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Spouse or Partner Caregiver Forum
Praying for patience
Screaming? Done best in the car or the shower.
Tearing out hair? Never good.
Sad feelings? Oh, yes. Again, the car and shower come in handy.
Feeling guilty because you do not "love" the life you are living? Throw that guilt right out the window.
Getting a break? Great idea. This is a full time job. You must have some down time.
My LO has accused me of scretly going through his things when he is not in the bedroom, hiding his underwear (Gee, that sounds like fun), and even changing the pictures on the wall to confuse him. One day recently he came storming out of his room and said "Where did you hide my clock?" (There is never a preface or introduction to what is whirring around in his head). I said "What clock?" He replied indignantly "The cuckoo clock on the wall! You put a tapestry up instead". Ah, no. I didn't.
So together we went to his room. I pointed at the wall "THERE is your clock, where it has been for 15 years. And THERE (above it) is the tapestry". His response was a sullen "oh". And he walked away.
Such fun! I tell myself "Here we go again" when he comes storming out with yet another delusional obsession, usually at my expense, e.g., "Are you stealing my pills?" Sigh...
Seriously, I am a religious person so I do daily devotions in my bedroom each day. I pray for 3 major traits "LOVE, PATIENCE AND STRENGTH". Do I always have them? Of course not, but praying for them constantly keeps them as my spiritual goals in my mind a lot of the time so I can step back when he is being "crazy" again.
My fear is whether an Alzheimers patient could ever become violent. He used to tower 3 inches over me but now is 2 inches shorter than me. But would I call the police? These are the kinds of questions a care giver has over time.
I go to a care giver group once every 2 weeks. One guy there tells people "YOU ARE MEANT TO SURVIVE THIS!" This is his way to emphasize with a catchy slogan that we must care for ourselves. Give up the fantasies of tropical vacations, just do little things every single day, even if it is to simply buy a packet of chocolate chip cookies from the supermarket bakery and hoard them just for yourself. Or keep a juicy trashy book to read, or fix meals you love or buy a little treasure for yourself on Amazon. I think a care giver has to develop THEIR OWN LITTLE WORLD and become their own best friend. This is not a cliche. It is often hard for extroverts to understand, whereas introverts naturally do this. But as a caregiver, you have to create your own sacred private space in your home or in your head where your LO can't come.
You are meant to survive this.
You are so right, we caregivers must take care of ourselves. I like the way you think!
DylansDad...I think you have a valid point on how introverts naturally have developed their "own little world", where extroverts generally have a more difficult time caring for themselves. I can see the differences among my support group members.