The battle of Anger and Guilt

Anger floods me, it steals my breath and breaks my heart all in one foul swoop. Angry about so many things, the world, martha’s illness, martha, situations with friends, for friends, family, everything.  I feel suffocated by the world, by it’s problems, and yet life feels good.  Business ventures, relationships, lifestyle, it all feels good, this is when the guilt sets in.  Because I shouldn’t be angry, look at everything I have. In this moment I know I am about to spin out and in my head I imagine a master of ceremonies, vintage dress, a maroon velvet ensemble, and with his megaphone he yells “let the games begin.”

Tonight I stood in front of martha yelling at her for not telling me that she needed to go to the bathroom, I yelled about how this was the third time today, how I didn’t want this, I repeated over and over that I.DID.NOT.WANT.THIS. She looks at me vacantly, I have no idea if she understands the words that are pouring from my mouth, if she hears what I says but I worry that her own shortness of breath is fear.

I stand in front of her and tug at her clothes for her to undress, frustrated I hurry her and she complies.  Internally I battle guilt and anger, they both make appearances;

When anger hits I become breathless, rigid, stern and possibly frightening, when guilt swoops in I become teary, remorseful, agitated, I want to break down, I want to throw the mother of all fits.  

This all unfolds whilst I undress Martha for her fourth shower of the day. She is in the shower, I systematically wash her, command her, hand her things, shampoo her hair, rinse, turn off the shower.  I hand her a towel and as I walk away from her to fetch clothes I yell ‘dry yourself’ when I return, she hasn’t.  She is still standing, holding the towel in one hand while the rest of it soaks up the water in the bottom of the shower. Anger takes a hold again. I close my eyes and count, I manage three seconds and it reminds me of the last time I had ink to skin. Towards the end of my last tattoo I could only manage to count to three before starting again, that three was devoid of anger, but the three was for control.  This felt the same.  I was counting to three to gain control. I systematically dried her, efficient, devoid of affection, I commanded her through to her bedroom where I dressed her, her expression did not change. I closed my eyes again, one, two, three. Handing her clothes, instructing her what to do.  We finish, guilt has taken over, I want to say sorry but the words are stuck.  She gets awkwardly into bed, it looks uncomfortable, I feel the anger starting to rise, I force a few words from my mouth, I glare at her and she shifts into a more comfortable position.  I can’t read her expression, it is the same one she has had all day, I can’t read her face and it infuriates me.

I leave her room, I pull the door shut behind me and breathe. I hadn’t realised I have been holding my breath the whole time.  Anger and guilt are still thrashing it out, I try to calm my mind, I tell myself this always happens when respite is close, she is getting worse and you should be prepared for that. I flurry myself around the house, tidying, cleaning, putting things away. I take a valium to aid with the increased surge in adrenaline, another story starts to play out in my head, my frustration with a naturopath.  I let it play on for a few minutes before closing it down. I slip myself into bed, frustrated, angry, guilty, sad, lonely, mournful and the only thing I can think to do is type. Attempt to find some peace. So I type, I share and I hope that someone will read this and say this happens to me too.

Much love,

K x

5 Comments on “The battle of Anger and Guilt

  1. To a tee …… This happened to me last week although my Shirley did not want to go to bed after getting into her pjs at 10pm and thankfully it was after the day care had given stewed plums since mum had been constipated for 3 days. She forgets where the toilet is and tries to clean up after making a mess in another bedroom and we sleep in my double bed so after showering and clothing her my huge explosive anger not only exhausted me, she was left alone in the lounge dining which I had by now turned the lights and heater off she wanted to sleep in the recliner refusing to go to bed where she pulls out crockery linen and books in the interim. I awoke at 3am to escort her to our bed which she happily obliged oblivious to what had occurred 5hrs previous. We needed to wake up 4hrs later for day care and work however straight after work I made an appointment with our lawyer needless to say anger was still present. Since then we have had a very sweet harmonious few weeks. I HATE ALZHEIMERS I LOVE IT WHEN ALL IS HAPPY AND WELL WHEN I BECAME ANGRY AND FRUSTRATED LIFE SUX!

  2. Thanks for your honesty bless you one hundred times for your bravery. To read these words to hear the normality, this is life, these are real emotioms. No colouring or ‘re labelling will change the truth of feelings.

  3. 1st time I have read anything about alzheimers. Thank you so much for writing. I had no idea. I don’t know what to say that could be of any help to you. Except, maybe, don’t forget to laugh. Whenever you can at anything you can. XXX

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