retreat further into myself.

No one tells you that you will lose your sense of internal balance...between needed so much to have someone know and understand and care...and how crappy it will feel when someone does actually understand.

It just really sucks having this disease. It takes from us everything.

What happened? And is still happening? It still mystifies me.

I have learned...in my own new backwards awkward logic way that is all that is left to me, that there is no place in the world for me or my feelings...that all the world wants in my light. So to eat my feelings and just give more and more...what light I have left, give.

Sometimes all my light is is my dumb awkward song of how it is to BE with dementia...and the gaps in things that you wouldn't see until you got there yourself.

I wish someone would write about it too. But Alz+, you do...and you do it well.


Lisa428
Posted: Sunday, September 20, 2015 5:18 PM
Joined: 12/5/2011
Posts: 795


Hi,

I do know how difficult it can be having YOAD/Other dementias. I know that I have anger issues so I take medication for it.

I don't have any family members or friends that understand my illness. I know they try but are still unsuccessful.

My sister laughs and says I sleep a lot. My father has had 2 strokes and just doesn't get it. My daughter (having her own problems) asks me to baby sit my 4 1/2 year old granddaughter. My friends say "I forget things too."

None of them know about how I've had to deal with loss after loss.

My husband died when I was 28. My daughter was 4.

The thing is I think they are trying to understand. I think it's a lack of education or wanting to learn because it is too painful for them.

My doctors and therapists have told me to let go of being a caregiver to my family and friends.

I just can't! There isn't anyone to pick up the slack!

I love my family and my friends.

I hope you can find peace with your lives as they are now.

I am working on it.

You may want to call the toll free Help line 800-272-3900.

Peace and Hope,

Lisa


Brooke Marie Mae
Posted: Sunday, September 20, 2015 9:56 PM
Joined: 10/18/2014
Posts: 32


I am starting to experience frustration and anger over small things. Mostly I am able to contain it at this point by just letting my brain have a silent scream. There are times, however, when it does show. My husband is good - he understands that it's not really me. My sister, however, takes it very personally. She is exoecting me to take care of her emotionally when I struggle to take care of myself. She just doesn't get that I don't have the strength left to take care of her. It's very frustrating and certainly adds to the anger. There's no one in my life that really gets it. So sad and so alone.
Lisa428
Posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2015 12:11 PM
Joined: 12/5/2011
Posts: 795


Brooke,

I get it! But others may not. You just have to tell your sister that she has to take care of herself.

What many people don't understand is that it takes ALL of our energy to take care of ourselves everyday. There's very little left over for others.

I wish I had more. I've always loved helping others.

Please, take care of yourself first.

Peace and Hope,

Lisa


llee08032
Posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 7:45 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


Brook,

It will be hard to shift the dynamics with your sister and to help her understand that you cannot be there for her now as you were before. Is there anyone that could help with her? I'm trying to take off and keep off my fire rescue hat and save myself! Those old patterns of family and friends coming to me with their problems are hard to break. I am learning to set limits i.e., saying 'no' I can't help you with this or that, hang up the phone. not answer the phone, the door etc. Self preservation is key! Getting dx can be an eye opener to how egocentric and self-centered some persons in our life really are. Some people don't get it and won't get it. I think the one's who will understand are the one's who want to learn and understand and the one's who have the capacity to do so.

Do call the #800 number. You can get counseling and someone to follow up with you. There may be a support group in your area or a link up to a new friend who does understand.

I struggle to stay in today and not project into the future. I try to stay positive and sometimes even that seems exhausting! I have to change the way I think about dementia and the losses if I want to live well for as long as I can. I have to dig deep for the strength and the courage to face this disease head on! The sadness comes and goes, waxes and wanes and I can take it as long as the sadness is not there everyday and every moment! The dog is snoring beside me and I'm happy about that. I'm grateful for the little joys that I can find on some days and days when I have the capacity to look for joy. I always think I could be doing worse or be worse off. There is so much tragic suffering in the world. Much worse than my suffering is starving and sick innocent children. Mothers grieving their children. Instead of saying 'why me?' I say 'why not me?' Who am I that I should get away w/o suffering? Don't get me wrong I take my breaks and wallow in the poop! Surrender to the pain and have little pity parties for myself several times a month, sometime several times a week. If I don't give into that pain and sadness sometimes it just weighs and wears me down! I do give in to the sadness of my lot and the suffering of others in the world. But also I push and push to get back up, to break the surface and not drown in an ocean of tears. I do have dis-abilities but I have abilities too. If I look and think hard and long enough there is always something I can be grateful for.



llee08032
Posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 8:00 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


Got derailed and off track. The experts say sadness and depression is anger turned inward (no expert on anything here). The point is that we need to vent and let off steam. Allow ourselves to get pissed off as long as we don't hurt anyone else in the process. Just figured out that's what I was trying to say! BTW they say it's better to get pissed off than pissed on!
Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 1:15 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509


Alzwell, one of the Spouse cgs, just posted a quotation that I like:

It's not what we've lost that matters most--
But what we do with what we still have


I tell myself often that the past is over--I must focus on the present and the future. I did this automatically when I was younger, and that is why my life was good--I was always focused on the future. I did not dwell on the past.

I noticed early on that most of my stress came from other people. Setting up boundaries is a difficult but necessary task for us. Most people will not understand or even care that we neurologically cannot continue the way we have in the past. They may accuse us of all sorts of bad things. Be prepared.

My independence, my treatment, and my well being are the most important things for me now--not other people's issues.



The blogger admits she grew up in a dysfunctional, violent home. People with such upbringings must get to a place of serenity.

Iris L.



alz+
Posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 2:42 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608


IRIS- every time you mention the absolute need to establish boundaries I could squeeze you with appreciation. I had no idea what they were until I read about them in 1980's, maybe a book called Learning To Say No. anyway, another good save!

I loved taking care of others, had the time since no one was taking care of me - but what FUN it is for me to do that. I loved working with sick and injured and getting to them to the point where we would laugh and laugh, wetting pants laughing, crying laughing at the bad care, or the expectations, or how to get out of stuff.

On some level I get angry when my EXPECTATIONS are not met the exact way I want them to be. Today my Keeper, who is doing better now that he lightened his overload f responsibility, was saying sheet rock guys can come 3rd week in October. I cried over not understanding what a 3rd week was, when did it begin?

TIME is not factoring much lately.

I think if we all had a sublime Terminal Illness Party we might go into this with less anger and stress. I am considering hiring a church friend who has the giant horses and gives hayrides take me a couple people, my daughter, for a good tour of the fall color and then soaking in neighbor's hot tub and then over eating and laughing.

Seems awful easy to not imagine something fun - that should say I find it difficult to imagine how to have fun now. anger levels relative to how much fun you have?

all about emotional income and outgo - if mostly no fun coming into my life, easier I get pissed off. I am also trying to focus on future and stop thoughts of lousy past events, making some head way.

not many people really play with dementia people, why it is so FUN to meet others and laugh about stuff because they understand!

Little parties? I am having a little party today, in bed. Having baked squash and brown rice room service, keeper is making me this. Craving a wall colored violet-ish.

SUN - the ability to cope with surprises - I hope this is a stage passing. When you were a get things done kind of woman, and loved it, and now you still want to but the brain is not going where you need it to go, like wrestling yourself into a ditch to do what was 2 phone calls and an email before - geez!

This weekend is PARTIES and I am going. Saturday night is a dinner for church members with our bishop for 100 year anniversary of our little church.

Sunday morning is an extra extra long service with an over flow crowd coming and a big brunch after. I can sleep in car if I have to but I am going.

If I could get my head to focus on inventing fun ... easy fun.

I am going to ask my Keeper to set me up with some music for walk with dog, see if I can go further with headphones on. Today he is willing and I am grateful.





The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 3:06 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


I am glad he is more willing these days, maybe son did have a talk with him that you don't know about???

I love the idea of a violet wall.

That plant your own garden and decorate your own soul line.

Maybe we have to start the trend of parties for dementia patients??? Why not, we have to do everything else for ourselves.

The other day I was at my wellness circle (with other people with chronic illness, the only place I am treated normal these days), and I offered advise to someone who was really sad these days (another person like us, who is used to doing it all for others and no one is there now understanding her)...and I shared the things I did at home that got me through my darkest moments. Three people said I should write a book and everyone else agreed.

That is what is missing...how to deal with it.


Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 4:50 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509


Alz+, when I was working with the clueless geriatric psychiatrist, one day she said to me that I was irritable, and that that was a sign of depression. I was surprised, because I was not irritated. At that time I realized, that other people, even experienced, professional people, easily MISINTERPRET us.

The point is, do not expect other people, even people who are close to you, to understand you. We are not giving the same body language and verbal nuances that we used to give, even if we are not aware of it.

We must become more aware of our own language and body language, because communication will change. In fact, I have deduced from you, that it might be better to lessen verbal communication and rely more on non-verbal communication and body language.

llee08032
Posted: Thursday, September 24, 2015 5:44 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


I agree Iris we do need to watch and lower those expectations of others so we do not get let down and disappointed. When I call some of my family members it's like dialing 1800-pain! Instantaneously!

alz+ it sounds like you are what we call in the field of psych a 'natural helper.' I am too am a natural helper and have derived fulfillment and joy from helping others. My work being a gift and opportunity everyday to have a positive impact on others in some way. Yesterday we shared some good laughs about Donald Trump! I mention his name or something about him and they are rolling on the floor...thanks Donald!

alz+
Posted: Thursday, September 24, 2015 9:20 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608


I agree Iris we do need to watch and lower those expectations of others so we do not get let down and disappointed. When I call some of my family members it's like dialing 1800-pain! Instantaneously!

****************

Yes, I need to lower my expectations. And reinforce boundaries.
Current question of day:
when my son, daughter or Keeper are rude to me, short tempered, cut me off from emails or give me silent treatment, or scold me for being UPSET, or tell me stop being MORBID, or they do not abide DRAMA, or how everything is my fault or based on my "unwillingness to understand how hard this is for them"
how low should be expectations sink?

I have lowered my expectations - to the point I prefer to not engage them at all. The pain of having been dissed by a beloved child or spouse, held in contempt, blamed for causing them stress, reminded how I do not appreciate them enough, how my problems ruin their weekends or family life or ability to work...

I live 2000 miles away and we rarely speak or communicate. When I was really sad lately I called my son and it blew up in my face. He sounded like he hated me and claimed "thanks for ruining my weekend". I apologized and hung up.

The pain is so great it knocks the air out of me. I want to beg for forgiveness and slap them in the face. I do neither. I cry, post here, and look for placement some where, and think more and more it will be better for me.

I am stunned how people who claim they love me just shut the door in my face.
When I am crying sometimes my keeper actually shuts my door "to give me privacy".

My sons back turning and avoidance just does not bring out any sympathy in me anymore, I am focused on end of life survival.

I tell myself I do not have to endure abuse or rudeness any more. No longer my job to carry the weight of other people's rejection of me. I love my son and daughter with all my heart, my boundaries are being built to at least keep a memory of how they used to treat me, and love me as I loved them.

Is this off base? I cannot stand it anymore. My whole world falls apart when someone close to me is cold, indifferent.
what is the minimum boundary? You can call me names, accuse me of things, deny my needs but you CAN NOT HIT ME. Low expectations!

The pain of family turning on me is too much to bear so I quit engaging. I sent my son a birthday card. Since I was diagnosed he has not acknowledged my birthday, Christmas, Mother's day - not even with a text.
My daughter is often perfectly attuned but she has a sharp edge that cuts like a knife if I cross HER boundary of patience. Just out of the blue, wham!

What is a balanced perspective to have on this when my understanding and reasoning is failing? The dog is 100% right all the time.

The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Thursday, September 24, 2015 11:36 AM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


Oh Alz+, I just don't think people can get it unless they have been there. And on these forums, sometimes people give advice without really putting themselves in that position (even if they have been there). So it comes off glib and not really helpful. The intent is there, which is beautiful. But sometimes we need words to hang on when we are going through seriously trying times. I tried to write about that in Words Like Life Jackets...and I am trying to write a book of those words you can hang on.

Young adult children is the worst stage of parenting as far as I am concerned, and you have no idea how hurtful it will be personally. You can understand where they are coming from, or why they have to be such jerks, but that does not make the rejection any easier to bear. I have 4 of them...and I wish other mothers had warned me.

I know in my head that they have to reject us now in order to find themselves, that doesn't help the pain of the rejection. I remember back to when I was a young mom, and even though I saw my mom quite a bit, I don't think I even considered her a human in her own right...she was just mom. It wasn't until somewhere in my 30's that I considered that my mom had a life before me, thoughts, feelings, opinions. I have NO CLUE how my mom had the patience and strength to withstand all us.

My other sibs a gen older still expect my old mom to be able to be all that for them. It is sad and cruel to watch. Only a few times has she opened up about how much they hurt her.

But yours is deeper and worse than all that. I am with you on that. As our minds fail and we need (and in NEED) them...where are they? Not there. And you were there for your dad, so the not there gene isn't in you...and I am there for my mom, so it is not in me either. I have no base for understanding it. When people need you, you show up...that is what you do. I don't understand this (from my sibs) you can't expect us to help, we have lives. I have a life too...it just includes my mom.

I wonder often how all I did when I raised them could produce what it has, kids that are more like my siblings than me. I try to remind myself that it is there age...that when they are in their 30's it would be different. I don't think I will be here then.

Few people understand that the words of people who are around us carry so much weight. That one's self esteem, no matter how healthy, just cannot withstand too many negative comments...that they chip away at our self esteem, wear us thin and raw and aching. They are like rocks that threaten to sink you when you are already struggling to keep your head above water.

Each of my kids, as they grew and left home, did so like most teens...angry at mom and hating everything about me. I know this is, to some extent, necessary for their growth and development, but that doesn't make it hurt any less. Then you add to that years of bad treatment from doctors...and even my healthy self esteem took hits that I could not bear. When all the comments around you, all the self reflection are mean spirited and unfairly negative...the numbers out number you...and you sink. How can you not.

It would take me a long time to recover from doctors appointments. The rejection from my kids, although not as bad as it once was, is still something I find embarrassing to talk about much. My second daughter loves me and thinks the world of me, but cannot bother to come see me. She will make plans, but then not show or call. I have grown accustom to it, but it is eating my youngest daughter up.

My son has a new girlfriend, who is possessive and all wrong for him...not a lot I can say that he will hear at this age. But because of her, he hasn't been able to get down in the last few months for his birthday dinner. You know how it goes. Young adult children...someone really should warn us, woman to woman, mother to mother...egad, the hardest stage by far.

Some years ago, I gave up on them. I wanted a close and loving family...the polar opposite of what I grew up in, but I am only one of five (me and my kids), I can want it all I want...but if they do not also want it, what can I do...I am out numbered. So I gave up. I decided that if I wanted a close and loving family, I would have to create it with non-family members. I was also very sick physically and not up for much. But after years of not being able to get my kids together on same day, and my mom's kids not ever coming or calling on actual holidays, one thanksgiving I said f'-it, I will start with what I have and where I am...and I will make dinner for me and my mom, and we will have a great time.

Something about that shift, that I have never been able to put into words...suddenly my kids who were going to my daughter's for dinner, wanted to come be a part...first one, then another, then all. Ok. Then my sibs found out and wanted to be there too...not what I had planned on, yuk. But it is like they were attracted to that light.

I no longer care to be that light for my sibs, and I don't have the mental or emotional resources to deal with their crap. And I cannot figure a way to not be at family gatherings because my mom said she wants me to be there because she doesn't want to be alone with them. My days of sucking it up and coping with them for my mom are numbered, I feel...it has been a decade. A real rock and a hard place I am wedged in.

Now they have taken over the holiday and made it yukky (for me)...and I am back trying to figure again how to make that close and loving family of my dreams with the little that I do have. Now we have a baby to consider how to create a healthy environment for her within the unhealthy environment of my greater family. It was so much easier when I lived 2000 miles away with my kids.

But the thing is we do. Our soul, she seeks always the light...and she calls us out of the dark back into the light where she thrives.

I know your hurt, I hurt like that myself...there is no scripting in a mother to deal with it. We just crumble. We crumble and try to gather the pieces the best we can, and smile...and walk on into another day.

and we are older now. We have been done this road enough to know that it doesn't get better. The youthful optimism replaced by reality and knowing.

Like the line in the poem, comes the dawn...we plant our own gardens and decorate our own souls...rather than waiting for them. But first we hurt. We have to walk with the hurt a bit, then we come out and find sun again...then we can hold head up. At least until the next encounter.

I don't have any advise for how to weather it...only that somehow we do with the glorious grace of women and of the deep well we draw on as mothers, that still has water in it defying all logic.

You are a beautiful, strong, woman...all you do has beauty and grace. Your light CAN be seen, by anyone who cares to look.



Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, September 24, 2015 6:36 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509


I hope you are laughing with him and not at him, Ilee.

Alz+, you definitely do not have to live with abuse. Sometimes, if you set your own boundaries, others may be forced to change. But they may not.

The main thing, is to protect yourself. You are doing that! You are not helpless!

Stay strong, Alz+!

{{{{{{{{ Alz+ }}}}}}}}

Iris L.



llee08032
Posted: Thursday, September 24, 2015 7:57 PM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


I don't think these rotten kid's understand how they are going to feel once were gone! The regrets and guilt. They think life goes on for ever and that they have all this time to get around to us. My younger son is loyal thinks I walk on water the older one acts like I'm the mother from hell. Polar opposites! They both call and want to see me all the time. However my eldest just wants to complain to me how hard his life is, about his bills, child support etc. If I offer a suggestion he lashes out and tells me I don't understand! On the hand, if I offer money I'm the best mom but only for a very short time! Once every few weeks I'll get 'how are you mom? How's the dog?' It feels contrived. I really can't tell him when I feel bad because he'll say" I'm so negative." He has an untreated anxiety d/o and it is difficult to be around him because I bounce off his anxiety! I know this sounds awful but I don't like him at times, yet I love him to pieces! I have to limit our time together as well as communication. It's really hard but I try not to take anything he say's personal! That is how I survive. How I manage the relationship at a physical and emotional distance. He cannot handle pain and sadness coming from me so I always have to be 'okay' as far as he is concerned. I can't be sick, I can't be ill and I certainly can't have dementia. I guess when my time is up I can't be dying either and that's going to be a tough one to figure out how I'll be okay then too! Detach with love to save yourself. What other choice is there when we can only change ourselves and how we respond.
llee08032
Posted: Thursday, September 24, 2015 8:00 PM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


And like Sun said, 'remember the good times.'
Iris L.
Posted: Friday, September 25, 2015 12:27 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509


I believe this is a repeat, but I am reminded of a major "Ah ha!" moment that has helped me immensely in my dealings with other people.

I had a friend who would telephone me to unload her vents. She always complained of "stomach troubles." As soon as she unloaded on me, she felt better. But, as soon as she hung up, I felt worse. I began to have "stomach troubles."

This made me think of the monkey. Anguished people try to get the MONKEY, which represents trouble, off of their back and onto another person's back. Then, they feel good but the other person feels bad.

What I learned from this story? I don't let the monkey get onto my back in the first place!

It takes a lot of effort and involves cutting some people off at the pass, as soon as they begin to PMS (p*ss, moan and snivel), but I have not had any stress-related stomach trouble from other people ever since.

As far as cutting people off at the pass, they do not really want to share problems with you. They want to UNLOAD their problems onto you. That is why they do not want to hear your problems in return. They just want to DUMP on you.

Facing dementia is serious, and it is not going to go away. We have to do what is necessary for us in order to have a fulfilling life, which we can have and deserve to have.

Some patients have reliable care partners. Others of us are in this basically alone. I am not going to let others rain on my parade and make my life miserable. Too much is at stake.

I am not mean to other people. I just do not engage those who want to put their monkey onto my back.

Iris L.

llee08032
Posted: Friday, September 25, 2015 5:52 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


That damn monkey! Iris I had aha moment with my son several years ago when he was going through some problems. He'd call and I would get so worried and upset and cry after I hung up. I remember this one particular day I could not go to work because I was too emotional and overwrought with worry.I had spoken to him several times that day trying to console him and called back later to check on him. I was shocked when he answered the phone and seemed like nothing was wrong and even sounded a little chipper! It hit me that he was okay, that he bounced right back and that I was the one that wasn't okay and hadn't been able to bounce back! I was going through a horrible divorce then with the ex and his lawyer trying to put me in the street. I didn't have dx back then and was just beginning to realize that something was wrong with me and it was getting worse!
I was going to counseling to deal with the divorce and threatening letters several times a week, sometimes everyday from this expert divorce lawyer and feeling like I didn't know what hit me!

Today when he tries to take me on the train ride to drama land and I feel that is where the conversation is going I let him know I HAVE to hang up!

llee08032
Posted: Friday, September 25, 2015 5:55 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


Thanks for reminding me about that monkey (((((Iris)))))!

Love to all

Iris L.
Posted: Friday, September 25, 2015 3:52 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509


llee08032 wrote:
called back later to check on him. I was shocked when he answered the phone and seemed like nothing was wrong and even sounded a little chipper! It hit me that he was okay, that he bounced right back and that I was the one that wasn't okay and hadn't been able to bounce back!


Today when he tries to take me on the train ride to drama land and I feel that is where the conversation is going I let him know I HAVE to hang up!




Ilee, this is what clued me to the MONKEY effect. The other person did seem quite chipper right away, while I was doubled over in abdominal pain, with my guts writhing in agony! Wham! It hit me like a lightening bolt! Her agony had jumped to me, over the telephone! Wow! This was a major life lesson for me.

You may want to reconsider how much you want to tell the other person, because I have found that this can lead into the accusation, "you don't care about me!" What I usually say is, "I can't talk right now, I'll have to talk later." Then I hang up.

Every time the other person called, when the conversation got into complaining, I simply said, "I have to go now." No explanation. Not, "your troubles are making me sick," even though that was the case.

Some people are so into themselves that they have no insight into how they impact other people. I received two good consequences: I kept the monkey off my back, and I avoided accusations. We can have conversations, as long as they are not a steady stream of complaints.

Here's to a future of keeping the monkey off our backs!

Iris L.


llee08032
Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2015 8:36 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


Interesting phenomenon Iris, that we can take on the pain of others we are close to? Perhaps some cannot take on our pain either?

I wrote a few long posts this week which surprised me1 This is good. I tried to read the other night but soemthing is wrong with Nook and all the books ahve blank pages. Truth is i only wanted to read becuase the one channel i get on tv upstairs had football game on! I have been having a hard time both posting and reading, feeling like I miss information in others posts and maybe am not even getting the point. Perhaps it's the visual processing difficulties. Sometimes I can't put to words what I want to say and just try to reach out on the board to someone who is struggling. It feels this way in conversation at times also. Like asking a question and then wondering if my question was answered or what the answer is/was when the conversation is over. I try to skim read lines from every paragraph on good days. First 2 lines and last line or last 2 lines. This is with blogs, post etc. forget about reding articles ...can't stay focused and get overwhelmed with all the words. it

llee08032
Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2015 9:38 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


it takes me longer to recover from work on the weekends when sometimes i can't get out of the house. i dont think anyone in my life understands how hard working for me is and the insurmountable amount of energy this takes!I love my work but If I could afford to retire I would just work part time. I get jelous of ohters sometimes who don't have to work. not anyone on the borad but a neighbor who is on drugs and who seems to be very healthy and resourceful in finding ways to procure her drugs! she is obviously sick and suffering from addiction so i dont know that pangs of jelously are vindicated. I would probably not qualify for disability even though i feel disabled and there is nothing mild about my symptoms. I'm afarid to use family leave time which i put in for at work and dont want employer to view me as disabled. covering up shortcomings and defits exhausting. Too tired to edit post. Iris mentioned how people misinterpret us this is so true. On the other hand, I misinterpret others also. someone mentioned posts and responses to others being or sounding glib. Maybe CG posts I don't know. I think at times i may sound glib if i'm struggling to communicate or write. I try to compact what i want to say, try to be concise. Perhpas it comes off as being less empathic than others. it's the best i can do some dyas but it does not mean i do not care deeply about others on the board or want to help. work just overwhelms me. we are restructuring and moving staff around and i cant take off any days at this time. i come from a background of poverty, illiteracy, alcoholism, abuse you name it. walked through projects and high crime areas to get to school. was jumped attacked and physcially assaulted in various ways throughout my life. always got back up! never earned a high school diploma (had to work) but managed to be the first in my family to go to college. hope i can keep getting back up and not lose gumption and courage. trying to source the strength where it needs to go. trying not to waiver in the wind. problems with being viewed as weak by employer.
Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2015 2:18 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509


Ilee, I too came from a working class background and strove to go to college and medical school and develop a medical career. Be PROUD of your accomplishments every day! You have come a long way!

You overcame when you were younger, and you will overcome today! You will find the way to do what needs to be done.

Work on one problem at a time and find a solution. It does not have to be a perfect solution, but a solution to start with.

I too, had difficulty with reading the masses of written material that is required to be read. Is there any way that can be reduced?

Also, would you be able to take mini-breaks during the day? Even five minutes of peace can allow you to recharge.

Use every organizational technique that is applicable. Look for the type of accommodations that a person with adult ADD might make use of. There is less stigma with that diagnosis.

Make sure you are using a good calendar to schedule your day. Make a note of EVERYTHING. Review when you get home at night.

Plan your next day the night before.

Make sure you are getting restful sleep. You may need your weekends to catch up on your rest. You may need to let go of or reduce the housework.

Reduce cooking.

These tips I am telling you are tips I used to help myself when I first began to have problems years ago. If I think of more, I will post them.

In the meantime, take it easy. Keep saying the Serenity Prayer. Keep posting. We are with you, Ilee!

Iris L.


llee08032
Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2015 7:38 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


(((((Iris))))) so wish i could hug you in person! As alz+ said before 'I love you forever'! I'm sure your experiences and struggles made you a very good doctor! All those experiences are character building and strength building. Not to mention the sensitivity built from the exp of trauma. Many of the women and persons I've worked with over the years come from similar backgrounds and although i do not use self-disclosure in my work with others it is easy and natural to experience and convey empathy which is of major importance in any therapeutic relationship.

I thought I'd be able to rely on and assign more task to some of the younger sharper minds at work and I'm disappointed to find that is not the case. While they are younger and sharper the motivation and work ethic is not there and it involves constant follow up on my part which exhausts me! I'm working on a new system whereby they will have a written list of weekly tasks that needs to be turned in and completed on a weekly basis.

The housecleaning has gotten much more harder with the dog being sick. He drops food and slobber's all through the house with the dysphagia and has accidents now. I have pads down but he is a big dog and it's like cleaning up a small lake sometimes! I constantly have to mop the floors several times a week and swiffer in between. I can't handle the floors being dirty and that is a source of stress. i cut down on other areas of cleaning and have a cleaner coming in once a month.

I am now requiring 3-4 hour naps on the w/e trying to put into that sleep bank and sleep pretty well during the week. For this I am very grateful as I know being able to sleep is majorly important!